two books

Walking in Wonder…..I just finished re-reading this. I really enjoyed the fresh an positive perspective of this book. Written by an Orthodox woman, it impresses the importance of fostering a sense of wonder in children, helping them learn to serve others, cultivating a willingness to obey, as well as the ability to be still and listen. She suggests that these virtues will serve as tools in develping the ability to worship and to observe the Wonder of God and to see His hand in His creation and this life. The author is a mother as well as a Montessori teacher. She offers very practical applications at the end of each section…written with children under eight in mind. Definitely a good read.

The Last Child in the Woods…haven’t read it but I heard a blip on NPR about the author and the concept of the book. Basically the idea is that modern children spend little to no time playing in natural environments. It encourages outdoor play. With the onslaught of video games, television, and the cringing attitudes of parents toward the “dirtiness” of the outdoors children are missing out the opportunities children of previous generations took for granted. Building forts, digging in dirt, exploring, climbing trees, skinning knees, breaking bones, gathering sticks have been traded in for neatly polished activities which offer far less rewarding and lasting developmental benefits. The points seem obvious and I might not buy the book because I think I can pretty much surmise what he has to say, but it was inspiring to hear about…especially living in the borg (as James calls it) where exposing my kids to dirty, natural play does happen in the backyard, on hikes in the hills, etc. but is harder to come by and much less encouraged than in other areas of the world.

Lots to think about…

Hope you’re having a good Sunday!


13 thoughts on “two books

  1. Susan Sophia

    I have the first and the 2nd looks good. But like you said, you can guess the content.
    Also, none of your links work. On this post and previous posts. I think it’s just that when you copy and past into the link thing, there is already the “http://” and so it appears when I try the links there is a double “http://”.

  2. lauren s.

    Sara, have you seen the Dangerous Book for Boys yet? Jason and I flipped through it at Costco the other day. It’s great. It has all kinds of things that every boy should know, like, The Ten Commandments, how to hunt, skin, and cook a rabbit, books every boy should read, and many outdoor activities (some full of mischief) like making the best water balloons and sling shots. It’s kind of sad that these days, boys need a book to teach them how to be, well, boys. I think it’s great though, that it gets kids away from their video games and outside.

    Walking in Wonder looks good. I think I’ve almost ordered it a couple times now from Conciliar Press. Sounds familiar.

  3. jamesofthenorthwest

    Nothing is cooler than building tree forts and then defending them (not sure this would be what NPR or the book had/has in mind though ).

    Self-sufficiency skills can only be found in books these days…how sad, really if you think about it. Nobody talks to people who still have them and received them from their parents – such folk are sequestered and considered obsolete at worse, weird at best.

    They should have a “REAL” survivor reality show in which the vast majority of pansy folk would die of thirst/hunger after spending what time they had running and/or hiding. How many people in America have NEVER seen where their beef or chicken comes from? I’d like to know how many kids today actually KNOW the form their hamburger originally took…let alone what ALL was involved for it to end up on their bun.

    Kids LOVE dirt. Just in our thus far brief late-summer/winter “homesteading” our kids have really taken to the woods – many adventures I know have taken place and many more I likely know nothing about. Amazingly, while surrounded by 700+ acres of forest they can still fight over a stick (aka “sword”).

  4. Susan Sophia

    As James blogged about, we went to the Civil War re-enactment over the weekend.
    After coming home, the kids proceeded to play what they watched and learned. Kelsey used a saw to cut pieces of a downed sappling to just the right length for a tent, just like she saw in the Confederate camps. It was pretty impressive. The rest of them helped her put the canvas(tarp) up over a string with the trees holding up the ends.

  5. Linsey

    There is also The Field and Forest Handy Book, written by the guy who started the Boy Scouts of America, written 1905. And The American Girls Handy Book by the ladies who started the Girl Scouts. They keep true to the times when they were written. Found mine at Duluth Trading Co.
    Good read(s).

  6. papa herman

    Just this evening Andrew got dirt in his frozen desert, he was happy with just a quick wash-off of his treat with the hose.

    Not to forget that by playing in the dirt kids get to build up a natural resistance to various things –I prefer this method to the current overwash with antibacterial soap method.

    Thanks for the reminder about the value of being outside.

  7. Liz in Seattle

    Brendan (10.5) just got the Dangerous Book for Boys. Last I checked, he had done two activities and was sleeping with it under his pillow (for early morning reading).

  8. Susan Sophia

    I just bought “The Dangerous Book for Boys” at Costco last night! It looks VERY cool!!! Nicholas is going to love it, although Kelsey was reading it before she went to sleep last night and was excited about the instruction on how to build a treehouse.

    Also, put on hold at the library, “Last Child in the Woods” and my mom wrote me this morning, after she was on your blog, to tell me she heard part of a conversation on the radio about children and how they are attached to TV and electronics. She wrote the radio station to see if she could get a copy of the whole conversation and the newscaster himself wrote back and told her just to read “Last Child in the Woods”.

  9. sara

    I’ve seen The DBFB at costco too and seen it on a few homeschool blogs…sounds like a hit. We have an old 1920’s book that seems similar…although it does have instructions for things like a spring loaded doll called “Swinging darkie” not too PC.

    That’s got to be the greatest title ever (well, ok Kelsey may argue that it should be The Dangerous Book for Children but that doesn’t have the same effect…and chances are most girls wouldn’t be into it anyway)…if you want to get kids to read something, tell them it’s dangerous.

    It sounds like a hit. Maybe I’ll pick one up and stash it for later….or heck, get a little dangerous myself.

  10. sara

    Ok, so my husband corrected me…”swinging darkie” is far beyond neing not PC…it’s plain bigotry.

    Don’t want to be misunderstood there.

  11. Liz in Seattle

    Was that the “American Boys’ Handy Book?” I’ve seen it, but not read it. I have another homeschooling friend who swears by it.

    FWIW, we skip sections of the “Little House” books because of that same bigotry. Although now we might discuss it w/10.5 YO…hmmm…

    Ahh, what a fallen world we live in.


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