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Books I recommend:

Anything by Dr. William Sears especially The Baby Book
(Dr. Sears is a pediatrician with a lot of children, even adopted children and children with special needs, so he has a ton of life experience to draw on and I found him VERY encouraging)

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
(I absolutely believe in the 4th trimester idea he presents)

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger (La Leche League international) * a must have for any nursing mom especially as a reference book in the middle of the night when something is going wrong.

The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity by Sally Clarkson is an amazing book that I recommend every mom read every couple of years!

Attachment Parenting ~ read a book or two about attachment parenting because it so goes against the cultural norms of today and will stretch you in a way that you might listen to your mother's intuition differently that you would had you not read these kinds of books.

General recommendations:
Learn something about the author before you read their parenting book.  How many children have they raised?  Have they had both boys and girls?  Do they have a good reputation in their community?  Have their books ever been linked to any "failure to thrive" infant issues?

Read books that encourage you to develop your own mother's intuition and don't claim that there is only one right way for every child to be raised.  Take what works for you from the books you read and ditch the info that you don't feel is right for you for this child.  Always be reading at least 3 months ahead of where your child is currently, it makes you a better and wiser mom.

Spend time with mom's that you admire, seem wise, encourage you, love Jesus, and have kids that you like to be around.

Don't expect nursing to be easy or to be something you don't have to LEARN how to do.  Ask to see the nursing specialist (lactation consultant) every day you nurse in the hospital post partum.  Get them to check the latch of your child's mouth on both breasts.

Passing on Your Faith & Bible Resources

I am going to list these resources by age level (youngest to oldest).

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The Rhyme Bible Storybook For Toddlers by L.J. Sattgast – I love the pictures, limited words per page, and introducing poetry at a very young age.  Newborn and up

The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm – I think this is a MUST own Bible for every family.  It teaches how all of scripture points to Jesus.  Not all Bible stories are in this Bible.  Illustrations are very creative and often a bird’s eye point of view.  The Big Picture Story Bible now comes with CDs where the author slowly reads the Bible AND there are chimes when to turn the pages.  The CDs are great for non-readers as little as 2 or 3 or for kids first learning how to read to see if they can follow the words as they are listening to them.  The audio is slow and the author has a calming tone of voice, so we have used it for the kids to listen to as they fall asleep at night.

The Word and Song Bible by Stephen Elkins – comes with CDs; This book alternates between a story and a song; bright pictures and kids can follow along with the CDs (no beeps when to turn the page).

Big Truth for Little Kids by Susan Hunt and Richie Hunt – THIS IS NOT A BIBLE, but a family devotion resource.  She introduces a family with children and tells stories about them and their lives at church and in their neighborhood.  The stories are application of the truths taught in First Catechism.  A catechism is simply a series of questions and answers that systematically teach a body of information (an effective way to teach a framework of biblical knowledge that helps them develop a Christian worldview).  Catechisms are great for the grammar stage of learning.  If you really like this book, she has two more books that follow this one: Discovering Jesus in Genesis and Discovering Jesus in Exodus.

The Jesus Storybook Bible – Sally Lloyd-Jones – The pictures are unique and more ethnically diverse.  She takes some liberty in the way she tells the Bible stories, but I think it keeps it fresh and unique for kids. 

The Child’s Story Bible – Catherine Vos – There are not a lot of pictures to look at, but it is written VERY well.  It is like sitting down with your grandma and having her tell you stories from the Bible.  Her interpretation and application of scripture is right on.  Another MUST HAVE for every family.

The Picture Bible by Iva Hoth – comic Bible; my husband has enjoyed reading it to our kids.

Leading Little Ones To God by Marian Schoolland is a fantastic resource for laying the foundation of faith for kids as young as 4 years old.  It answers a lot of basic faith questions and explains so much of what small children are observing in the life of true believers.

How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth – by Gordon Fee and Douglas StuartTHIS IS MY FAVORITE BOOK WRITTEN BY MAN.  It teaches you how to interpret and apply scripture correctly.  Do you understand how to read the different genres of scripture correctly?  Do you understand how translations are made and why one is different from the other?  When you are reading poetry, a narrative, a gospel, or an epistle in scripture do you know what questions you should be asking of the text?   Do you wish you had more skills to lead a discussion with your children about a passage that you have just read with them?  If so, this is the book for you.  The first 2 chapters are the hardest to understand so don’t give up while you are reading those.  These two authors have also published another great book called How To Read the Bible Book By Book.


Books I love

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Thinking about homeschooling?  The first things I recommend you read or use:

The Three R's by Ruth Beechick

Five In A Row series by Jane Claire Lambert (start with Before Five in a Row or Volume 1) ~ great for preschool and kindergarten+

What Every Kindergartener Should Know by E.D. Hirsch (he has other school years also)

The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise

The Core by Leigh Bortins

The Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola