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Recitation Content/Procedure

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    Recitation Content/Procedure

    I see recitation questions in the back of my fifth grade curriculum manual that look like they include Christian studies, classical studies, geography, and science. I also see that there are recitation questions listed at the beginning of each lesson in Latin and English grammar. I don't see any suggested recitation questions for any other subjects (math, spelling, American studies, or poety, for example). Am I missing them, or am I supposed to compile lists of those on my own?

    Also, is recitation intended to be done once for all subjects at the beginning of each day, or are there supposed to be separate mini-recitations at the beginning of each subject?

    And the curriculum guide says that recitation content should be "consistent and cumulative. The order of facts is always the same, with new information added at the end." Does that mean that I just keep adding to it each week and never drop anything? It seems like the list would get unreasonably long after a while? If I am supposed to drop things, how do I determine when/what to drop? Or do I just start with a new list each week?

    Thanks in advance for your help. :-)

    I have the hardest time getting to the full CM Recitation by mid year. It's tedious. Some mamas only do the week they are on plus a few review weeks. Anything you review will not be wasted.

    I don't know if you are doing 5M or 5A, but with science, (Insects for us) I start the lesson with the review of Astronomy that is listed in the TM, then we go over flashcards. For Geography, we do our S&C review, we might work on a few difficult spellings, then we review all countries and capitals to date. For math, we do the 200 facts silently, any skip counting in the CM, the poster I made with all of the conversions (miles, yards, years/wks/days, etc), then any oral problems from the TM, then assign the work. We recite our CS memory verses and poetry stanzas we're working on daily, with a cumulative Recitation of all learned verses and poems once a week as I can fit it in. I usually dictate spelling words on Thursday and practice supplemental spellings then (esp of Famous Men series leaders that have to be written in short answer on tests). I find that there is some overlap between EGR and Latin Recitation, so if we've been diligent, I will only do EGR questions that weren't hit upon in Latin. I also assign the flashcards of EGR for independent review.

    I prioritize review prior to every subject taught. Sometimes I will highlight questions in Recitation that are from prior years that won't be asked in review questions, but the drill questions and review get the bulk of our focus.
    Mama of 2, teacher of 3

    SY 21/22
    5A w/ SFL & CC Narrative class

    Completed MPK, MP1 Math & Enrichment, MP2, 3A, 4A
    SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math), SC2's Writing Book 1


      Quizlet is great for this when mama is short on time! I try to do a formal recitation at least once a week with each kid but will use Quizlet if we are crunched for time.

      Each of my lower school kids has their own flashcard box divided by subjects. I spend a short bit of time Monday morn adding the week’s new flashcards. I usually drill with each of them daily but they are capable of doing so on their own if need be.

      Yesterday, while driving in to town, we had a “spelling bee” and “recitation bee” in the car. Although this was at the mercy of my memory of the words and weekly recitation for 4 weeks and two grades , it was productive and quite fun!

      My point being, tailor recitation and drill to make it work for you!

      DS 17: Senior!
      DD 14: 10th
      DD 10: 6th
      Twin DD's 8: 3rd
      Mix of MP, Co-op, TAN and traveling the U.S


        There really is no wrong or right way to do this. Obviously the MORE time you can spend reciting and drilling information with your child, the more they will retain. However there are limits to time.

        I believe the recitation in the curriculum manual is meant to be done after the morning prayer as a quick warm up/review to the day. However, if you are short on time because you have many children at different levels, that is the first thing I (personally) would cut. (Again, there is no right or wrong way.). Or, you could replace it with an electronic review using Quizlet (or ANKI). Are electronic reviews as good as working with mom or dad? Maybe not, but they are a good second place alternative.

        HOWEVER---the subject by subject recitations (available in the indivdiual curriculum manuals) are very important IMHO. So if you are going to drop the morning recitation, have no guilt. BUT, do a really good subject by subject recitation. There are a few ways to do this:

        1). Option A: You have a lot of time or only one student:
        At the start of each subject, go down the drill questions for this subject and ask them each rapid fire. As you get towards the end, you can even break them into sections. This really doesn't take that long. Make a pencil mark next to anything they struggle with and review those especially. Also, for literature/Christian Studies/Classical Studies, drill the vocabulary/facts to know for each subject in that unit by saying the definition and having them tell you the word or person. You can also drill map locations and dates for these subjects too using one of the blank maps in the manual.

        2) Option B: You have *some* time:
        Do the drill once per week for each subject using *all* of the drill questions learned so far. Do this rapid fire and it doesn't take that long.. The rest of the week the student should review the flashcards for that subject (which are the drill questions if you haven't figured that out.). Or, in the case of Latin, they should recite the grammar/endings by themselves each day and listen/speak along with the CD. Once per week you can give a flashcard quiz. (In the case of Latin, this would be Vocab and sayings.) Pull out 10 flashcards randomly from the deck they were supposed to be studying each day....and quiz them on them. Give a percentage grade. (The point of this is to just keep the student honest with their self-study throughout the week, and give them some motivation to learn the cards).

