Anchored by the Classic Learning Test

Abby Wahl on Ordering Loves by Cultivating Habits

October 12, 2023 Classic Learning Test
Anchored by the Classic Learning Test
Abby Wahl on Ordering Loves by Cultivating Habits
Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of Anchored, Kimberly is joined by Abby Wahl, director of the online community, Sistership, and one of the members of the Scholé Sisters’ blog. They unpack the term “big hospitality” and dive into the difficulties of teaching her four dyslexic children how to read. She emphasizes the importance of cultivating good habits over forcing the love of reading. As the episode concludes, Abby explains the benefits and beauty of her drama-free, online community for homeschooling moms to ask and answer meaningful questions. 

Today’s episode of Anchored is brought to you with support from America’s Christian Credit Union. Find out how ACCU can be the banking partner to your school or family by visiting

Kimberly Farley (00:01.671)
Hello and welcome back to the Anchored Podcast. I am Kimberly Farley, the Director of Homeschool Partnerships and I am joined today by Abby Wall. Abby is a wife to Matt and mother of five. She raises sheep as well as children. She's one of the Scolay sisters and the Director of Sistership, the private online community where they discuss all things pertinent to a homeschooling and self-educating mama.

In our free time, Abbey likes to paint with watercolors, exercise and lift weights, and of course, read and discuss books. Thanks for being with us today, Abbey.

Abby Wahl (00:35.874)
I'm so happy to be here.

Kimberly Farley (00:38.508)
Thanks. So Abby, give us a little bit of your own educational background.

Abby Wahl (00:42.734)
Sure. I was not homeschooled. I thought homeschoolers were weirdos. And my husband was homeschooled. And I met him when I was still in school. Sorry, I'm going to close my window. And he wore socks with sandals and was a little awkward. So.

But his whole family was pioneering homeschoolers and his mother and father were wonderful people and did a great job with that. And so it was very encouraging. I was in the public school, I was in preschool, I was in a Montessori school. I mean, I basically matriculated very young all the way through public education and then went on to a state university, Oregon State University. So I...

My only background is utilitarian, modern progressive homeschooling. But I do have a few caveats that I think really made a difference. My parents were big music lovers. My dad was a really great artist and I sat by him in our garage studio and watercolor painted with him when I was young.

in our formative years. I had some aunts and uncles that were avid readers and would always give us great books and always took us. I actually traveled a lot. When I was 12, I went to Greece, my cousin and I did, and we got to go and see the Parthenon and the Acropolis and to different islands, Patmos, Mykonos, Santorini, and things like that. And that was quite amazing. And then when I was in high school, I was an exchange student in Brazil.

And so I learned a foreign language and did all of those things. And it was quite interesting. My high school and middle school and grade school also had orchestra, which I know is not normal. And so I played violin for many, many years. And probably one of the most unique thing is the choir director and orchestra teacher played every year Handel's Messiah. And he.

Abby Wahl (02:57.954)
didn't do the whole entire piece, but I don't think anyone, I think it's impossible to not be moved by Handel's Messiah and not just the Hallelujah chorus, but the Overture is actually my favorite piece of the entire thing. So I had supplemental education that was incredibly formative. And so that is my educational background. My...

Kimberly Farley (02:58.675)
Thanks for watching!

Abby Wahl (03:27.478)
Husband and I got married when I was 20. I was young and still in college. And then we basically had almost a honeymoon baby, or I was pregnant, you know, right very soon after. And so during morning sickness, he forced me to go to school because I was just awfully sick.

Kimberly Farley (03:49.891)

Abby Wahl (03:50.486)
But he was like, no, you really need to go to school. We're both paying for this now and you need to finish. So he did and that was the best thing for me. I got my best grades when I was pregnant and then my senior year I had an infant. So that was wonderful. And my family was basically sure I was gonna quit school as soon as I got married. And then when I told them very far into my pregnancy, I was like, well, I'm pregnant also. They're like, you're never gonna do this.

