Literature is a great way to introduce the world and a love of knowledge to your child. Literature not only brings to life other people, cultures and ideas, but it also fosters a love of learning. Literature can also help children expand vocabulary and become better writers and spellers.
I believe that reading is one of the best activities that a child (or adult I suppose) can engage in. Reading fosters imagination and stimulates creativity. This is one of the main reasons why I started to teach Monkey to read on the early side.
There are some curriculums out there that focus on literature as the basis for the entire school year. Five in a Row is one of them. I have used this one and am fairly familiar with the concepts it introduces. Each week the family reads a book together, then the rest of the school for that week focuses on that one book. In the lower grades, the focus is on picture books.
Other literature based curriculums include: Winter Promise, Sonlight, Living Books, Charlotte Manson Method, Oak Meadow and Great Books Academy. Each of these curriculums have a slightly different approach, but they all use literature as one of the main pillars of education. I don’t really know anything about these curriculums, but I am interested in them for the future.
I feel like I had a literature-based education when I was growing up. My mom let us get what seemed like hundreds of books from the library each week, and I read every book we owned at least twice. My mom also had many biographies of famous Christians that I enjoyed reading, so not all of the literature we read was secular. She would also read stories to us aloud on a regular basis. I think she may have read the entire series of Little House Books to us. She also read us James Herriot, which, although according to my husband is not very child appropriate, I remember enjoying it a lot.
If you are unsure of what age-appropriate stories to suggest for your child, try these book lists from Daily Mayo. I have book lists for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, ages K to 2nd grade, elementary-aged boys, and elementary-aged girls. For older readers, try this book list for teens.
In honor of the season, take a look at these Valentine’s books for kids!