The interesting story I mentioned previously:
Andrew Pudewa spoke so much wisdom at the convention. He told us of his adventure of living in Japan while studying the Suzuki violin method.
He enjoyed his experience there very much and worked hard to learn Japanese. He arrived at a point of being able to converse rather well with his Japanese friends, but he noticed that there was still a "way" they said things in conversation that he did not.
Mr. Pudewa asked his friends for help. They just kept telling him that his Japanese was good! He became frustrated because they didn't understand what he was trying to convey. Then, one day, he had an idea! He purchased the children's book, Jack and the Beanstalk. He memorized it in Japanese sentence by sentence.
He said that he could entertain the Japanese children quite well by the end of it, but also that one day, as he was speaking, it all finally clicked! He was able to converse in the style of his Japanese friends!
What caused his breakthrough? Simply put, his mind had learned the patterns of the language. He had trained his brain to "pick up the pattern!"
When he returned to the States, he sat up a preschool to try the Suzuki learning method in all subjects. He would lead the children in poetry memorization daily. One day, a little girl, who was always adorable and very helpful as long as he could keep her vanity in check, came in and said, "Teacher, I have a problem."
He said, "Well, I am quite sure I can help you."
She then took off in a little rhyme that just so happened to sound like one he had read to her, but she said (I may say this a bit off of her actual rhyme, but you will get the idea), "Today I have forgotten my lunch and what I shall do, I haven't a hunch!"
Mr. Pudewa used this story to show us, his audience, the necessity of students to take in or hear good language patterns. What goes in, comes out! No big rocket-science finding there. Simple, right?
Do you know that most books and television programs today are written on 3rd to 5th grade level?
Think about what is going into our minds.
Mr. Pudewa has an excellent writing program and has been invited to help schools teach writing more effectively. He noticed that some students were not "getting it." They just were not able to write like some of the other students. Eventually, he realized why. Most everything that goes "into" us in our culture has changed dramatically since the 1800s.
We are watching our nation go down the tubes! Change the nation by changing what is going in. Children have to be taught to think logically and intelligently.
He suggests reading good classic novels aloud to your family in the evenings. The more the better. Put good stuff in! He also has a product called, Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization.
This comes with a book and CDs for children to listen to and read along as they take in poetry that will increase the language patterns and understanding. These poems are boy friendly...as in, they are not all about gardens and flowers, but will capture a boy's imagination and natural draws.
I hope this can help you think a bit differently about what is going into your children...whether you homeschool or not. Family reading is my favorite thing to do with my children. The discussions that have occurred because of this time of our day will always be treasured in my heart.