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Using Voice Memos for High School Recorded Oral Narrations

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From Our House to Yours

Using Voice Memos for Recorded Oral Narrations

I have loved listening to our sons’ oral narrations through the years! From their first fledgling CM narrations in Heart of Dakota’s younger guides to their later finely crafted narrations in the  high school guides, I consider it such a privilege to witness their progress firsthand. I confess I especially enjoy their high school oral narrations. With all the guidance and practice in the younger guides, by high school, I pretty much just get to enjoy listening. The first high school guide, World Geography, assigns five kinds of oral narrations. Students give key word, summary, detailed, topic, and key word typed oral narrations. By the second high school guide, World History, students add recorded narrations to their repertoire. We have found using voice memos makes recorded oral narrations so easy!

Press ‘Voice Memos’ to Record and Pause As Needed

This year in USI, Riley has added opinion and highlighted narrations to his cache, while still practicing the other kinds of oral narrations. When it comes to managing recorded oral narrations, we find using voice memos to be so effective! Why? Well, first, he can just press ‘voice memos’ on his phone to begin. Second, he can press ‘pause’ anytime during the recording to collect his thoughts. Third, he can do this completely independently, which means he can always give his oral narration directly after he completes the reading. I always think this makes for the best narration possible. Fourth, he can text me his voice memo when he is done. This means I can enjoy listening to his recorded narration on my phone anytime and anywhere!

Riley’s Voice Memo He Texted Me Today

I homeschool from early morning to early afternoon, and then I head to work. Right before I left for work today, Riley texted me a recorded voice memo of his Monroe Doctrine oral narration. I hit ‘play’ before I left our driveway. What fun I had listening to his voice memo as I drove to work! While I don’t always do this and often have his book in hand to skim as I listen, today I was running out of time. I sure appreciated being able to listen to his narration as I drove! After parking my car, I took a moment to text him back how much I loved his narration. He texted back to thank me with lots of happy emoticons. This kind of immediate feedback, while not always possible, was wonderful! I’m not a huge fan of media. However, voice memos of recorded narrations has been a blessing.

In Closing

Recorded voice memos give students a chance to pause to choose their words more carefully. They also give students a chance to hear themselves narrate, as they can listen to their recorded narrations when they are done. I find this does more to do away with poor narrating habits than almost anything else! Hearing oneself say ‘and then’ dozens of times makes the need to start sentences in a variety of ways more obvious. Likewise, an excessive amount of short sentences or a plethora of lengthy sentences recorded make clear in moments of listening the need to vary sentence lengths. Personal style emerges in high school oral narrations. This is just plain fun for me as a mom to see develop! While not everything is pronounced exactly right, Riley gave a wonderful narration. I’m going to try to link it here for you to hear…

In Christ,


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