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    Research Papers

    When do the kids do research papers? I am looking through all of our stuff for the year, and notice that there is no research anywhere. After hearing that Jen (formerly in Japan) did Sonlight with her MIT son, I bought a used Sonlight core to see what they do, and they do a lot of research. The rest of it does not look as appealing, but I like the idea of the kids learning to research and write up their opinions on history. None of the things for MP do any of this (at least not at our level). I do not know if I should add in doing additional research to go along with Famous Men of the Middle Ages. I mean, there are tons of other sources that could help answer some of the questions in a much more in-depth fashion. I am not sure why additional research is not included in the curriculum.
    JeJe Greer
    Mom to:
    Stella (8M with 9th grade literature, writing, and Henle Latin)
    Clara (Combination of SC 5/6 and 4th New User)

    #2
    Re: Research Papers

    I don't know if you're talking about a specific style of research paper, but we're starting 6A this year, and we'll be doing some of what you're talking about in Cheria/Maxim.

    From my personal experience, it is really easy to learn a specific style (MLA, APA, etc.) in college if that is necessary. But learning to express thoughts well, and write well with clarity...that is harder to teach and learn, but it's kind of done all over MP's curriculum. So they aren't specifically assigned a research paper per se, but there is a lot of thinking about and forming ideas about historical figures and events and then writing that down in coherant, well-composed sentences, which gradually morph into longer essays.

    I guess, in short, I think if you're using the progym and Famous Men and lit guides, etc., you are getting a comprehensive writing program that is going to leave kids well equipped for a research paper in college which will have specifically defined parameters that are going to be easy for them to conform to when the time comes. If that makes sense.

    In shorter, and not to be dismissive, but I think research papers for elementary/junior high are overrated as assignments.
    Jodi
    ~~~~~~~
    2019-20 School Year:
    Ethan (7A)
    Matthew (5A)
    Silas (1st)
    Eleanor (4yo dabbling in PK as time allows)
    Andrew (brand new as of Oct 2019)

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Research Papers

      Originally posted by jejegreer View Post
      I do not know if I should add in doing additional research to go along with Famous Men of the Middle Ages. I mean, there are tons of other sources that could help answer some of the questions in a much more in-depth fashion. I am not sure why additional research is not included in the curriculum.
      You remind me a lot of myself in our earlier years of homeschooling. I couldn't wait to get to in-depth discussions of history and philosophy and literature! I had to learn (and then constantly remind myself) that everything we do in the younger years is laying the groundwork for that. Part of the reason I love MP is because every single thing has this purpose in mind. The Famous Men series is meant to be a gentle introduction to the time period through a medium kids love -- story. We're not aiming for an in-depth analysis of the age; we're aiming for mastery of the important names, places and events which will serve as a framework for future in-depth study (MP covers the Middle Ages in 9th grade in conjunction with the literature for that year).

      As for research, keep an eye on the Activities sections in Classical Studies and the Enrichment sections in literature. There are lots of opportunities there for fun research. Some examples from Famous Men of the Middle Ages:

      "Do a little research on your own about what the siege of an ancient city was like. Either discuss or write a short report about: the defenses of an ancient European city, the tactics and weapons of the besieger, or the problems facing the inhabitants of the city during a siege." -- Lesson 4

      "Find out what you can about the Black Death and why it so readically affected the history of Europe -- Lesson 28

      Other lessons contain boxes that further explain things like the Bayeaux Tapestry, Islamic architecture, etc. These would make great mini-research opportunities!
      Jennifer
      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

      DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC, Breaking the Barrier French
      DS15: MP, MPOA, HSC
      DS12: Mash-up of 6/7M
      DS11: SC 4
      DD9: 3A with First Form Latin (long story!)
      DD8: Mash-up of SC 1/2
      DD5: January birthday, using SC B and C as a two-year JrK

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Research Papers

        I can only answer from the perspective of a former HS English teacher as this is our first year in MP. You might find more traction in the 9-12 subforum.

