Friday, March 11, 2011

The Ground-Plan for Education...Narration

As we began our Year-1 in January, I could hardly wait to see how Bo would do with narration.  According to Ms. Mason, narration is the ground-plan for education.  It is the foundation on which our homeschool years will be built upon.  I suppose preparing the ground for the foundation begins as soon as a young child begins sharing episodes that have happened throughout the day.  When daddy arrives home, our little ones delight in sharing with him about their day.  From what they played outside to where they went with mommy episodes are shared with great animation and surprising detail.

Narrating is an art, like poetry-making or painting, because it is there, in every child's mind, waiting to be discovered, and is not the process of disciplinary education...This amazing gift with which normal children are born is allowed to lie fallow in their education...Whereas here if we have eyes to see and grace to build, is the ground-plan of his education.  Home Education, pg 231

Once the ground has been prepared, Year 1 is the perfect time to lay the foundation.  A properly built foundation will take time and attention.  Beginning to narrate stories can be a difficult task.  Learning how to summarize important information can be confusing to a little one.  Our oldest, Bo thinks all information pertaining to battles in Our Island Story is important.  
The points to be born in mind are, that he is to have no book which is not a child's classic;and that, given the right book, it must not be diluted with talk or broken up with questions, but given to the boy in fit portions as wholesome meat for his mind, in the full trust that a child's mind is able to deal with its proper food.  Home Education pg. 232

We began narrating slowly.  Some days he would narrate sentence by sentence.  We are now in our seventh week of Year 1 and we are narrating paragraph by paragraph, or several sentences at this point.  A small paragraph seems to be the fit portion for Bo.   Occasionally he will still narrate the last half of the paragraph and forget to tell what happened in the first part.  When this happens I take a turn narrating, hoping to model the correct way.  Because narration is the key to a successful Charlotte Mason education, it is important to take it slowly and build the proper foundation.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Well Said Holli!
The more I dig into Charlotte Mason's style of teaching, the more I fall in love with it.