Add a Little Drama to Your Life
© Beverley Paine, 2004
Children naturally play pretend games based on their favourite television shows or movies. We see it all the time. If they have a favourite author who writes a series of books that engage their attention they will probably role play characters from the stories, either acting out the story or developing their own plots.
As a child I loved doing this. There is no reason we need to leave this fun behind us - some people don't - they become actors and directors and continue to enjoy this foray in the world of creativity and fantasy. There is no reason we need to stop playing either.
Develop your shared reading experiences into mini-plays. Dramatisation remains one of the bet ways to involve children in the reading process and to motivate them to read on their own. You can do this in a playful way, like I often did with my children, or incorporate it into your homeschooling curriculum in a more structured manner.
Choose a simple scene with a clear beginning and ending. Let everyone choose the role they wish, and then brainstorm to recall what happens first, second and third in the story or scene. Act it out, with movement and dialogue. Use simple props and make impromptu costumes, or for an elaborate performance with an audience you can make costumes, props and sets. To help the children get into the characters and action, ask them what they think the characters feel in this situation. How would they feel if the action was happening to them? What made the characters behave in this way? What might happen next? The best theatre looks and feels real.
All too often as children grow literature becomes focused on reading and writing, dissecting the meaning and purpose of the text and understanding the intent of author. Let reading remain fun, keep the fantasy alive by reading aloud and role playing!
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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