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  #1  
July 6th, 2007, 08:54 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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What are your feelings on what Charlotte Mason deemed "Twaddle"? Do you think books (and by extension I suppose you could include TV shows and movies) should always be educational or not?
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  #2  
July 6th, 2007, 09:15 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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I think a little twaddle now and then is just fine! Sometimes I like to read something that's just enjoyable. Right now I am reading the Little House Martha years which are definitely just entertainment reading for me. I also have 1491 and Jeans on my shelf to read that are definitely educational books. I read things like Secrets of Droon and W.I.T.C.H. and Deltora Quest to the kids, but I also read a lot of educational things to them. I think a balance is best.
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  #3  
July 6th, 2007, 09:56 AM
Stellaluna's Avatar Super Mommy
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I think a balance is good too! I feel, first and foremost that reading should be fun and enjoyable..so even if a book isn't necessarily a piece of great literature, if the person reading it finds it interesting then it's worth reading. There are a few books I may draw the line at (June B. Jones comes to mind) due to extremely poor writing or content I don't feel is appropriate.

My absolute favorite books to read as a young teenager were V.C. Andrews which are really not appropriate content wise for a young girl (or going down in the annals of great literature..lol) but I loved them and couldn't get enough of them .

I keep a list of good family read alouds and I often reference Amblesides online for suggestions, but I'm pretty sure 50% of what we read wouldn't be acceptable by Charlotte Mason standards. It's not junk by any means, but I've yet to see a Magic Treehouse or Berenstein Bear's book on any of her list...lol.
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  #4  
July 6th, 2007, 01:36 PM
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I think of books (and movies and TV and music) as food for the mind and soul. Some types of books are "nutritious" enough that you should base your "diet" on them. Other types of books are good for dessert- even daily if in moderation. And I think some literature (and media) can be toxic to the spirit and are best avoided.
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  #5  
July 6th, 2007, 02:41 PM
joandsarah77's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Oh I like you analogy.

Quote:
I think of books (and movies and TV and music) as food for the mind and soul. Some types of books are "nutritious" enough that you should base your "diet" on them. Other types of books are good for dessert- even daily if in moderation. And I think some literature (and media) can be toxic to the spirit and are best avoided.[/b]
I think it depends on the twaddle. It is hard to know for certain what modern books would make CM approved list as she isn't here to voice an opinion. Would magic school bus make it? maybe, maybe not? For while they are educational and entertaining they are not great literature. Also I think a good story can be fantasy and still not be twaddle.
I think so long as a book is liked by both the listener and the reader and is not toxic (one persons toxic will be another’s religious book though) then a few are fine. The only really twaddle twaddle book that Sarah has that I refuse to read is one she got for her fifth birthday, A 'My Little Pony' saccharine fluff number. I only have to see the cover to hear that breathy voice from the Dvd "Twinkle twirl darling" *gag*
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  #6  
July 6th, 2007, 02:57 PM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
There are a few books I may draw the line at (June B. Jones comes to mind) due to extremely poor writing or content I don't feel is appropriate.[/b]
I had to laugh at that because Reilly has a few Junie B. Jones books and, while they're cute, I try to steer her more toward Ramona Quimby because Ramona is more respectful and speaks better!

I don't think that everything has to be educational all the time. I know that I read a lot of times just to relax - like a sitcom for the brain! - and enjoy just reading things that are fluffy and fun. I would imagine that kids feel the same way, too.
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  #7  
July 6th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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I enjoy some good twaddle now and then. Sometimes I just want something easy, you know? But yeah, I definitely draw the line at books that have bad grammar, show bad attitudes or actions rewarded and those kinds of things. If the book is good and wholesome though, I think as long as the reader is enjoying it, it should be okay. Can't expect every minute of every day to be hard core learning. JMHO.
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  #8  
July 6th, 2007, 06:32 PM
Jenneve's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I agree with the rest of you. I don't think every single thing they read/do has to have an education element to it. In fact, at this very minute, my kiddos are in the living room playing Crash Bandicoot on the ps1. I know that I like to read & watch things that's just for fun. I also think some fluff & fantasy helps to expand the imagination & creative flow.
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  #9  
July 7th, 2007, 05:24 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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Junie B. Jones... ugh. Those books really bother me. Luckily Ani thought the one we read was really stupid. She kept correcting Junie's grammar lol
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  #10  
July 7th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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Ah, Junie B. Jones. My daughter loved them and only got hooked on them because her 1st grade teacher encouraged her to read them all in class. I guess the teacher was a big fan. Maya found them funny and always told me how Junie said everything wrong, but hey at least she knew it was wrong! Luckily, she has outgrown them now and is moving on to bigger and better things.

I don't like the kids to read much twaddle, but I think there is a difference between twaddle and light reading. Twaddle, to me, means anything mass-produced and without substance (junie b included, also anything that was a tv show (or a toy) first, then made into a book- those are the absolute worst imo. Magic school bus is twaddle imo and even though it tries to be educational, not good quality reading. That said, I wouldn't necessarily ban it from my home.) As far as what Charlotte would think about each individual book, I don't really care. While I love the Charlotte Mason method and used it last year and plan to use it even more this year, she is just one person who lived a long time ago, and while she had great ideas about education, most of them seem like common sense to me. I didn't even realize how much of our homeschooling (and life before homeschooling) was already following a CM agenda until I researched it more. When it comes to book selection, again I think you can use common sense about that as well. It's not hard to pick out the candy from the healthy food at the store, the same holds true at the library.I also think a little light reading is good once in a while. Having my kids read nothing but Moby Dick and the like aren't going to make happy readers out of them. Letting them pick their own light reading (within reason and possibly a little guidance if they need it) will allow them to enjoy reading more. But I do agree that too much light reading can become a bad habit and make the brain lazy. So a balance is definitely necessary.

As for TV, most of it is twaddle for sure. It's a passive activity where we expect others to entertain (or even educate us) without having to do any thinking for ourselves. Even though, I don't care for it much, doesn't mean I don't think it has any value at all. Again, giving your mind a break once in awhile and just being entertained is not a bad thing.

Btw, sorry for the essay. It's all my biology teacher's fault- he has me writing 10 essays a week and I guess I'm in the habit.
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  #11  
July 7th, 2007, 10:08 AM
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I guess my light fun reading seems more twaddly to me only because I tend to read more classic, deep thinking books. On occasion though I want something lighter than Les Miserables or whatever I am reading at the time. With my own homeschool there were things my mom kind of steered us away from. But I do remember also that for a time, right as we were going into homeschool we got into the books called the PeeWee Scouts. My mom hated those books, but let us read them all because of the fact that we would all sit together and read them for hours at a time. It was kind of a de-schooling thing that was happening. Not only were we spending time together as siblings (which we never did once we were in ps), we also were gaining some attention span to sit and do one thing for a long time. Something we hadn't done in the school atmosphere. Everything in moderation I think. Just that obsession with those silly books, drove us to explore the world of books.

As far as my little girl goes. I try to get her the best books, but also the ones that are just fun. But I do agree with mass produced books. Except I do like some of the old Disney movies turned into books. DD hasn't even seen many of the old movies, she just thinks its one of her books.
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