Friday, April 26, 2013

Blank Notebook Page Equals Blank Stares?

When you give your child a blank notebook page, do you get the deer-in-the-headlights look? What exactly does your child put on these pages, and how can you guide them?


I begin by simply reading our history books aloud, although if your child reads it aloud or to herself, that is certainly fine.  If your child is on the young side, I would ask "What is one thing you remember about the passage."  I would transcribe for him and have him copy it onto the notebook page.  This would be an exercise for 1st or 2nd graders.  It is important that he be able to read his summary sentences, otherwise the cementing of history that we're looking for in notebooking won't be occurring.  I would practice this way for several months until it is easy for him.



After practicing the one-thing-you-remember technique, I will move on to summarizing.  If your child has trouble summarizing, begin with leading questions to pull out the "bones" or the main points of the passage.  Make sure to tell your child to leave out details unless it is essential to the passage.  Try using who, what, when, where, how, and why questions.

If we read about the ancient Roman catacombs, I might ask,
  • What did the catacombs look like?
  • Who used the catacombs?
  • Why did they have to use them?
  • When did they use the catacombs? (Ancient Rome?)
  • Where were the catacombs located?

We practice doing this for several months (possibly even years!) until they can give a summary by themselves, leaving out minute details that are not of consequence.  With harder passages, our children sometimes need help even after summarizing skills are solid.

After the leading questions to help them pick out the main points of the passage, ask your child, "Summarize the passage in __ sentences."  Depending on how old your child is, this number of sentences can range from 1 or 2 on up.  My 3rd and 4th graders are doing 4 or 5 sentence paragraphs for their notebook pages this year, although this is certainly different with each child.  Don't get too hung up on the amount.

While my child is dictating these summary sentences, I transcribe them onto a plain piece of lined paper.  Then I simply have them copy it to the notebook page.  As they get older and their summaries grow more complex, I'll have them do the writing instead, although we are following a writing program as well, so sometimes our notebook pages for history just need to be easier for them, as they are putting so much energy into their writing program.

To Summarize

For 1st or 2nd graders:
  • Read history passages.
  • Ask child what is one thing she remembers from the passage?
  • Transcribe while she is dictating.
  • Child copies onto notebook page.
For about 2nd or 3rd grade and up:
  • Read history passages.
  • Guide him in summary of passage with leading questions with the goal of no leading questions.
  • After asking leading questions, ask him to summarize in a specific number of sentences.
  • Transcribe his summary on plain lined notebook paper while he is dictating.
  • Child copies onto notebook page.
I hope this helps!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

American History Notebook Pages

I have been working on some American history through 1850 pages and ready to share them.  These correlate with Sonlight Core D®, but will work with any study of American History.  This author and document are not affiliated with Sonlight®.  Check them out!

American History notebook pages


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Culture Supplement Schedule

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
Time to travel around the world!  I'm happy to share an updated supplement schedule to coordinate with Sonlight Core A® from 2012 to present.

Please know this schedule and author are not associated with Sonlight® in any way.  As usual, I just want to share the work I put into finding supplemental hands-on material.

I made a schedule for this core several years ago.  That schedule is for 2011 and before.  It was one of my first schedules, and I think this one is better, but of course, I made it to fit myself.  :)

What does this schedule contain?  It uses several books that would need to be purchased if doing that portion of the schedule.  There are art appreciation books scheduled, extra books, activity/craft/cooking books, game links, coloring page links, video links and more.  I've even went through all the resources and made a list every week of things one may need to put on the shopping list for the week.  I left out things I thought someone would have in their home.  Anyhow, let's just get on with it!

Culture Supplement Schedule


Sunday, April 14, 2013

American History Part 1 Supplement Schedule

Credit - Library of Congress Public Domain
I have finished!  It's time to share my American History Part 1 supplement schedule to Sonlight Core D®.  This supplement schedule and author have no affiliation with Sonlight whatsoever.

What's in the schedule?  Extra books to pick and choose from, videos, game links, hands-on activities, and probably something I can't think of right now.  There are a few books that are of particular interest that you may wish to purchase.  They are noted with an asterisk. 

There is a light state study through notebooking.  I also scheduled art using Maryann Kohl's Discovering Great Artists.  It should be a full year!  I do pick and choose from this schedule as we have time.  I certainly won't check everything off.  We school year-round, though, so we'll be doing this core from July to June, not just 36 weeks.  Have fun!

American History Part 1 Supplement Schedule