Retention, Remembering, Review - Ideas & encouragement

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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hsmomof5
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Retention, Remembering, Review - Ideas & encouragement

Unread post by hsmomof5 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:01 pm

Science Retention- How do you teach science?
my3sons wrote:I worry that my kids are not retaining any (or much) information from science. I am wondering if I should start testing them or drawing up review sheets or something to help with retention.

Here is how we do science-- I read the selected material, we go over the questions, they notebook -- sometimes it is just what they found interesting, but more and more, I am starting to lead them in summarizing the main points from the reading. Their summaries are not very long.

Immediately what stands out to me is that I could add review from day to day (but honestly I shudder at the thought of adding MORE to our already full day-- though I could see that 5-10 minutes could be of great benefit). Any great ideas? :)
We use these pages for our sciences
http://www.homeschoolwithindexcards.com ... dSheet.pdf

and sometimes I simply have then narrate the science in order to know if they are getting an understanding.
~Kysha
ds 19 (college freshman), ds 12, ds 12, and ds 10 (ECC '08) (CTG '09), dd 3 (Preschool)

my3sons
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:52 pm

Re: Science Retention- How do you teach science?

Unread post by my3sons » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:11 pm

hsmomof5 wrote:We use these pages for our sciences
http://www.homeschoolwithindexcards.com ... dSheet.pdf

and sometimes I simply have then narrate the science in order to know if they are getting an understanding.
I have seen that page and it is great for experiments but not as much for remembering info from the reading.

Narration is a good idea, I could use that more. It is frustrating when they cannot narrate though from the previous day's work. I am thinking they would do better with more worksheets or some sort of tool to help them see the information rather than just me reading it and then the notebooking.
Mom to all boys, ages 15, 13, 11, 5 and 1


2014-2015 - ECC
Previously completed K - 1850 to Modern Times

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: Science Retention- How do you teach science?

Unread post by Wendy B. » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:18 pm

My goals for my kids was exposure, vocabulary and the habit of scientific observation.

In addition to what you are already doing I took pictures of our science experiments. In the pre-digital camera days there was a delay in receiving the photos and the experiment so that was an easy way to review the experiment with the kids. The kids then would match the picture to the lab report ( if we did one) or notebooking page or we would write a caption for our photo.

The easiest way to retain the vocabulary of science is to use it. At times I have kept a list of scientific terms that we are covering on the fridge so dh and I remember to use them in daily conversation. The more vocabulary that crosses over to their everyday speech to easier it is for them as they progress in science.

Don't underestimate the power of well thought out nature walk in developing the habit of scientific observation. This is also a easy way to increase their vocabulary. I've been using the ideas/plans from http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/ for my younger kids.

My kids retained more science when science becomes more of a natural family activity and less of a class during the younger ages.

HTH
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Science Retention- How do you teach science?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:32 pm

my3sons wrote:I am thinking they would do better with more worksheets or some sort of tool to help them see the information rather than just me reading it and then the notebooking.
Each child learns differently, so worksheets might work for some kids. I'll bet you can find ready-made worksheets online if you search for certain topics.

However, I have found with my children that worksheets have mostly been in the category of "in one ear and out the other." Methods that seem to help info stick more for my particular kids have been -

- drawing
- telling (narration)
- discussing
- building (with anything from index cards put in order to illustrations using legos)
- marker board writing (filling in random words, creating an outline together, generating a list, etc)
- notebooking (including simple lab reports)

One thing I've found with the notebooking method (which I've used a LOT) is that you have to make a choice. Either you have to help them if you want them to generate specific information that an adult sees as most important, or you have to let them go and allow them to learn whatever appeals to them, trusting that some great discoveries have come out of that.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: Science Retention- How do you teach science?

Unread post by dhudson » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:34 pm

You know, the best thing we've ever done for our kids in Science is to do LOTS of hands-on experiments. After we have done the experiments we may write a notebook page about the experiment. We talk a lot about what their hypothesis is for the experiment and and then write down what we're using (procedure) and the results. This helps us to teach scientific method but most of it is about the fun of the experiment. My kids remember the experiments the most.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

RBS in OH
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:34 pm

Re: Science Retention- How do you teach science?

Unread post by RBS in OH » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:41 pm

This may sound silly to you, but I let my kids bring a stuffed animal to our science time. The stuffed animals must sit nicely and listen well to what's being read so that they can learn well. They are allowed to ask questions about the topic and get called upon to answer questions too (narration). Sometimes I do ask questions about previous lessons to help tie concepts together.

This has really livened up our science, which I felt we needed since some of the science topics were challenging during the first month or so. I really think it's helped my kids pay closer attention (which has helped them to remember more) and they are actually excited about having science now. (We're doing ECC, so using stuffed animals to study about animals and their surroundings was a good fit.)

