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Our next item in the small and simple things series is " one book read aloud" - we have been taught to read of good books. My family loves to read! We trip over all the books at our house! We love yard sales and thrift stores and amazon and used book sales. We also love our local library. One of our favorite things to do is read aloud as a family. When the kids were much younger, baby up until probably five years old, I would put them to bed and then sit in the hallway- right in between their bedrooms- and I would read to them. I told them to close their eyes and imagine what was happening in the story. This really helped them to fall asleep quickly and it was fun for mommy because I got to sit down! Even if it was on the hard wood floor of the hallway! I didn't mind at all. :) I read classics to them. Peter Pan, Black Beauty, Treasure Island. Soon they got older and wanted stories like Junie B Jones and my favorite book series of all time- Ramona Quimby!
As they got older, we started doing reading aloud during school time ( I homeschool the kids ) and we read books like Little House on the Prairie series etc. Church books. Educational books. Poetry. For awhile we read to the kids while they ate breakfast at the table and ate lunch and dinner at the table. It really helped them to learn to sit nicely at the table and use their manners. They loved to hear the stories as they ate. We don't do that anymore, because we try to focus on conversation and really hearing what our kids have to say during meals now. Sometimes we read Scriptures during meals.
How do you decide what a good book is ?? This is a big question! I don't know the perfect answer, but I found a neat list of 100 books that are mentioned or quoted in General Conference.. I think that is a fun place to start! Here is the LINK .
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So why should we read from good books ? Here is a quote from Brigham Young :
President Brigham Young offered some advice to his own children that could also be applied to situations you may face today. He encouraged his children to study music and dance, to attend the theater, and to read novels—things that, he said, “expand their frames, add fire to their spirits, and improve their minds” (quoted in “Q&A,” New Era, Sept. 1993, 17).
Here is what the Scriptures have to say about reading good books :
“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”
Another good quote :
We live in a world where knowledge is developing at an ever-accelerating rate. Drink deeply from this ever-springing well of wisdom and human experience. If you should stop now, you will only stunt your intellectual and spiritual growth. Keep everlastingly at it. Read. Read. Read. Read the word of God in sacred books of scripture. Read from the great literature of the ages. Read what is being said in our day and time and what will be said in the future.
Gordon B. Hinckley BYU address
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So, basically, a small and simple thing we can do for our family is to pick up a book! Read to your kids! Read to yourself! Never stop learning, enjoy reading good books to your family! It's fun and is definitely a small and simple thing we can do.
Happy Parenting ! Love, JL~