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5 reasons why Storytelling will boost your homeschool!

A crackling fire, a warm cup of tea, a camp. A place for a good story. What about a fire indoors on a holiday night? It is the perfect time for a good story. A full day of running and exploring nature with the kids, and you've just gotten home, showered, unwound and eaten. A perfect time for a..... You get the picture. Stories expose us to cultures we otherwise would have misunderstood and give a voice to civilizations that have long since passed. They allow us a deeper lens of empathy into a character's feelings, and also a greater sense of adventure for our own life when we are called to be brave.

“The message of the story is the message of beauty, as effective as that message in marble or paint. Its part in the economy of life is to give joy. And the purpose and working of the joy is found in that quickening of the spirit which answers every perception of the truly beautiful in the arts of man. To give joy; in and through the joy to stir and feed the life of the spirit: is not this the legitimate function of the story in education?"

Sarah Cone Bryant, How to tell Stories to Children, and some stories to tell.

The power of storytelling resides in so many parts. It is not just the story but how it is told- the illustrations made with the speaker's hand, mind, or actual drawings alluding to a character's feelings or inner world. This is how we build empathy. There are so many more reasons why though, so I will attempt to keep this list to ONLY 10 as the benefits are actually without measure.

  1. Stories aid in memorization.

When we tell stories, what we are looking to do can be a number of things. Yet- most often I hear adults telling stories to compare a real life situation to a lesson that can be learned. Stories strengthen our cognitive abilities overall and we are able to withstand differing perspectives in conversation. Overall storytelling is the ability to recall stories previously shared with you as well as to create, remember, then re-tell your own stories. The act of it itself is running a practical marathon in the terms of storytelling.

2. Storytelling acts as a mirror to the inner world.

When we are exposed to different stories, we have our own same monotonous lives challenged. All the people we know and our external environment is most times the same- the principle of storytelling invites us into a new world, These insights into another story and also into our own lives give us insight into ourselves but also the tools to recalibrate our attitudes, "Don't you know what happened to Pinocchio?"

Storytelling can be a tool for bettering not only our children's behavior but also a way to better our own. By mirroring how we might make someone feel or by seeing our own patterns unfold in the drama of an outer story, we develop the humility to change.

3. Storytelling enhances language development.

We have seen over and over again how stories from different cultures develop a deep respect and reverence for that culture. It aids in the general understanding of why certain people do the things that they do and ultimately- reveals to us the similarities between us that are far more prevalent than our outer differences. We can find this tread of similarity along myth as well as story across cultures. The especially deep way that stories can connect us to another culture is they can teach us their language. There are actual structural differences between a multilingual brain vs a monolingual brain. Now- I don't make the claim that storytelling will teach you another language, but it can enhance our experience with other languages.

With characters from other lands it gets their unfamiliar names and expressions on our tongues and intrigues all minds both young and old. We can travel to so many lands just in a cozy book but in a story we travel together.

4. Storytelling aids in sleep.

Ask any parent of a newborn and they will reveal to you that rest is not something that we inherently know. It is a skill that is built up overtime and something that is learned through observation, application, and repition. This is not to say that all of us are born overworking but all of us need to learn the rhythm of the day. Storytime is a great way to establish this.

Storytelling can be helpful because it engages the mind and aids in stretching the imagination. The brain is a demanding organ- it consumes 20-35% of our overall caloric intake daily so when we are using our minds we have full body responses to that use. The same can be said for when we are listening to a story or a book read to us, because we are letting our imaginations soar. Stories can provide a sense of structure and routine and a way to get over the nightly tasks of hanging clothes, picking tomorrows outfit, getting ready for bed, etc. It can draw all of those tasks into conclusion so that the child knows that once we are at storytime, the day is truly at an end and rest is just around the corner.

Additionally, stories can take your child's mind off of the stresses or worries of the day and they can just relax and listen. This allows their mind to relax as well so their thoughts aren't racing or ruminating, teaching them good pathways to make and possibly to open up a good book for awhile if life feels overwhelming and then return to responsibilities after rest.

5. Builds familiarity and trust

Storytelling is a universal and timeless art form that has been used for centuries to entertain, educate, and inspire people of all ages. Whether it's through oral traditions, literature, film, or other media, storytelling has the unique ability to capture our imagination and transport us to different worlds and experiences.

But beyond its entertainment value, storytelling also serves as a powerful tool for learning and personal growth. Whether we are listening to a story or telling one ourselves, the act of storytelling helps us to engage with and understand complex ideas, emotions, and experiences in a way that is both enjoyable and meaningful.

One way that storytelling helps us learn is by providing context and perspective. When we hear a story, we are able to see the world through someone else's eyes and understand their experiences and perspectives in a way that we might not have been able to otherwise. This can help us to develop empathy and a deeper understanding of others, as well as broaden our own horizons and perspectives.

Storytelling also helps us to process and make sense of our own experiences and emotions. When we hear a story that resonates with us, it can help us to better understand and process our own feelings and experiences. This can be particularly helpful when we are dealing with difficult emotions or challenges, as it can provide a sense of connection and support.

In addition to its personal benefits, storytelling can also serve as a powerful tool for social and cultural learning. By sharing stories and traditions with others, we can learn about different cultures, customs, and histories, and gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the world around us.

Overall, the power of storytelling lies in its ability to engage, inspire, and educate people of all ages. Whether we are listening to a story or telling one ourselves, the act of storytelling helps us to learn and grow in ways that are meaningful, enjoyable, and enduring.

What are some ways stories have helped you?

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