Why crafts to go along with reading books just aren’t my style   1 comment

 

Years ago I was in an educational supply store and saw an activity booklet to go along with the book, Sign of the Beaver, which my son had recently read.  I felt as though I should buy it– I was, after all, in an educational supply store surrounded by materials promising to give children an ‘edge’ in their education.  I certainly did not want my son to miss out on some great opportunity to expand his knowledge– this activity booklet would deepen his understanding of the book – right?  So I bought it and we proceeded to do the activities in it.

While in the process of finishing the booklet – I thought, wait a minute, I never draw maps of the settings from the books I read, build covered wagons out of popsicle sticks or make a huge paper mache map of the country in which it takes place – yet I am able to enjoy a book without feeling that I have to do enrichment activities to deepen my understanding.  A book may spark a desire to read even more information on the subject or prompt me to visit a museum to learn more.   But I can’t say I ever felt a desire to make a paper mache horse after reading The Black Stallion or somehow create a stovepipe hat out of a grocery bag after reading about Abraham Lincoln.  So why is it that I think my children need to all this extra ‘stuff’ to get the most out of a book?  The booklet felt like busy work and my son did it for the sake of doing it.  That was the first and last book activity we did.  Now we just read and enjoy books without adding cutesy, tedious projects to them.  I realize that there are homeschool moms who thrive on these kinds of activities and that is super – but for me, I tend to be more plain, practical and straightforward: read the book, reflect on it, talk about it – done.  No tape, glue or paint necessary, but I’m always up for a museum visit or a movie expanding on the subject. 

I don’t frequent educational supply stores much anymore.  I have learned about what my kids use and what they don’t use, what is productive and what is just fluff (mostly expensive fluff).  It could be said that, I thought of something I hadn’t before, what if education doesn’t come from a store.  What if education means a little bit more.   Gosh, I love Dr. Suess and I’ve never even made a cake in the shape of his hat, or a life size, paper mache cat… what do you think of that?  (I just couldn’t resist)

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Posted April 13, 2011 by The Nonconformist Mom in education, homeschooling

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One response to “Why crafts to go along with reading books just aren’t my style

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  1. ‎”what if education doesn’t come from a store? What if education means a little bit more” Love it!! We are staunch Sonlighters and I think Moriah learns SO much more this way! Not a worksheet in sight!!

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