Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reformation Day

Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther's nailing the 95 Theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany in 1517. This bold move started a global tidal wave that would become the Reformation.

To share this information with your children I recommend a book by Paul Maier titled Martin Luther. I really like Paul Maier's books. They explain history and concepts well to older elementary children and the illustrations of this book are beautiful and captivating. You and your child will understand Luther better after reading this book.

Here is some more information about Luther:

"In his preaching and writing, Luther began to emphasize two main points:
justification by faith and the priesthood of all believers.

Justification by faith means that Christians can never earn God's love or forgiveness. All that Christians must do is to accept [have faith in] God ...

The priesthood of all believers means that every Christian has his or her own personal relationship with God, reading the Bible and worshiping in his or her own language, and praying directly to God without anyone's going in between.

So Protestant Christians give thanks to God on this day for the
opportunity to lead lives of faith, instead of lives of fear."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Praiseworthy Book Review: Halloween Is It For Real?

There is quite a debate in some Christian circles about Halloween. I don't want to throw my hat in the ring for that, but I do want to share a fantastic book written from a Christian perspective about Halloween. It's called "Halloween Is It For Real?" It's written by Harold Myra, Chairman and CEO of Christianity Today International in addition to being an author.

Myra started writing a series of books for children based on the "...Are You For Real?" theme back in the seventies. I own several of them and my family really enjoys them. They give children the straight scoop on many "myths" of the holidays we celebrate and talks about how Christians should respond to these holidays.

In "Halloween Are You For Real?" a family talks about the holiday and the parents explain the early pagan origins of Halloween. It goes on to explain how the Church responded to this holiday by creating All Hallows Eve as a way for people to remember their family members and other Christians who have died in a godly way. The book suggests that Halloween can be spent celebrating the hope that those people had in Jesus Christ for their salvation from their sin. There is a discussion about fear and how as Christians we don't need to be afraid because of that relationship.

I highly recommend this book as a tool to teach your children about Halloween and how to see it in a godly light, not participating in evil practices but celebrating our faith. I think this book would be a good starting place for a discussion of salvation and also helpful for children who are scared of the dark. I found it very praiseworthy.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Learn Out Loud

I love audio books. We read a lot of books and I can't possibly do all the reading to my children. So I use audio books to give us some variety and me a rest. I have been a long time fan of Librivox but now I'm found something new, Learn Out Loud.

Learn Out Loud provides a list of classic downloadable audiobooks for sale, but they also have several free downloadable audiobooks. The have a wonderful collection of children's audio listed by age. I recently received an email from them with this information on those audio collections:

By far one of the largest collections of free literature to be released for free on MP3 download is the University of South Florida's Lit2Go collection, now available through iTunes U. This treasure trove of free downloadable audio books, poetry, and short stories is aimed at K-12 educators, but most of its resources can be enjoyed by literature listeners of all ages. We've compiled a comprehensive list of what they have to offer for each grade level:
Lit2Go: Audio Files for Kindergarteners:Features Robert Louis Stevenson poems for children, as well as classic nursery rhymes like "Jack and Jill", "Little Bo-Peep", "Hickory Dickory Dock", and "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep".
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 1st Graders:Features more classic poems and fairy tales including Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky", "Fire! Fire! Burn Stick!" from Aesop's Fables, "Humpty Dumpty", "Peter Piper", and "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 2nd Graders:Features "The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter, "The Hare and the Hedgehog" by The Brothers Grimm, more Robert Louis Stevenson poems, and an unabridged audio book called The Outdoor Girls in Florida by Laura Lee Hope.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 3rd Graders:Features a number of Aesop's Fables, "The Ugly Duckling" & "The Emperor's New Clothes" by Hans Christian Anderson, "How the Alphabet Was Made" by Rudyard Kipling, and the audio books Squinty, the Comical Pig by Richard Barnum, The Outdoor Chums on the Gulf; or, Rescuing the Lost Balloonists by Captain Quincy Allen, and Jack Tier, or the Florida Reef by James Fenimore Cooper.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 4th Graders:Features many more of Aesop's Fables, tales by Beatrix Potter, and the unabridged audio books The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Seven O'Clock Stories by Robert Gordon Anderson, The Tale of Tommy Fox by Arthur Scott Bailey, Whitefoot the Woodmouse by Thornton W. Burgess, and many of Andrew Lang's Fairy Books.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 5th Graders:Features "Sleeping Beauty" by The Brothers Grimm, even more of Aesop's Fables, tales by Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Brownie Beaver by Arthur Scott Bailey, The Go Ahead Boys and the Racing Motor-Boat by Ross Kay, Curly and Floppy Twistytail the Funny Piggie Boys by Howard R. Garis, The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat by Thornton W. Burgess, Half-Past Seven Stories by Robert Gordon Anderson, Beyond the City by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 6th Graders:Features dozens of short stories including many by Virginia Woolf and Rudyard Kipling. Also features the audio books The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, & The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Famous Stories Every Child Should Know, The Story of Siegfried by James Baldwin, The Light Princess by George MacDonald, The Open Boat by Stephen Crane, A Florida Sketch-Book by Bradford Torrey, Sylvie and Bruno & Sylvie and Bruno Concluded by Lewis Carroll, Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Philosophy and Fun of Algebra by Mary Everest Boole, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 7th Graders:Features Edgar Allan Poe's most famous short stories, as well as the audio books The Tin Woodman of Oz & Tik-Tok of Oz by L. Frank Baum, The Little Lame Prince by Maria Dinah Mulock Craik, The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 8th Graders:Features poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, short stories by Emily Bronte, more of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous short stories, and the audio books In the Wilds of Florida by W. H. G. Kingston, Logic: Deductive and Inductive by Carveth Read, M.A., The Number Concept: Its Origin and Development by Levi Leonard Conant, Ph. D., The Mystery of Edwin Drood & Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 9th Graders:Features "History" essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson, more poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and the audio books Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Wakulla, A Story of Adventure in Florida & Canoemates: A Story of the Florida Reef and Everglades by Kirk Munroe, Florida Trails by Winthrop Packard, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson, A Victorious Union by Oliver Optic, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Mystery of Cloomber by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, and The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 10th Graders:Features the audio books St. Augustine Under Three Flags: Tourist Guide and History, Symbolic Logic by Lewis Carroll, The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, The Professor by Charlotte Bronte, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 11th Graders:Features the audio books The Game of Logic by Lewis Carroll, The Scarlet Letter, The Blithedale Romance & The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Deductive Logic by George William Joseph Stock, M.A., Lettres Philosophiques by Francois-Marie Arouet, and Beowulf translated by Frances B. Grummere.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 12th Graders:Features the audio books Physics by Aristotle, Lectures on Ten British Mathematicians of the Nineteenth Century by Alexander MacFarlane, A Short Account of the History of Mathematics by W. W. Rouse Ball, History of Modern Mathematics by David Eugene Smith, Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott, The Flamingo Feather by Kirk Munroe, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, and Spherical Trigonometry by Isaac Todhunter.

I urge you to check out these files today. Listen to them from your computer or copy them onto cd's to listen to in your car or child's room. Very Praiseworthy!