Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show

Interviews with guests with services or products of interest to homeschool families

Don’t Wanna Obey?

Don't Wanna Obey? One story from the bible that I go to often is Jonah. You can learn alot about obedience and forgiveness from JonahDon’t Wanna Obey?

One story from the bible that I go to often is Jonah. You can learn alot about obedience and forgiveness from Jonah. Many people don’t wanna obey, and they focus on the part of the story where Jonah spends time in the belly of the big fish. My favorite part comes after Jonah is spit out on dry land.

One day God asked me to obey in something that I just didn’t want to. It was a hard, and kicked against it for a while (just like Jonah) but in the end when I yielded to the call of obedience I was blessed in ways that I never imaged.  Hear more of this testimony in this podcast.

 

Educate – FREEDOM Tools Part 2

Educate - FREEDOM Tools Part 2: 7 tools for making the most of our time so that we can live balanced, peaceful lives.

In the previous episode, we began talking about my FREEDOM toolbox–7 tools for making the most of our time so that we can live balanced, peaceful lives. These are the tools:

  • Focus
  • Reflect
  • Educate
  • Eliminate
  • Discipline
  • Organize
  • Multitask

Today we’ll look at the third tool: Educate.

It’s easy for homeschooling moms to get so caught up in educating our children that we forget about educating ourselves! We can get caught up in curriculum, lesson plans, and goals for our children that we completely neglect our own personal growth.

But the truth is that we ALL need to expose ourselves to new ideas and new strategies on a regular basis for all three major life areas: personal, family, and business. You need to sharpen your own skills and broaden your mind, learn new ideas and methods for training and educating your children and running your household, and discover new ways to build your business, if you have one.

In addition, if you want your children to value reading and learning, they need to see YOU reading–for pleasure as well as for learning.

In this episode of the “Flourish at Home” show, you’ll learn a variety of ways to make the most of your reading, such as keeping a reading journal, writing in your books, and keeping a record of your reading.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Sure, I’d like to read more, but I don’t know how I can possibly fit it into my life. I already have too much to do without adding one more thing!” You’ll also discover practical tips for fitting learning into your life, such as taking advantage of the wide variety of formats available now, using audiobooks to multitask, using family time for independent reading as well as reading aloud, and the always-popular reading at bedtime.

Join us for encouragement and practical tips to keep learning and growing throughout your entire life!

Destination: Inspiration – Thriving

Destination: Inspiration - Thriving. With Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom. Today we talk about moving away from an overwhelming life.Destination: Inspiration – Thriving. With Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom

Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom joins Jen Reyneri on the program today to talk about moving away from an overwhelming life and moving on to a life of writing and travel. Hear some of Jen’s tips and Crystal’s most inventive ways to manage and save money so that you can experience travel and taking steps to having more personal enjoyment in your everyday life. Visit more of Jen’s adventure community at Word Traveling.Crystal's new book

A Novel Approach – Teach Creation To Kids

When you teach creation to kids it can seem overwhelming, perhaps you don't know where to begin. In this podcast we discuss...Teach Creation To Kids With A Novel

When you teach creation to kids it can seem overwhelming, perhaps you don’t know where to begin. In this interview (listen to the first one here), author Felice Gerwitz interviews her co-author, and daughter Christina Gerwitz Moss. Christina had a passion for writing and she turned her interest in science and writing into a novel that will teach creation to kids.

The Truth Seekers Mystery Series is chock full of science facts. The series was reviewed by several creation scientists and there is even a vocabulary list at the back! You can purchase the book on Amazon or via the Media Angels Membership website.

Thanks to our sponsor! Homeschool Connect Expo Felice Gerwitz is presenting three video teachings and there are over 70 speakers and sponsors – sign up to get more information about upcoming events. And, thanks to our sponsors who make these episodes free!

The Truth Seeker’s Mystery Series is comprised of three novels, The Missing Link Found, Dinosaur Quest at Diamond Peak and The Keys To The Past Unlocked. In each novel, the children uncover a mystery and discover different aspects of creation. It is easy to teach creation to kids when they are captivated by a story that engages and encourages discussion. Thousands of people have read the novel and the feedback has been wonderful. These novels were written when Christina was homeschooled and finished when she entered college. Now Christina is a homeschool mom and is able to teach creation to her children.

