Easter Finery: Iconic or Idolatrous?

Discerning between icons and idols in everyday life...

When I was a young teenager my mother would not let me wear a black party dress.  She told me that it was “too mature” for me.  She said it sent the “wrong message” to the young men.  And yet a century earlier a young girl dressed in black sent the “right message” – the message that she was a conservative girl of good morals.  So was black a symbol of good or bad?

First, it is important to think about what black is. Black is a color. It is also an image – today it can convey sophistication (the little black dress), mourning (black funeral clothes), or even counter culture (Gothic black).

Images are all around us.  An image is a likeness or representation of something –a person, an action, a product, or an idea.  Many images are innocuous and are quite helpful. Think of Apple, Nike swish, heart, thumbs up, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

But some images are idols – a false replacement for truth or a replacement for the true God. By contrast, an image can also be an icon – a window through which we see truth and/or God.  Contemplating the difference between idols and icons can be helpful as we strive to teach and display truth in our lives. So how do we do this?

Rewind to the Easter celebrations of my childhood.

My mother taught me how to celebrate the joy of Easter with a new beautiful dress.  In fact I wore all new clothing from new underclothes, to the new dress, to new shoes, and a hat and gloves.  She explained that because Jesus rose from the dead He made all things new.  I knew we were celebrating the new life that Jesus won for us when He conquered death. I knew that He had made all things new, and that I was representing that on Easter Morning.  This tradition continued with my children, and they are doing the same with their children.

easter-then-now

Years later, in Of Penguins and Golden Calves, Madeleine L’Engle wrote that she would not dress her girls in new Easter clothes because she thought these clothes were idolatry.  She thought that the clothing usurped the preeminence that the resurrection of Christ was to have on that day.

I was stunned when I read this. I had never considered that Easter clothing could be idolatry; And this thought from an author who is known as a liberal and unorthodox Christian.  What could have caused her to make this extreme statement? In order to understand one must consider the context of Madeleine’s life.  She and her husband were raising their children in New York City in the late 40’s and the 50’s.  Their community was theater people and entertainers.  In her day, and in her localized culture, Easter clothing might have been an idol…. a distraction from the truth of the resurrection, a time to show off your fashion sensibility. Consider the film Easter Parade made in 1948.  It is Christ-less, but fashion-filled. By opting out of the fashion show, L’Engle stood out in her culture the way someone who does not celebrate Halloween does in my local culture.

Discerning Icon from Idol

How should we respond to this idea of eschewing Easter finery?  With quaint disdain for Ms. L’Engle?

We need to evaluate the Easter images in our life. Is this image an icon? Is it a window through which we see truth?  Or is it an idol – something that obscures truth or our love for God? This evaluation must take into consideration our time and our local culture. While it might not be wrong inherently, like new clothing, we must still consider if it obscures truth in our day, in our culture, with our family and community.

We also must evaluate what saints have done in the past; what was an icon for one generation can become an idol for the next generation. When the people of Israel grumbled against Moses, fiery serpents appeared and bit the grumblers so that many of them died. When the people repented, the Lord directed Moses to make a bronze serpent, set it on the pole, and walk through the assembly lifting the icon high. If anyone would look to the bronze serpent he would live. (Numbers 21:4-9) This was a beautiful icon foreshadowing what was to come. This was a window to the truth of Jesus’ coming.  The Father made Jesus to be sin who knew who sin (2Cor. 5:21) and this was represented in the Serpent (a sign of evil and sin) and it was made of bronze – a symbol of judgement.  And all who looks to the Son and believes will be saved. (John 6:40) During the time of Hezekiah the people of Israel had found the bronze serpent and rather than seeing it as an icon, they made offerings to it. They made this amazing icon an idol.  Hezekiah was commended by the Lord because he broke the idol into pieces. (2 Kings 18:4)

Finally, we should be ready to gently explain why a particular image is either an icon or an idol in our lives and in our time but not assume our conclusion applies to everyone else. All the while we must let the Lord deal with other people’s evaluations and decisions. Each generation needs to consider this for their generation, for their children, and for their own self. How do we celebrate and live life in such a way to provide windows to truth, and not obscure truth?

