SIGN UP

Reading the Classics to ur kids??

Avatar Image
bluedolphin | 07:47 Sat 16th Oct 2004 | Arts & Literature
7 Answers
I spent the Summer reading simplified versions of some kids classic books to my kids..eg, Charles Dickens's stories, Little Women, The Railway Children, Around the World in 80 Days. The Lost World, Treasure Island.... Should I be doing this....or should I be waiting for them to discover the books themselves ...They are 9yrs and 7yrs old...... they read comics themselves ...should I just leave them to them or continue reading ....I wonder.....

Answers

1 to 7 of 7rss feed

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by bluedolphin. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.
Some of those books could easily be read by 9-year olds: I think I read Treasure Island when I was 7 (but I was a precocious brat). I always think it's better to let them read the books for themselves in the longer versions - it will improve their vocabulary no end. There's nothing wrong with reading comics though, I would happily jump from a comic to a book, it's all part of growing up.
I think it's a great idea to read the classics to your kids.  I would opt for the full length versions though, as maxi29 is right, it will certainly enhance their vocabulary.  I read Wuthering Heights when I was 9 years old in bed with meningitis.  When I became too weak, mum read parts of it to me.  If it hadn't been for Heathcliff and Cathy's love story I doubt I would have had anything to keep me going!  Comics are great for kids but they are over as quickly as they're picked up!  I think reading a long book with 'difficult' language teaches children great patience and perseverance which I believe are essential life skills.  I don't have any children so I am certainly no authority on the subject, but when I have my own I will read them the classics!
I agree with the other posters about using the original versions, but for me the issue comes down to a couple of questions. Did your kids enjoy reading with you? Did they want to carry on doing it? If the answers are yes and yes then enjoy!!
I don't think there is any right or wrong answer to this, if your children enjoyed the books, then you are instilling a love of books, the skill of listening and sharing quality time with them, it doesn't matter whether it was the simplied version or not, they can then go on a read the full version when they want to. So I say you are doing nothing wrong, however as they are of the age when they can read, you may consider reading a page each to develop their reading skills further, I say go for it
18th c novels can be hard to read for kids not used to long circuitous sentences and references to historical facts they don't know. I'd read the original to the kids and stop often to explain what's happening, quiz them on the characters' motivations, ask what they'd do in this situation, etc. I'd hate to abandon a borderline reader to Oliver Twist or something. Even Winnie the Pooh can be a little challenging to American kids who don't get some of the jokes that an English school child would laugh at. I also have no objection to letting them read the "junior illustrated classics" and comics just so they become familiar with stories that are a part of our cultural history, and have a sense of where the plot is going in the longer version.

i think its gr8 that u r encouraging ur kids 2 read the classic books, im sorry 2 say that i have never even read any of the books that you have mentioned, (im 15)  I do think however, that the only people you should ask is your kids themselves.  Do they enjoy the books, if so thats gr8 and you should continue reading them or even get them 2 read parts, if they are interested in the longer versions then offer them to them.  If they do not enjoy these books, then change to a different style or another activity that involves you all... imposing these books on young children whilst they are not enjoying them will only discourage them from reading, either, altogether or books by that same author... good luck! xxx

I didn't have much of a classical education as a kid and so resolved to provide a bit more for my three (ages 18, 16, and 8 nearly). I found that those classic works I did feel an affinity for where the ones that I'd had explained to me in a way I could grasp when a kid-a mad music teacher going out of his mind acting out the final scene of Don Giovanni, where the statue turns up to collect him, was particularly memorable.  As for literature the Lamb's 'Shakespeare for Children' worked on me, and in turn on my kids.

Having studied psychology it seems that developing minds store away an image, or a gist, of something that makes subsequent understanding of the more complex adult version more easily 'grasp-able', if that makes sense(?)  Effectively if you introduce your children to simplified versions of stuff you want them to be enriched by in later life this acts as a kind of mental passport later which gets them into stuff more easily than coming at it fresh as an adult.  So I'd say do it.  Incidentally it worked on my eldest two, and even the boy feels less isolated when matters turn to things cultural-he's at least in the game.  Hope this helps.

1 to 7 of 7rss feed

Do you know the answer?

Reading the Classics to ur kids??

Answer Question >>

Related Questions

Sorry, we can't find any related questions. Try using the search bar at the top of the page to search for some keywords, or choose a topic and submit your own question.