And I don't know if it was partly out of proving them wrong or what, but I did finish and I'm very glad I did. It was good for me to finish. I don't think everyone has to finish a four-year university degree, but for my family, that was something that I like to surprise them with that.

So that is my educational background.

Kimberly Farley (04:54.163)
I love that though that, you know, your husband really understood the importance and, you know, and supported you through that. And then perhaps the ribbing from family can go a long way. I'm kind of a stubborn soul myself. So when people tell me I can't do something, it's usually great motivation to get it done. Yeah.

Abby Wahl (05:06.555)
It can.

Abby Wahl (05:14.378)
Yes. I would like to say, oh no, it's because of my love of learning. No, there, there was a definite heft of a spite. Like, no, I can do this. Let me show you.

Kimberly Farley (05:26.508)
Yeah, that's, uh, so what were you studying in college?

Abby Wahl (05:30.446)
Um, well, my family, they, it was so funny. I really didn't know what I was going to do. So when I started, um, I had two options. I was either going to go to a small liberal arts college or the state university, um, those are the two places I applied, but when I went to look at the small liberal arts college, uh, they informed me that I would have to take out a $9,000 personal loan on top of other loans, um, to go to school there. And I was like, you know what?

I think I'm gonna go to my state university to see if this is the good fit. So I went in undecided, but I actually have a bachelor's of science in agriculture and I have a double minor in animal sciences and ag business management. And I did Mary Farmer and a rancher. So, I mean, some of it's come in handy, but I also took a lot of different classes there as well. So it was a good program.

I enjoyed the professors, I enjoyed the people, and it is, I'm glad I did it.

Kimberly Farley (06:33.959)
That's really interesting that you went into that and then ended up marrying a sheep farmer, right? Because that did come in quite handy.

Abby Wahl (06:38.358)
Yeah, I mean, I was. Yeah, I mean, I was raised partially on a farm and then we moved to town and things like that, but, you know, I always both my families are ranching and farming families, and so there is a history of that. But mostly my family was their direction was, well, you should just go and get something. It doesn't matter what, which I would not. I would not counsel my children that.

that was not great advice, but I did find professors that I admired and respected, and I did have a lot of really good experiences there.

Kimberly Farley (07:16.667)
That's great. I know when I went to school, I went to a public college as well. And back in the day, every college was a liberal arts college, right? Like you had to take a liberal arts core, at least at the time that I went. And so, you know, I did get a lot of great, maybe not the nice connectedness that we see in classical education where you really understand how everything fits together. I missed that piece.

But I mean, I had to take a lot of core classes that you would see traditionally now in just a liberal arts college. So I think there has been that shift in the last 20, 30 years.

Abby Wahl (07:51.806)
Yes, yeah, the.

Abby Wahl (07:56.798)
Yeah, and I did still take some of those classes and I, since I was undecided early on, I did get a lot of interesting classes. I took a great political science class and the textbook was Plato's Republic. So it's not that I didn't have some great professors and some really great learning experiences. It's just mine is definitely more practical and things like that. It served me well.

Kimberly Farley (08:24.631)
Well, that's good. So I've read that you were actually converted and baptized at age 19 and that really changed your life. Can you give us a little background on what you mean by that?

Abby Wahl (08:32.992)

Abby Wahl (08:38.734)
Sure, I mean, I think that any profession of faith should change your life, right? Like it is a life changing experience and things like that. I was not raised in the church. My family are all atheist agnostics. And let's see, I am also the first woman in my family to stay home and be with my children.

Kimberly Farley (08:48.018)

Abby Wahl (09:05.49)
as infants in a couple generations. Both my grandmothers worked outside of the home and everything like that. So that's part of it. So my family, being atheists and agnostics, thought I was a complete nut job. My brother laughed so hard when he saw me get baptized in immersion. He thought that was the funniest thing he'd ever seen because he'd never been to that. We did.

When we moved off the farm for a few years, my mom and dad, they moved to California for a little bit and my mom did go back to church, a small Episcopalian church for a few years and she played the organ there because apparently I had mentioned that she had played the piano. So they're like, well, organ works. And that was actually pretty great. And it was a wonderful liturgical small community. And so that was about my only experience in.

