Homeschool Musings of a Charlotte Mason Mom

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Composition Comes By Nature

                What is composition? Composition is the make up of anything, a putting together of parts to form a whole such as writing sentences, making pictures, and setting type in printing.
                Teaching a child to write can be a tedious task. Words don't always just flow for every child. For some children their words flowing on their paper can sound like a trip to the ocean. The words on the paper can sound like the waves lapping on to the shore. They roll in and they roll out. Sometimes they may even appear as the ocean might on a stormy day, a might bit choppy. Regardless of how they are sounding, the child is composing. The reader may not like the tune that is being played in his or her ear, but the writer has a great composition in progress. The writer is at work and the reader has to wait for the finished product.
                Charlotte Mason said, "Composition comes by nature." A child has an inner writing ability if he or she has not been hampered by instructions. Give the child a great book to read. Leave the grammatical rules out. Let the power of the eye connect with the mind. What the child sees will be the foundation laid for the child's writing ability to derive from. Composition is the putting together of parts to make a whole. The child will take what he or she sees in the great book and begins constructing his or her paper. The power of the eye will cause the child to take notice that the first sentence in the paragraph is indented. He or she will see that the first letter in that first word of the paragraph is capitalized. As images are reflected to the eye, brain waves are sending information to the mind to be stored for later reference. When the child takes up his or her pen and puts it to the paper, those images come back to the mind. The natural ability of remembrance comes forth. As the child is writing the power of the eye is focused on the paper. The child takes notice. Something is wrong with the view. "Ah," the mind thinks, "I need to put a comma after that group of words. This sentence needs a period at the end of it. I should place a question mark at the end of that sentence because a question is being asked. I'd better put an exclamation point there where that excitement is being shown." Even though the grammatical rules aren't being taught, the images that were stored in the mind will cause the child to want his or her paper to look like the pages in the book. The power of the eye and a great book will produce a marvelous composition.
                Our business as the teacher is to provide the child with wholesome material for his or her lesson. The power of the eye will take over at that point and send the images that are reflected to the brain. Later, readily enough the child will compose in his or her own time Composition should not have to be taught. It should come by nature. Charlotte Mason said, "Composition is as natural as jumping and running to children who have been aloud due use of books." VOL 1 PG 247
                Choppy papers that a child begins writing will develop in to a master piece as the wealth of material given to the child to read instills in the mind. As the child grasps the material the reader will no longer feel as if he was standing on the seashore listening to the waves lap the shore. Structure will begin taking place and the writer will come forth. The child will take the parts he or she has learned and put them together to form a whole composition.
                As children's teachers, we should give them wholesome material for their lessons and wait for the writer to emerge.

On a different note, I'm having a Give-a-Way on my blog. So click on the link and see what I got for you.


Charlotte Mason in the City said...

Most excellent post! I'm convinced that reading good books (and developing good observational skills!) leads to good writing.

Sarah said...

I love this statement you made.
"Let the power of the eye connect with the mind. What the child sees will be the foundation laid for the child's writing ability to derive from."
It really sums up the idea. Thanks for sharing with us. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts.

Nancy said...

You make some great points in this post. I think I am struck most by the fact that unless the material, the books, are of the best quality and quantity, things will not go as Miss Mason said. Sounds like you are doing an awesome job in your home!

Ring true,


Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

...comes by nature...yes!

I think that we as parent/teachers get in the way so many times with our child's natural development. If we read great living books, fill their minds with ideas, have them tell it back, and THEN expect them to write there is no trouble at all. The mechanics is easily fixed if needed but they will have plenty to write about.

Great post.

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