Resources On Origins From A Young Earth Perspective

We believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and that careful study of the Word clearly tells us that the universe is about 6,000 years old.  We would like to share some of our favorite resources that teach science from this Biblical perspective.

In Classical Conversations, our children learn definitions of the theory of evolution, uniformitarianism, and natural selection.  We don’t shy away from learning these terms, but instead study to see if they line up with God’s Word.

Resources on Origins from a Young Earth PerspectiveOne of the biggest and best resources for this topic is Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum.  For books that they sell, I included a link to their store since it can be cheaper than Amazon (especially if you are buying sets of books).  We also included the Amazon link if you prefer to buy from there.

The Theory of Evolution:

Yellow & Pink is a picture book about two wooden dolls laying out in the sun.  The dolls talk about how they came to be there.  One doll is convinced it is because of a chance happening while the other thinks they were created.  It is a very simple story to explain the complex idea of evolution.  Honestly, even a child can see how silly the theory of evolution sounds.

It’s Designed to Do What It Does Do is also a picture book.  This one points out that animals do what they are designed to do.  God created creatures according to their kind, and they reproduce according to their kind.  This book drives this point home with cute illustrations and a fun rhyme and rhythm.  (If you know the Buddy Davis song by the same title, you can even sing it.)  Here’s the book on Amazon if you prefer.

Catastrophism vs. Uniformitarianism:

For these topics, I really like to study Noah’s flood and Mount St. Helens.  Here are some resources about both of these.

Awesome Science:  Explore Mount St. Helens is a DVD that is part of a great series for kids.  It shows how our earth really does support the biblical account.  Some of the formations at Mount St. Helens formed in a matter of hours or days when evolutionists would have said they would take millions of years.  (There is an entire series of these DVDs are are quite well done if you are interested.)    (On Amazon, you can find the DVD here.)

N is for Noah is a spiral picture book about Noah’s flood.  The spiral format allows the reader to hold up the picture to a number of children while reading the content on the back of the page at the same time.  (I have all three books from this series.)  Here’s N is for Noah on Amazon.

Noah’s Ark:  Thinking Outside the Box is a book geared for older children and adults.  While a beautifully-illustrated book, the text is aimed at older readers with the latest research and information on answers to lots of different questions about the Ark and the Flood.  Noah’s Ark: Thinking Outside the Box is also available on Amazon.

 Natural Selection:

Natural Section is not the same thing as the Theory of Evolution in the sense that species lose genetic material in a region (change over time), but the species don’t turn into other species (molecules-to-man evolution).

For further reading on this topic, there is one chapter in The New Answers Book as well as a number of articles on Answers in Genesis’s site.  (The Answers Book is also on Amazon.)

 

General Resources for Studying Young Earth/Creation:

Answers magazine is packed with great information and a variety of topics.  There is always a kid’s magazine in the center of the regular magazine that our children love (they like the adult magazine too).  The next issue is about Mount St. Helens.  With this upcoming topic in CC, I’m excited for more reading about that catastrophe.  We have been getting this magazine for years and love every issue.

Answers in Genesis’s website has many free videos and articles as well as a number of resources for sale.  If you have questions about origins topics, this is a great place to start.

Answers in Genesis’s kids section has a number of great answers for kids as well as activities and videos.

The Creation Bible (for young children), The Answers Books for Kids, and The Answers Books (for adults) are all great resources as well.

Institute for Creation Research is another great site with its own resources as well.  Some of their articles are more technical than AiG’s site.

 

We shared a number of great resources in this post, but please remember that the greatest resource is the Bible, the only book written by an Author who was there.

 

This post contains affiliate links.   




Favorite Christmas Books and Movies

I love to fill our home with good Christmas books and movies as we start December.  Having a great selection in the house means that the kids can read books independently, to each other, and I can read them as well.  The movies are fun for down times, wrapping Christmas presents, and when I have a lot to get done.  As a mom, I always have more tasks to do in December, so having extra movies around can be helpful for those moments and keep the stress levels lower in our home.

Favorite Christmas Books and Movies

Here are some of our favorites.  We own a number of them, but we also use our library to get even more.  (We don’t celebrate Santa in our home so you won’t find those on this list.)

