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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A World Full of Good Books

The other day, I walked into the den to find four of my children all lined up in a row, each with a book on their laps. It was definitely one of those Kodak moments. Being a homeschool family, we just relish our books! We are constantly trying to find ways to get more and trying to be creative in ways we can store them in a home with limited space. Books are something we take very seriously in our home. One of the reasons we try to surround our children with books is because we can control those books that come into our home and therefore, can control what our children read. There are so many authors today that are trying to rewrite history and reshape our understanding of what our founding fathers truly had in mind for this nation. Therefore, I rarely buy history material that is not told from a Christian perspective, or was written much after the 1950's. I also do not want my children reading popular books that just fill their minds with unsuitable material...such as Goosebumps or the Babysitter's Club. I remember reading the equivalent of books such as that when I was a child. What a waste of time! And not only that, but it filled my mind with things that either scared me at night, or had me thinking more about boy/girl relationships than I ever should have. It is amazing what power the written word has on us. It feeds our imagination...and gives us an appetite either for good, or for bad.

So what type of books does one have in a home when trying to cultivate a Christian worldview? We have all types of books. Many of them are overtly Christian. If you are not familiar with Lamplighter books, I highly recommend them. We have not bought a book from them that was not wonderful. We buy most of our school books through the Veritas Press book list. They have some great Christian historical fiction. We do not get all of them, because even their lists do not meet completely our personal convictions of a proper book. We also like to look at the Sonlight Curriculum lists. Since they were founded mainly for Christian missionaries, they have a lot of books about Christian missionaries. We try to get good Christians biographies and autobiographies. We look for appropriate art and music books as well. As far as a catalog that has great standards for reading material both for children and adults, one cannot beat Vision Forum. I find such encouragement in their materials for the whole family.
We load our science shelves with books that have a Creationist viewpoint and we also have field guides on insects, rocks and minerals, butterflies, trees, flowers, etc. We continue to buy books from Apologia science and those recommended by Answers in Genesis.

Even our children's section must meet certain criteria. We do have DK and Usborne books, but we are careful of pictures that may be unsuitable. I will actually go through and color clothes on certain inappropriately drawn characters. I talk with my children about differing worldviews and explain to them the errors based on scripture. Our children's stories are mainly about people and places and we strive to find books where brothers and sisters love and care for each other (The Miller stories are wonderful). We look for books where the father is not painted as some goofball (which is why we do not do the Berestain Bears anymore) but instead is a vital and respected part of the family. If you read many children's books today, the nuclear family is broken, or if the family is in tact, the father is a leaderless figure that relies on others to come up with any sound advice. Many will say that these books are necessary because so many children can relate to them...those without fathers, etc. A few, told from a Christian perspective, may be justified. However, how does a child have an example of what a family is supposed to look like, if not from what they watch and read? Many times, this is the only example many children will see when being raised in a broken home. So, I encourage you...look out for what is going into the hearts and minds of your children. The written word is not neutral. There is always a religious/moral viewpoint in the plot. Will that be a Christian worldview or a humanistic, anti-God one?


6 comments:

Trishia said...

talk about a moment to treasure...that is so sweet to see them all lined up and reading like that! my fave is when i walk into a room and see my son reading to my daughter on his lap, just like we do to him! so sweet!

His bondservant said...

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. My oldest is 12 now and I have had a sore throat for a few days, so she is now able and willing to take over read aloud for me. It is nice to see them serving each other in ways like that.

Gail Heaton said...

Having strong convictions makes it a little harder to find those great books among today's cesspool of authors, but it is so worthwhile, isn't it?
The pictures were precious.
Last night one of my boys (11), acting as spokesman for the group, asked if Abigail(11)could read them a bed time story. Though it it was precious, I suspected it was a way to delay bedtime....
But the cute thing was that he offered to show me the book, to make sure it was appropriate - from our own library of already appropriate books. He's learning....

His bondservant said...

Gail,

That just goes to show your training is paying off. Don't you just love it when God gives you a glimpse at how you are affecting their lives day by day?

lagot said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Sara

http://pianotutorial.net

His bondservant said...

Thank you so much Sara. I enjoy getting comments from others. Hope you have a blessed day!