Shakespeare strikes fear into the heart of many, doesn’t he?
I can remember studying Shakespeare back in high school. At first, I felt as if I was unlocking another language. I enjoyed the challenge, but many of my classmates and friends grumbled. And I’m not sitting here claiming to be a Shakespeare expert. Quite the contrary, in fact.
I know very little about Shakespeare: a few Shakespeare units in high school, another in college, a hit movie with Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio.
The interesting thing is, little kids think Shakespeare is cool. I know this because we have dabbled in some Shakespeare over here and it has been a big hit every single time. My children, at 8-, 6-, and 4-years-old, have never complained about Shakespeare. Instead, they eat it up!
When you think about it, children’s fascination with Shakespeare makes complete sense. After all, kids love a good story, codes, wordplay, and theatrics… and they absorb everything.All of this makes me wonder, Why do we wait until high school to introduce Shakespeare to our youth?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to introduce Shakespeare early, when children are eager, rather than waiting until they will balk at the opportunity?
Why turn it into a fight when it could be fun?
What if I told you there is a super-easy way to introduce Shakespeare to your children? There is! It’s called Teaching Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig and today I’m going to tell you all about it!
Teaching Children Shakespeare at Home
*Disclosure: I received a copy of Teach Your Children Shakespeare at no cost and was compensated for my time. I was not required to write a positive review and, as always, all opinions are my own. I only share products that I would use with my own family and that I think others would enjoy.
In his award-winning book How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, internationally-acclaimed playwright Ken Ludwig shares how to inspire an early love of Shakespeare. This may sound daunting, but I assure you it is not.
Ludwig created this easy-to-follow system while sharing his love of The Bard with his own young children. In this book, Ludwig walks you through the steps needed to teach your children twenty-five passages. These passages start off easy and gradually increase in length and complexity.
This book is an adventure for children and parents. You do not need to have any background in Shakespeare to enjoy this book. I repeat: you do not need to understand Shakespeare to use this book.
Ludwig’s process is simple and yet the book is complex in that it incorporates so much more than memorization. This book can be used in a variety of ways including:
How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare is an informative, easy-to-follow, and enjoyable book that can be used with children, adolescents, and adults. Yes, I used the word enjoyable. My children and I have had fun together, learning about Shakespeare. In fact, when I asked the kids which books we should pack on our recent vacation, they included this one.
Why study Shakespeare?
Put simply, Shakespeare’s plays are among the finest in history. His works continue to influence the arts to this day. By providing your children with a solid foundation in Shakespeare, you will not only enjoy yourselves, but you will be giving your children a head start in life.
Ludwig provides you with the tools and strategies needed to guide your children through the memorization of 25 passages. He shares tips and tricks both in the book and on his website, where he provides free access to printable quotation pages and recordings of all major passages. The quotation pages make memorization less intimidating and visually overwhelming, and the recordings take the pressure off the parents. Let the greats show your kids how it is done- and then learn together!
In How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, Ludwig shares so much more than just memorization of passages. When you delve into Shakespeare, your children will learn:
- Listening skills
- Speaking skills
- Characters and plots of famous works
- Exposure to fine literature
- Appreciation for the arts
- Cultural references
Reading Shakespeare is akin to learning a foreign language. It requires you to pause, to reflect, and to take the time to unlock the code. I guarantee your children will love this! Kids love a good puzzle!
And, let me tell you, your children will be so proud of themselves when they memorize that first passage.
What a way to build self-confidence!
Here is my 4-year-old’s very first attempt at the very first passage of the book. He didn’t get it quite right, but he is smiling and proud and off to a fantastic start!
Ken Ludwig’s How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare has been a wonderful addition to our family library. I can foresee our family using this book for years to come.
Do you want to teach your kids Shakespeare in your homeschool?
Shakespeare’s birthday is April 23rd. Why not dabble in a little Shakespeare to celebrate? Your children will be better off for it, and they’ll have a blast!
Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig is an easy-to-follow and enjoyable way to learn alongside your children.
Guess what? Ken Ludwig is hosting a giveaway
Ken Ludwig is giving away 10 copies of his book and will ship anywhere in the world. You can enter here:
Keep up to date on all things Shakespeare
Looking for ways to take learning to the next level?
Shakespeare for Kids – Check out this post for even more Shakespeare resources!
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: Do your kids love Shakespeare, too? Share here.
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram