The classics. You can’t replace them. They are timeless. Strong. Reliable. Unforgettable. The best classics are true works of art. The authors wrote stories that pulled at your heartstrings, taught you of matters you didn’t know or understand, caused you to dream the biggest of dreams and took you on adventures you can only imagine. We must ensure that the classics aren’t forgotten.
Classic literature is an important part of any homeschool curriculum. Sometimes as homeschool parents we are pulled in a thousand different directions, and reading can feel like just one more thing to add in an already busy day. However, I believe that you will find that the benefits significantly outweigh the time cost.
6 Reasons Why Classic Literature Needs to be Part of Your Homeschool
Increased Vocabulary & Reading Level
Of course, this one is fairly obvious. It’s no secret that classic literature can add to your child’s vocabulary and comprehension levels. Authors of these works are masters at developing a story full of rich descriptions and exciting plots. When your family dives into a good piece of literature, your children will encounter new words and writing styles that they could have otherwise missed.
A Link to the Past
Reading is like a time machine for your child. You can snuggle up with a good book and visit any time, past or future, that interests your family. Visit the Civil War era with Gone with the Wind, or experience the Holocaust through a young girl in Number the Stars.
These books can bring history to life, all from the comfort of your couch. You can throw away the annoying facts and dates. Instead, your child can jump into a story. Reading about the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the time in great detail will give your student an experience with history that can’t be matched anywhere else.
Quality Time for All Ages
Sometimes when we think of classical literature, we only think of high school level books. However, that’s not the case. With stories like Charlotte’s Web or Alice in Wonderland, there is a classic book out there for everyone. Your family doesn’t have to be limited by reading level either. By reading aloud, you can take even the youngest members of your family on an exciting journey with a book.
Moral Viewpoints and Social Issues
Classic literature is not afraid to hit hard topics. Sometimes a book can be a good starting point for a family discussion on morals, character building, or social issues. For example, the problem of racial discrimination is front and center in To Kill a Mockingbird. Want to spark a discussion on mental illness? Of Mice and Men, would be an excellent start for this discussion. Sometimes a book is a helpful starting point for those tough topics.
Expand the World
A good book can take you anywhere. Not only can you travel to different time-periods but also different locations. Your child can see Avolonea through the eyes of Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, or float the Mississippi River with Huck Finn. Your family can even travel Around the World in 80 Days. With classic literature your journeys are limitless.
Visit a Fantasy World
Let’s face it, books can explore fantasy like no other media, and classic literature does this best. One week you can be eating Turkish delight in Narnia. Maybe the next week you will decide to visit the imaginary world of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or go on a journey with Bilbo Baggins through the Hobbit. Classic literature can spark imagination and fantasy in your child. Plus as a parent, a good book can take you to places you’ve forgotten, and make you fall in love with reading all over again.
I encourage you to make these works a part of your child’s education today. However, don’t let it be overwhelming. There are plenty of easy ways to sneak in literature and if reading aloud isn’t something your children enjoy these classic audiobooks are free!