Is your child stuck in a concept being studied in school? Has he complained of being bored with a particular topic? Do you want to spark his interest and love of learning? It might be time to get some great picture books!
Picture books are basically children’s books that tell stories equally with illustrations and text. The world’s first ever picture book was created in 1658 by Johann Amos Comenius who understood that children best remember what they see.
Any subject can be studied using a picture book: history, science, language arts, and even math. Homeschooling families like ours enjoy learning this way, but some schools also use an integrated curriculum centered on children’s literature.
This method, however, is not limited to homeschooling families and progressive schools. In fact, children enrolled in schools that rely heavily on textbooks will benefit greatly from it if used as a supplement. If you have taken on the role of being your child’s tutor, you might want to explore how to use picture books to make learning fun after school.
Children of all ages enjoy a good picture book. The key to using it in teaching school subjects is to read aloud to your child even if he is already a reader. This way, you foster bonding between the two of you and you take away the school aspect from the learning experience. You just read for fun, with the intended result of learning with enjoyment.
History can come alive with lovely pictures that cannot usually be found in school textbooks. It becomes more engaging, more exciting, and more real. The Picture Biography Series by David A. Adler, for example, has books about Anne Frank, Hellen Keler, Thomas Edison, and many other important historical figures. Written simply and accompanied by drawings, such books literally spark a child’s interest in a historical figure.
Science is also a subject that children may not thoroughly enjoy when their textbooks are straightforward. However, reading Magic School Bus books that touch on the topics being studied in school can make a difference in how your child sees the school subject. Fun and imaginative, the series has been a hit with kids since the 1990s, educating while entertaining.
Picture books can serve as a hook to entice children to delve into a topic from another point of view. Instead of just making your child memorize facts, add another dimension to his learning. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can use picture books as tools in teaching your child his school subjects in a fun and engaging way:
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1. Find books that are related to the topic that your child is learning about.
Look for picture books that have the same or related topics being discussed in school. Break down the elements in a given subject matter and look for specific storybooks. For example, if your child is learning about the solar system, look for a picture book with a story about the different constellations, a book that is specifically about the sun, and a book about the moon.
The books you choose should not be limited to factual books. You may also include myths or folktales that will invite your child to wonder and make connections with what he already knows.