Each morning we start our school time with a daily devotional sent out from Truth for Life, a ministry of Alistair Begg. I love these devotionals because they short. Lest you think that's a shallow thing to say, I love the brevity because the language is richly crafted and beautifully written. As often as I'm able to teach writing classes, I always tell my students that a good writer can say great things with few words! It just so happens that the devotional materials are taken from Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening". Since I often have to reread it to grasp all the fullness of the wonderful vocabulary and spiritual truths, I worried about how it would work with reading it to the children. But one day I had a profound thought: even if they don't catch it all, I am training them to recognize what good writing sounds like. If they are in the habit of hearing words which once flowed from a master writer's pen, they are likely to reject the rubbish. Is that my goal for our devotional time? Certainly not! But isn't it amazing that when focus our minds on the goodness and beauty of the Lord, it's a natural overflow?
Of course, this principle applies to all sorts of read alouds. With quality literature you can train your child's ear not only to pleasing prose, but also to discern truth, beauty, and goodness. And what a wonderful way to subtly build their vocabulary and comprehension! Here a must give a plug for one of my favorite resources, Lamplighter books. Some of our favorite titles include: "Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince", "The Hidden Hand", and "Teddy's Button". Currently we are reading "The White Gypsy" and, although it took a few chapter to get into it, we are all now hooked! I encourage you to discover the delight of daily read aloud time. You wont regret it!
If you are interested in receiving the daily devotions I mentioned above, you can subscribe here. Also included in the daily email is scripture for a family reading plan. We are also using the "New World Catechism" produced by this ministry. Both are excellent resources!