Narration appears from the outside to be a small, almost insignificant addition to the journey of knowledge acquisition in home education. I mean, how significant could something so apparently simple, be so important?
Over the years as an educator, I have found that in teaching, as in life, it is the simplicity of life that can be of the most profound importance. Narration is simple yet profound in helping a child to develop the love of reading and education. Narration is, in fact, an amazing tool for both the mentor and student.
- Children need to be heard.
- Students need to learn to communicate effectively their own thoughts and feelings about what they are learning.
- Kids need to develop their thought processes, and begin to organize their thoughts and build confidence in their own ideas.
Narration is simply the "telling back" from the student of what they heard in the living book that was read aloud to them. I love what Charlotte Mason said of this process:
"What a child digs for becomes his own possession."
My mode of operation today is not actually to convince you that narration is an important addition to the home education journey. I am confident enough as a Charlotte Mason home educator to just say, "The years have proven it is an essential element in learning. End of story." I'm not going to sight third party research. I'm not going to quote endorsements by great educational gurus. I will say this . . .
I have experienced the amazing transformation that narration can produce in the life of an individual child, and the joy that it brings to the daily life of educating our own children. Learning is a gift and narration is the capstone to enable mentors to continually give that gift to students.
So, whether you are a long-time mentor of narration, or a beginner, here are a few wonderful results to look forward to in narration:
1. Improved listening skills.
2. Developed creativity and originality.
3. Builds confidence in sharing one's own opinion.
4. Better comprehension ability.
5. Improved writing skills.
6. Develops excellent observation skills.
7. Longer retention of knowledge.
8. Improved ability to logically evaluate
9. Effective and efficient communication skills.
10. Builds the love of knowledge.
Please remember that like music, painting or poetry, narration is a form of art. An art that takes gentle nurturing, dedicated practice and hopeful directing over time. Key word here? TIME.
Take the time to narrate. Start with 10 minutes of reading and having your student narrate only a sentence or two at a time. Add to your daily narration routine each week. As you water the seed of narration with good ideas, living books and time, you will see a glorious harvest in the months and years to come.
Do you use narration in your daily schedule?
Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom
Narration sound good to you? I recommend this excellent e-book on how to use Charlotte Mason methods in your own home.