Last month a local homeschooling group organized a storytelling workshop with Jim Weiss. Does that name sound vaguely familiar to you? If you’re doing Story of the World with your children you probably already heard Mr. Weiss speak. Yes, Jim Weiss is that engaging narrator on the audio recordings of Story of The World.
And that was literally all I knew of him before I took Mira to the workshop. I was unsure how well she would do with such a long talk on the subject of storytelling and the art of public speaking but Mr. Weiss’ entertaining talk kept both of us spellbound.
The real highlight for us came when everyone took a break for lunch. I wandered into the hallway and noticed that Mr. Weiss had an area set up where he was selling CDs. Like I said before, I went into this workshop pretty ignorantly and had no idea that Jim Weiss was more than just the Story of the World guy. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw a display FILLED with audio treasures. Turns out Jim Weiss is NOT *just* the guy from SOTW but is the man behind Greathall Productions.
Jim Weiss has recorded an impressive library of classics utilizing his amazing talents for storytelling. As I browsed through the extensive CD display it was all I could do not to squeal out-loud with delight (in all honesty, I did). The possibilities seemed endless but first and foremost I had this image flash in my head-
Mira and I spent quite a bit of time going through the CDs as we tried to agree on which ones to purchase. It’s not often that I want every. single. thing. that a company offers but there I was- wanting every single CD that man was selling. Mira was no help either because she was equally as impressed with the assortment and had two or three CDs in her hands at any given time.
We were lucky in our timing because we had made our way to that hallway before the majority of the crowd and were able to have a chat with Mr. Weiss. His passion for what he does is evident. He makes the classics come alive. He breathes life into characters that for so long have been prisoners to the printed word. He gives them a voice. With his gift of storytelling he captivates children into enjoying the simple art of listening.
In today’s fast-paced and technologically-driven times children are bombarded with interactive-everything. With a click of a button they get instant gratification. I’m not saying this is a bad thing- we utilize technology in our household. But what it doesn’t teach is auditory acuity. How often do your children just sit and listen? Or you for that matter?
I read aloud to my children many times throughout the course of a day. We go through books like water and my girls are on a first name basis with our local librarians- but even so, there is plenty of room for Jim Weiss’ recordings. We can easily substitute a family movie night on the couch to a family Weiss night complete with popcorn. We can augment our school lessons with Weiss’ dramatic retelling of history, myths, and legends. And car schooling! I envision myself building up my collection of his CDs so that I have a big book of them in my car that we can crack open on the start of every drive. Oh the possibilities!
Yes my friends, I have a new homeschooling addiction.
Interested? Head over to Amazon to hear samples from Jim Weiss’ recordings.