Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Review: How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare

I have to confess: I was excited to review this book. I had read the first couple of chapters because our library has the hardcover version of book. The problem was it is so popular I could never keep it long enough to read the entire thing. When the paperback version (soon to be released) was offered for review, I jumped at the chance.

I know now why our library couldn't keep it on the shelves. This is not a book you'll want to borrow. You will want your own copy so that you can refer to it whenever you wish.

Ludwig's love of Shakespeare is evident on every page and it is infectious. He walks a fine authorial line, always offering more information that his readers may not know, but never talking down or condescending.

Helping our children to enjoy Shakespeare by memorizing selected passages just makes so much sense. Ludwig presents his choices and explains how to teach them in a step by step way, never overwhelming parent or child.

Our family has looked at Shakespeare using Lamb's adaptations, Nesbit's adaptations, and the brilliant picture books by Bruce Coville. In our new school year, I'm excited to add these suggestions from Ludwig to our repertoire. (See this post for more about how we've started studying Shakespeare: Another Homeschool Year, Shakespeare Edition.)

Shakespeare is referenced in so many stories, movies, & sayings. Quick quiz: where did the proverb, "Neither a borrow nor lender be," come from? I've actually met people that thought the Bible said that. Answer: it's in Hamlet, and there are plenty more quotes where that came from. So many phrases even in our currently degraded English come from Shakespeare. Knowing the source makes reading, movie watching, or even conversation between friends that much richer.

This book isn't just for homeschool families, either. You can use it no matter what educational system you use. And, if your own education was sadly lacking in Shakespeare (most are) you could use this book to start your own study. This book isn't just the how, it will also explain the why. With all the resources he lists in the back (more reading, recommended movies or audio versions...), this will be a book I use for reference throughout our year.

Highly recommended for anyone. This book will inspire you to read more, learn more, or just revel a bit more in the genius that is Shakespeare.

For more info:

Linking up with:
Living and Learning at Home
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. Opinions expressed on this blog are my own.
Shakespeare image credit: Brian, The Lincolnian.


MacKenzie said...

I've been wanting to read that but haven't got my hands on it yet. Since you say its a keeper, maybe I'll splurge and actually buy it. My mom passed down lambs to me but I haven't even looked at it. I bet I would enjoy reading through it myself. I love Shakespeare's comedies but haven't really gotten into the harder stuff.

MacKenzie said...

And it worked! Yah! I don't know if you changed something or if was the fact that I previewed my comment before I published it but now I can comment here!

Karen said...

I really do think it's worth it. If you have some Amazon credit lying around or something. :) I'd go for the hardback or paperback, personally. I don't think I'd refer to the Kindle version as often. That could just be me though.

Karen said...

Hooray! I don't think I did anything, but computer mysteries are definitely not my thing.

Catie said...

We are going to study one Shakespeare play this year. It is our first try, but my husband and I are theatre people so I'm not too intimidated. Thanks for the post about this resource. And I'm going to check out this Blogging for Books, too.

Amy Maze said...

Amazon credit lying around? Who has that? lol Don't you just spend it right away? ;)

Karen said...

:) I try to save it...when I can.

Karen said...

I don't know how old your kids are, but you might want to look into the Bruce Coville picture book versions too. They are GORGEOUS.

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