If you haven’t yet experienced the Miller Family, you simply must. Your elementary-age children will love these books. You will, too. At our house, every night when Daddy came home, my first grader was eager to tell him what had happened to the Millers in our reading for the day. My high school senior dropped everything to listen as we read aloud.
I usually dislike materials that attempt to teach character through modern day stories. Most of the stuff I have seen along those lines is very disappointing. Not so with The Miller Family Storybook Series. Mildred A. Martin knows how to touch children’s hearts — and their parents’ as well. These are stories that will stick, and your children will ponder them for days at a time. Many times I found myself repenting of wrong attitudes and unkind ways of relating to my children after reading our chapter for the day.
The books center around a Mennonite family and their efforts to follow Jesus passionately. I found their serious desire to live holy lives refreshing and encouraging. I would guess that these stories are real life experiences of the author and/or people she knows intimately. I doubt if anyone could just imagine some of the things that happen to the family and their friends. They have the ring of truth in them.
A few of the Millers’ convictions will seem a little quaint to those of you who are not from a Mennonite tradition. For example, in one story, one of the boys struggles with a desire for baseball cards — a strictly forbidden item in his home and Christian school. The main point, however, is not the baseball cards themselves, but whether children will choose to obey or to be deceptive. Differences in beliefs can easily be explained, and if this is done correctly, your children will learn to respect differing viewpoints of other Christians and appreciate them for the godly heart attitude behind their convictions.
I liked the author’s portrayal of God as an active, prayer-answering, miracle-working, healing, speak-to-us-personally God today. Our children need to be taught that God is still a living God Who will come to help them just as much as He helped believers in the Bible. The Miller Family Storybook Series carries this message.
I recommend reading the books together as a family, so that you can explain parts which children from a non-Mennonite culture might not otherwise understand. Family discussion of the stories will help your children to personally apply the concepts much better, as well.
If you like workbooks to go along with the books, those can be purchased, too. We didn’t use them, as I wanted our children to savor the stories, without a dreaded workbook assignment putting a damper on what we were joyously learning together — but that was just part of our schooling style, and it may not be yours.
Do yourself and your kids a big favor: buy these books.
Series of Six, which can be bought as a set or individually:
- Storytime with the Millers
- Wisdom and the Millers — Proverbs for Children
- Prudence and the Millers
- School Days with the Millers
- Missionary Stories with the Millers
- Growing with the Millers