I love to read. My two boys? Not so much. That said I am always looking for books that will engage them; stories that they can learn from and grow with. But we have very different taste in reading too. My daughter is 2 and she is content reading and snuggling with mom; anything will do. For now. My boys on the other hand are very hard to please. Its almost impossible to find one book that will keep them all interested. But I keep trying. And because of that we have a lot of books. We have read How to Train a Dragon (minus some sassy words they are fun books ~ a good time to teach about what we hear not always being okay!) We have a nice collection of G.A. Henty we are building up on our kindle; my oldest enjoys the stories but still, only for a short time. My younger son is happy still with Curious George, Winnie the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar….My hubby says we have too many. We have and continue to read them all. And the more we read, the more they are exposed to, the more I pray they will one day have a true love of literature.
As my children get older I have been actively seeking out books that can help them to learn and show the fruit of the spirit that is so important for all of us in our walk with God. I mean, how can we teach kids to love and comfort others; to reach out putting others first? We do it mostly by doing it. But often for children I think the stories help them so much more. And conversation can come about. We can talk about why people are different; what is okay and what is not. How to show love for one another and have a gentle spirit. A character for a child to relate to; a similar situation to make it more real. Jesus was right to teach in parables. 🙂
For my oldest his cross lately seems to be that he is “different” from other kids. And in many ways he is. All children are different.( But I tell you, I relish in hearing people, smiling, tell me how”different” my oldest son is). How do we share how okay it is to not be like everyone else? How do we encourage our children when they just don’t “fit in”? I know its hard to help him learn how to embrace who he was created to be; I remember growing up “different” myself. There is so much I know now that I wish I would have known then. Yet it gives me a foundation, a way to share the struggles my son sometimes goes through. To this day I cherish that difference; sure sometimes I struggle wit feelings of loneliness; knowing everyone has a group of friends they belong to, and I am outside looking in. But I remember too and teach my children, we are were we are meant to be. For the time, for the strength and the character we gain, being right there. We cannot all fit in. It takes a *special* person to be out there!
So I am collecting books, as I come by them, that embrace being different; that celebrate standing out. And when I had the chance to review Catie’s Secret I was quite surprised – pleasantly. Its a darling story about a caterpillar who is not quite like the others. It tells the story, with beautiful illustrations might I add, of the caterpillar turning into a butterfly (there’s some science for us home educators) and it also teaches how valuable we are, as God’s creation. The Biblical principles woven throughout this story are done in such a simple way. My oldest son (8) was not as interested as my younger ones (2 and 4) but for my two younger ones the colorful images and the simplicity of the story were captivating. My oldest did enjoy the “discussion questions” that come at the end of it. I think it helped to stimulate a wonderful talk about how much God values each one of us and how valuable we are to Him when we embrace how and what He created us to be. There were also some fun facts in the back, my four year old son really loved that. (~he is a real insect lover! yuck~) Regardless there were so many different levels with which this books touched upon and it was a wonderful time to share and learn together about insects and the goodness of His creation.
There are so many things for our children to learn; perhaps most importantly is for them to learn to love the one who created them. And for them to seek after His purpose for their life. It can be hard for so many, there is such a difference between the world we live in, and the walk that we, as Christians, are called to walk. If we are truly to be salt and ligt we need to be sure of ourselves. We need to have a firm foundation in our faith. And we need to know that who we are, is one that is cherished and loved and considered a wonderful gem, by the One who created us. After all if God is for us none can be against us.