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Savermom

Really frustrated with inappropriate content in History of the Ancient World

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Savermom, I am sorry it seems like so many people are critisizing you. I think many of us are feeling a bit protective of SWB after the bad time she's had recently so more people than usual have jumped to her defense.

 

-Nan

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Thanks, Nan. I certainly didn't intend this as a personal insult or attack on SWB and had no idea of her current "bad time" you are referring to. As I said in my initial post, we LOVE FLL and SOTW. I'm always referring to my WTM edition. Love SWB. Just not thrilled with some of the content in this one book. I had no idea this would stir such conflict. Sorry ya'll.

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Savermom and Melissa, you know, I don't think it would be that difficult to have a website somewhat similar to Paula's Archives in format where you could maybe store reviews of works that mention the type of issues we have talked about here. I don't know if you could even take posts that appear here and organize them under a social group (just for ease). If the title of the work was in the thread title, you should be able to search. It may be overkill and just easier to ask about your concerns on the board.

 

On the idea of disclaimers, I think it can work two ways and I am basing that solely off of my experience with that movie site where you can check for violence, profanity, and s*xuality. I could never keep up with the movies the kids wanted to watch especially in the PG13 phase. I would go to the site and base my decisions from there. I discovered that we missed some exceptional movies that had a higher rating in an area and that sometimes the kids were watching just plain twaddle that had no redeeming value, but no bad marks either. I think Lord of the Rings is an example that comes to mind. The violence level was something like an 8, yet the violence was nothing like some the more adult gashers with a similar rating. It is extremely difficult to come up with a standard.

 

Savermom, I did confuse your 9th grader with another poster who mentioned their advanced 9 yo. Sorry about that. It may be best to stick with history books from Christian suppliers for your concerns.

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I just took a minute to try some searches. I think the best thing to do would be to search by title and then find the thread about which is the cleanest edition from among those. Then you could gather them up into one thread, or add tags (if you can do that in retrospect) or whatever you want to do. It might be more efficient to ask here before you read any particular book. Usually people say something like, "Is there anything I shoud be warned about before reading blank with my blank grader? I particularly want to avoid blank."

I remember Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Canterbury Tales, Brave New World, Farenheit 451, Catcher in the Rye, and Gilgamesh being discussed in the past, and I know that you would want to ask about any Greek plays, Shakespeare plays, A Separate Peace, The Odyssey, The Iliad, Plato's Republic, and St. Augustine, just off the top of my head. You will want to select your edition carefully.

-Nan

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Thanks, Nan. I certainly didn't intend this as a personal insult or attack on SWB and had no idea of her current "bad time" you are referring to. As I said in my initial post, we LOVE FLL and SOTW. I'm always referring to my WTM edition. Love SWB. Just not thrilled with some of the content in this one book. I had no idea this would stir such conflict. Sorry ya'll.

 

Well, I, for one, and grateful that you mentioned this. I was considering the book for my 10th graders next fall, but now I'll have to really look closely at it. I appreciate the heads-up. This is the first I'd heard about it.

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I agree with this. I led a discussion group of teens (ninth grade, male and female) for ancient great books. They were all from very conservative homes. They managed discussion of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, etc. They have *much* worse content than HOAW. If you want to do ancient history in TWTM style, then you will deal with that stuff in ninth grade. eta: Some of the moms were TOTALLY unaware of what happens in Gilgamesh or The Iliad until they read them along with their kids. There is no disclaimer on those books.

 

Sex is not a new concept and romantic tales and sexual relationships are a part of history. Herodotus, Plato, thucydities (KNOW I didn't spell that right, sorry), Gilgamesh, shakespeare, greek/roman/african/and other myths and more ALL had sex or innuendo of it.

 

I think high schoolers should be able to handle discussion about it. *shrugs*

 

Yes, if you are using the book because it was recommended for high schoolers in WTM, you are probably also reading the literature list for high school, which contains much more sexu@l content than HOAW.

 

I'm feeling REALLY stupid, but I have NO idea what "plowing through a damp field" means and have never heard that expression.

 

In general,

 

land = fertility, women's bodies

 

(How to Read Literature Like a Professor has a chapter on this, I think... or maybe he just mentions it.)

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Hellloooo!

 

The OP is perfectly within her rights to decide that she doesn't want her kids to read the book.

 

Having said that...the book was written for adults. Sex is part of history. Sex motivates people. You can't ignore it.

 

We also suggest it for high school students because IMO there's nothing in it that I wouldn't give my own high school aged boys to read. Knowing what sex motivates people to do is important. Using their own words is safer than using mine. That's what I tried to do. The sexual references are primary source material.

 

I have no problem with other parents having different standards. So don't jump on the OP.

 

At the same time, if I could pick at the original complaint...I can't imagine what kind of warning I'd put on anything I write. Do you realize how much blood and gore there is in history? How much slaughter of Catholics/Jews/Protestants/Orthodox/random peoples in the way of conquering nations? How much infanticide, parricide, matricide? How much religious controversy?

 

Recently I had this in an email from a reader who didn't like our new Olive Branch Books series: " It pains me to see your books and publisher’s books go into the “needs discernment” pile so to speak."

 

ALL books should go in the "needs discernment" pile. Once you're dealing with high school students in particular, you have to be willing to either 1) read everything yourself, or 2) resign yourself to having your students run across things you don't like, and trusting that your own principles, instilled in them, will cause them to question the books and talk to you about them. No rating system is going to help.

 

SWB

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ALL books should go in the "needs discernment" pile. Once you're dealing with high school students in particular, you have to be willing to either 1) read everything yourself, or 2) resign yourself to having your students run across things you don't like, and trusting that your own principles, instilled in them, will cause them to question the books and talk to you about them. No rating system is going to help.

 

SWB

I concur wholeheartedly. Very nicely stated. (Ironically typing this before going to the Cartoon History of the Universe and reading it BEFORE my teen son gets to read it... LOL ;))

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I'd think reading about stupid things people have done because of sex, might be quite educational for a 14 year old, in terms of guiding moral decision making, and realizing how far astray someone can go.

