Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Books & Balance

It's been awhile since I've written about the books we've been enjoying.  Sonlight has been introducing us to lots of great books this year and we've been discovering a few things on our own.

We're studying world history this year and have really been enjoying our current study of Asia and, in particular, China.  It started out with reading Gladys Aylward, part of the Christian Heroes Then and Now series (there are about 40 books in this awesome series!).  Gladys' adventures were incredible- we all loved reading this book- and I love exposing our kids to real life stories of people living out their faith.  We can all use examples!

Little Pear was also a big hit.  It was one of the read alouds Sadie stuck close for.  This is a really sweet book about a young boy named Little Pear and the trouble he gets himself into.

We've also been watching the amazing documentary series (via Netflix), Wild China.  It's appropriate for children and plenty interesting for grown ups.  We've watched how rice is planted and harvested, learned about Chinese customs, pandas, how silk is made from silk worms, about the Great Wall, the landscape...I could go on and on and on.

Then there's Strawberry Girl (which has nothing to do with Asia), a book that tackles the issue of how we respond to families that are very different than ours...and who are mean to us.  It provokes lots of good conversation.

A couple new books series Sam has gotten into are the Jungle Doctor series (true stories based on a missionary doctor's adventures) and Chronicles of Faith (this series has lots of pictures).

It's really hard for me to place just any 'ole book in Sam's hands anymore.  I used to stick to anything that was written when my parents were children or before because I trusted the content, but I'm finding there are some other decent options out there.  My requirements are still stiff and depend greatly on the characters and examples a book will place before his eyes.

While not all of Sonlight's books are Christian, I do trust their judgment and recognize that there are things that my children should be thoughtfully exposed to especially if I'm close by asking follow up questions or pausing to discuss certain elements of a story.

This balance of sheltering and exposure is quite a challenging part of parenting.

How do you determine what you will or won't allow your children to read?

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  1. Oh I can't wait until we get into this! We are starting Sonlight K5 next year, and we are excited about all the reading. We have many, many books, and we all enjoy reading! :)

  2. I have very sweet memories of my mom (now in Heaven) reading to my sister and me... and Little Pear and Strawberry Girl were two of the ones we read together! Thanks for a warm reminder on a cold day! :O)

  3. I have to recommend "Understood Betsy" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. It's about a little girl who moves to a farm in the country. She gains confidence and competence, and learns how good it feels to be self-sufficient. It doesn't have anything to do with Asia... but it's a good one!

  4. Ooooh, these look like wonderful books and I just ordered them all on Amazon! Owen loves to read and it is hard to keep our shelves stocked with new/used books for him to go through. Harder when his friends at school are reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid or other similarly mind-numbing books that we don't allow. Thanks for the suggestions!

  5. i second Understood Betsy! A favorite, read and re-read...

    deb meyers

  6. Isn't it interesting how many more challenges we face as children grow? Thank you so much for sharing yours and how you respond to them!

  7. Oh My Goodness yes to Understood Betsy I loved that one as a girl. I order books from Amazon all the time and always opt for the used version, so much more affordable and so far all have been in great shape just gently used, Robin

  8. Thanks so much for Wild China, we watched the first episode on Netflix last night. The farming and fishing practices were amazing...makes me want to go and visit China someday, I hope they do not lose these old ways completely.

  9. Thanks for all your homeschooling posts! It's so nice to see what works for others....and what might work for us!


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