        I have not looked through every year of curriculum, but I think MP does a superior job laying a foundation for essay and technical writing. In our school, I had 10 Core and 10 Honors (World Lit and American Lit, respectively). It was the first year that major essay writing was introduced, because prior to that you are laying a foundation. You want excellent syntax, diction (word choice), vocabulary, a succinct thesis statement (and a well-read student). Logic and reasoning need to be introduced (the syllogism, deductive/inductive, etc), and many students are barely pulling that together in tenth grade. I assigned research papers as groups for my 10th grade core students with a group/class presentation. Usually one student was doing the heavy-lifting with the Works Cited list, because we just didn't have time to teach it exhaustively with SOLs breathing down our necks. The research paper with citations is taught more explicitly in public schools in 11th and 12th grade. But the caliber of work was rudimentary at best because students aren't taught how to evaluate sources, form a clear opinion, pick a truly pertinent quote to cite, and stay on point. Seriously, MP appeals to me because it matches the very superior education I got abroad. No one ever taught me anything more than how to think, read, understand math/science, evaluate sources and read a TON of the best authors out there.

        So, if the research paper isn't taught in MP, I know that state homeschool conventions offer 1-2 day intensives every year. It doesn't take much to learn. I like Purdue Online Writing Lab so you don't even need the books we had to buy once upon a time.
        Mama to 2

        Summer:
        MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
        SY 20/21
        4A

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Research Papers

          Originally posted by JodiSue View Post
          I don't know if you're talking about a specific style of research paper, but we're starting 6A this year, and we'll be doing some of what you're talking about in Cheria/Maxim.

          From my personal experience, it is really easy to learn a specific style (MLA, APA, etc.) in college if that is necessary. But learning to express thoughts well, and write well with clarity...that is harder to teach and learn, but it's kind of done all over MP's curriculum. So they aren't specifically assigned a research paper per se, but there is a lot of thinking about and forming ideas about historical figures and events and then writing that down in coherant, well-composed sentences, which gradually morph into longer essays.

          I guess, in short, I think if you're using the progym and Famous Men and lit guides, etc., you are getting a comprehensive writing program that is going to leave kids well equipped for a research paper in college which will have specifically defined parameters that are going to be easy for them to conform to when the time comes. If that makes sense.

          In shorter, and not to be dismissive, but I think research papers for elementary/junior high are overrated as assignments.
          Beautifully said! Seems like this came up sometime at SG, but maybe it was a different year.
          Plans for 2020-21

          Year 10 of homeschooling with MP

          DD1 - 25 - Small Business owner with a STOREFRONT
          DD2 - 14 - 9th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA - equestrian
          DS3 - 12 - 5A Cottage School - soccer
          DS4 - 12 - 5A Cottage School -soccer
          DD5 - 8 - 3A, Cottage School -equestrian and Irish dance
          DS6 - 6 - MP K - home with Momma

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Research Papers

            We currently don't have a research paper course. It is something we want to add, but I don't have a timeline on that. Our teachers in history assign research papers and teach our students to write them, and I know it is a course that is needed for those that don't have the benefit of those teachers. And enbateau is correct: Our students learn to write, and then they can write anything. They just need a course on citations. My oldest son went to HLS before we really had an established full school, and he never had a writing course. (I often wonder why I never worried about that.) But he went to college and made A's on all his papers, so somewhere along the way, he learned to write. I think it's a combination of Latin, logic, teaching students to think, to understand arguments (how to make them, how to defend them, how to recognize the fallacies in them), etc. And they understood how to tool a good sentence.

            I got off on a tangent. Sorry. Research paper course - on the wish list.

            Tanya

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Research Papers

              Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
              You remind me a lot of myself in our earlier years of homeschooling. I couldn't wait to get to in-depth discussions of history and philosophy and literature! I had to learn (and then constantly remind myself) that everything we do in the younger years is laying the groundwork for that. Part of the reason I love MP is because every single thing has this purpose in mind. The Famous Men series is meant to be a gentle introduction to the time period through a medium kids love -- story. We're not aiming for an in-depth analysis of the age; we're aiming for mastery of the important names, places and events which will serve as a framework for future in-depth study (MP covers the Middle Ages in 9th grade in conjunction with the literature for that year).

