I don’t think I’m very good at this blogging thing. I’m averaging once a month. So here’s the January installment (maybe I’ll sneak another one in before the end of the month):
Lately, we’ve been reading a lot more, which is so nice. We’re a little fanatical sometimes, reading several books concurrently and checking out twenty children’s books from the library. My husband, three year old, and I all love to read. And finally our younger daughter (who just turned two) is into reading too! Before she used to just run around and try to tackle us while we read, but now she brings books to us and wants to be read to. It’s wonderful.
In the last few months, I’ve read several books that have been really great for me: The Journey Mama by Rachel Devenish, Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic, The Prodigal God by Tim Keller, and I’m just finishing One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I’ve really enjoyed all of them. For mamas of young kiddos, the first two books are so helpful in building patience with our kids. And, more practically, Jankovic’s book can be read in one night (actually I read it initially about a year ago and I just re-read it in less than three hours). If I had to recommend one of those two books for a harried, exhausted, out-of-patience, about-to-go-crazy-from-sleep-deprivation mama, I think Jankovic’s book would save the day. In a nut-shell, she’s a mama of five children all under the age of five and she offers her perspective on alleviating the stress: deal with your own attitude before you deal with the kiddos. I’ve read a lot of books on parenting and this one was really powerful.
The Prodigal God has been a really great read too. These last few months have been pretty transforming in my relationship with God. And this book was a refreshing look at God’s grace and fierce love for us. It offered a new way to look at the story of the prodigal son and brought the focus back on the forgiveness and love God shows us.
My aunt recommended I read One Thousand Gifts. It’s intense. I’ve cried several times and it has really encouraged me to look at the blessings in my life. My first blog post was about thankfulness; it’s something I’ve been working on for almost two years. After reading this book, I find myself taking it to the next level and really looking at all the blessings God has given me.
I didn’t list it above, but another book I just started reading is The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. A homeschooling mama of four recommended it to me because we’re looking into homeschooling our two girls. It was a strange concept at first because I taught English in secondary schools for nine years and there was always this underlying feeling that homeschooling wasn’t the best choice. In fact, it seemed like homeschoolers were a little weird. Sorry to any homeschoolers out there! As a teacher, I always felt so bad about the wasted time and the students who needed additional help as well as the students who were bored and needed more challenging instruction. I’ve seen first-hand how kids become bored and tune out because they’re frustrated. Now that I have my girls, I want to make sure they get the attention they need to learn. And the best way to get attention is to reduce class size. So I think homeschooling pretty much solves that issue. So far, this book has been a great start for me because it describes classical education as a systematic process where students learn information, organize that information, and then learn to express and analyze themselves using that information. It has a section on birth to five years and I already started using some of their suggestions, like encouraging the girls to learn letter sounds. I look forward to reading more!
Okay, I’m headed to bed to read 🙂