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Archive for May, 2012

The five-petaled acronym TULIP is often used to enumerate the main tenets of reformed theology or Calvinism (after John Calvin).  However in his message on the Sovereign Joy in the Life and Thought of St. Augustine (and recounted in The Legacy of Sovereign Joy, Crossway, 2006), Pastor John Piper would warn us that too often what is missing in this five point illustration is the “sap of delight.”

Piper would encourage us to make plain that

[T] total depravity is not just badness, but blindness to beauty and deadness to joy; and

[U] unconditional election means that the completeness of our joy in Jesus was planned for us before we ever existed; and that

[L] limited atonement is the assurance that indestructible joy in God is infallibly secured for us by the blood of the covenant; and

[I] irresistible grace is the commitment and power of God’s love to make sure we don’t hold on to suicidal pleasures, and to set us free by the sovereign power of superior delights; and that the

[P] perseverance of the saints is the almighty work of God to keep us, through all affliction and suffering, for an inheritance of pleasures at God’s right hand forever.

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God has graciously expanded our family line in continuing his creation line through our daughter, Ashley, and son-in-law, Andrew.  Welcome, dear sweet Calvin Taylor, born May 29th.

He was named after John Calvin and Hudson Taylor. Our prayer is that, as you grow, you will walk in the courage and boldness of these men and in the joy and power of the Holy Spirit.

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Baby Calvin Taylor has arrived! This newest soul entered the world May 29, 2012 at 5:13p to the glory of God! He is 7#12 oz. and 20″ long.  Mom and baby doing well.

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Today (Memorial Day) was to be my scheduled break down.  May with all of its pleasures tried its best to bring me to my knees…but here I stand (praise God).

This month has been a flurry.  My older son’s graduation from college May 12 and my youngest daughter’s graduation from high school yesterday (May 27) were mighty bookends in themselves.  However, throw in all the year-end school activities for me at the school where I teach and for my daughter–band and choir rehearsals, concerts, school musicals, recognition events, and field trips, etc.  Then there were my end-of-the-year job requirements–inventory, book orders, room cleaning, supply lists, furniture moved, etc.

But the major unknown was the arrival of our first grandson, due May 14.  As I write, Monday, May 28 at 9:30p he has still not arrived!  We expect to hear of his arrival tomorrow as my oldest daughter has begun mild labor.  In looking ahead to the month of May, I never dreamed that I might be able to see Calvin on his birthday–what a gift!  I took two days off near the end of the year thinking we would be traveling the five hours to see our new arrival.  He did not come, but God knew that my husband and I would need those extra two days to prepare for our daughter’s graduation party.  And God demonstrated his great orderliness in allowing Dana and I to graduate our baby before becoming grandparents.  He also allowed us today to see two of our kiddos off as they left to work at Bible camp this summer–everything in its season.

God-willing, tomorrow morning we will make our way to the Cities to see our new grandson.  Tonight I am full of thanksgiving and praise…and prayer as I beseech our Father for health for Calvin and my daughter and that he would strengthen and uphold her in her time of trial.

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Congratulations to our baby…our smart, funny, grounded, talented, beautiful, youngest daughter, Courtney, on her high school graduation.  Dad and I are so proud of you and your accomplishments!

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Little Owen Shramek, whose Christian American parents had moved from Minneapolis to the Middle East to work as cross-cultural peacemakers, was born at 24 weeks and lived on this earth for only 20 minutes.  In this memorial sermon, Pastor John Piper scripturally clarifies a newborn’s spiritual state.  Though incapable of expressing faith, they can, nonetheless, be eternally safe and uncondemned.  From Scripture, Pastor Piper also teaches that the short life of a newborn can bring glory to God and, even, change the world.

1. Owen Shramek was and is a human being created in God’s image.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

To show that subsequent generations of humans bear this same image:

Genesis 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.

Millions of people don’t believe this. They say he was just an evolutionary product of time, energy and matter. Their hearts know better. Other says he was not human because he had not reached viability. The Bible has a different view. When Mary, pregnant with Jesus, approaches Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist the word used to designate John in the womb is the same word as babies outside the womb.

[ Elizabeth says to Mary] Behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby ( bre,foj ) in my womb leaped for joy. (Luke 1:44)

Owen Shramek was a baby—a human being created in the image of God.

2. Owen Shramek was and is your son.

Some day when you have sons and daughters, perhaps four, people will ask you, “How many children do you have?” And you will say, “We have five children. One is in heaven and four are still with us.” He is your son. He will always be your son. And you say with David in 2 Samuel 12:23 when his baby died, “Now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

3. Owen Shramek is safe and uncondemned in the presence of Jesus Christ.

I want you to be sure that Owen is safe and uncondemned, but there is something that is more important to be sure of than that, namely, that God is sovereign and wise and good and trustworthy.

“The Judge of all the earth will do right” (Genesis 18:25 ).

