Interviews,  Show Notes

Episode 182: The Literary Life of Addison and Ella Hornstra

On The Literary Life podcast today, our hosts Angelina, Cindy and Thomas sit down for a chat with twin sisters Addison and Ella Hornstra. Together they have been given a literary home education. Angelina introduces the Hornstra ladies and she and Thomas tell a little bit about having them as students. Cindy also shares how she met the Hornstra family. Then they dig into the girls’ reading journeys from the beginning of their learning to read all the way to their current reading lives. Some of the topics that come up in this conversation are: reading content beyond your understanding, owning your reading life, the problem with using the wrong approach to literature, the dangers of modern education for uniquely gifted students, the power of just reading well, and so much more.

Come explore, with seasoned moms, the things that stand the test of time in our homeschools at this year’s Literary Life Back to School Online Conference. In addition to our hosts, Donna-Jean Breckenridge and a panel of home educating parents and their adult children, will be bringing encouragement and insight to help you on your homeschool journey. This year’s conference will be live online on August 2-5, with recordings available for those who cannot join live.

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Commonplace Quotes:

It is bad to spend too many hours over either a microscope or telescope or in gazing fixedly at some one distance range. The eyes need change of focus, and so does the imagination. There has been in modern Europe a shocking riot in misuse of the imagination. The remedy is to learn to use it. But the same kind of people who would like to bandage a child’s eyes lest it should learn to squint like to bandage the imagination lest it should wear itself out by squinting.

Mary Everest Boole

Away from the immense, cloistered in our own concepts, we may scorn and revile everything. But standing between earth and sky, we are silenced by the sight.

Abraham Heschel

In nature, the bird who gets up earliest catches the most worms, but in book collecting, the prizes fall to birds who know worms when they see them.

Michael Sadlier

The madman, of all men, lives most in a world of his own.

E. J. Oliver

Symbols are the natural speech of the soul, a language older and more universal than words.

Edmund Spenser

Sonnet XIX: On His Blindness

by John Milton

When I consider how my light is spent,
   Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
   And that one Talent which is death to hide
   Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
   My true account, lest he returning chide;
   “Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
   I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
   Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
   Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
   And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
   They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Books Mentioned:

The Philosophy and Fun of Algebra by Mary Everest Boole

Thunder in the Soul by Abraham Heschel

A Gentle Madness by Nicholas Basbanes

Coventry Patmore by E. J. Oliver

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë

Beatrix Potter

Mistmantle Chronicles by M. I. McAllister

Redwall Series by Brian Jacques

Poppy Series by Avi

The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White

Ralph Mouse Series by Beverley Cleary

The Cat of Bubastes by G. A. Henty

In Freedom’s Cause by G. A. Henty

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Gene Stratton Porter

The Chronicles of Prydain Series by Lloyd Alexander

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Phantastes by George MacDonald

The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

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Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at

Find Cindy at, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

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