All of us are used to learning with books, but generally the majority of those books are textbooks. What if we changed it up, used a Literature Based Curriculum with less text books and more real living books! Would it still count as learning? Would it work?
What would you say if I told you it has been working for years! That there are companies thriving on selling this kind of curriculum and that those homeschool graduates who have been educated with a literature based curriculum are now graduating high school with honors, getting scholarships and choosing any profession they desire.
Benefits of a Literature Based Curriculum
Literature Makes Learning Fun
When a child enjoys a book with a good story and enchanting illustrations while cuddled next to an influential adult in their life (Ahem! their parent!), learning takes a more natural course. Their curiosity is aroused by what they are hearing and seeing and naturally leads to questions that demand to be answered. How much more exciting it is to learn this way than to be forced to learn disjointed facts from uninteresting textbooks!
Literature Gives You Context
A text book offers an overview of the situation: the most important names, dates and places, the problem and the ultimate outcome. While a story gives you a context to which to pin all that information! Imagine trying to learn about the Revolutionary War from one page in a textbook vs. from the life and adventures of Johnny Tremain. Through the descriptive language in the book, you enter the story, you see the sights, smell the smells, feel the fears and the excitements of all of those events! This adds detail, depth and understanding to the names, dates and places because they are now “in context”.
Literature Provides Meaningful and Memorable Interaction
Many of the books you remember as favorites from your own childhood are tied to memories of the people who read/enjoyed those books with you: parents, grandparents, a teacher, a babysitter. When we read books to our children we are creating lasting bonds with them as we experience the literature together.
We also have more opportunity for meaningful conversation with them as we discuss together the events and issues the characters in the books face. Children will often make applications to life based on stories they have heard, saying things like “Oh, thats like what (this character) did when he _________.” or “We need to be careful about that Mom, right? So we don't end up like (this character) in the story.” And we have the opportunity then to guide the discussion of the events in question and direct the development of our children's thinking and reasoning skills, not to mention their moral character and understanding of practical applications of Scriptural truths!
Below is our slideshow from my talk at FPEA 2016
I know there are more reasons to use and love a literature based curriculum. What are your reasons?
Looking for a literature based curriculum? Here are some companies we recommend: