Charlotte’s Web, Learning Through Literature Packet Giveaway

Who has joined our Summer Reading Party? How’s it going? Is your family reading, reading, reading this summer?

If you haven’t already, join us here! It’s free, there will be prizes all summer long, and there’s a big freebie packet for you just for signing up.

previewweb2

Also included in the freebie packet is my favorite part of all – a Summer Family Bible Reading Guide!

summer bible reading

Grab it all here and enjoy!

And now for this week’s giveaway…

One of our family’s favorite read-aloud books has been Charlotte’s Web. I loved this book when I was a little girl, and my boys have all loved it too. While ordinarily I’m not a huge fan of pigs or spiders, they are perfectly wonderful and lovable in Charlotte’s Web, right?

wilbur and charlotte

Last summer Malachi and I read the book and started creating learning activities to go with it as we went. We made fun foods, learned fun vocabulary words, made fun crafts, did some creative writing – truly reading Charlotte’s Web together offered so much more than just fun reading time!

Peek Into Charlottes Web

I turned it all into this fun Read~Learn~Create book, which you can grab here. Wait. Let’s make this better. Use the code SPIDER to get it for a big discount. Now everyone loves spiders. Ha! (That code will expire June 30.)

Charlotte's Web coversm

Today we’re going to give away two copies of this great family fun learning book! Sign up below for a chance to win!

Charlotte’s Web: Learning Through Literature

This downloadable book includes 43 pages of learning activities, games, crafts, recipes, and fun! Use this eBook to encourage creativity and learning while you read Charlotte’s Web with your family.

If you don’t already have Charlotte’s Web, you’ll need that to go with this activity book, of course! Grab it at your local library or get it here to add to your shelf.

Ready for the giveaway? Sign up in the Rafflecopter below. I’ll draw two random winners on Monday, June 26.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Big List of Great Book Suggestions (For All Ages!)

A few weeks ago during a soccer game, my friend asked, “What books do you suggest as good family read-alouds?”

Bless my friend, for she did not know what she was getting into when she asked this question so innocently. See, sometimes I answer questions with much animation, with many flailing hands, as if I’m hopped up on caffeine and cannot find my way to the ground. Talking about books produces such a reaction in me, even while huddled under a blanket at a soccer game.

I started giving suggestions of books our family has loved through the years. My friend started jotting notes. I got more and more excited. I kept thinking of more books. She kept jotting. I couldn’t stop, and the list grew longer and longer.

I guess this is the part where I confess that when we got home from this soccer game and Malachi asked, “Did you see me score that goal?!” I suddenly came down off my Farmer-BoyBox-Car-Children high and had to say, “Oohh sorry, Buddy. I was talking again. But remember when we read the Little Britches series?!”

#momoftheyear

Well, he’ll score other goals and I’m likely to see them. In my defense, I have four soccer-playing sons, so no one can expect me to re-live every goal scoring moment with them, can they? And besides, I’ve read a lot of great books to them all through the years, so I haven’t failed entirely.

My Big List of Great Book Suggestions for all ages

Books, Books, Books

Today, with the help of a friend, we have put together a most amazing list of book suggestions for you and your family. Whether your kids are babies or teenagers, we’ve got book ideas for you. Beyond that, we’ve got book suggestions for grown-ups because sometimes we all need to grab some iced tea and have some down time in the form of a delicious read.

So peruse this list. Look into these books that my friend and I love. Leave comments on this post to tell us which books YOU recommend so we can all check those out too!

While we love checking books out from the library, sometimes it’s great to own a wonderful shelf (or eight) full of books! So we’ve included the Amazon links to each of these for your convenience. Some of these are listed at great prices!

Infant/Toddler Book Suggestions

that's not my book

I Spy Board Books

Goodnight Moon

Runaway Bunny

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (and other books by Eric Carle)

That’s Not My…series from UsBorne (some of which are available on Amazon)

Sandra Boynton’s Greatest Hits

DK Touch and Feel Series

Pre-School Book Suggestions

lift a flap book

Mouse Paint

Bittle

Little Pink Pup

Richard Scarry Collection

Elephant & Piggie Collection

Knuffle Bunny Series

Lego City Book Set

Lift the Flap Bible Story Books from Reader’s Digest

Little Golden Book Collection

Early Elementary Book Suggestions

mr putney's quacking dog

There is overlap in the Pre-K and the Early Elementary list, so be sure to check both if you have kids in either of these age groups!

