It Takes a Town...

A Children’s Book Makes the Best Topic Overview

A Children’s Book Makes the Best Topic Overview

By Roxanne Stall

The best tip I think I ever got while teaching my children was from an author of numerous children’s non-fiction books, Dorothy Hindshaw Patent. She said that if we ever wanted to learn about a subject of which we knew little about, go to the children’s non-fiction section  in the library and read a book or two about it. There we would find the information boiled down to the most important nuggets, and presented in an orderly and concise way.

I have used this advice in so many ways throughout the years, not just in teaching my children but in my own studies too. Even Sound Town is an example of The Overview. Here is the English language all compacted into one visual and colorful chart. Well, I suppose it needs the Alphabet letters dancing across the top to be really complete, but it’s close.

To wrap my arms around The Overview of a topic lets me know what I will need to learn. Then I can proceed to learn about the pieces involved. It’s much like heading down a tunnel, knowing there is an end eventually, rather than entering the tunnel and not knowing how long it will be, or whether there is even daylight at the other end.