And as we meet people who are abstaining from an idol in their lives, we should not judge them, or patronize them by condescendingly calling them “weaker” brothers.  They may be weak, or they may be more sensitive, or they may be more perceptive.  We do not ridicule or deride them.  We consider their analysis, and we look to ourselves and our family. We turn from the idols that are drawing us away from the Lord. We keep the icons that draw us close to truth, and to the maker of Truth.

A Book and a Little Red Hood – DIY Gifts (Day 19)

A Book and a DIY Gift Idea: Make a little red hood and give the gift of this darling book!

It’s been a busy week, so I’ve fallen a little behind here. But today I have a treat for you! Inspiration for the book lovers and DIY-ers out there! For those of you who sew here is a beautiful idea from my amazing sister…

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I sew frequently and knit almost constantly. The work really helps me relax; it uses some other part of my brain then reading/thinking and I do it when the house is quiet after the kids are in bed and I feel all the stress of caring for small children run out of my fingers into the fabric or the needles.

Creative inspiration comes from all sorts of places. Back when my daughter was a baby, I found Trina Schart Hyman’s Little Red Riding Hood laying on my sister’s floor. The book charmed me instantly. At that point, I decided I would make her a red velvet hooded caplet for her 5th birthday and give it to her along with the book. Fast forward to last summer. Using a pattern from my Japanese sewing book and yardage of red velveteen and Kona cotton, I set to work. Six months later on her 5th birthday, she opened a package to find the book and caplet I had imagined for her.

Gift Idea: Sew a Little Red Riding Hood and pair with a beautiful book. Gift Idea: Sew a Little Red Riding Hood and pair with a beautiful book. Gift Idea: Sew a Little Red Riding Hood and pair with a beautiful book. Gift Idea: Sew a Little Red Riding Hood and pair with a beautiful book.

Creative GIFT IDEA: Some DIY magic transforms your little girl into the story. Little Red Riding Hood Cape + a beautifully illustrated book!

Little Red Riding Hood – retold and illustrated by one of our favorite illustrators.

Oliver + S Little Things to Sew – fanciful patterns including a red cape much like this one or you could pick up the Japanese Sewing Book my sister used if you can manage patterns w/out needing to read them! 🙂

bethGuest Post: Bethany {attorney turned stay-at-home mom of three kiddos (6, 5, 2), loving wife, crafter/artist extraordinaire, fashion consultant (to me, anyways), best-friend sister to two of us!}

 

Click on the button to see other gift guides that inspire learning and spark the imagination!

31 days of gift ideas that will spark and foster your children's love of learning and feed the imagination!

Oatmeal, Oatmeal and More Oatmeal

12 Creative ways to cook oatmeal!

Welcome new subscribers!  At the bottom of this email or rss feed, you’ll find the link to the printable Family Bible Reading Plan!

Hello friends, it has simply been one of those crazy seasons where you go, go, go and then fall into bed each night wondering where the day went…  Except that most of my “going” is here at home.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the home front, working on character issues, developing diligent habits {sure wish it was as easy as speaking that into existence} and such.  Can anyone relate?

But I haven’t been totally neglecting the blog, really…  What you don’t see is that I’ve been working up with OhAmanda {you follow her blog, right?} to bring you a wonderful mission to do as a family this next month that will reap eternal rewards.  I can’t wait to share it with you next week!  Oh and I’m hoping to have something special to share next week as well, provided all the details come together…  Again, another amazing way to draw our kids closer to Jesus and have fun in the process!

In the craziness that I think is just life with four children, I forgot to tell you about our #1 favorite oatmeal recipe that I shared over at The Busy Mom last week.  If chocolate and peanut-butter are among your favorite food items, head on over to see how we pair that for a nutritious power-packed breakfast.  And I lament a bit about the voracious appetites we have over here a bit too.

