I finished reading five books in March: Greta Eskridge’ s Adventuring Together plus four others. Read on for my impression of each title (recorded in the order read):
The 5 Books I read in March
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
We listened to the audio version of Little House in the Big Woods on our way to and from Branson last month. I picked this book because it had been a while since we read the series and because we are planning to visit a few of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s homesites this year, beginning with the homes we saw while we were in Mansfield, MO.
But Little House in the Big Woods turned out to be an especially good choice for this trip, as my 85-year-old mother came with us, and we stopped at the end of each chapter to compare notes.
Like the author, my mom grew up in a different age: Her family heated well water on the stove for weekly baths, churned their own butter, baked their own bread, grew their own vegetables, slaughtered their own pigs, ate hogshead cheese, etc. It was so much fun hearing Mom’s recollections of her childhood, and Laura’s classics were just the thing to get her talking!
Range by David Epstein
I found Range both fascinating and inspiring.
Epstein paints a compelling case for widening rather than narrowing our focus in academic, athletic, and artistic pursuits as a way to cultivate innovation and breakthrough thinking. Reading this book made me especially thankful for homeschooling — an impression I shared with my husband, who had initially recommended the book to me. “That’s exactly what I thought when I read it!” he responded.
It’s not that one CAN’T learn to think broadly in a traditional classroom — Doug and I both attended public schools as children, earned specialized degrees in college and graduate/medical school, yet still managed to retain a healthy curiosity about a wide range of topics. It is just that our modern educational system favors benchmarked learning and early specialization, often at the expense of making interdisciplinary connections or pursuing tangential topics.
Each teacher piles on homework in a given subject, seldom pausing to point out how the material being presented in one course relates to anything the student is learning in other classes. Modern classrooms stress outcomes, grades, results. They have little time or patience for the kind of “mental meandering” and experimentation that — as this book compellingly argues — is so vital to creativity and innovation.
Because He Lives by Jennifer Flanders
Every spring, I pull out my little Easter journal, read through it again, and complete a few more pages. This has been my habit ever since I first published Because He Lives in 2019.
This devotional journal is packed with scripture, word studies, writing prompts, and gorgeous vintage artwork to color. It does a great job of focusing my heart and mind on the reason for this season, which is the unfathomable love and unmerited grace that compelled Jesus to conquer sin, death, and the grave on behalf of all who put their trust in Him (including ME🙋♀️)!
If you enjoy coloring, journaling, and/or reflecting on Christ’s love, you can find Because He Lives — along with all of my other devotional journals — on Amazon.
Adventuring Together by Greta Eskridge
As a mom who has dedicated the past 35 years to pursuing all kinds of adventures in learning with my children, I absolutely loved this sweet book and the broad range of ideas the author shares for adventuring together as a family.
She groups different kinds of adventures together by type. Outdoor adventures might include camping, hiking, nature trails, playgrounds, etc. Indoor adventures would include things such as visiting art or science museums or attending symphony concerts or ballets. The chapter on reading adventures encourages parents to share great books with their children, no matter what age, as kids never grow too old to be read to.
Adventuring Together is packed with ideas, suggestions, and reminders that will help make your family adventures more enjoyable and successful for everyone involved.
Take Back Your Time by Christy Wright
While I didn’t care for the book’s positive affirmations — “You are doing a good job!” (How could she possibly know that?) and “You are enough!” (Actually, I’m NOT enough, but Christ is, and that’s all that matters.) — I did thoroughly enjoy the rest of what Christy Wright had to say in this slim volume.
She offers lots of great tips for shifting your mindset and a step-by-step plan to help you find a sense of balance in how you spend your time.
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