Kiss the Cow

The “I’m” Book Series by Kate and Jim McMullan

Mr. Putney’s Quacking Dog

Bad Case of Stripes

Uff Da!

Pinkalicious Storybook Series

Gigi Book Series

Little Bear Series

Frog and Toad Book Collection

Dr. Seuss Book Collection

Make Way for Ducklings

Madeline Book Collection

Curious George Book Collection

Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel

Click, Clack Moo Book Series

Henry and Mudge Book Series

Skippyjon Jones Book Collection

Amelia Bedelia Book Series

Fly Guy Book Series

Diary of a Worm Book Series

I Spy Books

Where’s Waldo Book Collection

Otis the Tractor Book Series

Daddy, Could I Have an Elephant

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Lego Beginning Readers

Later Elementary

boxcar children

Bill Peet Books

Magic Tree House Book Series

Magic School Bus Book Series

Box Car Children Book Series

Encyclopedia Brown Book Series

American Girl Book Series

Tales of Young Americans Book Series

“I Survived” Book Series

Sarah Plain and Tall Book Series

Chicken Squad Book Series

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Clyde Robert Bulla Books

Books by Andrew Clements

Middle School/High School

39 clues

Books by Cynthia Voigt

Mysterious Benedict Society Book Series

Penderwicks Book Series

Storm Runners Book Series

39 Clues Book Series

Secret Cipher Book Series

LOST (involves magic and wizardry)

Anne of Green Gables Book Series

Cooper Kids Book Series

Mandie Book Series

Grandma’s Attic Book Series

Great Family Read Aloud Book Suggestions

ralph moody

Any of the above books are great for reading aloud as well. In addition, I’ve found that if my kids have a hard time getting into a book or a series, I start out reading it to them and they take it from there!

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

Charlotte’s Web

All of a Kind Family Book Series

Little House of the Prairie Book Series

Little Britches (Ralph Moody) Book Series

Swiss Family Robinson

Chronicles of Narnia Book Series

Adult Fiction

sherlock holmes

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle’s Eye: The World’s Greatest Detective Tackles the Bible’s Ultimate Mysteries

My friend Kim’s review: What if Sherlock Holmes was called in to solve some of the mysteries of the Bible?  IN this book, he answers ten different questions from the Bible.  Even if I did not agree with his answers, I found the writing well done and, more importantly, I found myself searching the Scriptures to find evidence that supported or conflicted with his answers.

Forevermore by Cathy Marie Hake

Kim’s review: Even though this book is part of a series, you can jump right into this one without reading the others.  The main character in this book, Hope, will have you laughing and rolling your eyes at the nonsensical truisms she dispenses.  Heartwarming and kind, this book is a feel-good book.  (PS- The rest of the series is good, too, but this one is my favorite.)

The Cat Who Book Series by Lillian Jackson Braun

Amelia Peabody Book Series by Elizabeth Peters

Mrs. Pollifax Book Series by Dorothy Gilman

This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti

Kim’s review: This series challenged my thinking on the power of prayer and the unseen world of angels and demons.

Overton Window and Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck

The Illuminati by Larry Burkett

Restoration Book Series by Terri Blackstock

Kim’s review: What if something happened and suddenly there was no electricity, no running water, no cars, no cell phones (or landlines), no computers, no electronics of any kind?  What if banks shut down, the post office did not work and there was no more McDonalds or WalMart?  Big life changes for many…  Where would God be in all this?

Adult Non-Fiction

dave ramsey

Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson

Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson

Dare to Discipline by James Dobson

Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover (or take Financial Peace University)

Your Turn!

Leave comments letting us know what books you love and recommend!

Some of these links are my affiliate links.

 

We Love Books. Here Are Our Favorites.

We love books at our house and I’m betting you do too! Today, as I’ve done in the past, I am sharing some of our family’s favorite books that we’ve enjoyed through the years. Books make wonderful gifts and stocking stuffers!

Our Family’s Favorite Books

Boxcar Children Books
These books were some of my favorites when I was little. (You know I had my very own boxcar, right?) Our boys have all loved these too!

boxcar_children

Ralph Moody Books

We read through most of the books in this series (as a family) several years ago, and I’ve since read them all again twice. What I love most about these books is that they show how important it is to be a hard worker, how much fun it can be to work together as a family, and how if you put your mind to it – you can always find a way to provide. I am so inspired by these books, and my boys love the adventure aspect they include.

