Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Loving our Literature

This week's Blog Cruise question has to do with how to instill a love for learning in your child.  I thought about it quite a bit, and while there are many things we do around here, I really think our literature-based approach to school has a lot to do with our love of learning.

When Dale first decided we'd homeschool (we didn't even have children then!) I envisioned me and my 2.3 children curled up on the couch, reading a great book.  Or two.  Or six.  I knew nothing about homeschool curricula, or methods, or really even that there were more than a couple homeschoolers here and there.  But I figured I could somehow create my own history program using an awful lot of biography and maybe some historical fiction.  I figured I could find biographies of scientists, and use that as a launching pad for studying the science these people were famous for.  Obviously, great books were a natural for language arts.

And then there is reality.  Like 2.7 more children than I had pictured.  And we don't all fit on the couch.  But the books?  Oh, yeah.  The books are definitely there.  We aim for two hours a day of read-aloud time.  We don't get there too often anymore, but it is still a great goal.

There are so many benefits to reading aloud.  But for purposes of this post, well, one big reason I love literature based learning is that the kids love it.  They love a story, and the story will draw them in.  So pretty soon, they are learning about real times and real places.  And the real things involved, whether that be science, math or history.  The kids will drop everything to hear a story.  Even my near-teen will find himself sucked in, calling out, "Caps!  Caps for sale.  Fifty cents a cap!" alongside the four year old.

What to read?

  • the Bible.
  • Biography.  Love that.
  • Historical fiction.
  • Other fiction
  • children's picture books, these can be awesome for literary analysis.
  • Boy Scout manuals or merit badge books.
  • history
  • non-fiction books about whatever subject interests them... insects, the space program, cooking... the possibilities are nearly endless.
My kids love to hear a story.  They love to try to figure out which parts are real and which are not.  That draws them into researching the subject.  Or it gives them hooks for later.  Either way, my kids love being read to, and our family read-aloud time is one of the key ways we keep learning fun.

The TOS Crew Blog is sponsoring a question of the week every Tuesday. Watch for what my Crew Mates have to say about instilling a love of learning tomorrow!
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1 comment:

Annie Kate said...

We LOVE reading aloud at our house too. It's the best part of my day. :) And it sure keeps us learning!

Annie Kate