“Good and upright is the Lord” (Psalm 25:8)

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever” (Psalm 107:1).

“Praise the Lord, for he is good; sing to his name for he is gracious” (Psalm 135:3).

This is your rock, first, and all other comforts are secondary. But I will give you Biblical reasons for why I believe Owen is safe and uncondemned.

It is not because he wasn’t sinful by nature.

Psalm 51:5, “Behold I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

Eph. 2:3 We were all by nature children of wrath.

What we are by nature—not experience—Paul says, is hostile to God (Romans 8:7-8). A child does not learn it. A child expresses it.

Our confidence that Owen is safe and uncondemned is not that he was innocent, but that he was forgiven and he was counted righteous because of Jesus Christ. The Bible is very plain that we are saved from our sin and from God’s punishment by grace through faith in Jesus Christ who died in our place and rose again from the dead.

But what about tiny children who do not yet have the physical ability to even know the basic facts of the gospel or even of any of God’s revelation in nature? Does the Bible teach that God will judge them in the same way that he will judge an adult who consciously rejects the truth of God that he knows?

No, there are clues that God does not condemn those who are physically unable to know the truth that God has revealed in nature or in the gospel. I’ll mention two clues.

One comes from Deuteronomy chapter one. God is angry because the people would not trust him to help them take the promised land. They rebelled against him. So he says, “Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers [except Caleb and Joshua, who had trusted him].” Then he adds a word about the children: “And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil , they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it” (vv. 35, 39).

Not having the “knowledge of good and evil” takes away the judgment. They were not yet physically able to know what they needed to know, and so God does not sweep them away with the adults who wouldn’t trust God.

The second clue confirms this principle from the New Testament. It’s found in Romans 1:18-21. The text is not about children, but the same principles of justice apply. Listen to the relationship between having available knowledge and having accountability. “What can be known about God is plain to [men], because God has shown it to them. For ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. Therefore they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him.”

The point is this: to be held accountable at the judgment you need two things: 1) available knowledge of the glory of God whom you should have adored and thanked; 2) the physical ability to know it, to perceive it. If this knowledge were really not available, then, Paul implies, there really would be an “excuse” at the judgment. No adult, except perhaps profoundly retarded or mentally ill ones, have this excuse. That’s Paul’s point. We adults are without excuse. But children are in another category. They do have this excuse. They don’t have the physical ability to know what God has revealed. Therefore we believe that God will apply to them the blood and righteousness of Christ in a way we do not know. We adults can have this pardon and righteousness only through faith. That is the clear teaching of Scripture (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 3:28 ). How are infants united to Christ? We don’t know. And speculation would not help us here.

We leave it at this: Owen Shramek will glorify Christ all his everlasting days for salvation by grace on the basis of the death and righteousness of Christ. There is no other name under heaven by which he could be saved. Jesus Christ will get all the honor for Owen’s salvation.

4. Owen Shramek was created to glorify God.

Isaiah 43:7 Bring my sons from afar . . . Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.

Galatians 1:15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace . . .

God’s designs for Owen were decided before he was born. He would exist for the glory of God. Ten minutes of that work was on the earth. The rest will be in heaven. None of us can even begin to estimate the magnitude of either. Who knows what has been set in motion on earth by the birth and death and life of Owen Shramek. It would be wild and unwarranted folly to think he has not changed the world.

His conscious life—his obedience to his Maker—was appointed to be lived out in heaven. That is a good place to live for the glory of God. Woe to us if we think that the only place to glorify God is on this tiny planet!

God glorifies his grace in many people by the pardon and power he exerts to make them in some measure Christ-like here. But he glorifies his grace in many others—perhaps more—by the pardon and power to perfect them instantly and put them to work in the realm of just men made perfect (Hebrews 12:23).

Owen was created to glorify God. He did and he is.

5. The length of Owen Shramek’s ten-minute life on earth was virtually indistinguishable from the length of ours.

O for eyes to see things from the standpoint of eternity!

James 4:14 You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

The longest life of any person on earth is like a vapor’s breath on a cold winter morning. If the distance between the walls in this room represent eternity, the distance from the wall representing Owen’s life, and the distance representing ours would be so infinitesimally small, you would not be able to see the difference with the naked eye. We will all be gone very soon. That is one of the great truths Owen was sent to teach us.

6. Owen Shramek is happier today than the happiest person on earth has ever been.

That he missed earth’s pleasures of marriage and children and food and friends do not cause him the slightest regret. He took a much shorter route to the One in whose presence is fullness of joy and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore. By comparison the pleasures that Owen enjoys today make all of ours boring in the extreme.

