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Summer with the Moodys / Autumn with the Moodys / Winter with the Moodys / Spring with the Moodys Review by Dawn Peterson

By Sarah Maxwell
Managers of Their Homes
2416 South 15th Street
Leavenworth, Kansas 66048

The Moody Family Series comprises four fictional stories that center on the life of a Christian homeschooling family. Appropriate for readers of about age 8 and up, these books were written to provide positive role models for children to imitate.

There are four books in this series. In order, they are Summer with the Moodys, Autumn with the Moodys, Winter with the Moodys, and Spring with the Moodys.

From the beginning of book 1, it is evident that the Moodys strive to follow the Lord. Mr. Moody works hard at his job but longs to eventually have a home business with his sons. Mrs. Moody is a homeschooling mother who seeks to teach her children the value of service, and her daughters the virtues of homemaking and industriousness. The children (Max--11, Mollie--9, Mitch--8, and Maddie--3) seek to obey their parents in all they do. In addition to their homeschool lessons, they find joy in such things as caring for an elderly neighbor's dog, summer entrepreneur endeavors, working on projects around the home (such as cleaning the garage or raking leaves as a surprise for their father), cooking a meal for their mother when she is feeling ill, and celebrating joyous events such as a new birth, holidays, and the once-a-month Moody family fun night.

As the reader follows the life of this family over the course of a year, there are plenty of little "surprises" which come about. Some are happy, some funny, and some problematic, but whatever the situation, the family responds to each with a solid trust in the Lord, knowing all things work together for their good.

There are many characteristics about each of the family members that are commendable and good. When they sin, they confess it and ask one another's forgiveness. When a child doesn't like something due to personal taste or a self-seeking motive, it is addressed. The value of working hard is a strong theme throughout, and a love for the lost is clearly seen.

While there is much to praise in these books, a word of caution needs to be added. Most Christian homeschooling families do not resemble the Moodys. Miss Maxwell grants this in the preface of the final book when she states, "While the Moody family may seem like a perfect family, they are the picture of a family that Scripture sets before us." This can be inspiring and encouraging; however, it may leave some parents feeling that the kind of family life depicted is unattainable or even unrealistic. Simply stated, we are all called to the same Biblical commandments to love our neighbor as ourselves and to glorify God in all we do, but how these are lived out in each family will not look the same. These are worthy of consideration in regards to what goals you have for your family and your children. You could easily address this issue by using the books as family read-alouds and engaging your children in conversation whenever appropriate.

If you desire fictional reading material for your young children that presents a Christian family who spend their time together working and ministering to others while looking for opportunities to share Christ with those around them, then the Moody Family Series is a wonderful fit.

Product review by Dawn Peterson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2007