A New Label on the Block – CAPD

Another label has emerged for individuals that are having learning challenges – it’s CAPD. CAPD stands for Central Auditory Processing Disorder.Another label has emerged for individuals that are having learning challenges – it’s CAPD. CAPD stands for Central Auditory Processing Disorder and is also referred to as APD or Auditory Processing Disorder.  There are different aspects of this “disorder” that negatively affect a person’s ability to function fully.  Symptoms include:

  • Difficulties in recognizing and interpreting sounds, especially voice tones
  • Inability to hold sufficient information in sequential order in one’s auditory short-term memory (sequential auditory processing).

This label, like other labels in our educational system, is a symptomatic label.  That means if there are enough symptoms on a checklist, the label is given.  As always in NeuroDevelopment, the question is: what is causing these symptoms to occur? Our society’s practices are the culprit again!  In this episode, Jan Bedell, the Brain Coach, will provide a broader understanding of CAPD and its far-reaching effects.

If you know someone that has trouble following directions, staying on task, reading with a phonics approach, or comprehending what is said and read, this podcast can offer some real answers.  Many times the same symptoms that are associated with CAPD are also experienced by individuals that have or are suspected of having ADD, ADHD, dyslexia and other learning struggles.  This podcast will discuss how low auditory processing presents challenges for every sector of our society.  It will also include ways to improve the inefficiencies found in the symptoms of these labels. By learning how to improve these inefficiencies, you can help your child’s auditory processing improve greatly!

 Don’t miss the handout attached here with links to pertinent resources.

Developing Language Skills in your Young Learner

LCP Ep 13: Developing Language Skills in your Young Learner

 

Developing Language Skills in your Young Learner podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #languageskills #languagearts #reading #writing #preschool #elementary #literarycafepodcast #drseuss #rhyming #rhythm #repetitionThe time to start reading and developing language skills in your young learner is now.

Reading at least 15 minutes per day from the time your child is an infant and even through high school will not only promote a bond with your child and an enjoyment in reading, but help develop vocabulary, reading, and writing skills.

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she shares step by step how to easily develop language skills in your young learner with practical tips, resources, and book and activity ideas that help you get started right away.

Show Notes

Developing Language Skills in your Young Learner

If you suspect your child is experiencing language or processing issues, you may want to check out Dianne Craft’s articles and materials at diannecraft.org. I used quite a few of her materials, articles, and her Brain Integration Therapy guide.

Book Title Suggestions for Rhyme, Rhythm and Repetition

Start with simple Dr. Seuss Books – Hop on Pop, Dr. Seuss’s ABC’s, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Then longer Dr. Seuss Books – Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham

Sheep in a Jeep

Sheep Go to Sleep

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear?

Assorted Poetry Books – The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury

Reading Activity Suggestions

Start with nursery rhymes and finger and hand motions while you recite them together.

As you read together, point to each word as you read it aloud.

Point to the pictures on the page and comment and ask questions about them. (Depending on the age of your child, you can ask them a question about what a picture is or a color in the picture.) As they get older or more familiar with the book, you can ask more complex questions. (Visit Using Higher Order Thinking Skills in your Reading to gain ideas in asking questions and developing thinking skills.)

Repeat reading the same books (as long as your child shows interest in it) for at least 15 minutes per day.

Use your child’s finger to point at the words as you say them and allow them to turn the page if they want.

Take turns reading sentences or pages so that your child doesn’t feel overwhelmed by reading too much at one time. (For practical and fun ways to engage reluctant readers, visit Ultimate List of Fun Ways to Engage your Reluctant Reader.)

Put magnetic letters on the refrigerator for play opportunities.

Have a letter of the day or week and let your child tell you whenever they see that letter during the day.

Depending on what kind of learner you have, you could try different kinds of activities to learn the alphabet

Songs, chants and books read aloud (audio books) for auditory learners

Use pictures of the alphabet that have animals or pictures within the letters so that the learner can make connections or stories to help them remember the letters for visual learners.

For tactile or kinesthetic learner –
Cut letters out of sand paper and trace the letters with their fingers.
Trace letters of the alphabet in the sand or shaving cream or finger paint.
Trace letters in the air using whole arm movements and paint letters on the driveway with water and a paint brush.
Form letters with your whole body or out of play dough or pipe cleaners.

For rhyming books or poetry –

Read a line with a rhyming word at the end and stop reading once you get to the rhyming word and let your child say the rhyming word.
Copy down the poem and leave a space at the end of the line for the rhyming word and let your child fill in the blank.

For Sight Words –

Copy sight words down on index cards to make flash cards. (If your child has a difficult time reading a part of the word, write that part of the word in a different color.) (Go to www.sightwords.com for lists of words and activity suggestions.)
Copy word family words down on index cards to make flash cards and write the word family sound in a different color.
Make duplicate copies of these words for games – Go Fish, Old Maid, Memory or Concentration Matching Game.

For Writing Activity Suggestions

Have your child paint or draw a picture on the top half of a page of paper. Then have your child tell you in a sentence what the picture is about. Write down what your child says underneath the picture as he/she says it so they can connect what they are saying to what you are writing down.

As your child gets older begin the practice of having them retell parts of stories back to you or short stories back to you. Then have them practice writing down one sentence at a time (even if they are using inventive or “creative” spelling) until they can write down more than one sentence, building up to multiple sentences. They can then draw a picture about what they just wrote about.

For detailed steps and more ways to help your struggling or early writer, visit Teaching your Struggling Writer How to Write.)

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share about developing language skills that your family has found helpful! Or, if you found any ideas here helpful or have any questions! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting!

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page! And make sure you share this page with other homeschoolers with middle and high schoolers and are wondering how to get started writing in these grade levels!

 

Developing Language Skills in your Young Learner podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #languageskills #languagearts #reading #writing #preschool #elementary #literarycafepodcast #drseuss #rhyming #rhythm #repetition

 

 

Using Higher Order Thinking Skills in Your Reading

LCP Ep 12: Using Higher Order Thinking Skills in Your Reading

 

Using Higher Order Thinking Skills in Your Reading with Literary Cafe Podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #literarycafepodcast #reading #higherorderthinkingskills #criticalthinkingskills #languageartsAre you wondering what we mean by “higher order thinking skills” or “critical thinking skills”?

And what do you do with them and how do you teach them to your children? And how are you supposed to do that with reading?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she explains what higher order thinking skills are, why they are important, and how you can practice them with your children in fun and easy ways.

 

Show Notes

Using Higher Order Thinking Skills with Your Reading

Different Levels and Kinds of Higher Order Thinking Skills

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Thinking skills can be organized in a hierarchy of difficulty (and also according to stage of child and learning development). In other words, from least to most difficult and acquired as a child ages.

For a detailed description of these thinking skills, what they look like in your child, why they are important, and how to practice using them in easy and fun ways, you will want to listen to the podcast.

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a method of labeling and describing the different levels of thinking skills and what they entail.

Knowledge or Remembering – This thinking skill is the ability to recall information and details or memorize facts or words.

Comprehension or Understanding – This skill requires the need to understand the meanings of the words and what they mean when used together in phrases or sentences to express an idea. Your child needs to have the vocabulary knowledge and the capacity to understand the concept being presented.

Application or Applying – Not only does this skill require understanding and comprehension of something, but also the ability to take that learned and understood information and apply it to a similar situation.

Analysis or Analyzing – This skill requires understanding something and making connections in what is being read or studied because the connections are not spelled out or clearly identified for the learner. The learner has to make the connections on his or her own.

Synthesis or Revising – This thinking skill allows your child to make a leap or build new thoughts based on the connections they’ve made using the other thinking skills we’ve been discussing – formulating what they are comprehending, learning, and connecting from the reading and making something new or forming new thoughts from all of this.

Evaluation – This is where your child learns to make a judgment about something, form an opinion or make a decision.

Question Starters to Practice Different Levels of Thinking Skills

Bloom’s Question Starters Handout

Higher Order Thinking Question Stems Handout

Suggested Activities to Practice Using Different Levels of Thinking Skills

Recalling and retelling information through retelling what your learner has heard during a read aloud of a short story or chapter.

Graphic Organizers or Mind Mapping – Use these to practice thinking skills and organize and use different concepts or ideas.

Graphic Organizers to Print

Mind Map Examples for Different Topics

Activities and Projects Related to a Book (Out of the Box Book Report Ideas and Literature Study) – using different kinds of thinking skills and learning styles

Podcast and Show Notes with Handout for Essential Guide to Out of the Box Book Report Ideas and Literature Study

Have your learner create his or her own assessment to either give to another learner or themselves – a quiz, test, paper, project – and have them write it to include different levels of thinking skills. They would also need an answer key or something to evaluate the outcome of the assessment, requiring them to use even more thinking skills.

Have your learner create a lesson plan around your book, maybe literary devices or techniques, story elements used in the book, or character analysis. Have him or her include a lesson to present with created visual aides, guided practice opportunity with the class like an activity, game, or class practice, and an assessment like a quiz, practice worksheet, or other assignment.

