Basically we are straddling the unschooling fence around here. Unschooling for somethings and not for others.
Literature is being straddled. I need help. DS 11 is a voracious reader. He reads upward of 1000 pages a week. (fully printed pages- not picture book pages). Part of this years 'plan' is to cover some of the Newbery and Caldecott Award books. Our year goes by calendar year for this project so all of 2012.
Right now we are finishing 'From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler'. Next is 'Alice in Wonderland'- which really isn't an award book but is equally important.
So wise mama's how do I select books for 'literature'.
Right now this is so overwhelming.
I don't select my kids' independent reading, though I often suggest. I do, however, take a large role in selecting the books I read aloud to them (I still read aloud to my younger high schooler and my 9-year-old). I take that role because I want to read things I enjoy too; reading aloud to them isn't something I do to "educate" them, it's something I do because it's a shared experience we all find inherent value and enjoyment in, and that only works if I'm enjoying what we're reading too.
We've read a pile of Newbery Honor and Award books over the years. Also lots of Smarties and Whitbread award winners out of the UK. I choose based on what we've read recently (so we get a variety of styles of writing), based on what I think we'd all be interested in (recent interests in terms of subject matter and setting), and based on the strength and appeal of what I read in reviews of the books I don't know. So for us it's all very much to do with individual factors.
Amazon.com and Goodreads.com are full of reviews that of course all need to be taken with a grain of salt, but overall give a pretty good sense of the appeal of the books.
The more I think about it, we are moving away from Unschooling and this is going to be assignment based work. I NEVER thought those words would pass through my head.
While the Award winners wouldn't be all his reading for the week, nor a significant chunk of his reading, I do want to start making a shift toward this.
Going to post on the 'Learning at Home' discussion.
The tides may have shifted....