Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

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Tiffini
Posts: 413
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Location: Indiana

Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by Tiffini » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:50 pm

My situtation: Doing Bigger Hearts with a just turned 11 yo using Extensions and twin 8-1/2 yos. I am having an issue with the History and Science portions and my 8 yo dd. My oldest dd and my 8 yo ds are able to follow along and understand the readings from these books. My 11 yo for sure just gets it. My 8 yo ds gets most of it fairly easily. But... my 8 yo dd just doesn't follow along. She has trouble focusing, but that is not the main issue. She just doesn't get it. So, I find myself stopping every few sentences, or even every sentence, and explaining what I just read. I do not like doing this because I worry that she is just getting used to my explaining things to her and won't even try to understand on her own - just wait for my explanation. Not to mention, that this is annoying for the other two. But, if I don't do that, then she really is not getting what we are talking about at all! I don't want her to totally tune out and lose her for good. She has gotten much better at paying focused attention and even so, she does not understand what I am reading. She is really listening, just not getting it. Could this be a processing issue for her? She seems to get so confused even after one sentence. She is a bright girl.

So, what is the right thing to do? I really can't put the twins into two separate levels of HOD. My ds gets it. They all really like learning together for these subjects. So, do I keep on stopping and explaining all the time? Is this bad for her? I believe CM recommends not doing that. She says just to read and not to make comments. But, if I do that, then she will be completely lost and will have no interest in what we are doing.

Just hoping that someone has some insight for me. I really pray about this situation and want to do what is best for her. Thanks for reading!
Tiffini
DD (21 ) Graduated! Used HOD from 5th Grade through 12th Grade!
B/G Twins (18) Graduated! Used HOD from 3rd through 12th Grade!
DS (12) and DS (10)- Preparing Hearts
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netpea

Re: Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by netpea » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:57 pm

Tiffini wrote:So, I find myself stopping every few sentences, or even every sentence, and explaining what I just read. I do not like doing this because I worry that she is just getting used to my explaining things to her and won't even try to understand on her own - just wait for my explanation.
Is she asking for explanations about everything or just the extension books? if it's the extension books then perhaps reading them to your 11yo separately would be good or having the 11yo read them independently would be good. Otherwise, I might say to the 8yo:
- "how could we figure out what this means?"
- "You tell me what you think it means and I'll tell you if you are right."
- "have we read about this in any other books? What did it mean then?"

Perhaps that would help?

Tiffini
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Re: Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by Tiffini » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:07 pm

Only the oldest is using the Extension Pack - the 8 yo dd is just using Bigger as written.
Tiffini
DD (21 ) Graduated! Used HOD from 5th Grade through 12th Grade!
B/G Twins (18) Graduated! Used HOD from 3rd through 12th Grade!
DS (12) and DS (10)- Preparing Hearts
HOD Users since 2008

my3sons
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Re: Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by my3sons » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:19 pm

This sounds like one of my ds! :D I realized CM suggests not stopping (and explaining), but I still was doing it because he had that "deer in the headlights" look when we talked about what we read afterward. I talked this over with Carrie, and she said to just try reading it straight through without stopping anyway, and give it a month to see what happened. I was sure he would not come along within that time - but he really did make good progress! :D I think that before I was enabling him by continually explaining it to him, and I was guilty of explaining it in a very "simple" fashion too :oops: . Your dd is on the young side of Bigger..., so she may just need more time to learn the habit of listening attentively? She will certainly take a lot from the discussions and activities you do together after the reading time is over, and she will eventually realize how important it is to listen attentively so she can fully enjoy and participate in the activities afterward. It helped my ds to always start by saying, "You are going to be talking to me about what we read today, so you'll really need to listen well. Plus, we're going to be doing some great activities about the reading, so make sure you pay extra special attention to what I'm saying, o.k.?" This really helps all my dc. I know I listen much more attentively when someone tells me I'm going to have to share that information with someone else later - otherwise, I can be pretty good at tuning others out too! :oops:

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
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water2wine
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Re: Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by water2wine » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:29 pm

First thing that comes to mind to me is have you worked on getting her to narrate. We used to have these issues until we really worked on the narrating skills. Then all of a sudden they learned how to listen and I did not have to stop so often. Just wondering if that might help a bit. Wondering if it is the materials or just the listening skills that need to be developed. Maybe practicing the narrating skills with just her on an easier book might help so that you can see if that is it or not. Not sure if I am on track here or not but just putting it on the table. :D
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
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my3sons
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Re: Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by my3sons » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:44 pm

water2wine wrote:First thing that comes to mind to me is have you worked on getting her to narrate. We used to have these issues until we really worked on the narrating skills. Then all of a sudden they learned how to listen and I did not have to stop so often. Just wondering if that might help a bit. Wondering if it is the materials or just the listening skills that need to be developed. Maybe practicing the narrating skills with just her on an easier book might help so that you can see if that is it or not. Not sure if I am on track here or not but just putting it on the table. :D

This is soooooo true! Excellent point! Now that I think about it, it was the improving of my ds's oral narration skills that caused him to become more attentive about listening. You hit the nail on the head w2w!

