Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wednesday with Words: Becoming a Man

Last week I met a veteran homeschool mom of nine!  She was a wealth of information.  I didn't even know the right questions to ask her - but she pulled out all kinds of stories that spoke directly to issues I have been pondering (not all things I wanted to hear).  As we were talking, she mentioned J.C. Ryle's book Thoughts for Young Men (it's an older book so download it for free).   I had heard of the author before because his Duties of Parents is free on Compass Classrooms website (where Visual Latin is sold).  I should probably re-read that one as well.

Well, he doesn't pull any punches or sugarcoat his thoughts.  He is serious.  He addresses the laxity of young men in attending church and addressing issues of the soul in the mid 1800's.  I guess some things never change!

His points are brief but well spoken. He touches subjects like sin, pride, habits, working and more.  I particularly like this image - I have been thinking about habits often lately.

I am also listening to The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle which discusses the factors that develop talent.  Deep practice over 10,000ish hours and cues in the environment that inspire to a long term desirable goal with frequent, well timed, reinforcements can help turn anyone into a super star.  Coyle provides the research and current scientific understanding of why this is true.  Every time we perform an action we are making that connection stronger - you might think of muscle memory - and that's what it is, except, now scientists think it is myelin or the coating that goes around the nerves.  So thoughtful habit development through short focused lessons on the edge of ability and a sense of community coupled with a clear vision of a desirable future life can go a long way.  Wow! Sounds pretty familiar to people who follow Charlotte Mason's ways.   Providing hope and a future.  The examples he provides are memorable although some of the information gets a bit repetitive.  My kids have been fascinated and my oldest has started practicing differently.  These are do-able things.

I am still working through Ryle's short book.  I think once my oldest is closer to 12 or 13 it is probably a good read for a father (or mentor) and son to do together - section by section.  That's how the mom I met recommended doing it.

Hope you are getting to read somewhere in the sunshine.  See what others are reading at Ladydusk.



  1. My husband has read this book a few years ago and has shared it with our son. My husband also purchased many copies to give away to men young and old. I think Alister Begg was promoting it on his radio broadcast.

    1. That doesn't surprise me - you constantly amaze me. Thanks for sharing that it "works" in real life - not just my potential life. Miss your big smile!! We will have to make sure we have extras on hand too.

  2. I'm mom to two young boys - now I'm off to grab a copy of Ryles. Thank you for sharing!