        3). Option C: You are stretched for time:
        Let drill be completely "self study". Assign physical flashcards or electronic flashcards (using Quizlet) each day. The "test" to see if they were studying enough would be the actual quizzes/tests that come with the curriculum. If at any time you notice that your student isn't doing very well on the tests (or if they complain that they are too hard), move back up to one of the other options for awhile with the goal of teaching them HOW TO study for a test or a quiz. That is key. Don't just allow the student to grow too frustrated or start to develop thoughts like, "I'm just bad at Latin" or "I'm just bad at Classical Studies." Those attitudes are very limiting. Instead teach them that they are very capable of learning, they just have to work at it. (Because that is more likely the honest truth.). I've noticed that whenever the tests/quizzes start to feel "too hard", that is usually an indicator that you need to bump up their study time/skills a bit. Keep in mind that struggling with study skills is very age appropriate for this level. They just haven't learned how to study effectively and efficiently at this point. One of the major goals and benefits of these classes is not only to teach the material, but also to teach study skills for preparation for high school and beyond.

        Personal story: When my middle daughter first started MP, she thought that she could just look at or read through the facts to know or the Latin vocabulary to study. For some students that might be enough, but we found through trial and error that that strategy didn't work well for her. She would not do well on the tests, and more importantly they felt very hard for her. (Remember that is one of the signs to look out for at this stage IMHO.)

        We found that she needs to actually RECALL the information. Passively looking at it was not enough. So she covers up the words with her hand or a piece of paper (in facts to know and vocabulary) now and quizzes herself each day. She doesn't just read through the Latin vocabulary on the page, she shows the English on the flashcards and tries to write the Latin on paper. She doesn't just say the Latin Grammar questions in the back of the student workbook, we actually made flashcards for these too. And, We also found out, through trial and error, that reciting the Latin silently in her mind does next to nothing for her. Neither does just passively listening to the CD. She must actually recite the Latin each day aloud to get it into her head. My point with sharing this personal story is to show that each student will differently. Learning what strategies work uniquely for them helps them in future academic pursuits. And more importantly, it teaches them that they are very capable of success with a bit of effort. (As opposed to just copping out with the excuse, "This is hard." or "I can't do this."). I personally think this is SUCH a valuable lesson to learn, and this is the perfect time to learn this lesson. Its better to struggle and learn these skills now in elementary and middle school before grades really start to "count" or "matter" in high school.
        Cathy aka The Attached Mama
        DS 12, 7th Grade
        DD 11, 6th Grade
        DS 5, K


          Recitation was one of the most important things we added to our day with the MP system. We strive to do it every single day. Having said that, if a fact is mastered, we don’t review it much (maybe once per week or every other). We do not do the formal stance, however. I use it like a game show (hey — whatever keeps them engaged!) Whoever gets the most points gets to eat first at lunch or pick out the day’s movie. Tailor the recitation load to your own needs, but do try to do it. It really does make a huge difference.
          “If I should fall even a thousand times a day, a thousand times, with peaceful repentance, I will say immediately, Nunc Coepi, ‘Now, I begin.’.”

          ~Venerable Bruno Lanteri
          Boy Wonder 13 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
          Joy Bubble 11 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
          Cuddly Cowboy 9 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 3/4/5 + Seton 4
          Sassafras 5 ...MPK + Seton K


            Oh, dear. I now can see into mid-year: 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade recitations, yikes! But it can be done and I’ll strive for that.

            thanks, this is an awesome post.

            I typically loose my voice twice a school year. Do you designate someone to be the leader in such case? Just highlight and pantomime to the kids?

            at home:
            boy - 3rd grade
            boy - 2nd grade
            boy - k/1st
            girl - toddler


              Originally posted by Tulip View Post
              Oh, dear. I now can see into mid-year: 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade recitations, yikes! But it can be done and I’ll strive for that.

              thanks, this is an awesome post.

              I typically loose my voice twice a school year. Do you designate someone to be the leader in such case? Just highlight and pantomime to the kids?
              With a 1st, 2nd and 3rd grader, you can do the "fade" method...where you begin with everything everyone should know...and work your way up to the 3rd graders work... I still wouldn't make it last more than 10 min total. (so the 1st grade may only do 5 min)

              DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, Language Arts with Grandma)
              DS2 9/1/11 - MP4M
              DD3 2/9/13 -MP2/MP3

              Previous Years
              DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
              DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
              DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1


                Senior Member
                howiecram Thanks, your explanation feeds my natural reaction! I’m shimmering in my Charlotte Mason knickers as a 1st year MP parent. Solid advice.

                at home:
                boy - 3rd grade
                boy - 2nd grade
                boy - k/1st
                girl - toddler