Read a good book aloud.
Talk about what you have read.
This is a Charlotte Mason principle in a nutshell – Read from a living book, give a narration, and you have a wonderful, wholesome education. Read my posts – Loving Living Books and Learning through Living Books
So why do new homeschool parents still believe that they have to buy expensive, bell-and-whistles curriculums for their young kids?
They are afraid they won’t teach everything, or that their child won’t learn everything the should, or that they aren’t qualified. But in truth, no professional curriculum guarantees complete success. There will always be information gaps, but if you have taught your child to listen attentively while you read aloud to them, they will learn!
How does a baby learn? From listening and speaking. And so it is with a literature-based education. You really, really don’t need expensive teaching materials. If you use literature as a powerful natural method, your children will learn.
While you read to your child from a good book, they listen to the words and learn and develop a wide, rich and mature vocabulary. They listen to the story unfolding and learn how to structure sentences and develop a flow of connecting ideas, essential for writing skills. They learn different styles of writing. They learn how to create interest, describe observations in detail and will learn an amazing amount of information.
Telling back is very simple, yet complex, but it genuinely replaces the need for tests, quizzes or exams. As you listen to your child narrate or read his narration, you will know immediately what your child knows and understands.
If your child is old enough, his written narrations will form his notes and provide ample evidence of his understanding, all the way to high school and beyond! They will also develop the most amazing creative writing skills.
My older two daughters graduated from homeschool without ever taking a creative writing course, but they are both incredibly good writers because of the marvellous books that they read. Read the full post “Teach Creative Writing without Lessons“.
Sure, you may need a few workbooks for some subjects like Maths, but for almost every other subject, good books will serve for information, inspiration and motivation.
When your children all chorus, “Please read another chapter,” after you have finished the reading, you will experience the joy of the most wonderful, natural way of learning!
Trust Charlotte Mason’s method. It truly works! Please feel free to share your living books learning experiences in the comments.
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