Thursday, July 5, 2018

Let's Preserve the Wholesome and the Good, Karen Andreola

Let's Preserve the Wholesome and the Good
Whoever is telling the stories is interpreting life. This is why during my homeschooling years, being unfamiliar with children’s literature, I relied upon recommendations in the paper catalogs of family-owned Christian companies. Now book lists can be found on-line.

Made entirely on machine for Yolanda's upcoming baby. Yolanda likes yellow. 

During visits to the public library, I gravitated to the “outdated” picture books - fiction and non-fiction. I would sometimes purchase library discards. Scavenging through used book shops also supplied me with out-of-print "finds."

It wasn’t until years later that I noticed many of the books I liked best were published pre-1963. These books are disappearing from libraries.

What’s the big deal about 1963? I found out. That was the year that the United States Supreme Court declared Bible reading and prayer in public school to be unconstitutional.  

Not reading Scripture aloud each morning during homeroom, or saying the Lord’s Prayer, is one thing. But publishers took this ban too far.

I like the pink and cream border fabrics immensely and am glad I had entire yard of it, rather than a forth. 
To ensure that their schoolbooks were included (and to stay in business) it seems they removed every mention of God, the church, and reference to the ten commandments. 

They removed any connection between certain noteworthy Americans and their Christian faith, even if that faith was their strongest motivation for serving their fellow man.The final step, it seems, was to drop these people out of the curriculum altogether.
Photograph in hand during a morning stroll. Hollyhocks, their a familiar faces.
Censoring these heroes from the schoolbooks was easy. Simply do not teach history. This removes them from the minds and consciences of millions of American children, silencing their testimony forevermore. Teach social studies instead, (or social issues) which can conveniently be filled with the Left’s propaganda.  

Hummingbirds like the red Bee Balm. I always cut them way back but they are prolific.
Terrence Moore, in his book The Story Killers, believes that the goal of the authors of our government school’s Common Core (slipped in place without a vote from the Senate) is to keep America’s children “from reading stories, particularly traditional stories, that run counter to the political ambitions” the Left represents. He sees Common Core is the “educational arm of the progressive state. As Plato pointed out in his Republic . . . whoever writes the stories shapes – or controls – the minds of the people in any given regime.”*1  

Dean bought me these salt and pepper shakers. Do you know who these funny British folks are?
I spent a little time reading The Story Killers this year. It disturbed me so much that I was losing sleep over it, so I had to put it down. It is written gentlemanly (Terrence Moore is a professor at Hillsdale College) but I found the facts disturbing. I will link (below) to his eye-opening lecture that gives a peek at what he uncovered in the high school English curriculum. You will be very glad you are home teaching.

Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater . . .  

The removal of the best fiction of the Western World is being done quietly. There are no book-burnings, not yet. Schools and libraries simply promote other books, books with contemporary themes. (Yikes. Their recommendations are startling.) Occasionally the discrediting of a classic book leaks out. These discredited books were once considered wholesome and good. Read and re-read for decades, they seem to be read today by few besides Christian home-taught children. Why?

These books have their feet planted on a morality and worldview understood by the Christian of an earlier America (for example, monogamy in marriage, between male and female.) The same books ignored, discredited, or discarded, by the Left (woefully in power of the schools and libraries today) are those home teachers are snatching up.

We are educating our children with them. In so doing, we are preserving a culture.

This Upset Me
One recent discredit upset me. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beautiful stories, yes her “Little House” series, had its award removed only weeks ago. The Association for Library Service to Children stated their reason.“Wilder’s legacy, as represented by her body of work, includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with [ALSC’s] core values . . . ”
Pink Astilbe being crowded out by the Sassafras tree with its 3 shapes of leaves, one being a mitten. 
Are the core values of Laura Ingalls Wilder's stories that "far gone" and immoral? Un-American? Evidently, the ALSC is offended by them. Joy Pullman writes in defense of Laura's values and perspective. I link (below) to her article: “It’s not Laura Ingalls Wilder Who is Prejudice, It’s the Librarians Smearing Her Legacy.” 

Are we entering into the reality of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World?

“But why is it prohibited?” asked the Savage. In the excitement of meeting a man who had read Shakespeare he had momentarily forgotten everything else.
The Controller shrugged his shoulders. “Because it’s old; that’s the chief reason. We haven’t any use for old things here.”
“Even when they’re beautiful?”
“Particularly when they’re beautiful. Beauty’s attractive, and we don’t want people to be attracted to old things. We want them to like the new ones.”

