Last night Ada and I read the book "Stone Soup," so today, soup is cooking in the kitchen. I am reading the book, For The Children's Sake, which spends much time emphasizing the need for children to read real books, not "twaddle," as Charlotte Mason calls those pointless books. She claims that if the adult doesn't enjoying reading the book, then the child probably shouldn't be reading it. Good books can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Does this mean that I am putting Elmo away for good? Of course not. But I do want to make sure that real books are mixed in.
So...we are working on that, and Ada's attention span is increasing. What I do is I mix all the books in together. The Elmo books are there alongside the classics, and I give Ada the freedom to choose which ones to read. Some days are Elmo days, and some days she chooses the meatier ones. Last night she chose "Stone Soup" for the first time, and she was able to sit through it. I was surprised. I don't think she understood a lot of it, but again, based on the book that I am reading, that is okay. The book talks about reading to children without forcing them to "get" certain things. She says that a five year old and a two year old can listen to the same book and walk away with different things, and that is a good thing. In fact, two different five year olds will get different things out of books, and that is also a good thing. Children lose interest when we try to force the facts. Our job? To give them real literature, and then let them do with it what they will.
Anyway, those are just some things I am thinking about as Ada gets older, and I become more interested in her "education."
Again, I ask, what are your favorite "real" children's books? I loved Velveteen Rabbit. Wasn't that a great one?