If you have come across Charlotte Mason at all in your research about homeschooling– or if you would describe your own homelearning style as Mason-leaning– the term “narration” is probably one you are familiar with.
There are a lot more articles and even books that go into a lot more detail about what narration is and why it is important, and I’m not going to re-invent the wheel here.
The point of this post isn’t to take the time to define what it IS, but to remember what it is NOT. Narration isn’t just a regurgitation of the facts or plot-line of the story. It isn’t just us getting to see what the student knows–or doesn’t. I mean, it CAN (and probably should) include both of those purposes. But that is not all it is.
The purpose of narration is an invitation– and invitation for the student to make the information, the story and the lessons and impacts of it… his or her own.
Because there are ALL types of learners, it stands to reason that there will be all types of storytellers and all kinds of ownership.
A danger that we can fall into when we ask our kids to narrate is to accept– and maybe even encourage, because of time, energy, etc– that we get the “easiest” version of narration from them: basically, a simple retelling. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a retelling… but sometimes, some learners own stories in different ways.
I have found that my oldest isn’t a fan of simply retelling– she wants to create something. She will use figurines, peg dolls, playdough, etc. to create scenes. She wants to put on little skits and give lines to her smaller siblings (bless their hearts, ha!). A simple re-telling? No thanks.
I think it is hard for us as parent-teachers to come up with narration ideas on the fly if our kiddos are being a bit… hesitant. Sometimes all our children need is a germ of an idea and the freedom to run with it.
So, I’ve made up some bookmarks to print out and place in your books and read-alouds. Your child can choose off of the list or you can have a fresh idea rotation, come narration time! Several of the ideas I tweaked from the following post by Simply Charlotte Mason, but I intermingled several ideas of my own that we have done over here. ❤
Happy storytelling, friends! May we be encouraged by how the power of story and living tellings of them shape our students and ourselves!