Philippians 1:23, My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

7. Owen Shramek was a test for your faith.

James 1:2-3 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Losing Owen was not in itself a joy. It was an agonizing test. If it were not agonizing, it would be no test. But now that it has laid you low, it is a test. And what is being tested is your faith in the goodness and power and the love of God—and his call on your life. Owen has become a test of his parents faith. I know it seems backwards. It is a strange kind of homeschooling. You—the parents—are to be the teachers. You should teach the lessons and give the tests. But God’s ways are not our ways. Owen has become the teacher and he has given the test.

Count on my prayers, Dustin and Kelly, that the testing of your faith will produce steadfastness. When it does, Owen will give the grade. And when you come home, he will say with his Master: Well done Dad. Well done Mom.

8. Owen Shramek is a gift to you and to [Country].

When Job lost his children he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

The Lord gave . Owen is a gift . Yes, he has been taken away. But that does not change the fact that he was and is a gift. You had him, and you have him still—not in your arms but in your memory; not in home but in your heart; not on earth but in heaven.

And Owen is a gift to _____. It is not accident in God’s design that this is missions week at Bethlehem . Owen has had in Cedar Falls at the Navigator conference, and will have at Bethlehem his ongoing influence for the sake of the nations—already more than many adults have had who throw their lives away on trifles and never give a thought to eternity or to missions.

But he is a gift in particular to _____. I don’t get to say it very often at funerals. Generally I say it to college students: Suffering and death in the path of obedience to Christ is not only the price of missions, but the means of missions. God has ordained that in our own suffering we complete what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ by showing them to the world. “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Colossians 1:24).

In the path of obedience in _____, you have now suffered much. And Owen has paid with his life. That is the way it will be recorded in heaven.

And it will not be lost on the people you are called to serve. Owen has not died in vain. You have not suffered loss in vain. Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Our time is very short. We will all be gone quickly. Nothing done for Christ is in vain. No life, no death, no loss is in vain.

 

[Photo: Christine Tremoulet]

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“No man has the right to be idle. Where is it, that in such a world as this, health and leisure and affluence may not find some ignorance to instruct, some wrong to redress, some want to supply, some misery to alleviate.”

~ William Wilberforce

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Blogger Justin Taylor has compiled a reading list for grades 1 – 8 from those provided him by Calvary Classical School—a classical Christian school in Hampton, VA.  He has also provided purchasing links for the paperback or currently cheapest version from Amazon.com.  Taylor’s hope is that the lists will prove “fruitful for many Christian families, schools, and homeschooling co-ops.”  I know many of these were included and in the curriculum I used (and loved) when I homeschooled, Sonlight Curriculum.  I would love to persuade my Christian school to adopt such a reading plan when next we review our reading curriculum.

Taylor notes “for outside reading, the books are divided into three levels. Books with a “+” denote that any title in that series would be acceptable.”  Just for clarification, reading levels 1 to 3 progress from least to most advanced readers.

Enjoy!

First Grade Reading List

Read aloud by teacher in class:

Leaf, Munro. How to Behave and Why
Leaf, Munro. How to Speak Politely and Why
Lloyd-Jones, Sally. The Jesus Storybook Bible
Taylor, Helen. Little Pilgrim’s Progress
Leithart, Peter. Wise Words: Family Stories that Bring the Proverbs to Life
Brown, Jeff. Flat Stanley
Dalgliesh, Alice. The Courage of Sarah Noble
Silverstein, Shel. A Light in the Attic

Outside Reading

Level 1
Bulla, Clyde. Daniel’s Duck
Changler, Edna. Cowboy Sam +
Frasconi, Antonio. The House that Jack Built
Graham, Margaret. Benjy’s Dog House +
Hoff, Syd. Sammy the Seal
Hoff, Syd. Danny and the Dinosaur+
Krauss, Ruth. The Carrot Seed
Lionni, Leo. Inch by Inch
Littledale, Freya. The Magic Fish
Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Are Friends +
Offen, Hilda. A Treasury of Mother Goose
Seuss, Dr. Beginner Books +
Seuss, Dr. Bright and Early Books +
Tabak, Simms. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
Wood, Audrey. Quick as a Cricket

Level 2
Carle, Eric. The Very Hungry Caterpillar +
Davoll, Barbara. The Potluck Supper +
Daugherty, James. Andy and the Lion
Duvoisin, Roger. Petunia
Flack, Marjorie. Angus and the Ducks
Freeman, Don. Corduroy +
Galdone, Paul. The Little Red Hen
Galdone, Paul. The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Hoban, Russell. Bedtime for Frances +
Hunt, Angela. A Gift for Grandpa
Keats, Ezra. Peter’s Chair
Marshall, James. George and Martha +
McGovern, Ann. Stone Soup
Minarik, Else. Little Bear +
Numeroff, Laura. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie+
Parish, Peggy. Amelia Bedelia +
Rey, Margaret & H.A. Curious George +
Richardson, Arleta. A Day at the Fair
Sharmat, Marjorie. Nate the Great +
Zion, Gene. Harry the Dirty Dog +