Consciously making the effort and taking time to incorporate different levels of questions or activities or projects not only can make reading more interesting but definitely expands your learner’s thinking abilities and prepares them for knowing how to think – and not just answer questions only requiring recall.

This helps to develop our problem solvers, innovators, creators, and leaders of tomorrow.

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share about using and practicing thinking skills  that your family has found helpful! Or, if you found any ideas here helpful or have any questions! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for March’s topic when we discuss developing language skills in your younger learners. I have all kinds of practical and fun ways to get your early learners reading and writing and loving it! We are also going to be tying it to Dr. Seuss’ birthday which is also celebrated in March!

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page! And make sure you share this page with other homeschoolers with middle and high schoolers and are wondering how to get started writing in these grade levels!

 

Using Higher Order Thinking Skills in Your Reading with Literary Cafe Podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #literarycafepodcast #reading #higherorderthinkingskills #criticalthinkingskills #languagearts

 

 

Essential Writing in your Homeschool High School

LCP Ep 11: Essential Writing in your Homeschool High School

 

Essential Writing in your Homeschool High School #literarycafepodcast #homeschoolradioshow #homeschool #highschool #writing #essays
Do you have a middle or high schooler and you are wondering what do you need to teach them for writing for credit or for preparation for college?

Intimidated by the kind of essays that are usually included during high school and are necessary for college applications, standardized tests, and classes?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she shares with you what is considered essential writing in your homeschool high school for high school credit, experience, and college preparation.

 

Show Notes

Types of Essays to Practice in High School

(This is a list of suggestions starting with the less challenging to more difficult and most common kinds of writing to other kinds of experience you may want to include.)

Informative essay (try a 5 paragraph format for this as your first kind of essay if starting here)

Persuasive/Argumentative essay (common for standardized tests with an essay)

Summary Paper (can be about an essay or article and the author’s viewpoint)

Compare/Contrast

Literary Analytical or Critical essay

Research Paper (MLA is common, but there are also APA and Chicago formats as well)

Cause/Effect

Definition

Narrative (can be a personal anectdote – common for the the college application)

Descriptive (can be describing a scene, person, or object using all senses and can incorporate creative writing)

Process Analysis (step by step writing that would be used in technical writing)

Cover Letter and Resume

 

Websites with Prompts for Different Kinds of Writing

These sites assist your upper middle and high schooler with gaining practice writing different kinds of essays, including preparing for essays on standardized tests that some college admission offices require and prompts for essays on past college applications that used the Common Application.

Persuasive Essay Prompts

More Persuasive Essay Prompts

General Writing Prompts to Warm up your Early High Schooler

Prompts for Various Kinds of High School Essays

Various Writing Prompts and Writing Activities for High Schoolers

Practice Using Literary Devices in Writing with Valentine’s Day theme

 

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share about writing in high schooler that your family has found helpful! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for February’s topic when we discuss including practice of using higher order thinking skills when reading for all ages. You will be amazed by all the skills and benefits your learners can gain by making a point to prompt them to use various levels of thinking!

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page! And make sure you share this page with other homeschoolers with middle and high schoolers and are wondering how to get started writing in these grade levels!

 

Essential Writing in your Homeschool High School #literarycafepodcast #homeschoolradioshow #homeschool #highschool #writing #essays

 

 

Teaching Your Struggling Writer How to Write

LCP Ep 10: Teaching your Struggling Writer How to Write

Helping Your Struggling Writer #homeschool #homeschooling #writing #strugglingwriters #teachingstrugglingwriters #literarycafepodcast
Have you ever seen your learners with “a deer caught in headlights” look when holding a pencil over a blank piece of paper?

Is it a struggle to get your child to write down more than a word or two?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she shares tips and practices in getting even your youngest learners more comfortable putting pencil to paper and conveying their thoughts into written words.

You’ll soon be using these techniques every day in your own routine easily and naturally.

 

Show Notes

Quick Writing Practice Opportunities

Post cards or letters to friends or relatives about a trip or event.

Pen pals.

Science nature journal or sketch pad with captions or labels on a nature hike or walk.

Grocery lists or other lists – favorite things, to do’s, menu, people.

Emails.

Thank you notes for birthday or Christmas.

Birthday cards or other cards, including invitations.

Posters, flyers, brochures, book jackets.

Journal or diary (can be just a sentence or more about their day).

Scrapbook or photo album with captions or names underneath.

Use invisible ink or secret code to make writing more interesting and fun.

