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Books on Education

The Case for Classical Christian Education by Douglas Wilson
Doug Wilson is the father of the classical Christian school movement. This book is a mature statement of why classical Christian schools are needed and what they stand for. Many have been introduced to the movement through his book Rediscovering the Lost Tools of Learning (Crossway, 1991). This book is in many respects a far better starting point. One does not have to agree with Wilson on all points to appreciate the distinctive vision this book outlines. It is a welcome contribution to the current national dialogue over public education reform and the role of the church sponsored school and is highly recommended for every teacher, parent, student, and board member associated with classical Christian schools.

Classical Education and the Home School by Douglas Wilson, Wes Callihan, Douglas Jones
This little book is an excellent introduction to the methods of Classical education, especially as it pertains to a Christian worldview. It is a quick and easy read, and (best of all) inexpensive. While a small "book", it is power packed. It addresses everything from your worldview to getting started in the process of "re" educating yourself in preparation for homeschooling using the classical method. If you are considering whether or not you want to use the method or want to get your method on track, this book is perfect.

On Secular Education by RL Dabney, edited by Douglas Wilson
By any measure, R.L. Dabney (1820-1898) was one of the most remarkable men of 19th Century America. He was a preacher, theologian, poet, and essayist. When he wrote this short pamphlet, public education in America was still in its infancy. After reading what he wrote at that time, modern Christians will marvel at his insights and acknowledge that he had a prophetic voice as well.

Recovering the Lost Tools of Education by Douglas WIlson
This book is credited with launching the classical Christian school movement and is outstanding. Wilson presents excellent information about the unfortunate educational and moral decay of our public school system. His argument for classical education is convincing, as parents make few choices more important than how to educate their children.

Repairing the Ruins by Douglas WIlson
This is an excellent volume of essays by various authors presenting the philosophy and practical "how to's" of classical Christian education. Anyone interested in recovering excellence in education will benefit from reading this book. Wilson clearly demonstrates the need for Christians to return to their God given duty to train up their children in the ways of God in order to have a biblical worldview. What he says is profound and enlightening, and he expresses it in a logical way that will cause you to think deeply about education.

The Seven Laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory
This classic work first published in 1884 is mandatory reading for Rockbridge teachers, should be part of the curriculum for all schools training teachers. That it is still being reprinted (the 10th printing was in 2003) is a testimony to the timeless value of the author's Biblical wisdom contained within its pages. There are times when the old ways are the best ways and this book is one of those. Of note, this book isn't just for the teaching profession: it is also an excellent training manual for pastors, Bible teachers and Sunday school teachers.

The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobian
The Way They Learn is an excellent book on the learning styles of all children and adults. It is written so that parents can understand it and begin to identify and search out the strengths of both their children and themselves. Tobias is careful to warn parents of the dangers of having children inaccurately labeled as having a learning disability, when in fact it may be that the child simply has a different learning style than both his teacher and/or parent. No matter what learning style your child may have... when all is said and done, they are to be held accountable for the end result.


Books on Christian Living

Age of Opportunity - A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul David Tripp
Tripp doesn't pull any punches in this outstanding book that challenges parents to be more deliberate and intentional about their parenting. The primary emphasis of the book is getting through to parents that raising children is not about how they look, how well they score on some standardized test, or how many touchdowns they score, but ultimately if they have a heart for God. Tripp first deals with the perspective of parents on this issue refocusing them on what is really important, and then he dives in to encourage parents to pursue their teens and accept this stage of parenting as a God-given opportunity instead of dreading it and working to avoid it at all costs. One theme constantly running through Age of Opportunity is the emphasis given to conversation - parents making the effort to talk with their children. This is an outstanding, easy-to-read, biblically sound, challenging and encouraging book.

Shepherding a Child's Heart by Paul David Tripp
This is a great, biblically sound book. Other parenting books are full of tricks. This book is full of the Bible. For those who want to know more about how to train and teach your children through a variety of Biblical practical tools, this book is excellent. It is very insightful and shows a parent how to teach and love their children the right way.

The Peacemaker - A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande
The Peacemaker is a most helpful guide to assist Christians in resolving conflict. It takes an uncommonly Biblical approach, leading one through a process designed to foster reconciliation, to God's glory. One is instructed in ways to "get the log out of your eye"; to "go and show your brother his faults," and to "go and be reconciled." These principles are applied to a variety of situations: third-party conciliation, forgiveness, confession, church discipline, self-examination, conflict assessment, and more. Sande continually reminds his readers that conflict is a great opportunity to see the Gospel lived out in radical ways. This must be the focus of all peacemaking: "whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (I Cor. 10:31). Soundly biblical, this book is also practical, without using formulas and is used by Rockbridge Academy at New Teacher Training.

