Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beginning Narration

After my first post on SweetP's beginning narrations, I read through some more of Charlotte Mason's first book, Home Education. It turns out that my daughter is not a prodigy after all! ;) Here's what Miss Mason has to say about the average child and narration:

"Narration 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 result of any process of disciplinary education. A creative fiat calls it forth. 'Let him narrate'; and the child narrates, fluently, copiously, in ordered sequence, with fit and graphic details, with a just choice of words, without verbosity or tautology, as soon as he can speak with ease."

So, basically, if Miss Mason had read my first entry, she would have graciously smiled and said something to the effect of, "Yes, dear. That was a lovely first narration. What did you expect?" Telling is a natural ability of each child.

I would have wondered if perhaps Miss Mason wasn't exaggerating a bit when she said children were ready to narrate as soon as their language skills were developed if I hadn't heard Punkin (almost 3 years old) narrate of her own invention yesterday afternoon. Mind you, she had never heard SweetP narrate. Thinking back, I know the older two girls did the same at her age, and I think, younger. I had just read Katy No Pocket and I gave her the book to look at while I nursed the baby. I sat quietly as she "read" the book aloud to herself. Her narration went something like this:

"Then Katy went to the city. She saw the man with the apron. 'Pleeeaaase, may I have your apron?' she asked. The man gave her his man-sized apron and shook it reaaally hard. Then Katy had the most pockets in the world."

Charlotte was right. Again. My three year old just narrated and I was silly to worry that my six year old might have a hard time. It was Mama who needed a little practice with it, not her. The practice has been good, though. I'm gaining some confidence in how to correctly lead a child in narration.