Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It's time to say good-bye.

Okay, so I'm thinking that it's now time to say good-bye.

Thanks to all of you that offered me such kind comments. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November Update

  • In the previous post (below this post), I linked printable narration suggestion for Tales from Shakespeare as well as some additional resources. Tales from Shakespeare begins in Year Three with one story, continues into Years Four and Five with three stories each and is completed in Year Six.
  • I've also just recently added two more readings for The History of Art for Young People. These are located under Book Notes.
  • Today, I've added a printable and slightly adapted leaf schedule such as is suggested to use with The First Book of Botany by Eliza A. Youmans. This can be found under Year Four.
  • ETA (11-16): I've added another chapter to both The Book of the Ancient Romans and Age of Fable.

Tales from Shakespeare

I've been struggling with the idea of creating more formal Book Notes for Tales from Shakespeare or not over this past year. My younger daughter has begun this book, so a plan for what we will do with it is long overdue. :)

I've decided to have her draw from our narration box each time she finishes one of the chapters/stories in the book. This will offer her a variety of options and yet still make reading and narrating it more independent.

I compiled an assortment of narration suggestions and made them large. You can simply print the pages, cut up the strips and place them in a  jar or basket. Have your student draw from the container after each reading and follow the instructions on each narration suggestion strip of paper.

I've also included the link for a set of paper dolls, which are very nice for acting out scenes as a form of narration and a PDF of coloring pages which can be used as coloring pages or can be used as images that can be colored and cut and used for posters, collages, etc.

Here are some additional resources:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Problems with the Links

Please let me know if you are having problems with any of the links here. The Adobe account has not expired yet, so the files should still be accessible.

Also, I will be sure to leave this blog up, even when the account has expired, and will create a post with a link which directs you to the new site when it becomes available.

Thank you! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Timeline of Narration Work: A Referral

This post is to refer you to my personal blog. I write more openly about my two daughters and the work we are doing in our home at this blog. I posted some samples of their narration work, if anyone here would like to see what this looks like for a variety of ages. I posted several of varying ages from my younger daughter's collection and three current ones from my older daughter's collection to illustrate narrations from the upper years.

A Timeline of Narration Work

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October Update 2: Year One is Complete!

I'm so excited! Year One is now complete!

See Year One for the links for this year.

New Additions:

  • Guide for The New Americans: Colonial Times: 1620-1689 by Betsy and Giulio Maestro

Added Chapters/Weeks:

  • Children of the New Forest
  • The Book of the Ancient Romans
  • Age of Fable

Current List of Work in Progress:
  • History of Art for Young People
  • Lab work for Tide Pool Life
  • English Literature for Boys and Girls
  • Ornithology with The Burgess Book of Birds, The First Book of Birds and The Story of John J. Audubon

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Narration: A Child's Perspective

Narration: Various Meanings

Narration. This one word is significant to those who are educators.

A narration has different meanings for different education methods and styles. A narration which follows the Well-Trained Mind approach is based on the idea that a child should summarize a selection by restating its main points and by differentiating between irrelevant vs. important details. A narration which follows the Charlotte Mason approach is based on the idea that a child should retell a selection with attention to detail and with a focus on how it connects within his/her own mind after just one reading. A narration which follows the ideas of the various programs based on the progymnasmata is taught in the narrative level/section of these programs. Our family's approach to writing further expands on the Charlotte Mason style narration as it includes and incorporates aspects of both the progymnasmata, ideas from the Well-Trained Mind and approaches from other classical curricula.

Narration: A Child's Perspective

What does a child think of the act of narrating? 
Do all children enjoy giving narrations?

I've often heard that many families have tried the Charlotte Mason approach to learning and then moved away from it for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons often included the child's complete dislike of giving narrations. The child's discomfort with the act of narrating often included one or more of the following reasons:
  • Narrating is boring.
  • I don't like having to narrate so many times in one day.
  • Narrating is repetitive.
  • I can't remember enough of the selection to narrate it.
  • Written narrations take too long to write.
All of the above reasons can be alleviated with minor alterations such as varying the types of narrations, completing the appropriate preparation work before a reading, adjusting lengths, of both the reading selection and the required written output and many other possible alterations. But quite frankly, much of this discomfort is the result of much more than a distaste for narrating. Narrating is deceptively simple. It gives this illusion, but includes and stretches many skills at once. It's this stretching of skills such as attention, organization of ideas,verbally expressing the selection and the addition of the child's own thoughts that makes narration difficult for children, especially children new to this method. Narration is just one component of the entire Charlotte Mason approach, and like the overall fit, it needs to be given time for adjustments and familiarity.

As children adjust to the style and schedule of narrating, their joy in narrating will usually grown in proportion. My children have almost entirely grown up with narrating. (I started narrations and Charlotte Mason methods and ideas with my older daughter around 2nd grade.) Their perspective on narrating is quite different from children who do not care for it. My children consider narrating an opportunity, as it is a moment for them to share their thoughts and feelings over a selection. They, like most children, want to be heard. To be heard is to feel understood. This is one aspect of narrating from which all children can benefit. I realized that both of our girls did not like to see a day go by when they did not feel as if they had segments of time from both me and my husband where we gave them our undivided attention. What do children want when they want our undivided attention? They want us to listen to them. When my daughters narrate to me, they have my undivided attention and I am listening.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that this level of acknowledgment of their words and thoughts will leave once they are older. My older daughter has many different composition notebooks in which she writes her narrations. In every book, I mark some edits for her to make and I always write comments. Sometimes I comment on some aspect of writing to which she needs to pay more attention, sometimes I write a reminder rule and just as often I write comments of praise. Every week I give the girls their narration notebooks back and they both eagerly open them to read the comments. Also, as the student moves into the upper years, we engage in discussions about the works we read and how the great ideas such as love, liberty, justice and beauty are illustrated by these works. These discussions and the notebooks give even older students the opportunities they need to feel connected.