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02 May 2008

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SteveG

Whoah! Great stuff and thank you for taking the time to post this!

I am going to read this a bunch more times and share it with my wife so we can digest it and use it as a good reference.

Now though, of course you know I want to pick your brain even more.

Two other questions jump to mind and I hope you don't mind my continuing to ask (and please, if you decide to respond, do so at your leisure).

First, you mention using good Pictorial Encyclopedias for history, and specifically reference Usborne and History Odyssey....but do you have/use a more general Encyclopedia as well (beyond history)?

We'd been pondering getting the Childcraft Encyclopedia's, but we've heard both good and bad things about them. Do you recommend them or something like them?

Both the boys (7 and almost 5) are in the mode of constantly asking 'how does that work?' or 'how do they make that?' type questions. The response is often...'We'll have to look into that.' But more often than we'd probably like to admit, life gets in the way of follow up.

It would be great to have a resource that's more handy (that doesn't involve a screen) that we could readily turn to.

Finally, off the history topic itself...the other place where we feel we need to beef up what's going on is in the area of writing.

Reading...we are doing great.
Math...even better.

Writing...not so much.

What's your general approach in this area?

bearing

Steve, I answered your encyclopedia question in a separate comment.

As for writing, we have not done any "written" composition at all at this stage. He is still working pretty hard on orthography now. Oscar is doing copywork (I choose examples of good writing for him to hand-copy neatly and correctly), dictation (I read short passages for him to write out, then we correct his spelling and punctuation).

He does oral narration for his "composition." For example, I might ask him to summarize a story we just read, or explain what led up to a historical event, or tell the steps of long division -- whatever. He tells me out loud. I take down what he says. Then together we clean it up so it says exactly what he wants it to say.

The narration technique allows him to express himself at greater length than he would be able to do if he were hand-writing a composition. His handwriting is still physically quite slow and a long composition would be frustrating. Meanwhile, the copywork helps him develop the ability to write long passages. I plan to bring it together next year -- the next stage is "intermediate double dictation," where he dictates his composition, I write it out correctly, and he hand-copies the correct composition.

SteveG

Thank you so much for the responses! TONS of useful stuff.

I really like the plan you've laid out for enhancing writing skills and we are definitely going to be borrowing some of this.

He's just 7 and he's probably still a good bit behind even in the orthography mastering, but if nothing else it's nice to know that he's about where he should be.

steveg

by behind...I mean behind your 8 year old.

bearing

SteveG, google "Charlotte Mason" for more information about narrations and copywork.

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