“As for literature – to introduce children to literature is to install them in a very rich and glorious kingdom, to bring a continual holiday to their doors, to lay before them a feast exquisitely served. But they must learn to know literature by being familiar with it from the very first. A child’s intercourse must always be with good books, the best that we can find.” – Charlotte Mason
Classical literatures have the special qualities of noble language, of teaching kids about human nature, and of being independent of time. Many people often wonder why do kids have to learn the special artistic language used in those one plus inch thick books. What they don’t know is that classic books doesn’t mean books with archaic language. There are many modern classics that use simple language. What makes these books classics is the quality of the work in them done by the authors. They help the kids face the challenges of their lives, as these books unfold the stories of human nature.
In the modern world with the power of multimedia attracting the young generation, books are now being listed at the end of the interest-list of children. Many parents don’t know how to make their kids want to read, and they accuse technology for it. What they don’t realize is that they can integrate technology and reading. Who says written information can be imbibed only through books? There are many ways to make your kids become interested in reading classical literature that many find enchanting.
1 – Revision Guides
The biggest problems with the classics are the thickness of the volumes and the difficulty of the language used. Often kids find it difficult to understand the hidden meaning of some of the works. The best way to help them with these issues is to provide them with revision guides. Websites such as yorknotes.com make guides easily accessible for the kids.
2 – Integrate Technology
With tablets and netbooks, you can give your kids e-books of the great classics. There are also audio books that can encourage and inspire the little readers on the move. Select a set of audio books for long drives and this will not only make your kids interested in classics but also help you make your journey adventurous.
3 – Be Role Models
Always remember you are the role models for your kids. Don’t force them to read books that you have not read and is not interested in reading. Fill your home with books that interest you, and remember to keep aside a small portion of your library for your kids. Let them see you reading and enjoying books. Remember to take them to the library or bookstore with you.
4 – Give Them the Choice
Let them select the books they want to read before you slowly introduce them to the classics. While selecting books for them, keep in mind their interests and age. Although at first children tend to read only the books in which they are instantly interested in, once they get into the habit of reading, they will expand the choice of their books.
5 – Make Them Curious
Curiosity is the father of discovery. So, to make sure that your kids discover the charismatic classics, make them feel curious about them. You can do so by narrating a part of the story and then asking them to read on to find what happens in the end. Taking them to movies based on the classics will also help them to get interested in the literature. Make them understand that the movie is only a part of the story and to know the whole story they should better read the literature work.
6 – Build Meaningful Discussion
Discuss the book with your kids. You can ask them about the characters or incidents. You can ask them questions like what the hero is going to do next or if the hero did the right thing, and so on.
7 – Gift Them Books
Kids love to receive a lot of gifts and rewards from parents. When searching for gifts, remember books are the best gifts you can give your kids. Suggest books for them when they are looking for gifts for their friends.
8 – Reward Them for Their Work
Kids love competition and you can bring competitiveness into reading. Reward points for each book they have read and discussed, and at the end of the year let them count the points. It’s better not to keep a time limit for a book as it will take the fun out of it.
How Schools Can Encourage Reading
Schools can also help kids in getting friendly with classical literature. Teachers need to make the stories and novels sound interesting to the pupils. Letting kids play a part of the fiction also helps them build an interest in reading classics. Teachers can make it compulsory for every kid to be a part of the play. Starting reading clubs and discussing the books at the meeting will also help the kids to get know more about classics. Bringing competition into the field will make kids thrive in reading.
Classic literature teaches us who we are and what we are. It not only entertains us, but also consoles us. It teaches us our history. These works are the store of the purest thoughts from the greatest minds of humanity. They bring a continual holiday at our doors. These qualities of classics make it important for you to be a part of it, and to pass on these values to the coming generations too.
Guest Post by Alisha Webb on behalf of York-Notes – Revision Books and guides on English Literature
Alisha Webb is British writer working out of Barcelona, Spain. She holds an MA in Creative Writing. Her poetry and short-fiction have been published extensively across the world. She is a keen traveler, reader, and moviegoer.