 

And most religious holy books are pretty explicit about sexuality, so I frankly don't understand how this is incompatible with religion. In my (religious) home, a 14 year old would be expected to understand sexual morality and immorality.

 

As an example

Bible -- Leviticus 18:1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘I am the Lord your God! 3 You must not do as they do in the land of Egypt where you have been living, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan into which I am about to bring you; you must not walk in their statutes. 4 You must observe my regulations and you must be sure to walk in my statutes. I am the Lord your God. 5 So you must keep my statutes and my regulations; anyone who does so will live by keeping them. I am the Lord. 6 “‘No man is to approach any close relative to have sexual intercourse with her. I am the Lord. 7 You must not expose your father’s nakedness by having sexual intercourse with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have intercourse with her. 8 You must not have sexual intercourse with your father’s wife; she is your father’s nakedness. 9 You must not have sexual intercourse with your sister, whether she is your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she is born in the same household or born outside it; you must not have sexual intercourse with either of them. 10 You must not expose the nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter by having sexual intercourse with them, because they are your own nakedness. 11 You must not have sexual intercourse with the daughter of your father’s wife born of your father; she is your sister. You must not have intercourse with her. 12 You must not have sexual intercourse with your father’s sister; she is your father’s flesh. 13 You must not have sexual intercourse with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s flesh. 14 You must not expose the nakedness of your father’s brother; you must not approach his wife to have sexual intercourse with her. She is your aunt. 15 You must not have sexual intercourse with your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife. You must not have intercourse with her. 16 You must not have sexual intercourse with your brother’s wife; she is your brother’s nakedness. 17 You must not have sexual intercourse with both a woman and her daughter; you must not take as wife either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to have intercourse with them. They are closely related to her – it is lewdness. 18 You must not take a woman in marriage and then marry her sister as a rival wife while she is still alive, to have sexual intercourse with her. 19 “‘You must not approach a woman in her menstrual impurity to have sexual intercourse with her. 20 You must not have sexual intercourse with the wife of your fellow citizen to become unclean with her. 21 You must not give any of your children as an offering to Molech, so that you do not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord! 22 You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; it is a detestable act. 23 You must not have sexual intercourse with any animal to become defiled with it, and a woman must not stand before an animal to have sexual intercourse with it; it is a perversion. 24 “‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things, for the nations which I am about to drive out before you have been defiled with all these things. 25 Therefore the land has become unclean and I have brought the punishment for its iniquity upon it, so that the land has vomited out its inhabitants. 26 You yourselves must obey my statutes and my regulations and must not do any of these abominations, both the native citizen and the resident foreigner in your midst, 27 for the people who were in the land before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become unclean. 28 So do not make the land vomit you out because you defile it just as it has vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 For if anyone does any of these abominations, the persons who do them will be cut off from the midst of their people. 30 You must obey my charge to not practice any of the abominable statutes that have been done before you, so that you do not defile yourselves by them. I am the Lord your God.’

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I started working through The City of God again last night. Three years ago, I started it and decided it was just too thick for my then-to-be sophomore. I put it aside. Now I'm trying to decide if I want to work through Med. Lit with my dd - she'll be a junior.

 

Book I; Section 5

Even Caesar himself gives us positive testimony regarding this custom; for, in his deliverance in the senate about the conspirators, he says "that virgins and boys are violated, children torn from the embrace of their parents, matrons subjected to whatever should be the pleasure of the conquerors, temples and houses plundered, slaughter and burning rife;..."

 

My dd will sigh a heavy sigh. This will give her a heavy heart. She understands. She knows what these lines are talking about. It will make her said; she will feel pain. It will make her agitated and slightly combative that day. She won't be my shiny dd.

 

I wish I could save her from that.

I wish.

But I know I shouldn't.

 

My little guy will be in ninth grade next year. He'll probably be working through the ancients for 9th grade - btdt; I get it. We've started working through HoTAW already. After we read the line about the plowing, I paused to grin at him, eyes peeping over the rim of my glasses. "Mom, I get it. Whoa. Interesting image." he said as he rolled his eyes; he's fourteen. I replied, "I love you, baby. Sorry! (Not necessarily sorry because of the image. Just sorry because I knew it was coming, and he didn't see it coming. Blindsided. Not fair. Oh well. Sorry, babe.) She's just telling it like it is." We share a smile and move on. In another twelve months, we will probably approach The City of God - a deep book from one of Christianity's most highly respected authors. I just don't know hardly anyone - even in the conservative camps who would say you should keep your kids away from the negative influence of St. Augustine. But there it is. St. A's words, not mine. His image. Not mine.

 

I'll never forgot my first wanderings into the "adult history" section of the library. I was so hurt. It was then that I realized that I thought I loved reading history because I had been only reading children's history books. I actually didn't like reading REAL history. It made me feel helpless and angry. I was so frustrated. I viewed the world that day through a different lens. I felt at odds with the images I saw. I felt at odds with the people I bumped into. I HATED the way I felt. I wanted to cry when I pondered the human condition. I was so sad. And I'm not just talking about the s@xual stuff. In the Pulitzer biography of Adams, there is a chapter that tells about John and Abigail's daughter's battle against bre@st cancer. The scene that describes the surgery made the back of my knees hurt. They were throbbing. It was utterly horrifying. I had never really thought about it before. I mean I knew about surgery before modern anesthetic, but I hadn't really felt it in the back of my knees. It made me sad. So sad.

 

But I got over it.

 

And my kids don't seem to have as much of a problem with the hurdle. Maybe because they didn't meet the truth at age 38. They were much younger. Of course everyone has to choose the path they feel is right. But I'm on child #3, and if I had a do-over I still would introduce this "stuff" by 9th grade. Yes, it makes me sad. But I personally would still do it.

 

I'm sorry. Really, I'm sorry. I truly wish the world was a difference place.

