My Life Mirrored in Stories
© Beverley Paine, 2004
We all love a good story and the reason is that somewhere, in each and every story, we see a part of ourselves. Stories tell us about families and communities, how we get along and don't get along, what we desire, what we hate, how we manage to cope and live every day. Even stories with animal characters are about people.
When we connect what we read to our own lives we help children learn to love and appreciate reading: we bring the world in the text closer to them and make it belong to them. We put them in the centre of the text, no matter what it is they are reading. This helps them to relate to the story or content and help them make sense of, and how they fit into, the world.
By doing this we build their comprehension skills. We compare and contrast what they already know to what they are reading. To do this we ask questions, or explore ideas, or make comments about how the story or text affects us. I often pause and make a reflective comment on how new knowledge has changed or challenged my world view or beliefs. I will stop and laugh, or say how sad I'm feeling. show I'm moved by the story. Or I may express wonder and awe, and reveal how my old knowledge was biased, out of date, perhaps didn't even make sense. In this way I show that I am active reader and an active learner. But I also show that the story is pertinent to my life. It affects me, changes me. That is the power of the written word.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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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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