Second only to reading aloud, there is not any other homeschool tool more outstanding than narration.
It it totally free, works across the board with any homeschool approach used and the skill level is absolutely zero for beginner homeschoolers.
It’s not a secret that I use a more unit study approach and don’t really follow a Charlotte Mason approach. With that being said, I don’t think many of us totally follow only one homeschool approach, myself included.
Narration, which is a hallmark of the Charlotte Mason approach though is one homeschool technique that I have used from the beginning of my homeschool journey and that has spanned all of my sons’ learning style.
Most homeschoolers will tout that the greatest benefit of narration is that it is a way of checking what a child understands. Though this is true and it’s important in gauging progress, there are benefits to narration that I couldn’t even imagine.
ONE/ Teaches Valuable Critical Thinking Skills.
When I did narration with Mr. Senior 2013, little did I realize that “simple narration” in younger grades would prepare him for not just high school level courses but for honors courses too.
Mr. Senior 2013 did honors classes early in math. Looking back now, I feel this was directly related to teaching him to only know how to think, but how to sift through information when he was narrating back to me.
Many days as I would sit and listen to him or write down what he would say, I wondered what he would be doing with this massive amount of information he was storing.
I am not the most patient mom but I sat still as my son bubbled forth with what he knew about any subject.
Is Your Homeschool Narration Missing a Vital Link?
I admit, it was not easy to sit and listen to details that I didn’t think mattered to what we were learning at the time.
Simple narration then was the basic framework of teaching him how to think long-term.
Having helped many new homeschoolers, one of the problems they had in the beginning was that their child was not use to sitting still for long amounts of time to contemplate, think or recall information.
A fast paced schedule at public school and constant shifts in focus can leave very little time to process new information.
The problem is exacerbated now because we live in a fast paced technological word and that can breed in all of us a “give-me-an-answer-right-now” attitude.
Narration helped Mr. Senior 2013 to avoid the negative effects of an instant education.
TWO/ Narration nurtures togetherness.
By it’s nature, the process of narration is sociable and interactive.
When I first started narration, I was probably more teacher like using white boards and writing down everything my children told me. That can be part of narration but as I have schooled longer, I realize narration is more of meaningful conversation than me quizzing my children.
Narration in 5 minutes.
Time spent one on one with each of my sons nurtures a warm relationship and it begins with short meaningful conversations each day.
Getting past the feeling that narration had to be so formal and school like each time, I realized that communication with each of my sons was filling an inborn need for all of us, which is to communicate.
One of the reasons for homeschooling, which I hold very dear is to give each child my exclusive undivided attention for discussing whatever is weighing heavy on his mind.
As each son narrated back what they liked about a story, a science lesson or history lesson, it almost always was a time for them to share with me what else they were thinking at the time.
I wouldn’t trade any of those special moments I have had with them for making them sit down alone and do a quiz to process information.
THREE/ Self-Expression flourishes.
Another benefit of narration is that your kids learn beautiful expressions that fill their mind’s memory from worthy literature.
Using literature like the Bible and other great sources like classical literature and living books your child gradually learns to adopt values and principles that make up the man or woman they will turn out to be.
Self-expression flourishes because they have been influenced by resources that you value.
What I am saying is that instead of being molded by this world, which can make a child feel withdrawn because they are always being corrected, your child becomes an independent and free thinker in a positive way.
A lot of homeschooled children who have never been public school simply do no care whether their viewpoint is accepted or not by others.
Being sure of their identity because they have spent time pondering morals, principles and values learned and recited during narration from childhood, a child is proud of their adult role whether they start a family of their own, go to college or take up some form of ministry.
It has been hard for me to strain all of my feelings, thoughts and reflections about the value of narration into these short nuggets.
My love for the tool of narration has only been heightened now as I help Mr. Senior 2013 with his next venture as an adult.
Seize the moments for narration and don’t let them pass you by because they are filling more needs than you can imagine at this point in your homeschool journey.
What about you? Do you take time for narration?
Hugs and love ya,
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