 

But please don't misunderstand me, I completely respect your decision to say no to this book for your child at this age. But I would encourage you and your husband to have a discussion about the child's timeline. While I try not to have a steady diet of "sad" images for my kids - I pick and choose books I assign, I don't say no to all of them. (For example, I'm more likely to assign a work of depressing literature in December or May rather than in February. February is a brooding, depressing month weather-wise in Jersey. Couch-time is purposefully upbeat. December is a rock-on happy month by nature, and May is all high-pressure, blue sky, and sunshine. Depressing literature doesn't affect the soul as deeply when the sky is a deep, warm blue.) I would encourage you and your husband to have an "If not now - then when?" conversation. If you decide on "never", at least you decided on that.

 

I've found it empowering to make decisions in parenting rather than to allow procrastination to make decisions for me.

 

I wish you great peace in your choices.

 

Warmly,

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

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I wish I could save her from that.

I wish.

But I know I shouldn't.

 

I'll never forgot my first wanderings into the "adult history" section of the library. I was so hurt. It was then that I realized that I thought I loved reading history because I had been only reading children's history books. I actually didn't like reading REAL history. It made me feel helpless and angry. I was so frustrated.

 

I'm at the "discovery of real history" stage right now. I read (by myself) a horrible story yesterday. Just horrible. About a child in the Industrial Revolution. I've also skimmed a series of books recently recommended to me, and....I don't want to read them! But I'm realizing they are probably realistic about history, too. I have had the exact same thoughts as you mentioned - I want to save my kids from this stuff until they're at least 50, but I can't. And yes, hurt and disturbed about what I'm reading would about describe it. Nauseous. My mind tells me it's probably better to talk about what they read while they're still under my care, but I don't want to see their innocent childhoods go!

 

And my kids don't seem to have as much of a problem with the hurdle. Maybe because they didn't meet the truth at age 38.

 

I hope this turns out to be true in my family.

 

(For example, I'm more likely to assign a work of depressing literature in December or May rather than in February. February is a brooding, depressing month weather-wise in Jersey. Couch-time is purposefully upbeat. December is a rock-on happy month by nature, and May is all high-pressure, blue sky, and sunshine. Depressing literature doesn't affect the soul as deeply when the sky is a deep, warm blue.)

 

 

Very good practical advice, Janice. Thank you.

 

And, a question (for the general "you") that seems appropriate in this thread. How does a 40-something (30-something, 20-something, 50-something) handle when these emotions come up?? If we shouldn't hide, shouldn't shield ourselves from knowing at least SOME of the horrible things in history, how do you deal with what you are reading??

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Well, these were written for adults, not for children, so I would think that descretion would be advised. We have read many books this year to be found in the children's section of our library regarding the early modern world that I have edited as I read. Over the years, I've found many more (the Bernard Evslin books for mythology come to mind) for which I feel descretion is advised.

 

The sexual exploits and proclevities of various people in power positions throughout the ages are often relevant to how/why they behaved in particular ways regarding policies they issued, laws handed down, treatment of slaves, prisoners, etc. and many, many other aspects of their lives. I would argue that at least at times sexually related information might be relevant to history. And if it's not appropriate in your opinion, then it is a fairly easy thing to edit as you read aloud....

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Since this thread has turned toward the right way, I have really been enjoying it. This is an important discussion! I have not thought much about this subject and I am appreciating the food for thought. Thank you! (I think we should start a new thread though. ;) )

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Sex is not a new concept and romantic tales and sexual relationships are a part of history. Herodotus, Plato, thucydities (KNOW I didn't spell that right, sorry), Gilgamesh, shakespeare, greek/roman/african/and other myths and more ALL had sex or innuendo of it.

 

I think high schoolers should be able to handle discussion about it. *shrugs*

 

The Bible also has references about s*x, particularly Song of Solomon, which is quite explicit, but not erotic.

 

Fourteen yo's vary greatly in maturity, but they are already thinking about s*x if their hormones are raging. I could see having a father handle with with a ds. Now, not all teens are going to understand what plowing a damp field means, are they? But as for infidelity, it comes up in the Bible (David sinned with that, the law had explicit punishment for it, etc). Same with s*xual assault. This is why I don't understand why something like HOAW is that difficult, because there is so much room to teach your values to your dc here.

 

I gave Good Earth to dd to read in 9th grade, she made a few comments (I forgot what all was in it). I just said that is what it was like, oh well.... I do like exposing them to things as teenagers with them here and being able to talk about it if they want to, but don't like a steady diet of it. There is a steady diet of it in college, so you don't want them shocked!

:iagree: And this is VERY mild compared to what comes up in ps health classes, which is why I'm glad my eldest didn't have to take health at ps; we covered things at home at her comfort and readiness level that lines up with our standards, although I was honest with her about different standards (plus someone we know on an acquaintance level had a dd who snuck out one and got pregnant; she had a baby 9 months after that night, so obviously my dc saw that, and my younger two were quite shocked, especially ds, 10, but it happens IRL.)

 

Are you also following TWTM reading list?

Frankly I do not think that the content of these literary works is inappropriate for a teen. Teens are working their way to adulthood. This is the time to discuss things, not sweep them under the rug.

:iagree:

I saw that, but if the student is truly advanced intellectually, they should be able to handle factual information. As you say, there is nothing erotic about the material. Or at least, not any more erotic than the bible so far.

 

If the student is not ready for these discussions, then I kindly pose they are not as intellectually ready for advancement into high school materials as might have been previously expected.

:iagree:

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History is dirty. One of the reasons we homeschool is that I was sick of all the "cleaned up" history I had to deal with in private and public schools.

 

Now, does that mean that I'm going to go into lewd detail on certain things with younger children? No. But am I offended that my 14yr old son's class discussed details of King Louis and Marie Antoinette's reign (including his operation in order to be able to perform and produce an heir)? No. It's actually a legitimate subject and he's 14 (granted, more mature about the subject matter than many in his class were).

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I do understand the angst. We'd like to preserve their childhood as long as possible. Adult life is sooooo messy. I have a 14 year old and some days, there is definitely a temptation to sanitize things a bit.

