At present we are totally immersed in Russian history and loving it. Nope, it wasn’t in our plan and no child was dragged into it kicking or screaming. We are just following our curiosity and thriving on it.
Living books are the key. If we had to read this stuff in a text book I think I’d put the boys to sleep and scratch out my own eyes! But that’s just not fair to the topic as Russia is such an amazing and mysterious place. (I highly recommend a stop there.) Thankfully living books build our interest in new topics and keep us on the edge of our chair and begging for more.
Learning does not have to be child-led. Homeschooling Mummas just need to use the right bait to get the kids (and Mumma) salivating and I have found no better bait than living books. Much better than worms, wouldn’t you say?!
The other great thing about living books is that they don’t satisfy our curiosity. They merely introduce people, places and periods. They always leave us with questions that needs answers…and the trail begins. Then books we’d probably not pick up and read ordinarily, maybe even a textbook at a pinch, are pored through for extra details.
And no we don’t want our living books turned into movies. Please no! We’d much rather a documentary where we can meet the real life people and places or at least hear about them. People look at what we watch as a family and can’t imagine us enjoying something like four hours worth of “The Land of Tsars”. But once your interest has been piqued it’s fascinating. Remember we’ve already met these people in living books so it’s a bit like watching a friend’s home movie. Add popcorn and the kids will think it’s a movie night! 🙂
My boys will listen to just about any story I read so living books have become my faithful jumping off point for History and Geography. It works marvelously. Much better than History curriculums I’ve used in the past.
We are so in love with Russia at the moment, thanks to living books, and fascinating by everything about its past – the land, the people, the Tsars, the revolution, the demise of the last Romanov Tsar, Lenin, Stalin, and even Communism. Everything around here, for weeks in fact, has been about Russia.
No we’re not quite at our Russian-saturation point, but I’ve already pondered where I think we’ll head next. I’m thinking the French Revolution might be a natural detour since we’re in revolution mode after the Russian Revolution. I’ve already ordered the living books!! I don’t think we’ll stay too long in France though as we could easily stray too far from our original plan…which is WW1 and WW2. But a quick couple of books, to compare revolutions, will be just the ticket I think. Then we’ll head back to wrap up WW1 with the Treaty of Versailles and then jump into WW2.
The only other thing I need is more hours in the day for read alouds, audio stories and great reads. Anyone want to lend me some of their 24?? 🙂