Friday, June 21, 2013

The Drama of Reading Aloud (Hidden Art of Homemaking, Chapter 10)

"Reading aloud is the best outlet that I know of for hidden dramatic ability.  It is the best development of speaking ability, and the least complicated exercise for the use of one's voice and expression."  ~~ Edith Schaeffer, Hidden Art of Homemaking
If you've read Chapter 10 of Hidden Art, you'll  know that the chapter has very little to do with drama (as in, let's put on a play) and a great deal to do with the importance of reading...aloud, together...in families.  What's often stressed these days is the importance of reading to children, which is also very important and which can be almost the same thing.  But in terms of Hidden Art, this goes beyond simply "a story for the children" and becomes an intergenerational experience.
"I could not wait to begin reading to my first child, Priscilla.  I am afraid I started before she could possibly understand what it was all about, but she enjoyed being talked to just the same.  By the time she was eighteen months old she was clamouring every night for the same poem."  ~~ Edith Schaeffer
"She talks a lot about Peter Rabbit. We had a bunny or something in our own garden a few nights ago, that chewed off some bean vines and marigolds, so the story has become more real! She talks about Peter losing his jacket and shoes...When she sneezes she says “bless you,” but she prefers me to say “bless you my little fur child” from The Little Fur Family." ~~ Mama Squirrel's journal, when the Apprentice had just turned two
"To live through these books together, to experience them as a family, is something quite vivid and real, much much more real than reading alone." ~~ Edith Schaeffer
"We read her Jack and the Beanstalk (the Stephen Kellogg version) ...We went pretty easy on the grind-his-bones stuff, and that didn’t seem to bother her. She talks about the 'logre' (ogre), the golden eggs, and 'magic beans.'  She asked me if Jesus loves the logre."  ~~ Mama Squirrel's journal, just before the Apprentice turned three
"Our children go into the world of school, newspapers, TV, magazines, conversations and modern books, and are deluged with an almost monolithic voice of unbelief and materialism.  We ought not only to 'talk'--but try to take them and ourselves back into the hearing of other 'voices' as we shut out the 'world' and read."  ~~ Edith Schaeffer
"Babar continues to interest, she talks about the characters and asks me questions. At church someone requested prayer for someone who was ill, and she said, 'like the old king.' We’re still reading the Potter books. I have begun reading the authors’ names as I begin books, so now she’ll pick up a book and intone 'Peter Rabbit…by Bay-a-trix Potter...' She says she 'loves' the Beatrix Potter stories. She knows whole lines off by heart, from the five books we have. She carries the books around too." ~~ Mama Squirrel's journal
"...the talent will be employed in making it real to others.  And, incidentally, your own need in this area will begin to be fulfilled."  ~~ Edith Schaeffer
Photos by Mr. Fixit.  Copyright 2013, Dewey's Treehouse.

5 comments:

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I love it! How wonderful that you wrote all this down!

Cindy Rollins said...

Happy, happy times. So nice to have the memories recorded.

Barbara H. said...

My children greatly enjoyed being read aloud to when they were younger, even though I can't say I have any dramatic flair.

How neat that you've recorded some of those memories!

M.K. said...

What a debt of gratitude we owe to the children's book writers whose work has enriched so many generations. What would life be like if Beatrix Potter and A.A. Milne, or Kenneth Grahame, or others, had never lived? Or had failed to discipline themselves to write for us? We do keep their characters very ALIVE when we read aloud.

Heather said...

I enjoyed those journal entries so much! What memories you have made together!
My 10 year old son just saw a picture of a cabin in the woods on my Tumblr feed and asked in a joking voice if that was 'Bando's cabin'. :)
And just now, I can think of other stories that we reference together by one word or sound and we both can laugh and relieve that story.
I need to write this down like you did about specific stories.

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