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How long should a narration for high school be? All this time I’ve never really known. I’ve read Sonia’s articles on narration, but I’m still fuzzy on length and frequency.
Let’s say my son reads a chapter per day from a novel. Should he narrate that book every day? Once a week?
He reads from his Apologia Physics text, but he’s almost done with that. He uses that as written doing the reading, reviews, and tests. No narrations. I am thinking of having him read and narrate from a living book for the remainder of the year. This is his final term. He graduates in June.
He uses a textbook for Government and it has a nice set of questions after each chapter that he does. They are actual questions that he must answer with a well thought out answer…not multiple choice. He does not narrate this text either.
So really, the only thing he has is the novel he’s reading. I’m not sure a daily narration is necessary. Or, if at this point, just have him write something at the end?
edit: Sonya instead of Sonia…sorry.
Hi Robin! It all depends on what books they are writing from and how many narrations they are writing. If they are writing several a day, then nice, short summaries should be the rule. If once a day, or a few times a week, about a page is what I expect in my homeschool. My daughter sometimes writes 2 or 3 page narrations but about a page and a half is her average.
What is your son doing for history? That is my daughter’s preferred subject for written narration. When reading literature, sometimes not much that is concrete happens in a chapter. Depending on the book being read, written narrations might be quite short.
I don’t think there really is a hard and fast rule when it comes to length of narration. The bigger question is whether or not your child is accurately retelling what he has read. Sometimes, this may take a few pages, sometimes only a paragraph. It all depends on the book or the portion of the book being read.
Thanks for your reply.
At this point, I would probably only have him narrate his literature selection. He uses a textbook for Government. He does oral narrations for that. I use the questions after each chapter to make a test for him which includes essay type questions.
Is it possible to view a sample of a written narration for a Grade 9-12 student in any subject area. A few of my students have little or no background in reading let alone a rich literary background when they come to me. I’m finding it challenging to help them narrate in written form- most can’t even write sentences.So is my tactic to go through the earlier oral narration phase then progress to written?
Karen-I’ve always heard it recommended on Ambleside Online that a student new to narration of any age should only be required to narrate orally for a bit so that he/she can become familiar with the narration process.nebbyParticipant
Here’s a sample I had posted of my 10th grader’s narration: https://lettersfromnebby.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/narration/
And here’s a recent blog post from Afterthoughts which I think is relevant: http://afterthoughtsblog.net/2016/03/narration-discussion-interchangeable.html
My understanding is that they should keep narrating through high school and that while more are written, some oral narration should remain as well.
I don’t know how well this will work but I am going to try to copy and paste one of my daughter’s narrations here. She will be starting highschool in a few months.
Albrecht Durer was the son of a goldsmith. He had seventeen other siblings, but only two of the other sons survived to adulthood. Albrecht was the oldest and therefore his father expected him to take over for him when he died. Albecht went to school to be a goldsmith and showed talent in it, but he told his father he wanted to become an artist instead.
His father was upset that they had wasted those years of training to be a goldsmith, but he wanted Albrecht to be happy and he made him an apprentice to a local artist. Albrecht was very happy and showed amazing talent with drawing. He drew a portrait of himself when he was thirteen, and it is still around today. The other apprentices weren’t very kind to him. This didn’t bother Albrecht though and he continued to work his hardest.
Durer started doing wood-cuts which were used to illustrate printed books. They worked the same way the letters did and were stamped into the books. He illustrated many pictures in the Bible and supported himself for years this way. Probably his most famous wood-cut was The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, which he made while illustrating the book of Revelation. He traveled to lots of cities but returned to his home town to be married. His father had arranged a marriage for Albrecht and a wealthy man’s daughter. She became like a business partner to Albrecht and was the one who arranged for his art to be sold.
Later Durer went to Italy, where art was a big part of the culture. It took some time to be respected by these Italians. Italian artists and German artists never really got along well, but he was so gifted that even they could see his talent. His art was seen and admired by many famous people of the day, including the Emperor.
Durer was a big follower of Martin Luther. He helped convince Prince Frederick to protect Martin, and Albrecht and Luther exchanged art and books a few times. When everyone thought Martin was captured and killed, Albrecht was extremely upset, and was relieved when he found out he was safe.
Albrecht became the most famous living artist of his time and traveled from city to city where he was awarded all sorts of honors. In one city he was given a mansion, rent free, and was treated like royalty. When he died all of Italy and Germany mourned his death and his widow received many letters from Albrecht’s old friends.
I like this. Nice job.
So, what if ds is narrating his literature selection after each reading and I decide I want him to write an analysis on the theme or symbolism or whatever… how would you go about teaching that?
Also, is there a quick and easy way to teach essay writing in general?
What about research papers?
I’ve looked at Beyond the Book Report and I’m just not sure.
Honestly, I have no idea how to teach literary analysis. I am not a fan of that particular area of study. :-\ I’m not sure if we will cover that in our homeschool or not. If I do, it will be a very brief study. The only reason I will even consider teaching literary analysis is to prep for college.
I’ve heard Lightning Literature is a good choice for literary analysis.
As far as teaching the essay, I just bought a resource called Hands on Essays that really looks good to me. It’s simple, inexpensive and to the point. The book is only $7 something for the download ($12 or so for the print edition) and the author has free videos on her website for each lesson.
However, you don’t really need a resource to teach the essay if you’d rather teach it yourself. I’m sure you can find a simple explanation online and start there. Many Charlotte Mason homeschoolers simply assign written narrations until highschool and then begin having their students read through a few, good writing handbooks. The Elements of Style comes highly recommended as well as Writing, Inc.
I plan on saving research papers for late highschool. I have my eye on seven sisters homeschool guides for this purpose but I haven’t settled on anything at this point.nebbyParticipant
For thoughts on literary analysis I like these books (for you to read or maybe older kids):
How to Read Literature like a Professor
Meaning at the Movies (about film but I think there is a lot we can apply to lit here)
I have been doing some literary analysis with all my kids, maybe 2-3 books a year. I read the book aloud over time (no narrating) and then we have a discussion when we are done. So far it has all been based on Deconstructing Penguins. The books we have read are easy (Babe, Charlotte’s Web) for the most part. My kids are 10-16, two of them in high school this year. I blog on what we do and you can see how we have gone about it here: https://lettersfromnebby.wordpress.com/?s=deconstructing&submit=Search
Next year I think I am going to do “literary” analysis of movies with the older two (and the younger ones can tag along) based on Meaning at the Movies.retrofamParticipant
I use Rod and Staff Reading 9 and Words of Delight by, Leland Ryken for literary analysis. I do this to avoid some of the classics I don’t approve of, and to use the Bible to teach literary concepts via Words of Delight.
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