Dear Mrs. Bluedorn,

I thank you and your family very much for your ministry to like-minded homeschoolers such as our family. We are very excited to be learning more about your style of homeschooling, and are relieved that there are others interested in a classical style of education that is Christian and not focusing on pagan gods and philosophers.

We have a 2 1/2 year old, a one year old, and a baby due in November. I have been spending a lot of time reviewing literature in the past few years, and was very thankful to find and read “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.” One series of books that was not on this list, but I think is somewhat well-known in conservative homeschooling circles, is the Elsie Dinsmore books. Since you surely have better discernment than I do, and more knowledge on the historical accuracy of the books, I am wondering if you or anyone else on the list might be able to help me decide if these books are valuable to read or not. I have read several of the Elsie Dinsmore and Mildred Keith books by Martha Finley, and although they have some strange child training methods and maybe portray slavery in too positive of a light, I thought they were great (I’m writing about the original Martha Finley books, not the updated ones)! However, I am a young Christian, a young and inexperienced parent, and was edumacated in government schools. Honestly, I think it would be a blessing to find a list of books that Christians should NOT read to their kids, but such a list would be hard to make since there are just SO many books. I would put the American Girl and Dear America books at the top of the list.

Thank you for your time.

I have read very little by Martha Finley. We own several of the Elsie Dinsmore books, but I just didn’t care for Mrs. Finley’s style. I’m not saying they are bad books, though. I think they are fine to read. Perhaps our readers can comment here.


  1. Spunky

    The original series is enjoyable. The writing style does take a little getting used to. We did the first book in the series as a read allowed. The boys were mortified to read a “pink book about a girl”. But they enjoyed it a lot.

    There is a new modern version of the series. I glanced through them but after reading the original found these a little lacking. But that’s just my opinion.

  2. Spunky

    Please excuse the “allowed” mispelling. I typed it with my two year old on my lap and didn’t proof before I hit enter.


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