Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Gemma’s Fourth Written Narration

“The goldsmith was very tricky because he was able to do a trick in which he takes some acid and quickly pours some into the anvil. He pours the acid so he can get some of the gold for himself. He works in a house and will work for an entire day, for just half a rupee.”

This narration is from The World by the Fireside. 

Now that Gemma is in 3rd grade, I decided to require one written narration per week. (In Form Upper IA, Charlotte Mason suggested “an occasional written narration,” and I consider once a week “occasional.”) Gemma likes having clear expectations, so I told her that because she is in 3rd grade, I want three sentences (one per grade). 

After writing the above narration, she asked if her written narrations could follow this book every week. I said yes. I like that she expresses her preferences to me and is agentically engaged in her education.

My goal for her for this year is just for her to get used to writing - weekly - about something she’s read. I’m not correcting spelling (though I will tell her how to spell a word if she asks), and I’m not correcting punctuation or grammar - which isn’t easy. I just want her to get used to writing as an assignment and writing nonfiction. 

Think about how big those expectations are in and of themselves. In school, we don’t let children master those two expectations first, and then give them two more. No. Instead we give them a lengthy checklist right off the bat. 

Indent two finger spaces. Capitalize what should be capitalized. Use correct punctuation. Make sure your sentences have subjects and predicates. On top of all that, be interesting.

Will I be able to keep from correcting her mechanics? From telling her to use an adjective or two? From telling her that her sentences need to be a minimum of x words? Can I manage this for a year?

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