Christianity. But God just had been persistent and called me eventually. When I lived in Brazil, I, you know, it's very heavily Catholic, but I did have a friend who spoke a little bit of English and she, her family was Presbyterian, and so she would attend the Bible study that some of the missionaries that were in that city,

led and one of them was through mere Christianity. So that is one of the formative books that kind of opened my eyes to something as a possibility. And I was 16 when I read that book with missionaries because I was just so hungry to speak English with people, but I had no idea how that would be just one of those seeds and that plan that God had for me. I came back home

My parents were divorced. My family is really dysfunctional. Everyone in my family has either been to rehab or needs to go to rehab. And we lovingly refer to rehab as finishing school. So my mom is in recovery, recovering alcoholic, and my dad, sadly, is not. He's been a long time.

Abby Wahl (11:30.17)
drug addict and at this point he's very, it's degenerated into such a place that it's very hard to have a relationship with him, though I pray for him every day. I love and respect my parents and I'm very thankful my mom is in recovery now, but my growing up here, she was not. So it was a very chaotic home, generations of addiction and things like that. You name it, it's there.

adultery, anger, resentments, I think even some family members, abortion, all of those things. This was, you know, so when I came to Christianity, when the Lord called me and I could no longer ignore his calling, it was a huge change in my life, right? Going from major dysfunction and, you know, my husband's family was

strong, faithful Christians, and I know they were very worried about me dating their son, right? Like worst, worst fear of parents like, oh my goodness, you are unequally yoked. You need to, so my husband actually invited me to church when we were friends, and then we started dating, and I was baptized then, and then.

Kimberly Farley (12:36.575)

Abby Wahl (12:56.63)
We got married later, so yes, just very short time afterwards. So, and his family has been nothing but kind and supportive, and the only thing they said is like, well, you know, our only concern is that she is not a professing Christian. So, I was going to church at the time, but that was a big thing. And I'm sure they were praying their heads off for me. So, I'm very thankful to them and their loving compassion and kindness, so.

And their walk with the Lord has been a great example for me.

Kimberly Farley (13:32.187)
I think it's so beautiful just coming from a background that is chaotic and where redemption is so needed but not always seen. And then to have your story of this beauty for ashes that you were given, you know, and it's just, it's this amazing thing that the Lord does. So I think I hope that encourages some of our listeners that, you know, there is hope for people.

Abby Wahl (13:48.054)
Yes, absolutely.

Kimberly Farley (14:01.355)
Also, just to know, like, don't quit praying and reaching out to those in your community that you may think are beyond what the Lord is going to do, but keep reaching out to them. So I also read that you like to practice big hospitality. I'm assuming that may also be connected to this desire to share what the Lord has done in your life. Can you explain that?

Abby Wahl (14:05.494)

Abby Wahl (14:09.525)
Oh yeah.

Abby Wahl (14:19.627)

Abby Wahl (14:28.714)
Sure, well I love my in-laws, but they're terrible cooks. So.

Kimberly Farley (14:36.123)

Abby Wahl (14:39.81)
terrible cooks. They're serviceable. But it was a pleasant surprise when my husband and I got married that I started cooking. My mom is an amazing cook. And so I grew up with really, really great food. And so my husband was just pleasantly surprised and so pleasantly surprised that he got pleasantly plump and gained like 20 pounds our first year marriage. He then since slimmed down, but it was a good time.

And well, I was pregnant, so we were both gaining weight at that point. So anyway, big hospitality. So I, I always loved having people over my, I have two siblings, but I have a lot of cousins on both sides. And so I always, my family was very good about getting together and, and having big family meals. And, and so, you know, as, as dysfunctional and chaotic as it was, it was actually

truly wonderful when we were all together. And there is so many good things that are still happening even in those situations. And I can so appreciate that. So when I got married, I started doing things like making dinner for his family and helping out with holidays because that was just not my mother-in-law's, she just didn't love that. And my husband is the oldest of seven, so.

there's just big family. And then later on, I took over, so every April our family stops school and my husband takes a month off of his farming job. And we go to my in-laws and we help with lambing, which is where we run more than a thousand, almost 2000 years through the barn in a three and a half week period. And we have a full,

crew of people. So sometimes it's anywhere and all my kids help. And so when you're working that hard, you also need to be fed. And so I took over cooking a few years ago. And so I was cooking anywhere from for 14 to 17 most lunches and then in dinners sometimes or sometimes lunches up to in the twenties, just depending on who was there. So being able to cook.