Level 3
Buckley, Helen. Grandmother and I
Burton, Virginia. Maybelle the Cable Car
Coerr, Eleanor. The Josefina Story Quilt
De Regniers, Beatrice. May I Bring a Friend?
Ets, Marie. Just Me
Gramatky, Hardie. Little Toot +
Hader, Berta. The Big Snow
Keats, Ezra. Whistle for Willie
Lewis, Kim. Floss +
Lowry, Jannette. The Poky Little Puppy
McCloskey, Robert. Make Way for Ducklings
Piper, Watty. The Little Engine that Could
Potter, Beatrix. The Tale of Peter Rabbit +
Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are
Turkle, Brinton. Thy Friend, Obadiah +
Ward, Lynd. The Biggest Bear
Wilder, Laura. My First Little House Books +
Williams, Vera. A Chair for My Mother


Second Grade Reading List

Read in class or assigned for outside reading:

Andersen, Hans C. The Emperor’s New Clothes
Brown, Marcia. Dick Whittington and His Cat
Burton, Virginia. The Little House
Burton, Virginia. Mike Mulligan and His Steamshovel
Cauley, Lorinda. The Ugly Duckling
Cleary, Beverly. The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Cleary, Beverly. Ribsy
Dalgliesh, Alice. The Bears on Hemlock Mountain
Lewis, C. S. The Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe
McCloskey, Robert. Time of Wonder
Steig, William. Doctor De Soto
Warner, Gertrude. The Box-Car Children (vol. 1)
Williams, Marjorie. The Velveteen Rabbit

Outside Reading

Level 1
Cannon, Janell. Stellaluna
Galdone, Paul. The Gingerbread Boy
Galdone, Paul. The Three Bears
Galdone, Paul. The Three Little Pigs
Kessel, Joyce. Squanto and the First Thanksgiving
Roop, Peter and Connie. Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie
Slobodkina, Esphyr. Caps for Sale
Yolen, Jane. Owl Moon

Level 2
Anderson, C. W. Billy and Blaze +
Bemelmans, Ludwig. Madeline +
Bontemps, Arna & Conroy Jack. The Fast Sooner Hound
Calhoun, Mary. Cross-Country Cat
DeBrunhoff, Jean. Babar +
Flack, Marjorie. The Story about Ping
Gag, Wanda. Millions of Cats
Gauch, Patricia. Thunder at Gettysburg
Haywood, Carolyn. Betsy & Billy +
Hope, Laura Lee. The Bobbsey Twins +
Leaf, Munro. The Story of Ferdinand
Loveless, Maude. Betsy-Tacy +
Milne, A. A. When We Were Young
Milne, A. A. Now We are Six
Politi, Leo. Song of the Swallows
Steig, William. Doctor De Soto Goes to Africa
Taha, Karen. A Gift for Tia Rosa
Warner, Gertrude. The Boxcar Children +
Ziefert, Harriet. A New Coat for Anna

Level 3
Aardemas, Verna. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears
Harness, Cheryl. Three Young Pilgrims
Le Gallienne, Eva. Seven Tales by H. C. Andersen
McCloskey, Robert. Blueberries for Sal
McCloskey, Robert. One Morning in Maine
McCloskey, Robert. Lentil
Mowat, Farley. Owls in the Family
Nesbit, E. The Railway Children +
Sobol, Donald. Secret Agents Four
Sproul, R. C. The King Without a Shadow
West, Jerry. The Happy Hollisters +
Williams, Jay. Danny Dunn +


Third Grade Literature List

Read in class or assigned for outside reading:

Atwater, Richard. Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Barrie, James. Peter Pan
Farley, Walter. The Black Stallion
Fleischman, Sid. The Whipping Boy
Gannett, Ruth. My Father’s Dragon
Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows (Scholastic Jr. Classic)
Kipling, Rudyard. The Jungle Book (Scholastic Jr. Classic)
Lewis, C. S. The Horse and His Boy
Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Stories (Scholastic Jr. Classic)
White, E. B. Charlotte’s Web
White, E. B. Stuart Little
Winterfeld, Henry. Detectives in Togas

Outside Reading

Level 1
Bulla, Clyde. A Lion to Guard Us
Bulla, Clyde. Shoeshine Girl
Cleary, Beverly. Henry Huggins +
Dalgliesh, Alice. The Courage of Sarah Noble
Gardiner, John. Stone Fox
Hall, Donald. Ox-Cart Man
Kellogg, Steven. Paul Bunyan
MacGregor, Ellen. Miss Pickerell +
MacLachlan, Patricia. Sarah, Plain and Tall +
McSwigan, Marie. Snow Treasure
Scieszka, Jon. The Time Warp Trio: Sam Samurai
Sobol, Donald. Encyclopedia Brown Series +
Stanley, Diane. The True Adventure of Daniel Hall
Warner, Gertrude. The Box-Car Children (excluding vol. 1) +

