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There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all.
[Read for the Heart, page 51]
The infusion of language, into our lives, comes quite naturally at birth. It is the quality behind what we are receiving that is truly the issue. Is it merely parrot repetition which slowly progresses into every day slang and chatter? Or is there something more? Could it be a delicate thread of wonderment, discretely hidden deep within the confines of the printed word-whether spoken aloud, or absorbed through our own optical lenses? Does it knit a fanciful world to ponder upon? Make one cry or jump for joy? Does it stir a sense of duty, encourage the betterment of the human race or change one's inner core? Or does the language so utterly fail to do anything other than dumb down and bore one's mind? Is there a disconnect from what is touted as an excellence of writing [by the author/publisher], compared to how it really creates language depravity in one's mind, and drenches the reader with spiritual or ethical fodder?
Choosing the right food for the mind [books] is not as simple as one would think. It is easy to be swept into the flood of mass production, current fads and what not. What you think is great material may actually be nothing more than a cleverly disguised waste of words on paper. But there is hope and Read for the Heart by Sarah Clarkston offers a wealth of information to help guide you along in this daunting process. Whether you are new to making book selections for your family, or if you are a self-proclaimed bibliophile with several years of collecting under your belt-this is a great resource to have.
I actually had the pleasure of meeting Sarah at the Mid-Winter HS Conference in Grand Rapids, MI a few years back (sadly, the year that the space shuttle exploded-so this is very ingrained in my mind). Now she won't remember me, but I certainly do her. She seemed to be oozing a love for Christ and that really impressed me. So I am not surprised to find that she penned herself a wonderful guide to whole books, which expounds the necessity of giving our children good, nourishing literature to build up their minds and souls.
Within the pages, one finds a little personal back story from Sarah's life regarding each area/genre, along with a listing from one to several books written by a wide variety of authors (who meet the qualifications for excellent writing in children's literature), and usually a small ditty regarding the stories themselves. All of this is meant to give you better insight regarding what books you would like to see stuffed onto your own shelves (purchased by you or on loan from your library). Written to allow for you to make the final decisions regarding your collection, this guide will serve you for many years to come.
I personally, was familiar with many of her recommendations and found myself nodding in agreement to them. I was delighted to see several goodies that I have never had the pleasure to cross paths with; so I now have a nice little list handy to assist me when I am out browsing for "needed" books for our personal library. I especially appreciate how it is divided into sections [Picture Books, Golden Age Classics, Children's Fiction, Fairy Tale and Fantasy, History and Biography, Spiritual Reading for Children, Poetry, Music/Art and Nature] because I can zero in on just those books meeting my criteria list. As a homeschooling parent (any parent really), it is vital to have good resources and reference material handy to help me be a more informed, successful facilitator of our children's education and growth (mind and body)~Read for the Heart ranks right up there as one of those sources.
To gain a better understanding of what this reference book offers, I recommend you go through the Table of Contents and read the portion of the available chapter on the website.
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Read for the Heart info page
this is for the homeschooling parent to use as a reference
**Don't forget to find out what my TOS mates had to say about this, and many other fine homeschool products, over on our TOS Review Crew Homepage.
***Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. provided me with a free copy of the Read for the Heart book, so that I could write this review. I did not receive any financial compensation for my honest opinion of this product.