Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Give a Child Something to Do, Think About, & Love

Years ago I heard the good advice to try to give a child something to do, something to think about, and something to love each day (I don't know who to attribute this to). I have never forgotten it. It's been something I've tried to do for as long as I have had children.

Something to do can involve anything from setting the table to putting the silverware away.

Something to love can be anything from watching an ant farm to petting a beloved family pet.

Something to think about is what I'd like to touch on today—reading aloud with your child!

Here's what I reading aloud right now with my youngest, and can highly recommend them:

Don't be mistaken! The books we read feed my soul as well. Not to mention it is a bonding time with my child, and it is good for their souls and brains! C.S. Lewis said that any book worth reading at five should be worth reading at ninety-five. In other words—if you select really great books—no matter what age you are—it will be a wonderful experience for everyone.

As someone else once said—don't pick potato chip books—when you can pick a great meal instead!

It helps to establish a routine for reading time; it will help you to stick to it. Try to anchor reading to another event that you know you will do—like eat.

That will help you make it a good routine. You know you are going to eat breakfast, so why not read the next chapter while everyone has just finished eating? Keep the book(s) that you are on very near the table. It is kind of like the dessert.

Our routine is to read the Bible aloud after breakfast (it was so so so much easier to do this when we home-schooled, now it is easy in the summer. I admit I now struggle with this during the school year— we home-schooled for 13 wonderful years and another day I will blog about why we stopped—not enough time today for that!). Then we read the next chapter in an overtly Christian book. For example, Friday we just finished Dangerous Journey.
Christian, the main character in Dangerous Journey (the story of Pilgrim's Progress, Warning: may be frightening for very young children), is trembling in the above picture as the lions were roaring, snapping, and straining at their chains to catch him. Just read what Watchful tells him:

"Is your strength so small? Fear not the lions.
They are on long chains. If you keep strictly to the beam of light,
 in the centre of the path, they cannot reach you."

What a good word for all of us to stay on God's path—not go to the right or the left! Proverbs 2:27 tell us, "Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil." (NLT)

Yesterday after breakfast, we began Hinds' Feet on High Places.

After dinner, we move to a really cozy setting, and read a different book. We are right now in the middle of Little Britches (my hubby's all-time favorite family read aloud).

Some days you just have to be flexible if something comes up—like today we are trying to leave town—so we cut out one of the books this morning.

I hate to leave you but I'm going to go pack up the car now! I've so much more for you on this, and a resource to help you pick great books for your family.

Walk by faith,

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