Is the environment important to you? Is caring for the earth a value you want to pass on to your children? The answer to both questions for me is a resounding, “yes!” I own a hybrid vehicle. I have solar panels. I bike 10 miles to work at least 2 or 3 times a week. When I worked closer, I biked almost every day. Our family walks to a store nearby to get groceries and other supplies. I ride my bike for various errands. I care about the environment and I want my children to care.
The best way to teach this to our children is to model it for them. I also think it is important to discuss why you do certain things like walking to the grocery store. Another way is to read books the presents the care of the environment and discuss the topic with your children. Alex and Anna’s Acorn Helps the World written and illustrated by Peter Hayward is a children’s story the presents caring for the environment by planting trees. It is a simple story of a hike in the woods where Alex learns about trees, photosynthesis, wildlife protection and conservation, and even fairies. It mixes facts with fun fiction.
I believe a great way to teach values to your children is to read with them. As you read books like Alex and Anna’s Acorn Helps the World, you can engage your children in thoughtful discussions on the values presented. You can ask probing questions that gets them to think not only about the facts but also the reasons why something is done or not done. When you do this, the child learns. We don’t learn when we only memorize facts. The fact alone has no value in your mind. When you learn a fact, it needs to be bound to other facts by logic. One way to learn is to think. When we engage our brain in figuring out the answer, we learn. We draw upon what we know and add to it. Alex and Anna’s Acorn Helps the World presents many facts in a fun way but also gives a caregiver the opportunity to discuss values. Questions like, “Why does grandpa plant trees?” and “Why are tree important?” can get children to think about values.
I would recommend this book not because the story is entertaining, but because it presents an opportunity for a child to learn good facts and values. There are elements of the story that kids might find entertaining, but the real value will be time spent reading with your child and discussing the moral values.