Seven Laws of Teaching Your Own: Conclusion

posted in: pedagogical | 4

I wrote this series one year ago at A Healer’s Geste, and am reposting the series here at my new home on the internet. How we teach our children is part of how we interact with and love our children, and make this life together work.

Begin with the introduction, summary, and table of contents for The Seven Laws of Teaching Your Own series.

The Seven Laws of Teaching Your Own

The book is available for free online.

Summary of the Seven Laws of Teaching

I think this book provides an excellent framework for thinking about our role as teachers. In seven sentences, he outlines the principles necessary to learning. Can you think of any aspect not encompassed in one of these laws? So, as I read and then as I typed up my notes, I thought about how I would apply the laws in real life. What applications jump out at me in particular? Here is what I came up with:
  1. I need to read what Hans (and soon Jaeger) will be narrating. I can't prompt narrations when I don't know what was in the chapter. I don't know if he's giving a complete or accurate narration, and so how is it truly accountability? I am making it to easy for him to be sloppy and deceive (even himself). Sigh. I have so many books of my own that I want to read, I really have no desire to read Jean Fritz. But, I have heard the call of duty and I need to respond.
  2. With each change of subject during school, I need to open with a question. This one practice encompasses multiple laws: securing attention, focusing thoughts, prompting reflection, reviewing & connecting old knowledge to new, and requiring the learners to do much of the talking. This one shouldn't be too hard; it is more of a habit that needs to be cultivated.
  3. Likewise, I need to end each book or subject with requiring a summary or illustration by a student. I need to broaden my requirement for narrations.
  4. I am going to use what, why, how, where, when, *whom, and what of it questions to guide narrations and discussions.
  5. I need to be more consistent with my sneaky means of review: the "tell Dad about your day" prompt at the dinner table.
  6. I need to begin the practice of an end-of-term exam. I am going to start simple by arranging a mid-morning or afternoon (or both) teatime where I prompt with "Tell me what you know about x" and then guide with the questions delineated in #4.
How about you? Do you have any ideas for practical, real-life application to your specific situation?

Next Up

After reading Seven Laws, I read Charlotte Mason's third volume, School Education. As I took notes, I outlined how things fit into the seven laws' framework. I'll share those notes next.
Seven Laws of Teaching your Own Series

4 Responses

  1. Trisha
    |

    Your summary is very helpful! I’d love to hear how a mom of many works this out practically, though. Having many children of multiple ages means you’re not going to be able to read everything (unless this is just an issue for me). The number of children aren’t the problem, obviously, so I’m just wondering when our expectations should change.( I have eight children, ages 17-1 and am pregnant with our ninth.) Would love to hear thoughts on this. :)

    • Mystie Winckler
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      No, you’re not going to be able to. I haven’t even been able to keep up with only two readers! But this year has been our first “serious” year (my oldest is 3rd grade), we’ve been derailed a few times, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and my two oldest students.

      What I ended up doing lately is giving them notebooking-page-type assignments rather than oral narrations. When we do discuss, I ask Andrew Kern inspired “should” questions. Part of my strategy for next year is to make the main books read-alouds, so we all experience it together.

      I know Brandy’sstrategy is to preread her oldest’s AO books, and then go on that reading with subsequent children.

      So, in other words, I totally blew prereading this year. Anyone else have ideas? :)

  2. Trisha
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    Thanks, Mystie, for taking the time to respond. Your reply is encouraging!

  3. Amy
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    Interesting post! I’m liking these a lot! I love how you read Miss Mason’s book along with this and fit it in.