book bonanzas: king arthur and his knights

Oct 8, 2013


Last week Fisher found a gem of a book in our bookshelves and begged me to start reading it to him. I have been waiting for one of my children to fall in love with The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle. I didn’t know if he would be able to understand the language as it is quite advanced and somewhat archaic to a 21st century child, but he is loving it. I have been stopping every few paragraphs to ask him to retell me the story and he nails it every time. His comprehension far exceeds his reading skills. I wonder if there is something to that? My two children with reading struggles have had amazing comprehension.


One of my favorite parts about Howard Pyle’s books are the illustrations. His drawings are oh, so lovely. Every chapter heading has its own artistic rendering of a character or event in the chapter and other illustrations are sprinkled throughout his books.


He likes to come snuggle in bed with me before anyone else is awake and while I really, really like having my early morning hours all to myself, I wouldn’t trade these head-on-my-shoulder and feet-twisted-up-in-mine reading sessions for anything. I’m sure the day isn’t too far off when he won’t be caught dead in my bed with his head on my shoulder. Today, as we read about the Trustworthy Knight, Sir Ector, we had an interesting discussion about doing what you say you will do when you say you will do it. He has brought up Sir Ector throughout the day so I know he is thinking deeply about it. Today he went out to the garage and used the jigsaw to cut out a three foot shield from a piece of plywood. I admit I was a little nervous about him being out there with a power tool all by his lonesome, but Richard has taught him well and approved the project, so I let him go and cut to his heart’s delight. He nailed on his straps and brought it in to show us, proud as punch of his work. This afternoon, he and Annesley reenacted Sir Kay’s battle in the front yard.

This is the magic of homeschooling (although certainly a public schooling parent could have the same sorts of experiences as well) – learning doesn’t have to look like learning and it often doesn’t look like sit-at-a-desk-and-do-worksheets learning. Learning through classics, discussion, real-world application, play, and snuggling up with a book are my favorite kinds of learning.

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