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Instilling a love of reading from infancy and beyond ~ picture book recommendations included!


Joshua listening to Goodnight Moon

Joshua listening to Goodnight Moon (2007)

When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I by food and clothes. ~ Desideriuos Erasmus (1469-1536)

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. ~ Emilie Buchwald

Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.~ Mary Schmich

How do you raise a child who loves to read?

It should come as no surprise that raising a prolific reader is best done by parents who love to read-and if they are avid readers that is even better. Parents who love to read, but do not read very much will not be as likely to raise good readers as parents who read prolifically. Probably, the most important thing you can do is to read to your child—for hours on end. I have always felt like I have learned more by traveling into my books than from any of my formal education!

I often hear parents say that they read bedtime stories. This is a great start. However, if you really want to raise a reader, read on and off all day long. You can easily read a baby and/or small child anywhere from 50-100 age appropriate books a day — think of those tiny and very short chunky books – some of them take less than a minute to read! You can probably read a small child 10-20 average length picture books each day! This time commitment will not even make it difficult to run an efficient household and tend to the various needs of other family members (i.e. spouse nurturing, serving others, homeschooling, keeping a clean home). Read during potty learning. Read before naptime and bedtime. Read after playing outside. Read for fun. Read to learn. Just read.

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Books that move me

Sally - The countFrom the time I first learned to read, I have enjoyed reading more than any other hobby. After considering majors in Journalism, Criminal Justice, and Elementary Education, I finally decided that nothing would suit me as much as English Literature. Over the years I have read more books than I could ever count. Some I determined never to read again. Others I enjoyed the first time, but never felt compelled to read again. Some I have read over and over again. Included in this list are books that I’ve read and re-read — some dozens of times over the years. For some reason, in my vast library, these ‘call’ to me the most. I like them for different reasons — one was read to me as a child and represents something lovely. One was assigned reading in high school and challenged the way I thought about our modern world. One taught me lessons about myself — another taught me lessons about love — another taught me about friendship. They make me think. They challenge me. I cherish many of them. They are not all pleasure reading. They deal with difficult subject matter. Some require slight editing.

I was thinking of calling this “My Favorite Books” or “The Books That Have Influenced me the Most”…but I just can’t put numbers next to the books I love! To call some of them ‘favorites’ makes them sound like pleasure reading and at least one of them is not pleasureable to read at all. If I number them, I will be leaving out countless other books that I love. For instance, I’ve chosen two Austen books, but I really love all of Jane Austen’s books. The two included in my list make me think the most.

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Souls knit together: one wife’s thoughts on love in marriage

Marriage is the most intimate of relationships on earth. It is the sacred place in which two people are united before God, joined together as one. Spouses should share deep affection, lasting love, and fulfilling physical intimacy – married people can be the best of friends, the most devoted servants and the most passionate lovers. In our society, marriage is undermined at every turn and the sacred bond ignored by whims of man. Sadly, even in godly homes, many fail to teach their children about the beauty of marriage — in word and by example!

God’s word describes the strength of the friendship between Jonathan and David this way, “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”(I Samuel 18:1). This is a beautiful example of love between friends — but I also believe it is a wonderful example of how spouses should love one another. I often use the term ‘soul mates’ to describe myself and my beloved. I personally feel that this term illustrates our relationship quite well. Some see the term differently and avoid it. Here’s why I use it. Consider these two definitions of the word soul mate: 1.) two persons compatible with each other in disposition, point of view, or sensitivity. (The American Heritage Dictionary, 2009) 2.) a person for whom one has a deep affinity, esp a lover, wife, husband, etc. (Collins English Dictionary, 2003).

When I say ‘soul mate’ I am not referring to the idea in Plato’s Symposium … the idea that we are two parts that were separated by the Greek god, Zeus, and are somehow cursed to search for our other half. I am speaking of two hearts united by love, by vows to the one true God, and joined together by Him. This is how our souls are knit together. Love and devotion to one another (and most importantly to God) should encourage spouses to dwell together in unity. Good marriages are made up of many different personalities. No two marriages are exactly alike. No matter how deeply kindred, no two people are exactly alike. The strength of my husband compliments my weakness and my strength compliments his weakness. We are compatible because we have learned to work together. We share a deep affinity because we love one another deeply, but mostly because we love God and believe in His gift of married love.

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