Record to Learn
When we record our learning the knowledge becomes our own and it can then be built on, and become a part of our life. We want to do more than just record our thoughts and discoveries – we want to be able to produce something of value that expresses our knowledge. This is truly a life long aspect of learning.
When we produce something it pulls all the learning that has taken place into one project. That project may be oral, written or creative, either one is a true example of real life productivity.
Oral is the first and foundational skill in Recording. When our children tell us what they have learnt they are establishing those facts in their own memory. Charlotte Mason called it narration. Narration is far more though than simply retelling what has been learnt. As our children get older and continue with narrations I have discovered that they tell a wider perspective than the actual facts that they have just studied. This is because they start to make connections with their world, their knowledge, and they pull those connections into what they are orally telling you. This is exciting! This is real knowledge; knowledge that they own, coming out of their mouth, confirmed in their minds.
My expectations of writing is based on these two thoughts:
- Writing is our oral words on paper
- We must have something to say
All written work starts with oral work. As our children to give us oral narrations we are building their language skills, thinking skills and in turn writing skills. As they discuss material that they have read/heard/experienced they are building up content to write about and eventually, as they grow older this will translate into them thinking privately and arriving at content to write about without the oral discussion.
This is a gentle way to encourage writing and it works well with the discipleship model of homeschooling. Read more on the Progression of writing development.
Though I want all my children to be comfortable with writing their thoughts I know that this isn’t going to be the primary expression for all my children, neither will it be for your children. Some children think with their hands, some children think with pictures, some with music etc. The important thing is that my children think and communicate. Yes, I believe the written word is one of the most powerful communicators but I also believe that God has created each child uniquely. My task is to build up, strengthen and empower each of my children. To enable that to happen I must recognize that they can express their knowledge in various forms such as:
- Construction Models
Being able to present their knowledge to an audience larger than the immediate family is a skill that our children need to be comfortable with. Be it an oral presentation, a graphic presentation such as a powerpoint, or a book, article, cd, movie or piece of artwork, our children need to be able to produce and present a finished product. This is something that we teach our children gradually; it is an end product we need to work towards. Many little things that we do throughout the years will help our children in this area:
- an expectation of excellence (not perfection)
- a habit of completing projects
- allowing individual creativity
- producing things in your own life as a model of real life productivity - Christmas newsletter, blog, scrapbooks, gifts, garden projects, building projects, employment tasks etc
There is a close connection between Responding and Recording and either may be the end of the learning process for your child, or for a particular subject of study.
Once again a reminder that the learning process of reading, responding, researching and recording is not a sequence but rather a collection of tools that we can use to facilitate our children’s learning. You need to decide which tool fits best for where your child is at.
Read more on the learning model:
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