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What makes a book worth the read?

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The beloved C.S. Lewis once said, “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally worth reading at the age of fifty.” And Lewis proved the point in his epic Chronicles of Narnia series.

What makes a good book?  For through stories we are shaping a future.  Gladys Hunt in her book Honey for a Child’s Heart says this of good literature:

“Childhood is so brief and yet so open and formative that we must not neglect our responsibility to furnish it with what we know is good.  Impressions are taken into maturity; we are shaping a future. I cannot believe that children exposed to the best of literature will later choose what is cheap and demeaning.

A good book has a profound kind of morality- not a cheap, sentimental sort that thrives on shallow plots and superficial heroes, but the sort of force that inspires the reader’s inner life and draws out what is noble.  A good writer has something worthy to say and says it in the best possible way.  The author respect’s the child’s ability to understand.  Principles are not preached; they are implicit in the plotting of the story.”

A story is a powerful tool.  Fiction, as much as non-fiction, can teach us of our world around us, the people we want to emulate, and attitudes we want to shun.  To what treasures will we lead our children? With what great stories will we furnish their souls?

An Arrows Purpose

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“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.” Psalm 127:4

Arrows are designed to fly.  Arrow aren’t for show.  Nor are they meant to remain in the quiver.  Instead they are fashioned as weapons to be released. But before an arrow is released it must first be sharpened.  This is our season of sharpening. Straightening what may be bent. Adjusting feathers.  Target practice.

All to ensure the arrow knows it purpose.  That it will one day fly.  Where are we aiming the arrows we’ve been entrusted with? It is a charge and this is our training ground.  Stay the course. You have a mighty weapon in your hand for the kingdom of God.

Why Latin?

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Why study Latin?  Isn’t it a dead language?

Survey says: Number one question asked of classical educators.  It wasn’t until recent years that this WAS a question though, for until recently Latin was understood to be a necessary ingredient to a good education. With 60% of our English language deriving roots from Latin, Latin aids in a basic understanding of English and vocabulary.  Consequently, many argue that learning Latin grammar, which is organized better than English grammar, gives students a superior understanding of the English language. More so than studying the English language itself does.

Latin is also the foundation of Romance languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian and Portuguese. These languages derive more than 80% of the words which make up their vocabulary from Latin. Now that’s something to put on your resume Latin. Props!

If I may, and merely for the sake of allowing Latin another moment in the spotlight, there are three dreaded words many parents avoid but which Latin heroically dances around: College Entrance Exams.   Most people are not surprised that Latin significantly increases verbal scores on tests such as the SAT and even GRE exams, scrutinized carefully by prestigious colleges and universities.  It may surprise them, however, that the analytical and problem solving scores, often associated closely with math skills, also increase significantly among Latin students.

One more thought for the road.  Dorothy Sayers’  in the “Lost Tools of Learning” essay says this of the importance of Latin:

“I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this, not because Latin is traditional and medieval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent. It is the key to vocabulary and structure of all the Romance languages and to the structure of all the Teutonic languages, as well as to the technical vocabulary of all the sciences and to the literature of the Mediterranean civilization, together with all its historical documents.”

As parents our goal is to teach the child to think and communicate effectively. We do that day by day, brick by brick, until the foundation is in place.  Latin becomes a part of the foundation that propels great thinkers and effective communicators.  May we together have the faith and willingness of John Calvin when we wrote:

“Prompte et sincere in opera Dei”

-Ready and wholehearted work for God


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One part of Arrow’s vision is to refresh da mammas.

Breath. Inhale. Fill up.

Even with the greatest of intentions, highest of energy levels and a crazy passion for these ones we love so wildly, we must sooner or later face the daunting (yet hugely freeing reality) that we are not God. We were designed by our Creator for rest to refresh, refuel and remind ourselves that we a limited. And that’s a good thing.

What refreshes you? How has God gifted & wired you to refuel? Coffee with a friend, growing your business, taking a jog, finding a quiet place.  Our prayer is that Arrow will create space and time for you to pursue. just. that.

“Your love has given me great joy and glad encouragement, because you, brother,
have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” Philemon 1:7