I would love to hear your favorite stories that you tell to six year olds during the six year old Kindergarten year; leave your picks in the comment boxes.
I love those repetitive stories such as The Gingerbread Man, Chicken Licken, etc, but not to reach the heart and soul of the six year old. I truly think that for most six year olds, these tales are enjoyable (just as they are for we the adults!) but I am not certain these will meet the child’s needs if for he or she really is in the throes of real and distinct developmental change. If he or she is changing, really what is needed are stories with a little more “meat”, a little more good versus evil where good wins.
I hear about children who cannot handle fairy tales well; this does happen. I wrote about that here in 2009: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/08/16/what-do-i-do-my-child-cant-handle-fairy-tales/ You really CANNOT bring a tale to your child that does not resonate with you or that makes you uncomfortable, so do NOT pick that one. However, you can read a tale for two or three days, and really sleep on it and see what comes to you before you just dismiss it as well. I personally love nearly all the Grimms Tales, and am very comfortable with them, and I think that completely comes out in my storytelling.
So, without further ado, here are some stories we have enjoyed in my family in the past, or I have known families whose children enjoyed these tales; this list has my detailed notes as to each story:
First of all, do not discount stories from your own religious tradition. If you are part of a religion that has saints, or stories of tradition, use those. You may touch on some of them again in subsequent grades (such as Old Testament in Grade Three or Saints in Grade Two), but that is of no matter. These are important stories to your family, to your traditions, so do not be afraid to structure your year around them if you wish. Homeschooling is about family, and religion may be a big part of your family. We can do this in the HOME environment.
“Castle Under The Sea” – from mainlesson.com It is rather lengthy, it could make a wonderful puppet show with less figures than what is in the story, and it has a heroine. I remember my oldest daughter really loving this story when we kicked her six year old year off with it. Here is the link: http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=alden&book=chimes&story=castle
From the Pantheon Edition of Grimms Fairy Tales: (green cover, here is the link to it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Grimms-Fairy-Tales-ebook/dp/B00513H3SI/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311701971&sr=1-2)
#1 – The Frog-King, or Iron Henry –
#5 – The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids – My parents HATE this tale, but my six and a half year old just laughed and laughed and laughed when the wolf was killed. Goodness wins, and what a relief! Know your child!
#19 – The Fisherman and His Wife – would make a wonderful puppet show; I believe there are instruction in Marsha Johnson’s FILES of her yahoo group to make large puppets for this tale
#24 – Mother Holle – this is one that many families tell every year; there is also needle-felted puppet instructions for this story in “Making Magical Fairy-Tale Puppets”
#26 – Little Red Cap — there is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”; there is also a needle-felted puppet for this in “Making Magical Fairy-Tale Puppets”
#27 – The Bremen Town Musicians – can tell with finger puppets and music
#62 – The Queen Bee – a favorite! Our homeschooling group did a puppet play of this for our Midsummer celebration. A lot of puppets is the downside, but I suppose you could simplify the number of characters you use for home. There is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring” and it has been adapted into a puppet play with music in the book “A Lifetime of Joy” (see below)
#83 – Hans In Luck; there is also a needle-felted puppet for this in “Making Magical Fairy Tale Puppets”
#103- Sweet Porridge – not sure if there is really enough meat there if you only switch stories once a month, could tell it along with a cooking project
#106 – The Poor Miller’s Boy and the Cat – there is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”
#144- The Donkey — there is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”
#146 – The Turnip, again, I feel may be suited to a younger child unless you really bring in some drawing and cooking and things to enliven it; could be a sweet puppet show
#153 – The Star Money – usually told around Christmas, some families tell this every year, there is a beautiful transparent window art creation off of this story in the book about making rose windows if you have that book. “Making Magical Fairy-Tale Puppets” has a needle-felted puppet in it
#161 – Snow White and Rose Red, traditionally told in Spring – there is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”
#169 – The Hut in the Forest, a favorite! – There is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”
#188 –The Spindle, The Shuttle, and the Needle – there is music for this in “Let Us Form A Ring”
From “You’re Not the Boss of Me! Understanding the Six/Seven Year Transformation” as edited by Ruth Ker:
“The Magic Lake at the End of the World” A story from Ecuador
:”The Pumpkin Child” from Persia
“The Legend of Babouschka” from Russia
From “ Let Us Form a Ring”
“The Princess In the Flaming Castle”
“Spindlewood” – a favorite – this has music in it
“Twiggy” — this has music in it
From “A LIfetime of Joy” by Bronja Zahlingen – all of these are puppet shows with music
“Mashenka and the Bear” – I so love this tale
“The Swan Geese”
“The Snowmaiden” – another favorite, we tell it almost every January along with Shingebiss from the Winter Wynstones book. Who doesn’t love Shingebiss?!
“The Queen Bee”
“The Miller Boy and the Pussycat”
“A Midsummer Tale”
From “Multiculturism In Waldorf Education”
These two were my younger daughter’s favorites:
“The Arrow Chain” – A Tlingit tale
“The Winning Of Kwelanga” A Zulu Tale
there are a few others in this sweet little book, “Akimba And The Magic Cow”
There are also suitable stories in the back of “All Year Round”
Hope that helps,