Is your child moving to another grade level and looking into what subjects they could take next year? Are they currently having problems selecting a good humanities subject?
Humanities have a lot of subjects for students to choose from depending on their preferences and likes. Some good examples of humanities subjects are History, Social Studies, Geography, and Politics. However, if your child likes reading a wide variety of literature, they could select literature as their humanities subject.
Unfortunately, many parents tend to think that literature – as a humanities subject or as a college major – does not present a lot of opportunities for students once they graduate. They also think it is mostly focused on reading old texts rather than the new ones.
To help clear up these misconceptions and showcase literature’s potential, here are the things you need to know about literature as a humanities subject:
What will my child learn from studying literature?
• Literature reflects the power of words
Each time a reader takes on a new literary masterpiece to read, they will be able to explore new worlds and time periods. They will be able to learn what was it like in these new worlds, what cultures they have and understand the plight of the people they read about.
• Literature opens readers and students to a variety of perspectives which would help them understand a subject better.
Some literary works reflect the complexity of humankind, while others would showcase the various uncertainties of life and one’s choices.
• Literature also has the power to help students develop their individual preferences and hone their creativity.
Through the text they read, students will be able to create their own opinion about the text’s contents and arguments. They would also be able to argue better regarding their position about the subject, helping them to become confident in the process.
Students who take up literature also become inspired to become stronger and uphold the values of the characters who inspired them. These characters can also help them learn from their mistakes and question their beliefs and values.
How would the subject help my child reach their future career?
Aside from helping your child change their perspective and allow them to become more open to the world around them, literature’s lessons can actually help students who are planning to take up courses related to tourism, legal services, healthcare, education, politics, engineering, and others.
Literature opens up a student’s mindset, developing their critical and creative thinking capabilities which would allow them to understand the patterns and relations between key issues worldwide.
They will also be able to question these issues and understand why these issues persist and what can be done to resolve it. They will also become more adept in speaking to others and collaborating with them to improve their work and action.
Should I enroll my child to take up full or elective literature? What are their differences?
If your child is considering taking literature as a full subject, they will be exposed to literary works such as prose, drama, and poetry from past to present. If they will only take it as an elective, they will only focus on prose and poetry works which vary in terms of when they were created.
Both arrangements will still help students develop their literacy skills, but during full literature, their classes would also include developing their literary disposition and knowledge and focus on deeper content.
The workload also varies since elective courses may only entail one or two projects, while full literature may include several projects and presentations.
How to Help Your Child Study Literature?
If your child has selected literature as their humanities class, it is important that you support them through their endeavor because it is also a very challenging subject to take.
Here are some ways you can help your child during their literature classes.
• Introduce new literary works
This can be related to the topic they are currently studying. If they are looking into plays done by Shakespeare, for example, you can introduce his other works which are not that known or introduce other playwrights who were inspired by Shakespeare.
• Share with your child the books you read as a child
It will allow helping them see other literature than the ones offered today. Introduce classics like the Iliad, Odyssey, Les Miserables, and other titles and ask them their opinions about it, in the end, to help hone their analytical skills.
• Ask your child about the works they are studying in school
If you are familiar with the work, you can offer your advice or opinion about the title and explain the parts they cannot understand. You can even connect these stories into your own life as a good example. You can also ask them questions to see how well they understood the text, which would also help them become confident.
• Discuss social and world issues to help your child see the connections
Make sure to explain the characters involved and what is going on so they can create their own position in the issue. If the world or social issue is not familiar to them, you can get them a book about it and ask them about the issue when they are finished reading.
Just like any other subject, literature offers a lot of benefits to students and should not be seen as an easy course to pass. There is much more to literature than just reading literary works. It can help students become more aware of the changing world, and express their understanding of the issues discussed today.
Literature also helps them see every side of the argument and support which one they believe is correct. Their values and beliefs are also honed by literature, which is not easily done by other subjects today.
So, when your child tells you they will take literature for their humanities subject, do not discourage them and support them. Who knows, the subject may even help them decide what career they will pursue in the future.
Here are other looks at how to score in humanities subjects in school:
5 Singapore Myths About Studying For Humanities Subjects
How To Revise Geography Case Studies In A-Levels?