In Brave Writer and Classical Writing, Julie writes:
Kids deserve to be expanded by great literature, myth, epic poetry, legend, artwork, history, scientific discovery, the stars, mathematics as a language (not just as a workbook), Shakespeare, theater, music, dance, and languages. These sources provide rich material for imagination, vocabulary, and inner life. Such inner lives naturally spill over into writing with content and texture.
I have certainly found this to be the case with my kids. Julie continues with the excellent advice to kindle your kids’ interest in the classics (or anything else) by getting yourself interested first. If I want to reignite their enthusiasm for nature journaling, I get mine out and start drawing. Next thing I know, there’s a crowd of kids around me begging to join the fun. In the same way, they developed an interest in mythology, Shakespeare, the Odyssey, poetry, knitting, basketball, birdwatching, gardening, and any number of other things—by witnessing mom or dad’s passion for the subject and wanting to know what the heck was so exciting.
By the way, the Heaney translation of Beowulf that Julie mentions is one of my favorite books. Language so rich you can taste it. Begs to be read aloud. Makes Scott stomp around the house like a Viking, bellowing colorful oaths. Now that’s the way to get kids begging for more classics.
Our Week in Books: August 30-September 5
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