When a child becomes interested in a certain subject we as homeschoolers can enjoy the freedom of allowing our child to become intimately involved with that subject. They can do crafts, cook food, go on field trips and read living books about the subject.
This is something that Charlotte Mason, a British educator from the previous century, truly understood and tried to explain to parents. She was seeking to show us that more learning takes place whenever it is allowed to progress naturally instead of being “scheduled.” Her idea was to use living books to help fulfill this need and the child’s natural curiosity. As parents this may become disturbing as we think that we have to cover certain things at certain times; the beauty of homeschooling that this simply is not true at all. While schedules are good, you should not be controlled by it. Instead, you really do need to take the time to slow down and read living books.
As homeschoolers, the majority of us have the goal of enlivening our children’s minds. One way in which this can be done is by giving our children living books to read. Why? This is because inside of these books lie living ideas.
While you do not have to completely follow Charlotte Mason’s idea, it is still a good idea to encompass within your homeschool. If you do choose to follow Charlotte Mason’s idea then you are going to be reading lots of living books because she taught that the only real way to teach children is by encouraging them to read numerous living books.
If you are in search of living books that are age appropriate for your child to read, there are two books that you can check out from your library: (1.) Honey For A Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt (2.) Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson. Once you have looked through both of these books you will be able to come up with a wide variety of living books that your child will be able to enjoy.
Another great place where you can find a list of living books is online at ValeriesLivingBooks.com. This site has well over 100 pages of free book lists, reviews and practical helps. While you can purchase these books online, you can also create a list of books that you would like to borrow from your local library.
For those children who currently hate learning, living books is the answer because they will give a child a good education while they are simply reading or being read to. Your children will want to read these books because they are carefully written to show their passion to challenge children, to encourage them to reason carefully and to have them respond wholeheartedly as well.