As a teacher I never really thought about books being "living" until I met Charlotte Mason. I always thought, "some books are excellent literature pieces and some are text books". I believed textbook learning was always the way we pass tests are are "educated". My mind was in a box until I met Charlotte Mason. As I learned more about her philosophies I realized, how right she was and I felt FREE!
" If we want the mind of a child to come alive, we feed him living ideas.." That used to confuse me! I didn't know how to make an education out of feeding my children living ideas. The whole concept is different then they way I was taught. New ground...new to me.
The chapter on "living books" talks about the one-page test. To determine if a book is indeed a living book, she says to read one page aloud to your child and look to see if the doors of their minds are opened. As a mother, you can tell! I have seen this...have you?
I also think it is important to note: Textbooks can be used as a secondary source. We have used textbooks over the years. I have used living books to inspire the love of learning a topic...then my child has a desire to read more and more about that topic. Whether it be animals, earth science, biographies...etc. We use textbooks to read the facts. The love of learning that subject, however, was acquired through the living book first!
The section on teaching Geography is interesting. This section talks about finding places that you read about on the globe. I have taught Geography is different settings at home and in the classroom. I have noticed this: Always make a relation or connection to the place you are pointing out on a globe. I would say..."here is where the plague began in Italy..." and my older students made the connection and remembered that location we found. That is why the Kindergarten "curriculum" I am using this year is a simple guide using a living story about people all over the world and what they eat! No formal lesson is given. Children will love to sit in your lap and look at pictures of what other people eat then find it on a globe. So fun...and so enriching.
Talk to me about living books...What are you opinions? What inspired you in these chapters?