Speaking of oatmeal, I was talking to my sister this week and she asked about ideas for spicing up morning oatmeal.  We’ve been on a tight budget this winter, so our kids have been eating oatmeal nearly every morning.  So today, I thought I’d share some of our favorite combinations that we use to spice things up and keep oatmeal from getting to blah.

Creative ideas for mixing up the budget-friendly oatmeal routine!

Oatmeal Options for Breakfast

  1. Apple Oatmeal ~ Oatmeal + apples + cinnamon + shake of cloves + sweeten to taste  (If you want your apples cooked more, chop and add at the beginning, if you prefer crunchy, add at the end.)
  2. Cinnamon-Raisin Oatmeal ~ Oatmeal + raisins + cinnamon + sweeten to taste
  3. Cinnamon-Cranberry Oatmeal ~ Oatmeal + dried cranberries + cinnamon + sweeten to taste
  4. Peachy-Vanilla Oatmeal ~ Oatmeal + peaches (fresh, canned or dried) + milk (regular, almond, coconut or rice) + splash of vanilla extract + honey or sugar to taste
  5. Strawberry Cream OatmealOatmeal + strawberries + milk (regular, almond, coconut or rice) + splash of vanilla extract + honey or sugar to taste
  6. Blackberry Cream OatmealOatmeal + blackberries + milk (regular, almond, coconut or rice) + splash of vanilla extract + cinnamon + honey or sugar to taste
  7. Cinnamon Blueberry OatmealOatmeal + blueberries + slivered almonds (opt) + splash of vanilla + sweeten to taste
  8. Almond-Vanilla OatmealOatmeal + slivered almonds + splash of vanilla + sweeten to taste
  9. Pear Crisp Oatmeal ~ Oatmeal + pears (cook together) + pinch nutmeg + cinnamon + raisins/cranberries
  10. Butter Toasted Pecan Oatmeal ~ Oatmeal + toasted pecans (for 1 serving: 1 tsp butter, 1 TBS brown sugar, 1 TBS chopped pecans – toasted in butter until butter browns)
  11. Banana, Honey and Walnut Oatmeal ~ Oatmeal + banana – half mashed/mixed in and half sliced and added at the end + chopped walnuts. 
  12. Chocolate-Peanut Butter Oatmeal ~My kids favorite.  Power-packed with protein, iron and of course CHOCOLATE!

Do any of you have any tried and true oatmeal recipe variations?  I’d love to hear them.  Another way we mix things up is rotating through using old-fashioned oats and steel-cut oats!  It’s amazing how new and interesting it can make the same ‘ol combinations appear!

Creative ideas for spicing up the morning oatmeal routine! Creative ideas for spicing up the morning oatmeal routine!

 

Busyness, perspective and a welcome reminder

God provides the means to both FIND perspective and KEEP it!

It’s been a little bit crazy over here and I haven’t been checking in with my calender like I normally do…  As I arrived home from co-op, I quickly checked in to see if anything needed to be done before I head upstairs to pack for the HSLDA conference next week.  Tucked inside my inbox was a post from Free Homeschool Deals.  I love that blog and all of the ladies that write over there.  The post was on discipleship and perspective – two favorite topics of mine.  I breathed out a “Thank you God!  I’m always in need of renewed perspective” prayer.  As mother’s, discipleship is what we get to do each and every day – in the mundane and the extraordinary moments that come our way.   But sometimes in the busyness, we fail to recognize this.  I was having one of those moments…

Life has been way to busy this week.  Because as the page popped up, I realize that this was my post scheduled to go live today.  I forgot all about it.  Apparently, God wanted me to read it with fresh eyes again today.  If you need fresh perspective and a reminder that we are not on our own in this whole parenting/discipleship thing, slide on over and take a read!

Ok, it’s back to my beautiful, messy life.

