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My DD is not retaining read-aloud information


Moxie
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We're doing Sonlight Core 2 and my 8 year old DD is not remembering anything I'm reading to her in history. She can't remember what we read yesterday or just a few minutes ago. She seems to be paying attention. What can I do to help her retain the main facts? Notebooking pages? Worksheets? What will help her?

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That is one of the main reasons we have moved on from SL. My voracious reader loved the books, and certainly the hours spent reading together weren't a complete waste, but in the end retention was low. I am now putting a larger emphasis on memory work and notebooking.

 

How do you do your notebooking?

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Are you having her narrate? Is it only the history she can't remember, or any readalouds? I know that SL provides comprehension questions, but I think students own the material better if they have to process it and say what they remember on their own.

 

If she can't remember to narrate, you can start by reading much smaller chunks at a time. Stop after every few paragraphs and have her put it in her own words. Ask her if she sees the story in her mind while you are reading. Perhaps having her draw what is happening while you are reading would help.

 

When I have ds narrate I write the names of the major characters on the whiteboard to remind him (this also helps for the times when he writes about it himself). We are doing SL but doing it TWTM/CM way with narrations and some notebooking.

 

If it is JUST history, then maybe changing the history spine would help. It would be harder but you may be able to use Story of the World chapters to cover the same topics.

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How do you do your notebooking?

 

Well, my oldest is the one I did SL with and she is now going to public school. Not that I'm suggesting that as a solution, lol. With my 2 youngest I have decided to go with My Father's World, which builds in notebooking. I basically do it like a mesh of WWE and history. They narrate back what we just read, then I write it down and they copy it. Truthfully, I think memory work is where it's at. Memorizing timelines, history sentences (ala Classical conversations) and historical lists have become a much larger emphasis for us.

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Well, my oldest is the one I did SL with and she is now going to public school. Not that I'm suggesting that as a solution, lol. With my 2 youngest I have decided to go with My Father's World, which builds in notebooking. I basically do it like a mesh of WWE and history. They narrate back what we just read, then I write it down and they copy it. Truthfully, I think memory work is where it's at. Memorizing timelines, history sentences (ala Classical conversations) and historical lists have become a much larger emphasis for us.

 

Do you do CC and if not, where do you get your sentences and lists?

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Sonlight is a lot of reading. We are doing the Core P4/5 right now (which may be even less reading than what you are doing with your Core.)

 

A lot of reading is a positive in that it's, well... a lot of reading... ;)

 

But, I've noticed that it's also a negative because the stories tend to blend together in my daughter's head (and in my own sometimes) and we loose track of all the plots and characters and morals of the stories after a while.

 

We do a narration notebook with a story here and there. You can see samples of my daughter's work here.

 

http://www.veronicaboulden.com/search/label/Narration

 

This notebook builds so many skills, but also it provides a way to "record" at least some of the stories, so they aren't all lost forever in our minds. We can go back and read this notebook again and again and get a least a little handle on all that we've covered.

 

With longer novels, I'd definitely do the thing another post suggested and write out the names of the characters as you are introduced to them in the first few chapters and list who they are and review that on a daily basis or as needed when you are reading and discussing the stories. Even when I read Jane Austen by myself, it helps to do this because all the cousins and Mr. and Mrs. Characters blend together after a while. :D

 

Good luck.

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We've done Sonlight for many years, but I gave up on the comprehension questions long ago. We are still using Sonlight for history and readers, but following the way Susan Bauer does narrations and outlining in The Well-Trained Mind book. With my second child, I'm really adding a lot more memory work. Both of my children are auditory learners. There is no way I could not have used this curriculum with another learning style.

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If she can read well enough herself, let her read it aloud to YOU, instead of you reading aloud to HER. See if she retains it better that way. Or assign her short sections to go read silently to herself and see if that works.

 

I know that I definitely retain better what I read to myself, rather than someone trying to read something aloud to me.

 

And the other day I read something to my daughter, had her go all "huh?" on me when I tried to get her to answer a couple of simple questions, so I handed her the book, showed her the section, and told her to go read it to herself and then come back. She got the questions right after that.