              As for research, keep an eye on the Activities sections in Classical Studies and the Enrichment sections in literature. There are lots of opportunities there for fun research. Some examples from Famous Men of the Middle Ages:

              "Do a little research on your own about what the siege of an ancient city was like. Either discuss or write a short report about: the defenses of an ancient European city, the tactics and weapons of the besieger, or the problems facing the inhabitants of the city during a siege." -- Lesson 4

              "Find out what you can about the Black Death and why it so readically affected the history of Europe -- Lesson 28

              Other lessons contain boxes that further explain things like the Bayeaux Tapestry, Islamic architecture, etc. These would make great mini-research opportunities!
              I went through and found those two. I agree that I can definitely assign something bigger. I had not seen them before.
              JeJe Greer
              Mom to:
              Stella (8M with 9th grade literature, writing, and Henle Latin)
              Clara (Combination of SC 5/6 and 4th New User)

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Research Papers

                Originally posted by tanya View Post
                We currently don't have a research paper course. It is something we want to add, but I don't have a timeline on that. Our teachers in history assign research papers and teach our students to write them, and I know it is a course that is needed for those that don't have the benefit of those teachers. And enbateau is correct: Our students learn to write, and then they can write anything. They just need a course on citations. My oldest son went to HLS before we really had an established full school, and he never had a writing course. (I often wonder why I never worried about that.) But he went to college and made A's on all his papers, so somewhere along the way, he learned to write. I think it's a combination of Latin, logic, teaching students to think, to understand arguments (how to make them, how to defend them, how to recognize the fallacies in them), etc. And they understood how to tool a good sentence.

                I got off on a tangent. Sorry. Research paper course - on the wish list.

                Tanya
                Do you feel that the wish list is getting longer and longer? I think I have already given you literature guides to put on it. I am sorry to add to your work!
                JeJe Greer
                Mom to:
                Stella (8M with 9th grade literature, writing, and Henle Latin)
                Clara (Combination of SC 5/6 and 4th New User)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Research Papers

                  Job security!

                  Tanya

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Research Papers

                    As a non language arts person, I am terrible at teaching writing. I can’t just assign a research paper in history and teach how to write it with no guidelines. My older kids had a whole process they went through in English class. Pick a topic, find resources, take notes, make an outline, write and cite, revise. I need that step by step in the lesson plans. I feel it is VERY important for high schoolers to be taught this skill. Having all the technical skills is great, but taking notes and knowing what and when to cite is a hard skill to learn. Format (MLA etc) is no big deal, but the process of finding key information in these gigantic books, noting it and then knowing when cite and what can be considered common knowledge and not need cited it hard. It’s nit just quotes and paraphrases you cite but specific information too. They really need to be stepped slowly through this ideally in 10th once, again in 11th doing more than one that year, and then do a senior thesis in 12th. I love tying the topics into history or literature but currently MP does not do that. The lit guides assign essays but no research and the history guides just have simple comprehension questions with no essays or research. I would love to see research skills taught in 10th and used in 11th and 12th. This is the MP homeschool weekness compared to Highlands.
                    Do the online classes (other than composition class) teach and assign formal research paper that require citations as part of the class?
                    Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
                    DD, 25, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
                    DS, 23, BS '18 mechanical engineering
                    DS, 21, chemistry major
                    DS, 18, Physics major
                    DD, 15, dyslexic, 10th grade customizednMP plus co-op
                    DS, 12, super squirmy, possible dysgraphia, MP 7A
                    DD, 6 , K- finally one who seems to like drawing and writing- first one since my oldest!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Research Papers

