Something amazing and magnificent happens when a child has confidence. In fact, I truly believe, confidence is what thrust our children toward success. We can believe he or she can achieve a goal all day long, but that exact moment when he or she believes is when they will actually do it.
The Joy of Literature
As we cannot take actions for another, many times we cannot have enough faith for two people. The question arises for many parents, “How do we build that confidence and courage so the child/student takes the necessary actions?” The answer is literature. How in the world does literature build a child’s confidence? It is in the way one experiences literature and finds his/her voice. Literature is this amazing piece of the puzzle that sits the longest waiting to be picked up. Math goes first. Maybe science because experiments are fun goes next. Spelling is a must. Breaks and lunch the children beg. Even though reading and comprehension are including in the school day, children must be fed the joy of literature.
Asking the Authors: Investigating Their Works
Confidence and joy go hand-in-hand, and when the student learns to express his/her feelings or finds the thought process, smile through schoolwork is achieved. Maybe teaching literature is foreign to you, or it isn’t your “forte.” Well, you are in luck because it is my “forte”! Literature provides the outlet for freedom of expression. Often times, there is not a right or wrong answer. Do we truly know what the author is saying? The only way to know for sure is to ask the author. What we can do is look at history (so we incorporate a cool subject), explore the author’s life, take a peek at some other works to compare, and we discover evidence! Thus, we have become attorneys, private investigators, and detectives in a literature-based world.
Arguments, Ideas, and Thoughts
And, every kid loves to argue at some point, right! Building on the found evidence, students develop outlines capturing their ideas and thoughts. They use the outline to “debate” or share, when asked an open-ended question. No longer does a student simply answer yes or no; their brains are now molded to look deeper. Certainty in their opinions allow their voice to shine.
Building a Confident Future
This shining is captured in other areas of life. Johnny steps up to the plate in baseball. The confidence found shows in his stance. Susie stands on stage holding her violin ready to give her solo, the spotlight right on her. Success through tenacity. Think about your child’s first job interview. Johnny or Susie will have the ability to think, speak, and make the all important key first impression. Confidence continues to build. College essays and interviews — nailed it! Internships achieved because they are able to express well thought out, complete ideas. First job out of college is a success and promotions happen quickly, all due to the confidence found in experiencing literature. Their morale sees no limits, and one day … one day holds a confident future because they learned to build their creativity through literature.
Erin Forte-Froehling is a literature instructor with Open Tent Academy, a homeschooling mom who has a B.A. in English and Marketing, a Master’s in English, and trained in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). In addition to her literature courses, Erin is the founder of a non-profit with a focus on providing support to the sibling survivors of pediatric cancer. For Erin, homeschooling children who have extremely different communication styles (as well as teaching at several homeschool tutorials, private schools, and online) allows her to seek and connect with each individual student where they are. Building trust between student and teacher is important to her, along with positively impacting students by building syllabi and class notes.
Erin will be teaching the following courses for Open Tent Academy in 2019-2020:
- American Literature – Fall 2019 & Winter 2020
- Banned and Burned: Banned Worthy Books – Winter 2020
- Dead Poets Rise – Fall 2019
- Greek Tragedies Drama … Ancient Style – Spring 2020
- Introduction to Literary Analysis – Fall 2019 & Winter 2020