7 Benefits of Reading Classics

Finish Well Radio Badge, Podcast #060, 7 Benefits of Reading ClassicsIn “7 Benefits of Reading Classics” Episode #060, Meredith Curtis inspires you to read classics by explaining how enjoying great literature and living books will benefit your heart, mind, and life. She will give you tips on how to choose great books to pull off the shelf and treasure for a lifetime.








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Colossians 1:28 by Laura Nolette and Powerline Productions, Inc.


High School Curriculum by Powerline Productions









Show Notes:

Why I Urge You to Read

I grew up surrounded by “bookophiles.”

I loved to read! In high school, I made a list of classics to read. When I was experiencing pregnancy sickness I finally read the Russians. (tip for Russian literature—list names on a notecard.)

Read the books the historians write about and talk about. E.G. Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Why Should Your Read Old Books instead of Just Books Written in the late 20th and 21st Century?

Books have been dumbed down.

Many adults would have trouble reading children’s books written in 1800s and early 1900s.

7 Benefits of Reading Classics

  1. Reading classics will make you smarter and strengthen your ability to think and make logical conclusions. A brain workout, flex your brain muscles. Improve your comprehension.
  2. Reading classics will improve your vocabulary. It will expose you to a richer, more intellectual vocabulary. In addition, there is more description, conversation, and character development.
  3. Reading classics will increase your attention span. Blogs are shorter. Commercials are shorter. Movie scenes are shorter. Trains our brain to focus for long periods of time.
  4. Reading classic books will help you understand literary references that used to go over your head. “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
  5. Reading classics will have a deeper understanding of history with its culture, cultural context, beliefs, and values. Even historical fiction often puts values of today into the story set in yesterday.
  6. Reading classic books will develop your character and compassion. Times may change, but human nature and the problems people face don’t change. There is nothing new under the sun. Identifying with people from different times and places will stretch your heart.
  7. Reading classics will bring joy to your life. Everyone loves a good story. Everyone loves an intellectual challenge. Whether you are reading literature or living books, there is nothing like the pleasure of a good book.

Where Can I find classics to read?

Boy do I have reading lists for you! Check our reading lists for every age imaginable: http://www.joyfulandsuccessfulhomeschooling.com/books/reading-lists/

What if Classics are too Hard?

You may have to build up to reading some of the classics because the reading level of modern books is so low. Start with some children’s classics like Little Women or Hans Brinker.


Reading Lists & Places to Get Classic Books

Reading Lists

Free Classic Books

Our Book Reviews

Gutenberg: Free Classic E-books to download

Library of Congress Free Books to Read Online

Free Classic Books for Your Kindle

Planet E-book Free E-books to Download

Free E-books for your Nook Reader

Curriculum with Classic Books

American Literature & Research

British Literature

Communication 101: Oral & Written

Who Dun It: Murder Mystery Literature & Writing


Link Between Literature & Political Freedom


American Literature & Research British Literature & Writing High School Class Communications 101: Essays and Speeches High School Class Who Dun It? Murder Mystery Literature and Writing High School Class


Finish Well Radio, Podcast #024, Link Between Literature and Political Freedom

Special Christmas Show: TRUE Love of Christ for Mom


HSMtale2 Merry Christmas from Vintage Homeschool Moms!  Back in 2013, Felice Gerwitz shared a story she wrote especially for you, the busy and weary mom. Felice writes a tale of a woman you can probably identify with at some point of your journey as a wife and mother. She writes about the transformation that takes place when this woman places herself totally into the hands of Christ.

We hope you enjoy this special story – and share it with your friends!



Stress-Free Celebrations


Stress-free celebration


Regardless of the holiday you’re celebrating, there’s always a certain amount of stress to go with it. There’s no magic wand to make that disappear, but some thinking ahead can go a long way. Here’s what Felice has to say …


Is stress-free enough? Every year, I dream of a stress-free celebrations. I’ve created seminars on the topic for my Thanksgiving and Holiday Expo, I’ve drilled down to the things that really bother me during the holiday, and I plan ahead. Throughout the year, I keep an eye out for holiday bargains that won’t break my budget. But I’ve realized that during the holidays, there is going to be some measure of stress that just can’t be avoided. The strategies below keep me sane: enjoy this list from my Stress-Free Seminar.

