You may have noticed I’ve been doing some book reviews here with my kids. That’s because I finally bit the bullet and did the Ben Carson mom thing. If you’ve watched Gifted Hands: the Ben Carson Story then you know what I am talking about. When Ben was a youngster, around 12 or so, his mom got tired of her kids watching so much TV. She laid down the law: you can watch three shows a week, and you read two books a week (outside of schoolwork) and write up two book reports. I was listening to the General Conference talk by Elder Callister where he mentions the Ben Carson mom, aka Sonya Carson, thing. He counseled parents to be courageous like her and stand up to your kids by saying no and requiring more from them. “Yeah, why don’t I?” I thought. We don’t have TV service, but we still have plenty of electronic screens around here and way too much begging for “computer time.” Then the kids waste time on YouTube videos and Internet-based games. We don’t have any kind of Wii or video game system but the kids want to gravitate to games when they get on the Internet. I know some people disagree, but I feel like any video games are a waste of time. So I am steering them towards watching educational videos.
The bigger kids in our family don’t have much time for games because of all their scholar work, but with the little kids, I am still working on getting them to read and study more. The 8 and 10 year olds know how to read, but they don’t read for pleasure as much as I would like and act like the only thing to do once we are done with our homeschool time in the morning and lunch clean up duty is to turn to a screen.
So the solution? They can have “3 shows a week” or what I am saying is the equivalent of 30 minutes of computer time, AFTER they read at least a 100 page book and then review it, by dictating to me what it was about and why they liked it here on this blog.
So here is 8 year old daughter’s review:
The setting is England during WWII in the country. One day, four Pevenseys named Edmund, Peter, Susan, and Lucy were exploring in the house of a Professor named Diggory. They were living there because of the bombs that the Germans were dropping on England in the cities. While they were exploring they went past a room with a wardrobe. Lucy decided to go into it. She went inside and found herself in Narnia. She met a faun named Mr. Tumnus who invited her to tea. Lucy fell asleep and when she woke up she saw Mr. Tumnus crying. She asked what was wrong and he said it’s because I am kidnapping you. He said he would help her get back to the wardrobe that she came from. He helped her and she came back out. When she told her siblings that she was back, they thought she was crazy. She had only been gone for a few seconds, but in Narnia she had been gone for hours.
After a few days, Mrs. McCready, who was Diggory’s housekeeper, was walking through the house. She did not like children so when the Pevenseys heard her they ran into the wardrobe. They found themselves in Narnia. Edmund had been in Narnia before. He had met a witch called the White Witch who called herself Queen Narnia. She had made it always winter and never Christmas. They went to a talking beaver’s house. All the animals talked.
(we are skipping many details of the story here)
The high point of the story is that they had a war. During the war, the king of the world, Aslan, died. Aslan came back to life and killed the White Wtich. The four Pevenseys became kings and queens of Narnia.
I lived this book very much. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!