Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word literature as:
Writings in prose or verse; especially : writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest.
To me, children’s literature encompasses both fiction and non-fiction materials, as well as illustrated, and tactile works that have been written and published for the literary consumption of children – via their parents, teachers, or themselves.
More broadly, children’s literature provides the population with intellectual stimulation while serving the purpose of providing entertainment and/or educational content. Literature opens minds and hearts – letting children and adults, alike, explore new horizons, concepts, and ideas.
On incorporating literature when children are over-scheduled and overstressed…
I find the over-scheduling of children to be inappropriate, regardless of the research – it is even more inappropriate during these tough economic times when money is already stretched for many families. Growing up, television and video games were never a priority in my life including when I visited the homes of my friends. In fact, one of my close childhood friends, Kathleen, did not have a television in her home. Even more interesting is that when she would visit my home, we still wouldn’t watch television, but continued filling our time with adventures and creativity.
How a family incorporates literature into a child’s life is dependent upon their values and priorities. Many of the reasons parents choose to enroll their child(ren) in extracurricular activities relate back to the need for socialization. Commonly overlooked literacy-related programming offered by local libraries and museums should be considered as important and meaningful by parents for the development of the next generation.
In the lecture for week two, instructor Suzanne Todd cautioned students that reading should not be made to feel like a chore and “drills” should be avoided. In the introductory vignette for chapter 5, the text provides the reader with an example of a grandfather sharing his love for reading with his granddaughter. He does so by mixing books in with her toys and putting materials into a shopping cart for portability.
(Note: I do not have television in my home — just movie watching capabilities!)