Mother of boys = Action Flick LifeMother of Boys = Action Flick Life

As a total tangent, I tease my hubby all the time about action movies and their lack of a substantial plot.  At first he protested, but when I gave him example after example of pure adrenaline action with only the most basic of story lines, he changed his tune.  He ceded my point, and admitted that he simply preferred action without too much drama interfering.

Earlier this week, I thought of our bantering on this topic as I heard excited whispers, punctuated with the slashing of hockey sticks emanating from the front room.  I mosied on over to check out what was going on.  Bright-eyed, the boys ran up to let me know that they were rehearsing a play.  I was to return later.  The next afternoon, they announced that they were ready.  Filled with anticipation, I plopped down to watch their production.  It was adorable and quite nearly wordless – consisting of 2 fight scenes.  Being the female that I am, I inquired as to the events leading up to this battle.  My question was met with blank stares.

Greta proceeded to waltz in and babble on and on about something.  This adorable girl is all drama.  There are so many confusing, mesmerizing and conflicting layers to her emotions.  It leaves me simultaneously delighted and baffled.

And that’s when it hit me that I’m living the action flick life with a touch of drama added on at the end.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world, although I think I still might try and encourage a story line to go along with the action. 😉

You Might Be a Homeschool Mom if…

You might be a homeschool mom if...

Can anyone relate?  We are in week 3 of our 4 week swim lesson stint and when I’m not wiping the sweat off or spraying the baby girl down with cold water, I’m lesson planning like crazy!  I never would have imaged that my days lounging by the pool would actually be research and planning sessions!  But I’d have it no other way… 🙂 

For many of us, it’s that time of year again… A time to make plans. I simultaneously LOVE lesson planning and also have a few ‘deer in the headlights’ moments when everything seems a little daunting. Thankfully, there is a remedy for that. I’m sharing how I go about breaking this process down over at Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling!  Have you ever been over there before? I’m tickled pink to start contributing on a monthly basis with a phenomenal group of ladies! So while you are over there, take a look around! I guarantee that you’ll leave encouraged!

Swim lessons are also proving to be a huge flashback to my childhood days at the pool.  I think it must have something to do with the resurgence of the neon 80’s sunglasses…

Planning Your Homeschool Year?  3 Keys to Success

Homeschool Mother’s Journal

MothersJournalIHN

Today, you’ll find me talking about my homeschool week over at The Homeschool Mother’s Journal link up hosted by the I Homeschool Network!  It’s been a week of embracing the blessing of flexibility!

The Everyday Cultivating of a Marriage

I am so very excited today to introduce you all to my friend, Jamie.  I remember sitting with her and discussing marriage last year with some other ladies from our homeschool support group and leaving so inspired.  Her enthusiasm is contagious.  And she is here today sharing a bit of her heart for how we can cultivate our marriages!  I’m a firm believer that when we work to build our marriage relationship that the whole family is strengthened as a result.  

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CultivateYourMarriage
I love that I get share with you some of the ways that my husband and I cultivate our marriage in the everyday.  Like some of you, we homeschool three out of our five with two toddlers in tow, so it would be very easy to let our marriage slip to the backburner.
We are absolutely not willing to let that happen because marriage happens to be a passion of ours.  Not just our marriage but yours and yours and hers over there.  Marriage is hard enough in real life.  I hope I can help encourage you today.

One of the ways that we make sure that our marriage is getting the time and attention it needs is by being fiercely protective of our time together.  It sounds really easy, yes?  {We are all nodding here.}   With our busy schedules, it takes real intention to keep bits of time for each other.  And I’m not just talking about planning date nights, although those are always good.  I’m talking about when you’re living day-by-day, down in the trenches.  Here’s a confession that might shock you… After our kids go to bed, I do nothing except be with my husband.  Did some of you faint?  Of course there are those nights that are the exception, but for the most part, that time is his.  Sometimes we read or watch tv or unload the dishwasher.  I let him decide because it’s his time.  If that means dishes are left in the sink or laundry goes unfolded, so be it.  We also get up early together to have time to pray and share a cup of coffee.  While some mornings it’s hard for me to pull myself out from under the protective layers of covers, it’s always worth it.  When can you squeeze out of your day just for your spouse?

