This week on the Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 104: Shakespeare, Interview with Kat Patrick. This post is running concurrently on Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.
Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 104: Shakespeare, Interview with Kat Patrick
Many homeschooling highschool moms and teens feel intimidated (or even bored) when they think about studying Shakespeare. But take our word for it, Shakespeare can be meaningful, fun and even helpful for life preparation!
Here are some things you should know:
- Shakespeare was writing for the masses. He wanted to entertain them so that he could sell tickets at his theater. Average Englishmen loved his plays and came back over and over to watch them. If we think Shakespeare in terms of the “common man”, it might feel less intimidating.
- Shakespeare wrote about universal human experiences. His stories connected with his audience. If we look, we’ll still find connections.
- Shakespeare’s characters and relationships were relatable to his audience. While the stories are not what we are used to, we can relate with some character or the other.
- When the characters and relationships were placed in unfamiliar settings, the audiences were allowed to relate, connect and use their imaginations.
Shakespeare did not write his plays to be read. He wrote them to be performed. So try a double-pronged approach:
- See a production
- Read that play
- Try watching an act, then reading that act together (try readers theater style for a fun approach, if you have a co-op or homeschool group class)
Our interview is with Kat Patrick. She is a homeschool mom who for many years lived and homeschooled England. She studied for her graduate degree there (and met her husband, thus raising their kids there). They lived near Oxford. Today Kat teaches English (and many subjects through her international online school Dreaming Spires Homeschool).
Kat reminds us of the benefits to studying Shakespeare:
- It makes you a better reader: The better you get at Shakespeare, the better you are at reading textbooks, and real-life reading like contracts
- It gives you context for other Literature studies. If you are going to read British Literature, you’ll never truly understand what you read without some knowledge of Shakespeare, because allusions to his work in embedded throughout any British writing.
- Lots of our movie and books take ideas from Shakespeare:
- Comedic characters who scrozzle phrases
- Comic relief scenes in tragic drama
When you are ready to start studying Shakespeare in your homeschool highschool:
- First read the play in story form to give them an idea. Leon Garfield’s Stories from Shakespeare is one of Kat’s favorite stories.
- Have the teens retell the story (Charlotte Mason style), so that they truly get the gist of the story. Do some copywork to internalize favorite scenes (download Kat’s freebie to help with this).
- Go see a play if you can. If you can’t watch a good film. Here are some that Vicki and Kat love:
For more resources, check out the following resources:
- Follow Kat Patrick’s Dreaming Spires Facebook page.
- You can order videos of Shakespeare’s plays. Kat’s favorite productions are from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
- Download Kat’s Copywork Guide Introduction to Shakespeare.
And also check out this episode with Kat about homeschooling in England: