My boys have been asking this question for the past few weeks as I pour over our books deciding if we’ve done enough to call it a full year of school. We finished our Algebra, Science, writing projects, history, and fine arts. Sadly though, we have neglected our Abeka Themes in Literature book and it sits on our bookshelves with many pages yet to read. My friend advised me after discussing this subject with her homeschool coach that 75% of the text is enough. Okay….with that information I decided to work on completing 75 percent of this literature book. (Do you remember completing all of your textbooks in public school…I never did)
Although I am bent on my children reading, understanding and enjoying this literature, reading poetry by Robert Burns and Emily Dickinson is not especially thrilling for my young men. And honestly, I struggle with some of this myself. Although I appreciate good literature, sometimes I do not consider it practical enough for this day and age. Shouldn’t we be devoting all of our time to such pursuits as studying the Constitution, history, economics or necessary life-skills? Do you follow what I’m saying?
We continued on in our textbook and came to My Love is like a Red, Red, Rose by Robert Burns. Even though my boys tried to change this to “My Love is like a Red, Red Nose,” we continued on. We read it…slowly. We talked about love, marriage and all that mushy stuff. We read about Robert Burns and learned of his extreme poverty and we tried to discover his worldview. We learned that he was the author of Auld Lang Syne and came to be known as the people’s poet. Then we listened to a song that used the lovely lyrics from this poem. To my surprise, I’m beginning to really enjoy this…probably too much. Perhaps I’m homeschooling myself more than my children at this point, but I really do love this poem…especially when it is put to song.
Now I’ve listened to this song at least a half dozen times. I’ve learned to play it on the guitar and it has become a favorite of mine. My boys are hearing this song more than they wanted to and it has become a familiar song to them now. Well….sometimes they still sing along, “My love is like a red red nose” but never mind. Literature is important I’ve decided….because it’s like music and flowers and art.
Reading good literature and inspiring poetry is not necessary like food, water and air is, but it is like a wonderful vacation from everyday life… A vacation from algebra, writing and civics. It’s a gift from God.
Listen to Eva Cassidy (1963-1996) sing this lovely song.