Level 2
Collodi C. Pinocchio
Edmonds, Walter. The Matchlock Gun
Henry, Marguerite. Misty of Chincoteague
Herriot, James. James Herriot’s Treasury
Hope, Laura Lee. The Bobbsey Twins +
Hurwitz, Johanna. Aldo Applesauce
Lindgren, Astrid. Pippi Longstocking +
Milne, A. A. Winnie the Pooh
Nesbit, E. The Railway Children +
Richardson, Arleta. In Grandma’s Attic +
Roddy, Lee. Family Adventures +
Rupp, Rebecca. Dragon of Lonely Island
Wilder, Laura. Little House on the Prairie +

Level 3
Bailey, Carolyn. Miss Hickory
Bond, Michael. Paddington +
Butterworth, Oliver. The Enormous Egg
Cleary, Beverly. Ramona +
D’Aulaire, I. E. Benjamin Franklin +
Estes, Eleanor. The Moffats
Fritz, Jean. The Cabin Faced West
Holling, H. C. Paddle-to-the-Sea +
Jackson, Dave & Neta. Trailblazer Series +
Kipling, Rudyard. Just So Stories
Lawson, Robert. Rabbit Hill
McCloskey, Robert. Homer Price
Nesbit, E. The Story of the Treasure Seekers
Peretti, Frank. The Door in the Dragon’s Throat
Reece, Colleen. American Adventure Series +
Streatfeild, Noel. Ballet Shoes

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Here’s Justin Taylor‘s second installment-a reading list for grades 4 to 5 provided by Calvary Classical School—a classical Christian school in Hampton, VA.

Taylor notes “for outside reading, the books are divided into three levels. Books with a “+” denote that any title in that series would be acceptable.”  Just for clarification, reading levels 1 to 3 progress from least to most advanced readers.  In his links, Taylor has sometimes linked to a box set of paperbacks if available—at other times he’s just linked to the lead-off book in a series.

Fourth Grade Literature List

Read in class or assigned for outside reading:

Blackwood, Gary. The Shakespeare Stealer
Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden
Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Dahl, Roald. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
D’Aulaire, Ingri & Edgar. Leif the Lucky
Daugherty, James. The Magna Charta
de Angeli, Marguerite. The Door in the Wall
Du Bois, William Pene. Twenty-one Balloons
Estes, Eleanor. Ginger Pye
Henry, Marguerite. King of the Wind
Green, Roger Lancelyn. King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table
Konigsburg, E. L. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basel E. Frankweiler
Lewis, C. S. Prince Caspian
Norton, Mary. The Borrowers
Prum, Deborah M. Rats, Bulls, and Flying Machines
Rebsamen, Frederick. Beowulf
Sis, Peter. Starry Messenger: Galileo
Stanley, Diane and Peter Vennema. Bard of Avon
Stanley, Diane. Joan of Arc
Vernon, Louise A. Thunderstorm in the Church
White, E. B. The Trumpet of the Swan

Level 1
Alexander, Lloyd. The Book of Three +
Armstrong, William. Sounder
Babbitt, Natalie. Tuck Everlasting
Burnett, Frances H. A Little Princess
Carlson, Natalie. The Family Under the Bridge
Estes, Eleanor. The Hundred Dresses
Knight, Eric. Lassie Come-Home
L’Engle, Madeliene. A Wrinkle in Time +
Lenski, Lois. Prairie School +
Lenski, Lois. Strawberry Girl
Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars
McSwigan, Marie. Snow Treasure
Seredy, Kate. The Good Master
Speare, Elizabeth. The Sign of the Beaver
Taylor, Sydney. All-of-A-Kind Family
Thurber, James. Many Moons
Verne, Jules. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Wilson, N. D. 100 Cupboards +

Level 2
Farley, Walter. The Black Stallion +
Funke, Cornellia. Inkheart +
George, Jean C. My Side of the Mountain
Grahame, Kenneth. The Reluctant Dragon
Hanes, Mari. Two Mighty Rivers
Jacques, Brian. Redwall +
Lofting, Hugh. The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle +
Morey, Walt. Gentle Ben
Peretti, Frank. The Cooper Kids Adventure +
Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief +
Smith, Dodie. The 101 Dalmations
Street, James. Good-bye My Lady
Travers, P. I. Mary Poppins +
Wilson, N. D. Leepike Ridge

Level 3
Adamson, Joy. Born Free
Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women +
Burnford, Sheila. The Incredible Journey
Field, Rachel. Calico Bush
Lawson, Robert. Ben and Me
Robertson, Keith. Henry Reed, Inc. +
Robinson, Barbara. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Sewell, Anna. Black Beauty
Sidney, Margaret. Five Little Peppers +


Fifth Grade Literature List

Read in class or assigned for outside reading:

Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe
Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain
Lathan, Jean. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
Lewis, C. S. The Silver Chair
Lewis, C. S. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Speare, Elizabeth. The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels (excerpts)

