History Through Great Books for a High School Boy

Gathering the Storm by Joel Clarkson

History for a High School Boy

I was asked for a list of good books to read to make studying History much more enjoyable and thorough than a textbook, so I put together this list of books that we have loved and learned the most from.

For American History

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes 


Amos Fortune Free Man by Elizabeth Yates 

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt 

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane 


The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 

The Boys’ War by Jim Murphy 

World War 1

The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy 


Hero Over Here by Kathleen V. Kudlinski 

World War 2

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry


Year of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyul Choi 

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley 

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan 

Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen 

I also recommend books by G. A. Henty. They are fantastic! 

Books about seafaring adventures that the whole family will love:

 Books by R. M. Ballantyne are full of adventure, pirates, sailors, storms, intrigue, and being stranded on islands. Rollicking adventures, I guess you could say! The Coral Island is one of his best-known stories. But he wrote over 90 books, so there are many to choose from! 

Carry on, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. I have heard so many people say that they really enjoyed this story. And we did, too! 

Horatio Hornblower by C. S. Forester. This is a whole series about a young man who starts out as a seasick midshipman and works his way up to Admiral of the Fleet during the time of the Napoleonic Wars. 

These are some of my favorite books to cover American History and some World History. 

I hope you can find something from this list that will inspire and inform you and your young men. 

Happy History Reading!     

What is the Spirit of Homeschooling?

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

“Take Off” by Joel Clarkson from Storybook Soundscapes

Why do you homeschool?

  • Do you homeschool your children so that they can have an excellent academic education so they can compete in this world and be successful in the eyes of the world?
  • Or is your reason more along the lines of protecting your children from false teaching and passing on your faith and values to them?
  • Are you most concerned about building a warm, loving, nurturing family?

Is your answer to the question “all of the above”?

Parents homeschool for many different reasons. And they homeschool in many different ways.

And that’s a good thing.

Because every child is different, and every family is different.

But I think the spirit of homeschooling in general is freedom.

Of course, we should pray and find out what God thinks about the way we should homeschool and what we should be sure to cover.

Photo by Shitota Yuri on Unsplash

But always remember that you do not have to run your homeschool like a classroom at school. Homeschooling is more of a tutoring situation than a classroom situation. You are there to support and encourage your children in their learning. You are a facilitator of learning.

Which means you supply the resources, opportunities and framework for the things that they absolutely need to learn – the basics of reading, writing and math – and then support their efforts to learn about the things that interest them.

This freedom is a privilege that few have in the world. So let’s make the most of it.

Let’s give our children the best that the Lord has for them, so that they can be prepared for the calling that God has for their lives.

Photo by Shitota Yuri on Unsplash

And I have one little request.

Make your routine sustainable, enjoyable, and delightful for the whole family. Because I want to see you continue homeschooling as long as the Lord tells you to do it. And you won’t be able to if it’s drudgery or if there is anger and resentment on both sides of the homeschool coin.

Find what works best for you. Try different methods and routines. Ask the Lord to help you figure out your style, how your kids learn best, and all the little details like duration of lessons, type of method(s), and whether to keep grades and other records.

Exercise your freedom, and make your homeschool reflect your values and the way you really want to live your life. Give your kids a stress-free childhood and freedom to learn the things they want to learn.