Friday, December 14, 2012

Books, Real Books, and a Close Call With a Trash Can

This week, I mistakenly ordered a library book which turned out to be from a (*shudder*)... a children's educational series.

Why on earth do they publish these things?

Of course, if they didn't, we wouldn't be able to learn things like....


I won't say where I would normally place books like this...

Wait, how did this picture get in here? 

... but in the meantime (and especially since my instinctual plan of action would result in some rather stiff library fines), I've just stuck that book right back into the "library returns" box.

Thankfully, the same order of books also contained an excellent book - an illustrated "Little House" excerpt book telling the story of Almanzo's birthday. Oddly enough, it tells exactly the same information (that winter is cold and that people wear coats and gloves in winter), but in place of deadly-dull informational writing, it uses excellent art work, vocabulary, historical and cultural information, and an interesting (and true!) story line that has become childhood memory for countless millions of children.

The more I see of children's books, the more in favor I become of "real books" education. Real books (that is, non-textbooks), teach so much more effectively and pleasurably than textbooks. I am learning so many great things about real-books education, and I see every day how much children absorb from vast amounts of reading good-quality books. Today our 6yo sat spell-bound for "Saint George and the Dragon" (an excellent source of art, language, vocabulary, and medieval mythology) - and what's more, asked to have it again! Reading a dry list of facts about medieval culture would not have held nearly the same amount of interest (if any).

I'm still working on developing my own history curriculum reading real books, but there are already many excellent curricula on the market that utilize real-books education (such as Sonlight). But whether you are a homeschooler or your children attend public or private school, real books are such a great method of education (or educational enrichment) for any family. I can't get enough!

Have a great night, everyone!

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