Twaddle Free in a Twaddle Era

Posted On September 3, 2009

Filed under Reading

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Charlotte Mason was vehemently opposed to what she labeled “twaddle”. She said, “They must grow up upon the best. There must never be a period in their lives when they are allowed to read or listen to twaddle or reading-made-easy. There is never a time when they are unequal to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well told” (Vol. 2, p. 263).

I agree. However, the writers of early readers do not agree. Have you read those books? In my efforts to find books my barely readers can read, I have paged through many an early reader. They take a while to get through because I fall asleep by the 3rd page.
(ok, so that isn’t a good judge of a book. I fall asleep every time I read a book, just ask my kids) but emotionally I fall asleep on these books.

After scouring two full libraries I finally stumbled upon the answer. Baby books! That’s right, take a step backward. Early readers are created based on number and type of words. The “story line” is about 10th in priority level. Those colorful board books were designed to delight brilliant babies. And many were designed to delight bored moms. They are clever, funny, and short w/ a lot of repeat and a lot of rhyming. Only about every 12th book in the baby section fits my criteria but we have found some gems.