Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hmmm, I'm going about this all wrong

A friend of mine asked a question about copywork on a CM yahoogroup to which I didn't know the answer. So that got me googling. Yes, googling is a word... an action verb to be precise! :)

I came across this post from a blog that I have been reading since I became newly acquainted with Charlotte Mason. It describes copywork and dictation from a CM viewpoint, and I think now that I've not been doing either one correctly.

I've been using Spelling Wisdom from Simply Charlotte Mason, but I've been using the exercises as copywork first and then dictation. Apparently, that's just not how studied dictation is supposed to happen.

Okie dokie... I read Lindafay's (from the above referenced blog) description of a dictation lesson, and I've re-read the introduction to Spelling Wisdom, and I see now where I went astray. I've sort of missed the purpose of both copywork and dictation. I was really assuming that the "studied" part of dictation was when they copied it. Nope, not at all.

The "studied" part is the work that the child does to be able to picture the words they may have trouble with, to be able to recall the placement of capital letters, commas and other punctuation. Then you are also working on their attention by only repeating a segment/clause of the dictation one time. None of this "can you repeat that last part again, Mommy?"

And the copywork part is supposed to be different every day, from their school books, and the varied subjects. Or from the Bible. Or from Poetry. Or on and on. Varied. Interesting. And for the older children, it can be self-selected. They would LOVE that, and talk about owning their learning!

Ok, lots to ponder and re-work.

And in answer to the friend's question (because I know she reads here when she can): I believe you do copywork forever, but as the student becomes older it becomes more of a place for them to record quotes and quips that are meaningful to them. Sort of like a scrapbook of beautiful words.

Hope that helps! :)


poohder said...

YEP, you answered my question thanks for the post and the link to the other mom's blog, it's excellent! I am starting a more interesting way to do copy work TOMORROW, she can choose!
As for studied dictation, I do think I am doing that right, go figure!

The Glasers said...

I will let you know when ChildLightUSA posts Cheri Hedden's presentation on Studied Dictation. She straightened me out on that! Pamela really does study her dictations. Sometimes, she will had me the study sheet and grab it back because she knows something just slipped out of her head!

Denise said...

Hi Jennifer! That's funny about Nim's Island. I was just annoyed that she went all the way out there and didn't even rescue the girl. And my kids kept saying "why does she call her dad "Jack"?. Maybe it would be better the 2nd time around when I know what's going on... Maybe. :)

Niffercoo said...

Tammy, can you explain to me briefly how this method of prepared/studied dictation would differ from 'cramming' for a test? I'm trying to understand why Charlotte would want a child to look at something for just a few minutes and try to memorize it. What about the child for whom memorization is a challenge? It seems to go against the rest of CM philosophy (as I know it lol).

Niffercoo said...

Denise, I think you might enjoy reading the book to see more of the complexity of the relationships. Like most movies based on books, this one seems to focus on the action rather than on the relationships! :)

With the book, the reader has a much clearer sense that Nim was quite capable on the island and didn't really 'need' rescuing. Yes, she was alone, but she and Jack were communicating with notes delivered back and forth by Galileo (the bird). She knew he was alive and trying to get back to her.

And her calling him Jack didn't seem all that unusual to me, given the way he was raising her. :) There is much more depth in the book... but the movie did a fairly good job of keeping to the story. Much better than The Water Horse anyway! LOL