With all that has changed around the world this year, one of the most obviously impacted areas has been schooling. Entire campuses closed with no notice. Co-ops were cancelled. Desks were placed yards apart, screens became instructors, and education became a series of boxes to check rather than an enriching experience.
Whether you’ve always homeschooled or find yourself at the beginning of your home education journey, it’s impossible not to have been affected by the current state of the world. Times are uncertain, and we find ourselves craving something solid we can cling to, look to, and depend upon.
Our children are just as in need as we are of normalcy and comfort, perhaps even moreso. With the foundations of our world so shaky, it can feel daunting to take on the work of homeschooling. But gathering together to learn in the home is one of the most comforting gifts we can offer our children. Literature-based homeschooling, in particular, lends itself perfectly to uncertain times for a number of reasons.
Literature-Based Programs Are a Good Investment
Businesses are closing without much notice, and jobs are uncertain, so making wise financial decisions is of particular importance during volatile times. Homeschooling can get pricey quickly, especially if you are teaching multiple children. Between Pinterest ideas and laminating machines, the costs can quickly become unbearable and unwise for a family facing an uncertain financial future.
Literature-based programs like BookShark, however, only require the upfront investment of each year’s work for the entire academic year. There aren’t dozens of consumables to print, copy, or laminate. Everything you need arrives together in one giant box, meaning you don’t find yourself needing to purchase additional supplies or supplements later in the year. And because books aren’t single-use, they can be held onto for younger siblings, re-used as often as you like, and enjoyed over and over again.
When so much is unknown about the future, the peace of knowing school is taken care of for the next year is nearly invaluable.
Learning Through Literature Is Flexible
Flexibility is a rare and desirable quality at any time, but is especially needed during a pandemic and economic valley. Museums and libraries open and close without much notice, and state orders change daily, making it difficult to plan ahead or stick to what’s on the calendar. When you order a literature-based bundle, however, you’ve got everything you need already and don’t need to scramble to find the next book on your list.
Reading can happen just about anywhere, whether in the backseat of a car, in an office chair while a parent works, on the couch, or at the park. Whatever local laws are on any given day have no impact on school when school can be tossed into a picnic basket. Learning doesn’t experience the upheaval of updated edicts or canceled co-ops; it simply adapts.
Learning Through Literature Promotes Connections
Our children need a lot of things when the world is uncertain and their routines have been upended, but beyond activities, socialization, or regular testing, what they need most is us. Home, family, comfort—these are anchors a child draws strength from.
By gleaning education from literature, emphasis is placed on gathering together to read. It’s not something that can be delayed when the children’s education depends upon time spent together, enjoying quality literature. And while education is important, the sense of safety, comfort, and normalcy that a child feels when gathered up with family is the ultimate benefit of literature-based learning. Everything else may be unknown, everything else may have changed, but the circle of safety that a child can depend upon remains. Memories are formed and bonds are deepened as children form connections with what they’re learning and who they’re learning it with. Learning through books is comfortable, dependable, and invaluable.
We don’t know how long the world will be turned upside down. We don’t know what next week or next year will hold. Our children feel this uncertainty. Thus the greatest gift we can give them is the sense of security lacking everywhere else, a home that remains as unchanged by circumstance as possible. When time and comfort are assets, embracing a flexible, adaptable, and personal style of learning is the best possible choice for a homeschool in flux. Literature-based learning is as much a tool to strengthen your child’s education as it is an opportunity to strengthen your family.
About the Author
Jennifer Vail proudly lives in the great state of Texas with her very handsome husband and three very funny children. All three kids are educated in three very different ways according to their very different needs, which is exhausting but fulfilling. Jen's hobbies include naps, 90's pop culture, Netflix binges, buying books with the best of intentions to read them all, photography, and extroverting. She holds a degree in counseling but has found her calling by writing for and spending time with families of differently-wired, outlier kids—the square pegs of the round world.
She stays up way too late and drinks way too much caffeine, but has no intention of changing either. She is the community manager and contributing author at Raising Lifelong Learners where she writes about homeschooling gifted, anxious, and otherwise different kiddos, but also rambles at This Undeserved Life from time to time. She feels compelled to mention that she still very much loves the Backstreet Boys and rarely folds her laundry.