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The Best Homeschool Tools for a Literature-Based Curriculum

The very best tools for your homeschool that will get you started and keep you going all year with a literature-based curriculumThe days are getting shorter, duckies, and the air is starting to smell of apples, pears, and the end of summer.

For us homeschooling mamas, that means a couple of things: 1) We can peacefully go on field trips again and 2) we’re thinking about getting started back to school.

Here at the Brison house, we use a literature-based curriculum every year, and the upcoming year will be no different. I’m just trying to figure out how to fit The Diary of Anne Frank, The Devil’s Arithmetic, Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed, and Number the Stars into one semester of chapter-a-day read-alouds.

But if summer homeschool was any indication, we might be studying World War II for longer than that. Which is okay, because we’re homeschoolers. We can study our subjects for as long as we want to.
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To Kill a Mockingbird Activities for Learning

Learn about prejudice and why it's wrong with Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books I’ve probably read 10 times. I love everything about the story, from Scout’s childhood to the trial to Atticus as a father and a lawyer to the mystery of Boo Radley. I love the message inherent in the story. I love the history in its words. I love that my boys enjoyed reading it as much as I do. And as I read back through it to create these activities for your kiddos, I cried more times than I can tell you–for the sweetness of childhood, good parenting, and basic human rights.

You really can’t ask more from a single book.

There’s a lot to digest in roughly 280 pages, though, and some grownup stuff that your kids might need help understanding or dealing with. Scout and Jem’s childhood antics, their fascination with the local recluse, Boo Radley, and the trial that shakes their small southern town (defended by their own father), can be pretty heavy stuff.  But there is such an incredible array of very real characters in the novel, so many opportunities to laugh, and maybe even more opportunities to study ourselves and human nature, that this one is a can’t-miss.

So, assign To Kill a Mockingbird for personal reading if you want to, but if you read it aloud together, you get to relive the story, too. Or (and what is wrong with you?!) for the first time.

I’m kidding.  There’s nothing wrong with you. You just seriously need to read this book.

You want your kids to glean as much from this story as possible. There’s a lot of history, sociology, and human wickedness and kindness in the novel. So let’s get your kiddos reading To Kill a Mockingbird like pros. Because we want them to get it.

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How to Use Literature to Teach Writing

How to Use Literature to Teach Writing will show you how to use good books to teach your kids the intricacies of writing

The definition of a wordsmith is a skilled user of words.  One of the reasons Charles Dickens is my Dead-Author Boyfriend is that he was, indeed, a skilled user of words.  Luxurious, meaningful, true words.  The kind that rarely get used in today’s mass market writing world.  The kind that a lot of kids today have replaced with acronyms and misspellings.

But you want your kids to be wordsmiths, don’t you?  Or to at least grasp the concepts that go along with it?
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