Trust The Children

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Small Rudder, Turns A Large Boat

Is there one thing that you can do in your home education environment that will pay more dividends than anything else? Some may debate this, but I am going to tell you what I have observed in our home, that is an answer to this question. The learning activity in our home, that in my opinion has more bang for the buck than anything else, has been reading out loud to our children. This is such a simple thing. But this one choice, has perhaps had more educational benefit than anything else we do.

In Cyndy's daily routine, not a day goes by, that she doesn't read something out loud to the children at home. Sometimes it is newspaper articles that spawn conversation about politics, history, current events or religion. Sometimes, it is a good book that they all are interested in listening to. At Christmas time, I begin looking for a book that I can add to our special Christmas story books. It is amazing how all the kids, even the older ones, the college students, stop what they are doing to listen to dad read.

Each reading session can provide an opportunity to process what was read. We can talk not only about content, but more importantly the value of the delivery as well. How did this author's writing style compare with another one we have read recently? It is fun for each of the children to hear the each other's opinion and evaluate it in their own minds to see if they agree. It is important for our children to see that we validate them, by accepting their view of the the topic, without feeling a need to correct it. If the topic was a moral principle, we would consider our response more carefully.

Others know more why it works. Others may have a more developed plan. Reading out loud is simple, low budget, and effective. If you aren't doing now, add it to your own education plan and have fun.


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