Sunday, June 20, 2010

. . . whatsoever things . . .

I have wanted to post for some time on one of our blogs my feelings about reading and book choices offered children today.  Years ago, before the idea of homeschooling ever entered our minds, my husband and I ran into a really telling situation at a used book store.  I was browsing through the children's section and overheard a conversation between two school teachers. They were buying all the Goosebump story books they could. The shelves were full of classics (and I'm not talking about Don Quixote, but wonderful children's authors like Robert McCloskey).  Unfortunately, I could not hold my tongue and made a comment about their choices. They were incensed, of course, but the only reply they could muster was something to the effect, "well, does it matter as long as they are reading?" Oh dear. Yes, it does matter what our children are reading.

We have stayed away from the Harry Potter and Twilight books. These series deal with sorcery, witchcraft, vampires and a host of other ungodly creatures and topics. If you visit a large retail book store, look at the teen books--they are all about vampires (no Lucy Maud Montgomery anywhere) and sexuality.  The covers are horrific and often extremely  suggestive.  Yes, it does matter what our children are reading.

We are viewed as odd by many close to us, but that is really ok. Michael and I are responsible for guiding our children's choices until they can make those choices themselves.  I am proud of what they read: the boys read the classics: yes, John Thomas is  reading Don Quixote, and will then begin Dickens' The Pickwick Papers. We have read Mark Twain, Dickens, and Robert Louis Stevenson classics together, and independently, they have read so many classic works of children's literature. Virginia loves Catherine Marshall and Carolyn Keene! She has read everything by Mrs. Marshall she can find, and also loves the classic Nancy Drew stories. She is working her way through the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace.
Yes, it does matter what our children are reading.

Scripture, as always, states this best:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Sunday, June 13, 2010


For some time, the boys and I have read books aloud together. This is apart from some of our other reading projects.  Together we have read, In His Steps, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "Rip van Winkle," A Christmas Carol, and The Prince and the Pauper. Now, we are working on Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped. The tremendous adventures of young David Balfour carry us away to faraway places and put us in the presence of some rather frightening pirates and scoundrels.  (Oh yes, we also read Treasure Island). The boys really seem to be getting into the pirate life--I love hearing them read with their "pirate accents." We are also reading a biography of Stevenson and some of his beautiful poetry.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Back to School--In June?

Yes! Back to School, at least for John Thomas.  Today marks the official beginning of his collegiate career. He will be taking a class in World History this summer and Latin I in the fall. He will be continuing his A Beka  homeschooling program for two more years, but he will also pick up a couple of courses and earn college credit early.  Many high schools offer dual-enrollment courses whereby high school students can get a "jump-start" on their college education while still at home.