Books:

The Gift of the Magi is such a great story of being selfless and giving the best you have.  This particular picture book version has excellent illustrations for this classic tale.  It also gives the kids are glimpse into history with the prices and treasured possessions.

Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story is about giving to others.  The main character of the story is on the receiving end of gifts as a child and grows up to give back to the community.  Last year was the first year we read it, and my kids immediately remembered it when I asked what library books we should put on hold.

The Legend of the Candy Cane is a story that talks about the candy cane and how it can tell us about Jesus.  I always appreciate books that point to the true reason of the season.

J Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told is also about the candy cane.  We have a board book version of this, and it is great for reinforcing biblical truths.

Treasures of the Snow is a favorite Christmas read-aloud.  It is such a sweet story to me and one I read growing up.  It’s not exactly a “Christmas” book, but many major scenes in the book take places at various Christmases.  I really appreciate the lessons about how bitterness and holding a grudge can continue to escalate as well as the forgiveness that only comes from Christ.  We are starting this book today, and I’m excited just thinking about it.

The Crippled Lamb is a Max Lucado book about a lamb who gets to see Jesus’s birth.  My children appreciated the part of the story about the good shepherd searching and finding his lost sheep as well.

One Wintry Night is in the shape of a picture book, but it is a longer text with short chapters.  Over the course of 11 chapters, the story of Christ’s birth (from creation through resurrection) is shared by an old woman to a little boy.  This book would really be a good one to read over the course of a week or two for teaching what Christmas is all about.  It is written by Billy Graham’s wife Ruth and was written almost 20 years ago.  This was a great library find this week.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey with CD: Gift Edition is another recent library find.  The book is a good story about a man who lost his wife and baby.  The book shares about how another little boy helped the man to heal.  The copy we have from the library included an incredible reading of the book by James Earl Jones.  I think my children have listened to the book four of five times already.

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story is from the same series as Silver Packages above.  Ruthie loved that this book was about a girl named Ruthie.  Since it is a story back at the end of World War I (from the mention of Armistice), it is a Christmas story to share the history of what others used to do to celebrate Christmas.

Miracle in a Shoe Box: A Christmas Gift of Wonder, written by Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse, is a picture book about Operation Christmas Child.  This book was written back before I had ever heard of packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child and is out of print.  Our library had a copy though, and we enjoyed the sweet story for a boy packing a box for another little boy in Bosnia.

The Story of St. Nicholas: More Than Reindeer and a Red Suit is about the historical Christian named Nicholas that led to all the Christmas legends we have today about Santa Clause.  His story includes mentions of Diocletian and Constantine as well as the Council of Nicea.  (In the text, the book talks about a meeting of all the church leaders, but the introduction lets us know it’s the Council of Nicea.)  My children love the timeline references as we read about a man who stood up for his faith.  This book is published by Voice of the Martyrs so it talks about people who are still persecuted today just like St. Nicholas was.  We found this book in our chapel’s library (not at the public library).

ADDED: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a new favorite for Christmas.  After writing this post last year, someone recommended this book to us.  We had so many great discussions about how to show God’s love to others.  I can’t wait to read it again this year!

 

Christmas Videos:

A Wowiebozowee Christmas (Boz the Green Bear) is an old family favorite.  When my children were preschoolers, Boz was one of their favorites to watch.  This Christmas one is still a favorite for all the kids.  Boz and his friends go Christmas caroling, bake cookies, have a gift exchange making gifts for each other, and tell the Christmas story.  The kids learned lots of Christmas songs from this DVD and really still enjoy it every year.  After the first time we watched it, the kids wanted to exchange names for presents “just like Boz.”

VeggieTales Holiday Double Feature which includes The Toy That Saved Christmas and The Star Of Christmas.  Isaiah loves that the stories “show that Christmas isn’t about the presents or family gatherings, but about Jesus’s birth.  We get presents, but it reminds us of the greatest present:  Jesus.”

A Fruitcake Christmas is a Hermie DVD.  It teaches that Christmas is still Christmas even without special food or presents because it’s about Christ’s birth.

Crippled Lamb (DVD of the same story as the book mentioned above)

St. Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving is the Veggie Tale that teaches the story of the actual St. Nicholas.  While we don’t celebrate with Santa at Christmas, I do like the kids to know about the man behind the legend.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol is a fun way to introduce Dicken’s A  Christmas Carol.  We enjoyed this last year.  Elijah also liked The Muppet Christmas Carol, but the others remember it as being “too scary.”  The story does involve ghosts so it can be too intense for children.

