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).
She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman,…

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!

Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells…The Heroic Symphony by Anna Harwell CelenzaOf 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.

Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World by…The 39 Apartments of Ludwig Van Beethoven by…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. 

Did You Hear That? Animals with Super…Handsigns: A Sign Language Alphabet by…Eye See You: A Poster Book by Deborah L.…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.

you don't need words! a book about ways…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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