Read Roger has a post up, Dutch Trick or Treat about many things (books out of copyright, homeschooling, etc.) but the part I'm focusing on is the question of parents and old books and the content of some of those older books. You know, the type of thing that was OK to say 50 or 100 or 150 years ago, but now, would get you arrested. Or at least, unable to ever run for political office. I'm not talking the difference between PC and not PC; I'm talking factual errors, or beliefs that are either no longer held or have been long disproved. And yes, usually it is racist. Roger has a great illustrative quote.
At the library, and sometimes on the Internet, I've heard parents who either explicitly or implicitly state that older books are always better. (And that's parents across the board; not a homeschooling thing. An individual parent thing.) And often these same parents are the ones who want "clean" books (no sex, no swearing.) And it always leaves me puzzled as to why certain prejudices are OK to have in books if they are old. Or is it that the parents just don't remember the prejudices? Or is it really worse to read the word "hell" or "damn" but it's OK to have all Italians be one way, all Irish as drunks, etc?
Anyway, an interesting post. Based on the homeschooling blogs I read that speak highly of Charlotte Mason, the parents read and use many new(er) books, also. I'm not sure how they address older books that they would like to use that has objectionable material; I'm pretty sure I've seen a post or two that says yes, we're aware of it and balance it with other books / materials / use it as a teachable moment.