How Then Shall We Read? – An Apology for Literary Analysis

How Then Shall We Read? – An Apology for Literary Analysis

Much has been made in recent years of the prime opportunity childhood presents to shape lifetime readers. Reading aloud, in particular, is the word on the street where methodology is concerned. With videos and entertainment on the cultural rise, parents no longer have the luxury of throwing a book at a child and hoping it will “take.” Now, they must read it to them, guide them, captivate, and verily, enchant them into the magical kingdom of imaginative literature...  

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What Mathematics Can Teach Us About Literature

What Mathematics Can Teach Us About Literature

Missy and I spend a lot of time showing parents how to teach short stories with pictures by means of simple questions like “does the main character succeed?” This approach has helped thousands of teachers get young students started in literary reading with children’s classics like Mem Fox’s Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Patricia MacLachlan’s All the Places to Love, or Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon. But what, we are often asked, should older students do?...

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Fair Trials and Kangaroo Courts: An Interpretive Philosophy

Fair Trials and Kangaroo Courts: An Interpretive Philosophy

I spent March on the road traveling to homeschool conventions. These are interesting events:  educators, professionals, and entrepreneurs of every stripe fill exhibit halls with their wares and spend literal hours on concrete floors explaining their materials. Wide-eyed parents are just trying to figure it all out so that their precious charges can get what they need to survive in the world... 

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Picture Books...for High Schoolers?

Picture Books...for High Schoolers?

If you are already thinking about the reading list you will assign to your students next fall, congratulations– you are way ahead of Missy and me! But let me offer one piece of advice as you assemble your curriculum: Assign children's picture storybooks to all of your students in the first few weeks of the school year. 

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Monster Stories

Monster Stories

Sometimes the simplest interpretive detail can give us amazing insight into a classic book. A question as basic as “who is the protagonist?” can often unlock the whole story and help us avoid unfortunate misinterpretations...

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The Lesson of Job: Literature's Luckiest Protagonist

The Lesson of Job: Literature's Luckiest Protagonist

Post-holiday doldrums can be a drag, especially for homeschoolers. After all, you don’t just send the kids off to school – you have to produce it, starting now, every day. It can make you long for spring break before you even take the tree down.

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