Monday, June 12

Year-by-Year High School Reading Plan

The Good & the Beautiful has an amazing language arts program, and my sons have really thrived by completing it.  Without any further practice or instruction, they've performed well on the ACT reading and grammar portions, too, so I know it's working!

I wanted the kids to have a stronger literature base, however, than just what was included in the program.  Each year, the students read five novels as part of the language arts.  We're a reading household, though, with each of us reading multiple books simultaneously...some for school, some for fun, some for bedtime (and in mom's case, one for the elliptical -- you can find Mom's Books here).  

One question I'm often asked if how we keep the plots separate, but as a long-time, avid reader, it just comes naturally.  I mean, as long as you're not reading very similar books (ie, don't be reading three WW2 books at the same time).  But I digress....

When choosing books to add to the language arts program, we took into consideration the other core classes the kids were doing each year and built a library around those studies.  You guys know I'm a huge proponent of learning through literature -- hence all the novel studies -- and we've been doing that for several years now.

When we first started homeschooling, we used a curriculum called A World of Adventure, which was AMAZING for families who want to do unit studies together.  Honestly, I have no idea why the author quit writing 2/3 of the way through.  Many of the books we used with that curriculum are on the list of fleshed out reading my young son does today as part of his high school.

Broken down by subject, here are our recommend reading list for additional high school studies.  
  • Books that are included in the TGTB Library line are starred.*
  • Books that we have unit studies for are highlighted.   

Ancient History

(Choose six books from different periods)

Medieval History

(Choose seven books from different periods)

Early Modern History 

(Choose eight books from different periods)

Modern History 

(Choose six books from different periods)

Looking for more booklists?  Check out...


Monday, June 5

Korean War Unit Study with Men of the 65th

The Korean War is known as the “Forgotten War” because it was largely overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War.  It was fought from 1950 to 1953 between the UN Allies (US & South Korea) and the Communists (North Korea & China)...


Korean War

In the early twentieth century, Japan successfully occupied and then annexed the Korean peninsula.  Despite early attempts by Koreans to break away from Japan, Korean remained a colony of the Empire of Japan until the end of World War II.  At the end of World War II, Korea was taken from Japan and divided in two at the 38th parallel.  Similar to the division of Germany, the north, following the pattern Soviet forces followed in Eastern Europe, was strongly Communist.  The south, being under the influence of the United States, was largely capitalist.

In June of 1950, forces from North Korea invaded South Korea seeking to unify it under northern leadership.  The U.S. and other United Nations committed troops to “police action” to defuse the situation.  However, when General Douglas MacArthur crossed the Line of Demarcation, disobeying orders, the Chinese entered the war as well on behalf of the north.  There were few naval battles, so most of the war took place on land or in the air. Conditions for those fighting were extreme.  In July of 1953, a cease-fire was agreed to, but a formal peace treaty was never signed.


The U.S. Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Borinqueneers from Puerto Rico, were one of the fiercest regiments to fight in this forgotten war.  During one particularly nasty battle, things turned south for this decorated unit.  In 1951, General MacArthur said, “magnificent ability and courage in field operations. They are a credit to Puerto Rico, and I am proud to have them in my command.”  

However, by 1952, this regiment went from being heralded by General Douglas MacArthur for battlefield bravery to having ninety-one soldiers court martialed and jailed.  It was later determined that prejudice and racism led to these charges, and the men were pardoned.

Learn more about Vietnam & World War 2

Honor and Fidelity. That is the motto of the 65th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Borinqueneers, the only Puerto Rican unit in the United States Army.

Since the regiment’s creation in 1899, the men of the 65th have proudly served the US through multiple wars, despite facing racial discrimination. Their courage, loyalty, and patriotism earned them hundreds of accolades, including the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2014.

But the honor and fidelity of the men of the 65th came into question in 1952, in the midst of the Korean War, when ninety-one Borinqueneers were arrested and tried for desertion and disobeying orders. How could this happen in one of the most distinguished and decorated units of the Army?


Make / Do


  • Demilitarized Zone
  • 38th Parallel
  • Choison
  • Inchon
  • People's Republic of China
  • Pusan
  • Pyongyang
  • Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea)
  • People's Republic of Korea (PRK, North Korea)
  • Seoul
  • Cold War
  • United Nations
  • Yalu River
  • Vieques
  • Kim Il-Sung
  • Douglas MacArthur
  • Syngman Rhee
  • Matthew Ridgeway
  • Boriqueneer
  • Joseph Stalin


  • How has US history forgotten the Korean War?
  • Why are some voices omitted in the telling and honoring of history?

Diversity Literature Studies Bundle

Bring modern history to life with living literature that represents several different groups!  Includes eight unit studies covering cultural stories from around the world. Each unit addresses a historic era from a new perspective, and these are told in living history format.  Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.

Product sample:   The Button Box


  • The Year of the Panda
  • The Button Box
  • Men of the 65th: Borinqueneers of the Korean War
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
    • Indigenous People insert
  • Genius Under the Table
  • Anna Strong & the Culper Spies
  • Inoyo of the Congo Forest
  • The Forgotten Finca