Monday, May 23, 2016

Summer School

I am not always the best at finishing things, but I might win an award one day for going back to things that work: Fly Lady, Rod and Staff books, and the BBN Bible Institute. Summer classes at the college haven't started yet, and I have TONS of stuff to get done.  But, what better time to get back to the BBN BI?  I won't earn a degree, but I always learn so much in these sermons.

Monday, May 16, 2016

What Are Our Expectations?

I apologize at the outset because I am about to revisit a topic you have seen too many times on this blog--the reading choices our children are making--or perhaps better put, those choices made for them by people who are old enough to know better:
A particularly sore point between our immediate family and my in-laws has been Harry Potter. When we were together this weekend, one member of the family noted that the oldest grandson who was just turning 10 had read the first in the Potter series.  They are so proud of that.  I think this is an abomination in the making.   Am I that judgmental and narrow-minded? 
Scripture is clear about the issues of witchcraft and sorcery in both the Old and New Testaments. These sins are everywhere in children's literature today.  What will we reap as a society from these choices?  We should expect what we are getting:  a society that is racing away from Biblical truth at an alarming speed.  Even Believers. 

When our boys were still in public school, James Martin read some of The Magic Tree House books, and I was very uncomfortable with those as well.  They use seemingly  innocuous adventures of children as they magically travel through history.  The children learn to practice their own magic as the series progresses.  I discouraged him from reading those, and was relieved when we left public school that they were no longer at his disposal.

Our kids have honored my feelings (which are their Dad's as well) about Harry Potter, but I am sensing that they have their doubts about the seriousness of the issue. Having said that, John Thomas and I were talking last night about a scene from Dante's Divine Comedy. Virgil covers Dante's eyes as the evil Medusa comes near--Dante is not able to withstand looking upon her without turning to stone. In one of his literature classes in the fall, the class discussed the implications of this dramatic scene--in our own strength, we can't stare down evil.  We will be transformed. We must turn away from it. The Book of 1st Thessalonians brings so much of this home: 
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:  20-22. 

There are so many wonderful things out there for our children and young adults to read.  
Sometimes I feel truly alone on this issue--and I can't believe how the Christian community has treated it as a non-issue.  Many years ago, I had an email conversation about this with my Library friend, Miss Janice.  She supported my decisions, and I am grateful. We are a minority of two.
There is so much at stake.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Lamplighter Books

One of the best things we encountered as we started homeschooling was the Lamplighter publishing company. They carefully select older stories, stories that are character building and inspiring from a Biblical perspective.  They rebind them in the most beautiful of colors.  The Lamplighter table is always among my favorites at the homeschool fairs. I would attend one just to visit their table! 
We have collected a few over the years--our first was Elizabeth Prentiss' Stepping Heavenward  which was first published in 1869.  It tells the story of a young girl as she grows into a mature young woman with her own family. The treasure of the story is how Mrs. Prentiss describes the spiritual growth of her young heroine. 

Pictured above are a few of our Lamplighter titles. I am currently reading one by E.D.E.N. Southworth entitled Ishmael.  It was first published in 1876.  In almost any blurb you can find about Mrs. Southworth, she is described as the most popular American novelist of her day (1819-1899), but we don't see much about her Christian life.  
In any case, I encourage you to look into the Lamplighter titles. I can't help but think that if today's presses put out these kinds of stories, the world would be so very different. 

Ye Olde Summer Reading List

We had a great time with Robinson Crusoe this past  year. Virginia has also learned SO MUCH from Dr. H. Walton Young, one of the English professors at Truett. She has enjoyed having him in a series of composition and literature courses, and she has fallen in love with the pantheon of American writers, particularly those from the 20th century.  She has had some exposure to the poets, authors and historians of Classical Antiquity through her Latin. But she is lacking a bit on the British contributions--beyond our favorite Jane Austen movies, of course. When the boys were finishing up their A Beka courses, one of the last ones they took was British Literature. We have all read A Christmas Carol by Dickens together for many years, but there is so much more to learn!  The A Beka editions of the English Literature materials have changed, so I can't use the tests and things with the boys' old books, but the Lord has once again provided--
Friday, I participated in grading a test for the college, and one of the items of compensation was a $50 visa gift card.  A Beka is running a "free shipping " promotion, so the gift card will just about cover it, and I can get her started. It is amazing to see how He works. I think she will enjoy this course very much.  She needs to pack in some good instruction time for the summer, as well as piano practice!