Welcome back for another coffee chat, friends.
I hope that our last installment left you feeling encouraged that you CAN do this. It's okay if you haven't read everything and don't know it all, and it's even okay if you don't do everything perfectly because none of us do.
That said…you do need to start somewhere. Once you've gained a general overview of CM's ideas, you need to begin to deepening your understanding a little bit at a time. In the next couple of posts in this series I'd like to suggest a couple of principles that would be good starting places for your further study. Today let's talk about narration.
Very simply put, narration is the act of telling back (orally or, in the case of older students, in writing) what you have heard or read or experienced. Sounds simple, right? It is simple, but it is also profound. In order to narrate, the child must attend to the reading, organize it in his own mind, and reformulate it in his own words. I have reflected before that narration is akin to translation – translating the ideas of the author into one's own language. It's harder work than you might think! Some children take to it like ducks to water, and others really struggle with developing this skill. Narration is frequently misunderstood and its power underestimated. It is also absolutely essential to putting Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education into place in your homeschool. This is why I'd like to suggest to you that deepening your understanding of what narration is, why it is important, and how to help your student develop narration skills is a foundational starting place for further study.
Rather than re-invent the wheel, I am going to leave you today with a collection of links that will send you well on your way to a deeper understanding of narration. Take some time over the next few weeks to read and take notes and ponder. Feel free to come back and leave your questions in the comments, or hop on over to the Ambleside Online Forum and join the conversation there.
Narration Helps from the Ambleside Online Advisory Board with LOTS of links for further study
Karen Glass on Narration
More from Karen Glass on "What's the Point of Narration"
Your Morning Basket Podcast on Narration with Sonya Shafer
The Mason Jar Podcast Interview with Karen Glass (not solely about narration, but she does make some good points with regard to narration to keep in mind)
Brandy Vencel on Narration vs. Discussion
Also, if you haven't already subscribed to Brandy's Newbie Tuesday newsletter, go do that now. The first issue is all about narration, and I believe you get that immediately when you sign up.
Happy Reading, Friends!
PS – For those of you who may be looking for an online discussion group to go deeper with CM's principles, it looks like there is a group forming over on the AO Forum to go through Brandy's 20 Principles study beginning in April. I did this study myself with a group of Forum ladies several years ago and I would say that that was the thing that really cemented my understanding of what CM is all about. I highly recommend this study to you, especially if you don't have access to a local CM study group. Click here to get more information (you need to be registered on the Forum to access this link).