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Narration, Narration, Narration

I have been under the weather lately as the tasks and demands of the school year are constant, my CCD class is in full swing with Advent and the New Roman Missal fast approaching, our choir is feverishly trying to learn the new music for the Holy Mass, and of course there is always life - laundry, cooking, training and disciplining the kids for heaven, helping with the family business, washing the dog, and on the list goes.  Serving others, however rewarding it is, can be very hard work.  But now I turn to homeschooling and the task of narration, which to young ones can also be very hard work.  But it doesn't have to be.

On one of the listservs I am on, has hosted quite a bit of posts and questions about narration in the CM style.  The same questions seem to come up. 

When to do it?
How to do it?
How to correct it?
How much is enough? 

So I thought that I would just take a moment to add a few thoughts.

In our home we tried starting narration orally while omitting writing.  This didn't work very well for us as my children wanted to begin writing very early, about age 6-7 years old.  I also tried making them wait to write, but that, too, was a waste of my time and energy and only lead to painful teaching periods.  So, I began written narration when my kids were ready irregardless of their age.  I recommend never squelching your child's desire to write.

When the kiddos wrote, I just let them write.  We ask our teen aged children to just write to get content down and then go back in a later draft, so why not just let the little ones do the same thing - write for content for the first while?  I did it for a whole year and the kids began writing even more and began noticing their own errors in their read-aloud sharing time. I didn't correct for grammar or spelling until they really understood the grammar concept first.  I began gently correcting more as more concepts were learned and vocabulary increased.

*As a side note, I never used a red pen, but rather green, orange, purple or something else that was fun and unexpected. 

Many moms are not sure about how much to require their children to narrate.  Just be fair to your child and you will have no problem.  We can't expect them to narrate every single subject daily until they are very comfortable writing and can do so when asked without any real hesitation.  Might I suggest writing daily, but in a specific variety of subjects.  I reserved two non-math/non-foreign language subjects to be really covered daily in the early years moving to about four to five subjects by grade 8.

How to narrate is actually the easiest for me share about as it just seemed a natural progression, however I must add that I have one gifted child who was already writing and typing her own full page narrations in Gr.3.  So rather than rewrite them out I will just share my series of three posts about CM style narration.

What Can We Do Once We Read a Book?

CM Series: Part I. Narration for Confident Readers and Writers
CM Series: Part II. - New Writers
CM Series: Part III. - Confident Learners Who Want to Be Creative

I hope my experiences will help you in your CM learning adventures in some small way.


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