A book is a visitor that you invite into your heart. The thing about this visitor, this book, is that once you invite it to visit, it never really leaves. The same is true of films and music because these things, all of them, are based in stories, and we think in stories. Every culture passes down stories from one generation to the next as a means of creating and retaining culture. Because stories in every form are so native to our nature as human beings and because they are not (nor should they be) merely a matter of simple black and white morals, I think they have the ability to bypass the safety valves of the intellect and go straight to the heart.
This matters because books, films, and music all make up the white noise of our personalities. A good story is vitally important because it has the power to subtly change who we are. A bad story–one that does not speak the truth about human nature–has the power to do that as well. This matters for us, and it matters for our children as well perhaps even more. We are all in the process of becoming more and more who God wants us to be, but they are changing more quickly.
Some would say that as long as a child is reading, that’s a good thing, and what they read doesn’t matter all that much. I vehemently disagree. Reading itself is a morally neutral act. Reading good books is an act of virtue. Reading bad books is an act of vice.
Today, we find what I would consider to be a rather horrific widespread acceptance of darkness in books young people are reading. It cannot but fail to increase the acceptance of that same darkness in life, making those who read it less capable of recognizing good from evil.
If you are a homeschooling parent or any parent at all, you have the right and the authority to have a say in what your children are reading. Please make sure that it tends toward what is good and true and beautiful.