Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family – Ch5 Part 10

Early Childhood Education at Home

Biene contributed this post.

When we turned four years old, my father started teaching us on weekends.  He had a large world map, which covered a wall in his study. He introduced us to geography. We had to point to and name all the continents, major countries, capitals, rivers, mountain ranges and oceans.

We had to draw maps and were rewarded with pennies if they were accurate. Papa explained the solar system to us and allowed us to colour his beautiful pen drawings for the ballads he had written. At bedtime, he would read books of the great explorers and inventors of the past or other historical events.  I loved cuddling close to my father on the bench of the big tile stove and listen to the great stories of mankind. 

Hiking – From the left: little Walter, Gertrud (Biene), Walter and Elisabeth Panknin

I learned to read before I even went to school and have always been a voracious reader from then on. I was six years old when I read my first novel. My mom had the book sitting on her night table. It was a gift from my father, who loved historical novels. Whenever I had the opportunity. I secretly read this big book which intrigued me. It introduced me to an exciting world far beyond my years. To this day, it is my favourite novel. The author is Hervey Allen, and the title is “Anthony Adverse.”  It was translated into German. 

Elisabeth Panknin, the twins and their sister Elsbeth

Although religious practices were tolerated under the new regime, they were not being encouraged. My mother had been strictly brought up in the catholic faith by her guardians.  However, my father was protestant.  Shortly after our birth, even before my dad had a chance to meet us, she had us baptized in the protestant faith out of respect for my father. My mother was always a firm believer in the Christian faith and instilled this faith in me. For her, the differences among the various religious denominations were not of great importance. She believed in a personal relationship with God and salvation through Jesus Christ. She would always encourage us to pray and believe in the power of God’s love.

We were introduced to the word of God by an interdenominational Christian group that read bible stories to preschool children. They must have sown seeds falling on fertile ground. To this day, I have never lost my faith in the goodness and truth of God’s word and the miracle of Christ’s promise of salvation.

15 thoughts on “Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family – Ch5 Part 10

  1. Biene, you had a great beginning. Baptism in the Christian faith and trust to know God loved you with a personal love. All those prayers saved your family from more distress. Amazing how your father taught you and your brother from age 4 and you were reading a novel at age 6! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Biene , I loved that your parents would read books to you and that you learned reading at such an early age. My parents introduced me to books as an early age too and my first career was a professional bookseller back than in my hometown Munich. I believe reading books open another world to us and as well practicing a belief. Thank you Biene for sharing your life with us.

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  3. Biene, was für schöne Fotos! Die finden wir richtig süss! Auf dem zweiten guckt der kleine Walter so niedlich ungeduldig,als würde er am liebsten sofort wieder ausreissen!! Und Eure Schwester war sehr hübsch…
    Dass Du schon mit vier Jahren Bücher gelesen hast,sogar mit sechs einen Roman (!!) war bewundernswert. Euer Vater hat Euch wirklich sehr viel beigebracht..
    Einen so festen Glauben zu haben ,hat Dir sicher schon oft in vielen Situationen geholfen….
    Wir wünschen Dir , dass Dein Fuss so schnell wie möglich heilt!
    Bleibt / werdet alle beide gesund und munter!!
    Herzliche Grüße..


  4. One of my memories from childhood is of our father reading fairy tales from a fat book to my sister and me, during one winter season when we were sleeping in their room. Must have been around 5 to 8 years old at that time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I guess my mother was religious, too.
    What was bad for me was that she, being seriously ill, believed she was going to hell. Because of what, actually?
    For me, in the end, experiencing things of faith was something very bad, because we had a demonic priest who only scared us. And was also abusive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All men, including the priests of the Catholic church, fall short of the glory of God. I learned a long time ago to distinguish between the message of love and the evil that representatives of the church have committed to this very day. Too bad that your mother was tormented by the thought of going to hell. What a tragedy!

      Liked by 1 person

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