 

But, I'd much, much, much rather go over this material now when dh and I can bring our principles to the discussion and impart our morals to him, than to wait too long and have him leave unprepared for the messy, harsh realities of the modern world. I don't know how I can even discuss the impeachment of William Clinton without discussing the man's proclivities, though I certainly don't have to go into graphic detail.

 

I don't want to avoid the Old Testament or sanitize it, like a Veggie Tale, and then leave him to encounter it alone at 18. Better to discuss the Levitical laws on in****course, and menustration now so he can ask questions and we can see how he is handling it, then to be blindsided four years later.

 

But, I really do get it. Sometimes history is just so ridiculously vile that it gobsmacks you in the face and it leaves you not wanting to discuss it at all. Things like the Children's Crusade, and the Right of First Night, and such do that to me! Unfortunately, this kind of crud factored into so many political decisions and cultural values, that there just isn't any way to get around it.

 

Life is messy. History seems to be even worse, though 100 years from now, I'm pretty certain that humankind will not find my generation to be any better.

 

Faith

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No. Melissa has a valid concern, regardless of how anyone else on here, including myself would handle this. I am not saying this well, but I have had several conversations with Melissa in the past and while we come from different angles and may not agree, I respect her opinion.

 

I totally understand her concern. I do. They felt blindsided. I tried, very hard, in soft words, to explain why it was in possible to SWB to provide a disclaimer. Why we can't go into reading TWTM high school works like that, also citing Gilgamesh.

 

I, also, was feeling very protective of SWB, and in as many ways as I tried to explain in the same ways you all did. That was the response I got. I never ONCE told her her concern wasn't valid, though it wasn't a concern of mine in particular. Just how disclaimers weren't realistic and how WE would ahve to read these books through if we feel we need to edit.

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The Bible also has references about s*x, particularly Song of Solomon, which is quite explicit, but not erotic.

 

 

Song of Solomon talks of ...going Downtown on both sexes. It is erotic. The KJV is cleaned up to the point of anyone not knowing, but it is so erotic it makes you blush.

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Very good practical advice, Janice. Thank you.

 

And, a question (for the general "you") that seems appropriate in this thread. How does a 40-something (30-something, 20-something, 50-something) handle when these emotions come up?? If we shouldn't hide, shouldn't shield ourselves from knowing at least SOME of the horrible things in history, how do you deal with what you are reading??

 

I can't answer this from a non Christian persepctive. So there's my disclaimer. :-)

 

Most of the time I live in a bubble. I live in the States, I have a luxurious lifestyle in comparison to most people of history. Since the Civil War, our country has never been ground zero for a war. Meaning, most days I walk around conscious....but totally unconscious of the hardship that has gotten me to this place. I don't really *see* on a daily basis the utter depravity of humans.

 

Reading history helps me touch that. And from a safe place if that makes any sense. And when I do, when I read those parts that make me cry or make me physically nauseous, it brings me to a place of seeing how badly we need redemption.

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I can't answer this from a non Christian persepctive. So there's my disclaimer. :-)

 

Most of the time I live in a bubble. I live in the States, I have a luxurious lifestyle in comparison to most people of history. Since the Civil War, our country has never been ground zero for a war. Meaning, most days I walk around conscious....but totally unconscious of the hardship that has gotten me to this place. I don't really *see* on a daily basis the utter depravity of humans.

 

Reading history helps me touch that. And from a safe place if that makes any sense. And when I do, when I read those parts that make me cry or make me physically nauseous it brings me to a place of seeing how badly we need redemption.

 

:iagree: Since we started homeschooling I've been shocked to discover what I don't know about history. History in school was my favorite subject, but I didn't go to college. I have no deeper history studies to frame what I'm teaching. I'm doing a lot of reading on my own.

 

I'm reading a bio on Winston Churchill, by Paul Johnson. It talks frankly about the affairs of Churchill's parents generation. Song of Solomon makes me blush.

 

Ds and I have delved into the atrocities of man in more modern times. Things I read in a headline in a paper that was thrown away. Things that change the face of a city, a country. As an American I feel sheltered from much of that. Part of me feels good that I feel relatively safe in my city, the other part of me wonders what history will show about this time in America. Are we living an illusion? Are we prepared with the worst of man shows its face in our country? Sex is part of the power play of history.

 

Have I blushed having some conversations with my ds? Yes. Have I cried when we've talked about some of the wrongs of history? Yes. I continue to have the difficult conversation, the sad conversations, because I want to educate the whole of my child, not just the parts I'm comfortable talking about.

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Hellloooo!

 

The OP is perfectly within her rights to decide that she doesn't want her kids to read the book.

 

Having said that...the book was written for adults. Sex is part of history. Sex motivates people. You can't ignore it.

 

We also suggest it for high school students because IMO there's nothing in it that I wouldn't give my own high school aged boys to read. Knowing what sex motivates people to do is important. Using their own words is safer than using mine. That's what I tried to do. The sexual references are primary source material.

 

I have no problem with other parents having different standards. So don't jump on the OP.

 

At the same time, if I could pick at the original complaint...I can't imagine what kind of warning I'd put on anything I write. Do you realize how much blood and gore there is in history? How much slaughter of Catholics/Jews/Protestants/Orthodox/random peoples in the way of conquering nations? How much infanticide, parricide, matricide? How much religious controversy?

 

Recently I had this in an email from a reader who didn't like our new Olive Branch Books series: " It pains me to see your books and publisher’s books go into the “needs discernment†pile so to speak."

 

ALL books should go in the "needs discernment" pile. Once you're dealing with high school students in particular, you have to be willing to either 1) read everything yourself, or 2) resign yourself to having your students run across things you don't like, and trusting that your own principles, instilled in them, will cause them to question the books and talk to you about them. No rating system is going to help.

 

SWB

 

FWIW, when I read the Old Testament to my kids I have to use discernment and filter. And this is a children's bible. Sex and violence is all over the bible. And that's the BIBLE of all things! So these books don't have anything you don't also see in the bible. And it's historical, it's not glorifying inappropriate sex like pop culture so often does. That's what offends me.

