A quiet place to work is key.

Teaching Tip:

Do you have a student in 6th grade or above?

Older students naturally have a heavier workload with lengthier readings and weightier material. As students mature, assignments take longer and require more thought. Today’s tip deals with older students and something we’ve discovered by trial and error through years of schooling 4 boys.

For older students, having a quiet place to work with less interruptions is key.

Our older boys do MUCH better with school when they have a quiet place of “their own” to work. Even though our boys are different from one another personality-wise, they each came to a time when they craved personal space. Working in a space with less interruptions was key in their ability to focus during the middle school and high school years.

What are some possible places to use as quiet work spaces?

With our oldest son, we acknowledged the need for a quiet work space and allowed him to work in our bedroom. There were less distractions for him in our bedroom than in his bedroom. As he matured, he later worked in his own room. Then, after we built an addition onto our house, he worked in the new addition. Our next son also did better after he gained a quiet table of his own in our new addition. These days our third son has taken our second son’s place at the addition table. Our fourth son works in his bedroom spread out on his carpeted floor.

Get creative in thinking about possible work spaces in your home.

I encourage you to get creative in thinking of possible quiet work spaces in your home. Some personal work spaces may require more monitoring than others. For example, I had to check on my oldest son more often when he was working upstairs in my bedroom. During those years, I sent a timer with him so he would know when to come back downstairs. If you have to utilize a space on a different floor, it can still be a workable solution. Even with the extra monitoring required, I still found the positive changes in my son to be worth the extra effort.

No matter what type of learner you have, a quiet personal work space can positively impact your child’s attitude and work habits.

I cannot begin to tell you the change a quiet space produced in each of our older boys’ attitudes and work habits! This is true in spite of our four sons being uniquely different in so many ways. No matter what type of learner you have, it will pay dividends if you can give your older child a quiet work space.

A quiet work space means fewer distractions and less interruptions.

In a quiet space there are fewer distractions and less interruptions. In their quiet work spaces, our older sons got more done than when they were working near the rest of us downstairs. Try creating a quiet, personal work space for your older child. See if you think it improves your child’s attitude, focus, and/or work habits. You may find your child gets more done in less time and does better work too!

Blessings,

Carrie

How do learning styles affect a child’s ability to orally narrate?

Dear Carrie

How do learning styles affect a child’s ability to orally narrate?

Dear Carrie,

We just started using Heart of Dakota and are enjoying it. I am just wondering how learning styles affect a child’s ability to orally narrate. What if a child is not an auditory learner? Can this complicate their ability to answer and respond to questions? My daughter is a hands-on, visual learner. She struggles to answer questions after I have read a history lesson to her (LHFHG). Is this typical for her age (6) as she learns to concentrate on listening carefully? Or would it be a sign of laziness? Or should I attribute it to her learning style? Should I give her a break when it comes to remembering what she has heard? I know that Charlotte Mason insisted on only one reading before narration. Should I just keep encouraging her to listen more carefully?

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Explain How Learning Styles Affect a Child’s Ability to Orally Narrate”

Dear “Ms. Please Explain How Learning Styles Affect a Child’s Ability to Orally Narrate,”

Narration is different than answering questions. Narrating upon a passage means having the child tell back in his/her own words what was remembered from the passage that was just read. The questions at the end of the chapters in History Stories for Children or History for Little Pilgrims actually aren’t leading to narration. They are more just question and answer sessions. The questions in these cases are an extra bonus part of the readings. I don’t consider these to be hugely necessary at this stage of learning. Especially when the reading has been spread out over more than one day, your child should not be expected to remember the answers to those questions that are delayed in the asking. The activities that follow the reading (in the other boxes of the LHFHG day’s plans) are those that I would consider more appropriate and necessary skill-wise for students to complete.

In contrast, the Thorton Burgess questions are more like narration prompts or starters.

On the other hand, the Thornton Burgess style questions are meant to lead to narration. These questions are what I would consider to be narration prompts or narration starters. Each day of the Storytime part of the plans has a specific skill focus. This means that each day hits a different set of skills, all of which are very important to building narration, discernment, vocabulary, writing, and a host of other skills.

Though a child’s learning style may affect how he orally narrates, children of all learning styles can learn to narrate well.¬†

A child’s learning style may affect how well or how easily a child narrates, but kiddos of all learning styles can learn to narrate well. While auditory learners are good listeners, this doesn’t mean they will easily sift and sort through what they heard in order to organize a lucid narration! Though visual learners benefit from seeing and reading their own textual material leading to better narration, it doesn’t mean they won’t be able to narrate well until they can read their material themselves. While kinesthetic, hands-on learners benefit from acting out the story to help retell it (as we do in the Storytime box of the plans, or in writing or typing their narration as we do in later guides), this doesn’t mean they can’t learn to be great narrators unless those techniques are used. I know this is true because it has been true for my 4 sons.

Though my sons have their own learning styles, each can learn to orally narrate well.

My oldest son is a bodily, kinesthetic learner. Yet, he is good a seeing the big picture. This makes him a natural oral narrator, even when he just listens or reads without any bodily motion. My second son is a detailed, artistic child. He is not auditory, but is very visual. His sense of detail leads to him being a good, detailed oral narrator (whether he is listening or reading the material himself). My third son is an auditory child. He loves anything audio or read aloud, yet he was my briefest narrator for several years. Now, he narrates very well, which just means that it took him some time to come along in the narration department. My youngest is also auditory, and he is coming along well but taking his time to work up to any length.

All children can learn to orally narrate well, regardless of their learning style.

As you can see, though we have different learning styles represented at our house, success in narrating doesn’t necessarily correlate to their learning style. I share this so you can be assured that all children can learn to narrate regardless of their learning style, with regular practice. We build this practice into all of Heart of Dakota’s guides, so you can be sure that we will help you lead your children toward becoming better narrators one step at a time.

Blessings,
Carrie