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Summer Reading

Many homeschooling families take advantage of summer reading programs, mine included. While all five of my children are readers and don't need much extra incentive when it comes to reading for enjoyment, they have all benefited from summer reading programs. There is just something about seeing a list of book titles written down that brings a sense of accomplishment to a young person.

The summer months are also a great time for the homeschooling mother to do a little reading. Plenty of good choices, both fiction and non-fiction, are available. As Solomon said, there is no end to the making of books. But are you sure that what you are reading is choice material? Even Christian books can be less than the best. Susan Schaeffer Macaulay says this in her excellent book For The Children's Sake, " must be said that certain Christian books are in fact not so. For instance, some go beyond biblical teaching and, like the Pharisees, burden the people with weighty rules and regulations." I agree with her statement, and I try and choose reading material that does not burden me with excessive laws. After all, the New Testament tells us in Galatians 5:5 that it was for freedom that Christ set us free, and warns us not to be burdened once again by a yoke of slavery. If what I put into my mind (i.e. the books I read) causes me to feel burdened by rules and regulations, then perhaps I need to reevaluate what I'm reading and make sure it aligns itself with the Word of God.

I am a strong-willed, Type A, Irish woman. It is ridiculously easy for me to succumb to a legalistic approach to life. On a very regular basis (as in daily!) I must "correct" my way of thinking and make it submit to God's way of thinking. And the way that I think bears weight on the way that I live. As a homeschool mom, there is no escape from my children and they are watching everything I do. Like it or not, the call to homeschooling means living a very visible life of faith...or a very visible life of legalism. In light of this understanding, I often "prune" my bookshelves and get rid of books/magazines/curriculum that are legalistic. Even if there is truth contained within the mass of "law", is it really worth my time to dig for it? Or should I just abide in Christ and allow His grace to govern my life? I was saved by believing in Jesus as the Living Son of Almighty God, accepting His sacrifice for my sin. Should I now try and live out my days under a system of law and works? Absolutely not! Christ's grace is a free gift, but it is not a cheap gift! To trade it in for legalism must break the heart of God.

I encourage you to read alongside your children this summer. And I also encourage you to choose your reading selections carefully. Remain in His grace and fight against a spirit of legalism. Trust the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you day by day. And rest in the Lord's great love toward you.

Keep cool this summer and enjoy living in God's lavish grace!

Day 191 done :)

Jan L. Burt


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