Write using different media and materials – colored pencils, gel pens, scented pens, colored paper, chalkboard, white board, window or mirror, eraseable writing pad (the one with the plastic pencil and you lift the plastic sheet up to erase your writing.), driveway with chalk or water with a brush, large poster board or paper with paint, write in sand or at the beach.

Creat slide shows with Powerpoint or Google slides or Prezi.

Collaborate and take turns writing a story, taking turns one sentence at a time.

Write a story as a character or famous person using “I”.

Interview someone for real or pretend and write down what they say.

Write about an event or nature hike using “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why”, and “how” to tell you what to write about.

Write a revision of a well-known story revising an event or a character in the story in your retelling. Write a new ending. Keep it a simple story like Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears or Three Little Pigs, or The Gingerbread Man.

Websites to Help You Draw and Write Your Own Story

These sites assist your child in creating a picture for a scene or multiple scenes in a story either drawing your own picture or using graphics they supply. Once they create the picture/s, they can type in the story and either read it online or print it off for their own book.

Story Jumper

Read Write Think Printing Press

Story Starters by Scholastic

My Storymaker

Writing with Writers

Imagine Forest

Writing Prompts

If you choose to use writing prompts as a topic instead of the retelling of a read aloud or a short simple story, I highly recommend you let your struggling writer draw a picture of the scene that comes to mind from the writing prompt. This way they can write about what they see happening in the picture and it will be less challenging for them to verbalize a story from the prompt. (Remember – in the podcast we discussed that creating a story from scratch takes the writer away from focusing just on getting over the overwhelm of putting words in a sentence on paper.)

Writing Prompts for Kids

Free Writing Prompts

Daily Writing Prompts

180 Journaling Writing Prompts

251 Free Creative Writing

Writing Prompt Printables for all Ages

 

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share about how your family has overcome the “deer caught in headlights look” or the overwhelm of putting pencil to paper! Or, what techniques from this podcast or list of ideas you found helpful! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for January’s topic when we discuss essential writing skills in the upper grades! You will definitely want to catch this episode to make sure you are preparing your children for college and life with their writing.

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page! And make sure you share this page with other homeschoolers whose children struggle with writing or even those just trying to make it easier and more fun!

Helping Your Struggling Writer #homeschool #homeschooling #writing #strugglingwriters #teachingstrugglingwriters #literarycafepodcast

 

 

Valuable Benefits from Reading Classic Literature in your Homeschool

LCP Ep 9: Valuable Benefits from Reading Classic Literature in your Homeschool

 

Stack of classic books for valuable benefits from reading classic books in your homeschool podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #classicbooks #classicliterature #literaturestudy #literarystudy #highschoolliterature #highschoolliterarystudy #middleschoolliterature #middleschoolliterarystudy #homeschoolhighschool #homeschoolmiddleschool #literarycafepodcast #homeschoolpodcast

 

Do you cringe when you think about “classic literature”?

Are you intimidated by the thought of tackling challenging vocabulary or complex sentences that seem to go on and on?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she shares important benefits from reading classic literature, starting with easier books and working your way (and their way) up and through more challenging works as they progress through middle and high school.

There are so many academic and personal benefits that you most likely have not considered in reading classic books, but make the effort extremely worthwhile. They range from the very practical like expanding vocabulary to developing your child’s understanding of themselves, their world, and their individual viewpoints and worldviews.

Show Notes

 

Here is a summarized list of the benefits from the podcast. Please listen to the podcast for details and examples about these benefits.

When I use the term “classic literature”, I am not referring to the ancient literature of Socrates or Sophocles or Oedipus Rex. I am discussing books that have withstood the test of time and have earned a valuable place in our culture and on our bookshelves based on their theme and content or their rich use of language to express ideas.

I have compiled lists of suggested book titles for middle and high school for your reference when considering what books to include in your literature study.

Suggested Middle School Reading List

Suggested High School Classic Literature Book List

Important Benefits from including Classic Books in your Homeschool Literature Study

Learn to Appreciate the Written Word as a Piece of Art

When reading quality literature, we can envision a picture in our minds the scene the author is expressing through the written word. Through vivid descriptions, imagery, literary devices and other writing techniques, we are brought into the world or story that the author is describing. We can hear, feel, or see what the characters experience. We absorb the mood and get to know the characters through their dialogue.

Writing is a craft on paper, much like that expressed by artists with paint on a canvas. What we are reading has so much more meaning and we appreciate and enjoy it more when we can understand the techniques that a writer has used to transport us into another world for the moment.