In Christ,
Julie :D
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

ksjk3
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Re: Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by ksjk3 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:00 pm

Another suggestion . . . Sometimes I give my kids a question to look for as I'm reading. They are then listening with a purpose. It might also help your child to center in on a few key points. I have a young 8 year old in Bigger, as well. Sometimes I read just a paragraph at a time. She narrates to me after one paragraph. Then, my 10 year old does the next paragraph, and so on. It stretches out the reading, but it has helped them with their listening skills. As they become better listeners, you stretch the number of paragraphs read.
Kristi

Mother of 3 girls ages 10, 8, and 3 years

Tiffini
Posts: 413
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Re: Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by Tiffini » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:35 pm

Thank you all for your advice and help. I will definitely give your suggestions a try. I think I really do need to work on the narration with her - but maybe using an easier source than the History book for awhile. One thing I've been doing is writing on the white board the names and places and dates, as well as a very brief outline of what we are reading as we read the History or Science. Then I let her use that for her narration. Is that giving too much help? I know it's okay to put names and dates, but is it okay to actually out line the chapter as we read?

Thanks again, you wonderful ladies!
Tiffini
DD (21 ) Graduated! Used HOD from 5th Grade through 12th Grade!
B/G Twins (18) Graduated! Used HOD from 3rd through 12th Grade!
DS (12) and DS (10)- Preparing Hearts
HOD Users since 2008

RedTulipMom
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Re: Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by RedTulipMom » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:05 am

my oldest son had reading comprehension problems. When homeschooling i used to do the same thing as you and explain everything as i went along. then when he was in about 6th grade i found books about CM and found out about narrating. After that, instead of explaining everything..i started having him orally narrate to me after every 2-3 paragraphs..it helped alot. he couldnt seem to understand in large chunks, but in smaller chunks it was a bit easier for him. :D
Karen
wife to Michael
Mom of 3:
Joe 20 yrs (in his own apt as of last month)
Luke 4 yrs (pdd-nos) LHTH and Kumon wkbks
Anna 23 mos LHTH tag-a-long and loves to color (well scribble anyway)

Carrie
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Re: Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by Carrie » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:21 pm

Tiffini,

The moms are giving you wonderful advice! I would agree that listening is a skill that takes time to develop. According to CM (and I agree), prior to the reading it's a great idea to put names and places on the white board. Outlining the chapter is too much like feeding your kiddos a "correct answer" of "what to say", so for narrations purposes I'd stay away from that though. :wink:

The moms are also right that CM encouraged narration after shorter segments (like several paragraphs) to produce better narrations. However, in CM-style reading, you're not supposed to stop to explain or reread, as it's actually sending the message that kiddos don't have to listen the first time since I'll summarize or re-read it for you. :shock:

Narration is a also a skill that takes time to develop. Kiddos who are able to see the big picture are better at it from the beginning. Kiddos who get bogged down in the details are L-O-N-G narrators. Kiddos who are daydreamers are very short "I don't know" type narrators. But, all kiddos can be taught to narrate, and it's a great habit to have formed, as it makes kiddos better listeners. :D

So, perservere, asking for a narration every several paragraphs if needed, rotating narrators so everyone is on their toes. You're not alone! This is a common concern! :D

Blessings,
Carrie

gracelikerain
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Re: Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by gracelikerain » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:24 pm

Whew! I was stareting to think my 8dd was having issues too. Tiffany, you described my 8dd perfectly. This is a great question with great advice. I tried some of the tops & I already see a difference.....my dd admitted to me she doesn't always pay attention! :shock:
Thank you ladies!
Georgette~
Isaiah 54:13
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Tiffini
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Re: Is it OK to be explaining all the time?

Post by Tiffini » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:22 pm

Thanks for the replies, everyone. It is so helpful. It gives me some more direction. I will be working on these ideas more this week and hopefully we will make some progress. The clarification as far as what to write on the whiteboard ahead of time helps me. I am going to try to quit doing the outlining and see how it goes!
Tiffini
DD (21 ) Graduated! Used HOD from 5th Grade through 12th Grade!
B/G Twins (18) Graduated! Used HOD from 3rd through 12th Grade!
DS (12) and DS (10)- Preparing Hearts
HOD Users since 2008

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