No, I can’t believe it. No, I refuse to believe it! But AbiNoelle said that I must believe, or, rather, “Whether you believe it or not, Mommy, it’s true!” (That kind of reminds me of the kid’s song that I used to sing all the time, “God said, and I believe it, and that settles it for me.” Of course, the preacher reminds us that whether WE believe it or not… God said it and THAT settles it!) Well, here I am in that very predicament. Whether I believe it or not, AbiNoelle’s
school year is virtually over and she is a third grader! How can that be? In a breath, our two-year-old conquered her wiggles long enough to learn the ABCs and plunged head first into book reading, opening a world full of endless possibilities. She has become such an avid reader (Thanks to Abeka’s strong phonics foundation). Her excitement is contagious, making us want to step aside from the day’s tasks and jump into another place, perhaps far away and full of adventure. Just recently, during our travels, we pulled off the highway to make a quick stop at one of our favorite bookstores. The used book section captured most of our time, and one find brought squeals of delight – a hard cover Children’s Dictionary! AbiNoelle has been wanting a dictionary of her own for some time, but new editions are quite pricey and edited and polluted with liberal thought and philosophy. Our $5 treasure is 800 pages of pure fun as she discovers words, their definitions, illustrations, and pronunciations. “I just wish I could sit down with Daniel Webster and ask him how he did all this [ think up all the words and meanings],” she said as we got back on the road. AbiNoelle was anxious to stop over at Grandma’s to show off her new purchase – who is also an avid dictionary peruser – as well as her other book finds. If we could only bottle her enthusiasm for all the mysteries, history, and biographies she is ready to delve into. We would gladly sprinkle it upon all those unfortunate enough to have not developed a wonderful love for learning.
Reading is such a useful enjoyment and yet our bookshelves are already so bulging, that we have considered an electronic reader of some sort to save a few dollars and inches of space. While this is an option in our future, it will never match nor certainly surpass the benefits of holding those actual pages between your very fingers. A friend, researching her family heritage, just admitted the same to me as she said that utilizing online databases has been beneficial, but there just was nothing like opening the archive doors, rolling open the big drawer and pulling out that historical document with your own fingertips! An editor [albiet with a little bit of bias towards printed books] recently wrote of his love for dictionaries as a boy. Each search fostered a love and excitement for learning as he scanned the pages and stumbled upon numerous other words and their meanings.
We assume Google is better because it is easier…Although a Google search is quicker and more accurate, you learn less from it. The very inefficiency of the encyclopedia was its greatest benefit…Google takes us where we want to go. And that is its disadvantage. Too much reliance on technology makes us narrow. A Google search is like taking a plane to get somewhere: It gets you there faster, but you miss everything in between. We would be better off taking a train…We need to guard ourselves against the narrowness that modern technology can produce in us, and we do this best by staying low-tech. Real books may not be the most efficient way to learn a particular thing, but they are the best way to learn everything. –Cothran
“Mommy, do I know everything yet?” queried our little toddler quite often.
No, no, I reply to that ever-growing inquisitive little girl, now going on third grader, but you can know more and more everyday. Read, Read, Read and learn more everyday. Just think of all the Lord will have to use with all that you have learned.
And so, while AbiNoelle does like to “Google” on occasion, will use some apps this summer for extra-curricular learning, and may even receive a hand-held device of her own one day….books will forever continue to crowd our spaces as we let our fingers flutter the pages and our mind’s eye take in all that it can absorb. (So if you know of any space-saving shelving option, let me know!)