Although books are far more memorable than textbooks, no one would claim that the whole point of reading is to improve your memory for facts. That would be ridiculous.
We read because reading is enjoyable!
- I would rather read something to my boys that makes them guffaw and cheer, than something they listen to more passively.
- I would rather read something that makes my eyes prickle and my voice break because of the beauty of the language and the scene, rather than some factual report.
You Have a Choice. Choose the Most Enjoyable.
This, to me, is such an obvious benefit, I initially overlooked it, even as you probably don’t think of the deliciousness of water until you are thirsty. If you could choose between an enjoyable way to study, or a boring one, why not choose the enjoyable?
In a world of worksheets and textbooks, in a world of digital techno wizardry, we can remain connected to stories by choosing an enjoyable, literature-rich homeschool curriculum.
Even if textbooks were equally good as real books in order to learn (which they’re not), wouldn’t it make sense to choose the more enjoyable?
Great books are enjoyable. Homeschooling with great books is the most enjoyable way to homeschool.
These days, there are so many options for schooling and entertainment. Reading is not quite dead, but with the rise of television and video games, organized sports and social media, books seem a bit retro.
Learn to Enjoy Reading by Reading Great Books
And let me add: if this message isn’t resonating with you, it is possible that you have never read a good book. It happens. That doesn’t mean a literature-rich program won’t work for you.
Some children come to Sonlight in mid-elementary school. They hate books and they hate reading. But by mid-year, most of these reluctant readers have had that transformational moment where they must know what happens next! And then they’re hooked.
If you’re not hooked on reading, you might just need to read the right books. And then see what a joy learning can be.
Unlike, say, math workbooks that are designed for a specific grade, real books delight and teach a range of ages. I like how C.S. Lewis puts it:
No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally—and often far more—worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.
And because the books inform and instruct a range of ages, you can combine a couple of children into one program, if you want. (Add on age-appropriate subject materials, like spelling, math, and reading instruction, for each child to use independently.)
The Most Enjoyable for Parents, Too
But possibly the best benefit, at least from the teacher’s perspective? Literature-rich education is the most enjoyable way to homeschool for us parents, too. As a parent, I eagerly look forward to reading my favorite childhood books to my children:
- Books that don’t hit us over the head with moralizing, but offer real people who deal with real, and challenging, scenarios.
- Books that make us laugh, and love this beautiful world.
- Books that make us cry, and grieve for this broken world.
- Books that don’t overwhelm with darkness, but also don’t pretend darkness doesn’t exist.
- Books that maybe don’t have the best cover but hold hidden gems, like Red Sails to Capri and Shadow Spinner.
- Books that maybe aren’t cheerful to read, but lead to rich conversations.
If you have ever thought that your own education was a little lacking, know that Sonlight parents regularly say, “I am learning so much!” We love that you find Sonlight the most enjoyable way to homeschool!