Child's World Volumes 1954

I am going to apologize upfront and let you know this blog post is super image heavy.  I just wanted to share a homeschool update of our year and let you know about this amazing resource!  I feel like this is not your average anthology set since it is packed full of living stories that make learning literature, geography, history and science truly beautiful.  The problem is that the six volumes are not readily available since it has been out of print forever, but if you can keep your eye on websites and estate sales you may find your needle in the haystack!  (Thriftbooks is a great place to keep looking!)

This set has been in our family for close to 60 years.  My grandma (mom's mom) bought it for my mom and it also was heavily used in my childhood with me and my brothers pouring over Volume 1!  It is a shame that none of us really spent time in the other volumes, but as I planned out our school year in 1st and 3rd grade I knew I wanted to utilize the stories in each of the volumes.  After 6 weeks of spending time in each of the books I can confidently say this is a Charlotte Mason goldmine!

I mention that these volumes are "living books" and the question often comes up how to determine when a book can be categorized as living or not.  I LOVE this article (click here) where she mentions that the "golden age of children's literature" is from the mid 1930's-1970s.  This article is from a Christian perspective, but as I have poured over reading lists in various Charlotte Mason circles I have found a common thread that the high quality literary works are from this era regardless of any presence of religious themes.

The idea struck to write a blog post after we did a lesson in our Charlotte Mason Geography book.  I was floored that Mason's writings on the topic of the Earth's axis and hemisphere was almost identical to the author who wrote about the same topic in Volume 4 of this set!!!  Before I compare this lesson I want to go through each volume and show you pictures and talk about what we've loved in them so far!  

First of all, the 6 Volumes are not to be read all at once.  In some letters to parents, the editors tell you suggested ages for each volume.  

Volume 1 

The essential nursery book!  Filled with poetry, songs, and stories, this book is basically a Charlotte Mason kindergarten spine!  (Which is what I did last year for Eva Mae!)

It was her introduction to fairy tales like The Velveteen Rabbit, Ugly Duckling, Cinderella, and even nature stories by Thorton W. Burgess!

 Poetry and songs are so much fun when surrounded by these beautiful illustrations!  (This one is my mom's favorite from her childhood!)

Volume 2

As I planned out Eva Mae's Year 1, I knew I needed to use this resource as her "50 Famous Stories Retold" alternate.  We have veered off the Ambleside Online plan for some of Year 1 due to the fact I want to combine the kids in as much as we can do together, and also use some resources that I have found from other websites like WildWood and A Delectable Education.

So far, we have read Johnny Appleseed, Sacajawea, and George Washington Carver.  Here is a sample of the writing in the Sacajawea story

And again, the artwork and maps are illustrated so beautifully!

 Volume 3

Since Christian and Eva Mae are going to move together through this book I went ahead and started in the bird section.  I would consider this book a "Special Studies" resource in your Charlotte Mason homeschool.  The stories about each aspect of birds is similar to a book like Arabella Buckley (which we are also using.) 

I do love this graphic to visually show the classification of living things!  Isn't it so pretty?!

 This is a snapshot of the story we read about the robins.  Since we live somewhat south (in Tennessee) we see robins pretty often through the year.  It was interesting to know that even though we may notice them through the year, they are still migrating and the robins we see in the late fall are not the same robins we see in the early spring!

Volume 4

Here's where I had such a fun connection between CM's Geography and the Child's World volume! 
For both of the kids I wanted to start at the beginning and read through the book over the next several years.  We've read the first two chapters of Volume 4 over the past 6 weeks and when I picked up CM's geography from where we left off with Christian last year I couldn't believe how similar they were!  

The Charlotte Mason chapter on the earth's axis, poles, and rotation are written with wonderful attributes to our creator.  The Child's World is general and both books suggest taking an orange and skewering it through the top to bottom with a stick to see how the earth rotates and the north pole is always tilted toward the north star!
(Child's World Volume 4 instructing on using an orange with a stick)

(Charlotte Mason's book comparing the earth to an orange.)

 (Child's World Volume 4 showing the seasons)

 (Charlotte Mason's book discussing the seasons.)

Volume 5

This volume is one of our history resources since Eva Mae is beginning her Year 1 history cycle with Native American history.  I have found the writings to be sensitive and well written.  Native American history can be so tricky especially in older writings.  I have not been pleased with some of the writings in the book "America First" that is recommended on A Delectable Education.  Although terminology could be better in this book, I don't feel that it is as whitewashed as some texts from this time period.

Here is a sample of one of the chapters we've read.  The stories are much shorter than some of the others and the kids have done a great job narrating after one reading!

I love the visual of this map to show the dwelling places of various tribes and how their cultures are so different from each other.

Volume 6

The final volume is for mothers.  The very first page is this beautiful quote from John Ruskin that Charlotte Mason often quoted in her volumes!

And this letter to parents:

After reading some of these admonitions to parents I feel like the editors of this set were kindred spirits to Charlotte Mason!  I felt like I stumbled on a gold mine when the index in this volume gives you references to the stories and volumes in the set that correspond with character traits!

If you've read all the way to the end I applaud you!!!  If you get a chance to add these books to your library I know you will not be disappointed!  I look forward to continuing our curriculum through the rest of these stories (as well as the other books we use for our yearly curriculum!) and I'm happy to answer any questions you have about the books!

I'll leave you with two more pictures.  These are the inside covers with publication information and a sweet letter to the children.


  1. I do believe I just purchased this set on Amazon. The photo shows exactly what the volume 1 looked like in the photo of the 1954 set. I grew up with a set like this, but I believe our set was a 1956 or 57 issue. I was born in '54, so this issue does have a special meaning for me. My sister had possession of our set and lost it during a house fire along with out Golden Book Encyclopedia set which I just recently found a replacement for and also the yellow Things To Make And Do book.


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