Telling Stories

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Imagine you grew up in an ancient indigenous culture. Imagine there were no books, no computers, no electricity. How would you have spent your evenings?

Perhaps around a fire listening to stories.

Most cultures around the world have passed on their values and history through stories for centuries. They continue to share stories even today. Children grow up hearing legends that show what it means to be a hero or coward, wise or foolish. They learn their cultural history. Stories teach them how the world works.

Sonlight dad Eric H shares a classic story with his children

And yet today, many schools are pushing for more information at the expense of learning through stories. I recently heard of a school district moving entirely to computer modules for education. Now, it's not the computers that are the problem, per se. It's how some want to use them. Each child will sit in front of a computer and go through modules to acquire the "knowledge they need." I imagine the teachers will feel demoted to the role of babysitters.

I'd rather apply a lesson from history and embrace the fact that children (and adults) love good stories. In fact, Jesus relied on stories to teach. As the master storyteller, He told stories with the stuff of everyday life – bread, yeast, vineyards, shepherds, families. And so He shared the ways of God's Kingdom with His listeners.

This is why Sonlight relies so much on great storytelling. We have a choice for our children. We can "force-feed" them isolated information through dry textbooks or computer programs. Or we can help them love the process of learning and soak up knowledge like a sponge – through great books with great stories.

Sonlight lets you interact with your children the way elders and youth have interacted for millennia. You get to tell great stories (well, read them out loud), and your kids get to learn how the world works. They learn about history from the viewpoint of people who lived it. They learn what a hero looks like. They get to ask questions.

And you, as a wise elder in their lives, get to answer those questions and help your children make sense of everything around them.

Doesn't that sound like a more appealing way to learn?


P.S. If you're curious, I encourage you read "What is Christ-Centered, Literature-Rich Curriculum?"

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