Be true to who you are…..

And the family name you bear……

Monday, August 31, 2009

Of Books and Learning

A house is not a home, unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
~Benjamin Franklin

This morning after chores we all gathered in the class room to sort books for our lessons this winter. I love the smell of old books. I love the smell of new books for that matter. Solomon declared "Of the making of books there is no end..." I couldn't agree more. In the past ten years of homeschooling I have bought and traded and read and scrapped more books than I can count. It is one of the heaviest responsibilities I have as a mother. I know the brain food I set in front of them will make or break them for the rest of their lives. And I take that serious. Most of our books could never be resold because a portion of them have lines drawn through the text and a handwritten note saying "your parents do not want you to read this because God's word says....."
Or " read this part but look up this verse afterward and see how the author has strayed from the teachings of Christ." I am not afraid to ruin a book regardless of the price.

My children are allowed much freedom in choosing what they want to learn for the year. Very rarely do I have to rewrite their lessons. The one exception is the Civil War. They are Civil War buffs. If given the chance they would study it and only it every single year!
I know, it is unbelievable that any child of mine would love to hear how private citizens stood up to the Government and said "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!" Just call me Johnny Reb.
What I have done is compromised....and you though that was impossible for me?

~ Quit picking on me would ya?

Anyway, I get them one new book to read about the Civil war per year, that way it doesn't consume the entire time but they still get their fix.

The two older boys have read through most of G.A. Henty's historical fiction and Cody is starting on Ballantyne. This year I will turn their reading to more of a serious matter and have them read from leading Preachers like John R. Rice, Voddie Baucham, Mike Pearl and others on topics of home life and home leadership. It's time for that I guess. The younger boys will start in on historical fiction toward the end of this year.

One thing I noticed about my girls especially Grace, she has kind of been slighted. I have catered to the older ones in our group reading ~she had learned to sit through adult stories, biographies and classics. Even her bedtime books are geared toward Bethany. Chapter books like Elsie Dinsmore and such. She has missed out on children's books like Alice in Bibleland and Seuss.

They are all still on the shelf but I have not read them to her... she pulled one out while we were there .. "Oh, the thinks you can think.." So I sat down to read to her, part way through she said "Momma, what's a Zong?" as in ~You can wonder how long is the tail of a Zong? I said "Well, a Zong is an imaginary creature that the author made up."
"Yeah, but that's silly, I'm done with this book..." and back on the shelf it went.

I've ruined her.

Some books are bound in our hearts such as "All the places to love", when a new baby is coming. "Blueberries for Sal" at huckleberry time. "Pickin' Pea's" is read in July. "Burt Dow deep water man".... they named our boat the Tidly Idly II. "Summer of the Monkeys"...~ Often when calling everyone to dinner you will hear...Come an' get it or I'll feed it to the chickens!!!
"Christies Old Organ"....My favorite one for fall is "The Oxcart man". Thanksgiving is rounded off with "The Little Pilgrims" and "America's Lost Dream". Or "William Bradford~Plymouth's Faithful Pilgrim." There are still remainders of tree houses out front after we read "Robinson Crusoe". And I could go on and on... in fact I did didn't I?
Well, I'll quit now but what a blessing to live in a time where so many books are available to anyone who will take the time to pick one up.

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