One of the reasons I love homeschooling is the “couch cuddle” moments I get to have with the kids. We use a literature-based curriculum which means lots of excellent literature for the kids to springboard into a world of learning. This means that lots of school time happens on the couch as we cuddle together reading classic stories or wild adventures or funny poetry or… you get the picture.
Today we continued where we left off in the story of The Apple and the Arrow. It’s the story of William Tell … the WHOLE story. It didn’t even cross my mind before reading this book with the girls that I had no idea that there was more to the story than William shooting the apple on the head of his son. Very naive of me, I know. I am encouraged that I am not the only one! Craig also admitted to never thinking further about the story other than the famous bit! Anyway, I digress…. We’ve discovered that this story is deeply saturated in history, geography, social studies, politics etc. And, it is riveting! Kiera proved that today with her involuntary gasps at crucial moments in the story. I had just read aloud that Gessler, the evil governor of Uri, had required Tell to shoot the apple on his son’s head or both he and his son would die. Kiera gasped audibly and clapped her hand over her mouth. By the time I looked down at her, her eyebrows were buried somewhere up in her hairline and her eyes were wide with horror! We had a good chat about what we’d just read and then resumed reading. On hearing that Tell successfully halved the apple with his bow, Kiera clapped with excitement and grinned from ear to ear. Ah, the joy of sharing a story with my child!
But, my enthusiasm for this story isn’t just that my child is so obviously enjoying it, but also, I would never, ever have chosen to read this to my child if it hadn’t been assigned reading in our curriculum pack. You see, it doesn’t have many illustrations (although the ones that are there are beautiful) and the language is difficult for a 5 and 3-year old to grasp. I would’ve thought that it was way above my kids’ abilities and that they’d find it boring. In fact, I think that I would’ve thought it would be boring, too. Thankfully, Sonlight didn’t take my opinion into consideration when choosing this wonderful book for us. Now my kids have yet another opportunity to elevate their vocabulary and expand their understanding of the world. I love it.
And… as I type, Kiera is busy fashioning her own crossbow from odds and ends lying around the house. Her current prototype is made up of an old coat hook, a plastic cricket wicket, a play wand and a shoe lace.
(and this is not even one of the reasons we decided to homeschool, although it certainly is a benefit!)