I don’t know about you, but many of the topics I was taught about in public school I will sadly admit, I don’t remember. Especially when it comes to history and science. I remember doing the classes, it’s just most of the topics or bits of information learned I cannot remember, at all. I do, however, remember the great books that we read in school, they left lasting memories that I will always have with me.
When I decided to start homeschooling my children I decided I wanted something different for them. I wanted them to learn in such a way that they not only enjoyed learning but actually remember the topics being taught to them. I wanted them to be excited about learning not to be bored with and dread it. That meant looking outside of the box to educate them. Not following the “public school” model of reading the easily forgettable textbooks. This can honestly be an uncomfortable way of educating at first when that is all you have ever known.
Over the years this has looked different in our homeschool. Some years it meant making trays for the little ones to learn concepts like shapes, learning to tie, art projects, or fine motor skills. The past few years we have done something different with our children that has been such an amazing way teach them. We have taught them using wonderful literature.
While we are reading some of our history stories the kids will work on notebooking pages so they can remember topics that interested them while our reading. During our American Geography lessons the kids will fill out or find the countries we are learning about on a map of the world, add people into our timeline books. We will make foods from that country read different reference books about how these people really live. I want the children to really understand each of the different cultured we learn about.
Benefits of Literature-Based Learning For Our Family
There are so many amazing benefits of literature-based learning after using it in our homeschool. After a few years of teaching our children this way, we are really starting to notice the difference in how much they are learning this way.
I have found that teaching our children using great literature helps them to retain the information so much better and it is easier to teach my wide range of ages of children. Learning this way makes education fun for the kids while helping them to increase their English skills without even realizing it.
Great For Teaching Multiple Ages
When using a literature-rich curriculum you can teach multiple aged children together. This is super beneficial for a mama like me, who has many children.
Due to the fact that we have kids in younger elementary grades as well as kids in the high school grades it is kind of hard to teach those groups of kids at the same time. Our solution to this was to teach them to two different groups. We have one class for the younger kids, and then another class for the older kids. Just about all books work just fine with different ages, since books are not set for just one specific grade/age. This means instead of teaching 5 different classes I can just teach two, essentially saving me a ton of time teaching and making the mama of many happy!
Makes Learning Fun
When reading through different novels or biographies children get the chance to experience different time periods, other cultures, and ways of life. Literature essentially helps our children to understand that there are other ways of living life outside of the way they live.
The use of literature to teach curricular concepts helps relate the concept being taught to real-life situations, bringing the concept into the child’s world.
(Whitin, 1992, p. xii)
How many times have you read a good book and not wanted to put it down? How many times have you picked up a public school textbook and now wanted to put it down? I’m sure we both know the answer to that question. Well, that is just how learning with literature is, once you start reading a good book, chances are that your kids will not want you to put the book down. If this is how they are learning about history, geography, missionaries, etc then why wouldn’t you want to teach them this way?
Increased English Skills
There are many studies that have been done that show reading to children increases their critical and creative thinking. Not only that but children reading good literature will learn all the different ways to appropriately use punctuation. While reading they will come across different grammar and style used in many different ways. What better way to teach children many of the different English skills then right in the great books they are reading.
Financially Wise Decision
Now one of the biggest things that can be tough for us in using a literature-based curriculum is the initial cost of the program. Some of the books can get pretty costly. With that being said there are a few factors that you need to consider before passing on a curriculum due to the cost.
- Reuse – With a literature-based program you can reuse each of the levels with consecutive children. So I may have to spend the money this year for my high schoolers curriculum, but in four years when my next child is in high school, they can just use the same materials.
- No Consumables – If you have use literature-rich curriculum in the past, you are aware that there are almost no consumables. This means when you do reuse the program with each of your children you won’t have to purchase consumables for the class.
- Payment Plans – Did you know they Sonlight offers payment plans to families? Yup, if you purchase your curriculum early enough in the year the let you space the payments out over a 9 month period. That is such a blessing for families who struggle to come up with the funds up front to purchase their curriculum for the year.
Have you noticed how much better children pick up concepts when they are using great literature? We love to teach our children using literature, but what is your favorite way to educate children? Leave a comment below letting me know, I would love to hear from you.
It is getting near the end of the school year and Sonlight has a great new product to offer you. An end of the year memory book. It would be a GREAT thing to make with your kids. They will cherish it for years to come!! Head over to find out how to get your own!!
Make sure you head over and follow Sonlight on Pinterest, there are so many great homeschool ideas shared there, I’m sure you will be glad you did!
I may be linked up with these great linky parties!!