Friday, September 10, 2010


     Having children narrate, or "tell back" , is one of the main things that drew me to Charlotte Mason.  If you put something into your own words, you will remember it so much better than just being a passive listener.  As easy as it seems, however, narrating has been difficult to implement.  When I first started having Anna narrate her readings, she didn't seem to be able to remember anything that was just read to her.  I started stopping after every paragraph, and asking her what I had just read.  She couldn't remember.  It was frustrating, but I kept trying, because I felt that narrating would help Anna not only be able to remember her school work better, but would help her be able to organize her thoughts.  She seems to have trouble telling stories in successive order. It's like she knows what she wants to say, but it comes out so jumbled, it's difficult to understand her.  So, we  continued struggling through narrations without much success, until I finally started praying about it. Then voila, she started remembering, and being able to tell me back a comprehensible story! We still have bad days, but we are getting there, and even on her bad days she is still improving.                                                                                                                                      

I generally have her narrate every reading, but I want more thorough narrations for Bible and history.  I don't even have to ask her to tell me back the story any more; she starts as soon as I pause in my reading.  There has been a few times I just paused for a breath, and she's started narrating!  I don't stop her, I'm just so glad she likes to narrate now.     The Copy of Our Island Story that we own does not have illustrations, so I have Anna do picture narrations for that as well as oral.  This is a picture of Brutus conquering Albion.  I was surprised she drew Brutus for this story, as I was sure she would draw a mermaid, but I think Brutus was the only person she could remember in the story.  The next chapter was of Julius conquering Britain.  I think this one illustrates the story better, as the roman solder grabbing the standard, and leaping into the water is a climatic moment in the story.  We looked at pictures of Roman solders and galleys on the Internet to give her an idea of how they looked.


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