Charlotte Died, Rachael Cried

Tuesday something (wonderfully) unexpected happened, Rachael (who will be 7 in less than two months), began sobbing when we reached “that part” of Charlotte’s Web

“How is that wonderful?” you ask…

Well, not only was she listening to the story, she immersed herself into the story…The book came to life for her.

And while she isn’t void of emotion while we read other stories, this was the first time she cried sobbed during a sad heartbreaking moment in a book.

Confession: I had a hard time getting through “that part” and her sobbing didn’t make it any easier…
My 12 year old son looked at my 9 year old son and said “girls cry over everything”…
While Reading the Boy of Heart Mountain, I had to keep stopping about every other word…
–I am a crier, even when reading out loud-…

I want my children to feel when they are reading, and Tuesday that moment happened for Rachael.

My homeschool has three missions:

1. to nurture my children’s faith in Jesus Christ, and to help them grow in Him.
2. To instill a lifelong love of reading.
3. To instill a lifelong love of learning.
2 and 3 are in that order, because once someone learns to read, there is nothing that they cannot learn if they have the desire to learn it.

Last year Rachael began making a TARDIS (the ‘Time Machine’ from Doctor Who) before we read. She would travel to Narnia, colonial New England, and to wherever the Box Car Children were headed; she would imagine herself in the story, not necessarily a part of the story, but as an eye witness to the story.

If I wasn’t homeschooling, Rachael would not be able to listen to the story from her TARDIS, she would not be able to put herself into the story the way she can at home.

Homeschooling allows my children’s creativity to flourish.

Joshua reading The Boxcar Children while leaning against a boxcarJoshua, my 9 year old loves The Boxcar children. He loves hearing/reading (we read The Boxcar Children aloud) about their adventures. And even though he isn’t the youngest, he knows he is our “Benny”. Josh and Rachael even went outside one day and made a museum like the Boxcar Children did in Surprise Island.

Joshua is my reluctant reader, so for me it is a pretty big deal when he finds books that he really loves, and can get into.

When my 12 year old son was 8 or 9 he began to devour the Childhood of Famous Americans series, especially the ones on famous inventors. He related to them.

12003267_10153351889623192_1407504058803405004_n He found a common thread, they were all smart, but didn’t necessarily do well in school, and they all found themselves allowing their curiosity to spur on impulsive behavior that got them into trouble… Something he understood very well.

He also allows the books he reads to “consume” him.

He read The Maze Runner in less than two days so he could watch the movie… Before the movie was half way over he had stormed off and was stewing in his bedroom. Spoiler: The movie is nothing like the book, other than the title, most of the characters, and maze… Things happened out of sequence, important parts of the book were left out, and things were added that brought nothing to the story whatsoever…

He was crushed. He knows from experience that the book isn’t always like the movie, for example, he can tell you everything The Hunger Games movies got wrong, but for the most part the differences are minor. (Except for how Katniss obtained the Mocking Jay pin, it is a small part of the story, but actually pretty important)

The Maze Runner (movie) betrayed him… And that is a good thing.

He immersed himself in the story. He allowed the story to become real for him. I never want my kids to not have that. I want them to always get lost in the book they are reading.

My 14 year old, Cheyla, gets attached to characters, and refused to finish reading the last book in the Divergent series because she saw a spoiler on Instagram… She read through the Christy Miller series when she was 10 or 11, because she had to know what was going on in Christy’s life.

Her life is on pause when she is reading a John Green novel, and if a main character dies, she either needs a hug, or some space to process it. And like Michael, she expects minor differences when the book is turned into a movie. –We won’t talk about the emotional roller coaster ride after we watched the Paper Towns movie-

Anyone can be taught to read, but what gets overlooked is learning how to feel when reading.

Literature deserves to come alive.

And that is why I am happy that Rachael cried when Charlotte died.