Now more than ever, with techno-education and the narrowing of the curriculum to within an inch of its life, we have to embed drama and music into our children’s lives.
When I hear my students tell me, “I don’t read books, Miss,” I nod with familiarity at the answer, and ask them, “OK…what films do you like?”
It may surprise you to know that, increasingly, their answer has been, “I don’t watch films.”
Reference points from an experience of narrative are few. Marvel is my predominant allegory. My entire being panics when I list in my head all the stories I love and try to imagine a world without them.
We must, as parents, introduce, encourage and instil some reality of drama and narrative in our children’s lives. How else can they solve problems vicariously, learn words which express their emotions, see patterns of language and understand rhythm, relationships and humanity?
So, how can we do this? It seems to me that the lack of story arcs and plots is a particular issue with Tik-Tok videos and Youtube clips, with little development or understanding of anticipated drama. No suspense. That would take too long. No need for foreshadowing. Brief snippets of tragedy or comedy.
Yet stories are still loved, as they always were. Children love to listen to stories read aloud to them. They enjoy discussing their friends, their lives and their futures. They adore expressing themselves in made-up performances and puppet-shows. Maybe we can make the most of this at home whenever we have the chance, in a bid to combat the inevitable progress and changes in our childrens’ lives.
Sam is an English tutor with Newman Tuition, and has led the KS3 and GCSE curriculum for a large English school department. To book a lesson with her, or one of our other excellent tutors, please call us on 020 3198 8006, email us at [email protected], or complete the form on the ‘Contact Us’ page.