Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu Homeschooling Mamas,
My kids love reading fables, and I love reading fables to them. They have wonderful morals, lead to great discussion, and can be enjoyed by children of all ages. There are some that contradict Islamic principles so we avoid these, but overall fables are a great way to discuss morals and values.
As our Brave Writer curriculum for this homeschool year has not yet arrived, I have been improvising lessons. This gives us a chance to ease into our homeschool year.
Admittedly, I wasn’t planning on doing much today though apart from continuing our current read aloud. But we were reading some fables last night, so an impromptu lesson plan popped into my head- one of the perks of homeschooling right, Alhamdulillah! And, I still applied Brave Writer principles!
I began reading some fables to my children, beginning with some shorter ones and then eventually some longer ones. At the end of each one, I explained the moral lesson behind it. After doing this a couple of times, I let my children discuss what they thought the moral of the fable was, including my four year old who was just as involved as everyone else. We had a great discussion and got the creative juices flowing.
We then had a look in the famous book, ‘Aesops Fables’ ( a few are not appropriate so do pre-read them), and I told my children to pay particular attention to the style, format, title and length, of the fable.
I then instructed my children that it was time to write their own fable, and I would help them when needed. To give them a starting point, I told them to first think of the main moral value they intended their fable to tell, and to keep that in mind whilst writing. So out came the lined paper pads, and they began to scribble away.
Some of my children didn’t need much help at all. They happily got on with their writing, I just helped them make a few changes to perfect their final draft.
One of my children though suffered a little writers block and began writing her fable with something along the lines of…
“Sometimes, talking too much when jealous…”
She knew what she wanted to write about, but she began to write it like a lesson. So I gave her one simple instruction. After jotting down what her fable was about on a scrap of paper, ‘JEALOUSY’, I instructed her that she wasn’t to use the word itself. This got her thinking outside of the box Alhamdulillah, and I left her with the concept that the story should explain the moral without explicitly mentioning it.
Alhamdulillah, with a little coaxing she managed to write a wonderful fable and we ended the lesson by writing them up neatly in sketchpads with some watercolour illustrations.
Sometimes, the simple lessons can prove to be the most fruitful. Brave Writer is far beyond the traditional curriculum and the more I read, the more I’m convinced it was a great choice for my family.