 

Are we missing any of your favorites?

 

This post contains affiliate links.  




Reading Aloud in 2014 (Part 1)

I set the goal of reading aloud at least 12 books to my children this year.  I’m excited to share what we have read so far.  Having the goal of 12 books (and at least 1 a month) has been great for me.  If the end of a month is coming, and I’m not done reading a book, we work extra to get it all in.  I love seeing what others are reading and thought you might enjoy what we have read as well.

reading aloud in 2014 (part 1)

Here’s what we have read so far this year (not all pictured):

  • Ginger Pye is the story of the Pye family and their dog Ginger.  There’s a great deal of suspense when Ginger ends up missing (for more than 6 months), but it was not too scary to put down or troubling to the kids.  The suspense did keep us moving forward in our reading.  When we finished this book, my 6 year old suggested with make “funny pages” about the story.  In the book, the two children make these comic strips often, and it turned out to be a fun little project to review the plot of the story.
  • Twenty and Ten is about children in France during World War II.  It’s a great story to introduce my children to the courage people had in hiding Jews without being too overwhelming for them.  I did make the mistake to read this book just before bed so I wouldn’t suggest that.
  • Snow Treasure is a book my mother-in-law remembered reading as a child and bought for us. We really enjoyed the bravery of the children with the Nazi soldiers invading Norway.  I loved the work ethic of the children as they took care of the nation’s gold.  Elijah and Ruthie wrote a little paragraph about how Peter was brave after we finished this book.
  • The Chimney Sweep’s Ransom is a Trailblazer book (Christian historical fiction) that I have on my Kindle.  When I shared about using a kindle with my children, I mentioned this series.  I enjoyed doing a read aloud from my Kindle since it is so much easier to keep your place in the book and look up words that are unfamiliar.  This particular book is about a poor mining family in Northern England during the 18th century.  The family has contact with John Wesley and the Methodist Society as they help the main character pay “the ransom” for his younger brother Pip.  We enjoyed seeing what life was like for a poor family in this time period, and my children are really glad that they don’t have to work in a mine starting at age 5.  My dad’s father worked in a factory by age 8 so this book led to some good discussions.
  • Rainbow Garden is a book I remember from my childhood.  Growing up, I had most of Patricia St. John’s books, and my mom bought them for me as an adult after having children.  All of her books include characters wrestling with sin and give great illustrations about salvation.  This book follows a very selfish girl who is sent to live in the country with a family that she doesn’t know.  I don’t want to give away the story, but I love that there is a bit of suspense in this book with the robbery involved.  God used it to bring the main character to repentance and to create some plot twists.
  • George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans is a biography about a man with an amazing faith.  I could barely read parts of this without getting choked up or teary-eyed.  I love that he just trusted God to provide for his ministry so that others could see God’s faithfulness.  The story of the 300 orphans sitting down to breakfast with no food on the table and him thanking God for the food he would provide was probably my favorite.  My children and I really enjoyed this book and seeing how he worked for the Lord until he no longer had breath.      
  • Dolphin Adventure:: A True Story is a short book about a man’s experience with a wounded baby dolphin.  I read this book years ago to my big children as one of their first chapter book read alouds and decided to read it again to my little boys.  Just like the first time, we didn’t manage to even wait a whole day to finish but read it in one sitting.
  • Five True Dog Stories is another short read aloud that my bigger children already heard.  Since there are five different stories, Ruth and I took turns reading the chapters to the little boys.  We finished this one in one sitting too.  I particularly like that the stories are not all in the same country or time period.    
  • The Whipping Boy is a smaller chapter book about a prince and his whipping boy.  The prince decides to run away and take the whipping boy with him.  Their adventures are very exciting, and the prince grows up.  My kids really enjoyed this book and thought the concept of having a whipping boy was such a silly idea.  This book gives a small glimpse into the Middle Ages and what life was like then.  

Now, I just need to go pick out our next book to read.  Any suggestions?  

 

This post contains affiliate links. 




More Bible Resources for Kids

A little while ago, I shared some favorite Bible resources, but I knew I would end up wanting to share more.