Level 1
Beatty, Patricia. Turn Homeward, Hannalee
Brink, Carol. Caddie Woodlawn
Byars, Betsy. The Summer of the Swans
Cleary, Beverly. Dear Mr. Henshaw
De Jong, Meindert. The Wheel on the School
Enright, Elizabeth. Thimble Summer
Gates, Doris. Blue Willow
Gipson, Fred. Old Yeller
Hanes Mari. Two Mighty Rivers
O’Brien, Robert. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Rawls, Wilson. Where the Red Fern Grows
Selden, George. The Cricket in Times Square

Level 2
Cameron, Eleanor. Mushroom Planet +
De Jong, Meindert. The House of Sixty Fathers
George, Jean Craighead. Julie of the Wolves
Montgomery, Lucy. Anne of Green Gables
O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphin
Pearce, Philippa. Tom’s Midnight Garden
Porter, Eleanor. Pollyanna +
Rawks, Wilson. Summer of the Monkeys
Spyri, Johanna. Heidi
Wyss, Johann. Swiss Family Robinson

Level 3
Alcott, Louisa. Little Men
Burnett, Frances. Little Lord Fauntleroy
De Jong, Meindert. Journey from Peppermint Street
Dodge, Mary. Hans Brinker
Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows
MacDonald, George. The Princess and Curdie
MacDonald, George. The Princess and the Goblin
North, Sterling. Rascal
Seredy, Kate. The White Stag
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island
Terhune, Albert. Lad: A Dog
Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit
Verne, Jules. Around the World in Eighty Days
Verne, Jules. Journey to the Center of the Earth

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Here’s Justin Taylor‘s third installment, a reading curriculum for grades 6 to 8 provided by Calvary Classical School—a classical Christian school in Hampton, VA.

Taylor notes “for outside reading, the books are divided into three levels. Books with a ‘+’ denote that any title in that series would be acceptable.”  Just for clarification, reading levels 1 to 3 progress from least to most advanced readers.  Some titles also contain a label: L – Language, V – Violence, C – Coarse actions, M – Mature theme.  In his links, Taylor has sometimes linked to a box set of paperbacks if available—at other times he’s just linked to the lead-off book in a series.

Sixth Grade Reading List

Read in class or assigned for outside reading:

Adams, Richard. Watership Down
Bishop, Claire. Twenty and Ten
Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage
Doyle, Arthur Conan. Sherlock Holmes (excerpts)
Lewis, C. S. The Magician’s Nephew
Lewis, C. S. The Last Battle
Orwell, George. Animal Farm
ten Boom, Corrie. The Hiding Place

Level 1
Alexander, Lloyd. The Prydain Chronicles +
Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles
Kjelgaard, James. Big Red +
Lester, Julius. The Tales of Uncle Remus
Rawlings, Marjorie. The Yearling
Sorensen, Virginia. Miracles on Maple Hill
Speare, Elizabeth. The Bronze Bow
Van Leeuwen, Jean. Bound for Oregon

Level 2
Baum, Frank L. The Wizard of Oz
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451
Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol
Eareckson, Joni. Joni
Fisher, Dorothy. Understood Betsy
Irving, Washington. Rip Van Winkle
Irving, Washington. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Jacques, Brian. Marlfox +
London, Jack. White Fang
Marshall, Catherine. Christy
O’Hara, Mary. My Friend Flicka
Sterling, Dorothy. Freedom Train
Taylor, Theodore. The Cay
Trapp, Maria Augusta. The Story of Trapp Family Singers
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Level 3
Field, Rachel. Hitty: Her First Hundred Years
Henty, G. H. By Right of Conquest
Henty, G. H. In the Reign of Terror
Kipling, Rudyard. The Jungle Book
London, Jack. The Call of the Wild
Orczy, Emmuska. The Scarlet Pimpernel
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Kidnapped
Taylor, Mildred. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Tunnell, Michael. Candy Bomber
Twain, Mark. The Prince and the Pauper
Verne, Jules. Around the World in Eighty Days
Wells, H. G. War of the Worlds
Yates, Elizabeth. Amos Fortune, Free Man


Seventh Grade Reading List

Following is the list of adopted titles used for the seventh grade reading program. Although certain titles are assigned to specific grades, when necessary, teachers may use a list of titles above or below their grade. It is desired that at least 5 adopted books are read each year. Some books will be assigned and read in class, and others will be assigned for outside reading. Every effort has been made to pick the best available literature. As with everything, each book must be read with scripture as our final standard. All Landmark books are acceptable on the literature list.

