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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Learning with Living Books

Charlotte Mason was a Christian educator in England in the mid 1800's who made education her life's work. Even back then, many parents did not want their children in public schools for various reasons, so they home educated. Charlotte Mason wrote a book called Home Education and with this book, helped parents teach their children at home. She respected children greatly and strongly believed that quality literature (not dumbed down textbooks) was an essential part of a child's education.

Catherine Levinson writes in A Charlotte Mason Education  that "a living book is the opposite of a textbook. Not that textbooks or encyclopedias are bad. Many people like them; they are useful at times and have probably improved since Charlotte's day. But they contain facts. Just facts. Living books have lives, emotion... They are usually what Charlotte calls "clothed in literary language." An accurate historical novel or a biography is a good example." 

Living books are written by authors who are passionate about their subjects. I would classify many children's picture books as living books.  The author's passion for the topic is passed onto the reader.  Are you using living books in your homeschooling, perhaps along with textbooks?

I have recently been introduced to Living Books for Life, offering curriculum that meets BC outcomes using living books!   Check out their website here.  If you have begun using this, would you leave a comment and let me know what you think?


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