You know what’s on my bedside table more often than not these days? Children’s books. No, I don’t mean picture books (which I’m already reading en mass to three little girls who beg me to from sun-up to sun-down), but what my children call “chapter books”.
Why would a grown woman, especially one who is striving for her own self education and growth, be spending so much time reading selections from the library’s Juvenile Fiction collection?
Shouldn’t I be investing that time reading the great books?
While I am trying to get through some pretty heavy books this year, more of my time lately is being spent on lighter reading in the form of children’s books. Here’s why.
There are SO many great children’s books that I missed out on as a child!
While I did read some children’s classics in my youth (L. M. Montgomery was a favourite of mine), I mostly only read what was popular at the time. I spent the bulk of my reading time on The Baby Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High and more of the like.
If I stuck to only “adult” books, I’d never get the chance to enjoy such books as The Chronicles of Narnia and so many other wonderful children’s classics!
They are shorter and easier to digest for this busy, pre-occupied, homeschooling mama
My attention span is pretty short these days. Maybe it’s because I’m constantly being interrupted, or because all of my free time comes in brief moments salvaged between cooking, cleaning, teaching, and potty-ing, but I have a hard time focusing on the heavier, deeper, and more thought provoking choices.
So I can talk about them with my children
I have really been enjoying re-reading my own favourite children’s classics with my children and discovering new treasures, but a newly discovered delight for me is sharing books separately. By the time I was halfway through the first book in the Wingfeather Saga, I just knew my oldest would adore it. So I tossed her the book when I was finished and she devoured it in a matter of days. Now she is harassing me daily to see if I’m done with the second so she can have it. It’s such fun!
They provide me with a window into the life of a child and help me relate to my own
It has been a long time since I was a kid, and sometimes it’s hard to remember what it was like. My own adult perspective is vastly different from that of my children, and I’m often so wrapped up in my own grown up concerns and priorities that I completely miss those of my children. When I read children’s literature, I’m transported back to my own childhood, and am reminded how important their concerns really are.
Because a great book is a great book, regardless of it’s target audience
This is the real reason. A good story, well written, is ageless. What you take away from the story at 12 can be so very different than what impresses you at 35.
A year or so ago I re-read Little Women and my attention was drawn to Marmee’s example in mothering her girls. I’m pretty sure she made little impact on me when I first read the book in my teens, I was completely pre-occupied by the sibling relationships, romance, ambitions, and adventures of the March girls. But now that I’m a mother myself and raising my own brood of “little women”, my perspective on the story has completely changed!
Are there any children’s works that you enjoy especially now as an adult?
This post is linked up on The Hip Homeschool Hop.