Literature-Based Learning, Mama
I am not an expert on literature-based learning, as we are a bit eclectic in style. (If you are wondering about styles, take a look at back issues of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine or explore literature courses at SchoolhouseTeachers.com.)
But I can say that, after teaching more than twenty years, my children have learned exponentially more through good literature than I could ever expose them to in real life.
The books they have read have taken them on grand adventures through time, space, and creation. In reading biographies, they have lived with missionaries in jungles, deserts, and foreign places while facing dangers of many kinds. In historical fiction, they have read about life and death and relationships. In the classics, they have encountered problems to face and inner and outer conflict to overcome. They have seen what it is to have courage and perseverance and lovingkindness. They have read what evil does and have seen good win over evil. The world and all its history and geography and anthropology and human emotion has been opened to them through the literature that they read. (Parents, make sure it is worthy literature!)
Besides all of that, they have learned new vocabulary, observed proper grammar, and increased their spelling capabilities just by reading good literature and reading a lot of it—whether that is in paper form, on an electronic device, or through an audio presentation.
And you must know what I am going to say next, which is the best literature is the syntax, context, vocabulary, substance, and etymology of Scripture. Words on a page are great, but there is nothing better than the Living Word speaking directly to the heart.
Many good books will penetrate a reader’s mind, his perspective on life, or even move his feelings. But the Book containing the very words of the Most High God Himself will change the inner heart of the man and will impart what no man has words to teach, while renewing the mind to discern the will of God for how to live.
This is the transforming power of the Word of God, the Bible—the best literature-based learning around.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
Now, I am going to do what Gena Suarez does so well and say this: Hey, Mama, you are valued by the Writer of the Book of Life, and He desperately desires your name to be written in His very own book, as well as the names of your household. He has given you everything you need to run this race; so get up, dust off, and look at His face. He is smiling at you and loves you just as much as He loves His own Son and will run with you to the finish line. You are valued and important and have been given the highest calling of all—to lead your little ones to His face, too. Run well, Mama.
Deborah Wuehler is the Senior Editor and Director of Production here at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. She would say she is a very ordinary homeschool mom–with one exception: she has an extraordinary God Who provides all she needs for life and homeschooling. She has eight children aged 11 to 29. Deborah’s mission is this: to point other homeschoolers to the Lord in all they do, think, and feel—and to confirm that they, too, can find everything they need for life, godliness, and homeschooling in their knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3-4).