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How Best to Approach Typed Key Word Oral Narrations

Heart of Dakota Dear Carrie Typed Key Word
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Dear Carrie

How should we best approach the key word typed oral narration in Missions to Modern Marvels?

Dear Carrie,

My daughter is using Missions to Modern Marvels this year, and she is loving it!  For those of you new to Heart of Dakota, I highly recommend it! Now for my question. My daughter has used Heart of Dakota for many years, and she is excellent at giving oral narrations – too good maybe actually.  When it came to the day I was to type the key word oral narration she gave, I had a hard time keeping up with her. I didn’t want my typing speed to slow down her oral narration, but I couldn’t keep up.  She also wanted to refer to the manual now and then for key words.  Is that alright? I guess my question is, how should we best approach the key word typed oral narration in Missions to Modern Marvels?  Thanks in advance!

“Ms. Please Help with Key Word Typed Oral Narrations”

Dear “Ms. Please Help with Key Word Typed Oral Narrations,”

One thing my hubby did for the typed key word oral narration day was to have my son record his narration on his IPod.  My hubby told my son to try to include most of the key words suggested in the guide in his narration. He allowed him to stop and start the recorder in order to get most the words included. It took my son quite awhile, but he really got into it and actually did a good job including all the words eventually. It also was much easier to type from the recording, as the parent can pause the narration and catch up with the typing or replay as needed. This makes a typed narration much easier to do!

It’s fine to look back in the book for key words, but don’t narrate directly from the book!

Doing a typed narration like this works well if you have a child who has been narrating for awhile, like your daughter. Just make sure the child isn’t looking right at the book as he/she is narrating!  I will admit that my son did have to look back in the book while stopping the recording to see what some of the key words noted in the guide referred to. But, I didn’t think this was all bad either, as it drew his attention to the names and places and forced him to use them in his narration. It also gave time for the parent to catch up on the typing for the typed narration!

Keep in mind, giving key word oral narrations is a higher level skill.

Giving a key word narration that is also meant to be a typed narration is definitely a higher level oral narration skill. So, this wouldn’t be as appropriate for a younger narrator who still needs immediate parental feedback. However, it would work for those who have been narrating awhile and are ready for the next step.  We’ve been doing it this way ever since for the typed narrations and enjoying it immensely!


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Suanna Sears

    I never thought of having my kids record them. We did this last year and I wrote them by hand as they were speaking. I abbreviated many words, but what helped me the most was having them say only a sentence or two and then pause until I had written that part when I would indicate for them to continue. I worked ok, but I love the idea of recording it and then typing them.

    1. So glad you like this idea, Suanna! I have found it to be time saver myself. I hope it works well for you!

  2. Sandra

    We are in MTMM and WH
    Do you type out exactly what the kiddos say? Do you have them read and correct the writing if the sentence structures have some Him’ sin them? Do you just correct the sentence structures?

    1. Hi Sandra! I do try my best to type exactly what they say. However, if they make a mistake and correct themselves, in my opinion, they have shown me they realized their mistake. In that case, I’d just type the corrected version, unless I felt it was a teaching point I needed to make later. (An example of this would be if they said “Enlighted” and then quickly corrected themselves to say “Enlightenment.”) An example of an error I would type exactly for the purpose of a teaching point would be if they were starting every sentence with “And then…” We would then look at this together after we printed it and fix these.

      I currently ask my MTMM kiddo to narrate slowly and choose his words carefully. I have my laptop on my lap and am typing as he narrates. He pauses if he sees I am behind. I let him have the MTMM guide open on his lap to refer to key words if need be. This has worked well!

      For my high school kiddos, I have them record their narrations on my voice memos on my phone. This makes it easy to pause as I type. It also makes it clear if they are prone to filling space with words like ‘ummmmmmm’ or phrases like ‘and stuff like that.’ It is amazing how listening to yourself orally narrate can clear up poor habits like that!

      I do always have them read it aloud once it’s typed. They read with pencil in hand to make editing corrections as they see fit. Often times, they catch their own mistakes. If they don’t, I help them find and fix them. They fix them on the computer and reprint the corrected narration.

      Eventually, they do their own typing for their typed narrations (i.e. my son in USII is typing his own per the instructions in his USII guide’s plans). The growth I have seen in each of our sons in narrating has been incredible! I think the typed narration is a big part of that growth! So worth the time it takes to type it out! Hope that helps!

      In Christ,

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