Books by Clyde Robert Bulla

These are the first chapter books our boys have read. I love that Clyde Robert Bulla keeps his vocabulary simple and easy to read – all while teaching history and making his books fun and intriguing.  When I pulled these books out for Malachi a few years ago, all three of his brothers said, “Oh, he gets to read those this year? Malachi, you will love them.”  I love hearing the boys talk together about books they’ve all read.

clyde_robert_bulla

Ramona the Pest Series

Ramona is a mess, but in many ways we can all relate to her. I read this series several times when I was younger. Our youngest is now working his way through this series for the second time.

ramona_2

Christian Heroes Books

I can’t say enough good about all of the Christian Heroes: Then and Now books by Janet and Geoff Benge. We’ve actually decided to use about 15 of these books this year to go along with our History/Geography studies with our boys. What better way to study the culture and history of a country than to learn about missionaries who worked there? These books are so well written and inspiring!

I cry at the end of every single one of these books. I can’t help it.

benge

 The Hiding Place 

This one is my favorite book of all time, written by Corrie Ten Boom. It is a beautiful story of grace and forgiveness and it’s one I need to read over and over.

the hiding place

A Quiet Strength

We listened to this book on CD a few years ago, and it is wonderful! This is a great book choice for men. But rest assured, women will likely love it too!

quiet_strength

What books are you and your kids reading these days?  Do you enjoy giving and receiving books for Christmas?

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.

Pssst!

Lilla Rose has a wonderful sale going on right now!

lilla-rose-dec

 

lilla-rose-dec-details

If I Love Homeschooling So Much, Why Do I Love Summer Break Better?

I am a homeschool mom and I have some confessions to make.

We just finished our school year, put away all the books and CDs, drop-kicked our science lessons, and had ice cream for breakfast to celebrate. (It’s a yearly tradition the boys don’t let me forget about for some reason.)

boys school shopping 2015

Oh look. Here are the boys at the beginning of this school year – 
so full of hopes and dreams and eager to do Algebra.
In other words, they were bummed that summer break was over.

Last week I made a face at all our reference books as I put them back on the shelf as if to say, “I don’t want to see you for a very long time. I’m sick of you. Gather dust you…you big huge book full of words.” (Do I know how to give out insults or do I know how to give out insults?)

I no longer care if any of the pencils in our house are sharpened. I don’t know where any notebooks are, nor am I concerned with how many blank pages remain in them. No one has to give me a report at lunchtime on how much school work they still need to finish up for the day. Instead of saying, “Whose turn is it to do math at the computer?” I will say, “You guys want me to pull the van out of the driveway so you can shoot hoops?”

These are some of the emotions I feel about our impending summer break:

end of school year 1 (1) end of school year 1 (2) end of school year 1 (3)

But really. I love homeschooling.

It certainly isn’t for everyone, but as for me, I love pretty much everything about homeschooling. It is the rocking-est thing that I get to spend this much time with my kids. We seriously get to do some of the coolest activities, go to the most amazing places, and get to know some of the most incredible people. I love the homeschooling life!!! I even love the actual learning part. 

But when we can put the books away and just be? Oh it is so nice and wonderful.

Also? I love summer better than all the seasons. You all know this about me. I love heat and sunshine and I am so over cold, cloudy winter weather. I’m ready to enjoy being outside, soak up Vitamin D, swim, grill, garden, oh and you know what else?

I’m excited to take my kids to the library.

See, this is where I start to sound silly. (Because the selfies. Those weren’t silly.)

I like going to the library more in the summertime than I do during the school year. When we go during the school year, we usually go with a purpose and we need to hurry back home to study and learn. But when we go to the library during the summer we browse the shelves, linger over “just for fun” books, take our time, and check out all the books that look remotely interesting. There’s just something about the library in the summertime.

So there you have it. This mom loves to homeschool. But I also love summer break so much that I am busting out in dance moves (selfies not included).

Whether you are a homeschool mom or a public/private school mom – what are some of your emotions about summer break? Leave a comment to describe, and by all means do feel free to send me an emotion selfie. (I’m serious. laura @ heavenlyhomemakers.com)

How I Plan To Keep My Kids Reading This Summer

All four of our boys enjoy reading. However, we often find that summertime lends itself to a more flexible or on-the-go schedule which sometimes makes us forget about important activities like reading books (and combing hair).

Last summer we tried offering a fun reading challenge that worked amazingly well. Why wouldn’t it? There were rewards involved.

How did it work? We kept it simple. For every five hours each child read, they received a reward. These were inexpensive and sometimes even free. But they are rare treats for our kids – so they picked up a book frequently.

