For the Family’s Sake – Becky Jane’s Recommendation

As you can imagine in the Five in a Row family, books are important to us.  And one of our favorite things is to pass on recommendations of books that we believe are worth reading!

There’s a book I want to share with you, and it’s the kind of warm, earthy, uplifting and nurturing book you can read again and again! It has captivated my thoughts and I find myself leaving it all over the house; picking it up time and time again in order to be refreshed and inspired. It is a book by author Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (daughter of L’Abri Fellowship founders Francis and Edith Schaeffer) and is entitled For the Family’s Sake – The Value of Home in Everyone’s Life.

As we’re caught up in this frenetic and task-oriented world, For the Family’s Sake will touch you like a warm summer wind. You are caught-off-guard by the simplicity and power of the ideas Macaulay presents and you remember why “home” can and should be the most wonderful place in the world. Written with honesty, humility, creativity and passion, Macaulay carefully explains specific things you can do to create a secure, loving and purposeful home. Topics she explores include ways to build routines, the importance of books, how to live with more on less, the essentials for children, creating a home of beauty, the significance of rest and peace, planning healthy and varied meals, bedtime rituals for children, etc.

Drawing significantly from her own experiences, Macaulay guides you through her home, her day and her family life. She shows you things she now recalls as successful and important, and ideas and activities she now realizes were misplaced and ineffective.

So many books covering similar themes come across as a huge guilt trip. I read the book and I’m devastated – depressed by all the things I’m not doing right. For the Family’s Sake is the exact opposite. Each time I read a paragraph or chapter, I’m encouraged and I feel lighter! I’m inspired by a new thought or idea – a glorious new direction I can follow to make my little home a place of greater safety and comfort for my husband and daughter.

My absolute favorite chapter is found under the heading “Of Beds, Balance and Books.” Here, Macaulay shares her love of family read-alouds. In my life, few memories bring back greater warmth or security than thoughts of my family’s reading times. I can remember countless mornings and evenings spent cuddled up on the end of my parent’s bed, listening intently to page after page. Because of these books, my family shares a common history – a familiar understanding of places we’ve been and characters we’ve known, who don’t really exist, but reside in the pages of those precious volumes and in our imaginations.

For the Family’s Sake is a special book. May you find as much supreme satisfaction in Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s words as I have.

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Bible & Character Supplement – Jane Shares How to Use

Many FIAR families look for direction in how to use the Bible & Character Supplement.  It’s such a rich resource we hate for anyone to miss out! After all, the most important aspect of living a lifestyle of learning is that learning which develops our character and worldview!

For each Five in a Row story selection, I give in our FIAR Bible Supplement ideas and Biblical references to Bible incidents. I show where these can be found in the Bible. The side-bar (bold type) chapters or verses that have been cited were never meant for memory or necessarily to be read word for word! These chapter or verse notations are just to show the teacher where to find the connected concept or Bible story.

For instance,

Valentine’s Day Books & Ideas

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so we want to  be sure you have time to reserve these books at your library or find great deals to order. Holidays provide one of the easiest opportunities to build traditions with our family.  And reading favorite books year after year is a delightful (and easy!) tradition to start!  I like to order one new book each season if I can, and that helps build our collection without breaking the bank. If you have a used bookstore nearby, that’s even better!  We’ve shared quality books we recommend and some FIAR topics you can study or review as you read them.

Parenting Thoughts from the Corral {part 3}

So far in this series of posts, we’ve talked about anger vs. gentleness and leadership in our parenting.  Today we’re going to talk about setting goals and the importance of doing so.  Having a goal gives us something toward which to go and sets our trajectory. If you aren’t doing this already, what about setting some specific goals? We so often work in generalizations and then wonder why we aren’t getting where we’d like to go. In leading and educating our children, we can begin to get more specific. Write down goals, go over them, and imagine ways to implement and present new lessons (whether academic or character). There is still room to go with the flow, but especially in character lessons–life lessons, a specific goal is helpful.

Next after declaring the goal is to

Parenting Thoughts from the Corral {part 2}

Well, you might be interested to know that after writing that article last week, my life changed in such a way that I’ve had to put everything I wrote in that article into practice myself! We have two new puppies at our house. Are you sufficiently amused?

And here I am, trying to write about educating…educating children, and what I’ve learned through educating children, and horses, and now dogs! In all of this I want to declare that I know it is not always easy. Trying to put into practice just some of the things I shared last month has humbled me on several occasions. Yet, I still believe the principles are true, even if the ideals are high. It still seems worth pursuing a reasonable gentle, approach to educating, even if stumbling occurs and one has to get up and try again. And yes, I did stumble a few times and