Another way that we work on our marriage is by cultivating a sense of fun and excitement/adventure with each other.  I really love that I can be my complete and absolute silly self with my hubby and vice versa.  We laugh about the craziest things every time we’re together.  We have dance parties, bubble-blowing contests, races, play “Would You Rather…”, lip sync to every kind of music under the sun and make fun of people on tv.  Every couple is different and being silly might not be your thing.  But what makes you laugh as a couple?  Whatever it is, do it!  Flirt, get your sparkle back, remember why you fell in love in the first place.  Don’t be afraid to be foolish together.  When those tough days come, as we all know they do, being able to laugh will act as a pressure valve between the two of you.   The best sound that your kids can fall asleep to at night is the sound of their parents laughing together.
How do YOU cultivate your marriage in the everyday?

Labor Day Learning

I cannot believe that September is right around the corner…  This summer has just sped along.  It hasn’t felt as hot this year.  I can’t decide it that is because I’m just not pregnant this summer or because we’ve been creative about enjoying some outdoor time even during these hot summer months.

With Labor Day approaching, I decided to repost these great Labor Day Learning ideas from the archives! Holidays provide a wonderful time for conversation and exploration.  It provides a natural opportunity for real-life learning!  So here is some background information on the holiday and some simple ways to dialogue and explore this holiday.

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Background:
Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. Labor Day first began in the 1880’s as a day off for the hardworking men and women of America.

Today Labor Day continues to celebrate the efforts of the working person though over the years, it has evolved from a purely labor union celebration into a general last fling of summer. Labor Day grew out of a celebration and parade in honor of the working class by the Knights of Labor in 1882 in New York. The Knights passed a resolution to hold all future parades in September which was selected to reject any identification with May Day, when the Socialists and Communists commemorated the working man.

The Bible has some good things to say about work and labor:

  • Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.Eph. 4:28
  • Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time. Proverbs 13:4
  • The laborer is worthy of his wages. Luke 10:7

And our countries leaders have said some great things as well:

Here are some ideas to explore this upcoming Labor Day weekend with your family and friends:

Whistle while you work!
  1. Whistle While You Work – Your chores will get done faster if you whistle, chant or sing! Workers in the fields used to set up a steady rhythm and sing about what their jobs entailed to make the time go faster. You can sing one of the following songs or make up your own about the chores you are doing. For instance you can sing about dusting, picking up the (various) toys, making your bed, etc. Make three or four verses that you repeat over and over. Since I am not musical I pick a familiar tune such as The Farmer in the Dell, and write my own lyrics. Here are some classics:
  • Career Dress Up Day – Ask the children what they would like to be when they grow up. Let them dress up and pretend to do that. I would like to do this as a Labor Day party next year! But you can do it spontaneously this year.

 

  • Thank you to a Worker – Write (or draw) a card to send to someone whose work you particularly appreciate – maybe a policeman, or a fireman, your doctor, the grocery store clerk or butcher, or the garbage collector (aren’t all kids fascinated with that job?)
  • Labor Games – Play charades or Pictionary with these printable “occupation” cards. There are easy ones of the kids, and some harder ones for the teens and adults. With a little work you could set up taboo cards if you prefer.
  • Read a Book

 

