The English language is a complex language full of various sounds that form words, rules for those sounds, and exceptions to those rules. Most of us really do not know the intricate details that comprise the origin of our language, and have actually never had the opportunity to learn them.

Laurie J. White is the author of the book King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak. When she was in college, she took a course on the history of the English language and, she writes, "The history suddenly popped. It came alive. And from that point on I had a framework, a reference, a sequence of pivotal English history events which I never forgot." She also writes, "I had a whole new appreciation for language itself, beyond just English itself, and the miracle of God that it truly is." Because of this, she ultimately wrote King Alfred's English to bring that knowledge to Jr High & High School students (grades 7 & up). Her goal?
"To make this mini-course a broadening, faith building, and entertaining trek
for any student or homeschooling family" (The Shorter Word)
King Alfred’s English is a 170 page soft cover book (also available for Kindle), that "provides a guided tour of forces and events, conquerors and writers that have shaped, simplified, matured and expanded English into what it is today—the first truly global language in history." (The Shorter Word)

This book really is incredible. I was so excited to receive it for review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. My daughter loves learning the origins of words and the history of languages. As a matter of fact, when I showed her the logo above, she knew right away that it was runes. She gave me all the facts and even knew what the "letters" represented. I was amazed! Like I said, I knew she would like this book : ^ ) and she does.

The incredible amount of research that went into this book is impressive. Mrs. White doesn't just offer the student simple steps that led to the origin of the English language, but details the entire historical accounts from Julius Caesar to Mr. Crapper (you have to read it to find out). The student will learn about Luther, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Henry VIII, Shakespeare, the English Bible, the Geneva Bible, Claxton and the Printing Press, and so much more. You will find the answers to questions like:

  • What were the driving ideas behind the Reformation?
  • Are the New Testament documents really reliable and how do they compare to other ancient manuscripts?
  • Why was translating the Bible into English punishable by death?
  • …and what does all THAT have to do with the history of English?
And facts you may not have known. Like:
  • The Brothers Grimm compiled German fairy tales, but they were also famous philologists (and what IS a philologist?)
  • There’s a law for the way languages change that backs up Intelligent Design.
  • For over 300 years the official language of the English court was…French! Seriously. But the English were always fighting the French. That’s true. Find out why.
  • There’s a reason we write “knight” but say “nite,” and you won’t believe how they used to pronounce it.
  • It was once punishable by death to translate even portions of the Bible into English! Yikes!
Ultimately, "The capstone of the book is the story of how we got the Bible in English and it’s influence upon our language." (The Shorter Word). 

It truly is incredible the facts that Mrs. White included in King Alfred's English. From The Shorter Word website, you can see the Table of Contents and even read the first chapter. But I caution you, once you've read it, you will want to finish it, so be prepared. 

Not only will you have the book, Mrs. White also offers free student resources, like links, images, articles, videos & movies to watch, and literature that correlates with each chapter. The teacher's resource page worksheets for each chapter, tests, and all the answers for both. There are also additional resources suggested and information on how to count this as High School credit.

King Alfred's English can be purchased in print for retail at $16.95, but you can find it at CBD, Amazon, and the Rainbow Resource for less. You can also purchase it for your Kindle for $5.95.

I am confident that you and your children will find King Alfred's English enlightening and educational. Don't forget, you can read the first chapter to get started today!
Disclaimer: I received King Alfred's English as an e-product free as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew with the sole purpose of providing an honest review after reading it. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer.


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