While choosing literature for year 1 of homeschool, something stood out to me: Charlotte Mason doesn't exactly address literature in her first volume, Home Education. As I pored over it to make our decisions, I realized that I didn't see any books specifically for the subject of literature. So, this is one of those cases where I had to infer what would make sense to add in. I didn't consult any other sources, for the sake of simplicity, when creating our curriculum for our first year of official homeschooling. (You can read my other posts in this series here.)
This had me wondering why she left out literature. Maybe she knew that the human soul is so connected to stories that choosing literature worthy of our little ones' hearts and minds would be something mothers would take very seriously, and enjoy immensely. Or, maybe she just didn't want little kids to read literature at all.
Okay, it's most definitely not that last idea!
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You can read the other posts in this series here.
"Therefore, the selection of their first lesson-books is a matter of grave importance, because it rests with these to give children the idea that knowledge is supremely attractive and that reading is delightful. Once the habit of reading his lesson-book with delight is set up in a child, his education is--not completed, but--ensured; he will go on for himself in spite of the obstructions which school too commonly throws in his way." Home Education, page
This upcoming school year, my goal is to help Miss H develop the habit of reading, to secure her education. But, in choosing these literature books, I didn't choose easier-to-read books. I included those in the Reading section. I chose books that are known for their literary quality and ideas.
Even without mentioning literature as a specific subject, there were a few suggestions that I gleaned from this volume. For example, she mentioned fairy tales, so I chose a well-loved collection of them. She also mentioned Shakespeare, and even though, in her reference it overlapped with history, I didn't see why it couldn't overlap with "literature" as well
Other books I chose because they related to a country we'll study, or are books that we've collected (we got a beautiful copy of Five Little Peppers and How They Grew from my grandmother-in-law last year!)
Home Education Curriculum: Literature
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Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know by Hamilton Wright Mabie
Shakespeare's Storybook: Folk Tales that Inspired the Bard by Patrick Ryan and James Mayhew (I chose this because I think it will give my young daughter a good background before reading a story from Shakespeare. I imagine that young children 100 years ago weren't so far removed from the language and culture as our children are now!)
Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb (I'll read one story from the above book, and one Shakespeare story throughout the whole school year, just to give her a taste of Shakespeare.)
James Herriot's Treasury For Children- James Herriot
The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh