Here at Lit Mama Homeschool, our favorite class (as you may already know) is guided reading.
When I say guided reading, I mean reading aloud together, going over vocabulary from the book, answering questions out of study guides I create for each book, and doing some sort of hands-on activity that helps us keep that day’s chapter in our minds. For me, it’s the most important class we do.
Let me tell you why.
Everybody’s world is different. No matter how much we want to think of the world being just one place, we all come at it from different backgrounds and histories, and that makes this billions of worlds all coexisting on one planet.
In my world, everyone knows the story of Achilles and his heel, everyone has seen The Sound of Music and West Side Story, and everyone has read classic novels and understands references to them. That is how I think. It does not often occur to me to think of the world differently.
What I love most about homeschool today are those surprising moments when our littles rise up and say, “I would rather learn about (-insert cool topic here-).”
Don’t you love it when that happens?
Now, my boys are famous for thinking they’re saving my feelings by doing what I want. Even when I don’t want it. Consider the Christmas play they put on for our extended family for 3 years longer than any of us wanted to. I had them do it the first time because they were little and cute and we mostly caroled. But then we started finding ways to do ‘musicals.’ And they were cute, don’t get me wrong.
They were also a lot of work. Picking (or writing) the play, choosing the songs, rehearsing, creating sets. Yeah, we did all that. And it was fun. But a lot of work. Did I mention it was A Lot of work? So 4 years ago I asked (with my fingers crossed, hoping they would say no), “Do you guys even want to do a play this year?”
“It’s a lot of work for you, I know, so if you don’t want to do it, I understand.”
They wanted to.
So we did. This year, my parents are snowbirding in Florida and the extended family isn’t getting together. I mentioned being relieved we didn’t have to do a play. The boys said (I kid you not), “Whew. We’ve only been doing it for you, anyway. We haven’t wanted to do it for years.”
“Um. Why the heck didn’t you tell me that when I asked?”
We didn’t want to hurt your feelings.
This book. This book, y’all. I love Ralph Fletcher, as you probably already know from my Hello, Harvest Moon Story Time. His use of the language almost makes me cry. I love reading gentle, lulling books with my boys, and this is definitely that.
Twilight Comes Twice is a poetic book done up in gorgeous watercolors to tell the stories of dusk and dawn. Twilight, dusk, and dawn, are 3 of my favorite words because of the images and feelings they evoke whenever I hear or read them. So this book plays my heartstrings like a brilliant orchestral piece.
I mean, “A crack opens between night and day and twilight slips through the crack?”
Um, more please.
I usually don’t do this, because you know I believe wholeheartedly that you should be the one reading to your kids, but if you want it read aloud with beautiful music and lovely sound effects, check out this awesome Youtube of the book. But have the book in hand when you do. Because books.