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Recitation and truth-telling

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    Recitation and truth-telling

    So, friends, some truth-telling here: this year we have fallen off the recitation band-wagon. Some of this is due to the accelerated fifth grade recitation not being provided yet and my unwillingness and/or lack of dedication to create my own. When he moves into accelerated 6th there's not going to be one provided so I'll be in the same boat next year. The recitations from other years are so concise! I have trouble narrowing each week down to the 8-12 most important things. Another reason is the sheer volume of time is takes for two grammar school-aged kids to go through it, even once a week. The last reason is that our school enrollment increased this year with a Kindergartener. Her one hour of one-on-one school with Mom consumes what was a "free hour" last year. I've still yet to recover the balance.

    This is about the time of year I start to look back and see what we've done well this year and where other areas that have suffered. For example, instead of recitation I've read more aloud and that's been a great thing for all of us. I know it's not realistic to do everything perfectly, deeply, and thoroughly all of the time, so I have grace for this movement. However, I'd love to hear how those of you with older students have made this work. Specifically, I'm thinking of third grade and above. My Ker does hers well two/three times a week but it's so short and easy! Another issue in play is that my students do much of their work independently, which is fantastic. And, it removes the possibility of us plopping down to "do" Greek Myths and have a quick review over the 100 questions in the back.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially from my sage forerunners with kids older than 10:
    What does recitation look like in your homeschool week?
    Do you grab it with one child at a time or have everyone rounded up?
    What studies do you find are most necessary to stay on top of recitation? (This year I'm seeing my oldest's Famous Men Study retention suffer without it.)

    Thank you, warmly!
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
    12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
    10th • HLN, Latin online, MPOA
    7th • HLN & Home
    4th • HLN & Home
    Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

    Hi, Jessica.

    When I was teaching 5th/6th grades, I always did the recitation by subject. So, when we started our FMMA or FMG class, I started it with a recitation/drill of the flashcards for that particular class. For Christian studies, we always started with a recitation of the Scripture we had learned. For Latin, we always started with a recitation of the grammar forms and a review of vocabulary. So, our recitations were spread throughout the day. It starts the class out with some energy and allows the students to see what they already know before delving into new material. I found it to be a great way to start each class, but I understand that this would be more difficult at home when you have several students starting classes all the time. You could be reciting all day!




      For us, it hasn't been too terribly hard because my 5th grader just started full MP this year, so I combined him and his sis (accelerated 3) for LCI, Myths, Astronomy, CS1 and EGR I. However, I haven't really followed the 3 recitation plan because we have started each subject at different times and are all over the place. What has helped us stay on top of it is organizing the flashcards by weeks and filing them in index card boxes. The subjects that I don't have cards for, I create by pulling questions from guides or info that I feel they haven't retained after we discuss. Then I just cycle through the weeks randomly each morning for about 10 minutes. I have my pre-ker added in too. I make all them be a part of certainly doesn't hurt! We also *try* to end our day with a short recitation. Sometimes I add in to their LP book "do recitation: current week and wk x". Lastly, having the little green EGR book handy has helped to drill grammar.

      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


        Ah, Jessica....we are on such a similar wavelength at this time of year! (Reminder...I love this forum!) I have been having such similar thoughts: evaluating our year, how have we done, should we ramp up anything for the last push, what to do differently next year....I am right there with you!

        This was the first year my oldest two did complete MP I have especially been thinking about them, and I agree with Tanya...I have found it works well to do a drill session right at the beginning of our discussion time. For the fifth grade subjects I use the 100 lists in the back. But for my eighth grader, it has been harder...she never did recitation, and I often find myself skipping any kind of drill. So for both of them, I want to adjust how our day goes.

        Something I have been thinking about is what we started at the beginning of the year with my second and third graders. It is very similar to the review box idea that came up on the forum last week or so. What we do is I have a 1/2 hour scheduled with each as we get started. During that half hour, we go through all their drill: spelling words (orally), math drill (and any explanation), Latin drill (and explanation), Catechism, and the recitation list. We have to move quickly to get it in within a half hour, but that sort of helps gets it in, but we don't let it go on and on. Then they have a really clear idea of everything they are doing that day. They still work independently, and I check things over at the end of the day.

        I was rereading a booklet I have about the methods of St.Ignatius for organizing lessons, and that was what they always did....a brief review of previously learned material, a preview of new, then learning, then discussion, then a preview of what is coming next. So in the context of our day, I would like to have that same "preelection" time with each one....where we drill and preview each subject for their day, then they go work independently, then we review at the end, and I check work. Seems like it works on paper, but I am cringing at whether it would actually work timing-wise. I just need more hours in the day!

        I really like how it has helped my day with my younger ones, and I would like to have that time with my older ones. So I am mulling this...

        16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
        DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
        DS, 17
        DD, 15
        DD, 13
        DD, 11
        DD, 9
        DD, 7
        DS, 2