Books and Schoolhouse Battles

vintage school room

Those of us who homeschool admire the one-room schoolhouse model of previous centuries. With simple resources, a wide-range of ages, and a school year that fit the needs of the community, one male or female teacher reigned in the classroom.

…Unless there were “big boys” whose sole purpose in showing up seemed to be disturbing the peace. Thankfully my older sons are not seeking to physically throw me out (they do challenge my authority on occasion, but they don’t storm the aisle while pushing up their sleeves), but over the years I have found it curious how many literary classics include a schoolroom battle, either physical or psychological. Usually the teacher is victorious (but not always).

While I have an embarrassment of curriculum riches to choose from, no prairie fires or snows to worry about, and I am grateful that the “principal” works just upstairs to cover any disciplinary issues, the daily spiritual challenges all of our families face are real no matter how you choose to educate your children.

praying hands

The secret is not in a bullwhip or Shakespeare, but in the Holy Spirit, whose power we access by prayer.

As we’re heading back to school, I’ve rounded up a few memorable read-alouds with battles that take place in a school room. I’ve also linked to some wonderful resources from previous years that address some of the literary challenges that are faced in schools and on reading lists.

We pray they will help you, as parents, teachers, librarians, and grandparents, to be discerning and love your neighbor in the classroom.

  • Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
  • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
  • Frindle by Andrew Clements
  • Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger by Louis Sachar
  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl

What would you add to the list?

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Get the information you need to make wise choices about books for your children and teens.

Our weekly newsletter includes our latest reviews, related links from around the web, a featured book list, book trivia, and more. We never sell your information. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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Megan Saben

Megan is Associate Editor for Redeemed Reader, and she loves nothing more than discovering Truth and Story in literature. She is the author of Something Better Coming, and is quite particular about which pottery mug is best suited to her favorite hot drinks throughout the day. Megan lives with her husband and five boys in Virginia.

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