Old Books, Old Treasures, Loved Anew
© Beverley Paine, 2004
I wish I'd kept my favourite books from childhood. I had many treasures: the tiny book of nursery rhymes I taught myself to read with, an ancient cloth hardback with gold-edged pages and fascinating colour plates as old as my grandmother; cheap books from Coles with breathtaking adventures. These are books I would have shared with my children and read again with great pleasure. There's something about an old, much loved book.
Way back in 1972, Carol Chomsky found a correlation between children's linguistic stages and the number of books mothers recalled with pleasure from their own childhood and shared with their children. Even if you only remember two or three books it's worth sharing them with your child. Don't force these books onto your children though. April, my eldest, steadfastly refused to be interested in the authors I enthused about, but if I allowed her to find and explore them on her own, by making sure these treasures were available in the home, she devoured them at a great rate.
I did keep a couple of books though, and surprisingly for a child that read every novel or story book in sight, these two books were large illustrated history books. Although the text and illustrations were dated, my children found them fascinating and a great starting point for their own historical explorations. They also gave rise to insightful conversations about the cultural bias deeply embedded in historical accounts. As a result we've all become critical readers of both historical and current affairs.
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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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