8 Questions for Helping Children and Youth Evaluate Their Reading and Media Choices

My grandchildren love to be read to. Books are scattered everywhere in their homes. Fortunately, their parents are very careful in evaluating and choosing books that feed the mind and soul. But I know that, as they grow older, my grandchildren will need to learn how to evaluate what they read for themselves. How will they learn to do this – not only for what they read but also for what they watch and listen to? What kinds of questions should they ask? What kind of standards should they apply?

Here is a simple checklist from the Teacher's Guide for the Your Word is Truth youth curriculum with questions based on Philippians 4:8. These questions can serve as a guide in helping you discuss and evaluate books, television, movies, and music with your children and students.

SHOULD I READ, WATCH, OR LISTEN TO THIS?

Finally, brothers, whatever is TRUE,

Can I clearly point out any truths or lies in this book/movie/music?

whatever is HONORABLE.

Do the "heroes" strive to be honest and good?

whatever is JUST,

Is good behavior rightly rewarded and evil punished?

whatever is PURE,

Do the characters demonstrate a hatred of sin and evil?

whatever is LOVELY,

Is good character viewed more highly than popularity, fame, intelligence, or wit?

whatever is COMMENDABLE,

Are valuable life lessons or information presented?

if there is any EXCELLENCE,

Is this well done, reflecting God's intention for communicating with thoughtful skill and creativity?

if there is anything WORTHY OF PRAISE,

Is this worthy of my admiration?

THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS. Philippians 4:8