What a blessing it is for our children to . . . read the Bible and then judge
everything else that they read by the standard of God’s Word.
follow the world. Each family will have
to make its own decisions, but here are
• For early readers, I recommend fun
books such as Curious George,
Madeline, The Story of Babar, Thomas the
Tank Engine, Winnie the Pooh, and
Beatrix Potter’s Tales.
would be Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little
House books, C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles
of Narnia, Selden’s Chester Cricket and
Friends series, Lloyd Alexander’s Pry-dain Chronicles, books by E. B. White
and Frances Hodgson Burnett, and L.
M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series.
historical fiction, especially literature
published by Bethlehem Books, as
well as older Newbery Medal winners
from different periods and places: C.
S. Lewis’s The Space Trilogy and The
Screwtape Letters, Tolkien’s The Lord
of the Rings, the Leatherstocking Tales
by Cooper, Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe,
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Eliot’s Silas Marner, and Orwell’s
1984. Not all of these are necessarily
“Christian,” but they all reflect a Biblical worldview.
Grammar and Other Language
I have heard “experts” say that children
need to study grammar only one year or
so in school, but I have heard many college professors affirm that students need
to study grammar, grammar, grammar,
and more grammar. Why study grammar? In Genesis 1: 26–27, we read that
God created humans in His own image,
which includes the ability to communicate. Grammar and its related subjects
of spelling, writing, and “speech” are
the tools with which we communicate.
Therefore, whether it’s telling someone
about Jesus or talking/writing about
any other worthwhile subject, as beings
made in God’s image, we want to communicate in the very best way possible.
That’s why it’s important to have knowledge of the language that we speak, including grammar.
So how do we teach grammar and lan-
guage arts? Not as disconnected facts to
be memorized and regurgitated on a test
but as the means by which we communi-
cate with our fellow humans. In this way
we can make sure that we let our speech
always be with grace, seasoned with salt,
that we may know how to answer every
man (Colossians 4: 6).
Why study math? It’s easy to see why
knowledge of arithmetic is important for
everyone and higher math is needed by
engineers, but people often say, “I took
algebra or geometry, and I never have
used it.” One important benefit of studying math is that it teaches people how to
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