We have decided that we will be homeschooling Hannah and any other kiddos that come along, and while we are still in the pre-school age, we are trying to lay the groundwork for her further education. Hannah loves reading. She loves when we read to her and when she "reads" to herself. We are at the library every week for story time and book collecting.
In the few years we've had her in our lives we've read our share of children's books. Some good, some not so good. But it is fun finding the gems, looking for more awesome books by the author and checking them out over and over again. I've found some to be our all time favorites because in them I see God and how He is working in our lives and in the world. Let me share with you a few on our list:
One Winter's Day is about little Hedgehog. His home has been blown over and he needs to get to his friend Badger's house before the big snowstorm hits. He's all bundled up for his journey and he encounters some animals in need along the way. It is a sweet story about seeing the need in the lives of other people and how we can be His hands and feet and give of ourselves for our friends.
Any one of these books by Steve Jenkins; My First Day, Time to Sleep, or Mama Built a Little Nest. All of Mr. Jenkins' books are about animals and the many habits and or peculiar things they do. When I read these books to Hannah, I had to stop for a minute and digest what they were saying. I couldn't help but see the Father's hand in their being. There was no gradual progression for these animals to do these very distinct things to survive, they were either there in the first place or they wouldn't survive, period. It's wonderful to see His handiwork in random books about animals.
The classic kids book, People In Your Neighborhood, reminds us of the many people we come in contact with and serves as a nice add-on to the parable about the good samaritan. Who is our neighbor? It's any number of people we encounter on a daily basis and when you talk to your child about how we can live out the story of the good samaritan, we can show them that we have the opportunity to bless people all around us; your postman, your grocer or your doctor, etc...
Someday Loves You, Mr. Hatch is one of my favorites! I first discovered this book when Hannah was still in the womb. I actually found the website, Storyline Online, where actors and actresses read children's books. This story shows how simple acts of kindness can bless someone, how one person can affect great change in their community, and about how we can show kindness towards others to show them the love we have through Christ. "We love because He first loved us."- 1 John 4:19
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. - 2 Corinthians 10:5
I have been reading the book, Home Education by Charlotte Mason. It is a fascinating book that gives you the nuts and bolts foundation for how to educate your children at home. One section that really struck me was about helping our children adopt good habits. We think as we are accustomed to think. And those thoughts become our habits and feelings which then rule the child or his character. It is our job as parents to help point our children to Christ in every way we can. In the book of Deuteronomy, we are instructed to teach our children when they wake up and when they go to sleep, when they are out and about and when we are at home. As I read these children's books to Hannah, even if they are not 'christian' per say, we are always using the things in front of us to teach her about God and His great love for us. Take a look at your children's book shelf and see the many ways we can take their little thoughts captive for Christ and His kingdom!