                      Originally posted by momgineer View Post
                      As a non language arts person, I am terrible at teaching writing. I can’t just assign a research paper in history and teach how to write it with no guidelines. My older kids had a whole process they went through in English class. Pick a topic, find resources, take notes, make an outline, write and cite, revise. I need that step by step in the lesson plans. I feel it is VERY important for high schoolers to be taught this skill. Having all the technical skills is great, but taking notes and knowing what and when to cite is a hard skill to learn. Format (MLA etc) is no big deal, but the process of finding key information in these gigantic books, noting it and then knowing when cite and what can be considered common knowledge and not need cited it hard. It’s nit just quotes and paraphrases you cite but specific information too. They really need to be stepped slowly through this ideally in 10th once, again in 11th doing more than one that year, and then do a senior thesis in 12th. I love tying the topics into history or literature but currently MP does not do that. The lit guides assign essays but no research and the history guides just have simple comprehension questions with no essays or research. I would love to see research skills taught in 10th and used in 11th and 12th. This is the MP homeschool weekness compared to Highlands.
                      Do the online classes (other than composition class) teach and assign formal research paper that require citations as part of the class?
                      Again, I don't want to sound like I'm being contrary or dismissive, but much of this is really exactly the incremental approach taken in Classical Comp starting in 4th grade. They learn to outline and use outside resources. They learn to write and revise (over and over again, much to my kids' chagrin sometimes). It seems like you could start requiring a source or some kind of citation as early as Cheria/Maxim if you were so inclined, but if you look at Thesis and Law by 11th or 12th grade there are defintely opportunities to turn one of those topics into a cited paper. You are saying above that you need this step by step in the lesson plans, but you've then listed all the steps one would take. You could assign something that looked just like that, IMO. But a lot of those guidelines are there in CC to use too. Purdue OWL (already mentioned) is a great resource too; one that I leaned on heavily when I was doing college in my early 30s, long after I had written anything formal for high school.

                      Also, I realize my oldest is only in 6th grade, so I'm speaking mainly from my personal experience attending public school and then doing college online later in life. There were tons of kids who wrote research papers out the wazoo starting in 2nd grade, and from what I saw of their writing online in college, they could not form a coherent thesis/topic/argument despite doing many, many assigned research papers before college. Researching sources was actually the easiest part for many college students because they could get the hang of JSTOR after using Google for most of their lives. They also learned how to cite sources, but a lot of this came in Comp 101 or 102 type classes. I don't disagree that using citations to support arguments is a skill that needs to be taught, and I don't disagree that it would be a good idea to do one or two big papers in high school with cites, but I also have confidence that if my kids get to college having done "only" Classical Composition, they will be leaps and bounds ahead of most anyone else in terms of writing that they will do just fine, despite any deficits that may come from not being specifically assigned a research paper in their homeschool. I know that sounds kind of blase about writing in general, but I think CC requires a lot of them, especially in the upper levels, and that doesn't even touch on what papers/essays they might be writing for classical studies, science, and literature in those upper grades.
                      Jodi
                      ~~~~~~~
                      2019-20 School Year:
                      Ethan (7A)
                      Matthew (5A)
                      Silas (1st)
                      Eleanor (4yo dabbling in PK as time allows)
                      Andrew (brand new as of Oct 2019)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Research Papers

                        CLE has 2 three week units for research papers. I've added this onto the end of my co-op and cottage classes a couple of times. Very open and go. https://www.clp.org/search/results?u...rch+&x=23&y=16
                        Bean. Long time MP user. I usually post before my coffee is finished. I apologize in advance for my typos and grammatical mishaps.

                        DD 10th: Aerospace enthusiast. All AP & dual enrollment courses for 20-21.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Research Papers

                          Originally posted by momgineer View Post
                          Do the online classes (other than composition class) teach and assign formal research paper that require citations as part of the class?
                          MPOA does offer a Senior Thesis whose required texts include a style guide. I'm not as familiar with the details of upper-level MPOA classes, so I'll need to refer you to MPOA directly (onlineacademy@memoriapress.com or 877-745-8866) for more information.
                          Michael
                          Memoria Press

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Research Papers

                            Originally posted by bean View Post
                            CLE has 2 three week units for research papers. I've added this onto the end of my co-op and cottage classes a couple of times. Very open and go. https://www.clp.org/search/results?u...rch+&x=23&y=16
                            These are wonderful!!! Thank you!!!

