Sunday, February 15, 2009

Product Review - Raising Freethinkers - A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief

When Family Review Network asked for volunteers to take part in a review on a book entitled

Raising Freethinkers

A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief

Authors: Dale McGowan, Molleen Matsumura, Amanda Metskas, Jan Devor
I was interested. The reason was, the book sparked some discussion in a recent in a discussion I had recently with some girlfriends.

The book falls into the self help category and is toted as a:

Practical, hands-on guide for raising independent, caring kids without religion.

Praised by Newsweek as “a compelling read” and Library Journal as “accessible and down-to-earth,” Dale McGowan’s Parenting Beyond Belief offered freethinking parents everywhere a compassionate introduction to raising caring, ethical children without religious guidance. Now, for the more than 40 million people in the United States who identify themselves as nonreligious, Raising Freethinkers offers solutions to the unique challenges secular parents face and provides specific answers to common questions, as well as over 100 activities for both parents and their children. This book covers every important topic nonreligious parents need to know to help their children with their own moral and intellectual development, including advice on religious-extended-family issues, death and life, secular celebrations, wondering and questioning, and more.
Complete with reviews of books, DVDs, curricula, educational toys, and online resources relevant to each chapter topic, Raising Freethinkers helps parents raise their children with confidence.
Now, one thing I will mention because I think this is extremely important when we discuss religion or lack will need to be of the open minded caliber. That is not to say that most people don't see themselves as such but, most people truly aren't. This is not a bad thing, it is just who they are.
However, as some one who enjoys questioning the differences in people, I found this book to be interesting. Also being a laid back, open minded individual I believe that there is always a place for every piece of written word. This book was written because there is a market for it and there is nothing else out there like it that I have seen.
There are more than 100 activities for parents and their children who are non-religious or secular.
BTW...any book that educates you has a place in the literary world. I had no idea what secular was before this book. Nor, did I know what Humanist meant.
This is a great book for the parent, or therapist who is trying to teach good ethics from outside the umbrella of organized religion. You can still be a good, morally ethic person without belonging to a specific principal of religion.
I enjoyed the section on encouraging, a child's natural interest and curiosity in the world around them along with the chapter's activities.
Also there was a chapter called Ingredients of A Life Worth Living that was very relevant to where I am today.
The activities included in Chapter 6, Celebrate Life were interesting, thought provoking and easy ideas to foster an environmentally, peaceful, insightful, open minded child who could one day change the world.
There were some specific quotes in the book that I will remember and use for a long time such as,
"Doubt everything, find your own light."
"Our Obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life."
Also, the writers mention nonconformity and diversity which honestly, I celebrate everyday. The refusal to nonconformity doesn't make one a bad christian it makes you human. I would never disrespect someone who spends their days reading the bible and I would expect the same of them. As someone who has never read the bible but find comfort in the idea of spirituality and feel that everyone has the right to their own beliefs I will leave you with this.....
Cracking this book open could educate you, anger you, interest you, help you, but what good is reading if it doesn't cause some sort of reaction?
If you are part of the 14.1% of the U.S. population that identify themselves as non-religious then this is the book for you!
For more information about this book go here.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great review of the book, good job at looking at this book with an open mind!


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