I have two questions for all of you visiting my blog. I love having this blog for this reason. I can ask you all questions and usually I get some answers and often some really great thoughts.
Well, you all know, I am sure, from scripture that we aren't to Lord over our husbands. We are, after all, their help meets, their ones walking along sides, their partners. We aren't their mothers. One common frustration (and I'm sure if he were in charge of child training he would be AT LEAST as frustrated with me on this one), is when I'm trying to train the girls on something, but my husband isn't "trained" to do that. And, you know, they watch him and do what he does. An example, lining up shoes and boots instead of just leaving them in front of our front door. So, my question is, in your experience, do you think I can properly train my children when the example is not so perfect, of what I want them to do? Sometimes...my example isn't so perfect either. But, when I'm working at training them, I usually work extra hard at training myself at the same time.
This question is particularly for Charlotte Masoners out there. But, whatever you style of homeschooling, if you do any oral work with your children, then this question is for you. Oral narration (and also written narration) is core to a Charlotte Mason education. Natalie (my oldest) has never been the strongest story teller. My step-daughter is a very gifted story teller. With her we just have to work on having her keep it brief. Rachel (middle daughter) is very good at saying whatever is on her mind. She may not think about details. But, as long as you convince her she has to tell you some details, she will easily converse with you too. Natalie, is like me. She is very detail oriented, but pretty shy, at least on cue. So, this year, since she is well able, she's graduated to doing written narrations of what she reads. She does a wonderful job and includes lots of details. Yet, I still have her doing oral narrations. This last week or two, she's just frozen, particularly on our Bible reading. She is SILENT when I have her do narrations. I get frustrated sitting there waiting for her. Fifteen minutes pass, she has tears in her eyes. I think she has performance anxiety. That one cue, I'm asking her to recall something.
So, what do I do? Not make her do oral work? Make it optional and praise her if she does? How do I help her out of "her shell"? What if that's just how God made her? And, I make her frustrated with that portion of herself, the same as I'm frustrated with that part of myself - the part that clams up or clammors for what to say in group situations?
Thanks for any input you all have.
Yes, I believe that you can train your daughters when your example isn't perfect. My dh doesn't do things the same as me either. Things that I think are important as far as habits, he doesn't, so we're in the same boat, but I try to teach my girls good habits regardless. I read that it takes about 21 days to form a habit and even longer to break one. We don't line up our shoes, but I have a huge container that I got at Walmart at Christmas and we just throw our shoes in there. When it's full, mainly of the girls' shoes, they are told to come get them and take them to their rooms. If you want to train your daughters to line the shoes up, then every single time they forget have them come and line them up immediately. Soon, they will just do it on their own.
We do CM, but I don't ask for either narration. We have more discussions instead. I'll ask what can you tell me about a certain animal that we are reading about and we go from there. I guess that would be considered a narration. Have you thought about doing a narration cube? It usually has things on it like: tell me your favorite part of the story, favorite character, etc. You could have her roll the dice and whatever it lands on, is what she tells back. I have also thought about doing this with my girls. If she still has trouble, then I would have her do the written narrations. It sounds like she is doing wonderful with those anyway. Those are usually the hardest of all. I wouldn't press her to tears though. I think if you make it fun with the cube, then she might not freeze up so much. It could be that she just isn't sure how to form her thoughts so fast to tell you. When she can write them down, she has time to think about what she wants to say.
Hope this helps,
On number one. Of course, everybody has this issue. (Both moms and dads…) So this is how I deal with it. I tell my husband (NOT in front of the kids) that we are working to develop such and such habit in the kids. He always thinks it's a good idea, even if it's not his habit. (If he looks at me and says I wouldn't waste my time, I drop that one.) Then after that we all hold each other accountable while we're working on a habit, so the kids end up making the best police. They really love to point out where mom or dad slipped up. I don't point out when my husband slips up on the habit we're working on, I leave that job for the kids.
Question 2. My oldest doesn't like to narrate either. So if she freezes, I give her some crutches to get her going. For example: What was the name of the main character? What did he/she do that was good/bad? Why? If it's Bible, there is usually some characteristic either negative or positive being displayed in the story, so I ask her what it is, if she has that characteristic. I just start out with a narrow question and then start broadening them. Usually it gets her going. Not always, but usually.