Keep The Kids Reading This Summer

This summer, our three older boys will be gone more than they are home (mission trip, church camp, church camp, and church camp). During the few weeks they are home, they will be more than welcome to take part in this. However, it is our 10 year-old that is really diving in and taking the challenge. Summer Reading Challenge

I created a fun chart for Malachi – which he promptly put on the fridge. (Again, the other boys will take part too – they just don’t have enough weeks during the summer to warrant a chart.)

Here are some of the rewards we’re offering for 5 hours of reading time:

  • Pick a movie from Redbox.
  • Get an ice cream cone from Runza (89¢ – yes, I can handle that
  • Pick something from the dollar store
  • Go to Captain Red Beard’s with Mom (this is our local coffee shop)
  • Lego surprise ($4.00 mini-figure) You wouldn’t believe how much this motivates Malachi to get to the 5th week of reading 5 hours (25 hours total).
  • Choose a meal for Mom or Dad to make
  • Choose a dessert for Mom or Dad to make
  • Choose a board game (from our stash) for a family game night

If by chance Malachi reads more than five hours in a week, he will be allowed to move on to “the next week.” This chart is flexible because our summer is flexible.

I created two “open” charts for you to download, print, and fill in with rewards that will motivate your own kids if you like.

Summer Reading Challenge Printable Download and Print Summer Reading Challenge Printable 1

Summer Reading Challenge Printable 2

Download and Print Summer Reading Challenge Printable 2

Below is a chart without the “weeks” filled in so that you can make it work to meet your needs:

Summer Reading Challenge Blank 2

Download and Print Summer Reading Challenge Blank Printable

How do your kids do with reading in the summertime? Do they need extra motivation or do they naturally pick up a book and go for it?

Gratituesday: The Library

gratituesday[2]

Confessions:  I took a few years off from going on regular library visits with my kids. What kind of homeschool mom am I, anyway?

A busy one.  One who works from home and finds that when she’s not home, it’s very easy to get behind on work. (Imagine that.)  Something had to give, and committing to go to the library regularly was one of them.

Sad, I know. But we have full bookshelves in five different rooms in our house. Trust me – we are not without books. Purchasing books to have for easy school access became much easier than going to the library once a week to get what we needed for assignments. Books are a great investment, after all. I don’t mind spending money on good books that we’ll use over and over again.

So here we are, with our full bookshelves, saving a fair amount of time each week on the chore of finding our resources at the library. I’m grateful to check that off my list of jobs I need to do. But what about activities we want to do? Well now, that’s become a different story.

library books2

The past few months, the younger boys and I have started going to the library more frequently again. We go because we want to. We go because the boys are older now and have new and varied interests. We search the shelves, finding books that seem intriguing, and we go home with a big pile. I love that these books are used in addition to our school books. These books are “just for fun.”  (You know, because for some reason, we can’t call school “fun.”  Oh please.)

We’ve learned new recipes, become experts on volcanos, tried our hand at drawing comics, learned new card tricks – and by “we” I really mean “they.”  I love watching the boys take off with a book and come back full of new ideas and knowledge.

Today was a library day for us. Looking at all the amazing books available to us made me pretty excited. Yep, today I’m thankful for the library – one of the most basic perks of life there is.

And how about you? What are you thankful for this Gratituesday?

Gifts of Books For Christmas

I posted this list a couple of Christmases ago, but felt it was worth sharing again. I love books and love that my family loves books! Here are some of our favorites through the years:

Books for the Little (and big) Ones

Books for Early Readers

Great Chapter Books for Kids

 

 

Great Cookbooks

Other Books We Love:

benge

What are your favorite books? Do you enjoy giving/receiving books for Christmas?

This post contains affiliate links.

2012-2013 Book Lists, Writing Lists, and a Little Bit of Pink (at my house?!)

You would think that “Writing” would be on the top of my list of subjects to teach my kids each year, since I absolutely love to write. It seems though, that except for some journaling and small projects here and there, Writing seems to always get pushed to the bottom of our list, trumped by Reading, Math, History, Science, and the like.

This year though:  I have a writing plan for the boys, and we will be sticking to it!

First, let me share the boys’ Reading Lists with you, such as they are right now. I plan to adapt these through the year and hopefully add to them in January. Seeing their Reading Lists will help make their Writing Assignment List make more sense. I think. At least it makes sense in my head.

