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
31 Things Your Kids Should Be Doing Instead of Homework
Jessica Smock is a teacher and education researcher who has studied the effects of too much homework for young children. She’s got some great suggestions of activities to encourage in your children.
- There are many aspects of my more than decade-long career as a teacher that I’m proud of. My reputation for giving lots and lots of homework is not one of them.
For most of my teaching career, I taught fifth or sixth grade. Sometimes I gave more than two hours of homework. Kids complained a lot, though parents rarely did, at least not to my face. I think parents mostly felt the same way I did: that homework was the best way to practice new skills, that it teaches responsibility and helps to develop a strong work ethic, and that it’s an opportunity to reflect on new learning.
But most of all, my students’ parents and I were more than a little afraid that our kids would fall behind – behind their classmates in the next classroom, behind the kids in a neighboring school, behind the kids in other countries. Homework was considered one of many ways to prevent that from happening.
A Busy Mom’s Simple Day-Starter
- As a mom of four littles, I don’t get a lot of time to myself.
That’s a problem, because I need time to myself in order to renew my mind and prepare my heart for the day.
Nobody likes the ugly momma who comes out when I don’t.
Many of the methods of spiritual renewal I’ve used require both time and sustained mental presence–two things sorely lacking in this season of life when disrupted sleep and constant needs eat up what little margin I have.
Despite my whole-hearted attempts, I’ve often felt behind, on spiritual defense in the battle for my mind. Once my brain starts taking those well-worn paths of negativity, my best hope is to struggle hard against the current as the whirlpool drags me lower and lower. Even when I get out of it, I still collapse on the bank, drenched and exhausted from swimming so hard. That hardly feels like victory.
Good Friendships Require Good People
- “Friendship is a necessity.”
So opens Book VIII of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Friendship, he says, “is a kind of virtue, or implies virtue, and it is also most necessary for living. Nobody would choose to live without friends even if he had all the other good things.”
In the earlier parts of the Ethics (as well as in Plato’s Republic), it is made clear that virtue requires community. After all, how does one cultivate or demonstrate prudence, justice, fortitude, or temperance alone?
Holy Week in Real Time: Palm Sunday
As we head into Holy Week, this post is the first in a series walking through the week adapted from Russ Ramsey’s Behold the King of Glory.
- The ride Jesus took into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was a moment vital to our salvation.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, perched up on that colt on the Sunday before His crucifixion, it was the first time since raising Lazarus from the dead that He’d shown His face in the city. The story of Lazarus’ resurrection had circulated, so even those who only heard about it later regarded Jesus as something of a celebrity. Everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of Him. John tells us that because they heard Jesus had raised Lazarus, they went out to meet Him and received Him like a King (John 12:12-18).
Around the Warren
Poetry is Story, Too
Jessica Deagle explores the ways poetry sings stories.
- I have always loved poetry. There is a musicality to it that makes it both pleasing to speak and easy to remember. So many poems from childhood, with their everyday themes, fit easily into the small moments of life. I can hardly push one of my own children, my nieces, or nephews in a swing without feeling the need to chant out Robert Louis Stephenson’s lines,
“Oh how I love to go up in a swing
Up in the sky so blue
Oh! I do think it the pleasantest thing ever a child can do.”
“Mission” is an Accomplished Family-Centered Study
Loren Eaton reviews Scott James’ Mission Accomplished, a two-week family Bible study focusing on Christ’s death and resurrection.
- Over the years, I’m sad to say that parts of my undergraduate experience have sloughed off, scoured away by the pressures of life. But I doubt I’ll ever forget Dr. Mark Talbot, my sophomore-year philosophy professor. He’d broken his back at the age of 13, which lent added weight to his assertions that 1) God was in control of the things that come to pass; and 2) we needed to stay in the Scriptures, because people believe that something is good and true the more they’re around it. As I’ve aged, I’ve come to see the wisdom in that council—and how challenging it is to follow it. Commitments to family and friends. Work and its associated activities. A never-ending tide of personal duties and chores. It’s devilishly difficult to get time with the Word and equally hard to find a little space to pique the interest of your children.
Something to Do with Your Kids
As we’re headed into Holy Week, you may be looking for ways to help your family focus on the season. Here’s a list of Holy Week and Easter Activities for the whole family.
And Something to Watch
I know it wasn’t long ago that I shared a sloth video, but I couldn’t resist sharing another–this time on how baby sloths at a Costa Rican preserve get their baths and then get hung up to dry.
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.