Author: Paul Smith
Firmly believing that everyone has a story to tell and that children learn best from stories and not lectures, author Paul Smith has gathered more than 1,500 personal stories from around the world and selected the very best. His dream is for parents to use these stories as aids to teach character. He teaches 23 life lessons with a variety of stories for each virtue. These lessons range from ambition, dealing with loss, humility, social intelligence, respect and forgiveness. It is designed for parents to read and then share, in their own words, the story a child might need at an appropriate time.
The part that I liked best:
I share a strong belief in the power of stories, so I am a big fan of this approach. I remember from my own childhood learning much more about the United States’ Civil War from a classic book given by my librarian than the dry textbook I used in class–and it still stays with me. Currently, an important part of my homeschool curriculum for my own children focuses around excellent stories and literature. I find that children retain more information, are able to relate what they learn to other situations in their own lives, and gain emotional intelligence and empathy from excellent and carefully chosen stories.
I enjoyed each of the stories found in this book and found myself nodding and sometimes laughing at many of them. At first I was a bit lost on how to find the right story at the right time, but after I found the matrix in the back of the book, I was able to find what I needed much more easily.
How This Book Made an Impact In My Life, Especially as a Mother:
This book reminded me that I lecture too much! Unfortunately, it is a common and easy trap to fall into. But this book has reminded me that a powerful story will imprint a lesson onto my children much better (and much more easily and enjoyably) than a long lecture from me will. Though this book is not as user friendly as I wish it were–it requires quite a bit of preparation from the parent, which is its only drawback– it is still a great resource for parents and children. I also enjoyed the extra helps at the back of the book: the aforementioned matrix to quickly finding the right story for the right occasion and also tips for getting Grandma, Grandpa and others to tell a story, especially when they feel that they may not have anything to share. Personal and family stories are especially powerful to children, giving them a sense of heritage and belonging. With all of the stories and extra resources included in this book, you’ll always have the right story for the occasion when you next have a child who needs a little extra character development.
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