Just an idea...maybe it will trigger another idea that may engage your kids.
Rachel

ds(14) 8) and dd(14) ;)
We've enjoyed ADV, ECC (2 times), CTG, RTR, EX-1850, 1850-MOD--and now AHL this year!

dhudson
Posts: 320
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Re: Science Retention- How do you teach science?

Unread post by dhudson » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:49 pm

my3sons wrote:I struggle with this feeling from time to time, but it has been bad lately-- I worry that I am failing my kids and just not doing justice to their education. I recognize that there are some of the enemy's lies in there, as well as a little truth (isn't that how he works?!). School is taking us 5 hours a day, working diligently. I am stressed that what we are doing they are not really learning.... really in every subject to varying degrees.

I am not a science person, I do not enjoy it at all. Realistically, I am not going to do the nature walks and even if I did, I would not know what to do on them. I am hard pressed to come up with creative ways to teach science because I am so not a science person. (That being said, my oldest totally is and often reads non-fiction books about marine life and tornadoes for fun... so he is getting some science!)
First of all, when was the last time you took a break from Home schooling? Or gone on a date with your dh? Or went an read a book and had a cup of tea? Sometimes, all of us feel this way and we just need to take a break ;) . I see that you are also expecting so that probably has much to do with the fatigue. Do your children have a scheduled rest time in the afternoon? It doesn't matter what you've gotten done, by a certain time all of your kids can be in their rooms quietly reading for an hour or so and you could get a rest.

Now, for the science. Does your dh like science? You could so a Science Saturday with Daddy once or twice a month. My kids LOVE science Saturdays with Daddy. It's one of their favorite things and it allows my dh to be more involved in the schooling.

I see you are in Ecc and I found the science in that year harder to teach because it wasn't as hands-on. I found a bunch of videos at the library that would talk about those subjects ans we watched those weekly. They would have some evolutionary content but we have trained our kids to spot those lies so we watched them anyway. It made science in ECC easier.

Anyway, I understand where you're at and pray that God will remind you of the reasons you home school and that He will give you rest.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

cbollin

Re: Science Retention- How do you teach science?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:03 pm

my3sons wrote:I worry that my kids are not retaining any (or much) information from science. I am wondering if I should start testing them or drawing up review sheets or something to help with retention.
Well, if I can quote my husband from a previous thread... (He's a research scientist with a phd in inorganic chemistry.....)
crystal's dh wrote: The principal objectives of elementary-level science should be to teach students to be curious about the world around them, to train them to observe, and to provide an introduction to the scientific method. Teaching facts about the constitution and behavior of the physical world is secondary (but by no means negligible).
that translates into:
don't worry if the young elementary age kids don't "retain all facts".
do the hands on experiments, do them again b/c it is fun, and enjoy it.
nature walks
observe
have fun in science.


so that is how we teach science over here....

seeing the ages of children you have....

are you teaching them to be curious about the world around them? -- letting them explore topics of interest, do some stuff with projects, play outside and observe....
then you're doing great!
Are they learning to look at science stuff and observe and say what they see?
Are you doing the labs along the sheets that are in ADV manual (yes, you said you are....) Then, you're doing great.
can they look up facts when they are interested?

Let them tell dad the cool stuff they did and enjoy the conversation.

and to quote again from my husband (who posted as mfwrocks on here a few times....)
crystal's dh wrote:We tried this (experiment) a couple more times, in part because it was fun, and in part to check our results. (Repeating experiments to check the results is another facet of scientific practice.)
so, let them do it again and see if they have variations on the stuff that they want to try.

I think you're doing fine.
-crystal

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: Science Retention- How do you teach science?

Unread post by Wendy B. » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:25 pm

my3sons wrote:I am not a science person, I do not enjoy it at all. Realistically, I am not going to do the nature walks and even if I did, I would not know what to do on them. I am hard pressed to come up with creative ways to teach science because I am so not a science person.
Nature study is an easy way for a non-science person to get in the habit of scientific observation. It can be done in non-school hours with the whole family. It is non-threatening since there is a right or wrong answer. Kids+Fresh Air=Happy Kids. Ok....mama needs the fresh air as well! If you check out Barb's site (that I quoted above) on her side bar she has Challenges 1-5 which are a nice easy way to start nature studies. God's world is Wonderous!
my3sons wrote:School is taking us 5 hours a day, working diligently. I am stressed that what we are doing they are not really learning.... really in every subject to varying degrees.
There isn't a hsing mama that hasn't had a season ( or 2 or 3) of feeling like this. Is there any way Dad can help out? Are there any minor tweaks to your schedule you can do to shorten your 5 hour stretch of school?

