Thursday, June 26, 2008

No sleeping fairies here (twaddle-free zone)

In spite of the fact that at least one of the Squirrelings does like the Flower Fairies, we agree with the following pronouncement and think it makes an excellent illustration of how not to twaddle. (Some homeschoolers include all lesser-type books under the twaddle umbrella, but I think this example is closer to the overblown twaddly prose Charlotte Mason meant.)

"[Children in the primary grades] are realists; they like to see things as they are and to express the truth in simple language and in simple drawings. With them we should say that a winter bud contains next year's leaves neatly packed, ready to open in the spring, rather than using a cloak of sentimentalism by saying that 'the bud is a sleeping fairy with woollen blankets, and when old Mother Nature touches the wonderful covering with her magic wand, the fairy will jump out and shake her emerald tresses.'"

--J.A. Partridge, Natural Science Through the Seasons.


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Hehehe, my daughter and I had a discussion on "what is and what is not" twaddle recently.

She trusts my judgement since I homeschooled her little brother through high school. However, she didn't understand why I gifted the grandchildren with Little Golden Books, which she thought of as twaddle.

I reminded her many are reprints of vintage books from a "gentler" time (if you stay away from all the Disney stuff), they have great pictures for preschoolers, they are just the right size for preschoolers to hold, and the words are simple enough that her new reader (my six year old granddaughter) can read them to the little ones.

I think I won her over. Otherwise, we usually agree on what is and what is not twaddle. :)

coffeemamma said...

That's one of my favourite quotes from the book ;-) (which I am reading again).

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