Sign up to receive 10 free downloadable workbooks! Sign Up

Instead of Curriculum: Storyteller Jim Weiss

Instead of Curriculum: Storyteller Jim Weiss

Photo credit: Great Hall Productions; Used by permission

Looking for a curriculum your kids will like?
An online homeschool curriculum can open new doors by creating an interactive learning experience that brings concepts to life.
online curriculum
Homeschooling should be fun.
With Time4Learning, it can be!

Among my favorite homeschooling resources are our audio recordings by storyteller Jim Weiss. We have nearly every CD in his collection, and for many years, one of my favorite night-time sounds was standing in the hall hearing multiple CD players simultaneously reeling off Jim’s stories, as each of my sons listened in his own room to a different story (if they didn’t fall asleep first when I was reading to them or telling them a story myself).

These stories provided many important cultural touchstones for my children during their pre-reading and early reading years, introducing them to historical, scientific, literary, and mythological figures and tales. This is where my children first learned of Galileo, Tom Sawyer, Shakespeare, Robin Hood, and Sherlock Holmes.

We also listened on car trips, enjoying Weiss’s artful collections — Celtic myths, Greek myths, tall tales, Old Testament stories, fairy tales, and many more.

Weiss’s stories are well arranged, and he’s an appealing and expressive teller of a tale. One of my kids actually loved listening to him so much that he had nearly the entire Tom Sawyer story memorized, just from listening over and over. One day when he was about four years old, he simply started reciting the story, and we realized he could say practically the whole thing — mimicking Weiss’s intonations and getting his exact words.

The boys continued to enjoy these stories even into the middle grades, and whenever I attended a homeschooling conference or La Leche League conference where Jim Weiss was a vendor or speaker, bringing home a new CD for the kids was my one conference splurge. The kids were so universally excited about each new title that I also made a habit of ordering them for Christmas and birthday gifts. We listened over and over and over.

I was excited to discover that Weiss also had recorded quite a few books by G.A. Henty. These unabridged recordings of Henty’s historical fiction books cover interesting periods of history, and they are written and read in a compelling way. The Henty books each have multiple CDs and last for hours. For example, The Young Carthaginian, set in ancient Rome, is a nine-hour recording — and with an adventure woven into a historical account of Hannibal’s campaign against Rome.

Other Henty books recorded by Weiss include:

  • Beric the Briton (about the Roman invasion of Britain; 62 AD)
  • The Cat of Bubastes (Ancient Egypt; 1350 BC)
  • In the Reign of Terror (French Revolution; 1793)

Each of these recordings was listened to repeatedly, and because our kids were widely spaced apart, they were even revisited years after I originally purchased them. They frequently inspired historical questions and rabbit trailing on the Internet or visits to the library for books on The French Revolution or ancient Egypt.

Not long ago, a friend with kids in the 5th grade asked to borrow one of our Henty recordings. I knew I had it, but when I opened the box of things we’d moved from another house, I found that one of the disks was missing. I wrote to Great Hall Productions, the company operated by Jim Weiss and his wife Randy, and they promptly shipped me a replacement CD, noting that I’d been a long-time customer and they would be pleased to help me complete my set. Our friends listened to the recording on a long drive and pronounced themselves “hooked on Jim Weiss.” Good customer service has its rewards.

Learn More...

If authentic engagement represents your homeschool philosophy, read more about how to engage your children in these posts from our contributor Living Education by Oak Meadow covering topics like nature-based learning, creativity, handwriting, homeschooling multiple grades, authentic engagement, and more.

Living Education posts »

Truly, I consider our expenditures on our Jim Weiss recordings to be some of the wisest money I ever spent on homeschooling. Listening to recorded stories and books enhances literacy skills, primes children’s interests in books, promotes fluent reading, and provides a relaxed way to learn about history, science, and classic literature that many might think “above children’s heads.”

A Jim Weiss recording is just one of those things that is better than curriculum.

See what other homeschoolers think in our Jim Weiss Reviews section.

Jeanne Faulconer

A popular speaker at homeschooling conferences, business groups, and parents’ groups, Jeanne Potts Faulconer has homeschooled her three sons in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia. She is a former college faculty member, former editor and book reviewer for Home Education Magazine, a long-time editor for VaHomeschoolers Voice, and a recent news correspondent for WCVE, an NPR-member station. Jeanne teaches writing and literature for her youngest son’s homeschool co-op, and she is a student of how learning works – at home, in the music room, in small groups, in the college classroom, on the soccer field, and in the car to and from practice. Holding her Master of Arts degree in Communication, Jeanne conducts portfolio evaluations for Virginia homeschoolers for evidence of progress. To read more of Jeanne’s writing, inquire about a homeschool evaluation, or ask her to speak to your group, see her blog, Engaged Homeschooling.

Read Next Post
»
Read Previous Post
«

Instead of Curriculum: Storyteller Jim Weiss />

TheHomeSchoolMom may be compensated for any of the links in this post through sponsorships, paid ads, free or discounted products, or affiliate links. Local resource listings are for information purposes only and do not imply endorsement. Always use due diligence when choosing resources, and please verify location and time with the organizer if applicable. Suggestions and advice on TheHomeSchoolMom.com are for general information purposes only and should never be considered as specific to any individual situation, nor are they a diagnosis or treatment advice for any kind of medical, developmental, or psychological condition. Blog posts represent the views of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of other contributors or the publisher. Full terms of use and disclosure

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *