George Washington’s Secret Six: Review, Interview and Giveaway!

Washington Spy Ring

Last November, I was given an amazing opportunity to review a newly released book about George Washington, and interview one of the authors, Brian Kilmeade. To say that I was excited would have been an understatement. We watch Mr. Kilmeade on Fox & Friends in the morning. For me, it was like being asked to interview a celebrity! His book, George Washington’s Secret Six, was one of the few books on my want list; I couldn’t wait for it to arrive.

The Interview with Brian Kilmeade

I am not an interviewer, at all. I have great appreciation for Mr. Kilmeade and his ability to suffer through it with grace and enthusiasm. I am not going to post the full audio from the phone interview in this post, but will provide a link for our subscribers.

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Where to Find Mr. Kilmeade

You can find Mr. Kilmeade weekday mornings from 6-9am on Fox and Friends. From 9-noon, you can catch his radio show “Kilmeade and Friends” with the Fox Radio News App and on over 90 stations. More details can be found at the Kilmeade and Friends website. When he isn’t working, he enjoys writing books, coaching soccer and raising his three kids (with is wife, of course).

Kilmeade and Writing

Mr. Kilmeade has always been interested in history and social studies, and recalls anxiously awaiting television specials as a child. It was no surprise that he is a fan of The History Channel. He saw writing this book as an opportunity to share a little bit of the mystery and a little bit of the history. After reading that the research and writing took over 20 years, I asked Mr. Kilmeade how he stayed motivated to see it through. He said, he thought the story should be a movie. Many movies, such as The Patriot, are loosely based on facts. This story is based on facts, facts he and Don Yeager can back up.

In your research, what fact did you find most surprising?

How brutal the British were, and how dismissive they were over the possibility of us winning, how resourceful Washington was

If you were to assemble your own spy ring, which of the six would be your first recruit?

Robert Townsend  he was the guy who had to live in the city in the midle of the british officers, run his grocery store, yet he held his cover in the middle of the enemy knowing he’d be hanged that day if discovered.

Everyone Will Love This Book

The introduction to this book, a mere two pages, left me with goose bumps. I asked Mr. Kilmeade if I could expect the rest of the book to be as exciting and he replied, “yes. A lot of kids, high school kids, are reading it. It moves people. It reads like a novel.” I shared with him that many homeschoolers appreciate history books that bring the facts to life, rather than blandly listing them out like a textbook. I asked him if the book would be appropriate for reading to elementary aged students. “Absolutely,” he said, “The book talks about the families and their background. It’s a spy story with everyday people in it. Imagine if your neighbors were asked to risk their lives to win a war. Could they? Would they? ”

Why I Am Loving This Book

I love an good unsung hero story. I love it when the quiet ones, who did amazing things, finally get a little recognition. In many cases, their stories never can be told. Not this time. This time the secret can come out, and six devoted Americans can take their rightful place in history.

I don’t care for traditional history books. Boring facts, piled on top of more facts, but never really put into a context that I can relate to is what made me dislike learning history. It wasn’t until a friend showed me books that presented history in a living, real fashion. This book, does an amazing job of putting names to faces, and emotions with historical facts. I felt scared. I felt excited. I was engaged and learning. It is a book I look forward to reading with my children when we being studying American History.

The Giveaway

Mr. Kilmeade’s goal in wriitng the book was to share this story, located on Long Island, with the entire country. He wanted historians to give these people, this spy ring, the same acknowledgment that history gives to Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, Alexander Hamilton and the like. What those men risked in battle, these six risked in espionage; each knowing that at any moment, they could be hanged for their actions. He hopes to one day see teachers putting this book in their curricula, making Washington’s Secret Six recognized by name.

Helping to share the story, the publisher has shared with us FOUR copies of George Washington’s Secret Six to give to four lucky readers! Use the widget below to enter! Ends January 31st, 11:59pm.

Lisa Baldwin (61 Posts)

Disciple of Christ, Wife, Mother of Four, Homeschooler, Crafter, Designer (Graphics and CSS/HTML), Blogger. I share too much, laugh at the wrong things, and fall on my backside regularly. Thank goodness Jesus ignores all of that and loves me anyway.

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Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th***

Giveaways and Freebies for October 5, 2013

Giveaways and Freebies @hsbapost


Our team is comprised of 18-20 homeschool bloggers, many of whom host giveaways on their blogs or offer freebies. In our continual effort to bless our readers, we would like to start sharing with you a list of giveaways and freebies we are currently sharing through our personal blogs.

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Homeschool Moms' Winter Summit

Sprittibee’s Giveaway


Looking for refreshement, Texas style? Sprittibee is giving away a dream homeschool mom retreat weekend vacation to San Marcos, Texas on her blog. It includes a conference ticket to the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit and a hotel stay for this coming January 2014. But be quick, it ends Friday, October 11th.


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Math U See Giveaway

Liz’s Giveaaway

If you haven’t heard about Math-U-See’s homeschool curriculum, you might be living under a rock!  Nearly everyone who uses it, has nothing but rave reviews for it!  Liz is a former elementary school teacher as well and she said “man oh man…if only I had Math U See back then!”  It’s really a unique and easy to use curriculum!  She has teamed up with the folks at Math U See with an awesome giveaway on her blog,  The Hesitant Housewife. Ends Friday October 11th.
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Rufus and Ryan

Sara’s Giveaway

Sara has a great “Rufus and Ryan Go to Church!” preschool board book review and giveaway. Adorably illustrated board book shows preschoolers what to expect at church.  Features a little boy and his toy monkey as they learn about appropriate behavior and routine in the church setting.  Great for ages 2-5, it also works well as a social story for those with autism or other special needs. Ends October 12th at midnight.
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Make sure you don’t miss our next list of Giveaways & Freebies by subscribing to The Homeschool Post! Nominations for the 2013 Homeschool Blog Awards begin October 7th, you won’t want to miss those. It’s your chance to let us know who your favorite blogger is this year.
**Before you share any freebie please take a moment to check out the #HonorCopyright info that iHomeschoolNetwork was sharing this week.
Lisa Baldwin (61 Posts)

Disciple of Christ, Wife, Mother of Four, Homeschooler, Crafter, Designer (Graphics and CSS/HTML), Blogger. I share too much, laugh at the wrong things, and fall on my backside regularly. Thank goodness Jesus ignores all of that and loves me anyway.

A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th***

Rumors About Jane Austen

Jane Austen

Most of us have a streak of “romantic” running through our veins and love a story that speaks to our human nature. Even guys who pretend to despise chick flicks will be the first to cry when they are forced to watch them. Jane Austen books and movies are some of the most beloved romance stories in the world, and some of the most popular movies. My husband has been coerced to watch plenty of Jane Austen’s material by my daughter and I.

Recent (scandalous) news suggests that Jane wrote very raw notes out – grammatically incorrect – and showed no hint of her “perfect styling abilities” in her rough drafts. It has been suggested that this literary marvel might have relied heavily on her editor, Mr. William Gifford, to “clean up her work”. I know it won’t change the fact that we love our Jane Austen stories, but we might never know if this suspicion is true.
Do you write? How often do your notes reflect your finished product? I know mine don’t. I often jot down incomplete thoughts and sentences on a notepad in my shower, on my iPhone notes feature, or on little slips of paper that end up escaping me when I want to find them. Just because you have a Texan accent and use modern slang doesn’t mean you can’t write something grammatically correct or compose a lovely poem every now and then. Part of me wants to growl at this new evidence as the wishful thinking of some heartless chauvinist.

On another note, how often do you ponder, as a writer, why it is so difficult to come up with something to write about. Writer’s block plagues us all. Do you wish you just had a topic or an interesting story sometimes, so that you could whittle it in to a masterpiece? After discovering I loved writing as a teen, I struggled because I could take a moment and weave it in to detail with words so that the reader was whisked away and experienced it first hand; yet that talent never made it’s way to any lengthy written works, because I was unable to flesh a plot out. I waisted quite a bit of time back in those days chasing other unproductive hobbies as well. But I digress…

I wonder if Mr. Gifford and Miss Austen had a relationship that gave both of them the ability to showcase their unique talents – and marry them together? Her ideas with his grammatical genius? Her passion with his precision? A romance of language and ideas where her physical life sadly lacked it. That would be a love story in itself.

Jane Austen’s personal story is a sad one. To have written all those love stories and then never to have found your own “Mr. Darcy” or “Captain Wentworth” is a travesty. Miss Austen only was able to write 6 novels because her life was a short one.

A list of her works is in written order:

Northanger Abbey
Mansfield Park
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility

Have you watched any of “The Complete Jane Austen” on PBS? Have you seen Pride and Prejudice? How many of her books have you read with your homeschool kids?

I would highly recommend her novels. They have beautiful form and deep emotion. She wrote timelessly – and the real life lessons she conveyed are still applicable today. Even if her editor should have gotten credit for helping her with punctuation and rearranging her words, her stories are still classics that beg to be read.

Here are some Jane Austen quotes to chew on:

Provided that nothing like useful knowledge could be gained from them, provided they were all story and no reflection, she had never any objection to books at all.” – Northanger Abbey

There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere. - Mansfield Park

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Pride and Prejudice

If you observe, people always live for ever when there is an annuity to be paid them.” – Sense and Sensibility

There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.” – Emma

One man’s ways may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.”Persuasion

Whether her works were the sole creation of her own mind and pen, or whether they were a shared mosaic, I think we can all agree that they are entirely worthy!

Happy reading,


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SuperAngel (52 Posts)

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Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th***