16 August, 2006

The Power of Story

On The Value of Stories

As homeschoolers (especially newer homeschoolers) ask about the different character building "curriculae" available to us, I want to pose this thought to consider.

Don't underestimate the power of the stories, poems, books, biographies, missionary bios that you will probably be reading aloud to your children this year. They are just the best at illustrating and reinforcing the traits that you will be reading in Proverbs, without any extra teaching needed. This is just another way the Holy Spirit can prompt our children's (and our own!) hearts. We note how Jesus used stories to teach and illustrate his messages.

As teacher, Christian author, and homeschool dad Terry Glaspey writes in his book Children of a Greater God on awakening moral imagination in our children:

"For some of us, the idea that stories could help us develop our moral values is a foreign one. Many of us have 'learned' moral values by memorizing lists of moral directives. How could stories move us to moral action or change our moral perspective? This is possible because stories can reflect real life more than abstract teaching can."

The imagination is profoundly connected to the "will." In stories, we (and our children) get to see what doing the right thing looks like within the context of a real-life (or types of) scenarios. By the same token, we see what making the wrong choices looks like, and what the consequences are (both natural and imposed) when the characters choose to do the wrong things.


Carol G said...

That is a good thought. My kids learn lots of good character stuff from the books they read. Duh! I guess I can stop trying to pull in one more subject to our already tight schedules!

Mama Squirrel said...

I love Glaspey's book too!