Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Homeschooling the Teen Years - Books to Movies: Little Women

The boys were out this evening, so the girls and I seized the opportunity to watch the 1994 film version of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.  They haven't read the story, but I listened to an audio version of the first seven or eight chapters of the book today, blaring it through a Bluetooth speaker, so I could hear it all through the house while I was cleaning, and they all agreed to watch the watch it with me tonight.

As we were sobbing our way through the ending, I was reminded again of what a truly excellent literary movie adaptation should be.
  • A movie that contains enough of the original story to feel familiar and right if you've already read it.
  • A movie that leaves out enough of the story, that you'll want to read the book immediately afterwards, if you haven't already, to get more of the story.
  • A well acted movie.
  • A beautifully set movie.
  • A movie with a tone that matches the book.

This is absolutely one of those types of films.

I've been trying without success to get the girls to read Little Women for years.  I read it when I was nine years old.  My sister-in-law gave me beautiful hardback copies of Heidi and Little Women for Christmas that year, and I loved them both (possibly because I thought my sister-in-law was the most wonderful person ever, but also because they are great stories).  I couldn't wait to share them with my own daughters.  I still have the books.  They're on our bookshelf.  Heidi has been read, Little Women has not.

I think that will change after tonight.  At any rate, my old, cherished copy of Little Women will be on the breakfast table tomorrow morning - waiting to be read.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Camie said...

I agree, this is a beautiful movie version of Little Women. I read the book with my youngest daughter and we both enjoyed it. My oldest daughter has her own copy as well, and we own the movie. Heidi was one of my favorites from my childhood, too. I still have my copy and the hard cover is well loved. I like the movie version with Shirley Temple.

Joyful Learner said...

I tried to get a high schooler to read it but she wasn’t interested. Instead, my then 8 year old LOVED it! I got the feeling she enjoyed it more because she was too young to think of it as weird or uncool. Instead, she thought classic language was beautiful. I think it’s better to introduce classics at a young age. It’s also interesting to see their perspectives since they see with fresh eyes.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Camie - My girls thought the 1990's film was "old". I can just imagine their reaction to Shirley Temple - even though it's an excellent movie.

Min- That's an interesting thought. You might be right. I read a number of classics while I was a teenager, but I had been introduced to many of them earlier on, and I grew up reading the King James version of the Bible - so later writing didn't seem so archaic.

Ticia said...

We just did this as our book and a movie for January. The boys were not fans, but Princess... She loved it. We watched the recent BBC mini-series, and that was a lot of fun to watch. I bawled like a baby through so many scenes.