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July 24, 2001

God's Pencils


NOTE: To see the table of contents, the cover and to order the book, see the Alumni Association site.

A new book from Calvin College education professor Dr. Arden Ruth DeVries Post is packed with tips for parents and teachers on raising and teaching children.

Called "God's Pencils: Christian Parenting and Teaching in the 21st Century," the almost 200-page book is due out in August from the Calvin College Alumni Association.

As the title suggests, the book looks at how Christians can deal with the tough issues children, especially school-age children, face every day. The title is derived from a bulletin board Post saw at a Christian school which proclaimed that all, students, teachers, and parents, "are pencils in the hand of God, writing his transforming love and will on our world."

A quick scan of the table of contents reveals such headings and sub-headings as:

  • Developing Self-Esteem and Literacy in the Early Years
    -Listening: The First Step Toward Language
    -Circles on the Wall: A Young Child Begins to Write
  • Helping Children Face Issues of Acceptance
    -Why Wasn't I Invited: The Birthday Party Tragedy
    -New Kids in School: Welcoming the Newcomer
  • Facilitating Literacy and Learning at Home
    -Boosting Reading at Hom
    -Parents and Schools: The Home-School Relationship
  • Developing Responsibility for Life and Learning
    -Allowances: To Give or Not to Give: That is the Question!
    -Raising Responsible Kids
  • Facing Special Needs in Educating Children
    -Is My Child Gifted: Don't Be Afraid to Ask
    -Meet David, a Disabled Reader: A Case History
  • Adjusting to Changes and Challenges in Family Life
    -Remembering Buffy: Handling the Death of a Family Pet
    -Letting Go: A Child Leaves for College

All of the chapters in the book are taken from articles written by Post over the last 16 years for Christian Home & School, a magazine published in Grand Rapids by Christian Schools International. For the new book Post went back and updated the pieces and added photos to illustrate the pieces. She then organized them around several broad themes she thought would be important to parents and teachers.

Post, who is entering her 17th year as professor of education at Calvin, is a past winner of the Kent Reading Council's Golden Apple Literacy Award for her extensive work over the years in promoting literacy. Last fall she authored "Celebrating Children's Choices: 25 Years of Children's Favorite Books" , published by the International Reading Association, the premier professioinal organization for teachers of reading.

Over the last decade she has written some 50 articles for such diverse publications such as Christian Home and School, Christian Educators Journal, the Children's Literature Assembly Bulletin, the Michigan Reading Journal, and the International Reading Association's Reading Today.

She also has made extensive contributions to the teaching professions, having done a variety of local, regional and national teacher in-services, conferences, and conventions.

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Contact Phil de Haan
616-957-6475 (v)
616-957-7069 (f)