This week, the boys and I started The Great Gatsby as our homeschool read-aloud. My love affair with this book is less than a decade old, but every time I read it I am wowed all over again by the way Fitzgerald can put so much description into so few words. The first chapter alone gives profound insight into all of the main characters with barely a nod of acknowledgement to any of them.
How does he do that?!
Doesn’t matter; I’m smitten. And now so are my boys.
Choosing Lit for Middle School
You know that using literature is my favorite way to educate. If you’re wondering why we’re reading Gatsby now, there are several reasons. The main one is that we’re studying the 1920s in American history right now, and the Lit Mama does so love to make fiction a part of the learning process. The second reason is that the boys are both old enough now to handle the themes. I’m so glad we’ve crossed to the other side of that middle school hurtle and get to dig into the more grown-up classics.
(Can I just tell you that I’m super pumped to think they might be ready for A Tale of Two Cities? We’ve read Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations, but Two Cities? That’s a whole other level of Dickens.)
The final reason is that Fitzgerald’s use of the language is perfect for showing my boys how a great writer describes Everything without becoming boring.
Choosing books that showcase great writing, relate a time period, or portray characteristics you want your kids to have is hands down the funnest way to educate. I mean, in a Lit Mama’s opinion, anyway.
Homeschooling Middle School
If you want to learn more about why you should use literature in your homeschool and how to choose the right books for homeschooling middle school with literature, check out my post in Year Round Homeschooling’s Homeschooling Middle School series, Introducing Classic Literature in Middle School.
To learn more about how I choose our books for every homeschool year, take a look at How to Homeschool Without Buying a Curriculum.
For a detailed walk-through that will have you choosing your own homeschool literature like a pro, consider enrolling in my ecourse, Choosing the Perfect Fiction Books for Your Homeschool Year. With lots of printables and step-by-step instructions, it will take the guesswork out of choosing the right literature for your kids and leave you with one less thing to stress about.
And it’s ON SALE right now for more than 75% OFF!
You know I love ya.
Want to use literature in your homeschool but aren’t sure how to teach it?
Check out my Activities for Learning posts. They include extensions and activities for chapter books that will help you teach literature like a pro! (I’m not making that up.)
Want even more fun ways to use lit in your homeschool? Check out: