Why we don’t keep reading even when the child is interested

grandma readingOne of the Charlotte Mason approaches to books that freaks out a lot of booklovers is reading through a book slowly, stopping while the child is still interested, and then coming back to it later. Before we fully implemented Charlotte Mason principles, if I was reading a schoolbook to the children and it was time to stop, and they begged for more, I would keep reading. It was fine by me if we ripped through an entire book in a day instead of spreading it out over a few weeks.

Before I actually tried this, stopping while a child was still interested was anathema to me – I thought it a terrible, ridiculous thing to do, and it went against all my assumptions.

But like so many of Miss Mason’s ideas, when I actually tried putting it into practice, the results made me a believer. In fact, I even got extra ‘narrations’ as my children would come up to me sometimes during lunch or while we were at the park and suddenly say, “I just can’t believe that he’s dead!” and I, startled, would say, “who?” and then they proceed to tell me their concerns about where some story is going and what is going to happen and their indignation at the behaviour of some character.

Stopping while they are still interested is an effective way of goading them into dwelling on the story, thinking about it longer, more often, and more deeply.

See this post as well.

You may also be interested in some of our other posts on Charlotte Mason’s approach to language arts, grammar, composition, spelling, etc.

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