Thursday, February 3, 2011

Loving Living Books

One of the bestest parts of homeschooling is the use of Living Books.
What are Living Books?
Living Books is the term used by Charlotte Masoand refers to books that are educational AND fun & entertaining- an overall interesting read. Living books draw the reader into the plot at the same time the reader is learning. Our favorites center around history. What better way to get a picture of what different eras of history were like then to read fictionalized stories set in those time periods!
What better way to learn about pioneers than to read The Little House Books? Want to know what it was like in Medieval times? Read these wonderful books: The Castle DiaryCatherine, Called Birdy or A Door in the Wall. Why read a two page dry report in a text book when you can read a story that transports you imagination?
Having had my oldest two children in the public school system, coming home to school and jumping into Living books made a huge difference. My oldest laughed at the idea that this was “school” and fell in love with learning all over again.
I would like to point out that we do use some textbooks but they are NOT the bulk of our book learning but supplements. Our main history "textbook" for this school year is Mystery of History Vol. 1. This is in no way the boring, dry textbooks I remember reading in school but a delightful read. In fact it is such a good read that you can often find either Mr. Steady or myself reading and enjoying it. Both girls have often read more than the assigned pages because they find it so interesting. We've even pulled it out and referenced it when speaking/discussing with friends and family.
Homeschooling gives us so many wonderful options on how to teach and Living books are just one of those options. One I am very thankful for.
There are others who advocate Living Books besides Charlotte Mason but the Charlotte Mason learning style is the one most often referred too. Ambleside Online has a great "free" Charlotte Mason/Living book curriculum as do many others. The two companies I have used, Sonlight and WinterPromise, both use Living books and have a modified Charlotte Mason style.

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