I was very hesitant to include a booklist in Real Learning. By their very nature, lists are limited. Fotunately, good learning is limitless. However, we have to begin to choose somewhere. This list is intended to be such a beginning. With the list below, the parent educator can apply the principles outlined in the book. She can begin to craft and to plan a curriculum tailored for her children. The list is designed to offer both structure and freedom.
In the third- through eighth-grade years, care was taken to include at least one living science book and one saint's biography or book of a spiritual nature in each month. Most can, and should, be read aloud to the entire family. Everyone can benefit from them. As much as possible, saints' stories are organized according to feast days or historical themes.
All of these books open doors to further inquiry. Each month is loosely organized, self-contained study. It is up to the discretion of the parent educator to decide whether or not to use all the books in any given month. For some books, the child will only read and narrate. For others, you may spend the entire month (or more) exploring further the themes presented. Don't rush; give the child plenty of time to dwell on the subject and to make connections. Allow him time and space to become initmate with the authors and the characters. Perhaps you will plan to cover this booklist in ten years, instead of nine.
Remember, this is a booklist, not a curriculum. You will write the curriculum. I think it would be impossible to adequately cover every book listed for any given year. There are many, many choices here. There are also many books which are not on the list but which would make excellent food for thought. The books here are rich and varied; great springboards for all sorts of interesting studies. A Book of Centuries and a Science Notebook will be necessary organizing tools to help bring the big picture into clear focus.
As with any reference books and literature available, discretion must be used to weed out objectionable presentations of the facts. That is all part of the learning experience.
Grace to you,