As parents we decide what curriculum we will use and how we will deliver it, in part, by how we assess our children’s intellectual abilities. We rely on this book and that book, always trying something new. As we seek to find the best solutions, what we do learn is what doesn’t work. Maybe it is too difficult to implement or creates too much struggle between you and the kids. Rather than seeking that perfect book or curriculum, break that cycle and consider putting your trust in your children’s natural abilities.
You really don’t need any elaborate books or programs to teach writing and good communication skills. Our children are so much more capable than all the latest and greatest education gimmicks and packages filled with promises. It all begins with the simple use of narration. This is the foundation to writing and the beginning stages of public speaking.
Narration at any age level is very effective and extremely simple to do. What is the art of narration? It is the skillful allowing of your children to tell back in their own words a story that interests them. Yes, it’s that simple. If you have never implemented this with your child I highly suggest beginning now.
“A person is a mystery, that is, we cannot explain him or account for him, but must accept him as he is.” — Charlotte Mason
Narration can be done in the most loving and supportive ways. Do not merely make narration a check point on their to-do list or a required task. As a mindful parent you will simply ask the child to tell you what he is learning from the particular book he is currently reading or to share with you in his own words the fiction story he is reading. This can be done while on a walk, sitting outside, while you’re cooking dinner or eating together. There are no limits; you are living an inspired education.
-As an interested parent, not their “teacher,” ask your child what he read about today. If need be, prompt them a bit to tell you more “because I’d like to hear more about your reading.”
-Do not “train” them to narrate. You are simply asking them to re-tell the story they read in their own words.
-Do not even call it narration, keep it simple and as a loving gesture. Your child will be boosted by your interest and support.
-Do this a couple times a week or more if this is comfortable for you and the child.
-Be sure to be fully present with what your child is telling, paying close attention and not allowing distractions.
-While casually together ask the child if he wants to hear about what you’ve been reading. In this way you share in the excitement and love for learning. You also model your enthusiasm and in-depth descriptions when narrating what you’ve read.
Before a child can begin writing papers he needs to be able to bring forth organized thought. Narration makes it easy and natural for the student to emulate well-written literature verbally evolving into writing as he grows. Don’t underestimate your children. All it takes is excellent quality resources and learning in its simplest form to bring forth their genius.