Friday, May 6, 2016

Shakespeare with a Small Group - Overview

This year I decided I wanted to share my love for Shakespeare with a small group of homeschooling families.  I had a few requirements:

  1. I did not want the meetings to stretch throughout the whole year.  
  2. I wanted the sessions to have a performance aspect to them, as I wanted to give the children the opportunity to perform in front of a small audience.
  3. I did not want the sessions to require a lot of additional outside class time work from the families.
  4. I wanted the children to memorize a few passages of Shakespeare's words and to be able to read at least parts of the play fluently.
  5. I wanted the children to have ample opportunity to read, consider, and enjoy Shakespeare's actual words within the bounds of our limited time together.
Given these requirements, I had two different ideas.  Thanks to the willingness of some old and new friends, I had the opportunity to try them both.  

In the fall, the children performed an abridged version of The Tempest, using the script from Shakespeare with Children, Six Scripts for Young Players.

In the spring, the children and I read through Julius Caesar then had a small performance to share what the children had learned and memorized with their families.

Rather than write one long post, I'll split this up into two more posts where I'll share more details about how I set up our meetings, the resources I used, how I worked with the kids, and how we put together the performances. 

I found studying Shakespeare with a group really enhanced the experience for my children and myself, and it was well worth the effort.   I hope this little series could be helpful for anyone who might want to try this with their own small group.  


  1. Great idea, Amber. I would love to try this, but I am still in the process of starting a Nature outing group. I had every intention of starting it at the end of March. But it didn't happen - things got too busy around here and I just couldn't add something else to my already over-loaded schedule. So I tried for April. Again - didn't happen. I have decided that spring is just too busy for me to add extra activities. So, maybe this fall? We shall see. :)
    Hope you are having a blessed week. :)

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I'm still plugging away at my nature study group, although I'm not finding a lot of traction with it yet. But I've at least had one other family each time so far. Shakespeare has been a little more successful, but also more work and more driving as well. Thanks for your comment, Lisa!