DIY Homeschooler

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On Choosing Literature

Choosing literature for our children is a daunting task. There are many book lists and books about books available seeking to help us choose the good part. However, literature selection is a very personal venture. Each family has to determine for itself how it will answer the question: what literature is good for my family?

The best place to start when trying to determine what IS good literature is Scripture.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue and
if there is anything praiseworthy
— meditate on these things.

Philippians 4:8

In addition to prayerfully searching the Scriptures, listen to that still, small voice. There may be books on the list that our favorite homeschool “expert” regards as “must read” that our conscience delineates as off-limits for our family.

Sometimes, a particular book will be better received when our children are more mature and have a solid Scriptural foundation on which to build. Each child has a different level of sensitivity to certain subjects. Again, pray for guidance about choices for each child.

The printing-press puts into the hands of parents a means of good which they may use to the greatest advantage in the culture of their home-life and in the shaping of the lives of their household. But they must keep a most diligent watch over the pages that they introduce. They should know the character of every book and paper that comes within their doors, and should resolutely exclude everything that would defile. Then, while they exclude everything whose influence would be for evil, if they are wise they will bring into their home as much as possible of pure, elevating, and refining literature. Every beautiful thought that enters a child’s mind adds to the strength and loveliness of the character in after days. The educating influence of the best books and papers is incalculable, and no parent can afford to lose it in the training of his family.

Home-Making by J.R. Miller

You’ll find reading lists, books about books and other resources for developing your child’s imagination and wisdom on our living books page.


Additional Reading

“Making Friends of Books”
A chapter from Mable Hale’s Beautiful Girlhood.

If a girl will choose her books from those whose ideals are high and whose language is pure and clean, unconsciously she will mold her life like to those portrayed in the books she reads; but if her book friends are the giddy, impure, unchaste kind, you may be certain that the girl will become like them.

Questions are included that can help a young girl make a wise choice. (Read our full review of Beautiful Girlhood).

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