By Michael Leppert
Theatre Arts offers one of the most unique and enjoyable Unit Study resources that homeschooling families can utilize.
Incorporating Theatre Arts into your home education curriculum affords these topics of study and mastery: Public Speaking, Memorization, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Creative Writing, Movement, Voice Training, Psychology, Philosophy, Great Literature, Ancient History, Modern History (1500s), Working with Others, Confidence Building, Discipline, Cultural knowledge, Set Design & Building, Costuming . . . ?
The development that is required to be involved in choosing, rehearsing and staging a play is arduous, difficult and can be very rewarding. Children who participate in Theatre have the opportunity to become well-rounded individuals and knowledgeable citizens as adults.
Western Theatre begins with the Ancient Greeks, who appreciated the foibles of humanity and many of the plays of Aristophanes and Aeschylus provide entertaining, universal insight into ourselves, modern though we think we are. Human nature is still as laughable and tragic as it was in 550 B.C. Moliere and Shakespeare continue the observations of human silliness, whether framed in comedy or tragedy and offer rich language and vocabulary development. Highly-skilled writers are voracious readers; what can improve one’s writing in all aspects than reading the Bard’s beautifully turned phrases? A child who has a grounding in Theatre will definitely perform well on the SAT and ACT. The self-confidence and verbal communication skills developed in Theatre will also help a college entrance interview more successful and many professions rely heavily on confident delivery of one’s thoughts. It has been opined that most people fear public speaking more than they fear death. Your child can master public speaking through Theatre Arts at a young age – what better academic gift can there be – freedom from fear of speaking?
Finally, Theatre Arts is a real-world endeavor – not Internet dependent, computer based or Smart Phone based, etc. We all recognize the need to steer our children away from the passive and mind-numbing activities associated with the cyber world and Theatre Arts provides a powerful alternative in the real world, reading and speaking real words to real people both onstage and in the audience. Building sets and creating costumes provide behind-the-scenes real-world-ness too!
To find some excellent resources for scripts and material, please visit Accent and Acting Resources, where you will find monologues and scenes just for children. Also visit Bad Wolf Press www.badwolfpress.com/ for complete plays custom-created for homeschoolers. MjL