Which one of these things can you implement in your holiday planning?

  • Plans with Prayer
    • Make a Plan
    • Plan to Break It
    • Cross Out
    • Add To
    • Discuss
  • Adult Privileges
    • Just Say No!
  • Exceptions:
    • Brings you peace and joy
    • You want to do it
    • You are obligated
  • Mommy Time Out
    • Meditations
    • Focus – 60 seconds
    • Praise music
  • Revive Your Soul
    • Music
    • Reading
    • Praying
    • DO the ONE thing
  • Gift Giving  –card wrap
    • Time
    • Creativity
    • Exchange
    • Encouragement
  • Back Up Plan
      • You aren’t in control
      • Take out the List and cross out
      • Enlist help
      • Regroup
    • The Reason for the Season
      • CHRISTmas (or THANKSgiving)
      • Attitude Check
        • Expectations – yours?
        • Expectations – family?
        • Others WORSE off
  • Permission Granted
    • Neck rub
    • Foot soak
    • Hand massage
    • Family snuggles
    • Eat chocolate or cookies!
  • Affirmations
    • You are loved
    • You are a child of God
    • You are special
    • You are unique
    • You are treasured


Regardless of the holiday (or holy day), with a little advanced planning you can make your celebrations more stress-free.

How do you plan to avoid stress during family celebrations? I’d love to hear from you!

Felice Gerwitz is a wife, mother and author who strives to keep stress out of her life — but knows that only with GOD are all things possible! Here is a handout she hopes you enjoy: Vintage Handouts Stress Free Holidays

The Educated Parent – HIRL Episode 137

Free homeschool podcast about maintaining an education as parents.We home educators spend a lot of time educating our kids. But what about us? Are we taking the time to learn more, discover more, and be curious?

This episode of Homeschooling in Real Life is dedicated to you, the homeschooling parent. We want to see you grow and thrive in your role as parent educator, and to that end we’re talking about the reasons to educate yourself as well as the how-to. Let’s get learning!



Recommended Resources:

Hoopla – Library digital borrowing

Khan Academy – Free education

Follow Fletch/Kendra:
Fletch Twitter
Kendra Twitter

Follow the Studio Dogs:
Betty the Surf Dog – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website
Rasta The Chocolate Lab – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website

Previous Episodes Mentioned:

Episode 91 – Is Me Time Necessary?

Music clips used on this episode:
School Boy Heart by Jimmy Buffett – Buy it here on iTunes


Allow the magic of the internet to deliver Homeschooling In Real Life to your tablet or smart phone. Let us show you how easy it is:

  1. Follow this link to our iTunes page.
  2. IMPORTANT STEP: Under our big red HomeschoolingIRL logo, just click on View in iTunes
  3. The iTunes program will automatically launch and take you to our podcast page.
  4. FIRST – Click SUBSCRIBE. Voila! All or our podcasts will come directly to your computer and smart phone.
  5. NEXT – Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. Remember the best reviews are 5-stars (hint hint!).
  6. Thanks for being one of our listeners! HIRLers rock!


  1. You can listen right on this page. There is an audio player below.
  2. You can listen on your iPod, Smartphone or tablet. Open the PODCAST app on your device, search podcasts for “HomeschoolingIRL” and click subscribe. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
  3. Subscribe to the HomeschoolingIRL website and you will be notified when every new episode is released. Follow this link and begin your FREE SUBSCRIPTION.


Please visit our coffee sponsor: Caroline’s Coffee for 10% off any order. Use code HIRL



Are you ready to listen to Fletch and Kendra get real about homeschooling? Press the PLAY button below.

Join Fletch (from theMangoTimes) and Kendra (from KendraFletcher.com) for the HomeschoolingIRL podcast every week as they interview guests and talk through some of the goofiness they have experienced in nearly two decades.

Educate – FREEDOM Tools part 2 – FAH episode 15


In the previous episode, we began talking about my FREEDOM toolbox–7 tools for making the most of our time so that we can live balanced, peaceful lives. These are the tools:

  • Focus
  • Reflect
  • Educate
  • Eliminate
  • Discipline
  • Organize
  • Multitask

Today we’ll look at the third tool: Educate.

It’s easy for homeschooling moms to get so caught up in educating our children that we forget about educating ourselves! We can get caught up in curriculum, lesson plans, and goals for our children that we completely neglect our own personal growth.

