I was compensated for my time reviewing this product, writing this review, and hosting the giveaway. However, paid for my time does not mean paid off. ALL opinions are my own and for sure I will always tell you what is on my mind. When I do accept a product it’s because I’m giddy to tell you about it. Read my full disclosure here. Now on to the fun stuff!
When we had our Renaissance co-op, I was excited to teach about anything from that time period, except Shakespeare. Thankfully, I didn’t plan the co-op alone and our group brought in a local bard fill-in to teach us about Shakespeare. It was a huge hit with our high school kids and until recently, I didn’t think I could repeat the same experience for my younger son. So I was over the top excited when I received from Ken Ludwig the book How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare.
Psssst! Before I go on too, I wanted to give you a heads up about the giveaway at the bottom so you don’t miss it.
How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare is like that bard fill-in we had at our co-op, who translated English from ancient to modern in an animated way to move us and to make sense of the beautiful words painted by Shakespeare.
How Well Do You Know William Shakespeare?
Isn’t that why so many kids and adults can’t stand Shakespeare to this day? I’ll admit it, I was one of them.
No, it’s not Shakespeare’s stirring poetry, which lights a fire in my emotions or feelings that I don’t like. It’s losing the meaning of the words along the way that makes me want to go the other way.
Too, I tend to get harder about my expectations in teaching tools the longer I homeschool and though I had heard about How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare before, I admit I was skeptical.
However, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare didn’t disappoint and it especially didn’t give me another huge set of useless Shakespearean passages to memorize, but gave me a mighty homeschool tool in my pocket.
Look at some of the things that struck a chord with me.
No time is wasted in the outset at explaining why people have a hard time memorizing poems or understanding them. Text needs to be read in an easy format.
When we were memorizing these passages, it’s like you can picture the words on the page because they are broken into chunks. And no this method doesn’t just work for children, but for adults too.
After memorizing passages like this, Tiny won’t read it any other way now. Not only does Ken Ludwig give you tips on how to teach it, but he created free quotation pages at his website, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare.
Words matter to our kids.
I love Ken Ludwig’s gentle reminders about why I should be teaching Shakespeare in my homeschool day. Though I would love to shield my kids as long as I can from the world’s woes, the truth of it is that children can relate to the stress of every day life and poetry gives them a way to connect with those feelings.
Look below at the words by Macbeth that Tiny has been mouthing because they opened the way to a conversation about why people get to this point in their life or why they feel life may be that way now. It was deeper than I wanted to go, but it reminded me of the power of words. Also, it resonated with me because I homeschool to have personal moments with each one of my boys.
Life’s but a walking shadow, . . . It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Hard to understand terms are explained right in the book.
One of my very favorite parts, which is what made me fall in love with How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare is that terms and words that we don’t use everyday are easily explained right with the passage.
No hunting and pecking on the internet for the meaning of the word which interrupts the flow of thought and the moment is gone.
Do You Know the Difference Between Poetry & Prose?
Useful background information.
Also, background information is given about passages that made learning Shakespeare with Tiny not only enjoyable by him, but by myself also. It is hard to not be moved by words from passages that talk about love and rejection.
Too, it’s not a secret that we love history in our family and history is alive and makes sense through the words of Shakespeare.
For example, in one passage we were reading from Twelfth Night, Cesario says,
“Make me a willow cabin at your gate
And call upon my soul within the house.”
The quick explanation about the willow cabin was that in Greek and Roman mythology the willow tree was a symbol of grief for unrequited love.
The passage and message then becomes full of meaning because it helps to understand the feelings when love or affection is not reciprocated. Fascinating tidbits like this just fill the pages of this book.
Extra help = Enrichment as if the study of Shakespeare is not rich enough.
There are 25 passages that are put in order in the book so that the guesswork is taking out of which passages to begin memorizing. In addition, as you can see above the Appendix is full of added enrichment.
One book stand alone curriculum.
Another very favorite part of using this book is that it is a one book stand alone curriculum.
It can easily be used by a precocious middle school kid or high school teen because it is laid out in a specific order so that you don’t have to guess and like I mentioned, explanations are given. If you are teaching younger children, you’ll love the teaching tips and teacher help.
Also, I have read many tips on the differences between prose and poetry and the teacher in me loved the insightful tips and detailed ways of telling the difference between the two.
Multi-age timeless curriculum keeper.
It is what I call a curriculum keeper, which means it spans multiple ages and can be used over and over again each year.
You won’t regret purchasing this handy, one book stand alone compact curriculum.
Tiny and I have plans to read the rest of the passages in How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare and that just might lead us to some hands-on activities or lapbook.
Also, check out my other posts:
- Shakespeare Unit Study Starters
- Renaissance Lapbook and Unit Study
- 7 Budget-Friendly Language Arts Curriculum to Pair with Unit Studies (with printable)
Hugs and love ya,