On a Much Lighter Note
Many find Carol Ryrie Brink's Caddie Woodlawn and its sequel to be favorites. They were favorites in our house. Are you looking for something light and cheerful to read this summer? Here is another story by this beloved author. To lighten up this sober post and to lighten up your summer I feature it here. Baby Island has a sprinkle of the ridiculous that will had some humor to a hot afternoon. My children are all grown now so I read it to myself. But it made me chuckle so how can I honestly say I read it "silently?"

Due to a storm at sea, two sisters (conscientious babysitters) drift in a lifeboat and end up on a deserted tropical island with four little children. No one is hurt but the babysitters are bit stressed and bewildered.

The theme of this story uphold an idea misunderstood by a multitude of people today who do not have a Biblical understanding. Therefore, we can no longer take it for granted. Babies are persons and precious. In the name of love, self-less effort is always needed to protect, care for them, and guide them. (I Cor. 13) And they are worth it. 

End Notes
*1 The Story Killers, Terrence Moore, pg 8.

I recommend his “The Story Killers” on Youtube. After the first 5 minutes of introduction the lecture is about 50 minutes long. I listened while ironing.

Joy Pullmann’s article on Laura Ingalls Wilder at The Federalist.

Baby Island at Amazon.

Hope you are enjoying your summer.

Keeping in touch,
Karen Andreola 


  1. I agree with you, Karen. I’m sad but not surprised. I can’t keep myself from buying good books to save them.

  2. Karen, I believe prayer is going to return to the public schools. It may be hard to imagine now, but we will see it.

  3. It's a shame that this is going on. Yes so quietly that some never even take notice...Thank goodness that you're writing about these things. Publicly, and not being quiet about it! I've enjoyed my bee balm over the past few summers. Especially making tea out of it. This summer the girls and I tried our hands at turning it into jelly. Delicious! Always good to visit with you:-)

  4. Thank you for this. This kind of jolt of reality strengthens me to stay strong in my daily work with my children and be thankful for each day that we can get lost in a story that will ultimately help shape them as they walk in His story. I am so thankful the Lord sustains and preserves even when all around us are acting as fools!

    Thank you for your constant encouragement and prodding to remain faithful.

  5. Laura's public dismissal is unconscionable and I can barely take it in. My love for her work spans my lifetime. I never expected her work to be 200% non-fiction, Biblical truth but historical fiction. Only Our Lord is perfect and I don't have that expectation of anyone else. In my home state of Minnesota, many beautiful places are being renamed because the people for whom these locations are named after did not meet their modern standard of honorable. I must remember that Beauty needs no name to be beautiful and that beauty will always be remembered and alive within me. I desire that the Great THEY have eyes to see their own intolerance and see the Great Love and Beauty of Our Lord that they might be New Men in Christ!

  6. Thanks for the wisdom Karen! It's always good to hear from you.

    I going to order a copy of Baby Island for my girls. I am sure I will hear some giggling in their bedroom at night.

    Can't wait for your book.

  7. Thank you for this. I completely agree. There are beautiful things being swept away to allow for the "glittery new" which is actually masking something old, ancient, and lurking. I wonder where I have personally succumbed to the new taste for things?

  8. Karen,
    The baby quilt is really pretty. I like yellow too! I did guess Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater and His Wife. The S&P shakers are so cute.

    I'm glad you made mention of the old books you picked up through the years of homeschooling. I did the same, and my librarians even saved certain books for me, knowing I would take them home and read them or give them to the children to read. I suppose they had to follow their orders when discarding books, but at least there are librarians out there that still see the value in the older books. I still have many favorites and happily share them with my daughter and daughters-in-law who are reading them to their children. My daughter is just now reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's book, Farmer Boy, to her girls, and they LOVE it! They've already read Little House in the Big Woods. I understand the "issues" of those books written about the pioneer days, but that IS history, even if certain things aren't acceptable today. When reading aloud to children, we constantly have to answer questions like: "What is a sucking pig?" or "Why did Pa want to move away from his family and civilization?" among other things. There is so much to think about when you realize what it was like living in the 1800s without running water and fans and things. Most children ask those questions and it's a perfect opportunity to discuss the differences of those times compared to today. It gives us a deep appreciation of what people went through back then.

    Thanks for sharing this and thanks for the links. I'm going to go read the article. Also, the Baby Island book sounds very fun. Thanks for the recommend!