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Just had to pop in... this thread has been interesting reading and I really appreciate the discussion for those of us who aren't there yet.

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I totally understand her concern. I do. They felt blindsided.

 

For the record, *I* was not blindsided at all. ;) I've never read the book, and it's not on my radar TO read...and not because of this thread, but because I have my eye on other books for that time period. I only jumped into this thread to help the OP. She was getting bunched up on, and I, unfortunately, cannot help but come to the defense of an underdog. It's a sickness of mine. :lol::D

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This has been a fascinating conversation.

 

I was mulling all this over while I worked in the damp garden today. ;)

 

On a lighter note, I couldn't help but be reminded of an old English folk song, "One Man Shall Mow My Meadow." (You can hear a wee snippet of it here, track 28: http://www.amazon.com/Jackfish-More-Songs-Singing-Children/dp/B0000630CD/ref=sr_1_8?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1301793487&sr=1-8 ) It's typically sung by a woman in the spring Revels shows that take place in various cities around the country; Revels was founded by Jack Langstaff, the singer in this disc. I have been in several of these shows, and one year the woman who was singing this song just wasn't getting the... driving, building oomph of the song. Jack Langstaff was visiting, and he was working with this gentle, sweet woman, and finally leaned over and whispered something in her ear. She blushed furiously, and laughed, and then sang the heck out of this little tune. She got it.

 

Not all innuendo has to be disturbing and dirty. Some lies under the surface of our everyday world, that throb and pulse of life itself. Sexy, yes.

 

ETA: you can hear another version here: http://store.revels.org/onemanshallmowmymeadow.aspx This one give you a better sense of the "cumulative" effect of the song.

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And when I do, when I read those parts that make me cry or make me physically nauseous, it brings me to a place of seeing how badly we need redemption.

 

This thought crossed my mind after I posted my question. Yikes.

 

Sex and violence is all over the bible.

 

And this is why I don't understand people like a certain fairly-well known homeschool family, who are VERY careful about what they've let their kids read over the years (no Little House books, because of references to Jack Frost; or Laura's naughtiness might influence their kids...). I read this and thought, "OK," then I read that they were SO happy when their 5 or 6 year old came to the Mom for reading lessons "so he could read his Bible." I am pretty sure it was not a children's Bible, either. The contrast made no sense to me at all.

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Well, I, for one, and grateful that you mentioned this. I was considering the book for my 10th graders next fall, but now I'll have to really look closely at it. I appreciate the heads-up. This is the first I'd heard about it.

 

This makes two of us.

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I'm glad you mentioned it too. We are heading into this level of history and I would feel the same way you do when I saw those things.

 

 

Mind you, we loved SOTW. We loved FLL. We love HOAW--my ds, (9th grader) read it out loud together. BUT, I'm confused as to why SWB throws in s**ual content. I don't want to read out loud to my 14 yr old son about exploits and personal details. They do nothing to enhance our understanding of history. Actually, it's detracting from it and making me a little mad as I, once again today, had to skip over a couple of sentences. Why is this stuff in there? I'm now regretting the fact that I already purchased History of the Medieval World for next year and wondering what's in there.

 

Am I the only one? No one has seemed to mention this.

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I think it helps to reframe the way you think about the book. It's not that SWB "added sexual content." It's that she deleted it from the SOTW books, and it is left out of many of the other books designed for children's history. I think if we are homeschooling younger students, and all we read are elementary level history books, we start to lose perspective. Real history includes sex. As pp have said, there are sexual motivations that cannot be ignored in a serious history study, primary sources and period literature will include sex.

 

Of course, every parent gets to decide at what age they think their child is mature enough to start reading the full story. Some may be at the start of high school, some may not get there during high school at all.

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Song of Solomon talks of ...going Downtown on both sexes. It is erotic. The KJV is cleaned up to the point of anyone not knowing, but it is so erotic it makes you blush.

:iagree:If I remember rightly the song of solomon has such phrases as "br++sts as large as towers" and "drinking from her well". Made me blush as a teen when I read it for the first time.

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To the OP, thanks for bringing this up. I had heard about the references from someone else a while ago, but had forgotten it. Not sure if I will or will not let my ds read this when he does Ancient History, but knowing it is in there helps me decide how I go about using the book if I choose to. Just because a book says it is for HS students and adults does not equal it will have s*x in it. To me this means it is written at a higher level then a book for 4th through 8th grade. Because of this I don't understand those who suggested the OP should have realized what she was getting because of the age level.

 

 

I am sorry some of the posts became a personal attack though. :glare:

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ALL books should go in the "needs discernment" pile. Once you're dealing with high school students in particular, you have to be willing to either 1) read everything yourself, or 2) resign yourself to having your students run across things you don't like, and trusting that your own principles, instilled in them, will cause them to question the books and talk to you about them. No rating system is going to help.

 

SWB

 

:iagree:

I'm glad you mentioned it too. We are heading into this level of history and I would feel the same way you do when I saw those things.

 

To the OP, thanks for bringing this up. I had heard about the references from someone else a while ago, but had forgotten it. Not sure if I will or will not let my ds read this when he does Ancient History, but knowing it is in there helps me decide how I go about using the book if I choose to. Just because a book says it is for HS students and adults does not equal it will have s*x in it. To me this means it is written at a higher level then a book for 4th through 8th grade. Because of this I don't understand those who suggested the OP should have realized what she was getting because of the age level.

 

It's not because of the age level. It's because it is coupled with a reading list that includes:

 

Gligamesh in which a prostitute plays a large part

Medea in which a husband brings home a new bride and murder (including the murder of one's own children) commences

Oedipus in which a man kills his father, marries his mother and faces torment because of those sins

The Iliad which includes graphic killing and rape

 

You cannot read the "great books" and avoid things like that. I am just wondering how you are going to do high school TWTM way and avoid it.

