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There were times we would read non-stop through several chapters, there were times we would only read one. I love to hear the kids beg, "Mom, just one more chapter please..." Reading aloud also makes it easier for the kids to remember history and people(like when we read 'Long Way to a New Land', Riding the Pony Express, and Keep the Lights Burning Abbie) It is also a good and better alternative to T.V and an effective means to teach the kids new words. Reading aloud gives us a bond like no other. it is a very special "mom-and-me" time.
We started with Ginger Pye this quarter because I felt the kids would like the story. It's about a kid and his smart dog. Though some twists made us sad - like Ginger being "dog-napped", we still enjoyed reading this simple, lighthearted story. Riel was inspired to read his dictionary after reading Frindle. We excitedly journeyed with Ralph in his little adventures in Ralph the Mouse and The Mouse and the Motorcycle ... we even joked that maybe Aethan may be able to talk to mice because he also loves motorcycles. We had a good laugh reading The Whipping boy...the names of the characters were ridiculously funny like Hold-Your-Nose-Billy and Cutwater.Though I skipped some lines/words which I think were not okay, overall, It was heartwarming to read how the two boys became friends.
We don't just laugh when I read aloud to the kids. Many times I would cry while reading books like George Muller and The Missionary stories. My boys would tap my back and say, "Mom, it's okay...".
George Muller's story taught me valuable life lessons. As I read it, I knew God was talking to me more than He was talking to the kids. It was inspiring to read how God transformed George - from a lying thief, a rich brat who gambled and partied all night -- to someone who dedicated his life to help other people, carrying nothing in his pocket but his faith, trusting God to meet all of his financial needs. I was reminded of how important it is to seek God's direction in every decision we make and everything we do and how important it is for a wife to support her husband in his calling. It's a book I want to read over and over again just so I can grasp and put to heart every nugget of wisdom there is.
The Missionary Stories with the Millers showed us that missionary life is difficult but very fulfilling. I was particularly moved with the story of Tisese, a young African boy, who begged to be allowed to travel through the African jungles to share the gospel to his family, undaunted by the threat of lions along the way, unaffected by the burning desert sands even if he was in pain. With feet that are sore and covered with blisters and blood he must have repeated these words over and over again, "My father may be killed in tribe fighting. My mother may be eaten by lions while she works in the garden. My brothers and sisters might die before next year, and never hear of Jesus!" His father was a witch doctor who killed more than six hundred people every year, poisoned those who oppose him and buried people alive. But nothing is really impossible with God, He changes hearts. All we need to do is obey. Tisese's father and his whole family, and hundreds more in their village were converted and became Christians because of the faith and love of this young missionary.
As I read the last chapter of the book, Aethan said, "Oh no mommy, I love this book, I want more stories like these..." The book ended with this line "There is no better place to be than the place where God calls you." I took this time to remind them of God's great plan for their life. (Jer29:11) What privilege it is to be the one to read these books to my kids, and together with them, see God's awesome power at work in our world. Reading-aloud to our kids is an investment like no other. ;-)
Our other read-aloud books this year:
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