bethinga wrote:I'm not sure if I'm doing narration correctly. We are one Bible story from the end of 1st grade. My son is 7 1/2. All year, narration has been a struggle.
He reads the Bible story to me from his reader. I ask him to tell me what happened. He's silent. I ask again and he mumbles, "I don't know," or "I can't explain." I ask questions to be sure he's comprehending what he's reading (he comprehends just fine if it's NOT a bible story). His answers (mumbled) indicate he understands perfectly. I ask him to illustrate in his Bible notebook. He gives it minimal effort, although sometimes he really gets into it. I ask him to tell me one sentence about what happened in the story, so he might write it. After more mumbling and acting tired, he tells me a sentence or two. I change it a bit so it's not too long, or help fill in details where he's vague. I then either write it lightly and let him trace it, or write it for myself and dictate it to him word-for-word. He writes it reluctantly and with great distraction. Candy awaiting him at the end helps, but I hate using candy as a bribe. At the beginning of the year, I admit, I may have expected too much. Over the course of the year, I've lightened up. When it becomes too cumbersome for him, I have him copy a sentence from the Bible Reader instead.
I read some of Charlotte Mason's notes on narration where she describes narration as something kids naturally do. Yes, this is true for him, IF it's about Pokemon, or his best friend, or a Lego creation he made, or a cool bird he saw. He can narrate if it's a book he enjoys, a movie, or something that happened to him. But if it's about what he learned in Sunday School, or what his Bible Reader story was about....I get reluctance and mumbling. I think I'm dealing with two issues here. 1) He appreciates the seriousness of spiritual issues and is reluctant to talk about them (big feelings in this kid), and 2) He doesn't like writing anything that's not his idea.
We enjoyed first grade. I wouldn't trade the Biblical teaching, for sure. But, I'm concerned about 2nd since there's more writing and narration. I'm trying to keep things light and give him lots of praise. But I'm not even sure I'm approaching this right, or even in a truly CM way. I had another CM friend tell me age 7 is too young for writing sentences. Should I be doing this differently?
Well, I like to avoid being a board hog but let's get the conversation going!
My main thought when reading your description is that you are very attuned to your child's strengths and weaknesses and that is the best gift you can offer him. We each have our own areas that, for our own reasons, are not areas we are satisfied with or doing our best. We need to work on them without chastising ourselves so much that we crush our efforts altogether. And the same for our children.
Each of my children is a very different writer. And despite working on writing a lot (even with my public schoolers), they did not all meld into the same writers. I've found it interesting, actually. When I brought my middle dd home to school, she agonized over each word, wanted her Bible notebook pages to be lovely and perfect (she was a high schooler), didn't need much editing, but did need to be pushed (hard) to actually make her writing "her own." After I got into a rhythm working with her, I brought my youngest home to school and he was the exact opposite - tons of his own thoughts, fun, but very random, few facts remembered correctly, tons of editing needed, and famously despised the pencil (he typed a lot, sometimes I scribed for him).
My grandson is working on the Bible notebook as an "afterschooler." I am very casual with him, and he can write a couple of words summarizing the "title" of the event, or whatever he wants to write. It seems natural for him to not leave the lines blank but other than that he comes up with different things. Despite public school (and summer school), his spelling is pretty bad, although usually I can figure out a reason why he made the choices he did. I realize you will feel more responsible as your child's primary teacher, but I used to "publish" books for public school kids as a volunteer and not many were written all that well, plus I've had a few kids grow up now, which helps give me perspective on age 7
Probably my main goals in writing over the years have been that the student always "does something" and that he remain open to "talking & learning" all the time (including discussing something I think would be helpful in the writing). I like the talk by the Writing Strands author in the recording at the bottom of this page, especially starting around 40 minutes with the analogy about making pies and criticizing everything -or- not even tasting it at all, which is equally disheartening (that part is at about 11.5 minutes on the recording). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLMddsrILtA
I admit, it's easier for me to follow that advice with my grandson than it was with my kids
I LOVE the Bible dgs is getting in at my house. To me, the Bible lessons are the focus and the writing is secondary. YMMV.
Hopefully you'll hear from more moms teaching 1st full-time.