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Monday, February 8, 2010

A Benefit of Reading: Plots

Sonlight uses a lot of literature. I doubt it's a literal ton, but there could easily be a thousand pounds of books in Sonlight's Pre-K through High School Cores.

My mom, however, reads a ton of books. Literally. All this literature has given her the ability to guess plots. Most notably was this:

***Spoiler Alert for a 2004 film***

We sat down to watch The Village. The movie opens with a community meal. A crazed young man claps his hands and stares off wildly into the forest.

My mom, who doesn't watch thriller type films, looks over at me and says, "Oh, it's a world within a world story."

What!?! Come on! How could she know that?

***End spoiler***

My mom said that it was "obvious" because "directors like to show you things with subtle clues."

Uh-huh.

That very well may be the case. But the fact of the matter is that my mom knows so much story theory that she can pick up on the arch of a tale within the first few minutes of it starting. You don't get that kind of knowledge from studying literature theory. You don't gain those insights by reading textbooks on authorial intent. You don't pick up on those subtleties when you write an essay on symbolism.

No. You gain that skill by enjoying stories. You gain that skill by reading a ton. And, thankfully, Sonlight provides the first half of that ton in our homeschool programs.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father

2 comments:

mareserinitatis said...

Sometimes I think it's a drawback to reading. We weren't even 5 minutes into the Lake House, and I figured out how it would end as well as a few major plot points throughout the story.

Luke said...

Cherish, I don't know... sometimes cutting a movie off early can be a good thing. I didn't finish Lake House; just wasn't working for me <smile>.

But, yes: Having a good grasp of story can affect your tolerance for certain tales. Of course, that sounds like a good thing: Rejecting sub-par entertainment in favor of something better.

~Luke


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