I remember the first time I read my first classic novel; it was an experience I will never forget. Why didn't I start doing this sooner? Why did I assume reading anything other than non-fiction to learn something practical was a waste of time? As Ma Ingalls would say.."For shame, for shame."
Growing up, I was a voracious reader, reading everything I could get my hands on, such babysitter club books, goosebumps, Highlights magazine, and books like "How to Eat Friend Worms."
While those books served their noble purpose of fostering a love of reading, I realize now that they didn't leave much room for personal growth. While fun books teach us the pleasures of escaping between the pages, classics teach us lessons we didn't know we needed to learn.
Today's video shows that while kids need to read what they love, it is also important as parents to steer them towards classic literature from time to time or more frequently. Having classics embedded into a homeschool curriculum is an added benefit of choosing such a methodology as the Robinson Curriculum. It is built in required to receive a high school diploma. However, we need to keep in mind to balance still letting them have their fun reads and the instructional, classic reads.
Benefit #1- Improved Ability to Analyze Texts
Classic books have themes, symbols, metaphors, and other essential elements. This process allows them to dive deeper into each book and improve their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Since the masses have read these books, there is no shortage of literary criticism to compare to and gain even more insight.
Benefit #2 Expanded Vocabulary
From era to era, the English language could have some fluency. It will be common to run across words and phrases unfamiliar to them. The human brain is remarkable and will store every word seen in print. Using NLP visual recall methods, techniques that improve spelling require participants to promise to read more, knowing that good spellers come from those who read a lot.
Benefits #3 A Glimpse into the Past
It is possible to see how the world has changed and grown through each decade through the classics. Kids can quickly pick up on all the nuances and differences between the modern world they live in and the period they are reading in. It can give them an added appreciation of the time they live in and hope for the future.
Here are my tips and recommendations for building up your Literary collection.
Finding good quality reprints can be a challenge at times. In the era of self-publishing, anyone can take a copy of the scanned pages in the public domain and quickly put it on the market. I have purchased several reprints like this and was highly disappointed. The font is small; the pictures are highly pixelated and, in general, hard to read.
I recommend you first check out New West Press for high-quality reprints.
New West Press is a (homeschooling) family-owned business that prints all its books here in the US on small printers. The craftsmanship is remarkable, with attention to detail and affordable price points. Depending on your budget, you can often choose between paperback, hardcover, or linen cover. You can also request any title, and they will do their best to produce it in the same high-quality fashion. They are always unabridged, with beautiful text and images, and have an overall visually appealing aesthetic and uniformity. They are also starting to offer some of their books on Amazon for even added convenience. I highly recommend you check out their website first, wherever you are shopping for classics.
Here is a shortlist of recommendations to get you started:
This list is just a tiny taste, but I want to hear from you! What are your favorite classics?
(This post contains Amazon affiliate links)