The Warren & the World is Story Warren’s weekly newsletter, providing a round-up of our favorite things from around the web as well as a review of what was on our site over the past week. We’re glad you’re here!
Around the Web:
To Make and Mature
Lore Ferguson writes at her blog about discipleship. While many of her words are about friendships and mentorship, so much of what she says is resonant with the challenge of bringing up children to know and love God.
- Some friends and I talked late last night about discipleship and long-sufferingness. The long road is, as I said, thorny along the way and we are too often softened by psychology and words like “healthy boundaries” and “my time.” To disciple is to make and to mature, but it often seems a far more glorious thing to make than to mature. We grow lazy and pass people off, as if they were the baton we pass instead of the message we ought to be passing.
What Makes Kids Read?
The Good e-Reader highlights the results of a recent Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report, which looks at how reading habits are shaped. There’s much in the report that seems obvious, particularly to families that foster reading in their kids—as many Story Warren families do. But there are some interesting findings.
- “Key findings reveal predictors of reading frequency, the importance of reading aloud to children at various ages, how frequently children have opportunities to read for pleasure at school and much more. For the first time, this year’s survey also includes data from parents of children ages 0–5 to shed a light on the role parents play in children’s literacy development before they enter school.”The obvious results of the survey indicated that the more often a child reads, the more books he will read in the course of a year. That might not seem too profound, but there were more important findings, such as the correlation between how often the parents read on their own and how children view reading.
Boyhood at Risk
Brian Phillips writes at the Circe Institute about the challenges facing boyhood—and manhood—today.
- We were boys. We were allowed and encouraged to be boys. And, we survived it. Where I veered into dangerous territory (see BB gun wars above), I was corrected, but never emasculated. My collection of pocketknives grew by the year and, rather than being told to “put them away somewhere,” I was taught how to care for them, sharpen them, and use them in a way that preserved all my digits. I was taught how to build a fire, how to shoot, how to use a bow and arrow, and how to be safe and responsible. I was guided on hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and whitewater rafting trips; instructed every step of the way. But, I was also taught to be a gentleman and to love learning, reading, and study. In other words, my boyhood was mentored and nurtured into manhood.
Phillips makes some challenging points and leaves us with important questions to think about as we pour into the boys in our lives. Read more.
whispers amidst the wailings.
Mel writes at Needle and Nest about the challenges of remaining close to God in the busyness of life and parenting.
- How often I have fallen for the trap of thinking that God is not in the whirlwind of babies wailing.That His fingerprints are not seen in the Nutella smudges across a clean table cloth.
How often would I mutter under my breath “I’ll spend better time with the Lord when this child is not needing me every.moment.of.the.day”. I would think back to my ‘quiet times’ as a young adult, sitting cross legged on my bed in a sunbeam, scribbling my thoughts into endless journals and feeling I was so close to God.
She challenges us to tune the needle of our hearts to God’s heart. Read more.
Around the Warren:
The Lens of Attention
Helena Sorensen reminds us of the blessings that come along with paying attention, from the quiet moments in the world around us to the moments of joy with our children.
- Recently, a friend paid me a compliment. He thanked me for paying attention. I was stunned, honored. Until he put it into words, I hadn’t quite realized how much I long to do just that, to pay attention. And I hesitate even to mention it. I worry that when I write on a topic, I will come across as speaking from some exalted level of mastery. Don’t believe it. I speak from my struggles, and the topics I return to again and again are those in which I face the fiercest battles.
“…the only strength and sacrifice they see first hand… comes in fiction”
Words from N.D. Wilson. Graphic from Paul Boekell.
A Read Aloud Revival: Featuring Sarah Clarkson
Story Warren is always looking for new allies, and Sam Smith introduces us this week to the Read-Aloud Revival podcast, hosted by Sarah Mackenzie.
- An old friend, Sarah Clarkson, is the guest on this episode and it’s a doozie. So much of the wisdom Sarah shares is in harmony with what we’re aiming at here at Story Warren. I think you’ll find it both informative and inspiring. In keeping with our aim for Wednesdays to be about resources, this is a dandy.
The Bad Girl
Something to Do with Your Kids:
Ever think you might have a budding writer on your hands? Perhaps it’s time to consider publishing: self-publishing with DIY books, that is. Learn how!
And Something to Watch
CGP Grey’s YouTube channel is one of my absolute favorite places on the interwebs. If you ever wanted to know about the strange intricacies of the U.S./Canada border, for instance, you just need to watch his video below to learn more.
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.