Day 7: “Life” in living books and ideas

With the P4 homeschooling exam and the PSLE less than half a year away, stress level at home is unsurprisingly higher this year. It is easy to lose sight of the big picture and spend hours burying ourselves in assessment books and textbooks rather than building “life” in our homeschooling journey. (This term is based on Charlotte Mason’s, a British Educator, belief that we should give children living thoughts and ideas.)

I have always been inspired by Charlotte Mason’s desire for a whole education and one that calls for the osmosis of living thoughts and ideas through books by authors with deep knowledge and special interests in what they are writing. These books of literary character often help our children get in touch with the emotions and ideas of the authors.

Over the years, many things have changed in our homeschool. But we have never ceased looking out for living books and using them as learning materials. We read them, use them for copywork, spelling, dictation and discussion of ideas.

Covid-19 kept us home most of the time and suddenly we are re-reading The Railway Children, The Wheel on the School, Journey to Topaz and other favourites all over again. The learning didn’t stop there. We proceeded to discuss/ learn/ research about things that interest the children – storks, Netherlands, use of dikes, World War II, racism, you name them. Good books never fail to ignite the curiosity in children, not for my children, at least.

Cabin fever? Dig out a few good books from your home library or get some free audio titles available on the Internet. You never know what learning surprises await you.

Elaine

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