Between gender wars, deviant sexual education, declining academic achievement, and plain old safety issues, today’s schools have turned into landmines for parents and students.
But while parents are increasingly seeing the problems their children are facing in school, it’s also hard to know how best to deal with them. Parents can take their children out of public schools … but private school or homeschool isn’t always an option. Parents can try to stay in touch with school administration and teachers, making sure to opt their child out of something they believe is inappropriate … but such moves aren’t always viewed kindly by school staff. Parents can try to run for school board and change the curriculum … but that often means taking a lot of slings and arrows that they may just not have the bandwidth to handle.
So what can average American parents do to fill their children’s minds with truth in an attempt to counteract the barrage of propaganda?
One simple thing: read aloud to and with them, early and often.
Sarah Mackenzie, author of The Read-Aloud Family, explains why this works so well:
When our kids read aloud, we give our kids practice living as heroes. Practice dealing with life-and-death situations, practice living with virtue, practice failing at virtue. As the characters in our favorite books struggle through hardship, we struggle with them. We consider whether we would be as brave, as bold, as fully human as our favorite heroes. And then we grasp—on a deeper, more meaningful level—the story we are living ourselves as well as the kind of character we will become as that story unfolds.
Unfortunately, in an age where our public libraries are also filled with questionable literature, it can be hard to figure out where to start in this reading quest. If you find your family in this situation, check out the following titles below, gleaned from Memoria Press’s book lists for boys and girls. Then start setting aside a nightly reading time—a half hour or so before bed—to gather as a family and ingest truths via humorous and heartwarming stories.
- Betsy-Tacy series, by Maud Hart Lovelace
- Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White
- Little House on the Prairie series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink
- A Little Princess, by Francis Hodgson Burnett
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson
- The Railway Children, by E. Nesbit
- Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O’Brien
- The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom
- Rikki Tikki Tavi, by Rudyard Kipling
- Homer Price, by Robert McCloskey
- Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls
- Rufus M, by Eleanor Estes
- Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Robin Hood, by Roger Lancelyn Green
- The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare
- Little Britches, by Ralph Moody
- Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Carry on Mr. Bowditch, by Jean Lee Latham
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