Lately, I have been creating an American history targeted reading list to accompany our studies from The World of Capt. John Smith, by Genevieve Foster. I want to foster a Thomas Jefferson style educational forum for our homeschool.
Since I am a newbie at this, I make absolutely no claims at doing it "right". My primary goal is to study history in a world context, asking questions, and investigating more. Complimentary to that is a fervent desire to feed my children's love of history and prepare them for their place in the world. I want to create an environment where they love to pursue learning and then apply and explain it to someone else. I also want them to know my views and my reasons for them. I am a firm believer in understanding why.
I believe in our day it is important to raise our children to ask questions and know how to go about answering those questions. I believe it is critical that they understand history so that they can avoid the pitfalls other generations have chosen to their detriment. Even though at the moment I really wish my son would stop arguing with me about everything, I want him to learn to study out those things that are important and then decide if he wants to argue about it. That doesn't include whether or not he's going to do the dishes. :-)
Which takes me back to my original point. I stopped our book list at 2 1/2 pages. Most of the books on the booklist have boys as the main character. I'm no dummy; my boys are struggling with having to listen to an audio dramatization of The Secret Garden. The Konos discussion that goes with The Secret Garden is richly detailed into a look into human natures and how they change so that will be a good introductory into how we will be studying the other books this year.
The list also includes books that are more on my daughter's level and viewpoint too. They have girls as the leading character so she has a balance too. She loves The Secret Garden; she wanted to finish listening to it tonight although she patiently waited because her brothers are gone tonight at a Scout campout.