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Intriguing Way To Choose Best Books For Children

Author : Mark Arens

Submitted : 2010-02-02 09:55:20    Word Count : 683    Popularity:   75

Tags:   best books for children, character, childrens story, integrity, parent and child bond, preschool childrens books, unconditional love

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A bookstore or library can be overwhelming when it comes to children's books. How do you decide which preschool childrens books to read to your children? I've found that I can spend hours trying to decide which books to buy or borrow for my three-year-old child.

To avoid piles of unread books and increase the depth of my child's learning, I've come up with a formula to choose the best books for children. It's easy and has just four components: a theme, knowledge, life skill and character.

Before I head to the library or bookstore, I think of a theme that I would like my child to learn about. Then I think of what knowledge is learned from the theme, what life skill can be drawn from it and a character trait that coincides.

I want my child to gain knowledge because it gives power and understanding. I want her to learn life skills so she can implement the knowledge and to develop positive character traits so she uses her knowledge and life skills in moral and ethical ways.

By choosing a theme and a book from each category (knowledge, life skills, character) within a theme, children are not overwhelmed by multiple topics, yet are learning on a variety of levels. And it makes choosing the best books for children a lot easier. Here's an example of how to follow the formula:

1. Theme
Adam and Eve is a great theme. At an early age, children want to know where they came from beyond "Mommy's tummy" and the story of Adam and Eve teaches children where we come from. It also includes knowledge, a life skill and a character trait.

2. Knowledge
The story of Adam and Eve is about knowledge; the knowledge of good and evil. It's about how we came to know the existence of evil and experience it firsthand. Adam and Eve were instructed that they could eat from any tree in the garden, except one. Then Satan convinced Eve to eat from the tree so she would be more like God.

"You will not surely die," the serpent [Satan] said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of [the tree] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4-5

Eve eats from the tree, shares the fruit with Adam and their eyes were opened to the world of good and evil. They suddenly became embarrassed and hid.

At an incredibly young age, children begin testing boundaries. They inherently know that some things are good and some are bad, and it is the parents' job to provide the boundaries for children to learn exactly what is good or evil.

My daughter knows the story of Adam and Eve well. The knowledge she gained from the story is that God created us and that Adam and Eve brought the knowledge of good and evil into our world by eating fruit from the forbidden tree. By reading books about Adam and Eve to my daughter, she gains knowledge of where we came from and how evil entered the world.

3. Life skill
I like to use the story of Adam and Eve to teach the life skill listening. Listen is a verb and is defined: to perceive by ear, usually attentively. I like to expand on the definition and ad to take what is said to heart and put it into action. It is one thing to hear someone's words, but when you apply what they say, it shows that you have truly listened.

In Genesis 3, Eve repeats what God told her, proving that she heard his words. She tells the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say "you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die" (Verse 2-3). Eve definitely heard what God told her, but she didn't apply them and thus did not truly listen.

When I ask my daughter to do or not do something, I like her to respond with "ok" or "yes" so I know she heard me. Occasionally, she acknowledges what I said but proceeds to do the opposite. This is when I ask her if she heard what I said, and she generally repeats the instructions I gave.

Choosing a book that teaches listening doesn't have to be specifically about Adam and Eve. But when read with the story of Adam and Eve, you can discuss how the couple heard God's words but did not truly listen because they did not put them into action. A book that teaches listening combined with the story of Adam and Eve teaches children that listening means putting words into action.

4. Character Trait
The third concept of my formula teaches a character trait. Since Adam and Eve is the theme, I chose the character trait obedience. Adam and Eve were not obedient to God and as a result they were punished by being exiled from the Garden of Eden.

"So the Lord banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken." Genesis 3:24

Children need to learn obedience to their parents and God, as guidelines are put in place for their benefit and protection. If they are disobedient, there are consequences. You can choose any book that teaches about obedience, then relate it back to how Adam and Eve were disobedient and the consequence of their action was to be exiled from the garden.

Choosing preschool childrens books using the formula theme, knowledge, life skill and character teaches a topic from several angles, allowing children to learn on a deeper level. It also makes choosing the best books for children easy.

Author's Resource Box

Mark Arens, owner of ThumbPeople, Inc. & author of Thumbuddy Books & products wants to share with you simple tools and ideas of how to empower your family to live a great life! visit ThumbPeople>>

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