  • Have a Discussion – Pick one or more of these questions
  • Is work good? Why or why not?
  • Which is more important, free trade or fair trade? Why?
  • Is all work of equal value to society? Why or why not?
  • (For the kids) What do you hope to do when you grow up? Why? What steps can you take now to help you achieve your goals?
  • (For the adults) What do you like most about your current job? What do you like least? If you could change careers, would you? Why or why not?
  • (For the Grandparents) How has the work force changed in our country during your lifetime?
  • In the US child labor is largely a thing of the past. In other parts of the world, children are still considered a vital part of the work force. Do you think this is good or bad? Why? At what age do you believe children should be allowed to work? What kinds of jobs do you think are appropriate for children? For teens?
  • Watch a Movie (First three are fun, last two pretty sobering)
  • The Incredibles (All Ages) Mr. Incredible is a hard working man providing for his family. (I know this is a stretch, but I wanted to list one movie for the little ones. 🙂
  • Newsies (All Ages) A favorite of our family. My SIL mentioned that the movie makes business the bad guy and unions the good guys. Yeah, but I still like the movie.
  • The Pajama Game (Teens and up) Fun with Doris Day and the unions!
  • Tucker – The Man and His Dream (Older kids and up)
  • On the Waterfront (Teens and up)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (Teens and up)
Colene Lewis
wife, former homeschool mother, grandmother, speaker, curriculum writer (KONOS Russia curriculum) and currently working for Alliance Defending Freedom.

 

 

RELATED POSTS:Learning the Value of Work {our chore chart in action}
Picture Chore Chart Tutorial
Knights-In-Training  {embracing the work of manhood}

Oma’s Book Club

In continuing our discussion of books and reading, today I have a guest post from my mother, affectionately called “Oma” by her grands.  She is a gifted teacher.  Literature and discussing great books is one of her favorite things to do.  I feel so blessed that she is passing that love on to her grandchildren!

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He knew how to read, loved being read to, read the easy readers, but had not yet discovered the great pleasure of solitary reading, especially reading longer and more complex books.

So Oma’s Book Club was launched.  I wanted to encourage him to devour and savor good books.  This would be more than just getting a reward for reading, we would discuss the books – and thus I would in a natural way teach him the concepts of literature which would cause the enjoyment of good books to soar.  Or at least that was the plan….

When I asked X-man, my 7 year old grandson, if he would like to be in a Book Club with me he excitedly said yes even before I explained it.  (I think his dad had let it slip there might be a treat involved.)

The Plan

 1.       Oma would pick a book to read.

2.       After both reading the book we would have a date to go out and discuss.

The Execution

 1.       The X-man is only 7 years old and I wanted the first book to be a success.  He was skeptical of his ability to read a “long” chapter book.  So we started with Five O’ClockCharlie by Marguerite Henry, a 40 page book.  While not a chapter book, this picture book is beautifully written with rich vocabulary, enchanting syntax, and a lovely story of love, life and grace to an older generation.  Definitely a great book for the beginning of our book club.

Twenty-eight year-old draft horse Charlie is retired by Mr. Spinks who is trying to do his horse a favor; but life is boring to Charlie, who misses the days when he and Mr. Spinks would head to the local pub at 5:00 PM sharp for Birdie’s fresh apple tarts. One day, Charlie jumps the fence and trots to the pub where he hopes the cheerful Birdie will give him his own juicy tart. Soon, this jaunt is an everyday routine.

2.       After X-man read the book (two or three times), we headed to the frozen yogurt shop for our treat and discussion.

This was to be a real discussion – definitely not a test, nor a lecture, nor a lesson.  But I did have things I wanted to talk about – quite a number of things.  Nevertheless I was also going to be responsive to him – ready to go on a bunny trail if he desired, ready to drop a line of discussion if he seemed lost or bored.  And ready to quit when it seemed natural, rather than when my “list” was completed.

There are many things to discuss about a book: Plot, characters, setting (including both geography & time), themes, vocabulary, literary devices, etc., etc.  You never want to cover everything with every book.  That would be tiresome and stilted. There are future opportunities with the next books.

I started with, “Who is your favorite character?”  And I was ready with the follow up questions of “Why did you like him/her? What was he like? Could you describe her to me?” if needed.  These questions were ready just to get him talking – I did not want him to think I was interrogating him!