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If she can read well enough herself, let her read it aloud to YOU, instead of you reading aloud to HER. See if she retains it better that way. Or assign her short sections to go read silently to herself and see if that works.

 

I know that I definitely retain better what I read to myself, rather than someone trying to read something aloud to me.

 

And the other day I read something to my daughter, had her go all "huh?" on me when I tried to get her to answer a couple of simple questions, so I handed her the book, showed her the section, and told her to go read it to herself and then come back. She got the questions right after that.

 

Ditto ;)

 

I really dislike listening to people read. I really love reading, though.

 

If that still doesn't work for her, maybe she needs a lower core? My daughter can sit and listen to books for hours but when I checked out a few books from a higher core from the library it was way over her head.

Even when she tried to listen and I stopped to explain things, she just couldn't get it.

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I couldn't read this and not chime in.

 

I have never been able to retain information well that is just verbal. It's gotten better as I've gotten older, but it is a very HARD way for me to learn. It's definitely a skill for your dd to work on, but perhaps it would be better to work on it in very small chunks for now and gradually build up to being able to pay attention and learn from listening for a longer period of time.

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If she can read well enough herself, let her read it aloud to YOU, instead of you reading aloud to HER. See if she retains it better that way. Or assign her short sections to go read silently to herself and see if that works.

 

I know that I definitely retain better what I read to myself, rather than someone trying to read something aloud to me.

 

And the other day I read something to my daughter, had her go all "huh?" on me when I tried to get her to answer a couple of simple questions, so I handed her the book, showed her the section, and told her to go read it to herself and then come back. She got the questions right after that.

 

 

I could have written the above post; one of my sons in particular does much better when he reads it himself, even if he has to stop and ask me what every other word means. When I do read aloud to him (which is many times daily), I have to stop every few sentences and get a sentence of anything he remembers from him. I write the sentences on the white board as we go along, and at the end he illustrates it all. He is very visual, so any audio needs something to help it stick.

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I could have written the above post; one of my sons in particular does much better when he reads it himself, even if he has to stop and ask me what every other word means. When I do read aloud to him (which is many times daily), I have to stop every few sentences and get a sentence of anything he remembers from him. I write the sentences on the white board as we go along, and at the end he illustrates it all. He is very visual, so any audio needs something to help it stick.

 

I have had a similar experience with two of my ds - they really need something visual to make it stick or keep them from completely zoning out. My solution has been to:

- decrease the number of pictureless read alouds.

- increase the amount of colorful, illustrated material that I use to supplement the read alouds or history spine.

- be sure that the language being used in the RA is not too complex for the child - several of mine hear and understand anything, but two seem to have auditory processing issues, and we are slowly working up in to longer, more complicated materials, culling books from "younger" suggestions in various curriculums.

- keep a book basket of related materials (colorful, appropriate reading level library books) and require the child to read a book of his choice from the basket, for 20 minutes per day, and tell me about it later.

- slow down. Stay longer on one period of or place in history - do some hands-on projects like painting, baking, games, etc, that emphasize the points for the visual or hands-on learner.

 

I found WinterPromise's suggestions to be fantastic for this sort of learner - I own their American Story 2, which I will be pulling out again this year for the aforementioned learners. I have considered doing SL4 this year, but am thinking I would have a similar experience to yours with your dd, with two of my ds - much as I have loved it for other kiddos.

Blessings,

Aimee

mom to 6 great kids, ages 7-19, schooling grades 2, 4, 4 and 7

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My DD7 is the same way. We bought the audiobooks of SOTW and if she listens she doesnt remember a single thing. I bought it as a little reading break for her because we are doing a ton of other reading. Anyways, if I have her follow along with the book she retains almost everything. So its a mini break LOL

Dictation is killing her. She has to see something to remember it.

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I'll bet she just has a low ability to learn through auditory methods. Many kids have issues with one of the three (auditory, visual, tactile). She may just have to read it all herself.....

 

This is what I was going to say. I know I can't remember stuff that is read to me (or lectured in a classroom setting) nearly as well as if I read it myself even to this day. At 8 years old - forget about it. At her age the conceptual retention of history will be low in the first place but if the problem is her retaining what you read aloud - let her read it herself. Then discuss it.

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