The Book of Virtues

There are always certain products that seem to be “in vogue” in the homeschool community. Some are fads, and others are of lasting value.

One book of lasting value that I bought when it was all the rage among homeschooling parents is The Book of Virtues. This anthology of classic character-building stories was assembled by former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett.

It’s a hefty volume, handily organized by virtues, i.e. there are chapters on compassion, faith, loyalty, etc. In each chapter are stories and poems with the appropriate theme. I used to assign certain stories to my children whenever I thought a specific virtue needed to be emphasized (I know, obvious, right?) Reading these stories often led to some really good discussions among us.

This is a great book for reading aloud to your children, or for your own reading when you only have time to read a classic short story as opposed to a novel. Bennett later introduced other versions of this book specifically for younger children. But I think the stories in this book are useful for reading to or by all children.

The success of The Book of Virtues led to Bennett editing another book, The Moral Compass, which is similar to the first book except that the stories are grouped by subject instead of virtue. We kept both books, even though we’re almost done homeschooling, because the contents are so good. Give one of these volumes to your children on a rainy day and I think you’ll find them spending quite a while with it.

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