How home education with stories prepares kids for further study and for life
Since 2003 we have been promoting literature-based learning. We encourage families to invest in various literature-based home education programmes, including our own three Footprints programmes, which fill a niche in the South African homeschool market.
We’ve watched a generation of homeschooled kids grow up and we’ve seen the proof that this form of home education is successful and prepares them for further study at university level and prepares them for life.
Our kids love books and so they love learning
By the time they ‘graduate’ from home education they have read hundreds of books, not just a few prescribed set-work books, like their peers at school. They ‘devour’ good stories. Some of us even have to hide books so we can read them aloud together with our bookworm kids. They have learned how to learn and can continue self-educating for the rest of their lives.
Stories teach valuable life lessons and problem-solving skills
Stories are always about people and how they overcome their problems – conflict in relationships, fear or other character weaknesses or how they overcome physical challenges such as illness, disabilities, accidents or natural disasters such as floods, droughts, long journeys or other life challenges. Readers can learn from the experiences of others and gain insight into circumstances that haven’t yet played out in their own lives.
Readers have great general knowledge and cultural awareness
Having read so many books about people, countries and times and places, our children usually have a good general knowledge of the world. They are culturally literate and aware of other ways in the world than just their own culture.
Readers can handle a tough academic workload
No matter which matric path they choose, our readers usually cope well with their high school studies. Many university courses require students to do a lot of reading and independent research. For our children, reading is normal, its not a new challenge to be confronted with. They are used to being challenged by books that are sometimes a little heavy-going and stretch their abilities and their characters. Through reading aloud together they also develop good listening skills, which helps when attending lectures at university level.
Readers know that there is more than one perspective
Our children have learned that each story gives a different perspective on events and eras in history and the present. They have learned that reading widely reveals multiple perspectives and they are able to recognise bias and prejudice. They have had practice at thinking critically about controversial issues such as wars, civil rights movements, colonialism etc and they know that life is more complex than some make it seem. They have learned from experience that there is often right and wrong on both sides of any controversial issue. There is not just one narrative.
Readers usually express themselves well
Reading books exposes our children to some of the best writers in the world. It exposes them to their ideas, and the good language and vocabulary that is used in formal writing. They build up a data-base of complex language skills in their brain and are able to model their own writing and speaking on the language styles and forms to which they have been exposed.
Footprints on Our Land is a literature-based South African homeschool curriculum series in unit study format for multi-level learning
From our email mailbox:
“Little Footprints is so well written, and thought out. In so many ways Wendy and yourself have managed to put an ideal and methodology that I have always believed in, into action.”
~ Tamzyn Thomas