  9. Ohhh, Lord help us!! So sad. And yet, I'm so thankful for the freedoms we still have, to read our Bibles, to pray, to preach the Gospel, and to read Laura Ingalls Wilder, even if they try to discourage it.
    Mrs. Andreola, thank you so much for your lovely books! I just told a friend yesterday that your books are my favorites, because we mamas need captivating living books as much as our children! :) Is there any chance you might write a third book in the "Pocketful of Pinecones" series? We would all love it <3

  10. Dear Karen,
    Thank you for posting this. It is so important and timely.
    I am veteran homeschooler who has been working part time at a library. Many great old books are vanishing to make room for the new ones people are wanting to read. One way to help prevent this is to check out the books you wish to see remain even if you don't intend to read them because the library will check how often a book has circulated or maybe even just the last time something circulated before removing it. Therefore if we keep the books circulating they will have a better chance of staying on the shelves.I do this regularly with many of my favorite children's books even though my children who are still at home will be seniors this year. It makes me too sad to see our "old friends" in the annual sale.

  11. Hello, Karen. How sad and sick I am to hear about the de-awarding of the Little House series. It staggers the mind.

    My husband and I graduated from high school in 1984. Our literature texts had already been abridged. Our senior English teacher chose to not use a textbook. We read real books in their entirety. I did not know at the time what a rare gift she was to her students.

    I am reminded, ironically, of a statement Ma Ingalls made to Laura in The Long Winter. Laura was frustrated because the constant blizzards were keeping the school closed. Ma Ingalls said something like, "Laura, I hope you aren't depending upon anyone else for your education." She was a wise woman.


  12. Your hollyhocks are a glorious sight. You must have the perfect soil and spot for them - they thrive much more than mine! I like the photo with the one greeting through the window best.
    Your article is eye-opening. I tend to return to older literature also. Maybe your explanation is the reason? Thanks for enlightening us.

  13. Wilder was a great influence in my childhood. They ought to be ashamed. This whole Destroy America agenda of the Left is being fought in every area it seems.

    God has raised up our homeschooled children and us homeschoolers for such a time as this.

    Thank you for leading the way!

  14. It is good hear from you, Ladies.
    I was delayed in putting up your comments because they are no longer feeding into my email and I forget to look for them in the "Awaiting Moderation" section.
    It is encouraging to know you share my sympathies about books. The Left seems to be frantically working hard in their efforts to re-define culture for this generation in Common Core and the Universities all across America to direct attention far away from God's ten commandments. "Wolves" is the metaphor used by Paul for those who take part in this activity. (I came across Acts 20:29 this today.)

    How nice of you to ask if I am writing more fiction. Now that Nigel is doing the lay-out for "Mother Culture" I am praying about what to start writing next. But first I plan to do some fancy hand-sewing in the shade of our forest of trees and listen far more leisurely than I've done in a long long time to the birds. In just little over a month they will be migrating south.

    1. I love your response :) I hope you so enjoy your sewing and the sound of the birds! <3

  15. Baby Island! I still have my copy from elementary school! I got it from one of those Scholastic book sales in about 1970-72. My cover is different from the one you pictured. It's covered in Palm trees with the two girls and the 4 babies sitting in the sand. I'll bet I read that book 50 times. It was probably my favorite as a kid. Little House was the only other book I can recall reading over and over.

  16. Karen this is a very informative post. You are so right that the left want to erase this country's history. The quilt for Yolanda's baby is beautiful. We too love to read children's books.
    God Bless
    Marion and Mrilyn

  17. Thank You Karen for another interesting and informative post. It is a shame what has happened to the Laura Ingalls books. It seems history is no longer accepted as an important subject. My sisters and I love to read children's books. We still have our books from our youth. The quilt for Yolanda's baby is beautiful. God Bless you and your family.
    Marilyn and Marion

  18. Dear Karen,

    Your blog is lovely! This article is amazing! I'm so encouraged by it and have read and re-read it. It is causing me to seek that which is beautiful in all of life and particularly what I share with my children. I even had the opportunity to share some of the ideas at a baby shower recently, as part of a devotional. Keep up the beautiful writing. I love your recommendations and your heart and all the beauty contained in this blog! Love in Christ, Miriam

  19. Thank you for this post! I just can't make my husband see the perils that surround our children in public school. I've prayed and prayed for the Lord to open his eyes and heart, but so far, no progress. He simply refuses to allow our children to be homeschooled. Please pray for my children.

    1. Saying a prayer today. I had a similar letter, sent to my email, from a mother a year ago. "Keep a gentle spirit," I told her. "Keep praying." She spoke to her husband now and again. This spring she wrote to remind me of our correspondence and report that her husband changed his mind and she is now home teaching.