Okay, I’m really struggling with the concept of written narrations it’s making me start to wonder if I’m missing some important concept somewhere.
If I understand correctly, written narrations should start to be required by around 10yo. I’m assuming this means (theoretically) that whatever information the child would normally SAY to you, now they will be writing it down which is what is meant by written narration and as the child gets older most of their narrations should be written ones. Am I right so far?
Now here’s where I start to fade…once the child is in high school, it’s my understanding that not only should the student be doing 2-3 written narrations every day but they should also be learning all the different types of essays and how to write a research paper. My confusion isn’t so much in teaching these things (there are lots of great resources that teach how to write these kinds of papers) but in how to assign them. How do you write essay questions? How do you assign research paper topics?
I guess I’m panicking a little because I have a really difficult time coming up with coherent exam questions three times a year and the thought of having to think up essay questions for my junior high/high schooler makes my heart sink. I’ve done a lot of research both on this forum and many other CM sites/forums but cannot find a clear answer to this. It’s getting to the point where I’m tempted to abandon CM-style language arts for the higher grades simply because I have no idea how to phrase topics.
I hope this makes sense. If those of you with middle school/high school students have any thoughts to share, I’d certainly appreciate it!BookwormParticipant
You are overthinking this. Many of the resources you can use to teach essay and research paper have guidance on this very topic–and most have the student choosing the topic. This is what you want. With the exception of assigned essay questions on exams, almost all of my writing in high school, college and graduate school was on topics I chose. There may have been some guidance–sometimes you have a book you have to write something about, or you have a range of ideas, but usually the exact topic is up to the student. So you don’t have to even do this thing that is bothering you. Your student will be doing most of the work here. Just choose a resource that will teach your child how to do this. That’s all. I use Jump In and plan on using that author’s high school curriculum as well with my youngest, who still needs more step-by-step help. This resource is excellent in guiding the student to make choices in what to write about. The high school literature curriculum I use, Lightning Lit, has a range of writing projects at the end of each unit. My child simply chooses one. That’s it. This is why we usually don’t discuss this—there is no need! We don’t do it–the student does.
Ahhh, okay, that helps a lot. You’re right, I am overthinking it (which is a tendency of mine, I’m afraid *sigh*). I thought that for every written narration, essay, story, poem, etc. I had to assign the topic or theme. What a relief! I knew I had to be missing something somewhere! 🙂retrofamParticipant
Diana Waring sells tests for her History curr. that are essay questions. Also, the SCM history/ Bible/ Geography guides have essay test questions.
Retrofam, thank you! Good to know!
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