Englishbooks.jp e-mailed me this morning with a recommendation for a "tracing dictionary" for kids. Curious, I clicked the link and found pretty much the same thing that I have been doing for my own sons (but not as nice to be quite honest). The "dictionary" looked handmade--in a bad way--so I checked out the publisher and learned that Beacon Hill Publishing "publishes resources for the diverse Christian community".
Now, I have nothing against Christianity, but, let me be honest here: many of them are in desperate need for some straight-talk when it comes to design and art.
There was an article on Facebook a month or so ago that I meant to read, but didn't have the time. The title was something like "Why Christian Movies are So Painfully Bad". Yes! Yes! Yes! (Found it!)
My working theory is that many good Christians are incentivized to not be artsy because artsy-fartsy is the purview of the Left and the Gays. I could be wrong. I often am.
I take it that Beacon Hill is publishing "educational" material mainly for home-schoolers. I don't agree with home-schooling in general, but I must admit I am in debt to the home-schooling movement because they provide so many teaching materials online for free which I download with abandon.
My main concern with homeschooling, though, is that it robs kids the opportunity to have to deal with people different from themselves. If you surround yourself only with fellow travelers throughout your childhood and adolescence, you may find you have difficulty dealing with society at large later on in life. I'm sure there are exceptions. There always are.
The other problem I have with home-schooling is its half-arsed approach to education. I have met several home-schooled kids here in Japan. Most of them are the sons and daughters of Christian missionaries. While they are very nice people, really sweet, when you talk to them, you find yawning chasms in their knowledge of the world.
Why? Because many of them did not partake in standard education, they weren't forced to learn subjects they weren't interested in, or simply weren't taught because their parents couldn't or didn't want to teach them.
Again, there are exceptions, but those exceptions are exactly that: exceptions.
This is getting too long. What I meant to be a joke has quickly become a sermon. Bless me Children for I have sinned.
Anyways, seeing that crappy "tracing dictionary" has given me ideas. I'm sure I could put one together that doesn't rely as heavily on Microsoft Word clipart.