Book Review: Parenting Beyond Belief

I picked up a couple of new books on the recommendation of people in the secular homeschooling groups I am a part of. The first is Parenting Beyond Belief which is a series of essays edited by Dale McGowan. The book is a parenting help guide for raising ethical and caring children without religion.

What is of the utmost importance is exposing children to critical thinking as opposed to mindless indoctrination. Most children are not fortunate in their early encounters with the church. Most are essentially brainwashed into religion almost as soon as they begin to speak. Many of them are taught to believe everything they learn about God. Questioning the existence of God is deemed not only inappropriate but downright sinful, even blasphemous. By the time many children reach adolescence, the religious conditioning is complete, and in many cases, irreversible.

-Norm R. Allen, Jr. (Thinking My Way to Adulthood)

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Arts and Crafts Storage

I’ve seen several people recommending craft boxes from Joann Fabrics for storing arts and craft supplies. People recommend waiting until you get a 40% off coupon and buy a bunch at once. Well, I am here to tell you I found boxes that cost only $4.97 retail at Walmart, and are just as good, if not better for half the money. I have a rather small local store so hopefully everyone with a regular Walmart should have no issues finding these.

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“Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. “

The importance of artistic beauty.

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Pullman Philip 2

Wise words from Philip Pullman, who received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2005:

Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. If you don’t give a child food, the damage quickly becomes visible. If you don’t let a child have fresh air and play, the damage is also visible, but not so quickly. If you don’t give a child love, the damage might not be seen for some years, but it’s permanent.

But if you don’t give a child art and stories and poems and music, the damage is not so easy to see. It’s there, though. Their bodies are healthy enough; they can run and jump and swim and eat hungrily and make lots of noise, as children have always done, but something is missing.

It’s true that some people grow up never encountering…

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Education Expedition Curriculum

I was recently given the opportunity, along with many others, to get a free month of pre-k curriculum from Education Expedition. We are a focus group to give feedback on the current curriculum to look for any issues and offer ideas for improvements. We got curriculum for the entire month of May. I am hoping to get a review written up at the end of the month, with possible weekly posts as well to document our experiences.

It seems fun and easy so far, but I will have to jump into it before I have any solid opinions. It includes videos you can access from their website, weekly lesson plans, a calendar of daily activities, a slew of support documents for use with the curriculum, and a supply list for the entire month. If you are interested in try this out they offer a free week of curriculum for download on their homepage.