Knights in Training: Book Review

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It’s a new year, and I’ve got new parenting books to read! I started off with “Knights in Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous, and Compassionate Boys” by Heather Haupt. This book was published in 2017, so it’s pretty new. As outlined in the table of contents and on her website, the 10 principles are: Love God, Obey, Stand Against Injustice, Protect the Weak, Respect Women, Don’t Give Offense, Speak Truth, Be Generous, Persevere, and Pursue Excellence.

I feel like I can support teaching all of these principles to my son. My favorite part about the book is that in each chapter she does a “Throwing Down the Gauntlet” section where she gives practical ideas for how to teach each principle. These are things she has tried out with her sons, and they are very adaptable. I plan on using many of her suggestions. For example, in the “Respect Women” chapter, she talks about practical ways you can help your sons recognize and reject pornography. In the “Be Generous” chapter, she focuses not only on teaching your sons to be generous with their money, but also with their time and talents. She has a lot of real life examples, and you can totally tell she is a boy mom because she turns everything into a game or competition. I really, really enjoyed all of the anecdotes she included because I was able to better understand how I could teach my own son these principles.

However, the part of the book that I struggled with was committing to the lifestyle change. It is basically a handbook to submersing your family in the culture of knights and relating all of the principles to modern issues. Since the book is about knights, the author provides her sons with toy swords and encourages them to practice fighting with them. She lays down rules of fair engagement, and includes this type of play into their day. Throughout the book are stories of knights that exemplify each principle. She provides an extensive booklist to help parents and children fully understand the extent of the code of chivalry. This is a great option if you are homeschooling (which she is). The book has a curriculum feel to it. It requires heavy parental involvement in your child’s life to provide books, activities, and life lessons all centered around knighthood. Many of these resources are also available on her website. While I admire how she has been able to focus everything under a theme, I’m just not ready to delve into medieval times.

Overall, it was a good read and I’d recommend it, even if you don’t want to implement everything she recommends.

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