Monday, December 30, 2013

The 12 Posts of 2013, #6: The Drama of Reading Aloud

First posted June 21st.
"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.

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