How to Teach Shakespeare {even if you’re clueless}

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Try these simple ways to introduce your children to Shakespeare!

I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but . . . we have never read or studied Shakespeare in our homeschool. At all.

The main reason?

I somehow got through high school AND three semesters of college without studying Shakespeare, so I felt I didn’t know enough about his works to explain them to my children.

I recently heard about the book How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare–what a difference it has already made in my own understanding!

I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own; I was not required to post a positive review.

An Overview of How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare

How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare is a book written especially to help parents teach their children about Shakespeare. The author, Ken Ludwig, taught his own children about Shakespeare’s works from a young age, and he has shared his expertise in this helpful book.

How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare

Well-Known Passages

The book contains 25 passages by Shakespeare, taken from the following works:

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Twelfth Night
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Macbeth
  • Henry IV
  • As You Like It
  • Henry V
  • Hamlet
  • The Tempest

Studying Shakespeare

Ludwig recommends that children memorize all of these passages. Yes, memorize! But don’t worry–he makes it so much easier by breaking the passages up into small chunks, which are available as FREE quotation sheets (scroll down the page to download).

Quotation sheet for learning Shakespeare

Children aren’t just memorizing a jumble of words, though. Mr. Ludwig takes great care to define words that they may not know, and to explain the meaning behind each passage. He has an amazing ability to describe the characters and make them come alive–just what we need to truly enjoy Shakespeare’s works!

All of this is presented in a conversational style that is actually quite fascinating. While the book was written to enable parents to teach Shakespeare to their children, you could easily read this book aloud while working through the various passages. It really is THAT readable.

The book also contains an excellent reference section with lists of recommended books (for both children and adults), films, and audio recordings.

Use this book to teach Shakespeare to your children - even if have never studied his works before!

How to Teach Shakespeare {even if you’re clueless}

So how DO you teach Shakespeare if you’re clueless?

1. Start with How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare.

Mr. Ludwig has arranged the passages in a specific order that he believes will work best for children. Just jump right in and read and memorize as you go.

Don’t worry about what you don’t know–this book has all the information you need to teach effectively. And don’t be afraid to learn along with your kids. After all, we do want to model lifelong learning, right?

2. Listen to audio clips.

Listening to these audio clips will help your children get a feel for the rhythm of the passages they are studying. This will make memorization so much easier!

3. Read more of Shakespeare’s works.

Once your children have developed an appreciation for Shakespeare, try reading aloud a retelling of one of his plays. Ten Tales from Shakespeare would be an excellent starting place.

When you or your older children are ready, you may want to read one of the full plays. Try these free Kindle books for starters.

4. Attend a performance or watch a video.

Attending a live performance, or even watching a video, is a fabulous way to allow children to experience Shakespeare. Keep in mind that a performance or video will be much more meaningful AFTER studying the written version.

None of these ideas require any previous knowledge of Shakespeare. You really CAN learn right along with your kids! Just one of the reasons I love homeschooling!

Win a Copy of How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare

Mr. Ludwig is giving away ten copies of How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare! Enter in the form below.

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