I have some thoughts on some books I've read lately. First, I read Lighting Their Fires by Rafe Esquith because Julia rated it on her goodreads. Each chapter discusses a different virtue/life skill that helps a child do well in life. They included:
1) be on time—understand concept of time
2) Focus—ability to concentrate
3) Limit television
4) Smart decision making
5) Sweeping like Shakespeare—anything worth doing is worth doing well
8) Delayed Gratification
All of those things are excellent for children to learn. I liked how Esquith included books and movies that he feels teaches these ideas well. It got me thinking. I have a FHE book all put together that has ten virtues discussed by President Hinckley. You probably saw these as they went the rounds a few years ago. The whole thing is called: Ten Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes: love, honesty, morality, civility, learning, forgiveness and mercy, thrift and industry, gratitude, optimism, faith.
I thought to myself, those are ten great virtues and the core lesson/scriptures/songs are already put together for me. I could easily find some books that reiterate the importance of those characteristics to supplement. Voila--a school year's worth of devotionals. Plus, a primary song to learn each month and a scripture to learn each month.
This is probably very disjointed. I'm very tired. The point is, starting in September I'm picking a virtue to learn about with the kids during devotional and I'm going to use children's books to supplement. For example, Secret Garden works well for civility. I'll assign Miriam to read Secret Garden on her own, I'll get it on cd for Emeline and Cowen to listen to during quiet time, and then we'll discuss how it pertains to civility. I'll also get some shorter children's books to read during devotional.
The Pout-Pout Fish would work for optimism and a book about Abraham Lincoln for learning. It is going to be so much fun looking for books to go with each value.
I also read 52 Weeks of Fun Family Service by Merrilee Boyack. I liked it. The intro got a little redundant but that might just be because she was preaching to the choir. I am always trying to incorporate service into our lives. I wanted ideas of how to do that and this book was full of them.
Probably the most useful thing in the book is the index where she lists a bunch of websites that help match volunteers to different service opportunities and also give ideas for how to help. For example, making t-shirt dresses. I did not know that would be so valued. Also, I had heard about giving a goat or other animal to someone in a village, but I didn't know how or where to look. She gives all the info. So, not riveting reading, but useful. I don't know that we'll do a service activity every week next year, but I want to make sure something happens every other week. We already do something every month (I count simple things like taking a loaf of bread to the neighbor) so I just want to bump it up a little and diversify.
PS--Any book recommendations to match a value will be appreciated!