Sunday, January 6, 2008

Fiction or Non-Fiction

I've been battling an internal debate for a while. Ben does not like to read fiction. He's a straight up and down, "give me the facts", kind of guy. Shira OTOH loves to read anything and everything. I've been debating whether to try to get Ben to see the benefits of fiction or to leave him reading non-fiction exclusively.

I want the children reading good fiction because it helps wire vocabulary and good turns of phrases in their brains. I also want them reading non-fiction because they learn about the world.

Today I had an "AHA" moment. I realized that Ben doesn't dislike fiction, he just dislikes the fiction that he is able to read. He prefers more sophisticated fiction. He loves listening to stories on his iPod. (No, my kids are not spoiled brats because they have iPods. They have them for educational purposes. - that's my story and I'm sticking to it. LOL. Seriously, Ben and Shira listen to 2-4 hours of good literature on their iPods every day.). I've filled their iPods with classics and with rousing good stories.

I've decided that we're going to focus on reading non-fiction and continue listening to fiction on the iPods. That way the children can listen to stories that they wouldn't have the skills to read for a few years yet.


Erin said...

Hey Shez! Found your blog today, and I thought I'd suggest "George's Secret Key to the Universe by Stephen Hawking and Lucy Hawking" for Ben. Owen is tearing through it - it is more challenging and interesting than the Magic Schoolbus/Treehouse books.

Shez said...

ERIN!!!! How great to "see" you. Was wondering how you were doing. I have just ordered the book, thanks for the heads up. Ben read Jeanne Fulbright's, "Exploring Creation with Astronomy", and loved it. He loved it because it went into depth about things. We just had a chat before hand about how the book was filled with myths about the creation of the universe and read different books on that topic.

Lostcheerio said...

Sooo... when they have books on their I-pods, are the books divided into chapters, so they can find where they were easily? That sounds like a perfect solution!

And I think your kids are doing just fine on vocabulary and literary turns of phrases. :) :) ;)

Shez said...

If I download books from, the iPod bookmarks where we leave off. However, when I buy audiobooks on CD we lose our place if we skip to other books unless I run it through a program that allows me to use bookmarks.

Erin said...

Shez - It was a coincidence finding your blog, but how lovely to have come across it. I ordered the math book you mentioned in another post, today (I love Amazon Prime!) and I also ordered a box set of the Wrinkle In Time series. I don't know if they're "too old" for Owen, but they'll keep if they are.

I'd love to hear from you. My e-mail is erinw @ (my website name)

ellen said...

I homeschool twin 6 year old boys. I can't seem to get them to do anything - all they want to do is play. I am currently two-thirds the way through "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy lessons" and it's been a struggle. I try to do it one-on-one but the other distracts. I haven't done much with writing and math but I figure if I can get them reading first I can then work on the other r's. I would just relax and have fun if my husband was more supportive. He insists they go to p.s. next year for second grade because they don't spend enough time with other kids and they are behind. We do belong to a group and they get together with their friends at lease once or twice a week.