Thursday, September 7, 2017

Reading Through Richard Wurmbrand and Romania

I have found truly jubilant Christians only in the Bible, in the Underground Church and in prison. 
- Richard Wurmbrand

Richard Wurmbrand was a Romanian Christian minister who spent 14 years in a brutal, Communist prison in Romania. His story is one that is so moving, so touching and yet difficult to read at times. But we need Christian examples, Christian men and women, true heroes for our children to learn about. Wurmbrand is a real Christian hero!

He died at age 91 but he left a legacy through his ministry Voice of the Martyrs. You can subscribe for free to their magazine (there is a children's website, also). It is a great ministry that you and your family can take active part in helping the persecuted church of today. Participating in putting together a care pack for a displaced Christian or a persecuted family is a great way for your children to learn how to serve and how to be thankful for their own abundance and the goodness of God they are blessed to experience. (VOM is a great way to learn geography and about other cultures, too!)

Be sure to watch actual clips of Richard Wurmbrand. Two we particularly enjoyed is this overview of his story and also this interview of RIchard and his wife, Sabina.

We had the privilege of visiting Romania in 2017 and took the time to learn about the country in which Wurmbrand was from. There doesn't seem to be many books available for children about Romania but I've included the ones we read.

If doing this as a unit your family might enjoy listening to a Romania choir and orchestra sing a beautiful version of Unto the Lamb!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Reading Through Bears for Younger Children

If the person you are talking to does not appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in this ear.- Winnie the Pooh

Don't miss taking time to read aloud to your younger children (and older ones too!)  Take time out of the busyness and craziness of life and snuggle with your child or children and read some wonderful books about bears!  I love the books the books on this list and I believe you and your family will too!

Have a favorite bear picture book?  Be sure to add it to the comments section below!

(If you like this list you might also enjoy: Reading Through Picture Books, Reading Through Children's Treasuries, and Reading Through Dahlov Ipcar Picture Books

Monday, July 17, 2017

Reading Through Shadows for Younger Children

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. - James 1:17 (NLT)

Children are curious and find enjoyment in the simplest things.  Shadows are one of those amusements.  Take advantage of that curiosity and teach them about shadows.  These books make an entertaining unit study for the whole family!  

Look up Bible verses about shadows: Psalm 17:8, 23:4, 36:7, 91:1, Job 8:9, Luke 1:79, James 1:17 (these are just a few to get you started.  You also could read verses about light and darkness)
Look up shadow in Websters 1828 dictionary.
Make a shadow outline 
Make a sundial

You might also be interested in Reading Through Robert Louis Stevenson.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Reading Through Japan

Did you know that Japan has 6,852 islands? If you visited one a day, every day of the year it would take over 18 years for a person to visit them all. But through the world of reading you and your children can visit Japan without every leaving home and spend as little or much time as you would like learning about it. While there are many, many books you could include for a Japan unit here are a few we enjoyed!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Reading Through the U.S. Presidential Elections & Government

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation
without God and the Bible - George Washington

...As the 2016 Presidential election is upon us I decided to do a quick study of the United States government and how it works.  I threw this together quickly and I know the time is nearly upon us but I wanted to share in case other homeschool families' wanted to do the same with their children.

I will just highlight briefly some of the books on this list although all of them are worth your time and effort for a unit study on government.

If you need a quick review of our nation's beginning you can start with The Fourth of July Story by Alice Dagliesh (or check out my American Revolution unit part 1 and part 2).

Let me know some of your favorites that might not be on this list!

(P.S. I've found many of these older books are available at no charge electronically through

Reading Through the Civil War

Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less.
General Robert E. Lee

The Civil War or War Between the States or War of Northern Aggression (depending on who you are talking to) is a war that we are still feeling the effects of today. The reasons for the war are much debated and discussed and many books today are biased toward the North, show the North as absolutely right and good and the South as the ones who were wrong. I personally feel it isn't that simple. One thing for certain slavery wasn't the cause of the war and only became an issue as the war continued on. The North needed support for their cause and slavery was an issue that they could win people to their side on. I believe the war had more to do with how big Federal government wanted to be and would become. If you listen to the songs and testimonies of the South they believed they were fighting for their state rights. The South saw this war the same as the colonists saw the American Revolution (my booklist here), they were fighting against a too powerful and intrusive governement.

