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Advice for a "Mr Thompson"

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    Advice for a "Mr Thompson"

    The TL;DR here is "memory issues."

    My daughter generally can do the school from her MP2 core, though she hates it and drags her feet. And she has a real gift for memorizing poems she likes and sections of dialogue from audiobooks that she finds clever or witty.

    But when it comes to spelling or Latin or flashcard facts, she's exactly like that episode of The Simpsons called "Witness Protection Program" where Homer can't remember he's Mr Thompson. I put the sequence below, for fun, but basically I can repeat stuff for hours and it's like she's never heard of before. I say the Latin word from Prima (keeping in mind that we have been studying Latin in a casual way for FOUR years and NONE of these words are new!!), have her repeat it in Latin and English, and then say "Okay, what does clamo mean?" And she stares blankly. "Clamo means I shout. Let's repeat it with hand motions. Clamo!! I shout!" (She repeats, we move on. Three minutes later) "How do we say 'I shout'?" And she stares blankly. "Sepametra something? Something with a P?" UGH... And I just think of that episode -- when I say "clamo" and step on your foot... Lol.

    (Here's that classic sequence):
    FBI Man: Tell you what, sir, from now on, you'll be Homer Thompson at Terror Lake. Let's just practice a bit, hmm? When I say "hello, Mr. Thompson", you'll say "hi".

    Homer: Check!

    FBI Man : Hello, Mr. Thompson.

    [Homer stares blankly]

    FBI Man: Remember now, your name is Homer Thompson.

    Homer: I gotcha.

    FBI Man: Hello, Mr. Thompson.

    [again Homer stares blankly]

    [hours pass by]

    FBI Man: [frustrated] Argh... Now when I say "hello, Mr. Thompson" and press down on your foot, you smile and nod.

    Homer: No problem.

    FBI Man: [stepping hard on Homer's foot] Hello, Mr. Thompson.

    Homer: [stares blankly again for a few seconds, then whispers to the other FBI man] I think he's talking to you.
    Emily
    2022-2023: first year with MP cores

    DS - 12 MP 7
    DD - 9 MP 4
    DD - 7 MP 2
    DD - 5 MP K
    DD - 4
    DS - 2
    DD - new baby

    #2
    Hi, Emily. You might want to review Prima with the Simply Classical Level 4 plans. They include Translation Station & other games that might help you to begin more formally "over-teaching," which she might need.

    Search "Simply Classical Individual Lesson Plans," then scroll to Latin, Simply Classical 4.

    This might help for Latin if you plan to teach more formally. It could be difficult for your daughter to learn and then recall with more casual approaches. This could be for a variety of reasons that might be explored further, if you wanted to explore them. For now it seems you have sufficient evidence to know that this child needs something more intentional in some areas for true mastery to occur.

    You might find the corresponding Simply Classical Curriculum Manual useful for any subjects you are teaching or re-teaching.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you, I will check it out!!
      Emily
      2022-2023: first year with MP cores

      DS - 12 MP 7
      DD - 9 MP 4
      DD - 7 MP 2
      DD - 5 MP K
      DD - 4
      DS - 2
      DD - new baby

      Comment


        #4
        Hi, Emily!

        What you described in your initial post is very much what we have often experienced with our oldest daughter. She enjoys Latin immensely now, although her pacing is slower than average. Like your daughter, she easily memorizes poems and songs that she loves.

        A couple things that helped us is to use her love for scripted language. This first came to mind some years ago when my oldest was around nine. We were watching a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musical film, "Follow the Fleet", when my oldest began to connect that the dialog included several Latin derivatives covered in "Prima Latina." We started to make a list as the film progressed. Or, if you can access the episodes of "Jeeves and Wooster" from the early 90s, you will find a treasure trove of vocabulary, as well as the occasional scene of children resisting their Latin lessons.

        Another is to find songs that can lend themselves to connecting with the studies. Our favorite is Elvis' "Now or Never" sung as "Nunc aut Numquam". Or insert vocabulary as lyrics to other songs she loves. (My two oldest daughters have collaborated to write two Shakespeare puppet shows using song parodies full of verses from the plays.)

        From the tone of your post, you appear to have a great sense of creative fun. While the studies do not always have to be fun (and our kids need to learn how to persevere regardless, right?), our family has enjoyed finding amusing ways to bridge our classical approach to lessons with a little levity.

        Hope this helps!

        Laura H.
        Laura H.

        2022-2023:
        DD: 17, special-needs: language processing issues, aspiring illustrator, our "Meg"
        DD: 14: aspiring pediatric nurse, our "Jo"
        DD: 9: our "Beth"
        DD: 9: our "Amy"
        We use MP Latin Resources, Literature guides, & Geography
        plus homeschool co-op

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