Tricia Goyer, the author of the Grumble Free Year, shares some of her favorite books that teach kids not to grumble that she incorporates into her homeschooling.
Chapter Books that Teach Kids Not to Grumble and Complain
As a homeschooling, Sonlight mom, I love the joy of reading books together. I also love that books allow me to talk to my children about important character traits, such as not grumbling.
As we read about a character’s challenges, my kids and I also talk about how blessed we are in our lives. This became important to our family as we decided to strive for a “Grumble Free Year.” All eleven of our family members (including my grandma), tried to go a year without grumbling. It wasn’t easy, but we did focus on changing from the inside out … and these novels that we read aloud helped us do that. During our year, we had many great conversations about the little things we often complain about compared to the big challenges the characters in the books faced.
Books can be a great launching point for teaching gratitude for your family, too! Here are some of our favorite Sonlight books that have really grown our gratitude:
Mary Jones & Her Bible (HA08) This is an incredible true story of a girl so inspired by the Bible that she determines to get a copy—whatever it takes! This book made us grateful that we have Bibles that we can read at any time. More than once my kids told me, “I can’t imagine not having a Bible of my own to read.”
The Great Trouble (HA23) As a “mudlark,” the orphan, Eel, spends his days in the River Thames, searching for odds and ends to sell. Not only does Eel have a secret, but there is also an outbreak of the “blue death.” This book captivated all my children. We talked a lot about how grateful we were for our living conditions and for our health care.
Only the Names Remain: The Cherokees and the Trail of Tears (HR13) From 1837 to 1838, thousands of Cherokee Indians were forced to march from their homelands in Georgia to live in exile in Arkansas. Fighting bitter cold and blazing heat with little food or water, one out of every four died. This sad, but moving, account of the Trail of Tears made us thankful for the stability of our lives. Yet it also made us aware of the pain so many endured.
These two middle graders of mine love to read. With Sonlight we always have great choices that encourage and inspire them.
There are many afternoons they’ll sneak off with a book and get lost in new worlds. This is such a blessing to me as a mom who loves reading. I hope you catch your kiddos sneaking a book off the shelf, cuddled away in their favorite reading fort, or tucked in bed asking for just one more chapter. Cherish these precious moments and don’t forget to take some time out to get caught up in the pages of a book yourself!
More Great Reads For Growing Readers
The Monk Who Shook the World (GR23) The Story of Martin Luther held us spellbound. We could not believe all the rules and relics that past church officials used to control people. It made us grateful that we can go to church and serve God, knowing we have direct access to Him.
“Catherine Called Birdy” by Karen Cushman is the humorous diary of a spirited 14-year old girl in 13th century England. Her father wants to marry her off to the richest suitor available, but Catherine has other plans and finds many creative ways to repulse her many suitors. Since I am currently homeschooling five girls, they were shocked by the idea of arranged marriages. It made all my daughters thankful that they won’t be married off any time soon!
Gladys Aylward (CH13) Gladys Aylward was an uneducated British housemaid who went to China via Russia in the midst of the Soviet-Chinese war in the early 20th century. Out of all the books we’ve ever read this is our favorite. All of us became grateful for her faith, and we continue to talk about Gladys whenever we face struggles.
These are are some of our favorite books, but so many books can teach kids not to grumble and complain. After each book we read we can ask our kids, “After reading this book, what are you thankful for in your life?” It’s a great conversation starter!
Chapter Books that Teach Kids Not to Grumble and Complain
Books can be a great launching point for teaching gratitude for your family, too! Here are three questions to ask:
1. What makes you grateful for your life after reading this book?
2. What character traits do you appreciate?
3. What did we learn about being grateful?
Life never goes as we expect. Homeschool days never turn out as perfect as we’d planned, yet we can either grumble about those things, or we can shift our perspective. We can focus on the good blessings of having a home and a family—and a chance to grow to love Jesus and others better. It’s then we lift our eyes to God. When we remember all He’s done for us, our troubled hearts can become grateful hearts. The more we do this, the more we hard-wire our grateful response, even in the middle of our homeschooling day.
When I first started homeschooling, I believed my job was to get the schoolwork done. Yes, that is part of my job, but with each year that passes, I know that growing my children’s hearts for loving Jesus and others is truly the most important part. These are lessons our kids can learn through the stories in Sonlight’s curriculum. That’s something this homeschooling mom is thankful for and why I’ve come to depend on Sonlight.
Sonlight has helped us create a family culture around great literature. The quality, depth, and worldview help mold my children into lifelong learners and fully devoted followers of Christ. The number one goal of Sonlight is to teach my child to seek God’s kingdom above everything else. Their attention to high-quality, engaging content does just that. I know when I choose Sonlight, I’m choosing a curriculum that enhances and enforces the worldview and qualities I hold dear as a parent.
I want my children to “sense the excitement and challenge of following Jesus in big and little things – not only at home and at church, but also in their work and culture.” That’s why I trust Sonlight!
For more information about homeschooling excellence with Sonlight curriculum visit https://www.sonlight.com/
I believe in turning grumbling into gratitude so much that I wrote the Grumble Free year and started the Grumble Free Year Challenge. Check it out for your family!
Teach kids to turn grumbling into gratitude in a new picture book by bestselling Christian authors Tricia Goyer and Amy Parker.
The Grumbles were a happy family . . . some of the time. They tried hard to not complain but bills and laundry and sibling squabbles kept the Grumbles rumbling. But when Grandma Grateful came for a visit, they noticed something different. Will Grandma be able to show the Grumbles how to approach life with gratitude? Bestselling authors Tricia Goyer and Amy Parker have teamed up to provide children and their families a sweet, simple, and silly story about how to turn grumbles into gratefulness. Get the Book Here.