It’s that time of year when most of us are in limbo. Our summer has officially begun (or has already been going for a while). We have a little time before the mad rush of autumn hits us in the face as we dive back into routine. We know that if we give up just a tiny bit of our summer to plan for the upcoming school year, we can have a year that will truly change our children for the better. Join me over the next few weeks as we intentionally plan to make this the best year yet. Today will we will begin by exploring how to teach reading and writing that will move your child’s soul.
How to Teach Reading That Will Move Your Child’s Soul
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 ESV
The Power of Story
If you have lived long enough, you have been moved by the power of story. For many people, it comes in the form of a movie that moved us to tears. For the lucky ones, we find a great book that we cannot put down, a real page turner. All books are not created equal. We must learn to wade through basic facts and sometimes dull accounts of news, but blessed is the soul who is moved by a great book!
A Place for Twaddle
It is easy to fill up in our school days and years with simple books or whatever catches the fancy of our children. Charlotte Mason, who created the Charlotte Mason style of homeschool education, called this twaddle. Unlike Charlotte, I believe twaddle occasionally has it’s place in our lives. (Sometimes we just need to relax and laugh!)
How to Find Great Books that Will Move Your Child’s SoulWe can create lifelong readers when we immerse them in great literature. Click To Tweet
We are missing out, however, if we neglect the great books that move your child’s soul (and yours!). Wouldn’t it be amazing to see your child with a book he or she couldn’t put down? As much as we hate to see our babies cry, what if they were actually moved to tears by literature? We can create lifelong readers when we immerse them in great literature. If you don’t know where to start, I highly suggest checking out this list of books broken down by grade level. Also check out The Read Aloud Revival by Sarah Mackenzie for an ever growing list of quality literature that will help you connect with your kids.
The most moving stories are often the ones that are true. I suggest reading the Christian Heroes Then and Now series. Kim Sorgius of Not Consumed has also written a fantastic study to go along with 12 of the books in this series, To Every Nation: A Study of 12 Missionaries and Their Great God. Your heart for the nations will be challenged!
Deeper Thought and Reflection
When you find great books, make a list of them. Talk about them as a family. Extend the experience by doing something inspired from the book.
For a slightly more traditional spin on responding to literature mixed with a bit of soul-searching, I highly recommend this Reading Journal: Homeschool Elementary Reading Curriculum, also by Kim Sorgius. She designed the Reading Journal as a reading curriculum that could be used with any books. Traditional concepts such as analyzing characters, plot, and author’s purpose are covered, but these aren’t your traditional graphic organizers. The Reading Journal is full of soul-searching questions such as:
- Do the facts in the story line up with God’s word?
- If you could meet the main character, what would you tell him/her about God? Or how would you encourage their faith?
- List a wise choice in the story. Defend your answer with a Bible verse.
- What evidence shows if the character would be a good influence on you?
How to Teach Writing That Will Move Your Child’s SoulWriting is one of the best ways for a child to reflect on what they believe and why. Click To Tweet
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38 ESV
Writing is one of the best ways for a child to reflect on what they believe and why. Imagine what will flow from their pencils! Here are a few writing activities you can give your children that will cause them to ponder their beliefs:
- Respond in writing to a great book. Talk about what you liked or didn’t like. How it made you feel or what you would have done differently. List what lessons you learned from the book.
- Write letters of thanks and appreciation or encouragement.
- Write songs or poems of praise.
- Keep a Bible journal. Write about how God is speaking to you.
One of the best writing resources we discovered last year was Apologia’s new writing course, Writers in Residence. At the beginning of each unit, they interviewed a Christian writer. It intertwined their faith and their work, which was referred back to as examples throughout the units.
Homeschool Intentionally with a Plan to Move Your Child Closer to God
Everything we teach can impact our children and their worldview. If you want to give your child a Biblical worldview, prayerfully consider how you will teach reading, writing, and everything. I love the Classical Conversations motto, “The goal of education is ‘To Know Him and to Make Him Known.”
How does reading and writing reflect Christ in your home? What books have most moved you?
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