Monday, February 1, 2010

Learning with Literature


When my boys were in the early elementary years, I had homeschooling fantasies of reading great books together from morning till night.  Hey, if I had been homeschooled as a kid, it’s what I would have liked! And although I quickly learned that boys aren’t going to put up with sitting cozied up on the couch together for 12 hours a day, I found that they still got a lot from our adventures in literature.

We began, where many homeschoolers do, with a jaunt through Five in a Row.  How can you go wrong with classic children’s books and activities that make them come alive?? After that, we experimented with Sonlight, and picked and chose our favorite parts of the curriculum to customize a learning plan for each child.

By the time they hit middle school, though, my boys were definitely feeling the lure of technology.  Those years of patiently putting up with mom and her book-addiction were over, and they wanted something they could interact with - - something multimedia – something less…well…bookish. 

When my youngest began his first year with Time4Learning™, I sadly shelved our collection of must-reads, and watched with dismay as the flashing lights and bright colors held him captive.  But not one week into this new curriculum, he hit upon his first assignment based on a book excerpt.  The assignment was called “My Brooklyn Grandmother”, and gave students insight into the life of Chinese Americans. He interacted with the reading, got his multimedia fix, and then can you guess what my son asked soon thereafter? 

That’s right…he wanted to read the REST of the book.  So off we went to the library in search of the full autobiography, “The Lost Garden” by Lawrence Yepp. 

I kept my Cheshire cat grin safely hidden behind the spine of our newly checked out book, and drove home, quickly - - anxious to get back to that couch again and start reading!

What about you?  How do you fit books and reading in with your current homeschool curriculum?


  1. In our house my son is not a very good reader, we are working on this but in the mean time he just does not like to sit w/ a book and read it himeslf. To get him to practice his reading, he reads small books two chapters a day. But to get him to read/hear the good litature we have always listen to books on CD. Ususally in the car. Well at Christmas this year he got an mp3 player and is listening to 2 to 3 books a week on it. We have been downloading books from In the past week he listened to The Secret Garden, Our Island Story and Little Men. I just put The Burgess Bird Book for Children and The Burgess Animal Book for Children. He loves to listen to books. Now if I could find more for Free that would be great!

  2. Great resource...thanks for sharing! You might check with your local library. Ours subscribes to a digital book service that has an amazing number of kids mp3 books you can download!


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