I am definitely trying SCM this coming school year (which will be after this summer), but my concern is that neither of my children actually study or even review the material we cover for the day. Seriously, we read it as a family then that is it. They will not pick it up to review or reread anything and I am about to lose my mind.
Putting them back into public school is not an option for us. The way our governement is making it harder and harder for teachers to actually teach as well as all of the “standardize testing” issues, we truly want to keep them home.
So, how to you motivate your children to be independent in at least studying materials after you read as a family?
My children are ages 9 and 12 (or will be come June and July). I am deeply concerned about my 12 year old and his lack of studying on his own.
I am frustrated because I need MY time as well during the day and if I have to sit with both of them to review things AFTER we have completed homeschool, I will never get anything done. Does that make sense?
Are you asking them for narrations during your read-aloud time? If you are (whether written or oral), that should tell you whether they absorbed enough of the material you read, and there really shouldn’t be a need to study it again. Of course, if your children have to take standardized tests to satisfy your state regulations, I suppose you might want them to review things…..but you would be surprised what they remember without rereading books.
If you are asking for written narrations and you’re not satisfied with the results, you can either ask them to narrate a smaller portion and write it following the read-aloud time instead of waiting until the end of the day.
I agree w/Sue. My kids (9 and 12) do a lot of independent work, but they don’t review on their own. I ask for narrations during the day. My 9yo (3rd) does them all orally. My 12 yo does one written narration a day (I vary the subjects) and the rest are done orally. I have heard it rec. to review w/them about what they learned the day before in history, etc. before starting the daily lesson…but I always forget:) Gina
P.S. Christie here rec. having them tape themselves for their oral narrations…I’m seriously thinking about this. Some days we get off track and I forget to ask for narrations, and then I could listen to them during dinner or whenever convenient.
I never reviewed or studied on my own until college, with the sole exception of AP chemistry. What you NEED to worry about is what they are understanding–they may not be needing a lot of what schools call “review” or “studying”. At least not at their ages. They SHOULD be retaining most of what they hear/read the first time through, if not, it’s time to work on attention and narration.
About reviewing with them what they learned the day before in history….I partially do that, but it’s not really for their benefit, LOL! I place a bookmark where we leave off, but I always forget where I was on the page. I got tired of reading a paragraph and having the kids say, “We already read that!” then reading another paragraph and hearing, “Read that part, too!” So, I got in the habit of starting off with, “Okay, when we left off last time, So-and-so was doing such-and-such, then he went here, ended up there…..(Oh, this is new material….) and now we’re going to begin today’s reading!
It works, but I think they’re onto me……
My kids do not study the materials after they or we read them. I believe Charlotte Mason’s idea was that the children would be attentive and remember information after one focused reading. I don’t believe she was big on memorizing dates and other information, as in classical education, but rather on children making connections with the material as time goes on, and I think it was rather against her principles to have children reread material (do feel free to correct me if anyone knows otherwise).
Oral narration after each reading will let you know if the children are absorbing information – you can ask yourself, do they seem to have a grasp of the material? (Not every detail, mind you.) The connections they’ll make may be different than yours, but if they’re attentive and it’s the right, living book and not too long a reading, they should be able to recall a good amount from what you or they have read. At about age 10, we begin to require written narrations, and this is another way to recall and to make information stick.
In terms of reviewing, we start each day’s reading with me asking who can share what happened last time, or who can remember where we let off; this way their memories are jogged.
Sue, too funny:) I have a terrible memory so I have to make a pencil mark by where we left off if it’s something I’m not reading a complete chapter on….or I forget, too!!! Blessings, Gina
thank you all for the advice….but I probably should have added a bit more to my post.
We are using EG6 for my son currently and he has to learn/recall all 50 prepositions as well as 23 verbs, etc. I broke down the list into several small groups and told him he needed to study these throughout the year. He said okay…and never looked at them again. I trusted him to be studying these on his own, but obviously he has not been doing this.
I honestly do not feel that I should have to baby-feed him everything and sit with him on everything to be sure he is doing the work. He is not even reading twaddle books on his own…or any book for that matter. He tells me that he is studying and reading on his own, but the work shows otherwise.
My daughter is the same way.
I truly feel led to try the CM method and perhaps open up a new world for them by reading books…but I am just setting myself up for failure?
