Narration, Copywork and Dictation, Oh my!
Making a switch to the Charlotte Mason method can be intimidating. I know it took a while for me to implement the method.
I've been there. I understand the struggle.
A few days ago, I shared with you why narration is a useful tool. Now let's talk about how to use narration, copywork and dictation in your homeschool.
How to Use Narration in Your HomeschoolNarration trains a child to pay attention.
- Read to the child. This may be scriptures, a poem or a book. Read it only once. The child should be grasping the information in a single telling.
- After the reading, have the child tell you about what was read.
- 15 minutes for elementary age
- 30 minutes for middle school
- 45 minutes for high school.
If I am reading to the children, I read for 15 minutes for the sake of my youngest, who is 8 years old. When Alexis, age 13, reads on her own, she reads for 30 minutes followed by an oral or written narration.
The younger the child is, the more simple and "disconnected" their thoughts. Their narration skills improve as their brain develops. While you don't want to pressure them with comprehension questions and demands for more, if they are "stuck" it doesn't hurt to prompt them "What did the thief say to his master?" or "Where did they find the treasure box?" to get them going.
How to Use Copywork and Dictation in Your HomeschoolCopywork is used for teaching proper handwriting skills and the beginnings of grammar and spelling.
- Give the child a sentence, poem or passage, depending on her age and ability. She should copy it exactly as she sees it with all the capitals, punctuations, spelling, etc.
- Give the child a poem or passage at the beginning of the week. The child should read and re-read (and perhaps practice writing) the material until he feels familiar with all of the grammatical aspects: punctuation, capitalization and spelling.
- Once the child is comfortable with it (I usually ask on Friday), read the passage, one sentence at a time, as the child writes it. Mistakes are corrected by you as they are made. Simply erase the mistake and write the correction without drawing attention to the mistake. We don't want to draw attention to the incorrect version as the child will focus on and commit the wrong version to memory. We want to create the "picture" of the correct version in their minds.
Do you already using these tools? Did you see something here that is "new" to your thoughts on narration, copywork and dictation?