Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I decided to take part in the blogging world's "naming days" phenomenon. And I can't decide if it needs hyphens, or quotes, or what. But as I actually chronicle the things I'm reading, I'm a little embarrassed--there is probably a little too much reading going on here! Especially since I'm not including anything that we are reading all day during our actual homeschool. My throat is a little hoarse after our first couple days of school this week, acksha-lay.

First of all, this is what my husband thinks of me reading so much:

Or maybe he's just tired of refried beans. Either way, my book pile is a little out of control.

Let's start with the ones I am reading for my homeschooling job. They are the ones that make me salivate when I start them, and then tend to work through rather slowly.

The Heart of Homeschooling is a really nice one, and it makes me nostalgic because Christopher Klicka passed away in the last couple years so it puts the whole book in a different light. Are we spending our days pouring into our kids in ways that really matter? What is the purpose of education? What is our role as parents? Reaching our kids' hearts is hard to do when we do not have much time with them. Sheesh, it's hard when we are with them all the time too. Maybe harder in some ways because we can't hide our yucky stuff as easily.

A Thomas Jefferson Education has been very challenging and kind of mind-blowing. It has already caused me to pick their college! (Is that controlling?? Nah!) Much of homeschooling has caused me to see that I really wasn't that great growing up. I got awards and school came easily for the most part, but a lot of the time I was just jumping through hoops. Except for the rare teacher or rare assignment, I wasn't experiencing true learning, much less retaining things. I hated history, and now that we are homeschooling it is one of my favorite subjects. I am really excited to start some American history with them this year! The book is challenging because I have NO IDEA how to teach this way, as an expert mentor who is guiding the student while instilling a love for learning. It involves reading classics ourselves! Yikes! You mean I have to struggle through Beowulf again??

A Biblical Home Education (Ruth Beechick) and Home Education (Charlotte Mason) espouse a similar home school philosophy. Both are very much in favor of using real books and real life and real nature to teach kids, because it just isn't natural for kids to learn "inside the box." They need to be active and living it (even through a living book) for it to make much sense. Why would they care at this point about something they can't apply to life? Outside the box should be standard procedure (which would make it not so much "outside the box" anymore, eh?). I have to admit, I have not gotten very far with CM's direct words so far; it takes concentration and I have precious little time or brainpower for that these days. But it is sweet to hear her actual tone and writing style, and the words straight from her very wise brain.

I can see that I will have to save some books for next week, if I expound on each I'll just talk about what I'm using during quiet time. I don't use all these everyday, although I'd like to, but usually some combination.

The Hour That Changes the World was my book for 2010. I had a book exchange where ladies brought their lifechanging, recommended 2010 book, and this was the one I brought to try to "sell" others on (if yours got traded the most, you got an extra prize book--but everyone was too nice and didn't "steal," so we had to do a drawing instead).

It is a great framework for prayer. It keeps me focused, and gives structure to my time and my frazzled brain. And it keeps me from starting out with a focus on myself, since the first thing is PRAISE. Then it moves through waiting (a nice part too--just meditating on the love of God), confession, scripture prayer...and I'll leave you hanging for the rest. But there are twelve parts, which theoretically you could spend 5 minutes on (making the hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer). It really would change the world if everyone did these everyday!!

With Christ in the School of Prayer is a sweet little book. I heard about it through study in brown and it has helped awaken more of a sense of the straightforwardness of prayer, and how God really does delight in giving good things to His children. And also how it's important to ask for the right things! The last chapter I read was about how much MORE will He give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. Yes!

Heaven at Home is a sweet book by Ginger Plowman that has challenged my selfish tendencies as a wife and mom. And that I am creating the kind of home I live if I don't like it, it's my attitude and actions that need to change. She says it much more sweetly, and also makes sure to say this can only happen through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible. 'Nuff said. And I didn't put a picture of my journal so that it remains incognito in case you ever find it somewhere.

OK, last ones for now. These are kind of my "reference books" currently that I go back to and use over and over. Power of a Praying Parent, along with a "How to Pray for Your Husband" card tucked inside, are great for praying many powerful things when I may not feel so inspired.

And Love and War was a study DH and I did that really rocked, but I keep the book nearby for a superduper prayer at the end. It's a doozy. It's like 3 or 4 pages long. And it covers every aspect of spiritual life and daily warfare you would ever encounter or think of. So I feel very "covered" when I take the time to pray this baby.

What are you reading?? Hopefully not just on Wednesdays?

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