Narrations, Whose Turn Is It?

narration beads taking turns charlotte Mason commonroomblogThe way narration works is that every child has to process the reading in his own mind, reviewing it, thinking about it, organizing the material prioritizing.  In order to get the full benefit of that internal review, he needs to be listening to or reading the story with the full knowledge that there is a good chance he will be the one who has to narrate.

Now, if you are reading to more than one child, still, only one child does actually narrate (you’re not standing around listening to tedious narrations on the same reading from all the siblings, and *they* are not able to compensate for not paying attention by listening to other narrations of the same reading)- but every child knows he has to be prepared to narrate. We used to take turns, but that’s not very effective. You don’t really want a child listening to the reading and knowing that narration isn’t going to be asked of him.

One day when we were having trouble with ‘whose turn is it?’ I happened to put my hand in my jumper pocket* and noticed two wooden beads. I had put them there while picking up the living room, and forgotten about them. I promptly informed my children that the red bead (or whatever it was) represented child 1, and the blue bead was child 2. I would put my hand in my pocket, pull out a bead, and whatever color I got, that child would narrate.

Then I put the beads back in my pocket and did the same thing the rest of the day for every narration. This worked very nicely, as each child had to be prepared every time for narrating, although both children would not get called on.  Sometimes that did mean the same child narrated three times in a row- and that’s fine.   I found it most effective to pause for a moment, remind them that they were going to have to narrate, give them a moment to think about what they would say- and then, after a few seconds for their internal review, dramatically draw the bead from my pocket and reveal the narrator of the moment.

You could do the same thing with Leggoes, buttons, coins, or just by picking a number between 1 and 10- I like using things rather than picking a number because it takes less time. When they have to pick numbers they take too much time, hemming and hawing, trying to figure out the right number to pick, and then you have arguments about whether one number greater or one number lower than the one I picked is the narrator, and the suspicious little mites wonder if they really picked the closest number, or am I just picking on them.  Beads are less conducive to feeding their low suspicions.

*Yes, I did wear jumpers. Not all the time, but often. Unapologetically. I liked them, finding them practical and durable. You do not have to wear a denim jumper if you are a homeschooling mom. But you do get more respect if you are in uniform.=)

You may wish to look over some of our other posts on Charlotte Mason and language arts

This entry was posted in homeschooling and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.