Monday, July 22, 2013

Instead of 20 Questions, How about 25 Truths?

Remember the game of 20 questions? The idea was to try to stump your opponent by making them use up 20 questions to try to guess the object of which you were thinking. The answers to the questions were simply "yes," "no," or "maybe." Rather than making everyone DIG for the answer, sometimes it's nice to have your path "Salted" with gems, like the latest item that showed up in my mailbox (courtesy of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Review Crew). This time it's a compact little book by Ed Douglas Publications filled with "Life Lessons." The book is  25 Truths: Life Principles of the Happiest and Most Successful Among Us.

Ed Douglas (a gentleman with an extensive financial and educational/coaching background, he is well respected and highly regarded in his home state of Missouri) distills some timeless wisdom in 25 short chapters.

Each chapter begins with a concept, its truth is illustrated with a personal example from Ed's life (Often drawing on his coaching experiences, as well as his professional career experiences). Following the illustration(s), there is a summary and then a series of questions.

It is a commentary on our society to some degree, that such a book is necessary. Many of the truths that he discusses used to be considered common sense, or were at least commonly understood (I'm sure you've heard some of them as cliche's #4 Be Slow To Judge, # 11 Take It One Step At A Time, #15 Never Surrender), but some of them seem to be more of a rarity these days, more's the pity.

Why I appreciate this book, and consider it a nugget of gold: 
  • It helps me to make sure that my kids hear in an organized fashion, these real-life examples of good character. 
  • I respect the fact that they are based on Christian values, regularly backed up with Scripture.
  • The reasons for WHY those character traits and values are important are discussed. 
  • My children are able to recognize those values and traits in themselves and those they come into contact with in their daily lives.
I will say that my two older children did start to roll their eyes with the repetition of the 1st question following each illustration: "Do you think this is an important truth? Why or why not" and the last question which was always a variation on "What can you do to incorporate this truth in your life? What will be difficult for you? What steps can you take to overcome those difficulties? How might your life be different, or what might change if you do this?" 

Those are legitimate questions, but I did begin to vary which ones I used each time. The questions found between those two repetitive "Bookends" of questions were more thought provoking, personal application sorts of questions, and we have had some good (albeit short) discussions.

We used this book as part of our morning "Together" time. I had to modify the wording in a few of the illustrations due to content that was beyond my 6 year-old's (And sometimes 12 year-old's) maturity level, but even my youngest was able to glean from these truths. It was also amazing how sometimes the truth we were reading about would coincide exactly with our other more age appropriate readings (A "God Thing" for sure!).

25 Truths started as a list of "inspirational" ideas for the athletes that Ed Douglas had occasion to mentor through his years of coaching. I think it is valuable in that setting, as well as in just about any learning setting~ the values that are incorporated can be applied to sports, school, and life in general. The sooner learned the better the chance for contented and fulfilled lives. Note: this is not meant as a substitute for Scripture, or a relationship with Christ, but more of a practical working out of the themes and values found there.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.


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