I love books – I’ve taught my children to love books.  I have come to understand that the most gentle, most family friendly, and often the most inspiring way to learn is through reading books.  But there is a glitch.  The reading of books isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!  The reading of a book alone won’t educate you, or your children.

If you want to learn from books you need to consider:

  1. The type of book you read – though I love historical fiction it has its limits.  Biographies on the other hand, especially autobiographies or first hand accounts (diaries/journals) etc will take our learning further.   Are we choosing the best books for our children (or are we settling for good books).
  2. The questions you ask – asking questions helps you connect the dots, helps you connect what you are reading now, with knowledge already collected.  Knowledge seems to grow exponentially when it is connected to other pieces of knowledge.
  3. What you do with it – whether we talk about it or write about it or are inspired to create something from our learning doesn’t really matter – but what does matter is that we take the knowledge and do something with it.  This will take it from our short term memory and move it towards our long term memory (of course this varies with each person and each piece of information but the idea is there!)  When we do something with what we learn it becomes more a part of us and our knowledge than if we just read it, agree with it and move on.

I like this quote:

Reading maketh a full man,

conference a ready man,
and writing an exact man.
~ Francis Bacon

My interpretation as I’ve talked about it to my kids is:

  • Reading gives us knowledge
  • Talking about it makes that knowledge ours, and we will be able to recall it in order to talk about it to others or use it in other situations.
  • Writing about it though helps us choose the exact words to express ourselves well, so when we do need to talk about it we won’t waffle.

If we can talk about ideas and principles, people and the world, with clear, concise and to the point words – we have the opportunity to create change in our world.

Be Intentional

 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

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