Hello, This is our first year with SCM and I was wondering, there isn’t a formal writing program. Are we supposed to add this in ourselves or does the child pick it up naturally with copy work? We have a 1rst ,3rd, and 4th grader.
In a CM education, only copywork is done in the early grades. Narrations are all oral, until around grade 4/age 9-10ish when they move up to one written narration a week. A really good book to read is “Know and Tell” by Karen Glass.
Agree with above poster. Through 3rd grade it is oral narration and copy work, and around 4th grade my children moved to written narrations, but even that progressed at their own speed. There is no need for formal writing until much later, and all the narration really does help!
This blog series on the progression of CM language arts might also help with more info.
Thank you for all your comments. I just worry beacuse in the public school they PUSH writing and they say by 4th grade they should be doing 2 to 3 page papers. They have so many writing programs. I am still trying to deschool myself and move past what the school system says we should be doing
Thanks so much
It takes time to let go of what we thinking necessary compared to what is actually necessary.
My oldest is in 8th grade and in our experience there is no rush for things like writing. She did oral narration and when she moved into written it came naturally. Oral narration is such great training for writing. It involves putting information into order, gathering thoughts… all the things that later come into play with writing.
I’d like to add to the above comments (which are fabulous). When your children begin written narrations around grade 4 you will begin to gently guide those written narrations. If you are utilizing Using Language Well, you will find a variety of writing rubrics in the back of the Teacher’s guide for both you and your students. As they become comfortable with 1 written narration (please only start with 1 required narration a week), you can utilize the first writing rubrics. I don’t do this immediately but allow my children time to get comfortable putting word on paper. It’s a big change from speaking narrations (oral composition). The writing rubrics will guide you and your student on areas of responsibility when writing. Initially your student will be responsible for things like making certain he/she has included the key points, the facts are accurate, uses primarily their own words, capitalized the first letter of each sentence, etc. Gradually, you will require more out of a written narration.
If you are not using Using Language Well, we suggest you make the student responsible for a few items that they have learned through copywork (you can use what I mentioned above). Once they take ownership of those few items and are doing them well, pick 1-2 more items to add to what you expect from a written narration. Maybe it’s another facet of punctuation or indenting a paragraph. Over the student’s school education, you and he will both have been gently adding levels of expectations to their writing.
When you begin asking for written narrations, make sure to just ask for a narrative style (tell me about what we read). Over the years you will add in 3 more “styles”: expository (once comfortable with narrative) , descriptive (around grade 7), and persuasive (around grade 10). While you are only starting out with 1 written narration a week, by grade 11 your student will be expected to write upwards of 5 narrations a week. Oral narrations (compositions) will never go away.
Charlotte fashioned writing this way because she believed it was vitally important for the student to write with their own voice. It takes time for persons to find that voice in writing. By starting with oral narrations rather than scripted writing prompts a child is able to find their composition voice through the use of oral narration. Because this narrating continues through high school the student is continually improving that voice.
Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and help..