Sunday, 9 February 2014

All Booked up!

I'm reading The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie society. I'd recommend it. Just  the title intriuged me and ,when I read the reviews I couldn't resist having a peek. The story covers the occupation of Guernsey by the germans during the second world war and follows the lives of some very different characters who 'were accidently  brought together  to share their love of reading in the local Literacy society.

That got me thinking about the role of books in our own home education journey. As a child I devoured books but as I progressed further through the school system the books I read became more and more dictated by the subjects I was studying so that by the time I was studying for my Law degree the only books I read were Law books .Reading for fun had just disappeared.

It was only years later, when I started down the road of home education that I began to read again.Initially to learn what I needed to 'teach' (I know better now ) and then for fun.

The other day I came across this article in Brain Pickings which featured letters to children about the joy of reading. No one can make a child 'enjoy reading' but if you allow children to read what interests them then the majority of children will want more. School puts children off books. I know that for me I never ever want to see or read Waiting for Godot ever again, whilst for my son it's John Steinbeck's Mice and Men.

One website which offers reviews of great childrens' books is Love Reading 4 Kids. It's there that I uncovered a fabulous list of children's books about the First World War. I devour The Book People catalogue when it drops through the letterbox and it's a great excuse to grab a cup of coffee and choose books with my son. He has just chosen a Minecraft book on Redstone and an Usborne book about world war 1.

Books provide an education by stealth. Take The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie society as an example  I didn't intend to learn about the german occupation of Guernsey.It just happened. It reminded me to of a Michael Morpurgo book called Why the Whales came ,a children's story  of the Scilly isles during world war 1 and The Mozart Question when musicians were forced to play in concentration camps as Jews went to their deaths.

Books are sparks which ignite an interest in a subject we then follow through. If you are stuck for ideas it might just be worth opening one to see what ideas pop out!

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