Storyformed Podcast

Episode #30: Q & A and an Announcement

In this Storyformed episode, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker answer listener questions and make a special announcement. 

Topics include:

  • Cultivating imagination without it leading to violence and aggression;

  • Book recommendations for young boys;

  • Picture books suggestions with themes of courage and bravery;

  • Favorite audio books for kids ages 3-5; and

  • Book recommendations for new readers

Episode #29: Using Stories to Enhance Summer Experiences

Do you want to travel more with your kids, but realize this may not be a likely reality in your near future? Or maybe you are traveling soon and want to enhance your experience through reading books about the place or culture. Today on the podcast, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker share about their summer plans and give book recommendations to aid you in transporting you and your kids to other countries, the beach, woodlands and many other places and locations. 

Topics include:

  • The value in taking advantage of more space in summer to read

  • Ways to travel to nearby or faraway places through books

  • How to create summer booklists with your kids

  • Book recommendations

Episode #28: Cultivating Your Child's Imagination

Do you sometimes wish your child had more of an imagination? Do you wonder what steps to take to help cultivate an imagination in your kids? Today on the podcast, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker talk about why imagination matters in life and faith, drawing from the stories of inventors, authors, and even their own experiences with their kids. 

Topics include:

  • How imagination inspires creativity

  • How imagination leads to a life with God

  • Ways to cultivate imagination in our kids' lives

  • How to create space for imagination in our children

  • Book recommendations

Episode #27: Why Do Goodness, Truth, and Beauty Matter?

Do you ever hear people rattle off the words, 'goodness, truth, and beauty', and wonder what they are talking about? We mention this triad of words from time to time on the Storyformed podcast, but don't often take the time to discuss what we really mean when we say them. So, today I had the opportunity to interview philosophy professor Adam Pelser about this topic!

Adam received his Ph.d from Baylor University where he studied under Bob Roberts, a renown Christian philosopher. Adam is a currently a philosophy professor at the Air Force Academy where he teaches Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Love, and even a course on C.S. Lewis and Philosophy. He writes on emotions and virtue formation and he is currently writing a book on Emotional Evidence for God where he explains how we can see God with the "eyes of our heart." You can connect with Adam on Facebook and Twitter (@AdamCPelser) and at his website -  

Topics Include:

  • The value of understanding goodness, truth, and beauty as Christian virtues

  • How goodness, truth, and beauty show up in everyday life

  • How goodness, truth and beauty reveal themselves in stories

  • Book recommendations

Episode #26: Stories From the Farm

In this episode, Holly Packiam talks with her husband, Glenn Packiam, and their daughter, Sophia Packiam about farm life. Glenn shares his first experience of going to the farm, and Sophia talks about what visiting the farm has meant for her childhood. Holly discusses how reading Wendell Berry helped realize the gift she was given by growing up on a farm and having a poet-farmer for a father. Sophia contributes to the conversation by talking about the various farm stories and books set on farms that she’s read and what she’s gained from them.

Topics Include:

  • How farm life can teach us to see beauty in the ordinary and to have patience and persistence through difficulty;

  • What Sophia would tell young people who find farm stories uninteresting;

  • Why reading farm stories are not about nostalgia or idealizing a certain way of life, but rather about learning a new perspective and gaining new virtues.

Episode #25: Reading With Teens

Are you wondering how to navigate reading with teens? Today on the podcast,  Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker talk about how to stay connected with teens through books in this changing season of their lives.

Topics include:

  • The kinds of questions teens wrestle with-- from identity to purpose

  • The value in reading together in the teen years

  • Practical ideas for creating space to read together

  • How to help teens recognize and choose good books

  • Book recommendations for teens

Episode #24: Read for the Heart (Picture Book Edition)

In this episode, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker discuss the picture books chapter in Sarah Clarkson's book, Read for the HeartThe book describes how her parents, Clay and Sally Clarkson, decided that one of the primary gifts they would give their children would be a childhood shaped by great stories. Sarah writes from the perspective of one whose own heart, mind, and soul were formed by books, and in doing so, invites us into what she calls 'the reading life'. We share some of her picture book recommendations in this episode. But this is more than an invitation to get through a reading list; it's an invitation into a reading life.

Topics Include: 

  • The value in reading good books to our children

  • Reasons for choosing Read for the Heart as your #1 resource for children's book recommendations

  • Hallmarks of a classic children's book

  • Picture book recommendations from Read for the Heart

Episode #23: Help, My Child Doesn’t Like to Read!

In this episode, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker discuss what to do when you have a reluctant reader. They discuss the different reasons for reluctance and how to be a detective to determine what is going on with your child or student.  

