Words are powerful. Reading is powerful.
It can open doors to new worlds, challenge your most deeply ingrained worldviews, and be a beloved teacher of God, of man, and of the universe.
In my journey to finding homeschooling resources and practices that fit our family, I have come across the idea of building our family culture and the education of our children around books. Living books! Real books! Exciting, thought-provoking, joy-and-sorrow-bringing stories that will create an atmosphere of learning in our home. As I have always loved reading books with our boys, I embraced that idea quickly and started setting apart intentional times to do just that. So on most mornings, we sit down on a beautiful quilt, grab our basket of books, read a Bible story, enjoy some other books, do some memory work (catechisms, psalms, some easy poems), sing a song, and learn together as we surround ourselves with WORDS.
Now that I’m paying attention to it and feeding my children rich literature (sprinkled with some superhero books that are less than brain-enriching), I find it amazing what happens as children start to make their own connections and LEARN so naturally, relating old knowledge with new. And how “school” can just be a part of daily life, like when…
- …we read the story of Little Babaji and then make “tiger pancakes” for lunch.
- …Judah wonders about what’s inside the sink drain, then thinks, yells excitedly, runs to grab a book off the shelf, flips through it frantically, and then shows me a picture of a little toy from the “The Tub People” story that’s stuck in a pipe. Yep, that’s what it looks like.
- …we look at our “Actual Size” book, examine the enormous ostrich egg, and wonder what sound the ostrich makes, after which the boys grab our animal noise book, flip to the page with African animals, and point the pen at the ostrich so we can all listen to a real ostrich call.
- …when the boys actually argue over whether the bird outside our window is a sparrow or a robin and then grab the proof to see who wins the argument (it was a robin and Judah won).
- …the boys ask for blueberries at every single meal after reading “Blueberries for Sal.”
- …I show Judah what the number 8 looks like and, in return, he shows me a book that has a picture of a lady and a little bird with opera glasses on. “The 8 looks like their glasses!” Yes, it sure does.
- …the boys ask, “Is this what Charlotte looks like?” every time they see a spider.
- …the boys discover a new type of dinosaur in their book, ask me to make them the appropriate horns, spikes, claws, and tails, and then play “Ankylosaurus” for the next hour.
- …Judah sees some wild lupine flowers in the yard, picks them, and tells me that these are Miss Rumphius‘ favorite flowers.
Just think of the power of His Words. God’s Words. He left us a written account of His Words so that we could go back to them over and over again, letting those words conform us to His image as we learn about the things of God. I once heard a sermon by John Piper on education and he said that the single most important thing that we can teach our children academically is how to read and read well, so that they themselves can become life-long learners and readers of God’s Word. What a worthy goal of education!
I’m excited to see where our journey of learning will take us. On to the next adventure!