Kimberly Farley (16:47.68)

Abby Wahl (17:06.73)
large amounts of food that everybody likes, that's hearty and filling and somewhat healthy. So I do that for at least three and a half, four weeks every year. So that is big hospitality. I really enjoy cooking and I have five teenagers right now. So all teens and they all eat like crazy. So hospitality I think starts also with your own family and children.

Um, we also, you know, during, uh, the pandemic, um, my state was very, very closed down. And so on, um, a couple of Sundays throughout the summer, we just invited everyone over to our house from church. And so there was about 60 or more people that came and we all brought food and things like that, but to just to be able to host those kinds of things. Um, we've done family events where I've cooked for 70 plus people.

And just recently my friend and co-host Misty Winkler, her son got married and so I went up and barbecued some lamb kebabs for her, for her son's rehearsal dinner. So that was around 40 people. So it's been a lot of fun to just do these big hospitality type events and I just, I really love feeding people actually and making them feel welcome and.

in a casual and non-stuffy way. It's always very relaxed, and I think people have a lot of fun when we do it. So yeah.

Kimberly Farley (18:44.207)
I think it's a real gift to feed people. So if you, if you ever need like another career at some point in your life, you could always go into catering. We're planning my daughter's wedding right now. And it's like, there's so many facets to it. Yes, I understand that. Absolutely. Um,

Abby Wahl (18:47.104)

Abby Wahl (18:54.352)
Yes, yes. I love doing it for people I love. I don't know if I would want to do it to be paid for.

Kimberly Farley (19:08.895)
So I was reading some information and it said that four out of your five children have dyslexia. So I hear from homeschooling families all the time. That's one of the biggest challenges is when reading acquisition is not happening as expected on a, you know, on a nice, smooth linear schedule where, you know, we just continually get progress. Talk to us a little bit about that journey.

Abby Wahl (19:16.364)

Abby Wahl (19:25.432)

Kimberly Farley (19:36.575)
and discovering that they have it. And then how do you teach reading?

Abby Wahl (19:37.294)

Abby Wahl (19:41.694)
Yeah, so those four kids are all left-handed too, which there is some correlation between some left-handedness and a higher percentage of kids being dyslexic. And my first child could read at four, but didn't really want to do much until he was about eight. And so didn't push it. We just read lots of books together and could do it. And I was like, oh, this is gonna be so easy.

but I'm not gonna push it because I don't believe in, trying to do things before they're ready, right? There's a readiness to it. But my other kids were just a little bit later and I thought, I read, I think, Raymond and Dorothy Moore wrote like, better late than early. And so that was kind of some of the prevailing things. And I think that that's not bad advice. Like trying to push too early too soon can really burn kids out and things like that. But with dyslexia, it's actually the earlier you catch it, the better.

I did not know this. So we were much later into the process and my husband had a couple siblings that were later readers as well. So I thought, okay, well, this might just be a familial thing, I'm not gonna worry too much about it. But then at the one point, my daughter, she was writing and you could hold it up in the mirror and you could read it perfectly because it was completely mirrored. And I thought, you know what, this is something like she loved to write, but phonics, it just wasn't connecting.

I had never learned phonics. I was in that whole word movement. And so, I mean, I got quite a few phonics programs. Like we went through them diligently, like Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Reading Pathways, and there was a couple other phonics programs. I was diligent. We tried this. It just wasn't connecting. My kids all wanted to burn How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. They're like, can we have a bonfire and burn this book when we end?

Kimberly Farley (21:33.811)
Thanks for watching!

