Monday, April 27, 2009

Recently Read

My reading pace has slowed somewhat for various reasons. I'm not able to stay awake very long after the kids are in bed to read like I'm used to. I also have been scouring homeschooling catalogs and websites for a math program for our son. In addition, I have been working at keeping the house tidy so the workload does not get out of control. Mountains of laundry and disorganized shelves and closets really drag me down. Maintaining order means constant vigilance on my part.

But here are the few titles I have managed to work my way through in recent weeks.

I think the The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards was on the bestseller list around the time our daughter with Down Syndrome was born. One of the hospital pediatricians recommended the book to me when she came to my room discuss the nature of Down Syndrome children. That was 16 months ago. I found the book second-hand somewhere months ago and let it sit on my shelf. I wasn't exactly afraid to read it but I was concerned that the Down Syndrome girl may be abused in the book and I didn't think I could really handle that.(My sensitivities to child abuse, abortion stories, etc have become very heightened since becoming a mother almost six years ago.)
But thankfully the story includes none of this and I could read it quite easily. I enjoyed the book in the sense that I was intrigued by the progress of the story and curious to see how it would end. However, I have to admit that I found it a bit depressing in the end. Not due to anything that happens to the girl, just the relationship wreckage that follows poor choices and sinful acts.

This weekend I read R.C. Sproul Jr.'s When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling. In it he advocates that the clear teaching of Deuteronomy 6:1-9 is that parents are the ones that God has given the responsibility to teach and train their children and this can only be accomplished through being at home with them, aka homeschooling. Placing your children under the authority of public school teachers and administrators is directly opposed to the Word of God. And he sees Christian schools as simply attempting to reform public school failings but not going far enough. He answers objections that people offer to him and others as to why they do not homeschool or why they did but stopped. He also deals with answering Christians who want their children in public schools to share the gospel with teachers and classmates. (I posted a lengthy quote here.)
The book is fairly short at just under 150 pages but he seems to cover quite a bit in a short amount of space. We made the decision to homeschool almost two years ago and have not had any reason to change our plans. Even after reading this book, I'm not sure how I feel about Christian schools even though I am a product of one(attending K-12). Through my interaction with the other kids away from the supervision of my parents, I learned a lot of things that were not beneficial to my spiritual growth. So with those experiences in my mind, I am more likely to desire our children home with us as they learn and grow.

Another topic I've reading up on is vegetable gardening. I have been reading Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening by Louise Riotte as well as her other book, Astrological Gardening: The Ancient Wisdom of Successful Planting & Harvesting by the Stars. I found a wealth of information in both books and will refer to them as I begin to purchase plants and plant our garden. The second book, Astrological Gardening may sound a little dubious to some but the science behind the effect of the moon and the zodiac signs on the ground and earth is amazing to consider. Most of us upon hearing the term "zodiac signs" instantly think of horoscopes and fortune-telling. The fact that this information has been used in this unbiblical manner does not negate the benefits of using the moon's calendar to garden or farm successfully. I have to get a 2009 lunar calendar but would like to try my own experimentation in our garden and see for ourselves what the science shows.

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