10 Picture Books that Teach Important Life Lessons

Today I’m guest posting at Simple Mom on one of my favorite topics–books.

From my post:

“Often as parents we get consumed by the details of our days–life speeds past while we try to catch up and just keep everyone fed, clothed, and healthy. Sometimes the rush of our busy routines leaves little time leftover to contemplate and discuss life’s important issues with our children.

When, exactly, are we supposed to find the time or the words to talk about meaningful topics like injustice, simplicity, death, or faithfulness?

Thankfully we can walk into any library and have abundant assistance to tackle life lessons with our little ones. All we have to do is open a book, enjoy it together, and let a natural discussion unfold.”

Read the rest over at Simple Mom!

Around the World ~ One Picture Book at a Time

Reading books about other places and cultures opens up a previously unknown world for children and adults alike.

Picture books have an added dimension:  a visual feast within their illustrations.

Sunny, colorful worlds. Quiet, dramatic worlds. Peaceful worlds. Chaotic worlds.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Giving Our Children the World, I want my children to be world travelers, even when we don’t have the ability to go far from home.

Travel is available to anyone with a library card.

The following is a list of beautiful picture books to help you get started on your journey.
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Five in a Row: Enlarge your Preschooler’s World with Books

I love the eagerness, innocence, and curiosity of preschoolers. They have so many questions about the world, and their genuine interest in finding out the answers make them ideal candidates as natural learners.

Add to this my own daughter’s precociousness and voracious interest in learning to read, and I knew I needed to add a bit more to our day than my own ideas to satisfy her thirst (and my sanity).

So this past “school year,” my daughter and I learned together via Five in a Row. As a four and five-year-old who loves to read, this was an ideal format for her to explore the world in a sort of big picture way, covering a wide variety of topics while still living a super flexible lifestyle.

Five in a Row isn’t just for preschoolers — it can be done through high school, in fact. But I found it an ideal curriculum and learning style for our family’s lifestyle and my child’s temperament.

Here are some of my favorite things about FIAR.

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7 Characteristics of a Charlotte Mason Education

If you’ve been homeschooling for long, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Charlotte Mason. Her educational principles, which she developed in 19th century England, offer much to homeschooling children and families alike.

But what exactly is a Charlotte Mason education? How can we know if it will work well for our family?
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Great Books for an Outdoors Education

Our family recently returned from our annual winter camping trip. Three wonderful days of backpacking, sleeping in a wood heated cabin, hiking to ocean lookouts, eating trail food, playing cards, sharing stories and many laughs. The woods and mountains, any time of year, are two of our family’s favorite places to be together.

Coming down from the natural high of that experience, and reflecting on the many other hikes we’ve had together, I believe strongly that an outdoors education isn’t about books at all.

It’s about actually being out there: tromping through the woods, climbing mountains, combing the seashore and exploring caves–discovering with your own senses the natural wonders of this world.

You can’t have firsthand nature experiences through reading alone, no matter how well written a book is. But you can support your outdoor studies with some good books in hand.

Here are a few to get you started:

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