From Luke's Inbox: Missed Opportunities

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I'm very disappointed with your Kindergarten readers. Yesterday we read a story where the character speeds at 100mph, gets pulled over and then fights with the cop. The "consequence" is: his car gets towed. What an opportunity lost! Maybe he could've seen the speed limit and slowed down or been obedient, kind and respectful to those in a position of authority. That would've been a much better example.

Thank you for your feedback and I'm sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the Hot Rod story in Fun Tales. If you wish to return that product, remember our Love to Learn Guarantee will cover a partial return.

I'd like to encourage you in regards to the lost opportunity here. This could be an excellent time to chat about how to properly respond to authority and how we should not break the law... even in "little" things like speeding. Isn't it amazing how, with homeschooling, we can take even the silly stories in beginning reading titles and turn them into valuable life lessons and opportunities for discussion?

I love that.

I encourage you to revisit Reason #6 NOT to Buy Sonlight. For me, what you describe is not at all a lost opportunity in the story! It is the foundation for one of the best opportunities literature provides: A chance to talk with our children about big ideas and moral choices.


Confiscated Hot Rod

Stories with characters who always do the right thing tend to be weak and flavorless. They don't ring true to life and we don't get to see growth and redemption play out. I find they are poor educational tools. Jill takes this even further--pointing out the flaws of character training books. We need to be able to see and discuss, not just be spoon-fed the right answers.

This is how Scripture seems to work. There are numerous examples of people doing horrible things that go largely unpunished. Granted, you may not want to share them with young children because of content, but the idea seems clear to me: Scripture shows humans interacting in the real world. Sometimes we get our comeuppance for sins, sometimes we don't. Even with that, however, we need to follow God and turn to His grace. Let's glance at a few examples:

You get the point: Scripture does not do as originally suggested. There certainly are a few great examples of upstanding behavior and faith--and we tend to cover those in Sunday School--but the Bible is full of accounts of people behaving inappropriately with little consequence. How sad that we do not take the chance to work through these passages. Those are the lost opportunities I see!

Have you had any great conversations with your children recently? What hard topics have you covered?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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Filmmaker, Writer, Pseudo-Dad
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3 Responses to From Luke's Inbox: Missed Opportunities

  1. Andie says:

    But aren't are kids going to witness thousands of "lost opportunities" in their lives? Or maybe we could just call them "other people's bad decisions." I think books like this are great practice for us as parents in redeeming those bad decisions and having great conversations with our kids. We"ll need all the practice we can get in this as our kids get bigger and see all that's going on around them in the world. We're temporary residence in a whole world of "lost opportunities."

  2. Debbie says:

    I know it's scary when you first come across it....but those discussions have enabled me to disciple my kids. They feel respected as we discuss thoughts and truth vs. falsehood. They are girls of wisdom and don't say that because I live in la-la land and think the best of my kids no matter what. No, I had a goal in mind and I just want to share that my daughters have even been critical thinkers with Sonlight.....which I don't think they mind, because that is their purpose...to get kids thinking and expand their understanding, accepting that other people will see things differently and that's a wonderful thing. When they disagree about something they do not say it in a negative way.....just an observation that they tuck away in their minds and once again we talk about what's going on in their minds. I got a note from my 16 year old daughter the other day thanking me for those talks and helping her to apply wisdom. Thank you, Sonlight for teaching our family how to engage in meaningful conversation and how to reach our world for Christ!

  3. Luke says:

    Andie, agreed: Much better to talk through redemption and hard topics now. And may we, because of Christ, be able to offer people many chances to redeem the lost opportunities they've experienced!

    Debbie, I'm so glad you've found so many opportunities to disciple your kids through the titles you read <smile>. Love that!

    ~Luke

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