Some years are harder than others. Some years involve family sickness, painful heartbreaks, and even a crazy pandemic that leaves your kids an emotional wreck. When things are especially heavy in the world, it's nice to take a break from reality and get lost in a good book. Adding humor to your homeschool can be just the thing you need to make this year one that will bring joy to your family.
Over the years, we've read a lot of great books in our homeschool. We've read classics, historical fiction, science fiction, poetry, emotional dingers, and even a few scary books. But, by far our favorites are the ones that make us laugh out loud.
A few times I've laughed so hard during a read-aloud that I couldn't keep reading. I had to stop and start so many times that the kids just stared at me as if I was nuts. And, maybe I am just a little. I mean I do laugh loudly and slap my husband while watching Top Gear (those BBC guys are hysterical!).
Why Should You Add Funny Books To Your Homeschool?
Every homeschool curriculum includes great literature, or at least it should in my humble opinion. As relaxed Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, we spend a lot of time reading. Our history, science, and geography all revolve around reading, not to mention our language arts program.
Great literature doesn't have to be serious all the time, nor does it have to be based on facts or science. Some great literature is silly, crazy, and a little far-out in left field.
And, then sometimes you just want to read a book to laugh. It doesn't have to have a great meaning or historical significance at all. It's just fun.
But, either way, adding a little fun to your homeschool can go a long way. Here are a few reasons to add humorous books to your homeschool.
Adding Humor Helps With Attention
Humorous books are especially appealing to kids who have attention issues or language disabilities. The funny story is captivating and pulls them into the imaginative world of the book. They are drawn to reading more to find out what hysterical episode will happen next.
A book like Homer Price that has short individual stories can help maintain your child's attention. Because they can see an easy to attain goal like reading about one case at a time, they will be able to remain focused. Plus, you can add a little enchantment by eating doughnuts during The Doughnuts chapter.
Adding Humor Aids With Sight Reading
If you have a child who struggles to read, sitting them down with a long chapter book can be frustrating for them and for you. They just want to read something that makes them feel like they have accomplished something and you want them to practice their language skills.
Instead of choosing a young reader book that can be insulting, choose a book that has intentionally short paragraphs. A good joke book can be a great way to get your kid excited about reading. Most elementary kids can spend hours retelling goofy jokes.
Find a book like The Complete Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids and let them read you jokes to their hearts' delight. You might start to lose your mind, but in truth, you were going to have to endure knock-knock jokes either way -- might as well get some language arts in while you're being tortured.
Adding Humor Can Teach A Sensitive Subject Gently
There are many subjects that need to be broached with our children, but we put them off because we either don't know how or simply don't want to talk about them. Issues like race relations can be difficult to explain to children and many of the books that discuss them can be very heavy.
One of our all-time favorite authors, Christopher Paul Curtis, writes about sensitive issues like race with a heavy dose of humor. A couple of years ago, we read Bud, Not Buddy with our book club. We laughed several times and fell in love with this boy and his crazy attempt to discover who he was, but we also learned about Jim Crow laws, Sundown Towns, the Green Book, and other race-related elements. And, when I say we, I mean all of us, including me. I was shocked that I didn't know about some of the issues brought up in the book.
But, because the book included humor, we were able to educate ourselves about the Great Depression and how it affected other cultures in a gentle way.
Adding Humor Can Make It Easier To Read Classic Literature
Most homeschoolers would agree that we want our kids to read the classics. But, trying to make books written a hundred years ago appealing to kids of the 21st century is difficult at best. When I decided to teach Shakespeare to my elementary kids I realized I couldn't just sit down and read an entire play to them in 16th-century language. I had to start small and work my way up.
A great way to help kids appreciate classic literature is to start with some funny short stories, like those of O. Henry. O. Henry was a master at adding humor and wit to society's problems. Most of his stories had a twist ending that surprises readers. These elements combine to help your kids get their feet wet with classic literature.
Some more humorous books to add to your homeschool this year
I've mentioned several books that we've read over the years, but there are many more that I could include. Here are a few more (though this is by far not an exhaustive list it will get you started adding humor this year):
- Henry Huggins
- Emily's Runaway Imagination
- By The Great Horn Spoon!
- The Great Turkey Walk
- Henry Reed, Inc.
- A Year Down Yonder
What other books would you add to this list?
Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…
Amy H. says
I completely agree with this. I found that my reluctant readers NEEDED humor to keep them engaged and interested. I try to sprinkle those throughout my kids’ year.
That’s great that you found a way to connect. Sometimes we get bogged down in serious topics and we need a little fun!