Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Don't Forget Daniel Boone....

I've really enjoyed reading about Daniel and Rebecca Boone!  I must admit, prior to our reading, I wasn't even sure Daniel Boone was a real person.  I thought maybe he was a legend, like Paul Bunyan and John Henry.  This may sound crazy to some of you, but I don't ever remember really learning about Daniel Boone.  However, after reading a few GREAT books, I don't think studying his life is to be missed!

Angel read Daniel Boone, Young Hunter and Tracker (Childhood of Famous Americans) by Augusta Stevenson to Riley and Ruben a while back.  The kids reported this was a good overview of Boone's childhood.  It is an easier read, especially for younger children (K-3rd).

I read aloud Daniel Boone by James Daugherty and Wilderness Wife - The Story of Rebecca Bryan Boone by Etta DeGering recently as part of our TruthQuest History study.  Daugherty's book has wonderful illustrations.  However, the text is more challenging.  It is a great history of Boone's life and how he pioneered the frontier of Kentucky.  I would recommend this book for older students (grades 7-12) and adults alike.

Wilderness Wife, my personal favorite, is a biography of Rebecca Bryan Boone, Daniel's wife.  IMHO, Rebecca was an amazing person. In the Preface, DeGering describes her as "A modern Ruth", quoting Rebecca words, "Whither thou goest, I will go" - she followed Daniel."  I felt Rebecca was an outstanding Biblical role model.  She was a supportive wife and loving mother, constantly making do with very little and never complaining.  Through her actions, you could see her faith in God and feel her love for her husband and children.

After the Preface, DeGering gives genealogy like charts of The Morgan Bryan Family, The Joseph Bryan Family, The Squire Boone, Senior, Family, and The Family of Daniel and Rebecca Boone for reference while you read.  These charts are very helpful for keeping track of family members as the story progresses.

Chapter One begins in 1755, with Rebecca's life as a young woman on the forks of the Yadkin River in Rowan County, North Carolina.  In the remaining chapters, we learn of Rebecca's introduction to Daniel Boone and their courtship.  As the story of her life unfolds, we see the birth of her children, many re settlements, and Rebecca's death on March 18, 1813.  Throughout which, we also learn about Daniel's explorations and frontier adventures.  In my mind, DeGering did a wonderful job of maintaining the integrity of Daniel and Rebecca Boone.  I gained great respect for their life as well as the life of America's early pioneer families.  

Wilderness Wife made me laugh and cry.  It is a "living book" at its best.  I'm sad to say Wilderness Wife is out of print.  However, I think it's definitely worth the effort and money to find an original copy and add it to your library.  The book had a huge impact on me and I intend to read it again in the future.  

Ruben is a huge fan of Daniel Boone.  He watches the old reruns on ME TV weekday mornings.  Reading all these books has been a good exercise for him in discernment.  I think both he and RileyAnn were surprised to see some of the untrue Hollywood extras added for TV.  One myth busted, Daniel Boone did not wear coon skin caps.  He found them quite uncomfortable and preferred beaver felt instead :)

A couple other books to add while studying frontier/pioneering in the Cumberland Gap region with young children, are The True Book of Pioneers by Mabel Harmer and Susannah the Pioneer Cow by Miriam E. Mason.  Harmer's book gives an overview of pioneers and early settlers in a readable, but not dumbed down fashion.  Susannah is a very cute and charming pioneering story for early elementary children. 


  1. Hi--
    I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your site. It looks like you are doing a great job raising those kids and giving them a wonderful childhood! I am teaching my 3rd grade son American history right now and I love reading your recommendations.
    So, thank you!
    Ashley Veigel

  2. Thank you for your kind words Ashley :) Homeschooling has been a real blessing to our family! May you be blessed as well....Melissa