Today we are so accustomed to big Federal government I don't think we realize how these people saw their state. It was more like it was their country and the Federal government needed to stick to the basic things that would benefit all of the states and keep their nose out of the rest. While I believe that slavery needed to be eliminated this could have been done with an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. A war was not necessary. I encourage you to watch get and watch The Great Civil War Debate early in your reading journey!

A Nation Torn is a good starting point. It discusses many of the events that were going on in the years prior to the war and helps you to see that it was not as simple as abolishing slavery. Many things were going on that divided people and this book does a good job of presenting them.

I waded through a lot of books to select these and feel like they were some great choices for this homeschool unit study! Let me know your favorites!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Reading Through Hearing Ear and the Seeing Eye (the Lord has made them both)

The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both. - Prov. 20:12

I love reading biographies.  I am always amazed at what people can accomplish, even in the face of overwhelming disabilities.  Helen Keller, Ludwig Beethoven and Laura Bridgman are all such people. In this unit study we read biographies about these amazing people and learned about the marvelous gift of eyes and ears.  Helen Keller wrote an essay about what it would be like to see for three days and what she would do.  But what impressed me the most about her essay was when she talked about her desire for people to do without eyesight and hearing for three days.  "I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some time during his early adult life. Darkness would make him more appreciative of sight, silence would teach him the joys of sound."  Stop and think about how much we see but never really look at and appreciate, how much we hear but never really listen too.  While traveling on this reading voyage I challenge you to take your children on a walk and really look and really listen to what is around you. The eyes and the ears are each incredible instruments designed by God. (Answers in Genesis has a great video for this study here).

The Bible says much about eyes and ears.  It talks about guarding them, it talks about God making them, it talks about spiritual eyes and spiritual ears.  It talks about Jesus opening blind eyes and Moses eyesight not being dim at 120 years old. The Bible has a lot to say about hearing and seeing. (Some scriptures to get you started: Prov. 4:20-23, 20:12; Matt. 13:13-17; Luke 11:33-36).

We read She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman Deaf-Blind Pioneer as a family read aloud.  Let me say, this book was the biggest surprise in this list. Never having heard of Laura Bridgman and knowing so much about Helen Keller I wasn't going to be easy to impress.  Yet, Laura Bridgman is inspiring and heart touching in her own right and in fact, Helen might not of been helped if it had not been for Laura.  Don't miss this book!

Of course we included a biography on Helen Keller (Courage of Helen Keller is good for early elementary, Helen Keller by Davidson for older)  My 10 yod read the latter and really enjoyed it. Thinking about not being able to hear or what it would be like to be blind were new concepts for him.  He made a lot of comments and observations.  I know Helen Keller impacted me greatly when I first learned about her life, her courage and amazing accomplishments.

I've included several books about Beethoven on this list.  Really each one brings it's own unique story and shouldn't be missed (well, I couldn't eliminate one anyway!)  The Heroic Symphony tells of one of Beethoven's symphonies and why he wrote it and what each part meant.  I know I've always wondered what story the music was telling and here is a great book to help children (and adults) understand the meaning behind a classical masterpiece. (BTW this one has to do with Napoleon) A cd is included so that your family can listen to the complete symphony that is the subject of this book. The 39 Apartments of Ludwid Van Beethoven is a comic look at the eccentrics of Ludwig and all of his legless pianos and many apartments.  While the author does take some fictional liberties the story is based in fact and my 10 yod read it multiple times he was so amused.  Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells is a good elementary biography covering the life of Beethoven. 

We also read about animal eyes and their amazing abilities and  the different kinds of eyes that God created: Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World (of course there is the obligatory evolutionary explanation included) and Eye See You by Deborah Balmuth (my 10 yod LOVED this book).  Did You Hear That? Animals with Super Hearing by Caroline Arnold tells about the amazing hearing capabilities of various animals.

We learned the handsign alphabet using: Handsigns: A Sign Language Alphabet and we talked about other ways of communicating (without words) using You Don't Need Words! A Book About Ways People Talk Without Words.

These are just a few of the books we included (the full list is below). 

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