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Monday, June 30, 2014

How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare {Book Review}


It had not crossed my mind to teach my children Shakespeare.  At least, not yet.  I mean, my kids are 4 and 7!  But, I was given the opportunity to review this book and it looked fascinating.   Author Ken Ludwig insists, "To know some Shakespeare provides a head start in life."  We all know that Shakespeare is numbered among the greatest play writes of all time...or is he, perhaps, THE greatest play write of all time?  In fact, several years ago, I read and article that demonstrated that nearly every single modern day story has its foundation in Shakespeare.  All just rewritten into modern themes and language.

Now, by a show of hands, who is scared of Shakespeare (besides me...my hand is up!)  I recall reading Shakespeare in high school and finding it confusing and beautiful all rolled up into one messy little book.  The language can be both perplexing and lovely.  I wish I had given it more effort.  I mean, think of all the things we say today that came right from Shakespeare!  "In a Pickle"  "The Laughing Stock" "There's a method to my madness" and so much more.

In this book, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, Ludwig has provided a user-friendly and easy method for teaching children to memorize Shakespeare.  I'm not kidding.  He begins by having a child memorize 1 line, then the next, until the child has mastered full passages from a play.  He walks the reader through time period, what the passages mean, and shares what is to be learned behind the passages.

Why memorize it?  Memory is the key to understanding.  When you can recall something with very little effort, then you can really delve into what it means.  We do this in our homeschool daily with memorizing many things.  Scripture being where we start.  Followed by character catch phrases... and so forth.

Now, what did I really think of this book?  Let me start by saying this.  We are (currently) Classical Homeschoolers.  We believe in the beauty of memorizing.  Lots of stuff.  Poetry being one of those things that we have worked on memorizing...  It did not cross my mind to memorize Shakespeare, but now that this book has been planted in my path I felt excitement with the prospect of introducing this into our homeschool day.  It is simple to implement and fun to use!

This would be a welcome addition to any homeschool shelf!
Learn more about the author, Ken Ludwig and purchase his book by visiting his website at: http://www.howtoteachyourchildrenshakespeare.com.  
You can read an excerpt here.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.


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