I know that this has been probably discussed many times before but what do you do when the SW passages get quite a bit longer? Do you have your child copy the whole page every day?
Does anyone break these passages up for students that struggle with spelling dictation?
Do you dictate the ENTIRE passage on Friday, then? It just seems so long.
I guess another way to phrase the question would be – How do you prepare a longer dictation passage?
We don’t do dictation every day. We do it twice per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have my child prepare the entire passage by studying, writing out words he doesn’t already know how to spell or words that have confusing spellings, take note of any punctuation, and ask questions. When he’s ready, he types his dictation. This helps tremendously in dealing with longer passages, as his hand doesn’t get nearly as tired as when he writes it all out.
If it’s an extremely long passage, I might dictate half or three-quarters of it instead of the entire thing. I don’t tell him ahead of time that I’ll be dictating a portion, so he still has to prepare the entire thing.
We are still in SW Book 1, and passages get even longer in upcoming books. For those, I’ll either stick with what I’m already doing, which works well for us, or I’ll break it up between the two dictation days. I don’t forsee a time when we will ever do dictation everyday, as I don’t think Charlotte did either. I hope someone will correct me if I’m wrong on this!
I hope that helps!
Do you have any special things that you do to help your child remember punctuation?
Nope. I’ve never instructed him to do anything but study the passage and not to stop studying until he’s sure he can do it correctly during dictation. It took a few tries, but he does it and rarely misses a mark. He is a perfectionist, so making mistakes really frustrates him, even to the point of tears. To avoid this frustration, he just does a good job of studying to get it right. I know that’s not what you’re looking for, but honestly, that’s where we’re at.jeaninpaParticipant
We do copywork on Monday and Wednesday and use the same passage for dictation on Tuesday and Thursday. Even though my oldest is in high school, we tend to not do passages that are too lengthy and stick with paragraphs that are up to about five sentences long. My oldest still struggles with spelling, so our focus with dictation is correct spelling. Of course, I want everything else correct as well, but I think the learning to spell in context is the most benefit for us.
As far as punctuation — we usually discuss WHY the comma is there, or why a semi-colon is used, etc. Then when I’m reading, I’ll make a slight pause for the punctuation.missceegeeParticipant
Charlotte Mason recommended students prepare the entire dictation regardless of length by studying and then the mom is to dictate a portion. The student need not know what portion as they are to prepare the entire passage.
Here are some ideas from Lindafay – http://www.charlottemasonhelp.com/2009/07/dictation.html?m=1 and from one other blog – http://charlottemasonhomeschool.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/spelling-versus-studied-dictation/
The links you posted are fabulous………..I think that I get it now. It is just like narration, you start off small and increase the amount of text as your student’s ability grows.
With the longer passages, my dd was not doing well. I was having her copy these longer passages daily so she could learn the whole thing all at one time. I just need to break these up into smaller chunks. I think that the light is turning on!
There are probably several different ways you could do this but it seems this is the best way for us.
I would highly reccommend the links that missceegee posted for those of you with strong auditory learners.Doug SmithKeymaster
We recommend having your child study the entire passage, but then you can choose a smaller portion to actually dictate.
Doug – what would you recommend for a child that started having trouble retaining the spelling and punctuation with longer passages even if you only dictated a smaller portion of it?
Shorten the passages or have them study that one passage for several more days?
Thanks for your input!
Lishie, how old is the child you’re referring to? And how long has he been doing dictation?
If he’s 10 and has done dictation for 6 months, I think the answer might be different than if he’s 17 and has been doing dictation for 5 years. Does that make sense?
Yes, Lindsey, that does make sense. I know that for some, to see results with spelling dictation, you need to stick with it for at least 2-3 years. I plan to stick with SW because I believe that it is the BEST method for teaching spelling. I am just trying to fiugure out how to apply it to my child with weak visualizing skills. My almost 10 yo has very strong visualizing skills and I can already tell that spelling dictation for her will come more naturally; but she is not as strong in the oral narration category.
My dd is almost 12 and we have been doing dictation for roughly a year. We are on lesson 66 of Book one. She did great until we got to about lesson 56. Then we went to copying the lesson every day (M-W) to help her retain spelling and punctuation and then dictation went well again. But as the passages get longer and longer, it could get pretty time consuming to copy the whole thing daily M-W.
Dictating only a portion makes sense – it is just the preparation/studying part that is challenging for her.
She is a very strong auditory learner so I think that it probably make sense that I need to stick with smaller portions until her visual skills are strengthened.
Probably more than you asked about! Thanks for asking. It helps me sort all this out to be able to just write about it.Doug SmithKeymaster
Since the main goal is spelling, you can drop the punctuation from the dictation. She will still be seeing the punctuation used correctly and will naturally pick some of it up. If needed, you can work on it later.
How many words does she typically not already know how to spell in those longer lessons?
I agree with Doug. My son has been doing dictation for over a year, and we’re still in Book 1. The punctuation takes a while, but it comes. This may surprise you, but I think that seeing good punctuation in his reading helps too. My son reads 3-5 hours a day on his own, outside of school time. All of his books are well written, so he sees good punctuation constantly. I believe it has helped him to develop the knowledge of when to naturally pause at a comma and how quotation marks look/work. I dictate to him, pausing for commas and other punctuation as needed. Dictation is my son’s least favorite thing to do in our school day, but he does it very well. Give it time. I think you’ll see a lot comes naturally to her over time.
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