My son will be 7th grade this coming year and I just do not feel he is learning enough or being exposed to enough. Honestly, how hard should I be on them to READ a book? Sigh…..
Maybe you could try using a checklist. Just list the thigs they need to do and either must complete or spend a certain amount of time studying. Don’t let them do anything else until they are finished. Schedule a book to read and how much they must read of it. Require a narration so you know they understood it. Being specific and concrete with what you want, when, and how much might help.
You shouldn’t have to spoonfeed them, but you SHOULD be requiring accountability on a regular basis, only moving to longer periods if they show the initiative to work on something. If you broke that list up into, say, three or four parts, then every 6 weeks or so he should have to demonstrate his knowledge to you. And I’d probably ask on a weekly basis to hear how he’s doing. When the work is reading a book, especially at his age, he needs to be doing DAILY oral and written narration. THAT is how you know he is getting it. Do NOT just hand out a book and not expect narration from it. If this isn’t working, then RIGHT NOW is the time to stop everything else and get habits of attentiveness down and set up accountability measures and work on narration skills. . You might even consider drawing up a set of “contracts” that he must demonstrate such-and-such on this day or lose privileges. And make them short enough right now that he can begin to develop the skills. You might also find out if he knows HOW to set up a study item list and learn it. How does he do on scripture memorization? This is a skill and some pick it up on their own and some need to be taught.
I DO think you are setting yourself up for failure if you just want to give them books and never require narrations from therm after readings. I understand about time difficulties–I have those myself. But I am just wasting all our times if I do not insist on the “act of knowing” which is what Charlotte calls narration. Your son is old enough to be doing some of his narrations in writing, that should help with the time. If your school is taking so long that you really have no time for narration, then you need to shorten school days so that this time is available. It is the whole key to retaining all this education you are trying to do. And if it’s not retained, what’s the point? But invest some time in the proper skills–oral and written narration, how to study/memorize–even if it is difficult NOW, because it will pay major dividends LATER.
Keep in mind, I have not truly started the CM style of teaching. We just finished MFW ECC and I honestly feel that it was not enough so I start questioning myself if I am doing the right thing, etc.
I will expect narrations after the books are read either as a family or individually.
I am just so lost right now and full of concern as the high school years are quickly approaching.
sigh…going to go pray on this a bit more and appreciate your prayers as well.
It is hard to figure out, isn’t it, especially when you’re switching to a different way of teaching. I can share with you what we do here, if that might help. The older boys (ages 11-14) each have a literature book I’ve assigned them at all times. They read about a chapter per day, unless the chapters are extraordinarily long or short, and must give me an oral narration from that book each day. They are also reading living books for science daily, and after each reading, another narration, and the same for their daily independent history reading. I haven’t usually read all these books, so I sit with the book opened to the section they’re narrating, and skim through as they tell me about it, to make sure they’ve gotten the main points. At first, this took a ton of work for them and for me! I know CM said one thorough reading and they shouldn’t reread, and that was our goal, but at first, they really hadn’t developed that skill, so I had to teach them to break it into paragraphs if need be, and make sure they understood the main concept in each.
Now, when I listen to narrations, I’m not mentally checking off to make sure they’ve gotten certain main ideas, because each child will focus in on different things, some of them things I’d not noticed and connections I hadn’t made myself. I do listen to tons of narrations every day, but doing this all year (this was our first year doing narrations across the board), I can see how much they’re learning! Once a week, the 11-year-olds will do a written narration of their history reading, and the 14-year-old has more writing assignments.
I agree with another poster who recommended breaking up the tasks with expectations and goals, for things like the memorization. I have a really hard time sticking to that myself, so I know that doing things regularly really helps me. For example, if we do Bible memorization or whatever other memory thing we’re working on every day at snack time, that helps a ton. Perhaps there is once a day you can schedule the grammar work, at least until he’s in a groove with learning it, and then schedule and check in once a week for that particular skill?
You aren’t setting yourself up for failure if you use CM, because really, the lady required a lot of her students! And so it’s up to us to figure out what that means for each of our kiddos, schedule it, and require it. I am hard on them I suppose, in the read-a-book front, but it’s school, right? And they do come to enjoy it even if not all are dying to pick up a book for fun (but some are!).
Prayers for peace and direction for you as you decide what direction to go in. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I know I’m still figuring it out as I go along as well!
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