Abby Wahl (21:37.758)
Um, I said yes. And then at the end, they're like, actually, we should probably pass this along to someone else that needs it. You know, so it was very sweet. I said, okay, that's fine. Um, so later on I discovered, um, Diane Kraft and she has brain integration therapy and it's, um, actually doing some physical training, kind of like occupational therapy with your kids. Um, and so we did that very, very diligently and that actually helped a lot.

Kimberly Farley (21:47.283)
I'm sorry.

Kimberly Farley (21:55.081)
You think?

Abby Wahl (22:05.75)
with retention and things like that. We have done some online tutoring as well, just so that we could have some different tools. So I really like the logic of English. That really helped some of my kids. We did the online program and then followed along with that. So more phonics, more spelling rules, and the reason behind them. That was really good for my kids who wanted to know why this was a certain way. I learned so...

much from that program. We also did some one-on-one intensives with an online tutor from EBLI, I think it's EBLI, but it's Evidence-Based Learning Initiative or something like that instruction. So, but I did that more, it wasn't like a perfect program or anything like that, but there was just some really great tools that we learned and skills that really helped solidify some things. So we did that for.

quite a few weeks and then recently one of my children, he needed a little bit more help and so we did Lexercise and did the tutoring and they guarantee if you do not pass that you can either get refunded or they will do an additional sessions in order for you to be able to pass. So my son did not pass, like he was just right on the cusp of a few things and he had improved.

a lot in those eight weeks. But instead of going back and getting a refund, we just said, okay, we're just going to continue this for a few more weeks. And for whatever reason, those extra few weeks just really pushed him forward. And he's doing a lot. It's quite amazing. And the other day we were at our chemistry orientation, and he read from the chemistry high school textbook, and he stumbled over just maybe a few words. But even so other kids were

odd words that he wasn't used to. So we've come a long, long way. Our spelling still needs a lot of help. That is just one thing that we just are gonna have to kill, diligently work towards. But there is hope, and all of my kids are reading now and can read. My twins, who are my youngest, they were 13, we are reading, they are reading aloud the screw tape letters. And I will tell you, CS Lewis is not,

Kimberly Farley (24:01.488)

Abby Wahl (24:30.506)
baby vocabulary. And so they are reading it. Now, do they need help on words? Absolutely, but we don't just stick with, you know, reading that they can get without a problem. We are reading beautiful English and great books. And that's the ones that they're just really reading out loud a lot to me. Now they do have other books that they are reading and things like that, but we are specifically using great books that are written wonderfully.

Kimberly Farley (24:34.321)

Abby Wahl (24:59.894)
practice our read-alouds.

Kimberly Farley (25:05.003)
I love that too because there's such beauty in hearing the language, right? Like if you're just reading it silently, you don't always catch how beautiful it is. It's when you read it out loud that it's like, wait, that was beautiful. We need to read that part again. So I think that's really helpful. Have your kids come to the point where they enjoy reading?

Abby Wahl (25:27.458)
So I have thought of this. I think that there is a lot of pressure on homeschoolers to have their kids fall in love with learning, right? Like that is the big goal. Like we want to have a love of learning and we wanna be lifelong learners and things like that. It's not that I don't have those things. I don't like that, but I think that the habit of reading is actually more important. I liken it to...

you know, the ordo amoris, right? Augustine is loving what we ought to love, hating what we ought to hate, and then ordering our affections so that we have the habits. I think the habits actually are gonna come before the love. I know that I don't actually enjoy doing things that I'm not good at. And in order for us to become good at something, we actually have to practice all the time. And with dyslexics, you have to practice way more, way more. And...

So it does, it's a lot of unfun skills and practices and struggles for many, many years. So if I waited for a love to develop, I would be doing a great disservice to my children. I just read recently that I love Charlotte Mason. We are classical, but we are heavily influenced by Charlotte Mason and her philosophy of education. And I think it actually goes very, very hand in hand with classical education.

that she talked about the habit of reading 19, 20 times in her volumes, whereas she talked about the love of reading once. And I think we are disproportionately, as homeschoolers, always talking about the love. And I think that the habits are so important, especially when you have kids who it's a struggle and they say they don't like it all the time.

