Dictation question

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  • Jen

    I have heard that dictation starts around 4th grade. However, if a child is not reading by that age do they still start dictation? I’m wondering if reading fluently is a prerequisite for dictation?

    Alicia Hart

    I think that it really does depend on the child.  Others could chime in here too, but I tried dictation with my oldest child at about age 10 or 11 and she was NOT ready.  We did a little but things really took off when she got older.  She    go through vision therapy which probably helped; however, my second child was slow to catch onto dictation as well but also is now doing very well with it and she never had vision therapy.  My two oldest were 13 and 11 last year.  When I say dictation, I’m talking about studied dictation, of course. Hth!


    Sonya Shafer

    I would agree, Jen. I think Charlotte postponed written narration and dictation until fourth grade so the child could spend those prior years solidifying his reading and handwriting. It would seem a very heavy burden to lay on the child the expectation of decoding/reading and handwriting and spelling and punctuation and capitalization of longer passages if he still struggles with just the decoding/reading part. With my special needs child, I am continually revising my thinking into “developmental stage” rather than “chronological age.” So if dictation starts around fourth grade, then I would start it once my child is near a fourth-grade reading level regardless of what age she is.


    Sonya, that really helped clear things up for me. I agree with you that we need to think in “developmental stages” instead of “chronological stages”. I’m wondering if that was why Charlotte Mason had her children in forms instead of grades. Honestly I have been trying to implement her teaching for 9 years and yet I have never read her books all the way through. I have read pieces here and there but it’s been my goal, this summer, to read vol. 1 & vol.4. So far I have read 3 chapter’s of Ourselves! LoL…not the greatest accomplishment but I have really enjoyed what I have read so far. The longer I study her works the more I realise how much wisdom she had and how right she was on so many things!

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