Here, Dh reviews the day with the kids after dinner. Since Dad is going to expect an answer to "What did you do today" they have the responsibility to make sure they have an answer. Dh will also look over their notebooks periodically and point out the improvements and give suggestions for future improvements. Having the kids accountable to their dad for their education was a huge stress relief for me!

We also have done read alouds at bedtime, science on the weekends as a family activity and moved open ended activities to the afternoon. Drawing the picture in the notebook can be a time stealer around here but it can easily get bumped to be an afternoon activity if our morning is getting too long.

Hang in there, mama!
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Science Retention- How do you teach science?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:48 pm

my3sons wrote: School is taking us 5 hours a day, working diligently. I am stressed that what we are doing they are not really learning.... really in every subject to varying degrees.
Last year, doing ECC with my then 8 yo dd, and Pre-K with my twins (just 1/2 hour a day), it took us 5 hours to do school. This year has been better, most days. I think there are seasons where the days take longer.

Hang in there. Don't beat yourself up just because it is taking 5 hours.

And science isn't my favorite, either. I have to *make* myself do the experiments with my kids, and I get VERY frustrated when they don't work as described.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

my3sons
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:52 pm

Re: Science Retention- How do you teach science?

Unread post by my3sons » Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:18 am

Dawn, Thanks so much for your encouragement. There are other factors that probably factor into my freaking out (dh is traveling for business, pregnancy hormones, etc) and so that is a good reminder to take a deep breath, spend some time with the Lord and re-focus. I am not sure if dh would be willing to do more for science on a regular basis. I will talk to him about it! Library DVDs are also a good idea. I will look into those.


Trish, It is just that I am tired of school by the time we are finished, I am sure they are! lol I want them to love learning, and not burn them out. Thank you for your encouragement- it really does help!


Everyone, Thanks for the reminders that retention is good, but it is the exposure to science that really matters at this point. Also thanks for the encouragement to take walks and just enjoy them, as with the experiments. I am going to talk to dh about helping out there. I appreciate ya'll!
Mom to all boys, ages 15, 13, 11, 5 and 1


2014-2015 - ECC
Previously completed K - 1850 to Modern Times

sojen
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:30 pm

Re: Science Retention- How do you teach science?

Unread post by sojen » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:29 am

I read somewhere on this board about the Planet Earth series and how well it goes along with ECC. We have been watching the corresponding episode with each science unit and it goes along perfectly. My daughter is retaining so much, and to be honest , we haven't been doing summary sheets. I am so glad I added this incredible series to our science!

She is also learning so much about animals from two additional sources. The first is The Great Animal Search, which I have her do alone. It takes awhile, but she really connects with the info in this book. We only do one page every couple weeks. The other is any "you can draw" type book. Draw! Rainforest Animals was especially one of her favorites.
Jen in GA
mom to dd 11, dd 8, and ds 5
traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Weekly reviews?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:46 pm

KelsiTX wrote:I've always wanted to do little weekly reviews with MFW and never actually put it into practice..until now. I know even I get bogged down at times with information and reviewing it helps me to retain and better understand where we are headed...if that makes any sense. I'm noticing DD that's in 6th is the same way. I might not even do them weekly but just often enough to help us stay on track and to make sure that they really understand and hopefully that will help their retention. I'm thinking just orally running through info and facts and listening to them tell me what they learned about a particular topic...

But before I go off on my own, I'd love to also know if this is something anyone else does and their *way* of doing it?? It seems that I ran across this topic either on this board or another one...thanks for any input!
Kelsi
For the kids... we used our notebooks a lot. During free afternoons or times when my youngest had to be independent, one option would be reviewing the notebook. I even put it in book basket sometimes :)

Playing the geography game even in later years was another review, of sorts.

Now that my son's in high school, I sometimes look through the chapter titles or even section-of-chapter titles, and ask, "So you read about X? What did you learn? What's something interesting you remember?" Actually, I used to do that with book basket in earlier years, too - tell me something interesting you learned.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

LynneH
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 4:13 pm

Re: Weekly reviews?

Unread post by LynneH » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:03 pm

We've been using a "memory card box" system for the past 18 months or so. The system is similar to the Scripture Memory System described on the Simply Charlotte Mason website. I have my children create study cards for things we are learning, and those go in the box. We include vocabulary, historical dates and notes, Bible verses, grammar information, etc. Every Friday evening after supper, we have a "Friday Quiz," and I pull most of the questions from their memory boxes. If they get 4 of 5 questions correct, they get the privilege of choosing a prize from our prize bucket. My children love this system, and it's a great way to review information. I like doing this after supper so that dh can hear about what we've been learning.

KelsiTX
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:06 pm

Re: Weekly reviews?

Unread post by KelsiTX » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:23 pm

I love those ideas! Thank you!