My kids, it's like exercise for a lot of people. They always talk about, well, I love having exercised. I don't love exercise in the moment, or maybe it might be writing too. Like I love having written, but I hate writing in the process. So I think that we have to have those habits and those form our affections and we grow to love them. So I won't say that my kids are like, oh yeah.

Abby Wahl (27:51.698)
I love reading, but I will say they love stories. They love being read to, they love audio books. They love good movies that have good storytelling in them. And they actually are quite incredible at coming up with their own stories. So I know that the habits have created that affection and that ordering and...

and those intellectual as well, you know, habits that, that are a love that they wouldn't say, they wouldn't actually own up to like saying, oh, I love reading. So.

Kimberly Farley (28:34.427)
I think that's really encouraging for our families though, because you really, I mean, all you can do is expose students to great books and all that. You can't force the love of them. And so just that continual exposure and that habit building. And sometimes I think when they get a little further along in life, right, if they have those habits, they will keep reverting to those habits. But

At times we have to do things that we don't love and it's having that self-discipline to say this is what is necessary. That makes a huge difference in how they're going to approach whatever the next thing is in life, whether or not they love it.

Abby Wahl (29:15.37)
Yes, and my kids are hardworking and diligent and do what must be done. Um, and I think they actually do enjoy a lot of their lessons. Um, so it's not that it's all drudgery or all misery. Um, but we, um, yeah, it is a good thing. Yeah. My, my good friend, Brandy Vensel, she always talks about exposure breeds taste and my kids are developing a taste and a love for, um, good stories and good books.

Kimberly Farley (29:46.883)
And I think that's enough sometimes, right? They don't have to love reading everything independently because you can get a lot from listening to an audio book of a great book. So I think that that's really encouraging and I hope a lot of people hear that message that they don't have to love it, but it's still worthwhile of developing the habit.

Abby Wahl (29:56.461)

Kimberly Farley (30:09.839)
Alright, so you Abby are the director of sistership, which is a really neat online community. Can you tell us a little bit more about what that is and what kind of fruit you're seeing from that?

Abby Wahl (30:13.975)

Abby Wahl (30:21.422)
Sure. So we wanted to have an online forum where we could discuss homeschooling, self-education for us as mothers, books, of course. And our motto is to read widely, think deeply and apply faithfully. I'm actually wearing my shirt today. We have cute little shirts and stickers and fun things like that, but it is a place for moms to come and

discuss and think deeply. We also are, we don't do any sales or ads in it. It's very private. It's for moms, homeschooling, but we do have some grandmas and some other educators that come as well. We have a free level that anyone can join and be a part of and discuss all things pertinent to homeschooling. And it is incredibly encouraging when someone asks a question.

and then 20 different people share their experience, their suggestions, and it's all super helpful. There's a lot of camaraderie, and we want to help moms think and grow. There's so many...

products out there for kids and educating students, but we truly believe that you cannot give what you do not have. And as homeschooling mothers, we have to continue to read and learn and apply these things that we are, these ideas that we're taking in. And we also have a paid membership, which is a SOPHIE member, and we do really targeted book discussions and...

Zoom calls and different things like that. We have done excellent marksmanship, which we talked about Marxism and its effect on our culture and schools specifically and education. And then we did one called Tech Tonic and it was all about screen time and wise use. Brandi, Misty, and I don't ever want to be thought of as you know kind of these

Abby Wahl (32:33.538)
people who basically tell you what to think. We want to help people be, we want to help moms become thinking people. We know that there are so many intelligent and wise homeschooling moms out there. And sometimes they just need a little bit of encouragement and confidence built up. But we do believe that people are entirely capable of homeschooling their children and doing it well, and doing it for the long haul.

but we need to be steeped in philosophy and ideas so that we can, so it comes out in our homeschools, right? And not just to buy another product, but to actually know that what products are worth buying and what ones we can probably just say, I probably don't need that. We want, yeah, confidence, competence, and just a lot of encouragement. And we're really drama-free. I've...

