Friday, February 22, 2013

Free to Read #3

Feb. 21, 2013 Session 3 – Study What you Most Affect: Novels have various roles in our lives: some we purchase (or borrow) and read privately, some we recommend to others, some we put in a church or school library, and others we read or teach in the classroom. This session examines which texts are particularly suited for novel studies in Christian schools, and how they might be taught most effectively. Required reading: Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games.

Sadly, I missed this session, but Trish grabbed me a handout and I wanted to include a few points from there that I thought might be helpful to us.

Dr. Smid's main idea of this presentation is this:
" Rather than only discerning on behalf of the children in our care, we should be teaching them how to discern, both by modelling discernment and by encouraging them to discern in their independent reading."

Here are some of her practical suggestions for how to model discernment:

  1. Fill your home with books.
  2. Or, barring that, go to the library often and join reading programs.
  3. Read to your kids.
  4. Don't stop reading to your kids
  5. Read your books in front of your kids
  6. Hunt for the best books
  7. Anticipate new books
  8. Celebrate the classics
  9. Help interpret worldviews as you read to your children
  10. REad your favorite passages to your children
  11. Challenge your children to improve books
  12. Read the Bible together.
Here is #13 from me:
13.  Put his/her own bookshelf in your child's room.  Share the love of book ownership and the joy that comes from passing along a good (or to use Dr.Smid's vocabulary, "useful") book to a friend.

Here are some of her practical suggestions for how to teach discernment:

  1. Put books in context: in a Christian context; a literary context; and a social context
  2. Ask how and why questions.  Why questions ask kids to consider the purpose and point of view of the book.  How questions ask kids to consider the beauty of a a novel and also it's rhetorical impact on its reader.  How questions also ask students to think more consciously about the role of the author.
  3. Start early.
  4. Have a wide variety of books available to read
  5. Read new and popular books(as well as classics) in the classroom.
  6. Have faith.
Closing Thought: The more you read, the better you can discern!

Thoughts?  Reactions?

Anyone else have any practical tips for encouraging the love of reading and modeling thoughtful reading to your kids?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

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