Incorporating high-quality children’s literature into your homeschool isn’t as difficult as you might think! In fact, in most cases, it can happen quite naturally. With a little planning and intentional determination to infuse your homeschool with literature, you’ll be amazed at the results.
Incorporating Literature Into Your Homeschool
Define literature. Literature is more than just “stories.” It’s generally high-quality, introduces a robust vocabulary, and stands the test of time. Now, sure, the fun and quick reads definitely have their place, but don’t confuse them with “literature.”
Read aloud daily – especially classic titles. Reading aloud to your students benefits all types of learners. Plus, you can adapt this time to fit each of your students. For instance, if your student is a visual learner, have him or her color or draw a picture to match what you’ve been reading aloud.
Include classic children’s favorites. Whether you have a preference for “abridged” vs. “unabridged,” you should be able to find classic titles in your preferred style to add to your homeschool.
Include original sourcebooks. In homeschooling, you’re not limited to just using a textbook or assigned piece of reading. Instead, you have the ability to go straight to the source! This means you’re able to obtain primary documents, autobiographies, and more.
Listen to audiobooks. If you’re going on a long car ride somewhere, that’s the perfect time to listen to a lengthy novel. In the video, Rebecca shared about a time when she took a five-hour car trip while listening to The Odyssey. By the time the family reached their destination, the kids wanted to stay in the car to hear the ending!
Read with a purpose. Try not to just “read” for the sake of reading. Instead, read to make predictions, exemplify concepts taught (literary devices), and to enhance your students’ understanding of historical concepts.
Make connections. The most common connections are text-to-self and text-to-text. When students make a text-to-self connection, they’re able to see similarities between what’s taking place in the story and what they’ve experienced in their own lives. Text-to-text connections occur when students are able to recall something that took place in a novel they’ve read previously and the current one. Both types of connections enable students to improve comprehension.
Use living books. Living books – also known as juvenile nonfiction – really help students understand otherwise dry, boring topics. Instead of reading someone else’s summarized version of a topic (which tends to be the case with textbooks), you’ll be exposing your students to the same resources those textbook writers used.
Include narration. Some people are just great test-takers. These individuals will do well on just about any test, but that doesn’t mean they truly grasp the main points in the reading. Narration forces the brain to work in a different way by requiring both absorption of the material and the ability to explain it to someone else. It’s truly a great way to gauge a student’s understanding.
Weave in artwork! This is especially helpful for visual learners who might otherwise lose interest while being read a story. During read-aloud time, allow your students to draw a picture of what you’re reading about. Alternatively, you can look up “free coloring pages” that relate to the story you’re reading (for example, “Anne of Green Gables free coloring pages”). Let your students just sit back and enjoy making beautiful artwork – and memories!
Undoubtedly, classic children’s literature plays a role in your homeschooling. For book lovers, this is particularly true. Good, quality literature is something you want your students exposed to, and the tips above can help you make sure that happens!
Tasha is a homeschooling mom to 5 and has been homeschooling for 14 years. Currently, her children's ages span from toddler to young adult. Tasha has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Social Sciences from Florida State University and is working on her MBA through SNHU/Berklee School of Music.