Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Crew Review: The Shorter Word; King Alfred’s English by Laurie J. White

on August 9, 2012

Vendor Name:  The Shorter Word

Vendor Contact:   The Shorter Word contact page

Name of Product:  King Alfred’s English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do

Price:  $16.95 for 170 page softcover, available for Kindle at $5.95

Age/Grade Range:  age 12 to adult

I never imagined that learning about the English language could be exciting or something more than dull – however having had the pleasure of receiving King Alfred’s English to read and review, my opinion has now changed.  This is geared for ages 12 to adults, but I could see a younger child who is advanced enjoying this book too.  If you have a high school student and are wondering if this could be used for credits toward graduation, the answer is yes.  If you use this book in conjunction with the supplemental (and free) materials your student could earn a full semester of history (equal to 1/2 unit) or 1/4 unit history and 1/4 unit English.

As I was reading this I was excited about how well it tied in to our current studies with our history curricula – however, my oldest didn’t catch my excitement but she’s only 10.  I very much enjoy history but never really gave much thought to how we got our current language and why we actually speak it.  Most of my school career was spent on figuring out grammar without really explaining why and even now my grammar isn’t always correct – although I do strive to work on that.  Reading Laurie White’s  book has me wanting to learn more and even appreciate our constantly changing language, although I do enjoy learning Latin as well.

There are many items of interest that you or your student will learn as the book is read, such as:

  • the English were not the British
  • you probably don’t say the word “when” like your parents – especially if you’re under age 50
  • what is a philologist (you’d be surprised by who two famous ones are!)
  • and more but this is what caught my attention more….

was that when people write Xmas it’s not as derogatory as Christians today would think.  The x is the Greek symbol for chi which is the first letter in Christ’s name.  So while some who are not Christians think it’s a way to remove Christ from Christmas they are actually giving honor to the One that is the reason for celebrating in the first place!  Wow!  I can’t wait to use this information with some family and friends come the Christmas season again!  Of course there are more surprising facts as you turn each page and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Laurie has compiled an extensive list of free resources to go along with this book such as tests, worksheets, movies, pictures, articles and much more.  It is easy to see why it could be a great asset to the high school student who needs to account for credits and best of all it’s from a Christian worldview so the Bible plays a major part in our history of English.  You can find the student resources on the student page, and the teacher’s resources such as answers to the tests and worksheets on the teacher’s page.  I also appreciate the fact that she is honest that not all the movies that she recommends are suitable for all audiences and she advises the parent to check them out first if there are questions.

If you’d like to see what other homeschooling parents had to say about King Alfred’s English please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.


**Disclaimer:  As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.



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