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Charlotte Mason and Dictation

When Koala was seven I heard of Charlotte Mason for the first time, her ideas resonated with me, in particular her teaching on Language Arts and Living Books.  At nine Koala began dictation lessons,  they have long been part of our learning.

Over the years we have used various resources, Bible passages, Psalms, Catechism questions, a current read aloud, excerpts from the Queensland School Readers(excellent quality literature) and more recently we have purchased Spelling Wisdom. The quality of literature in these books is incredible and truthfully they are making our days flow far smoother.

Despite years of dictation though, I still felt we were missing the result I desired.  The habit of attention, discipline, attention to detail, an attitude of caring about the final result was still escaping us.  Excellent spelling and punctuation were still a little elusive, the connection between sounds and the written word, the basics of punctuation were still not what they should be, for some children more than others.

When I read my friend Jen’s Language Arts posts I finally knew I had found the ‘missing link’ (perhaps had I re-read CM’s writings I would have found my answer sooner, hmm.)
Corrections we have made to our dictation lessons now include; the children studying the lesson the day prior, we discuss the passage and write difficult words on the whiteboard, being sure to make syllable breaks, underline phonograms and discuss spelling rules, we also take care to note punctuation and I carefully watch and ensure I stop the children immediately if they begin to incorrectly spell a word.

I am now far more disciplined and deliberate about our dictation lessons; I insist on correct punctuation and spelling and we are slowly working on the habit of attention. For the first time in thirteen years of homeschooling I finally can see real progress in this area:)

This post is part of the CM blog Carnival. Be sure to pop on over to read other posts, you are in for a real treat.


Related Posts:

Living History

Quality Literature

Education is a Discipline

Education is an Atmosphere

Immersion in Quality Literature

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  • MamaChi

    Hi there! Thanks so much for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment. Your post on dictation is so timely for me and I'm really grateful for your link to your friend's post on Language Arts – it was excellent! I'm currently doing an online class with Brave Writer on the Foundations of writing (copywork, dictation, spelling and grammar) and it is an eye-opener and is particularly helpful in learning the strategies of how to teach a child who is struggling with writing, spelling and reading (actually there are great strategies for teaching advanced readers and writers too!). Many of the things that your friend posted on about dictation and grammar are spot on. It was great to read how someone does it. I'm enjoying your blog very much too! Thanks for dropping by and I pray all goes well with your baby.:)

  • Nancy

    I'm so glad you are seeing progress! Once again, it boils down to the mom/teacher and her habits in executing the lesson properly. I think we sometimes relax maybe a tad much as homeschoolers, but when we read CM (like you said!)she gives great detail about how to go about things if we desire the results she describes.

    Thank you for sharing your experience in this area!


  • Shirley Ann

    Hi Erin, It is so funny how we each have our own wildlife issues – I would love to see a kangaroo on my porch. I think the issue with my link could be an old feedburner issue. I have fixed it, please try taking me off your sidebar and putting me on again. Dawn in the home was my old blog name btw. Let me know if there is still a problem.

  • Erin


    Thanks for your supportive and encouraging words. This was my first time participating in the CM blog carnival,I enjoyed it:)

    We can get too relaxed, I agree, I must say my friend Jen's posts are spot on.

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