We’ve been absorbing A LOT of stories lately: Roald Dahl audio books in the car for starters – so far we’ve enjoyed The BFG, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and now Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.
I love that D is enjoying them too as they aren’t the sort of books that she would choose to read at bedtime, but somehow she finds it easier to absorb while sitting in the car. We’re also reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and have watched the Johnny Depp film version several times!
Since deschooling I’ve come to value all methods of story telling. Until recently I had an arbitrary rule that the girls couldn’t watch a film version of a book until they had read the book itself. I valued books above films. I still do in a way, as they give your head more room to imagine characters and the scenery, and you get so much more detail. BUT, I can now see that films have an important place in story telling too.
For months, M has been desperate to watch the last five Harry Potter films, but we were stuck because the vocabulary in The Goblet of Fire was too difficult for her to understand and so due to my ruling, she couldn’t watch the film either. I recently realised this rule was a bit pointless and we watched ALL the films! She has been able to take in, understand and retain all the characters and twists in the plot, and remembers better than I do which order the films come in and what happens in each one.
Through the films, M is learning about human behaviour, emotions, reactions and language that are way beyond her years, but this is fine by me – she is learning in a safe setting where she is free to ask questions and we can take the time to discuss small details that she doesn’t understand. Amazingly, she doesn’t find the films too frightening either! She has watched them all by my side and is now re-watching them on her own and is seemingly trying to memorise each one. 🙂
The other important point about films is that they can lead you to books you wouldn’t otherwise have read. M enjoyed watching A Series of Unfortunate Events on film and I found all 13 books for a steal on Ebay. I can’t wait to get stuck into them with her.
All these stories have led to both girls being eager to create their own: M has been writing a script for a play with help from J; and D has started a novel about her two toys!! M now says she wants to be a writer AND a librarian! 🙂