DiscoverRead-Aloud Revival ®RAR #196: Teaching Literature Without Curriculum
RAR #196: Teaching Literature Without Curriculum

RAR #196: Teaching Literature Without Curriculum

Update: 2022-02-021


Shouldn't helping our kids love reading be the point of literature education?

So why is it that most kids enjoy reading less and less, the further they get into their school years? And why do we insist on using literature curriculum when we know it doesn't help our kids fall more in love with books?

Today I want to share an easier, simpler, more delightful (and less expensive!) path to giving our kids a fantastic and enjoyable literary education.

This path has the advantage of making it more likely that our kids will love reading more after they encounter literature after their reading experience in school, not less.

That's kind of a rogue idea, actually.

What's the point?

Think back to your own school days.

Were your own favorite books the ones that you were assigned to write a book report on? When your teacher assigned you a classic and then told you to write a five-paragraph essay on it afterward, did you stay up late, gleefully reading that book under the covers with a flashlight?

Were those the books you thought: this book is turning me into a reader?


See... I think one of the primary goals of a good literary education should be to raise kids who become adults who read voraciously and well. Who know reading to be one of life's sweetest delights. Who leave their literature class loving books even more than they did going in.

Is it possible?

It is. My family eschews formal literature curriculum to do something that we like better.

And it turns out that this kind of education works. My 20 year-old is currently pursuing a university degree in (wait for it...) English. All of my teens enjoy reading and do quite a lot of it for pleasure, in fact.

So if I told you that you could give your kids a solid literary education while also stoking the fires of their love for reading, would you be interested?

On today's podcast, I dive into why it's OK to ditch formal literature curriculum, and a better model for moving forward

Click the play button below to listen, or scroll down to keep reading...

In this episode:

  • our true goal for a solid literary education
  • what I do instead of using a literature curriculum
  • why reading for academic 'success' is kind of defeating the purpose

Click the play button below:

Listener Guide

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast:

2:46 Beyond learning to read4:57 What is our true goal?8:41 'Introducing one to the other'13:00 Warmth + connection14:33 Reading for 'success' versus entertainment17:23 How adult voracious readers actually read19:41 A book club model21:20 A workshop is coming!23:19 A simple system and where to find it24:57 Let the Kids Speak

First things first...

Let's be clear that what I'm talking about today is literature curriculum, not teaching kids how to read.

I do like to use curriculum to teach kids how to read.

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RAR #196: Teaching Literature Without Curriculum

RAR #196: Teaching Literature Without Curriculum

Sarah Mackenzie