King of the Golden River

I’m reading aloud this book, King of the Golden River by John Ruskin,* for the third time as a homeschool teacher.

We have chosen to use AmblesideOnline, a Charlotte Mason curriculum,  as our main spine for homeschooling. It is scheduled as an “additional read” for a 1st grader. Having gone through this year now three times, I do think that many children could tackle this book on their own, as the chapters and book, while rich with vocabulary and imagery, are short. It would take a unique student, though, who was up for the challenge and willing to perhaps read just a few pages at a time.

However, I must say, that I am thoroughly enjoying reading this aloud for the third go-round. I feel like an expert now.  😉 The first time I read it, I think I was trying to tackle the vocabulary myself and was a bit confused in the early chapters. Tonight, I read with gusto and expression, using various voices and offering quick explanations, to boot. What a treat for my daughter, as well as for myself!

I love how this book teaches the character traits of generosity, kindness, and faith. The main character Gluck sacrifices of himself to share with those in need, be it a stranger or a dog. His character helps to restore a whole mountain valley. He is a great inspiration for children, offering a concrete example of one who chooses to do without, for the benefit of others. He doesn’t do it expecting anything in return; he makes the choice because it is the right thing, the kind thing to do. In the end, he is greatly rewarded for his choices.

Again, a wonderful read for all children, highly recommended. And just an encouragement to families – do extra research on Ruskin. He is a talented artist and art critic as well!

*I found this particular copy at HalfPrice Books. I love their illustrations! 

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