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4/5/2012 10:15:07 AM
High School Consultants--HSLDA
Homeschooling High School: Parents--Too Busy to Read?

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4/5/2012 10:15:07 AM
High School Consultants--HSLDA
Homeschooling High School: Parents--Too Busy to Read?

Homeschooling Thru High School
HSLDA Homeschooling Thru High School Online

April 5, 2012

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Parents -- Too Busy to Read?

Dear Friends,

We've heard from many of you that spring is coming early this year. That likely means an increase in chores and projects to fill an already busy schedule. Do we dare recommend that parents take time to read? At the end of demanding days, it can be relaxing to spend a few minutes unwinding with a good book. It may put the mind to rest and allow you to fall asleep more easily. A previous newsletter, "The Pursuit and Pleasure of Reading", covered reading lists for teens, but we wanted to use this newsletter to provide reading suggestions for parents.

Reading for Pleasure

Looking back to our homeschooling days, we realize anew how important it is to plan regular times of refreshment for moms and dads outside of the daily routine. One way to accomplish this is through reading. Think of it as your time to play, time to increase your imagination and creativity, time to escape. Mason Cooley says, "Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are."

Becky Cooke
Becky
Cooke

Diane Kummer
Both of HSLDA’s high school consultants homeschooled their children from kindergarten through the 12th grade. Learn more >>

There are genres of literature to fit everyone's personalities and likes. Fiction can be chosen if your mind is weary and you don't want to reason out anything for a while. Biographies and autobiographies can expand your interest in others' lives and reveal how they surmounted difficulties or dealt with their pinnacles of success.

Maybe you are lonely or in need of encouragement. C. S. Lewis says that "...literature adds to and enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become." Are you feeling as if you are in the desert? On the HSLDA high school website, we have some recommended reading that will bring springs of water to irrigate your soul.

If you have opportunity, joining or forming a book club may add to the fun of reading. It'll be a place where you can enjoy bouncing off your insights while hearing from others. A book club can also be a place to make new friends or deepen existing relationships.

Reading for Continuing Education

For you Type A personalities, reading may need to be more than play! There are continuing education conferences and classes for many professions, so consider reading in this same vein. It will increase your vocabulary, fluency, and expression of ideas. It may also increase reading and comprehension skills. In addition, you can learn more about people, places, and concepts that are new to you.

You may be surprised when your reading encourages you to develop a new hobby. Sometimes from a simple illustration, an idea is born and a whole new world opens up to you. One of our grandmothers only had an 8th-grade education; yet, through self-education, she became an expert in antiques. It brought her much satisfaction and her family benefited from her collection.

Do you wish to learn more about a subject your teen is studying? Try Open Courseware or other free downloads, and audit a college course at your leisure. You may find that the information gleaned will help you converse with others on more topics.

Your reading will provide a model for your teens to follow. They often catch our actions before our words or suggestions! To further instill this habit, you can choose a night once a month when each member of your family (including you and even the little guys) can share a recap of the books read. On occasion, pick a theme (for example, a historical era or specific person) for the books being read or perhaps stipulate all of the selections to be sci-fi, poetry, or adventure novels. We hope this will result in your becoming a family of readers.

Reading for the Brain

Reading keeps our minds sharp and active. We're all interested in that, right? Brain food is necessary to stimulate our thinking, moods, and souls. As with the body's need for different kinds of food to remain healthy, so our brains need various types of books and resources to be well maintained. We've mentioned some of these above, but we believe one of the best sources of brain food is the Bible and inspirational literature.

Devotionals, books of reflections, and stories of missionaries will inspire you to keep on training and nurturing your lives and those of your families. Check out some selections from the HSLDA bookstore.

Memorizing has shown to improve cognitive function in our brains, so putting Scripture to memory will not only hide it in our hearts so that we won't sin against God, but will help sustain our memories. You might wish to invite a friend to be a partner in memorizing a passage, someone to recite to and who will provide accountability and encouragement. Maybe, though, you will challenge the whole family to memorize a chapter of the Bible and talk together about the meaning and application of the passage to your lives. There are a number of organizations to aid memorization, including the Bible Bee, which offers you memory cards and incentives for the whole family.

There's no time like the present to plan regular "dates" with a book. Find a comfortable, quiet spot and enjoy picking up a book and reading. Remember, though, that "it is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones." (C. S. Lewis in Athanasius on the Incarnation)

Next month we look forward to bringing you suggestions on what makes a strong college applicant.

Heading off to enjoy a book,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Consultants


"Homeschooling Thru Highschool" is a newsletter of the Home School Legal Defense Association. All rights reserved. For more information on Homeschooling Thru Highschool or the Home School Legal Defense Association please contact us at:

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