While reading fiction has the ability to transport us into a different world and escape reality for a brief moment, it is quite impossible to live there. To better understand the world in which we actually live, perhaps a healthy dose of non-fiction is in order.
Now, when we refer to non-fiction, I hope we all understand I am not referring to textbooks. I think my children get plenty of textbook time in their lives, they don’t need to be assigned more. No, the non-fiction reading I am looking to increase is found compliments of our local library.
Within the fascinating world of non-fiction my children can explore regions of our universe previously unknown to them, research ancient civilizations, find out how to take care of their pets, discover how to make crumpets, and learn poetry from cultures spanning the globe.
While, strictly speaking, these might not be categorized as non-fiction, I also like to ensure a good dose of biographies are being consumed. There is much to be gained from reading about those who have gone before us and continue to make an impact.
Just as we are doing with our required reading selections, there is no order to the books our children are encouraged to read. If anything there is more freedom in selecting their non-fiction books. Our only requirement… one biography and one non-fiction per week. I won’t assign a particular book or even force them to read on a particular subject; I want the children to use this time to explore their own curiosity and enjoy this time of learning.
Surprisingly, our children have adapted to this tradition quite well. They make their non-fiction and bio selections their very first challenge when arriving at the library. Often, they choose more than one book and, at times, mommy has questioned just how many they plan to check out. (We have been known to check out over 100 books at a time.)
Our kiddos have increased their realm of knowledge a hundred fold by instilling this one simple practice in their lives. I hope this will inspire them to continue on well into their adult years. With their father and I, as well as other family members’, encouragement and healthy example, I believe this will be a practice that will take them well into adulthood.
Do you make non-fiction and biographies a fun part of your learning experience?