 

And I agree with some of the other posters, The Bible contains *many* terrible stories. Forget the Song of Solomon. What about the concubine who gets raped to death and is cut into 12 pieces and the pieces are sent to the 12 tribes of Israel as a warning?

 

There is no attack here, I just don't get it. ?

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:iagree:

 

 

 

 

It's not because of the age level. It's because it is coupled with a reading list that includes:

 

Gligamesh in which a prostitute plays a large part

Medea in which a husband brings home a new bride and murder (including the murder of one's own children) commences

Oedipus in which a man kills his father, marries his mother and faces torment because of those sins

The Iliad which includes graphic killing and rape

 

You cannot read the "great books" and avoid things like that. I am just wondering how you are going to do high school TWTM way and avoid it.

 

And I agree with some of the other posters, The Bible contains *many* terrible stories. Forget the Song of Solomon. What about the concubine who gets raped to death and is cut into 12 pieces and the pieces are sent to the 12 tribes of Israel as a warning?

 

There is no attack here, I just don't get it. ?

Yep, despite my Great Books plans, I left many of the Great Books for my ds to read as an adult. He first encountered Medea and Oedipus was in college, just like I did. History, especially ancient history, is hard to cover since many of the primary sources are violent and ful of s*xual content.

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Song of Solomon talks of ...going Downtown on both sexes. It is erotic. The KJV is cleaned up to the point of anyone not knowing, but it is so erotic it makes you blush.

It certainly makes me blush, because I know what a lot of that means, and I suppose it is erotic, but I tend not to think much in detail about that book. It is between husband and wife and my understanding is that God wants to show how beautiful s*x is supposed to be. I personally don't read or watch erotic things because to me that is a very private area (to me it's beyond educational discussions with my dc; there are some good books they can read when they are older if they need that much detail), so reading Song of Solomon is always a push for me.

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:iagree:

It's not because of the age level. It's because it is coupled with a reading list that includes:

 

Gligamesh in which a prostitute plays a large part

Medea in which a husband brings home a new bride and murder (including the murder of one's own children) commences

Oedipus in which a man kills his father, marries his mother and faces torment because of those sins

The Iliad which includes graphic killing and rape

 

You cannot read the "great books" and avoid things like that. I am just wondering how you are going to do high school TWTM way and avoid it.

 

And I agree with some of the other posters, The Bible contains *many* terrible stories. Forget the Song of Solomon. What about the concubine who gets raped to death and is cut into 12 pieces and the pieces are sent to the 12 tribes of Israel as a warning?

 

There is no attack here, I just don't get it. ?

 

I'd forgotten about that event in Judges, when Israelites were often doing their own things and not God's. It's horrific, of course, but put in there to show how the Benjamites were nearly wiped out.

 

And, yes, you can't read the great books and avoid all of that. One of the reasons I'm not having my dc read a lot of great books, apart from their lack of interest, is because of all the violence, etc--how much do they need to read? I try to get a balance that works well for us. I don't hide from it as they get older, but none of them can handle a lot of it.

 

. Real history includes sex. As pp have said, there are sexual motivations that cannot be ignored in a serious history study, primary sources and period literature will include sex.

 

Of course, every parent gets to decide at what age they think their child is mature enough to start reading the full story. Some may be at the start of high school, some may not get there during high school at all.

:iagree:

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As others have said it falls to the parent to screen/pre-read. Sexual content just isn't something that is a problem in our household. I have a bigger problem with wanton violence and cruelty. Unfortunately we have to deal with that too in order to understand human history.

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I would just like to encourage parents of college bound high schoolers to think *beyond* where you are now if you choose to eliminate certain books. Your child *will* read these in college. I use TOG and over the years many moms have chosen to avoid some of the literature selections for the Rhetoric level, particularly during the Ancient World phase, many of which are titles that Mrs. Mungo listed. We read them and discussed them at length. And guess what? My dd read them AGAIN at her liberal arts Christian college, so you KNOW a community college or state u will likely have similar requirements...or more.

 

I would suggest that, if you wish to have the *primary* influence on your children and how they view these issues, then rather than avoiding, you choose to tackle them *together*.

 

Just food for thought. I am judging noone. I know that both inclusion and avoidance are done out of great love and concern for our kids. :)

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So if real history contains sex, sex motivates people, etc. why don't high school and college texts contain this kind of material? I never heard or read anything sexual in high school or college history, at least not of this graphic nature, and I think I'm grateful for that.

 

Not trying to be controversial, just pointing out another thought I had.

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So if real history contains sex, sex motivates people, etc. why don't high school and college texts contain this kind of material? I never heard or read anything sexual in high school or college history, at least not of this graphic nature, and I think I'm grateful for that.

 

Not trying to be controversial, just pointing out another thought I had.

 

Well, this is kinda why some of us homeschool. So that we can teach history in its fullness and with us, as parents, there to provide the guidance. And they do teach it in college. Speilvogel's histories definitely have it.

 

I would rather my kids learn it here, with me, than for me to plop them in college-a time of huge changes in every way, and have them have to navigate their emotions and beliefs on their own.

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It's not because of the age level. It's because it is coupled with a reading list that includes:

 

Gligamesh in which a prostitute plays a large part

Medea in which a husband brings home a new bride and murder (including the murder of one's own children) commences

Oedipus in which a man kills his father, marries his mother and faces torment because of those sins

The Iliad which includes graphic killing and rape

 

 

I might have missed it, but I don't remember the OP mentioning they read these or will read these. She did not say she was following TWTM to the letter (unless I also missed this).

 

I would just like to encourage parents of college bound high schoolers to think *beyond* where you are now if you choose to eliminate certain books.

Children mature quite over a 4 year stretch. A 15 yr old is not typically as mature as an 18 or 19 yr old. To introduce some of this material to them at 15 is a decision parents have to make. To make this it would be helpful for book or textbook geared to teaching children* to have a brief statement of it containing sexual content. Peacehill Press is a site that sells curriculum and other teaching aids, so one would assume this book was for teaching purposes. Yes, HOAW is for adults, but it also said HS age and to me these are still children and should have a warning.