Kimberly Farley (33:27.92)

Abby Wahl (33:28.314)
only I'm not on social media anymore, thank goodness. But there was always so many people getting offended and bringing up, you know, not just, we're not trying to avoid controversial subjects, but we are at a point where we believe that there is that dialectic, where we can actually sharpen our.

ourselves by having differing opinions and be okay, and still have discussions where we may not agree on everything, which we don't agree on everything, but we can still honor one another and push back a little bit in a positive and an encouraging manner. So no drama, no sales, no ads, and we keep it private. So it's pretty great.

Kimberly Farley (34:18.875)
Yeah, I have, I've been on there and, you know, watching the forum and I've answered a couple of questions, but I was really struck at how substantive the questions are. Like, these are folks who really want to educate their students well, and they're asking deep, meaningful questions about how to interact with things or how to best approach a problem. And it is refreshingly different than most of the Facebook groups that I've ever been in regarding homeschooling. So...

If you're looking for a really substantive discussion about how to educate your students well, I do recommend that you check out SisterShip. So how do they find that, Abby?

Abby Wahl (34:55.798)
Thank you. You can go to slash sistership, or you can just search sistership. You should be able to find it, it's not a problem. It's a weird word that Brandy made up, so it's great.

Kimberly Farley (35:13.272)
Made Up Words are the best. So we always end the Anchored Podcast asking what was the most impactful book in your life. And with homeschooling moms, I always like to also ask what's your favorite family read aloud? So two part question. And the first one I know is a hard question. It's always hard. How do you pick a book?

Abby Wahl (35:15.094)
That's right.

Abby Wahl (35:34.71)
Yes, it is. It is really hard. Yes, well, I would say first and foremost is the Bible. And for the past, I don't know, five, six years, I've been reading it through in the school year and then reading the New Testament in the summer. And that has just really, really helped me. I don't know, it's just been great. So always read your Bible. I mean, that's the perfect Sunday school answer I know, but it really is. It's where we get all of our truth.

and there's so much beauty and goodness in it. And as Christians, that should be our book, right? But alongside that, I think that mere Christianity was just one of those things that God put into my life that changed my perspective on things and really opened my eyes. And then when I was in Brazil as well, there were a few English books around, and one of them was C.S. Lewis's Ransom Trilogy or the Space Trilogy.

and I read Out of the Silent Planet there. So I love that trilogy and have reread it since that time, but I love those books. And then also one really practical one that I love that I probably reread over and over because it was so good for just my own practicing of spiritual disciplines was Discipline, The Glad Surrender by Elizabeth Elliott.

And I pretty much love Francis Schaeffer and I love Edith Schaeffer's hidden art of homemaking. I read a lot of homemaking books and things like that in my early life because I had no idea how to do it and all my family worked. So that was it. And then I have a couple really, really favorite. So since I have mostly boys, I only have one girl.

Our favorite read-alouds, and we've used audiobooks too, we've done both, are Peace Like a River by Leif Inger. That's one of our really great story. One of my favorites that I've reread aloud a few times is True Grit by Charles Portis. If you have not read it, you must read it. It's so good. And then The Lonesome Gods by Louis Lamour. So these are all kind of like

Abby Wahl (37:57.318)
western-y themes, but we love The Hobbit and we love, you know, Lord of the Rings and things like that. There are lots of those things, but I just find that adventure stories that are just so much fun to read aloud we really, really love. We also read so much poetry, and I just can't stress enough how much poetry has formed my kids and memorized it.

And, um, yeah, so those are my books.

Kimberly Farley (38:32.307)
I love that. I love that you have some that are a little different than maybe the ones that often appear on the list as you know, especially for the read alouds. And I think it is about giving great story and giving our kids stories that they can see themselves in those places right that And I think sometimes that's a little easier with an adventure than it is with a fantasy, but all of them are, you know, are helping them to expand their imagination and

to find the good. Well, Abby, it has been a pleasure to talk with you today. I appreciate you joining Anchored, and we will look forward to seeing the work that you continue to do with Scalay Sisters and with Sistership.