X-man told me about Charlie first.  When he described him he left out a few things – one of which I wanted to discuss.  The author described Charlie as having “sad brown eyes and shaggy feathers on his feet.”  I reread the line and we looked at the pictures.  I asked X-man if a horse has feathers on his feet.  He was confused and said, “I guess so.”  So I explained with a laugh that he knew birds have feathers, not horses. I explained that this is a metaphor – a description of an object –in this case the long fluffy hair on Charlie’s feet – that asserts it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object- in this case feathers.

Then X-man wanted to talk about the second character whom he really liked: Birdie, the plump cook at the inn.  I laughed about the name Birdie and asked him if he could imagine anyone naming their child Birdie. He laughed, too, and quoted a line from the book, “She would bounce out of the inn like a cuckoo from a clock.”  I then mentioned that this is similar to the feathered feet of Charlie.  Birdie is not a bird – she is a lady, but she is like a bird.

Now he has not really learned similes and metaphors, but I have broached the subject naturally.  It will not seem as strange next time, and he is building an understanding which will undergird the formal learning he will receive much later.

After we finished talking about the characters – mostly directed by him – I read one particular paragraph out loud.

Quick as flies the people would come swarming.  There were teamsters and tailors, carpenters and cobblers, bankers and barristers, goldsmiths, silversmiths and blacksmiths.   

I did NOT discuss the simile with corresponding verb in the first sentence.  I was being careful not to rub his face in the educational aspect of our book club.  But we did talk about each of the professions.  This is pretty complex vocabulary.  He knew some of them, but not all.  Then I reread the sentence to see if he could hear the pattern.  And as I ready I emphasized:

Teamsters and Tailors, Carpenters and Cobblers, Bankers and Barristers

We talked about alliteration very briefly.  He knows about rhyming and I explained this was similar – and it made the sentence lyrical, or almost musical.  He seemed to understand and commented that it was fun to say out loud. He repeated the work al-lit-er-a-tion and the sentence. 

Of course we also talked about the plot.  I let that discussions just run conversationally at his direction and pace.  X-man also wanted to talk about the illustrations.  I had not planned on talking about them at all.  He had thought about them and shared his insights with me!

The theme of the story is that we all need meaningful work, that we need to treat everyone with respect, and that no one is too old to have a rich meaningful life.  If X-man brought it up we would follow his bunny trail.  But I knew going in that I would not chose to discuss it. 

Many times morals and themes are best caught by the story rather than taught by the teacher.  I did discuss it with his mother in case she has the opportunity to catch him exhibiting the positive character traits – then she can comment that he is behaving like Charlie or Birdie. 

Our first book discussion was a great success.  I spent a few hours tracking down the next book I wanted to read. 

My goals?  Good books – good both from a literary standpoint and morally.  A variety of genres and authors. Books that are increasingly challenging while not being overwhelming.  

My next choice?  TheBox Car Children.

Oma’s Book Club… to be continued…..

Colene Lewis
wife, mother, grandmother, speaker, curriculum writer (KONOS Russia curriculum) and currently working for Alliance Defending Freedom.
Related Posts on Literacy and Reading:

Remembering Sendak

As we read of the passing of Maurice Sendak, it brought back memories of a post that my mom wrote for an old blog of ours and I thought I would repost it.

Makes me want to go upstairs right now and check on my sleeping ‘wild things’ – all four of them!

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Imagine-Lit: Where the Wild Things Are
{originally posted 8/16/2008}

When this book first came out most adults did not like it.

I LOVED IT.

I had a wild thing and I loved the unseen mom in this book because

  • she enjoys her wild thing
  • she named him wild thing
  • she hung his wild picture
  • she made his wild costume
  • she encouraged his imagination
  • she disciplined him with love
  • she guided him into conquering his wild impulses
  • she loved him best of all… and he knew it.

I related to her and I rejoice when Max returns to his mom and to her unwavering care and love.
It was with great joy that I gave a copy of this book to my wild thing, who now has wild things of her own.

Colene Lewis
wife, mother, grandmother, speaker, curriculum writer (KONOS Russia curriculum) and currently working for The Alliance Defense Fund.