Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Why They Shouldn't do Their Work in Front of a TV

So we've been doing the Classical Writing thing this week in a slightly customized way. Monday we read and discuss the fable in the morning and then outline it in the afternoon. Tuesday Catherine rewrites the fable from her outline. This morning I picked out the misspellings and she copied them over several times. This afternoon I edited it with her and she began to rewrite it (tomorrow is grammar and add description and Friday is type the final copy).

Catherine was working quietly on the couch when Harry decided he'd like to watch Rescue Heroes. The only working TV and VCR combo in the house is in the living room so I suggested that Catherine either move to the kitchen or one of the bedrooms.

"I can do it here Mom! I'm just copying!"

I shrugged my shoulders. Hey, if she gets it done, who am I to be the bad guy. Right?

Here's the result (click for larger picture). Keep in mind that the movie started at about the, "my, my..." point.

You can see the point when her brain decided that Rescue Heroes was the priority. Even though she had her edited copy in hand, it just goes all weird.

"...and the Fox and it!"


I mentioned tonight after soccer (they won!!) that she should read it over in the morning and she grinned at me.

"I know I made some funny mistakes but I was too lazy to fix them."

How can I argue when I'm laughing?

I am happy to report that though this approach has increased the amount of writing she's doing dramatically, she does seem to enjoy it. There's variety and none pressure to come up with some story from a story starter or on, "What I Did at Guides Camp." Just straight forward expectations and the learning of a craft.

Ask me again in six weeks and I'm sure we'll both feel differently but for now, Catherine and I are good.


Jacqueline said...

Sounds like a good system you're working through, and I can't blame you for laughing, but at least she recognized that she had made some mistakes. :)

JJ Ross said...

Sorry I haven't been following the curriculum objectives too closely, Dawn, but is this more about the handwriting, the creative composition or the conforming with with conventions? All of the above?

The reason it particularly interests me is that Favorite Daughter will be student-teaching other college students this fall (with her own office hours even!) under her writing mentor. You know we unschooled, so she never did anything like any of this -- except the tv itself, lol -- and that unschooled way of writing is what made her stand out to professors and want her to share it. But now I'm thinking if she winds up teaching English, HER education will need some understanding of these more formal ways of coming at her craft. :)

Luke said...

That image is amazing. I've seen my own writing deteriorate like that when I'm falling asleep. [smile]


Dawn said...

JJ- for us it's mostly about finding an enjoyable way for Catherine to get some spelling, grammar and writing skills without having to put her own writings at risk under a marking pen. This is just a recent revelation for me - She can explore by imitation and never feel that I'm tearing apart what she's created. It's a lot of work but she seems to really be enjoying it.

For those who didn't just stumble on it and think it looked neat like I did and are doing it with more intent it's about learning to write and think rhetorically and really craft a piece of writing. Most of what I've seen involves years over which different stages are taught so I'm not sure how practical it would be for your daughter...Then again I'm sure I've seen condensed versions.

If she's interested in learning mroe formal writing though I bet a few weeks of researching some of the classical homeschooling writing curriculums and resources would be pretty helpful. The Well Trained Minds (now there's a anti-unschooling title if I ever heard one) is a good place to lurk for leads.

lorraine m said...

LOL, I indeed giggled out loud... I could SO see where the t.v. started.

JJ Ross said...

Thanks Dawn (and Catherine!) :)

The best part imo is that y'all adapted it . . .

I bought both Bauer (WTM) books many year ago, maybe I'll haul them out and give them to FavD now -- since I never used them with her before.

Dawn said...

I imagine the two of us will just keep adapting it as her interests and needs change. I love curriculum but I'm discovering that deconstructed some of it and then patching it back together to suit us is even more fun. It took me awhile to get over the idea that's it's all bad and then to get over the idea that curriculum is God. I think I get now that it's just a tool to use or abandon as needed.

Oh, the Well Trained Mind forum does have a forum on adult learning where they probably have some threads on something close to what you're looking for.

Denise said...

How funny! I've found out that I can't write blog posts with the radio going, either.