Over the holidays I sat down for an “at home” conference with the screen version of Adam Andrews, using his “Teaching the Classics” materials.
I’ve actually had this program since last year but it’s taken me this long to complete it. Over the year I’ve watched it over and over again soaking up every tidbit of advice and teaching, not wanting to leave anything behind.
I highly recommend this product.
“Teaching the Classics” teaches you how to explore literature with your children – the setting, characters, story structure, conflict and themes.
With the skills that you learn, you will be able to discuss books beyond the usual, “Did you like that book?” type questions. Adam Andrews introduces you to the Socratic Method of questioning that allows you to dig deeper into the story to locate the many gems it holds for those who go looking for them.
You thought this was just for high school students, didn’t you. Well that’s certainly the only time I ever did literary analysis at school, aside from torturous book reports or incredibly dull comprehension type worksheets. But using what I have learned from the “Teaching the Classics” program, I now feel empowered to attempt literary discussions with my boys, aged only 8 and 10, in a way that I think they’ll actually enjoy and benefit from (myself included!!).
In fact I’ve already started with great success and confidence.
I’ve been using picture books, which are the perfect length for multiple, quick, complete lessons, to teach literary analysis. Once the boys understand the basic elements and styles we’ll then be able to transfer these skills to the novels we are already reading. Combined with their growing IEW skills, they will also be able to write insightful and informative pieces about the books they read…well that’s the plan anyway. 🙂
For added support I also bought the first of a series of books called “Ready Readers“. These books select several pieces of literature and hold your hand through the analysis process, identifying the elements and styles of the selected titles for you.
I actually bought this book before I finished viewing the complete program and before I’d tried out my skills with my boys. In hindsight I don’t feel that the book may not be as necessary as I had earlier felt. Of course it will still be well used but I now feel much more comfortable with my abilities to use the books I already have on hand and to lead discussions with the boys.
It’s a wonderful feeling to have something, which to me seemed so difficult and unobtainable, within easy reach. “Teaching the Classics” has given me the confidence and skills to teach literature analysis and I’m really quite enjoying discussing books with my boys.
Admittedly I had to watch the “Teaching the Classics” dvds over and over again with pen and notepaper in hand for everything to sink in and settle firmly into my noggin. But that’s just my style of learning – repetition, repetition, soak and marinate for a while, and then repeat again. I really shouldn’t give my eldest such a hard time about his wonky multiplication facts. Seemingly, like mother like son Hehehe. But I’m ready and raring to roll now.