Thursday, August 9, 2012

King Alfred's English {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Have you ever wondered why we spell words the way we do, like "knight" for example? How do you pronounce "when"? With or without the "h" sound?

Frankly, I find it somewhat fascinating to learn the origins of words, their spellings and pronunciations. I guess that's why I am a "word person." I've always enjoyed words, spelling, grammar. I was always one of the "Spelling Stars" when I was a student in my mother's classroom. Yeah, I guess that makes me geeky or nerdy.... ;-)

When I learned about King Alfred's English, from The Shorter, I thought, "Wow! Sounds like it's right up my alley!" Laurie White, the author, calls it A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do.

In the process of teaching us the history of the English language, Laurie White also covers the history of Great Britain, and of the Reformation, and Bible translation Wycliffe, and Tyndale.

The capstone of the book is the story of how we got the Bible in English and it’s influence upon our language.

  • What were the driving ideas behind the Reformation?
  • Are the New Testament documents really reliable and how do they compare to other ancient manuscripts?
  • Why was translating the Bible into English punishable by death?
  • …and what does all THAT have to do with the history of English?

Did you know that for over 300 years the official language of the English court was…French? A gentleman landowner would speak English to the peasant who worked on his farm, or the maid in his kitchen; but when speaking with other landowners, merchants, or the clergy, he'd speak French! For example, he'd talk about sheep to his farm worker, but serve mutton to his noble guests.

English has added so many French words; estimates range from about 30-50%! You will also learn about Latin origins, as well as Old Norse.

You'll also want to check out the student resources and the teacher page. Here is the table of contents, too. I look forward to using this with the Botanist Boy when he reaches high school age (if we wait that long for him to go through it), because there is enough supplemental material to flesh out a full semester (one half unit) of history, or a 1/4 unit history plus 1/4 unit English.

I received an eBook version, and have it loaded on my Kindle Fire, Jen's Kindle Fire, and even my basic Kindle for the Botanist Boy to use. I am enjoying reading King Alfred's English so much; I am savoring it!

In fact, I'm enjoying it so much, I want to share a special discount code to buy the softcover book at the wholesale price of 50% off, or $8.47, to the first 4 readers who comment on this post.

(CBD price: $14.89; Rainbow Resource price: $14.95)
Contact Information:

Be sure to read what other members of the Crew have to say about King Alfred's English!
Disclaimer: As a Schoolhouse Review Crew blogger, I am provided a free copy of the book, curriculum or product to test and use in order to write an honest review. I receive no other compensation and the opinions I share are my own and not influenced by the company in question.

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  1. Wow! This looks interesting. Definitely want to have a look at it.

  2. This looks like an amazing course of study. I definitely would enjoy it, and so would my kids.


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