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I’ve noticed that so many companies that are cm-based offer study guides for history and literature. How does this truly fit with Charlotte’s methodology? I admit I like study guides because it takes the work out of narrations, but is that not actually a shortcoming? What do ya’ll think? Does anyone use study guides in a way that is different from what would be expected?
Do you mean discussion questions for a living book? I guess they could be used after a narration to make sure all main points are covered. I don’t use them. If I ask questions, I just make up my own.
Interesting question. Something to consider. If we’re “taking the work out of narrations,” then we’re doing the student’s work for him!
Well, I don’t know. I have the Queen study guides for Pagoo (nature study) that we sort of liked. We like nature, though, and my son enjoyed learning about different critters and he did the drawings like suggested in his notebook.
I have the two guides from Queen for Theras and His Town and the Roman book. Something about Flavius. 🙂 I don’t know how useful yet these will be. I got them because my little one isn’t ready to read Greek history from the Guerber Greece book, which is my preferred history, but I had a hard time finding something I liked. I liked the idea of using the story book and building up more historical stuff around it, but it really looks much more like a list of vocabulary words and stuff. I’m a little disappointed and am not sure what I want to do with it, but then I haven’t really had enough time to go through it–it’s stuff I got for next year. The Roman one does have some mapping suggestions that I’ll probably use. But I don’t really see anything that will take the work out of narration. It seems like more busy work and teacher helper stuff–like words the teacher might need to define.
Michelle DSonya ShaferModerator
Great question, Cindy! I usually try to avoid study guides as a general rule. But not all study guides are created equal. Some are full of twaddly busy work and others have very useful information and supplemental ideas.
For example, my sister-in-law loved the study guide that came with one of the Opal Wheeler composer biographies (can’t remember which one right now). It had information on the geography and some cultural recipes, among other things. However, some other “study guides” from a different place turned out to be nothing but a bunch of worksheets when I flipped through them.
I guess I like them if they are more of a teacher resource of supplemental/additional/enrichment ideas to select from, not a list of direct questions for the student.
Just my $.02 worth. 🙂CindySParticipant
Thank you for your input. We have used the Beautiful Feet guides in the past and, for my older children going through it on their own, I did find that they were more just looking for the answers versus really digesting the text. I guess they’re good for, as you say, teacher reference; especially if they have something to add to the discussion (like the Wheeler guide you spoke of). I think they could also help to hit on topics and give ideas (like map work) that we may want to address. Anyway, thanks for thinking this through with me. I have come to the conclusion that they may have their place, but they are not something I will want to hand to the children and assume they’ll go fetch the answers.
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