How to Be Free From Bitterness by Jim Wilson
Bitterness is a root that has defiled many. There are, however, biblical principles we can apply to the problem of bitterness. This small booklet contains some of those principles. The book contains a set of several short essays directly or closely related to the theme of bitterness. The first essay is the centerpiece and worth far more than the price of this book. Wilson goes in to a careful analysis of what bitterness is, how to detect it, how it affects us, how the non-Christian world deals with it (ineffectively), and how Christians are to respond. Other essays deal with related topics, especially bitterness toward parents. It is clearly written and gives clear and practical guidance for dealing with bitterness based on Scripture.


Books on the Art of Reading

Honey For a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt
Revolutionize your child’s love of reading! This long-time favorite encourages Christian parents to read to their children and gives specific recommendations. It includes both classic and current literature and provides recommendations for babies and children up through age 12.

Reading Between the Lines by Gene Edward Veith, Jr.
Here is a guidebook for those who want to learn how to recognize books that are spiritually and aesthetically good--to cultivate good literary taste. Gene Edward Veith presents basic information to help book lovers understand what they read--from the classics to the bestsellers. He explains how the major genres of literature communicate. He explores ways comedy, tragedy, realism, and fantasy can portray the Christian worldview. These discussions lead to a host of related topics--the value of fairy tales for children, the tragic and the comic sense of life, the interplay between Greek and Biblical concepts in the imagination, and the new "post-modernism" (a subject of vital importance to Christians). Veith provides clear insight and sound logic in urging readers to really look at what is explicitly on and in the pages of literature.


Books for Family Reading

The Singing Bible
Focus on the Family's The Singing Bible (4 CDs) features story songs about Jonah and the Whale, the Ten Commandments, and more, making this a fast-paced and exciting journey. Children ages 2 to 7 will love to join with their parents and friends and sing along to over 50 fun Bible songs! It never gets old because all of the stories are true and accurately presented. Not only is the presentation fun and entertaining but also it is amazingly accurate to the Bible in a concise way that children can grasp. It gives the listener a fabulous knowledge of the chronological events in the Bible since it follows the books of the Bible in order.

Huguenot Garden by Douglas M Jones III
The backdrop of this book is the persecution of the French Huguenots by Louis XIV and the Roman church. While this could have been quite a fearful subject, Jones has chosen to underscore God's faithfulness rather than the tyranny of men. Huguenot Garden is the story of a French protestant family and their faith in the Sovereign God of the universe. Dedicated to Jones' two daughters, the book features twins of the same names. The twins along with their family are on an endearing journey of faith involving joy, promises, persecution and triumph. This as a very readable story that introduces children to the overarching theme of persecution and particularly, what the Huguenots endured. The girls with their family ultimately find safe haven in Southampton, England.

Scottish Seas by Douglas M Jones III
Scottish Seas follows the fears and triumphs of Mac Ayton, a young Scottish covenanter farm boy in 1707, striving to grow strong amid clashes with the sea, banditry, myths, animals, and brothers. Set in and around the colorful fishing village of Auchmithie, located on the rugged east coast of Scotland, Mac and the rest of his family live a life full of laughter, faith, and wrestling. Mac fears the sea but grows in courage as it is tested throughout the book. Ultimately, he faces off against pirating thieves whose first contact with his family was an attempt to steal his sister's pony. Interwoven with the adventure is a warm picture of family life with recitation of the Westminster Catechism, psalm singing and Bible reading. Some of the memorable portrayals include: the father wrestling with his sons, Mac nurturing and then releasing his pet puffin that he rescues after a storm, Mac's sister Agnes declining one offer of courtship and selecting another man for her father to pursue for her, and a pastor who is in a deep depression. This book is a warm story of family and adventure for the entire family.

Trial and Triumph - Stories from Church History by Richard M. Hannula
This book is a collection of informative and wonderfully written stories of the heroes of the Christian faith. Riveting and inspiring! Family stories are so important, and stories from our Church-family may be even more so. In this collection of brief biographies, Hannula sketches the stirring trials and triumphs of many famous and lesser-known fathers and mothers of our faith, including Augustine, Charlemagne, Anselm, Luther, Bunyan, and C.S. Lewis. Written to be understandable for ages 5-12, it will also captivate adults as Hannula makes the history come alive with an active writing style and extremely interesting historical information.

The Unfolding Mystery - Discovering Christ in the Old Testament by Edmund P. Clowney
Dr. Clowney gives a compelling outline of some of what Jesus might have said to the discouraged disciples while on the road to Emmaus ("Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself."--Lk 24:2) and what Philip caught a glimpse of and wanted to share with Nathaniel ("We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."--Jn 1:45). Dr. Clowney does an outstanding job of showing how God's promise of redemption in Christ was pointed to over and over again throughout the Old Testament. As you explore the lives of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, David and others, he paints a wonderful picture of the coherence of God's word and the constancy of His purpose with relevance and excitement.

Wise Words - Family Stories that Bring the Proverbs to Life by Peter J. Leithart
If you love to read to your children, like you were read to when you were a child, than you will love this book! These stories are reminiscent of Aesop's Fables.