process of disciplinary education” Char-
lotte Mason–Home Education.
Narration is the telling back, in the child’s
own words, a passage that was read to him
or her. Miss Mason believed that a child un-
der six years of age should not necessarily be
required to narrate as it might take some of
the “enjoyment” out of just sitting down and
spending time reading together. Perhaps
drawing a picture of the story or doing fin-
ger plays together would be something fun
to do after a story, but otherwise, the narra-
tion should be kept at a bare minimum.
Now, once your child has reached the age
of six, oral and written narration should
begin. Simple books like Aesop’s Fables,
fairy tales, animal stories, and other qual-
ity books would be a perfect starting point.
Oral narration is just that: the child telling
you out loud what they remember from
the story. It does not have to be perfect or
critiqued. You shouldn’t offer hints unless
your child seems to be drawing a blank.
You can type up exactly what they tell you,
short or long as it may be, or just remem-
ber what they told you, and the next day
ask them if they remember anything else
from the story the day before. They may, or
they may not. Don’t moderate one way or
another. Making them feel bad will not be
encouraging to them.
Written narration (transcribing a story),
either written or typed, normally begins
around age seven. However, written nar-
ration begins whenever a child is able to
write a few sentences or a paragraph with-
out help. Also, be careful to only require a
few lines at first, then a short paragraph,
and later several paragraphs by about sixth
grade. As the child becomes older and
their writing develops over time, you can
begin making lists of misspelled words as
well as correcting punctuation and other
grammatical errors. However, when the
child first begins, concentrate on what they
remember and the specific details they rec-
ollect, but not necessarily their errors. The
important aspect here is to start by letting
the stories or poems soak into their minds
and become a feast of ideas for them.
Reading aloud and narration are two
of the four cornerstones of the Charlotte
Mason philosophy of education and are
a marvelous and easy way to educate our
Kelly Benedict is a 24-year homeschooling
veteran and mother of 9. She and her husband are awaiting the birth of their 14th
grandbaby, all under the age of 10. She and
her family, only 4 of whom are still in the
nest, live in a tiny country town in Iowa. She
writes lesson plans for TOS and specializes in
Charlotte Mason’s theories and philosophies.
Read her blogs at http://blessedcountry
mama.blogspot.com and http://personal
Oral narration is just that: the child telling you out loud
what they remember from the story.
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