Topics Include: 

  • Specific developmental challenges to watch for in emerging readers

  • Reasons for reluctance in otherwise skilled readers

  • Strategies to apply to encourage a love of reading

  • Ways to build reading confidence

Episode #22: Learning to Love Poetry

In this episode Holly Packiam speaks with Sally Clarkson about encouraging our kids to love poetry. The ability to participate in God's presence through the reading and listening of beautiful poetry is a gift of being created in His image.

Topics include:

  • Practical ways to capture our childrens' interest in poetry

  • The value of putting great works of poetry before our childrens’ eyes

  • The importance of presenting a feast of poetry to our children

  • Books to inspire a love of poetry

Episode #21: Helping Kids Develop Habits of Reading

In this episode, Holly Packiam and her husband, Glenn Packiam, talk about how we can help our kids develop habits of reading. You may remember in episode #11, Holly and Jaime discussed their quest as Christians to become lifelong learners and carriers of widsom. But today, they're focusing this message on our kids. 

Topics include:

  • Why Psalm 1 addresses desires and habits

  • How we can create rhythms-- patterns of practices-- in our lives

  • How to incorporate reading into naptime and/or bedtime routines for all ages

  • Practical ideas for making reading accessible

  • Ideas for reading the Bible as a Story together

  • How the Holy Spirit doesn't often override our habits but helps us form new ones

Episode #20: Christmas Books & the Art of Cultivating Generosity

In this episode, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker share some special family memories and traditions. They also talk about cultivating generosity in their homes as well as give Christmas book recommendations!

Topics include:

  • A brief history on Saint Nicholaus Day

  • How family traditions bring meaning during the Christmas season

  • Christmas book recommendations

Episode #19: Following Jesus through Advent (A Conversation with Glenn Packiam)

In this episode, Holly Packiam and her husband, Glenn Packiam, talk about the meaning of Advent. As a dad, pastor, and theology doctoral student, Glenn shares his perspective on how to celebrate Advent with your family as well as in your church community. 

Topics include:

  • How the Church Calendar can be an invitation into discipleship

  • What Advent is really about

  • How keeping Advent can help keep our focus on Jesus through the busy and commercialized holiday season

  • How Advent gives voice to our longings and leads us to be the answer to someone else's longing

  • Practical ideas for participating in Advent in your home

  • Advent Resources

Episode #18: A Storyformed Thanksgiving

In this episode, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker, talk about how to cultivate grateful hearts in their own lives and in their children. They also discuss ways of making God central amidst the activities, food preparation, and business of the approaching holiday season. 

Topics include:

  • A brief history on how Thanksgiving became a holiday

  • How gratefulness leads to faithfulness

  • Practical ideas for cultivating gratitude in our kids

  • Thanksgiving book recommendations

Episode #17: A Conversation with S.D. Smith, Author of The Green Ember Series

In this episode, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker talk with the popular children's book author, Sam Smith. Sam is a deep well and also quite the jokester as you will observe by how much we laughed throughout the entire podcast! 

Topics include:

  • Sam's recent decision to quite his current job to become a full-time author

  • How we can see ourselves as characters in God’s grand narrative, and see God as the ultimate hero of the story.

  • How to be a creator or a curator versus a critic.

Episode #15: Favorite Books for Boys

In this episode, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker have the special privilege of talking with Heidi Scovel. Heidi shares with Holly and Jaime about some of her favorite books for boys. We think your girls may like them just as much as your boys!

Topics include:

  • Favorite books for boys

  • Choosing books for boys at various ages and developmental stages

  • Cultivating a reading culture in your home

  • Ideas for encouraging reluctant readers

  • Advice on how to start a book club for adults or kids

Episode #14: Back to School - Cultivating Rhythms of Reading

In this episode, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker, discuss the struggle they feel as they seek to find new reading rhythms in their homes at the start of a new school year. If you're struggling to find consistent windows of time to read with your kids, listen and you'll hear some new ideas to make time for what matters most. 

Topics include:

  • The importance of reading regularly

  • Barriers to creating rhythms of reading

  • How a daily practice of reading gives opportunity for discipleship around the table with our kids

  • Practical ideas for creating space to read daily

Episode #13: Favorite Chapter Books for 9-12 Year Olds

In this episode, Holly Packiam and her daughter Sophia Packiam, discuss their favorite chapter books for 9-12 year olds. This is a perfect episode for parents and children to listen to together! The next time you're all in the car together, on maybe even during an evening at home, be inspired together.

Topics include:

  • The characteristics of a good book

  • Books that include characters worth emulating or ones that lead a child to explore the tensions and complexities lying in the human heart.

  • Favorite Chapter Book Titles for 9-12 year olds