Here is our partially filled book shelf. Not all of the books have been filed yet.
I’m still working on it.
  But doesn’t it look clean and organized?  :)

I typically go off of Sonlight Curriculum’s book list for our Reading, History, and Science. Their lists are wonderful, huge, and thorough, so I have found that I need to pare each list down to make Reading/History more attainable for my family.  In addition, for Asa, Matt and I hand selected some books we’ve been wanting him to read that will help shape his character and give us an opportunity to discuss topics with him that we feel are important. With each list, some of the books will be read with a parent, and some will be read independently. I didn’t type out our family “Read Aloud” book list because I’m still working on it.

Asa (Grade 10) – Studying 20th Century World History

Justus (Grade 7)  and Elias (Grade 5)

Malachi (Grade 2)

Malachi is not yet a fluent reader, but is making great strides!  We have not pushed him, and at his own pace, reading is finally start to click.  He has loved the Frog and Toad Books we started having him read this summer, so I feel that he will soon take off and plow through that list. Not to worry, I have many more books ready to add to his list once this happens. :)

I plan to read The Story of the World (Ancient Times, The Middle Ages, and Early Modern Times) to Justus, Elias, and Malachi as we study World History this year. Even though the boys are all at different grade levels, I have found that it works very well for me to study the same History subject matter with them altogether. Each of them catches and learns what they are capable of for their age. It works beautifully.

In addition, the three younger boys will be studying science together, focusing at least first semester on a Human Body unit – all books from Sonlight.

Of course, our entire family will be reading the Bible and some devotional/study books together at breakfast time each day. Asa and Justus will continue to learn Spanish from the incredible Rosetta Stone CDs. Malachi will use Miquon math books, while the other three use Teaching Textbooks at their grade level (5th, 7th, and Algebra 2). We’ll go through grammar books, phonics books, spelling, handwriting, and vocabulary books as is needed and grade level appropriate. And I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but that’s okay. As long as they are learning how to learn, we’re good to go, right?

Now…for writing. Here  are the plans I’ve made for each boy. I will assign deadlines for each project.

Asa:

  • Write one 3-5 page paper about what you loved about your summer, what you feel God taught you, and how you feel you grew.
  • Write one 3-5 page research paper about a subject chosen from something you’re studying in Science.
  • Write one 3-5 page research paper about a major event you’re studying in History.
  • Write one 3-5 page research paper about a person you’re studying in History.
  • Write one fiction story, following the guidelines for LTC.
  • Write one poem, following the guidelines for LTC.
  • Write one (or more) devotional, which you will present at church when the opportunity arises.
  • Write two book reviews, choosing from the first four books on your reading list. Agree? Disagree? Personal thoughts and goals?
  • Write letters and emails of encouragement as the need arises.

Justus and Elias:

  • Write a one page research paper about something you’re studying in History.
  • Write a one page research paper about something you’re studying in Science.
  • Write one poem, following the guidelines for LTC.
  • Write one fiction story, following the guidelines for LTC.
  • Write one song, following the guidelines for LTC.
  • Write dictation sentences on Mondays and Wednesdays to practice and learn good sentence structure.
  • Journal each Monday, one full page, highlighting events from the previous week.
  • Write and send cards of encouragement as the need arises, about one each week.

Malachi:

  • Journal twice each week, and illustrate.
  • Write dictation sentences on Mondays and Wednesdays to practice and learn good sentence structure.
  • Create and write fun/silly sentences with Mom, then illustrate.
  • Make cards and write notes of encouragement, at least one each week.

This is a very long post, so if you’ve stuck with me this long, you now get to see the pink I was referring to in my post title. When we purchased school supplies for the boys earlier this week, on Malachi’s list was “card making supplies” to go with his writing assignment of making and writing notes to people. (Justus and Elias got to pick out ready made notecards instead.)  I already had card-stock, and I let Malachi pick which colors he would like in his “card making kit box”. He chose green and blue, of course. But then he also chose pink “for the grandmas and aunts and ladies at church”. How sweet is he? He also chose some cupcake stickers, deciding that he may need to make treats to take people that he made cards for. I love this idea, and think it is a perfect service idea to  follow up on our Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve Curriculum that we’ve done the past few years.

Phew, so there you go. Hope you survived this post which was about twice as many words as I typically write in one post. I’ll try to make up for it on the next one by writing very little. No promises.  Apparently I have lots to share as we prepare for school next week! ;)

Whether you home school or not, I’d love to hear:  Are you starting school soon? Are you ready?! :)

Gratituesday: Wrapping It Up

Every year is my favorite school year. This year was no exception.

