A Charlotte Mason Narration

From the Parents' Review Article "We Narrate and Then We Know" Do always prepare the passage carefully beforehand, thus making sure that all the explanations and use of background material precede the reading and narration. The teacher should never have to stop in the middle of a paragraph to explain the meaning of a word. Make sure, before you start, that the meanings are known, and write all difficult proper names on the blackboard, leaving them there throughout the lesson. Similarly any map work which may be needed should be done before the reading starts. This was always of great interest to me. I've been creating teaching guides for the books selected for this curriculum and in each gui

Creating the Literature Core

I've arranged the list of books for each year in this curriculum in order of increasing difficulty so that first a core is built and for each year thereafter another circular level is added, creating the concentric circles of literature. Classic children's literature, poetry, fables, tales and myths create the core and are fundamental to the growth of a student in literature for the following reasons: 1. Tales, myths, fables, poetry and children's classic literature books have significant literary value, are able to appeal to all ages and are from all times in history, encourage great thoughts and ideas and endlessly stir up the imagination. These are living books and offer the child opport

Dictation and Reading Aloud Are Interrelated

Having worked with my younger daughter today with our studied dictation, I was reminded how important it is to understand that reading aloud with proper flow and attention to punctuation has a great effect on how well your student handles dictation. For us, both of these skills go together. There are numerous skills which are exercised with dictation, but this is the one on which I'd like to concentrate today. In studied dictation, the student studies an excerpt of writing and pays attention to punctuation and spelling and then writes the excerpt as the teacher reads it aloud. It is important to read the excerpt in a natural flow (without pauses or stops). This is one area where I split from

The Habit of Attention

Habits of the Mind Have you ever experienced that scenario where you are speaking to someone, but you can see that they are doing something else at the same time? You might complain, but the other person insists that they are listening to you. I always say, at this moment, "No, you are hearing me, but listening requires you to pay attention." Of all of the habits of the mind that I feel strongly about, the habit of attention is the one which evokes the strongest feelings. It's not difficult to see why I'm so drawn to Charlotte Mason's ideas. Her methods, philosophy and curriculum ideas all revolve around habits and how much of a role they play in learning. Below is a link to the section f

Charlotte Mason's Preparatory Level

I've recently found some PNEU schedules for what Charlotte Mason called the Preparatory Level. Here is a sample schedule that she included: Monday: Bible, Reading, Painting, Number, Handwork, Geography, Writing Tuesday: Tales, Number, Handwork, Reading, Singing Games, Writing, Nature Study Wednesday: Poetry, Reading, Nature Study, Number, Handwork, History, Writing Thursday: Bible, Number, Handwork, Reading, Singing Games, Writing, Tales Friday: Tales, Reading, Picture Study, Number, Handwork, Nature Study, Writing Notice how she intersperses skill work with content work keeping the child from becoming overwhelmed or frustrated. A short period of concentrated work such as Numbers, W

Narration Misunderstandings Clarified

The following narration misunderstandings are addressed to demonstrate why the misunderstood idea would not develop the narrator, but the clarified idea will. Misconception #1: Narrations Are Retellings Only. This is not true. Narrations, both oral and written, should not be retellings only. A large component of narrations are of this kind, particularly in the very early years, but the concentration of this style should begin to adjust as early as Year Two and should continue to diminish (but not disappear completely) over each consecutive year. Each successive year should see a greater variety of type and style of writing. Not only narrations, but also the components of writing such as dict

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