From Luke's Inbox: Missed Opportunities

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I'm very disappointed with your Kindergarten readers. Yesterday we read a story where the character speeds at 100mph, gets pulled over and then fights with the cop. The "consequence" is: his car gets towed. What an opportunity lost! Maybe he could've seen the speed limit and slowed down or been obedient, kind and respectful to those in a position of authority. That would've been a much better example.

Thank you for your feedback and I'm sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the Hot Rod story in Fun Tales. If you wish to return that product, remember our Love to Learn Guarantee will cover a partial return.

I'd like to encourage you in regards to the lost opportunity here. This could be an excellent time to chat about how to properly respond to authority and how we should not break the law... even in "little" things like speeding. Isn't it amazing how, with homeschooling, we can take even the silly stories in beginning reading titles and turn them into valuable life lessons and opportunities for discussion?

I love that.

I encourage you to revisit Reason #6 NOT to Buy Sonlight. For me, what you describe is not at all a lost opportunity in the story! It is the foundation for one of the best opportunities literature provides: A chance to talk with our children about big ideas and moral choices.

Confiscated Hot Rod

Stories with characters who always do the right thing tend to be weak and flavorless. They don't ring true to life and we don't get to see growth and redemption play out. I find they are poor educational tools. Jill takes this even further--pointing out the flaws of character training books. We need to be able to see and discuss, not just be spoon-fed the right answers.

This is how Scripture seems to work. There are numerous examples of people doing horrible things that go largely unpunished. Granted, you may not want to share them with young children because of content, but the idea seems clear to me: Scripture shows humans interacting in the real world. Sometimes we get our comeuppance for sins, sometimes we don't. Even with that, however, we need to follow God and turn to His grace. Let's glance at a few examples:

You get the point: Scripture does not do as originally suggested. There certainly are a few great examples of upstanding behavior and faith--and we tend to cover those in Sunday School--but the Bible is full of accounts of people behaving inappropriately with little consequence. How sad that we do not take the chance to work through these passages. Those are the lost opportunities I see!

Have you had any great conversations with your children recently? What hard topics have you covered?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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