06 November 2009

Big Thoughts for Little People

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At first glance, Big Thoughts for Little People by Kenneth N. Taylor looks like every other ABC story book. However, it isn't. Now, I used to be in favor of a fun-filled preschool where the little kids learn their ABC's by absorbtion and observation until you finish up with some fine-tuning in Kindergarden. But, this book has altered that idea for me! I think it would be a great 26-week ABC, Bible, and character study.

Big Thoughts for Little People uses the alphabet as a baseline for starting discussions with your child ages 3-7. I think it is too in-depth for reading in one setting- like the title suggests, there are some pretty big thoughts in here! When we got it in the mail, we sat down and started to read the entire thing, and my kids were zoning out by the time we got to the letter "Dd." It's just too much to think about all together. It's better to read it a page at a time, so they can really focus on each idea and give some thought to its teachings.

This book is just ideal as a jump-off for a focus for the week. This was my idea: Teach one letter a week until you've gone through the entire book/ alphabet. Start with Big Thoughts and read the 2 pages for the letter of the week. Curl up on the couch and peruse the detailed illustrations looking for ways that demonstrate or fail to demonstrate the trait. Then, for the rest of the week, focus on that letter of the alphabet and the corresponding quality. Bam! Preschool curriculum in one book. Just throw in some counting and call it a success.

For instance, my three-year-old is learning to trace the letters. I always start them on the letters of their name because they have a vested interest in those letters. So, Lily and I would start at "Ll." It says in a colorful block at the top of the left page:

"L is for lying

A thing not to do.

No matter what happens,

Only say what is true."

Then the paragraph below goes over a few events from the illustration on the right page. It asks the child to interact with the story the drawing tells- to make guesses and judgments about the picture. This is an important skill for kids to learn in the early years. It has 3 questions for the child and parent to talk about, one of which was "Can you think of a time when you wanted to tell a lie, but you told the truth instead?" and is summed up with a scripture at the bottom (You must not lie. Exodus 20:16). In addition, the illustration has a lot of items in it that begin with the letter. On the "Ll" page there is a Lemonade stand, a lollipop, a lamb, a llama, some laundry, a lily, and a ladybug.

This is a review for Mama Buzz, you can see their button in my left sidebar. I received a free copy of this book, valued at $14.99, by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for writing this review. I hope you found it informative!

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