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When you plan a course for your high schooler…
1) How much time do you plan for reading the material for a “content” course (history, science, government, economics, maybe literature…) and how much for whatever else (narration/writing, projects…)? 50/50% or 80/20% or???
2) And what is your whatever else? Do you only “narrate”? Or do you allow for second readings and “study” time?
Here’s where I’m coming from:
I choose a book that is supposed to be a full or half credit course as a stand alone. I figure how much time necessary to read the book and it’s way less than half the hours I figure are needed for a credit. So, they must be planning a lot of lecture and study time if this is to be the full course. I’m thinking it’s more CM style to do a single reading in multiple books hitting on the main topics (probably keeping one as the main reference) and let it sink in that way, rather than spending hours pouring over one book. What do the rest of you do/think about this? My inclination is to schedule several books and leave about a third of the time for narration (oral, written, projects, speeches, some notebooking maybe).
Here’s a link to a previous post detailing one of my course plans that I’m thinking about along this line:
Thanks for taking time to read/respond!
I am not sure if this is what you are looking for but Epikardia has a book that shows how to make high school courses using living books. You might find it helpful.
Thank you. Guess I was just looking for some quick feedback. I know it’s 120-180 hours for a credit…I’ll shoot for 150 with my planning so we” be good if I’m over or under. But just hoped someone who’s done high school CM already could give some input on how much of it should be actual reading time…and how much to leave for narration, etc. If I don’t get any more input, I think I’ll shoot for leaving about 1/3 of the time for narration and schedule about 100 hrs of reading material for each credit…hmmm, now I’m remembering there is a number of pages per term guideline…maybe I’ll dig that up and see what I can gain from that.
I divide our year into three terms. I schedule 4-5 books per term and then decide on assignments to go with each book. My assignments usually include things like oral and written narrations, compare and contrast characters, making models of scenes in the book, character sketches, author sketches, research reports, or really anything I can think of that would fit in with the theme of the book being read. Maybe that would help a little more. You can send me a PM if you need more help. I use the Epikardia book that I mentioned before.
Yes. That’s great – very helpful! So, it sounds to me like the “Narration” part could be about as much as the reading part in your case?? I could certainly PM you…but thought this discussion might be helpful to someone else like me down the road if we leave it here. I’ll check on the book you mentioned too…not sure about buying it though…I’ve already bought an awful lot this year b/c the library is not a good option for us since we moved last year and the financial impact of that has been HUGE! But, I’m thrilled to have so many living books of our own now – the silver lining!
One more question though – when you do “narrations” of the more challenging sort you mentioned – how does that fit with the CM idea of a single reading? This is more of a curiosity question, I guess. Just wondering if you stick to that at this point and how it goes with this kind of assignment…thinking about how I want to approach this with my kids. Thanks so much again! Others welcome to chime in!!
My daughter generally remembers after a single reading, but not always. If she is doing compare and contrast or something like that, I encourage her to take notes while she is reading. This way she is practicing note taking techniques and using her notes to do something useful. If she thinks that she needs to go back and read something again, she is welcome to do this. I would rather have her read it over than not understand.BookwormParticipant
I’m not certain I ever employed a hard and fast rule about this; we selected books, spent time in narration and discussion, connected what we were reading to other things, wrote a few papers, etc. until it felt like enough. I keep a running sheet for each thing I decided to make a “course” and we tracked everything we did on that sheet, and when it looked like it had reached the (very, very rough) estimates of time I had planned, and it felt “finished”, we called it finished. Our courses changed and moved so, with interests and events and new materials we found, that we did not plan too exhaustively to begin with, knowing that it would be a project in motion, I guess.
And for those more difficult narration/essay papers, we DID just “read” it once–but then when thinking through a paper, one MUST reread portions and quote the book appropriately–one would never be expected to MEMORIZE enough for quoting. And I insist on quoting. So they could take a book/s with them when planning and writing a comparison/contrast, for example, or a character study. These sorts of papers were expected of students by CM schools, they are mentioned in Charlotte’s writings. These upper level students have already learned attention, and are now working on sorting their ideas and arguing their points persuasively. They have different needs than a six year old and their work should be treated appropriately. Meaning, if they don’t recall enough of Jane Eyre and Emma to contrast the heroines and quote appropriately, one doesn’t shut the books and tell them “Too bad.”; one smiles and tells them to go and find the evidence to support their thesis. 🙂
Ha! It’s great to hear someone else does a sort of “fly by the seat of your pants” schooling too! I’d just keep doing it that way, but can’t…this student needs to know what is expected more than I tend to provide, and I have little ones coming on, so I’m trying to shift gears here and give the oldest students enough of a plan that they can keep rolling most of the time without my brains…and sadly these two aren’t motivated enough to figure out their own like their sis did when I didn’t have something planned and ready. Also, husband will help me hold the older two accountable if I can provide him/them with enough information! So…I’m trying to plan ahead much more than in the past and define my expectations. Hoping it will help us all…but we’ll still adjust whenever we want to 😉
Thanks so much ladies!! Very helpful.
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