 

*I am not referring to all books, just those geared to use as a reference to teach children.

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Well, this is kinda why some of us homeschool. So that we can teach history in its fullness and with us, as parents, there to provide the guidance. And they do teach it in college. Speilvogel's histories definitely have it.

 

I would rather my kids learn it here, with me, than for me to plop them in college-a time of huge changes in every way, and have them have to navigate their emotions and beliefs on their own.

 

Lol, I get that's why many of us homeschool. :) I'm right there with ya'.

 

I would believe that it is taught in some colleges-it just wasn't taught in mine and I don't think I missed out on anything because it wasn't. I know this all probably sounds like a pretty narrow view to those who are true historians, but I truly wonder why does it have to be learned? For example, the Russians raped women when they invaded Germany at the end of WWII. It's enough to know that; I don't need details and lewd quotes to understand what happened.

 

This has been a thought provoking thread.

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And, a question (for the general "you") that seems appropriate in this thread. How does a 40-something (30-something, 20-something, 50-something) handle when these emotions come up?? If we shouldn't hide, shouldn't shield ourselves from knowing at least SOME of the horrible things in history, how do you deal with what you are reading??

 

I don't. Fortunately for me, I haven't been in a position where I've had to keep attending to anything past my ability to cope with. The bad stuff I've dealt with I usually control with "it's been and gone and no one can change it now." When that doesn't work, I've been able to toss it or and move on. There's a lot of history available for study, after all. In this century, it's usually enough for me to read "women died of childbed fever because of X and Y." That keeps my emotions at "AAAARRRGHHHH, that is AWFULLLLLLLLL." I don't have to read an explicit diary written by the ward nurse who watched thousands die, kwim? Making that topic personal and detailed would move way beyond what I can cope with.

 

Now I'm not in for what one of my lecturers called "happy history" but if I'm not being paid to write on a painful topic, and I never have been, I'm not going to wallow in it and make myself ill. Doing so does not alleviate anyone else's pain and doesn't cause social change.

 

Rosie

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So if real history contains sex, sex motivates people, etc. why don't high school and college texts contain this kind of material? I never heard or read anything sexual in high school or college history, at least not of this graphic nature, and I think I'm grateful for that.

 

Not trying to be controversial, just pointing out another thought I had.

 

We didn't cover any in our awful pre-digested high school history textbooks, but we did read Shakespeare and The Canterbury Tales in English class, which I think are commonly read in high schools even today. Plenty of sex there. :D (OT, but I am still recovering from hearing out little old Englsh teacher explain a few passages.)

 

And in college, I took a Great Books course for my whole freshman year, so it was there. I don't know if those who took a course with a textbook heard it or not, but I know history majors cover it. My college boyfriend was a grad student in history, and he TAed some courses that covered sexual content, I know, because he said it made his uncomfortable in class.

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I don't. Fortunately for me, I haven't been in a position where I've had to keep attending to anything past my ability to cope with. The bad stuff I've dealt with I usually control with "it's been and gone and no one can change it now." When that doesn't work, I've been able to toss it or and move on. There's a lot of history available for study, after all. In this century, it's usually enough for me to read "women died of childbed fever because of X and Y." That keeps my emotions at "AAAARRRGHHHH, that is AWFULLLLLLLLL." I don't have to read an explicit diary written by the ward nurse who watched thousands die, kwim? Making that topic personal and detailed would move way beyond what I can cope with.

 

Now I'm not in for what one of my lecturers called "happy history" but if I'm not being paid to write on a painful topic, and I never have been, I'm not going to wallow in it and make myself ill. Doing so does not alleviate anyone else's pain and doesn't cause social change.

 

Rosie

 

:iagree: I agree, Rosie.

 

I think the first time through real history, it can be gentle. The younger years are a warm-up, but even in high school or college, just getting things in order takes some mental energy.

 

And I personally think a pretty full framework is necessary before properly interpreting the details, anyways.

 

Then the heavy details seem suited for an in-depth study as one gradually develops an interest, a concern, a passion, a need to know. That happened to me last year, when I developed an interest in a topic that previously I had found horrific and nauseating. But it took me until I was in my 50s and had enough knowledge to put the most difficult details into a useful learning perspective.

 

Julie

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Children mature quite over a 4 year stretch. A 15 yr old is not typically as mature as an 18 or 19 yr old. To introduce some of this material to them at 15 is a decision parents have to make. To make this it would be helpful for book or textbook geared to teaching children* to have a brief statement of it containing sexual content. Peacehill Press is a site that sells curriculum and other teaching aids, so one would assume this book was for teaching purposes. Yes, HOAW is for adults, but it also said HS age and to me these are still children and should have a warning.

 

*I am not referring to all books, just those geared to use as a reference to teach children.

 

Amen Sista!! :D I don't care what anyone says...a very brief statement from Peacehill Press warning of first hand historical sexual content would NOT be difficult. :confused:

 

Also, as another poster mentioned, when I read that a history book is for adult/high school I don't automatically assume it has sexual content, I assume it is written at a higher level...especially when published by a homeschool friendly publisher. I understand that there is all forms of sexual content, and one cannot have history without learning of these things, I mean even a BJU text is going to have it...but it is HOW it's covered that makes the difference, I think. I haven't yet run across this myself, but I don't think I would appreciate a history book riddled with first hand primary accounts like the 'plowed' statement. Too raunchy for me personally. If just that one statement, no biggie, but if full of those types of things...no thanks. ;) I guess we'll not be doing many of the 'great books' in high school, eh? :D

 

My ds read a version of Gilgamesh with TOG and it didn't contain any raunchiness...so, needless to say, there are versions that have been sanitized. He will be reading another version of Gilgamesh with MFW and, in my brief perusal, I don't see anything explicit in it either. But he WILL be reading the entire OT, so perhaps we will not have to deal with sex in Gilgamesh, but we'll have some wonderful eye-opening conversations from the Bible. I think I prefer it that way. ;)

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So if real history contains sex, sex motivates people, etc. why don't high school and college texts contain this kind of material? I never heard or read anything sexual in high school or college history, at least not of this graphic nature, and I think I'm grateful for that.

