"Enjoy the LITTLE THINGS in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."


What blog is about Intro

Come on in and sit awhile while I talk about the "Little Things" in life. I will share my journey of everyday life.... homeschooling, raising my children, homesteading, gardening, health and wellness, and real life.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dictation & Copywork

I have been considering some major changes in our homeschool. One of the reasons I have not made a decision about fully using My Father's World is that some of it is so similar to the A Beka stuff that I am already using. My Father's World is better organized, though and "funner looking". But trust me when I say this.. I do not use A Beka like it is intended to be used, so there is not really a whole lot of difference in the what I am doing and MFW. For instance if Savannah's math worksheet has a pictures of the solar system on it, then we make our science about the solar system. The problem is that I am not sure that I make it all come full circle and that is why I am considering the switch. I love the way MFW has everything relating to the Bible. So, stufy the letter "S" you would learn about the sun, but also that Jesus in the light of the world. The sun then becomes your science and all that is great. Guess what? A Beka does the same thing ...it is just in way too many books. :) ...But books that I have and that are paid for and that matters to me. I do not want to be wasteful. I believe I must be a good steward of what God has given me. In saying that I must also say that I have had MFW Kindergarten and MFW Adventures In My Father's World here for me to use, if I choose. I asked to buy it from a friend and she just wants to loan it to me. I had already bought a copy of the Adventures IMFW Lesson plan the day before I borrowed this to look it over. So, why am I being so slow to make a decision about using it? First, I am really tired in this "season" of my life adn I am moving a bit slooooowwww and second, I have come to realize that we are not in a "school year box".... If I need to slow way down and reevaluate then, that is what I must do. More than looking at curriculum I have been considering some old fashioned ways of learning and whether they will make our lives easier. I have been trying to "get" the whole theory of Copywork and Dictation. So, I am starting to really "get it". Today I came across a blog post that was very enlightening to me. I thought some others of you might be interested, also.

Part One http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/melissal89/456145/

Part Two http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/melissal89/456412


  1. My son HATED language lessons, and he remembers. So when I pulled the book out he told me he didn't want to do it again. We're doing ECC this year, and both of them are together. I found the complete set of McGuffey readers that they are using. In his book, he must read and answer questions about what he just read. She's still learning to read, so hers ia a bit easier and with no questions. Then they both have a simple spelling book that they do a page every day. They write the bible verse when instructed to, and I dictate sometimes. We're not formal about it.
    I wrote way too much. :) You do what's best for you and your budget. You know what you're doing, so you can always do Adventures next year. HSing is supposed to be laid back and NOT stressful. Finish A beka, doing it the way you want to. The beginning years are always trial by error. As long as they are doing the 4 R's reading, writing, 'rithmatic, religion, you're all good. Science is cooking, it doesn't need to be harder than that. I didn't do science my first two years HSing. Or go to the library and use science books there. Dictation can just be writing the bible verse.
    Your kids are so young, you don't want to overwhelm them with lots of subjects your first year.
    OK, I'm done. Sorry that was sooooo long. :0 You can delete if you need to.

  2. N~E~V~E~R would I delete your comments! I am so thankful for every single keystroke you make to give me your personal insight. Soooo veeerrrrryyy thankful. You just don't realize how precious it is to me!

    I am intrigued by the old-fashioned readers and I have looked at Primary LL and McGuffey.... just can;t seem to decide clearly on it all. I know that my 3rd grader seems to young for some of the stuff she is getting from A Beka's Language. She can do it, but should she be is what I wonder. Childhood moves too fast!!

  3. I got this email after posting a comment on the blogger's site:

    Hi Shannon,

    Thank you for contacting me; I’m glad you found my article on dictation helpful.

    Yes, we are still doing dictation, however the amount of times per week has dropped drastically only because both of my children are currently taking a Writing Workshop class through our local homeschooling co-op and that has presented a hefty workload which limits any other writing we do. However, I plan to increase it again after their class ends.

    Yes, I highly recommend starting with dictation as young as possible in age. If your K child can write any words at all it's the time to start, basing it on the level that child is at. And wherever their abilities are you should start there. If they can only dictate one small sentence, just start from there and work up as their ability increases. I would set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and whatever they are able to do in that small amount of time is good and increase it slowly with age and ability. If I went beyond that with my kids they got frustrated and discouraged. Also, setting time limits helps you as the busy young mother to keep from getting frustrated. At their ages, I wouldn't do much else if anything at all; especially considering you have little ones underfoot. Consistent dictation alone will increase their abilities by amazing strides and it's not a complex process at all. However, I did supplement with Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate LL and Spelling Power because my children were older, but I have done these other things very limited. I unfortunately didn't start dictation with mine until they were older, and I regretted it because it has been the single biggest thing that made a difference in their language arts skills. If you want to tailor spelling lists (perhaps based on what they struggle with while doing dictation), a great resource to use is www.spellingcity.com. You can input whatever words you want your children to do. I am currently using this with both my children. I keep a running list of words that they miss during writing lessons or other and use Spelling City to quiz them.

    I hope this information has been helpful. If you have any other questions I'd be glad to try to answer.

    (name deleted to protect identity)


I love comments and suggestions! I read them all and I am so thrilled you are taking the time out of your busy life to share your words with me! --Shannon

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