Do you remember crying as you read Old Yeller as a child? Or cheering as you read the part in Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates where his father finally…oops! I almost gave it away!
One of the easiest things you could do today to make your homeschooling more fun and effective this year is have your children read and/or listen to more high quality literature.
Literature-Based Learning with Living Books
Everybody knows that literature is a key component to education, whether you education using Charlotte Mason methods or not.
Especially “living books” — books written by authors with a passion for their subject, full of ideas ready to capture the imaginations of their readers.
But have you ever thought about why literature is so essential?
- A great book provides pleasure to listeners and readers, sparks imaginations and develops thinking skills.
- Literature provides a language model for those who hear and read it, paving the way for better writing in future years.
- Reading and listening to living books build experiences in young readers.
- Literature supports all areas of your language arts curriculum.
- By reading about other’s problems, literature helps children deal with their own.
- Reading about other races and cultures helps readers value others who are different from them.
- Living books may easily be used to integrate subjects.
- Literature helps us see the world more broadly and not just centered on ourselves.
- Excellent literature will be enjoyed by several ages at the same time, making reading aloud an activity the family can enjoy together.
- Reading excellent literature can teach many moral lessons and develop the character of readers and listeners.
Homeschool families have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to incorporate more literature into their curriculum, or even better, to use literature alone to educate their children.
Even if you aren’t yet ready to ditch your textbooks in favor of total learning using real books, add more literature into your homeschooling day! Your kids will thank you!
These are some of our favorites:
Literature for all ages
The Bronze Bow is the exciting story of an eighteen year old boy at the time of Christ who burns with hatred after losing his father. As he travels down the road to revenge against the Romans occupying Israel, he comes to learn that death was not his enemy. He begins to see that the exchange of hatred for love can be powerful…
Johnny Tremain is a somewhat arrogant young man who is a highly skilled silversmith in Boston just before the American Revolution. However, one day he has a tragic accident and is unable to continue his work. Finding a new occupation leads Johnny to rub shoulders with the men of the Revolution. As the story unfolds, Johnny becomes a major player in creating a new America, and learns quite a bit about humility in the process.
Amos Fortune is a compelling story of a fifteen year old boy who is captured, transported to America and sold as a slave. He dreams of freedom yet maintains his courage and his integrity. After 45 years of being a slave he finally begins to see his hopes revealed. The character and humility of this great man will inspire your children This is one of our family’s favorites! So inspiring!
Hittite Warrior tells the tale of Uriah, a Hittite boy living during the Old Testament Judges. He is on a mission after his family is killed by the Greeks. This book is full of history, action, war, and suspense. As you read you become immersed in the life of this young warrior as he comes to understand peace and forgiveness.
Literature for high school
Quo Vadis, which translates “Where are you going?” is set after the death of Christ, during the horrific reign of the Roman emperor Nero. Quo Vadis submerges the reader into Roman culture with its politics and intense persecution of the early church. This is a story of redemption and transformation; parts of it are based on the writings of Tacitus, a Roman senator (and therefore primary source) for this time period. don’t miss it!
Although Safely Home is fiction, it realistically portrays the persecution of Christians in China. An American business man travels to China to visit his former Chinese college roommate who is practicing Christianity. The reader comes to understand the heritage of the Chinese and appreciate their strength and courage as they live out their faith. The author forces the reader to know what it means to “take up your cross daily” as the story moves the American to a slow path of returning to his faith. One of my favorites!
Imagine a day without textbooks or workbooks! If YOU and your children are weary of multiple handouts and worksheets, then explore literature-based learning!
Do you have family favorites other than those I have mentioned? Please share in the comments!