I have been looking through the Writing threads on here and I am confused. I have a 5th grade son and last year we used Writing Strands. I didn’t really like it. I have looked through the SCM learning library on writing and it only speaks of written narrations. Do I need a writing program to teach the writing process? Or can I teach that through written narrations? I see in ULW that it reminds parents to have their child complete a written narration, and there is a rubric to grade the narration. I am just wondering if written narrations are enough or if I will be missing out on a crucial part of writing. Are written narrations used through highschool? What have experienced moms done? What have the parents at SCM done?
Written and oral narrations are enough for most children. It does take effort on our (parent) part however. The rubrics in the back of ULW is what you and the student will use to continually take ownership and improve narrations however you must “raise the bar” on the type of narrations you ask/expect. The article I linked is a favorite of mine. I currently have kiddos from preschool through 9th grade and refer back to that article to remind me of what I should be doing with our narrations (oral and written). I also like to use the reference Hearing and Reading, Telling and Writing.
For families that would like more guidance with writing, particularly for college bound children, we currently recommend the Research Paper and Essay Course by Analytical Grammar. It is included in Beyond the Book Report season 3 on their website.
Thank you for your response Tamara.
I am looking at Hearing and Reading, Telling and Writing and Your Questions answered: Narration. It looks like Your Questions Answered: Narration would help me with a lot. Will that help with understanding written narrations as well?ErinDParticipant
I would agree that you don’t necessarily need a writing program. Narration can be enough by itself, if you as the parent are helping them continually improve their writing (correcting grammar and punctuation, etc.). However, sometimes a writing program is helpful as a reference if you really don’t know what you’re doing and need some guidance. That’s maybe where a book like Hearing and Reading, Telling and Writing might come in handy. I use Karen Glass’s Know and Tell.
You can definitely use written narrations throughout high school and eventually they can turn into various types of essays and other more formal writing. This is what I do with my kids and so far it’s worked very well. Once they can narrate well, and are writing about 3 paragraphs or so (usually around 8th grade or so), you basically just need to show them essay form and teach how to write an intro and conclusion, and you have an essay. The transition is actually pretty smooth.
I’m sorry it took me a bit to respond. I hope you had a restful, peace-filled holiday. I prefer Hearing and Reading, Telling and Writing, when I want to dig into how Charlotte taught composition. The handbooks covers language arts in Charlotte’s method. Charlotte utilized narration, read alouds, great literature read, copywork, as well as dictation to help children hear and see good writing.
I also have a fondness for Your Questions Answered: Narration. It includes quite a bit on the subject of written narration as well as writing samples (Hearing and Telling does as well) and raising the bar (similar to the post I linked above). The overall focus is narration rather than Language Arts as a whole.
We have an entire Narration Q & A series available on our blog. Much of that series made its way into Your Questions Answered: Narration. The two resources (Hearing and Reading, Telling and Writing and Your Questions Answered: Narration) combined make an excellent resource for families to better understand narration and Charlotte’s integrated approach to language arts.
Thank you for advice! It so very helpful. I feel like I have the tools to help my kids progress in written narrations.
I went ahead and ordered both books. Thank you SCM for these resources!
Awesome! Thank you for your words. We feel blessed and privileged to be able to help provide families with the means of implementing Charlotte’s method.CrystalNParticipant
Hi Grace, I am trying to flesh out a language arts curriculum right now as well. I have been nearly obsessed with reading all I can about what truly CM language arts looks like. It seems to me there was no real “composition” as we think of it until high school. Until then literature, copywork/dictation and narrations (skillfully directed perhaps) was all that was used. I am still learning so I know others will chime in with more useful info for you. I have found the following very helpful:
Know and Tell by Karen Glass
This narrations series https://simplycharlottemason.com/blog/series/narration-qa/
SCM also has a book Hearing and Reading, Telling and Writing. You can download a chapter for free, I ordered it but have not received it yet.
Also a free ebook from SCM Five Steps to Successful Narration
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