Thursday, August 15, 2013

Some of the best things I read are from children's books...

One of the things I want most for my boys is for them to have a passion for reading.  Duke can read for hours on his own, but he still loves to listen to me read out loud to Imp. There is nothing like having two warm, snuggly bodies cuddled up with you while reading out loud those enduring children books from your own childhood.

We just finished Old Yeller and I had to quote my favorite passage.  Spoilers!  This is toward the end of the book when Travis's father is trying to comfort his son after he had to shoot his beloved dog, Old Yeller.

"Now the thing to do," he (Travis's father) went on, "is to try to forget it and go on being a man."

"How?" I asked.  "How can you forget a thing like that?"

He studied me for a moment, then shook his head.  "I guess I don't quite mean that," he said.  "It's not a thing you can forget.  What I mean is, things like that happen.  They may seem mighty cruel and unfair, but that's how life is a part of the time."

"But that isn't the only way life is.  A part of the time, it's mighty good.  And a man can't afford to waste all of the good part, worrying about the bad parts.  That makes it all bad.... You understand?"

Old Yeller, by Frank Gibson

Wow, did that hit home.  What incredibly wise words reminding me to live in the present and not spend time worrying about the past.

Today we were reading The Wind in the Willows (I am going to buy this copy, it is unabridged and has great illustrations), and I thought Rat was expressing perfectly our creative homeschooling life when he was speaking to Mole in the first chapter.  Mole had just seen a river for the first time in his life, and was excited about going out in a boat and asked if rivers and boating were "nice".

"Nice? It's the only thing", said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke.  "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half as much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.  Simply messing... - about in boats - or with boats...  In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter.  Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it.  Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."

The Wind in the Willows, By Kenneth Grahame

Yes, that passage made complete sense to me and I had another "ah ha!" moment about our homeschooling adventures this year.  We are doing exactly what we should be doing at this time, and that makes us happy!

If you have a favorite quote from a classic children's book, please link it in my comments! I love to read every comment posted here, so thank you so much for taking the time to post.

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  1. Hi,
    Me again, the one who homeschooled all three boys, the last just graduated. For chrismas each year I give/gave my boys a book as one of their gifts. Usually hard bound with excellent illustrations. Sometimes as they got older I would still give them a classic they love as a child so they could pass it on. At various points all three have received the the Wind in the Willows. Our favorite chapter is the Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Nothing compares. To this day my oldest and youngest still expect a book for Christmas. Read on and enjoy!

  2. Oh, it's been so long since I've read either of those books but the excerpt from Ol' Yeller really is worthy of note. Loved this post -- thank you.

  3. Hi! WOnderful blog. I also love reading, but I haven't read much in my childhood. So the title's you've mentioned are new to me, but based on this write-up, I might look for copies of the children's book and read them! Thanks!


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