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In your homeschool, does dictation replace writing on the days you do dictation?LindseyDParticipant
Not for us, because ds10 types his dictation now. I typically don’t have him do lots of copywork on written narration days, though, which is almost daily now. For next year, I’m going to require maybe 5 minutes of copywork 2-3 days per week just to keep his cursive fresh and polished while still requiring daily written narrations and twice weekly typed dictation. He is getting older, after all.JenniferMParticipant
Thank you for sharing, Lindsey. Your sample helps me think out what I will require of my 9 year old daughter. She is certainly ready for written narrations (sometimes she liked to write about what she read last year in addition to copywork) but I don’t want to overload her. So I’m thinking dictation could replace copywork for her but go ahead with written narration about 3 times per week, working towards daily. Just putting my thoughts down… Thanks!!andreamParticipant
So, when your child does written narration, do they have to be a great speller first? Do you correct the spelling or just focus on the content of what they wrote?LindseyDParticipant
Both of my children are pretty good spellers, but that’s not necessary for written narration. The point of narrating, whether oral or written, is for the child to tell back what he knows, which cements the idea in his mind. We don’t require children to speak in grammatically correct sentences when they give oral narrations, do we? Well, I don’t anyway. I think that skill comes with age and maturity, as well as understanding when formal grammar is introduced. Also, oral narrations can be very conversational, and even the most critical of grammar nerds (myself included) doesn’t always use the most proper grammar in casual conversation. For written narrations, the goal is to develop composition skills, learning to organize one’s thoughts on paper. This doesn’t mean the child has to be a great speller. I don’t “correct” anything on my children’s written narrations. If I see that a child is consistently forgetting to capitalize the word at the beginning of the sentence or failing to use periods or quotation marks incorrectly, I will casually point it out, reminding them what the correct thing to do is. But since my children have had very little formal grammar instruction, I can’t expect them to know what they have not been taught. They notice good grammar usage and spelling in their reading, and this naturally translates to their writing most of the time. For me, the goal of written narration at this stage is to simply encourage written narration–the retelling of what they know in written form. Now, as more dictation and grammar is taught, I will expect their narrations to reflect what they’re learning. I know CM works because I have two children who can write narrations with correct spelling and grammar about 75% of the time. I certainly don’t want to discourage their narrating by marking up every paragraph they write with my red pen and pointing out all the mistakes!
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