 

Did you read primary sources in college? I never had a history textbook in college.

 

I might have missed it, but I don't remember the OP mentioning they read these or will read these. She did not say she was following TWTM to the letter (unless I also missed this).

 

That was a general comment.

 

Children mature quite over a 4 year stretch. A 15 yr old is not typically as mature as an 18 or 19 yr old. To introduce some of this material to them at 15 is a decision parents have to make. To make this it would be helpful for book or textbook geared to teaching children* to have a brief statement of it containing sexual content. Peacehill Press is a site that sells curriculum and other teaching aids, so one would assume this book was for teaching purposes. Yes, HOAW is for adults, but it also said HS age and to me these are still children and should have a warning.

 

*I am not referring to all books, just those geared to use as a reference to teach children.

I started college when I was 17. My first semester I had a crusty old history professor who had taught my DAD, uncles and aunt. We read about bundling boards from a Puritan diary and first-hand accounts of the horrific conditions on slave ships. Are there episodes in history that are gruesome and uncomfortable? Yes, but we dealt with it.

 

Ninth graders also deal quite well with real history in my experience.

 

I find sanitized versions of history distasteful at best. Because, no, it's not enough to say "lots of people died on slave ships, blah-blah." To read a first-hand account brings it home in a TOTALLY different manner.

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Amen Sista!! :D I don't care what anyone says...a very brief statement from Peacehill Press warning of first hand historical sexual content would NOT be difficult. :confused:

)

 

I think it comes down to why anyone would think this is the responsibility of the author to guess what each reader's definition of 'inappropriate' is or what each reader finds offensive. As this thread itself shows, people do not draw that line in the same place. SWB's comment about all books 'need discernment' is spot on. You, and only you, know what your comfort level is. Only you have that yardstick. Therefore you are responsible for evaluating materials with your own personal yardstick. Yes that does make for more work for those who tend toward the more conservative. But that work shouldn't fall on the author to anticipate and adjust based on a guess as to what my offend. Someone is bound to be unhappy and they can't please everyone. If the sanitized something enough to make some people on this thread happy, others would be unhappy that it lacked primary sources and original content. So as parents/homeschoolers we have to make those discernments and not expect publishers to do it for us.

 

Heather

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I think it comes down to why anyone would think this is the responsibility of the author to guess what each reader's definition of 'inappropriate' is or what each reader finds offensive. As this thread itself shows, people do not draw that line in the same place. SWB's comment about all books 'need discernment' is spot on. You, and only you, know what your comfort level is. Only you have that yardstick. Therefore you are responsible for evaluating materials with your own personal yardstick. Yes that does make for more work for those who tend toward the more conservative. But that work shouldn't fall on the author to anticipate and adjust based on a guess as to what my offend. Someone is bound to be unhappy and they can't please everyone. If the sanitized something enough to make some people on this thread happy, others would be unhappy that it lacked primary sources and original content. So as parents/homeschoolers we have to make those discernments and not expect publishers to do it for us.

 

Heather

 

Exactly. This is why I don't complain to Abeka about their sanitized history texts, I just don't use them.

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I think it comes down to why anyone would think this is the responsibility of the author to guess what each reader's definition of 'inappropriate' is or what each reader finds offensive. As this thread itself shows, people do not draw that line in the same place. SWB's comment about all books 'need discernment' is spot on. You, and only you, know what your comfort level is. Only you have that yardstick. Therefore you are responsible for evaluating materials with your own personal yardstick. Yes that does make for more work for those who tend toward the more conservative. But that work shouldn't fall on the author to anticipate and adjust based on a guess as to what my offend. Someone is bound to be unhappy and they can't please everyone. If the sanitized something enough to make some people on this thread happy, others would be unhappy that it lacked primary sources and original content. So as parents/homeschoolers we have to make those discernments and not expect publishers to do it for us.

 

Heather

 

:iagree: Personally, based on what has been shared so far, I would go so far as to say I don't feel the book even has any sexual content. To me, that implies something far more explicit than the reality of the work. She isn't describing the sex act in some kind of erotic or lurid detail. So far, there is nothing posed that would be any worse than the bible or Shakespeare, of which I also would not think need to come with disclaimers of sexual content either.

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I find sanitized versions of history distasteful at best. Because, no, it's not enough to say "lots of people died on slave ships, blah-blah." To read a first-hand account brings it home in a TOTALLY different manner.

 

:iagree:

 

I totally agree that first hand accounts of history are far more interesting. I don't think anyone (or most) here would disagree with that. But must one learn EVERYTHING from first hand account? For example, do I teach my ds about the birds and the bees, or do I show him first-hand account pictures of how it's done? How far must one go for it to be 'real' and meaningful to the student?

 

We all homeschool for various reasons, and one joy of that, for me, is getting to choose HOW I want history presented to my ds. What I want to include, what I don't feel needs included. I personally don't want my ds's history overly sexual. He is sensitive to that, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, gets uncomfortable when we discuss things of that nature. But, we DO discuss them. He has not been sheltered at all from the realities of historical society, from rape, to sex and it's power. And he has learned that all without hearing/reading things about 'plowing' :lol:

 

Again (and again, and again, and again;)) The OP was just frustrated that she was running into things in the book that she felt uncomfortable with, things that she wish she'd had a heads-up about. All children are different and mature at different times. My older son was a very late bloomer, I could NOT discuss things like that with him! He was very sensitive to any talk of sexual stuff. Very. Sensitive. Middle ds could discuss anything. Youngest ds, as I've mentioned, is sensitive to it in that he'd rather not discuss it..at all...but very mature and able to handle anything I throw his way.

 

Not being snarky at all, but I think it's wrong to somehow say to another homeschooler that they are doing their dc a disservice by sanitizing some aspects of history. Our children are not one-size-fits all, each is uniquely made. What one child can handle at a certain age, another just...cannot.

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