                            Beth
                            Beth
                            DD12 - 7M
                            DD10 - 5M

                            "When you're good to others, you are best to yourself."
                            -Benjamin Franklin

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Research Papers

                              Originally posted by JodiSue View Post
                              Again, I don't want to sound like I'm being contrary or dismissive, but much of this is really exactly the incremental approach taken in Classical Comp starting in 4th grade. They learn to outline and use outside resources. They learn to write and revise (over and over again, much to my kids' chagrin sometimes). It seems like you could start requiring a source or some kind of citation as early as Cheria/Maxim if you were so inclined, but if you look at Thesis and Law by 11th or 12th grade there are defintely opportunities to turn one of those topics into a cited paper. You are saying above that you need this step by step in the lesson plans, but you've then listed all the steps one would take. You could assign something that looked just like that, IMO. But a lot of those guidelines are there in CC to use too. Purdue OWL (already mentioned) is a great resource too; one that I leaned on heavily when I was doing college in my early 30s, long after I had written anything formal for high school.

                              Also, I realize my oldest is only in 6th grade, so I'm speaking mainly from my personal experience attending public school and then doing college online later in life. There were tons of kids who wrote research papers out the wazoo starting in 2nd grade, and from what I saw of their writing online in college, they could not form a coherent thesis/topic/argument despite doing many, many assigned research papers before college. Researching sources was actually the easiest part for many college students because they could get the hang of JSTOR after using Google for most of their lives. They also learned how to cite sources, but a lot of this came in Comp 101 or 102 type classes. I don't disagree that using citations to support arguments is a skill that needs to be taught, and I don't disagree that it would be a good idea to do one or two big papers in high school with cites, but I also have confidence that if my kids get to college having done "only" Classical Composition, they will be leaps and bounds ahead of most anyone else in terms of writing that they will do just fine, despite any deficits that may come from not being specifically assigned a research paper in their homeschool. I know that sounds kind of blase about writing in general, but I think CC requires a lot of them, especially in the upper levels, and that doesn't even touch on what papers/essays they might be writing for classical studies, science, and literature in those upper grades.
                              I fully agree about kids who write "research papers" starting in 2nd grade. That is not the type of research paper I am talking about. I am talking about formal research papers at the high school level. I am not in any way looking for research instruction in grade school or even middle school. I am looking for it to be formally taught in high school well before senior thesis so they can use the skills during high school and get prepared for college writing. I know colleges will teach it is English 101, but the classes that students take that first semester will assume they know how to write a research paper before they finish English 101. At least my daughter's classes her first semester assumed it.

                              Classical Comp is a great program! I fully agree. It gives you all the technical skills to be a strong writer. I only taught through Confirmation/Refutation and then my son dropped CC to do Language Arts through another program. In that program they stepped them through researching and writing a paper over a full year. Perhaps the later levels of CC teach note taking and knowing when to cite information, but I didn't see that in my quick glance. MP reps have stated often that the teachers at Highlands add in other writing in addition to CC. They teach paragraph writing in literature class and introduce how to write essays and according to an above post, they teach and assign formal research papers in history. Students get this instruction at Highlands. It does not appear to be included in the MP homeschool curriculum. I have stepped my kids through the process with another curriculum and I *could* pull that old curriculum out, but the whole point of using MP is that it is all there. I know there are "opportunities" to add in additional writing, but I am not skilled enough to know when is best to do so or how much to add or when exactly to add it. Or maybe my experience with other homeschool curriculum that require research papers is overkill and it really isn't needed in high school other than senior thesis? I don't know. But the fact the Highlands does it, makes me want my kids to do it.
                              Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
                              DD, 25, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
                              DS, 23, BS '18 mechanical engineering
                              DS, 21, chemistry major
                              DS, 18, Physics major
                              DD, 15, dyslexic, 10th grade customizednMP plus co-op
                              DS, 12, super squirmy, possible dysgraphia, MP 7A
                              DD, 6 , K- finally one who seems to like drawing and writing- first one since my oldest!

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