Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Salem Ridge Press

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8)."  
That is the underlying philosophy of Salem Ridge Press, a publishing company who strives to find and bring back the best and most wholesome children's living books that the whole family can enjoy.  The creator of Salem Ridge, Daniel Mills, believes that what we read matters and I wholeheartedly agree with him!

Our family loves history (especially American history!), however, we have never really used one set curriculum for our history studies.  Instead, our favorite way to learn about what happened in history is to read good, "living" books, historical fiction, and biographies so we can get a real feel for what life was like through the eyes of those who actually lived then instead of boring facts, that are possibly more 'politically correct' than accurate, from a dry textbook.

Preferring to study history this way, I was thrilled to read these words from Mr. Mills...

"I have always loved historical fiction and believe that it is one of the best ways to study history. While textbooks can cover everything in a thorough and complete manner, historical fiction can bring the textbook to life. It is so easy to forget that history is really made up of the stories of individuals with the same hopes, dreams and fears as we have. Historical fiction can bring these people to life and help us care about history. The very best historical fiction will do even more. It will help us understand what led to the events of history, what effect those events had, and what we can learn from them."

Salem Ridge has books that cover Church History, American History, and World History.  They also have Adventure books as well as Younger Reader books.

How many of us have heard the saying, "Garbage in, garbage out"?  Well, in the case of Salem Ridge Press books, you don't have to worry for one second about any garbage going in while reading one of their books.  Those at Salem Ridge Press seek out and review books (mostly from the 1800's and early 1900's) that are only of the utmost quality and that teach Godly character and high moral values.  Occasionally they may tweak a passage which may have  included a brief kiss or embrace or maybe a word that seemed a bit derogatory or even possibly an illustration that didn't uphold to Salem Ridge Press's high standards.  As a parent this means so much to me and gives me the confidence that my children could read any of these books and it be perfectly safe to do so without my previewing it first or having to read it to them so I can edit it as I read.

As a member of TOS's Review Crew, I was able to review three books by Salem Ridge Press.  Between the three of them the time period settings of the stories range from 1500 B.C. to 1384 A.D.  Two were written in the mid- to late 1800's while the third was written in 1912.  The reason I tell you this is to emphasize that the wording is a bit different than we are used to reading today.  Sadly, I feel we, as a people, have drastically strayed from the intelligent conversation enjoyed by our forefathers who came from England and elsewhere.  The language then seemed, in my opinion, to flow so elegantly and was so classy and upstanding.  So be prepared to be challenged in your reading and perhaps your student's comprehension if they are not used to such a different way of speaking.  As I read to my children I would stop periodically and explain what was happening, or at least what I thought was happening, since it was sometimes difficult for me to read and understand what was going on myself.  But what better challenge for us as well as our children than to read classic literature in it's original language and try to gain understanding and learn what it was like during different peiods of time throughout history.

All of Salem Ridge Press's books can be found here.  You can search them according to the time period and location each story takes place, by title, by the author's name or even by age ranges.  Prices for their books range, from what I have seen, from $12.95-$24.95. 

Would I recommend Salem Ridge Press books to other homeschooling families?  Sure.  They're pure, wholesome, and trustworthy stories.  Are they going to be easy reads?  No.  But don't let that scare you away.  Try one for yourself!  (You can purchase them here.)

Besides, doesn't the picture at the beginning of this review (taken straight from the Salem Ridge Press website) and the thought of reading wholesome, living books by the fire just make you all warm and fuzzy inside?  Like you were back in the Little House days? 

Happy sigh...

 *As a member of the Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew I received this product free of charge in exchange for my review and honest opinion of it.  As a believer and follower of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I promise you that all my reviews are honest and contain only my own true opinions...'cause He told me to not lie!


Very Blessed Mamma said...

Nice review! We used the same pictures! LOL

Very Blessed Mamma said...

Nice review! We used the same pics!

Guiding Light said...

Great review crewmate! :-)