Saturday, May 24, 2008

Knowledge, Reading, and Poetry

Have you made use of the wealth of knowledge and ideas offered in article form at Memoria Press?

What Ever Happened to Knowledge? by Cheryl Lowe

Both conscience and knowledge convey the idea of objective truth that exists outside the human mind, which is the true end of education. Modern education philosophy no longer believes in the reality of objective knowledge, which is precisely why the modern educator can no longer educate.

Well, that explains a few things.

The following article really spoke to me. I appreciated the additional reasons to continue our read-aloud times now that Levi is reading on his own as well.

1 Myth, 2 Truths: How to turn good readers into good writers too. by Andrew Pudewa

One of the biggest mistakes we make as parents and teachers is to stop reading out loud to our children when they reach the age of reading faster independently. In doing so, not only do we deprive them of the opportunity to hear these all-important reliably correct, and sophisticated language patterns, we lose the chance to read to them above their level, stretching and expanding their vocabulary, interests, and understanding. We begin to lose the chance to discuss words and their nuance, idioms, cultural expressions, and historical connotations. And they lose something far more valuable than even the linguistic enrichment that oral reading provides; they lose the opportunity to develop attentiveness, the chance to experience the dramatic feeling that a good reader can inject, and even the habit of asking questions about what they’ve heard. Tragically, because of our hectic, entertainment-saturated, individualistic, test-obsessed, and overscheduled lives, few of us take sufficient time to read out loud to our students, even into their early teens—a sensitive period when understanding of language and understanding of life are woven together and sealed into the intellect.

And on poetry memorization:

...[B]ecause of the nature of poetry, poets are often compelled to stretch our vocabulary, utilizing words and expressions in uniquely sophisticated—but almost always correct—language patterns. A child with a rich repertoire of memorized poetry will inevitably demonstrate superior linguistic skills, both written and spoken, because of those patterns which are so deeply ingrained in the brain.

Be sure to read the articles in their entirety at the provided links. There is enough food for thought at Memoria Press to last a long while.


Elise said...

Hi Heidi

Reading aloud to our children has so many benefits, but it seems as though it not valaued, or encouraged as much as it should be. As a former English teacher, I was (and still am) passionate about students reading and being read to. I wrote a blog article about it earlier in the year. Address included here:

Often, the parents I spoke to were happy enough if their child read once a week and they certainly did not read to them. It was my mission to try and change this thinking and in some cases I did succeed.

I also found that poetry seemed to be a foreign concept to some students. They did not seem to be exposed to it in their homes and had little, to no appreciation, for it.

A love of reading and poetry needs to be fostered in the home, but tragically this is not always the case.

My thoughts are turning to the verse by Strickland W. Gillian where the last stanza says:

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be -
I had a mother who read to me.

Thank you for sharing this site, I'm going to be one busy girl reading through these articles.

Heidi, how do you come across such resources?


Heidi said...

I love that poem!

Yes, many families don't read aloud. It is one of my favorite things to do with my kids. Beyond the literary value, I love the bond that we create while snuggling, creating memories together, and sharing the stories in our imaginations. It is fun when something comes up and we relate it to a story or character we've read.

Many of my resources I've found from The Well-Trained Mind homeschool boards. Those women (and a few men) are a wealth of knowledge and ideas! So much great stuff out there now in the homeschool world. :)

Amy Jo said...

Hi there,
I enjoyed this article and it brought back memories of my high school art class. The teacher let us work on whatever we wanted, but he ALWAYS read to us while we worked. I know he read through "The Hobbit" as well as some other poetry book during the year. Art was never my favorite subject, so it was nice to sometimes pretend I was drawing, while i was actually just listening to the story. He is the only person that read aloud to me past the age of 10 or so. And honestly I was such an avid reader that I probably didn't have patience to listen to someone else read aloud to me during most of my childhood. Sometimes now as an adult I'll ask my mom to read something to me, like Brier Rabbit. It's fun to be on the receiving end of the reading!

Anonymous said...

Heidi, We know Mr Pudewa. Aimee and Michael have taken a writing class from him, his kids have been in some plays we have seen. They are a great home-schooling family. Grandma

Heidi said...

Amy Jo~ My mom read to us some when we were kids, but it drove me crazy! I couldn't concentrate on the story. Too much of a day dreamer maybe? I still feel that way when I listen to books on CD. I need to be able to see the words for them to sink in. I'm hoping that it is partly a learned skill and the boys will be better at it than I. :)

Grandma~ Wow! I didn't know that. He is speaking at the Washington Homeschool Convention along with Susan Wise Bauer. Holly and I are making plans to get up there to hear them both. I'm so excited!! Neither of us are convention-type girls, but we would be thrilled to hear them speak.