Sparkle Stories, the Vermont-based online audio story resource, is an integral part of our family learning. The kids look forward to the weekly release of new audio stories, and I appreciate the gentle, seasonal nature of the content which entertains as much as it educates.
My six-year-old is particularly partial to their "Martin & Sylvia" story series, and after listening to this week's story about creating a backyard water park, she and her younger brother and sister got straight to work to re-create the story's ideas by installing a "water park" in our small city backyard.
We enjoy the subscription service, but there is also a free Sparkle Stories podcast series on iTunes that has wonderful stories to listen to. Recently, for instance, we listened to the "Little House Day" free story, which shares ideas for eating like the Ingalls family: locally, seasonally and with limited choice. My Little House fanatics are now very excited to try something similar, taking our daily attempt at local, seasonal eating up a notch.
When I get asked how, as unschoolers, my children learn to read, I explain that most children learn to read, in their own time and in their own way, when they are surrounded by literacy. They learn to read because they are surrounded by books and stories, by observing the grown-ups and other children around them immersed in reading, by frequent trips to the library to seek whatever books spark their interest, by constantly being read to and learning to appreciate good books and stories. Sparkle Stories has become a vital part of our family's focus on story-telling and literacy, capturing the children's imaginations, inspiring their play, and reinforcing their love of stories.
Any other Sparkle Stories fans out there? How have you found Sparkle Stories to augment your family learning?