Books and Character

Books and Character

Don’t miss this excellent series of posts by the Headmistress at The Common Room blog.

And while I make no apologies for sheltering my younger children, I also want to look ahead to a time when my sons in law will be able to trust their wives’ wisdom, and my daughters will be aware enough of the world so that they can wisely do their families good and not evil. I want to look ahead to the time when my children will be interacting with other young adults in the world, or might be parents.

So I use books with characters who behave in less than admirable ways, who sin, who do wrong, who serve as bad examples and horrible warnings. While a smart person learns from his mistakes, a wise person learns from other people’s mistakes. I’d like it best if my children if my children can learn from the mistakes of characters in books, rather than from people who could really harm them physically or emotionally.

This surprises some of my Christian friends. Of course, I am not recommending gratuitously evil examples. But I do suggest that many Christians are too quick to dismiss valuable books because they expect their books, unlike real life, and decidedly unlike the Bible, to have only well behaved, admirable human beings in them.

Read the whole series:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Martha,

    I have to admit that I was never interested in menu planning at all until my recent pregnancy. Dom had just started working out of the home full time and I had an energetic toddler. Then suddenly everything required so much effort and I had so little energy. I started planning out each week’s meals in advance—not what went on which day but just a list of five or six main dishes and possible sides. It definitely helped. So, yeah, I can definitely see turning to a set menu in times of crunch. But we really like experimental cooking and trying new things so I can never see doing a set menu as a regular thing for more than a limited period. And I would have a very hard time giving up the fresh fruits and veggies… that was always the part of the Little house books that never appealed to me, the long winters with almost no meal variation.


  • Melanie,
    I read a book like this once and the author did mention that after the first week and a half, you are down to using only canned, frozen, or dried fruits & veggies.  So I never wanted to try it either. 
    When I had my 3rd baby and was half-homeschooling my older boys, I went to using a 4 week set menu (so you don’t have the same thing every week; you just see it once a month.)  That and a master grocery list really helped.  I don’t use the master list now and I vary some from the set menus I made though I still have them.  When you absolutely have to streamline menu planning and shopping, they really help.

  • Melanie,

    When we were homeschooling, scouting and all that, I found it helpful to rely on a set menu for at least part of the week.  I like to cook and experiment some, too, but there were nights that that was going to be impossible because of activities or heavy homeschooling stuff.

    We found a kind of “combo plan” to be effective for us.  I pretty heavily programmed Monday through Thursday nights, with a sharply detailed list of what we would be having, etc.  But Friday, Saturday and Sunday were free—with more time to experiment. 

    We had a basic 4 week rotation—I have enough recipes that we really like that having them once a month is pleasing to us.  Then we’d have something new and different a couple of times, and pizza a couple of times (can’t give that up!).

    And as far as fresh fruits and veggies?  Love ‘em.  Eat ‘em all the time now.  But there was a time when our budget didn’t flex enough for only fresh.  It’s a fact of life around this part of the world that that can be kind of “spendy”.  There were times when canned and frozen were a god-send.  I think some of the people writing plans have really large families, and it would be cost-prohibitive for them to have only (or maybe even mostly) fresh……