Julie Lyles Carr: Progress.....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Progress.....



I suppose that in the middle of the dealing with the dander and debris of human earthly life, it's only appropriate a should come up for an intellectual breather now and then.  As in, you can only nit pick for so long...


While I love re-exploring the classics that made up the bulk of my college reading list, I also enjoy introducing my kids to the oldies and goodies.  But the archaic language and slower pace of some of these works makes for frustration fodder when it comes to keeping the kids' attention.


Hence that little beauty you see up there, Little Pilgrim's Progress by Helen Taylor.


I've looked at other books of classics rewritten at a younger level but have not been dazzled.  Too casual, too silly, too predicated on the style of today's younger audience literature.  But Helen Taylor's reworking of John Bunyan's classic really stands on its own.  She follows the story of Little Christian as he begins his journey to the Celestial City, meeting along the way such characters as Obstinate, Pliable and Worldly.  I've read this book before to my older kiddos and started again last night with some of the younger set.  My eight year old in particular was all ears and my six year old began to grasp the allegorical nature of the story.


I don't remember where I picked up our copy originally.  (I think it is available on Amazon and educational sites.) But I certainly wish there were more of the classics presented in this style for kids.  Helen Taylor still uses more challenging language, but in a way that grows vocabulary and usage.  And I'm a firm believer that good readers get their start in good listening:  listening to great books being read aloud.  Of all the things I've tried and experimented with and purchased for our homeschooling, I would still maintain that it is the time I have spent reading aloud to the kids from books that are of a higher level that has been one of the most successful mainstays of our homeschool experience.  And the quiet time of sitting snuggled up, the only sound input being the cadence of well-placed words and pages turning is a beautiful thing...


Even in a season of nit picking.



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