In the preface to his recent book, Literature: What Every Catholic Should Know, Joseph Pearce gives a compelling case for the study of great literature. He writes:
The great works of literature help us to know ourselves…. In the great works of literature we discover a deep understanding of man’s being and purpose. We discover that the human person is homo viator, a pilgrim or wayfarer who journeys through the mortal life with eternal life always in mind.
Indeed, the theme of journeying into the great unknown is evident in many of the great works of literature. In children’s literature, we see this in The Odyssey, The Hobbit, the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and so on.
Continue reading “A Free Literature Guide to “Swift Rivers””
Last week, my teenage daughter said to me, “I love talking about books.” I couldn’t agree more. And the popularity of book clubs is evidence that we’re not alone. What a pleasure it is to read a good book and then talk about it!
Thankfully, doing these two simple things is an effective way of developing critical thinking skills — provided you ask and discuss the right questions. So, as I promised in my last post, here is a list of questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy that you can ask your children/teens to help them think critically about the books they are reading.
Continue reading “Developing Critical Thinking Skills Through Literature”
Summer’s almost over, but we want our kids to keep on reading just for fun. So, continuing my listmania for good clean books, here is a list for boys in grades 3-6.
Continue reading “24 Wholesome Books for Boys in Gr. 3-6”
As a child, one of my favorites things about summer was having the luxury to read, and read, and read. Now, each summer I give my kids a reading list, and I make sure they have plenty of time to delve into their books and get lost in a story. Here is a list I compiled many years ago for my oldest daughter, now updated for my youngest girl to enjoy.
Continue reading “23+ Easy Chapter Books for Wholesome Girls”
Earlier this spring, twelve-year-old Feisty was perusing our book shelves, looking for something to read. “I’ve read that, and that, and that,” he noted. “I’ve read everything on these bookshelves!”
“That can’t be,” exclaimed my oldest daughter. She scanned the bookshelves and picked out Investing for Dummies. “You haven’t read this one.”
“Fine. I’ll read it.”
A few days later, Feisty told us he wanted to invest in stocks — which is a great thing for a kid to start doing. But I also knew it was time to find him some new books. So I turned to my trusty sources and compiled a list of books for his summer reading. The two great things about this list: 1) The books are clean and wholesome 2) Most of these are available at the public library. Already he’s read most of these books and approved of them. Here it is for your boys to enjoy:
Continue reading “24 Great Books for Boys in Middle School”
Give your daughters some classic novels to read this summer — books so beautifully written that the characters become like childhood friends. I have read many of these over and over again as a girl, and I can honestly say they have been very formative. A poignant, well-crafted novel can help shape the heart and form the mind. Here are 12 classic novels which do just that.
Continue reading “12 Classic Novels Girls Should Read before Turning 12”
Once again, it’s a First Holy Communion Year for us, which makes spring an even more joyful time. Probably, many of you will be attending First Communion Masses, too. So, here’s a list of books and gifts I think your first communicants will appreciate:
Continue reading “First Communion Gifts”
When my oldest was a kindergartener, I wrote some super short stories to help her learn to read. I then used them to teach all my other kids to read, along with a variety of other phonics books. Variety is the spice of life, so it is good to give your emerging readers a mixture of books with which they can learn to read.
Continue reading “Teaching Your Child to Read with Short Vowel Stories… and a free give-away!”
Having a repertoire of memorized poetry is something my kids secretly enjoy… although some would never admit it. Sometimes when the younger ones are reciting their poetry, the older ones jump right in, remembering the same poems they had learned in earlier years.
There are many good reasons for copying and memorizing poetry: The rhythm and rhyme of poetry is catchy and fun. As they get older, the kids learn to appreciate the imagery and the way poets play with words, rhyme, and meter. More importantly, it is an excellent way to fill our children’s minds with beautiful imagery and rich vocabulary. In a world so devoid of culture and beauty, memorizing poetry is one way to help our children appreciate that which is true, beautiful, and good.
Continue reading “More Poems for Copywork and Memorization”