Brave Writer mom Kara (and her girls Neve, 10, and Nora, 8) participated in our Shakespeare Family Workshop online class and this is what she had to say about it:
This has been such a wonderful five weeks! We can’t believe how fast it has gone! We started out with absolutely no clue to what Shakespeare is all about. My one daughter said she thought it was about romance and kissing. The other said she thought it was for grown ups and all sad. I only had seen A Midsummer’s Night Dream at a local college and thought it was hard to understand.
Now it’s hard to tell all the ways we think of Shakespeare now. We know that he wrote three main genre’s of plays. We learned so much from each type and how they brought different emotions to the fore. We also learned how he wrote many sonnets and what a sonnet even is.
We thoroughly enjoyed learning about the time period! We learned so much about the 1600’s and the Elizabethan era. I think that was one of our favorite parts, going back in time. We really started to pick up on and start to understand the meaning of their language. It made us think how much the plays were influenced by who was ruling at the time too. We liked learning about the history of England and all their rulers. I really enjoyed Shakespeare’s histories more than I thought I would have. All of us loved watching the Much Ado About Nothing movie after studying it all week.
The girls favorite side activity was definitely making the homemade berry ink. They still want to make more and write like they used to. It made everything come alive for them.
Berry Ink: 1/2 cup berries (push them through a strainer for pulp-free juice).
Add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well.
Nora said she really enjoyed learning how Shakespeare wrote in iambic pentameter and 14 lines in his sonnets. She also really liked seeing Richard III bones, it was real! Never liked how he used antithesis and now is picking up on that in a lot of other writing. She also liked learning how there were many copies of the plays such as the messy one’s all the way down to the First Folio. I liked seeing how the soliloquies let you see the character’s inner most thoughts. Like I said we could go on all night!
The only challenging part was that it did take a long time to read and really get into each week. I don’t know if I would call it challenging, but it did take time and effort for sure. We put off other history and language arts like you had recommended or I don’t think we would have gotten the full benefit of the class. It was well worth it though!
I asked the girls for any improvements and Nora said she would like the class to go on for another week!! When we went to the library today she got a book on Twelfth Night all on her own! I don’t think she’s ready to let go of Shakespeare anytime soon! I think we may need to go to a live performance soon!
We enjoyed every week of this class! We learned more than we could have imagined! I liked how the class could be adapted to all ages! I loved seeing my girls understand and enjoy Shakespeare!! Thank you so much!!!
Kara, Neve, and Nora