Aldrich, Thomas. The Story of a Bad Boy
Brother Andrew. God’s Smuggler
Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim’s Progress (original)
DeJong, Meindert. The House of Sixty Fathers
DeKruif, Paul. Microbe Hunters
Dickens, Charles. Nicholas Nickleby
Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist
Dumas, Alexandre. The Count of Monte Cristo
Dumas, Alexandre. The Three Musketeers
Eaton, Jeanette. David Livingstone, Foe of Darkness
Field, Rachel. Calico Bush
Forester, C. S. Horatio Hornblower
Freedman, Ben. Mrs. Mike
Grant, George. The Last Crusader
Henry, O. The Best Short Stories of O. Henry
Henty, G. A. By Pike and Dyke +
Henty, G. A. In Freedom’s Cause +
Hugo, Victor. Les Miserables
Kipling, Rudyard. Captains Courageous
Latham, Jean Lee. This Dear-Bought Land
Lewis, C. S. Out of the Silent Planet
Lewis, C. S. Perelandra
Lewis, C. S. That Hideous Strength
Little, Paul. Know What You Believe
Little, Paul. Know Why You Believe
MacDonald, George. The Baronet’s Song
O’Dell, Scott. Streams to the River, River to the Sea
O’Dell, Scott. The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt By Day
Orczy, Baroness. The Scarlet Pimpernel
Seredy, Kate. The Good Master
Speare, Elizabeth George. The Bronze Bow
Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Black Arrow
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Thomson, Andy. Morning Star of the Reformation


Seventh Grade History List

This year in history the students will be studying Explorers to 1815. Students will be reading numerous books from this time period in class. Outside reading is also encouraged, especially historical fiction which engages the imagination and makes the time period come alive. We encourage you to read aloud with your children from books that may be above their reading level. Suggestions for reading are offered below. We are endeavoring to purchase as many of these titles as possible for the classroom.

Four books must be read from the following list:

Bliven, Bruce. The American Revolution (Landmark) – H
Blos, Joan. A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal – H, NN, YC
Bond, Douglas. Guns of Thunder
Bond, Douglas. Rebel’s Keep
Calabro, Marian. The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party – H, NN
Carter, Alice. The American Revolution
Collins, David. Noah Webster: Master of Words
Cooper, James Fenimore. The Last of the Mohicans – H, NN, YC
Cousins, Margaret. Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia (Landmark) – H
Cox, Clinton. Mark Twain – H, NN, YC
Cox, Clinton. Undying Glory: True Story of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment – H, NN
Dafoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe – H, NN, YC
Daugherty, James. Of Courage Undaunted – H, NN
Daugherty, James. The Landing of the Pilgrims – CCS, H
de Trevino, Elizabeth. I, Juan de Pareja – H, NN, YC
DK Eyewitness. North American Indian – NN
Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain – CCS, H, NN, YC
Forbes, Esther. Paul Revere and the World He Lived In – H, NN
Foster, Genevieve. George Washington’s World – H
Freedman, Russell. Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille – H, NN, YC
Fritz, Jean. The Double Life of Pocahontas – H, NN, YC
Fritz, Jean. Why Not, Lafayette? – H, NN, YC
Hamilton, Alexander, et al. The Federalist Papers – H, NN, YC
Haugaard, Erik. Cromwell’s Boy – H
Jackson, Shirley. The Witchcraft of Salem Village – H, YC
Lasky, Kathryn. Jahanara: Princess of Princesses – H, NN, YC
Lawton, Wendy. The Captive Princess
Lawton, Wendy. The Tinker’s Daughter – CCS
Mansfield, Stephen. Forgotten Founding Father: George Whitefield – CRPC
McPherson, Joyce. The Ocean of Truth: The Story of Isaac Newton
Murphy, Jim. A Young Patriot – H, NN, YC
Newman, Shirlee. The African Slave Trade – H, NN, YC
O’Dell, Scott. Streams to the River, River to the Sea – H, NN
Roosevelt, T. and Lodge, H. Hero Tales from American History
Savery, Constance. The Reb and the Redcoats
Schanzer, Rosalyn. How We Crossed the West – NN, YC
Severance, John. Thomas Jefferson: Architect of Democracy – H, NN
Speare, Elizabeth. George. The Witch of Blackbird Pond – CCS, H, NN, YC
Speare, Elizabeth George. Calico Captive – H, NN, YC
Speare, Elizabeth George. The Sign of the Beaver – CCS, H, NN, YC
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Kidnapped– H, NN, YC
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island – H, NN, YC
Vaughn, David. Give Me Liberty – CRPC, YC
Yates, Elizabeth. Amos Fortune, Free Man – H, NN, YC


Eighth Grade Reading List

Following is the list of adopted titles used for the eighth grade reading program. Although certain titles are assigned to specific grades, when necessary, teachers may use a list of titles above or below their grade. It is desired that at least 5 adopted books are read each year. Some books will be assigned and read in class, and others will be assigned for outside reading. Every effort has been made to pick the best available literature. As with everything, each book must be read with Scripture as our final standard. All Landmark books are acceptable on the literature list.

Austen, Jane. Emma +
Austen, Jane. Northhanger Abbey +
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice +
Braithwaite, Edward. To Sir, with Love
Chesterton, G. K. The Complete Father Brown
Chesterton, G. K. The Best of Father Brown
Colson, Charles. Born Again
Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe
DeKruif, Paul. Microbe Hunters
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities +
Dickens, Charles. David Copperfield +
Douglas, Lloyd C. The Robe
Forester, C. S. Horatio Hornblower +
Gilbreth & Carey. Cheaper By the Dozen – L
Gilbreth & Carey. Bells on Their Toes – L
Henry, O. Best Short Stories of O. Henry
Herriot, James. All Creatures Great and Small – L
Herriot, James. All Things Bright and Beautiful – L
Herriot, James. All Things Wise and Wonderful – L
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird – M
Lewis, C. S. The Screwtape Letters
Scott, Sir Walter. Ivanhoe
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet
Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth
Shakespeare, William. Much Ado About Nothing
Shakespeare, William. Othello
Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night
Sheldon, Charles. In His Steps – C
Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels
ten Boom, Corrie. The Hiding Place – V
Twain, Mark. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – L
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – L
Wallace, Lew. Ben Hur
White, T. H. The Sword in the Stone


Eighth Grade History List

This year in history the students will be studying 1815 to Present. Students will be reading numerous books from this time period in class. Outside reading is also encouraged, especially historical fiction which engages the imagination and makes the time period come alive. We encourage you to read aloud with your children from books that may be above their reading level. Suggestions for reading are offered below. We are endeavoring to purchase as many of these titles as possible for the classroom

Four books must be read from the following list:

Abernathy, Alta. Bud & Me: The True Adventure of the Abernathy Boys
Ambrose, Stephen. The Good Fight: How WWII Was Won – H, YC
Beatty, Patricia. Turn Homeward, Hannalee – H, YC
Bierman, Carol. Journey to Ellis Island – NN, YC
Bliven, Bruce. Invasion: The Story of D-Day – H
Bradley, James. Flags of Our Fathers – H, NN, YC
Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – CCS classroom, H, NN, YC
Catton, Bruce. A Stillness At Appomattox – CCS classroom, H, NN, YC
Cornelissen, Cornelia. Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears – NN, YC
Crockett, Davy. Davy Crockett: His Own Story
Derry, Joseph T. Story of the Confederate States – H, NN
De Vries, Anne. Journey Through the Night
Doswell, Paul. War Stories: True Stories from the First and Second World Wars
Frank, Anne. The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition – H, NN, YC
Freedman, Russell. Immigrant Kids – H, NN
Grant, George. Carry a Big Stick: The Uncommon Heroism of T. Roosevelt – CPRC
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea – H, NN, YC
Henty, G. A. With Lee in Virginia
Hersey, John. Hiroshima – H, NN, YC
Hunt, Irene. Across Five Aprils – H, NN, YC
Ingold, Jeanette. Hitch – NN, YC
Irwin, James. Destination: Moon
Kantor, MacKinlay. Gettysburg – H
Lester, Julius. To Be A Slave – H, NN
Levitin, Sonia. Journey to America – H, YC
Linnea, Sharon. Raoul Wallenberg: The Man Who Stopped Death – NN
Mansfield, Stephen. Never Give In: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill
Marrin, Albert. The Yanks Are Coming – H, YC
Marrin, Albert. Stalin: Russia’s Man of Steel – NN
Marrin, Albert. Hitler – H, NN
Marrin, Albert. America and Vietnam: The Elephant and the Tiger – H, NN
McMurdie, Jean McAnlis. Land of the Morning
McMurdie, William. Hey, Mac!
Murphy, Jim. The Boys’ War: Confederate & Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War – H, NN, YC
Nolan, Peggy. The Spy Who Came in from the Sea
O’Grady, Captain Scott. Basher Five-two – NN, YC
Prins, Piet. The Lonely Sentinel (The Shadow Series) +
Raven, Margot. Theis Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot – H, NN, YC
Reynolds, Quentin. The Wright Brothers – H, NN
Serraillier, Ian. Escape From Warsaw
Sperry, Armstrong. All Sail Set – H
Steele, William. We Were There on the Oregon Trail – NN
Steele, William. We Were There with the Pony Express
Taylor, Theodore. Air Raid—Pearl Harbor! – H, NN
Taylor, Mildred. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry– H, NN, YC
ten Boom, Corrie. The Hiding Place– CRPC, CCS, H, NN, YC
Trapp, Maria Augusta. The Story of Trapp Family Singers – H, NN, YC
Van Leeuwen, Jean. Bound for Oregon – YC
Velde, Vivian. A Coming Evil
Wilkins, J. Steven. Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee
Winik, Jay. April 1865: The Month That Saved America – H, NN, YC
York, Alvin. Sergeant York and the Great War — CCS

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