We have a short list of books that is considered an aspect of our children’s lessons. They set aside a little time each day to read their “reading list books” though they often have another book happening at the same time which is “recreational reading”.
It is important for the children to understand that there is a purpose in these books being chosen for them, there are lessons to be learnt. Sometimes though it is hard for the children to understand this and they just enjoy the story as a story.
Just recently I encouraged Jessica, who is reading Heidi, to look deeper into the story for things to learn.
- Character – she can take note of the character flaws or character strengths of the characters in her book. She can draw lessons from the incidences in the story, making a point of learning from them for her own life.
- Wisdom – often someone in the story makes a wise statement – something that makes you pause and think and say “Oh I must remember that!” If / when we write this down, just like copywork, then it makes a deeper impression in our own thinking and we have it recorded so one day we may refer back to it to clarify our memory.
- Geography, History, Cultural details – when we read books, the world opens up to us and we travel to places, we see people and experience things that we are unlikely to in real life. We need to have our eyes open, our thinking reading to see these opportunities from any book we read.
- Questions you ask yourself – I encourage my children to hear themselves ask questions and to take note of those questions. What, Who, Why, When, Where and How are all good questions to ask yourself. Once a question is asked an answer needs to be found.