Hey there mama/teacher/friend/interested children’s book lover!
Wherever you are on the spectrum of life-if you are reading ,you probably have children you care about in your life. And those children most likely have books, maybe you even are the one who provides or buys the books for them! In a previous post, I talked briefly about being picky in the books I have for my son.
Aren’t books just that…books?
My Background Story
I grew up in a home filled with good books. I was that kid in first grade who set a high goal of reading 100 books…and then did it (don’t mind me pushing up my glasses over here ;). I’ve loved books from the beginning. Fast forward to four years of teaching in the primary classroom, which meant accumulating a LOT of books…to three years later being at home with my little guy. I found myself unpacking bins and bins and BINS of books I’d inherited from childhood, other teachers, garage sales, thrift stores, or accumulated in some other way. There were LOTS OF BOOKS. It was too much of a good thing.
The Teachings of Charlotte Mason
Recently, I’ve been exploring and learning about homeschooling, particularly the philosophy and teachings of Charlotte Mason. She’s the first one who introduced me to this concept of “twaddle” in how we interact with our children- from our conversations, to the books we read, to even the toys we have them play with.
To summarize, Mason believed that children are “born persons,” that is, each one is created uniquely and will complete their own growth and journey as they discover the world around them. From the time they are infants- it’s important that we don’t talk down to them or “dumb down” things. You’d be surprised at how young of an age children can sense when they are being “talked down” to in a book or are being read a story with no real meaning or truth in it.
Instead of reading books to our kids just for the sake of reading or having them learn their ABCs, choosing books that are quality, full of truth, with meaning and well chosen words- will give them a real taste and introduction to the joy of literature. This sets them up to be lifelong readers and LEARNERS. Learning should be a lifestyle, not a box to check off, or a certain books to be read, or a worksheet to do. It’s a constant state of wonder.
I won’t go on and on, but I could 🙂 . I’ve linked some of my favorite resources/books/podcasts on the topics of twaddle and general CM (Charlotte Mason) educational philosophy below if you are interested in digging deeper!
That’s great! But what does that actually look like?
I’m so glad you asked.
Being trained for four years to be an elementary education teacher, I learned about quality children’s literature-but not the concept of twaddle. Plus, as a mama, I need something quick and easy to help me discern quality books for my family. Especially when there are BINS of books to sort through.
Enter these tips! I created a simple + easy to use printable tip checklist you can use as you look at your own child’s library. Or even as a guide if you are making a “to read”/”to buy” book list for your kids.
Sign up for the simple + easy tips for finding Twaddle-free books below:
What Do You Think?
Have you thought about “twaddle” before with the books you read with your kids? What have you noticed about the types of books your kids are drawn to? I can’t wait to chat with you about what you’ve noticed.
- The Read Aloud Revival Podcast– by Sarah MacKenzie. Excellent recommendations of quality books to read with your family.
- Simply Charlotte Mason Blog- “What Is Twaddle?”
- Book/Audiobook “The Call of the Wild and Free“ by Ainsley Arment (I am currently listening to this as an audiobook on the Hoopla app through my local library. I don’t agree with every single idea in it-but nonetheless; it’s inspiring. If you have ever even thought twice about why homeschooling may be beneficial to your kiddos…check it out. It’s easy listening!)
- “For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. One of the best books I’ve read on education and how children learn. Susan was the home-educated daughter of the well-known and respected Christian apologetic Francis Schaeffer.