This year for Easter, we really wanted to give our children books that would help them learn more about the Bible.  I felt like I spent hours looking at books on Amazon, and then Seth and I spent some of our date night last week looking at books at a local Christian bookstore.  I was really pleased with what we found, and judging by how much time our children have already spent with their books, I think our kids are pleased too.

Bible Resources for Kids

For our older two children (2nd and 3rd grade), we wanted to find books that would be tools to help them study the Bible.  Here’s what we found:

  • Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids – This Bible dictionary is full of lots of great Bible terms as well as people and places.  Elijah immediately saw the pronunciation guides for the words and thought that was wonderful.  It also has maps that Elijah loves.  We thought it was a great reference if they get stuck on a term, person, or place in their Bible reading.
  • The Action Bible Handbook: A Dictionary of People, Places, and Things – While the Action Bible Handbook is also a dictionary it also tells you where you can find that term in the Action Bible as well as the actual Bible.  I keep finding Ruth cross-referencing from the Handbook to the Action Bible to her real Bible.  It also has entries about each book of the Bible (time period, author, or main themes of the book).

Even though the Holman Dictionary has 750 words and the Action Bible Handbook has 700, we were surprised by the lack of overlap between the two.  Both are great tools for our big two and will hopefully be used for years to come.

For my beginning-to-read boy, we wanted to find him Bible stories he might be able to read himself (at least with help).  I’m pleasantly surprised by how much he loves this little Bible book.

  • Early Reader’s Bible New Testament is written so simply.  Even though Isaiah couldn’t read all the words, he is excited to read it, wants us to help him with words he doesn’t know, and is more than willing to re-read pages to everyone around him (practicing his new words).  This book has got him more excited about reading than I have seen yet.  If I had ordered on Amazon, I would have bought the Early Readers Bible instead since it also has Old Testament stories, but I do like to shop in a local Christian bookstore when I can.  I can’t wait to see my little boy take off in his reading, and I love how excited he is to read his Bible.  

For our 4 year old non-reader we found:

  • God Helps Me Sticker Book which is just fun.  It has colored illustrations of many Bible stories and talks about where God helped people throughout the Bible.  The stickers are easy to use, and Gideon has had lots of fun matching up the stickers with the appropriate places.  He studies the pictures for each story and really seems to enjoy this simple, age-appropriate Bible sticker book.  I like that the book points out God’s provision throughout many stories.  It’s also a great book to remind Gideon of Bible stories or to review stories with him.

Have you found any great new Bible resources for your children?

 




Favorite Missionary Short Stories

Our family loves to hear about missionaries and other Christians from history.  We especially have enjoyed reading stories that can be read in one sitting.  Of course, some of these stories are hard to read without getting a little choked up.

Beside using these books with just our family, there are other great times to use them as well.  Have you ever been in charge of a group of children and you run out of things to do?  Or the kids are just tired out and need some down time?  Or parents are running late and you are left with more time to fill?  These books are excellent for moments like that.  Seth and I both have used them during geo-draw camps at CC Practicum.  In fact, we actually picked stories that matched whatever geography we were studying that year.   The entire room was silent with children engrossed in the narratives.

Missionary Stories

Here are some favorites:

  • Missionary Stories with the Millers – I like that they are not all really common stories and yet include some more familiar people as well. There is a map at the beginning of each chapter showing where the story takes place too.  I think I originally saw this book on a Sonlight reading list, but I was able to pick up a copy at our local thrift bookstore.
  • The Light Keepers Ten Boys and Ten Girls Box Sets.  Each set includes 5 books with 10 stories each.  The titles are all Ten Boys or Ten Girls Who . . . Didn’t Give In, Made History, Used Their Talents, Changed The World, and Made A Difference.   These stories include many people from our CC timeline as well as great missionaries, authors, and musicians.  In the girls books, there are stories of wives of famous men.  I loved to hear stories from their wives’ perspectives and what work they did (sometimes behind the scenes).
  • The Little Lights Series by Catherine Mackenzie.  We only own Helen Roseveare: What’s in the parcel? and George Müller: Does money grow on trees?, but I hope to pick up more in the near future.  These are individual picture books.  In both of them that we own, there is a little bit about when the main character was young and then one main story about the particular missionary showing how God answers prayer in that circumstance.

What are some of your favorite books on missionaries and Christians from history?