I think over the course of the Spring and Summer that doing some posts on using literature as the backbone of education would be kinda fun. FYI. I know that kinda isn’t a real word. I’m just being colloquial.
Let’s start with some basics.
Reading aloud. It’s vital.
Reading aloud creates a common point of interest for our families. We gather together and enjoy a drama unfolding. It provides a focal point of interest. When most of us imagine homeschooling, we picture a family centred framework. In the busy-ness of family life, though, that framework can sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
Reading aloud fosters discussion. It expands our mental horizons by giving us cause to think and talk about the big things in life. Conflict, resolution, spiritual growth, forgiveness, revenge, friendship, family, birth, coming of age, death. The discussion nurtures critical thinking and discernment. The drama of the literary world helps to prepare us, in whatever small and insufficient way we CAN prepare, for the big events of life. When kids read on their own, the natural lessons in life that discussion fuels, by reading aloud together, is carried into their personal reading.
Reading aloud helps us learn about the world. Every book has a setting; which includes physical, cultural and political features, personality and geography. Unique physical attributes, weather patterns, cultural norms. Reading opens our eyes to people we may never have the pleasure of meeting and places we may never get to go. It broadens our horizons.
Reading aloud takes us on a journey. We experience the triumphs and tragedies of ordinary people and heroes and heroines. We ache with the bleeding, bereaved, the beaten and the bitter; we rejoice with the restored, the reconciled, the reunited, the redeemed. We stand, sometimes forever changed, in the shoes of another and see what we can see from his perspective. We grow.
Reading aloud keeps older children in the family picture. When we are homeschooling a passel of kids, with a broad range of interests and subjects to cover, sometimes we literally find ourselves scattered all over the house. Good literature read together keeps the big kids coming back, to be together and to share ideas and knowledge.