How much focus on "classics"? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 34 Old 01-25-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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The only "classics" I think are really important in the primary years is basic (Newtonian) physics and maths. That to me is beautiful information  that has stood the test of time.

 

I do prefer contemporary works. I'm not a huge fan of information or literature without much context, I like to be able to talk to my kids about the situation in the time the book was written, about the life of the author, about why he or she held certain views, and so forth. We just don't have as much information about ancient writers-even Shakespeare is pretty mysterious. I'm also very conscious that to an extent the "classics" are mainly written or at least recorded by white people, middle class people, males, and I don't want these rareified viewpoints dominating my children's reading. A great thing about contemporary literature to me is the diversity, and while my kids are young, my priority is to preserve their automatic assuption that diversity is the norm.

 

 


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#32 of 34 Old 01-25-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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Hmm. In the version of jack and the beanstalk that we have, jack is "stealing" back things that the mean giant stole from jack's father long ago, thereby restoring his family fortune. Just goes to show how many different versions there are of these stories. Haha!

We happen to love all the classic tales, fables, rhymes. I have them available for my kids but i don't push any of it, they just discover them at some point and ask me to read to them or the older one reads to himself. My oldest is especially into all that stuff.

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#33 of 34 Old 01-25-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calynde View Post

AHmm. In the version of jack and the beanstalk that we have, jack is "stealing" back things that the mean giant stole from jack's father long ago, thereby restoring his family fortune. Just goes to show how many different versions there are of these stories. Haha!


 


Same here and the giant killed Jack's father. I may have bought a rougher version but my DS didn't seem too bothered. Maybe because the giant smells the blood of an Englishman and not American or French?

We've definitely read some classics even if they weren't our main focus. I agree with a PP that they don't need to be enjoyed at a certain age or in a certain way (for example, some stories I just told my son). I remember being 11 or 12 and coming across a book of Aesop's fables and reading it in one sitting.

Last year we read the French (original?) version for children of Bluebeard. Yikes. Not all of these tales are easy to understand and discuss. I can't argue that it's a good thing to read Bluebeard to your children, but I don't regret reading it to my son. Same with The Little Match Girl, but we did discuss why Andersen wrote a story like that--what he was possibly trying to tell people.

We've also read many beautiful picture books--we had most of the FIAR books and one my son especially loved was Warm as Wool. A story of a pioneer woman who strives to keep her family warm despite setbacks. I wouldn't have expected he'd like that book so much. There is so much wonderful children's lit available and some licensed character books here and there aren't going to poison any minds. They might even provide a laugh, a great discussion or a new word (it could happen).

 

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#34 of 34 Old 01-25-2011, 06:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calynde View Post

Hmm. In the version of jack and the beanstalk that we have, jack is "stealing" back things that the mean giant stole from jack's father long ago, thereby restoring his family fortune. Just goes to show how many different versions there are of these stories. Haha!

We happen to love all the classic tales, fables, rhymes. I have them available for my kids but i don't push any of it, they just discover them at some point and ask me to read to them or the older one reads to himself. My oldest is especially into all that stuff.

we have that version too

 


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