Learn to Understand and also Absorb Complex and More Interesting Sentence Structure

Classic books, especially as you enter high school level literature, contains more complex and sophisticated sentence structure. If we start exposing our children to easier to understand classic books in middle school, they become accustomed to the longer and more complex sentences and how to tackle them when reading. When they enter high school, it will be less daunting to read some of the more challenging works because of the practice they have already gained.

Our children will also start to speak and write in more interesting sentences, because they actually start to absorb this way of expressing themselves. It comes naturally.

Enrich and Expand Vocabulary

When your children are regularly exposed to a more challenging vocabulary increments at a time, your children will become adept at using the sentence around the word to decipher the meaning of the word in its context. This is a very important and practical skill. They also more easily learn and retain the meaning of the word in the context of the sentence and the story, as opposed to weekly vocabulary lists that are not attached to a memorable story.

These words will then appear more naturally in their speech and their own writing.

Practice Identifying and Analyzing Worldview

In this day, it is important that we help our children identify worldviews that exist today and appear in the written and spoken word as it is presented in books, social media, television, and movies. We need to share with them our family viewpoints, morals, values, and our personal worldviews. Through this filter, we can then identify worldviews in speech and written word we come across or study with our children. It’s important to compare the viewpoints presented by others to our own personal worldviews and determine if they fit with our own and accept them or reject them.

It is through this study and discussion that our children develop their own views and are prepared to enter the world ready to stand by their own beliefs or be swayed and habitually change their viewpoints depending on their surroundings.

Classic literature with its content, themes, and viewpoints is a wonderful resource for this practice and discussion. Wordviews have been presented and have changed throughout literary time periods through history. (In the podcast, we have discussed this with more detail.)

Looking at Literature as a Reflection of History and Society

Because writers do not write in a vacuum and live during different time periods in history and changes in society, their writing will reflect their surrounding events and societal views and their own experiences. When we read classic books, we get a front row seat to events and feelings and beliefs of that time period of that author or of the story.

We can see why and how we are today because of the progression of ideas, events, and beliefs that have come before the present we are experiencing.

Looking at Literature as an Influence on History and Society

Writers not only write about events and beliefs around them to reflect what is happening, but also to influence those events and beliefs to bring about a change. Examples would be Thomas Paine’s Common Sense or Harriett Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Both were written to influence society and instigate change.

The written and spoken word can be powerful tools. Learning to identify pursuasive rhetoric helps our children learn to use these tools effectively and be able to discern when this rhetoric is being used to persuade them to adopt an idea or a belief.

Develop and Practice using Higher Order Thinking Skills

When interpreting and analyzing literature for its worldview and meaning and tying in our own views and experiences, we have the perfect opportunity to practice higher order thinking skills. From comprehending what we are reading to synthesizing what we have read to meld those ideas with our own, there are different kinds and levels of thinking skills that are naturally incorporated in reading and discussing a classic book.

 

Identify and Explore Universal Themes found in Literature and in Life

Classic books are a great opportunity to look at the theme presented in the story and compare it to life and our own personal experiences. These themes might be jealously, greed, grief, love, pride, revenge, or good versus evil. When we read about and explore a theme of a story, we have the opportunity to look at the consequences of actions of the characters and learn lessons from their experiences.

We can compare our own thoughts and feelings from our own experiences and examine them and learn from them. We begin to understand these “universal life truths and human experiences”.

This leads to our next benefit.

Understand and Develop Empathy and Sympathy for Others

A scientific study examined children when they read fiction versus non-fiction and they found children learned something when they read fiction. From reading about different characters and their experiences and being able to see and be a part of the characters’ thoughts and feelings in reaction to those experiences, the children in the study developed an understanding and empathy for those characters.

They were able to learn to take what they learned from those characters and those experiences and transfer an empathy to other people who were feeling a certain way because of the discussions about those characters and comparing their experiences to their own experiences. The children were able to project what they would do and how they would feel and act toward others in different circumstances that demonstrated an understanding of the feelings and motivations of other people. Practicing this with characters in literature helped them to develop this skill.

So you can see that studying classic books does not have to be a dreaded experience of convoluted sentences and long and difficult words and thoughts. It can be a wonderful practical experience to acquire not only academic skills that will help them in college, but important life skills to bring them into adulthood.

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share about how your family has studied any classic books! Any great book titles or authors to suggest? I would love to hear from you!

 

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for December’s topic when we look at ways to help your struggling writer learn to write! Don’t miss this episode as I share practical and easy ways to help your writer get over the frustration and “the deer caught in headlights look” when faced with a blank piece of paper.

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