At what age do you require written narrations, along with oral? How often do you require written narrations, and how do you progressively make the workload more?
I start requiring written narrations at about 11. We start with once per week and move on up so that the student is either writing something or revising something every day. We teach essay and research paper form later on and include those regularly too, along with written and oral narration. How quickly a child is ready for more depends on the child, however. Mine have moved at very different paces.momofmanyParticipant
Would notebooking be considered a written narration? My dds struggle with it. I walk them through it. They’re. 9&10. Should I wait then?BookwormParticipant
Notebooking CAN be written narration. Or it can be another type of assignment. Depends on what you are asking for. If you are asking for a written narration and give them fancy paper to write it on, then it’s narration. If you tell them what to write, then it’s more of a separate writing assignment. There’s not much harm in writing for practice, but only you can decide if it is getting your children closer to their goals. Do they enjoy it? Do they try to put their thoughts down? Do they have trouble with writing itself, or spelling and grammar, that is getting in the way? (If so, it seems to me to be more fruitful to work on those things first through copywork and dictation.) Our usual “first steps” to written narration do begin at about nine or ten, but I don’t expect a written paragraph then. In my experience that’s a pipe dream. 🙂 I will ask for ONE thing you learned today, or to write down the first sentence of a narration and then tell me the rest orally, or something simple like that which doesn’t expect them to be able to compose something in their heads, remember it, AND write it down in reasonable form before they forget it. My kids haven’t been able to do this until about eleven or so. Dictation is EXCELLENT preparation for this. I am providing them with the “composing” and then expecting them to remember and then write down chunks of it. This has been great practice, although not always well loved (my youngest is the only one who has ever ENJOYED dictation.)sherazParticipant
I use notebooking as narration, but usually I am asking for a number of things (1 to 5 depending on the child’s abilities and age) that they remember. Sometimes I let them write it, sometimes I write it as given to me by them, and allow them to illustrate it.
I let them illustrate it and then write the written narration down. Usually they illustrate such detail that I am amazed. I can get gobs of information in an illustration that they don’t even seem to think of orally or written. =)
Something else that seems to help them is letting them tell me the details while I write, then I have them copywork it onto a page with their illustrations.
Another way to help them transition to written narration is to have them tell it to you while you write, then have them finish the last sentence. Gradually let them do more and more until they are doing it all on their own.
I typically ask for 1 per week right now – and I am not so concerned about spelling and grammar as I am about having them get comfortable putting their complete thoughts on a paper. Once we are getting a solid set of ideas, then I am going to start getting picky about the spelling, the punctuation, etc. I anticipate a good start on that after Christmas. We still do a lot of oral narrating, and I am working to maintain the quality of them. lol
We also do the prepared dictation. I LOVE what this is doing for my girls in so many ways. It is excellent preparation for the written narrations.
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