I love home schooling my kids. I love all the time we get to spend together every day. I love reading piles of incredible books with them. I love having a flexible schedule. I love learning beside them. Seriously, did you know that we have 60,000 miles of blood vessels in our bodies? That’s enough to go around the entire earth almost three times! Yes, I learned that today. I am getting so smart. (It is an added benefit to home schooling that the kids are getting smarter as well.)  ;)

We’ll be continuing to read all summer, but we do usually take a break from “regular school work” for a couple of months. This week, we’re wrapping up our last few math lessons and finishing the final chapters of a few books…

And then? Well, it would appear that we started a new tradition last year on our final “official” school day:  Ice Cream Cones for Breakfast.

And not the healthy, homemade ice cream either. I know. I don’t know how that even came about. But apparently I did it last year, so that’s all the boys have been talking about for the past few days. Hey, why not? We can have broccoli for lunch that day.

I am so thankful for the gift of another great school year with my kids. And…I am amazed at a God who could arrange 60,000 miles worth of blood vessels in my body with such perfection. What an amazing Creator!

Share how God is working in your life on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for! Please read through the Gratituesday Guidelines so that you understand what kinds of posts you can link up to share here. Posts that are linked but do not fit our Gratituesday theme will be deleted.

If you are linking up a blog post for Gratituesday,
please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Read Together

~Appreciate Your Spouse~Buoyancy in Marriage~Consult Your Partner~
~Dream Together Part One ~Dream Together Part Two~Empower Your Spouse~
~Have Fun With Your Spouse~Give to One Another~Honor Each Other~
~Be Intentional~Jubilee~Kingdom Focused~Listen~~Mentor Relationships~
~Nourish~Own It~Pray With Each Other~Quick to Listen~

Read Together

Being on the Same Page – Matt’s Thoughts

Variety in marriage is fun. So, when it comes to reading together, mix it up, taking into consideration what would be good for the two of you.  Laura and I have never gone wrong by reading books, articles, posts or other material that is written to help marriages. Even if it is not insightful for our context, at the very least we are side by side trying to align ourselves with each other. We have read from the Bible and discussed it and we have read material that is just plain fun…like a joke book. We don’t read together every night, but we talk about what each of us is reading separately. I urge you to read at least one book together every year that is specifically for marriage relationships written by an author(s) who has a Christian worldview. Whether you borrow it from your local library, church library, or a friend, or whether you purchase it so that you can own it and reference it, the key word here is TOGETHER. If only one of you reads the book, then you’re not on the same page…pun intended. Make it happen TOGETHER.

If you are like us, we have good ideas like reading a book together and then we blink and 2011 is almost history. This “good idea” of reading together probably won’t take place unless you agree on the book and schedule it TOGETHER. Of course life happens and schedules need to be rearranged on occasion, but our experience has been that the time together and discussion that follows connects the two of us.

Yes, it needs to be intentional, but beware of the checklist mentality and the critiquing spirit – as in critiquing the author.  Speaking from experience, I have needed to choose to have the right attitude when it is reading time. I remember one particular couple’s devotional book that I was counting down the pages ’til it was complete. It just wasn’t doing anything for me. The reason it wasn’t doing anything for me was because of my attitude. Once I stopped the countdown and ceased being critical of the writer’s style, then the discussion about its relativity to my marriage improved.

A suggestion if you are having trouble deciding: Visit with other couples who have healthy marriages and see what they would recommend reading and ask them why they would recommend it.

Yeah, What Matt Said – Laura’s Thoughts

I think Matt said all of this wonderfully. The only thing I’d like to add is this:  For those of you who don’t enjoy reading, try books on CD. (I almost said “books on tape”, which like totally tells you that we grew up in the 80’s and that I used to have big hair.)  You may not love every book or concept you read together, but be sure to ask yourself if you don’t love it because it’s difficult to hear. Sometimes the truth hurts. Allow God to stretch you and challenge you with books that enrich your marriage.

Books That Have Benefitted Us or Other Couples (alphabetical order):

Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl
His Needs Her Needs by Willard F. Harley Jr.
Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat MD and Gaye Wheat
Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It by Jerry B. Jenkins
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray
Night Light by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before (and After) You Marry by Les & Leslie Parrot  (This is what we are currently reading and it’s good for us even after 17 years of marriage)
The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman

What have you and your spouse read together that you would recommend?

 

Ladies, we know you’re reading here more often than the guys. ;)  We’d love husbands to read this article as well. If you feel so inclined please send the link to your husbands, or if it’s easier, we’ve created a downloadable article for you to quickly print off and share.   Healthy Marriage Tips A to Z – Read Together