We did our first review today...I've been jotting things down throughout our first week to make up an oral review...the kids did great! My DS is "officially" in the cycle (RTR) this year and he's doing so well...DD and DS even got competitive with the review...great fun and thrilled me to see them excited about what they are learning. Blessings!
Blessed by MFW 4 years (ADV, ECC, CTG, currently RTR)
Married for 12 years to JD
Kassidy (12) 6th grade
Jackson (7) 2nd grade

4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

ECC Question?

Unread post by 4Truth » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:45 am

gratitude wrote:As we move through the geography game I find that it really does work and my children are remembering and learning their geography through it.

It has made me wonder though if they will remember it, or how much of it they will remember. My DH and I both see value to them learning geography prior to history and for later current event knowledge of where places are in the world. Do they remember at least half of it? Or, do they have to re-learn it in high school?

Thank you!
My suggestion is to keep the geography game "out" when you finish ECC and pack up the books. The geography game can continue to be played here and there over time, just like you would with any other board game. There are many other games and activities (board games, flashcards, internet) that they can play occasionally to keep it fresh, too. It doesn't just have to be part of "school", or part of ECC in particular, kwim?

Besides all that, it will stay somewhat fresh by the mere fact that they'll continue doing mapwork through the years in the history cycle (specific to whatever country you're studying in history). So they will automatically be getting "review" that way, too. ;)

Have you subscribed to God's World News for them? If not, I recommend it. Especially for your oldest.

And if you stay with MFW through the whole cycle, you will come back to ECC again in 5 years for the benefit of the now-younger kids that may not remember all of it. I've seen "clicks" and little memories pop up with my youngest that I didn't even realize were there, so you may be surprised. :)

And all of that is before high school, so the geography they get in MFW high school is actually done "differently" than in elementary. It will be even more review for those who've gone through ECC and the elementary cycle, and it will also be from a different perspective since they'll already have that knowledge base of where things are in the world, the history and religions surrounding those places, and NOW, at the high school level, they'll be looking at it from a broader, more "adult-like", biblical worldview with a different purpose in mind.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

gratitude
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Re: ECC Question?

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:07 am

Thank you Donna! :)

Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

HELP!! ideas to use mfw to teach visual learners

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:31 am

ronsam22 wrote:
Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:36 pm
I have an 11 year old son who is autistic and adhd. I have a daughter who is 13. They both have learning disabilities, both are visual learners and have auditory processing disability. They both have dyscalculia. I have used MFW before with them but this year it just isn't sinking in.

I have used MFW Exploring countries and cultures. I am using Rome to Reformation this year. I am having mostly trouble with reading the information to them and it being retained. I have found out that they are both visual learners and I am trying to supplement with movies,etc but nothing seems to be sinking in. I was wondering if any one else had any suggestions? Thanks!!
Well, I always have a lot of random thoughts. I throw them out and hope one or two is helpful.

- Some families have visual students sit beside the parent and follow along in the book that is being read out loud.

- Some families get extra copies of major books, so students can read along in their own space. When we listened to SOTW on audio, I always read along in the book itself at the same time.

- Some children can "hear better" while they are moving. My son couldn't remember what I said while he was sitting still, but had good recall while he was rolling on a giant exercise ball (hard for me to imagine, but tried-and-true with him).

- Taking notes helps some of us process what we hear. I literally write down almost everything that is said when I am listening, and even if I never look at the page again, it has helped me retain what I heard (it annoys some speakers who can't imagine hearing while you write, but I've gotta do what I've gotta do!).

- I've heard of people who "learn in pictures" and do well to doodle or draw what they are hearing, rather than taking notes with words. Their notebook pages can also be drawings, cartoon sequences, photographs, internet images, diagrams, word webs, etc.

- MFW usually has at least one book every year that is "a step up." In RTR, that is probably the Augustus Caesar's World. Lower your expectations on that one. It's good to nudge them forward, but it's a process that doesn't all happen at once.

- Review their history notebooks frequently, to remind them where you've been and prepare for the next topic. Or use the chapter titles and section headings of a book to review before you start in with the next reading. (If you add something in, like a hefty review, you might need to cross something else off the grid.)

- Don't underestimate your own value, as the teacher, in helping them pull the pieces together. Try not to feel disappointed when you have picked up more information than they have -- now you have that knowledge on board for coaching them along. Remember that classroom teachers (K through Ph.D.) often get no one raising a hand with the answer or no one giving the correct answer -- both the teacher and the star pupils may be coaching everyone else along.

- Remember that even a year spent learning which listening strategies work for them is a valuable education. It seems we are in a world where lots of education, instructions, directions, and even just general conversation is done out loud, with high expectations for the hearer to retain what has been said.

Hoping something in there gives you an idea to try.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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