Quotes I Like*
Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open.
*Your mileage may vary. Some quotes are puns, or require historical or technical literacy to appreciate. If you miss the humor, please re-read the Internet and then try again.
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Table of ContentsMore Sources for Science
Books to Read to Kids
More Sources for Science
Finding good science-based Bible lessons is a challenge - if it wasn't, I wouldn't have created my own! Even so, I have successfully used three commercial collections which I can recommend.
Science and the Bible (by Donald B. DeYoung) contains 30 lessons per volume, with clear explanations of the science and relevant Bible-backed applications. About half are appropriate for large group settings. A second table of contents listing the science demonstration, the Biblical principle, and the scripture reference is very useful.
Object Lessons from Science Experiments (by Richard F. Gebhardt and Mark Armstrong) also contains 30 lessons, although some are too similar to Science and the Bible to be used with the same group of kids. Most are adaptable to large groups, aided by explicit audio-visual suggestions.
If you have a healthy budget, you might try Sermons in Chemistry Pastor's Unit (by Rev. Allan Berg). More cookbook in nature (and with little science explanation to back up the experiments), the effects are still impressive. Although almost everything is provided for the experiments, the accompanying manual is rather uneven and may require more time preparing the Biblical portion of the lesson that competing resources. However, if you are theologically sound but scientifically naive, start here.
Books to Read to Kids
I have always read to my children each evening. These books and book series have been favorites of both the adults and kids in our household.
First Little Golden Books were consistent winners when my kids were little. My favorite three were The Truck That Drove All Night (by Lynn Offerman), Katie the Kitten (by Kathryn and Byron Jackson), and Dog Goes to Nursery School (by Lucille Hammond). The "Dog Books" are actually a series, and we read (and re-read) many of them. You won't be disappointed.
My youngest daughter was fascinated by a doll named Amelia Jane in the books Naughty Amelia Jane and Amelia Jane Again (both by Enid Blyton). Two other books seem to exist only in Great Britain (and are on back order, drat it all): Amelia Jane is Naughty Again and Amelia Jane Gets Into Trouble Again. At least one other book is listed on an Amelia Jane cover, "More About Amelia Jane", but I haven't found it yet. Yet.
Of course, I never found a Dr. Suess book I didn't love, but be careful of the "Dr. Suess series" books not written by the good doctor himself. Some are just commercial pablum. *Sigh*
The Chronicles of Narnia (by C. S. Lewis) is a true classic of Christian literature, but don't let that scare you off! The stories in this 7 book series follow several groups of children as they encounter the world of Narnia, a world of fantasy and magic in which the great themes of the Bible (such as salvation, creation and God's absolute faithfulness) are explored. If you don't fall in love with Aslan, your heart is made of tin. While listed as for ages 9-12, my 7 year old first-grader (at the time) was spell-bound, and I confess at thirty-something I enjoyed them just as much. Recommended.
Each book in the adult Left Behind series (by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim F. LaHaye) was a best seller in its time, and my wife and I have read each of them as it became available. The kid's version follows teenagers who are related to (and interact with) characters from the adult series, as they struggle to survive during the Tribulation. The characters are engaging, the challenges inspiring, and the message right on target. Now our whole family waits impatiently for the next book in both series to be released!
I have to confess that I'm a huge fan of the Little Golden Books, particularly the early ones (before the Disney influence homogenized them to death). I have a collection of over 200 that I have picked up from garage sales, flee markets, and one 49 cent fire sale at Target. My all-time favorite children's book is in this series: Home for a Bunny (by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Garth Williams). Other favorites include Timothy Tiger's Terrible Toothache (by Jan Wahl), The Snoring Monster (by David L. Harrison), The Cat that Climbed the Christmas Tree (by Susanne Santoro Whayne), and Bettina the Ballerina (by Mary Alexandra Nelson).
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (by Roald Dahl) is a wonderful and entertaining book. The movie version (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) is also one of my favorite movies of all time. However, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (the sequel to the book) did not live up to the quality of the original. Drats.
We have also read with pleasure the "traditional" series of Encyclopedia Brown, Boxcar Children, and Baby-Sitters Club (with Little Sisters). I enjoyed the Hardy Boys series when I was young, but the new books somehow lost Franklin W. Dixon's clean plotting by shooting for sophistication.
My (then) 14 year old had no problem following the adult Left Behind series (by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim F. LaHaye), as they don't have quite the intellectual depth of (say) C. S. Lewis.
Since Encyclopedia Brown has been so popular around the house, we also read Five Minute Mysteries (by Ken Weber) and its sequels. Most were clever (we solved a few), a few we considered somewhat unfair to the reader.
If you are fortunate enough to read to an older teenager, I would highly recommend John Grisham's The Testament. While you will have to "read around" a few unacceptable words, it is encouraging to see a #1 ranked novel in America so clearly present the plan of salvation and its effects on the main character (who is truly a modern American!). Besides, I think my daughter rather enjoys my on-the-fly "translation" of unacceptable words into something more appropriate.