English for the Thoughtful Child

English for the Thoughtful Child
Many homeschoolers are drawn to materials that employ a Charlotte Mason style of learning. One text that employs that type of instruction is English for the Thoughtful Child, a gentle grammar and composition book that is simple to use with memorization assignments, oral and written compositions and practice exercises. Here’s my question though: why pay $14.95 when you can get the original for FREE?!

I’ve been on the hunt for free teaching materials and found the motherlode of freebies on Google Books. Many old texts that are coming “back into fashion” in the homeschool world are free for the taking (er, downloading). English for the Thoughtful Child is one of these, also known by its original title Lessons in the Use of English.

Lessons in the Use of English

I do understand why someone might want to purchase the updated version of the book. The “new” book is printed in a workbook style that you can directly write in. Some of the original text has been added to and revised (or so it appears) and the formatting has been changed to a more modern layout. You also don’t have to print any pages out and have the convenience of being able to hold a book in your hand. I commend the person who revised and edited the original in an effort to bring this quality text to homeschoolers who would otherwise never have known this book existed. If you want to hold this book in hand instead of fussing over a digital version, you can purchase it from Amazon.

However, I personally prefer the original book’s layout & look and if your child has access to a computer, tablet or e-reader there is really no need to purchase a physical book (that has to compete with your already overloaded bookshelves). Just buy an inexpensive composition book for any written exercises and you are good to go!

Take a look at a comparison of the new text and the old.

Click on this link and open up the Amazon preview in a new browser page so you can see a preview of the new text. Scroll through the table of contents until you see lesson 1.

Here is the same material from the original book:



Now scroll down in the Amazon preview to page 2.


Here is the same material from the original (notice it’s missing the “exercise 2 in the new version and moves directly to lesson 2, which is on page 3 of the new version.



I think the old version is more friendly looking and best of all, it’s FREE. If you are on a tight budget and just can’t afford to purchase the new version, you can still have access to this high-quality, lovely book!

I’ll feature another popular “modern” reproduction of an English text in a future post and share the links for the FREE version. Homeschooling doesn’t have to be expensive, especially in the early grades. There are a lot of things you can find with a search engine. wink