But the truth is that we ALL need to expose ourselves to new ideas and new strategies on a regular basis for all three major life areas: personal, family, and business. You need to sharpen your own skills and broaden your mind, learn new ideas and methods for training and educating your children and running your household, and discover new ways to build your business, if you have one.

In addition, if you want your children to value reading and learning, they need to see YOU reading–for pleasure as well as for learning.

In this episode of the “Flourish at Home” show, you’ll learn a variety of ways to make the most of your reading, such as keeping a reading journal, writing in your books, and keeping a record of your reading.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Sure, I’d like to read more, but I don’t know how I can possibly fit it into my life. I already have too much to do without adding one more thing!” You’ll also discover practical tips for fitting learning into your life, such as taking advantage of the wide variety of formats available now, using audiobooks to multitask, using family time for independent reading as well as reading aloud, and the always-popular reading at bedtime.

Join us for encouragement and practical tips to keep learning and growing throughout your entire life!

Family Man, Todd Wilson, Encourages Roadschool Moms Everywhere

2014 09 21 FamilyMan Show Button  Are you doubting yourself again? Doubting your abilities?  Wondering if you’re screwing up your kids for life?  If so, you’re not alone!  We all have these doubts, but in this episode of Roadschool Moms, Todd Wilson, The Family Man, sets us all straight and reveals the often overlooked gifts of roadschooling.

Tune in for an hour that will change your perspective and give you the boost you need to restore your confidence.

You’ve got this Roadschool Mom!  Press play  – listen to Todd’s message everyday until it sinks in!

You can find more information about Todd including his speaking schedule at http://familymanweb.com/

Encouraging Reluctant Readers in your Roadschool


Both Kimberly and Mary Beth have experienced the frustration of reluctant readers.  When you roadscholar is a reluctant reader there are many gentle approaches you can use to encourage their love of reading.

Stephanie Simpson, Usborne Rep at http://www.raisingusbornereaders.com joins the Roadschool Moms to discuss the methods she’s used to forge a life long love of reading in her rig.


Click play now to learn about all the resources available for reluctant readers and be sure to check out this shows Pinterest Board here: http://www.pinterest.com/roadschoolmoms/show-26-reluctant-readers-in-your-roadschool/


Taking a Year Off to Go Around the World

keeperofthehomeHave you ever dreamed of taking a year off to explore the world with your family?

Do you wonder…

  • How could we afford it?
  • Can you do it with small children?
  • Is there an airline ticket for that?
  • and how would we find safe, affordable housing?

Then be sure to click play on this podcast as Mary Beth and Kimberly are joined by Stephanie Langford, the creator of the popular blog, Keeper of the Home.

Stephanie shares with us how her family accomplished a 1 year, 30 country, (every continent) around the world journey.  What they learned as parents and as a family, how they funded their travels, and what their travel future holds for them.  She also talks about what it takes to run a successful blog.

Go ahead, press play and then start planning your own family adventure!


Healing with Essential Oils with Meli and Nick Paul

healingoils Unless you have been living under a rock these past few years, you’ve probably heard about essential oils for healing and maintaining good health.  You may have even tried a few but soon realized there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to using oils in your every day life.

  • What is a carrier oil?
  • Which oil should I use for which ailment?
  • Are there oils that can be used for mood enhancement?
  • Is it safe to ingest oils?

In this episode of Roadschool Moms, Kimberly and Mary Beth talk with the oil experts from Shine Essential, Meli and Nick Paul to decode the mystery of essential oils.

The Pauls, who share their own oil success stories, break through the confusion and share with listeners some basic oil remedies and guidelines.

If you’ve been curious about essential oils and their health benefits, then this is the podcast for you.

Nick and Meli can also be reached and purchases can be made directly through their own site at: http://www.shineessential.com/


Top Tips for Keeping your Kids Safe

Showbutton Heart2HeartMary Beth and Kimberly, your Roadschool Moms, share their top tips for keeping your family safe.

Whether it’s on the road or online, the Roadschool Moms Don’t want you to be scared – just be prepared.

The time to ensure your family’s safety is now. Make a plan, share it with your family.  Employ these tips and you and your kids will be well prepared for what life has to throw at you


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