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In my pantry are some foods I think of as staples. They can be included in a variety of dishes and used in a variety of ways. Take potatoes, for instance. I can add them to a stew or pop them in with a roast. I can bake them, boil them, mash them, slice them, shred them, fry them. I can serve them as a side dish or as the main dish with toppings for garnish.
Potatoes are a wonderfully versatile staple in my meals.
In a similar way, narration is a wonderfully versatile staple in my home school.
If you use the Charlotte Mason Method, narration is a staple. We use it in a variety of school subjects to help our students cement in their minds what they have learned. It’s one of those can’t-do-without methods.
Narration can also be used in a variety of ways. It is a powerful learning tool that can be flexed and fitted to meet different needs in different situations at different levels.
In fact, I think that’s one reason people have so many questions about narration. It might be easier to wrap our minds around it if it weren’t quite so powerful and flexible.
Yes, narration can be simple—like making baked potatoes. I mean, how hard is it to put the potato in a hot oven and let it sit there for an hour?
But narration can also be much more multi-faceted and complex—like making loaded twice-baked potatoes. Same staple, but used in a different way to achieve a different outcome.
So let’s talk about narration. And here’s how we’re going to do it. We invite you to submit your questions about narration and we will do our best to answer them in the coming weeks. At any time during this series, you can post your question as a comment on our blog, post on our forum thread, write your question on our Facebook wall, tweet to @SimplyCM, or send your question through our Contact form. You can even write it on a piece of paper and mail it to us here in Georgia. Just get those questions to us!
Now, here are five questions that are already on our to-be-answered list. These are five questions about narration that we get asked a lot.
- What do I do if my child leaves out a key point in a narration?
- What’s the difference between a narration question and a direct question on the content?
- When and how should I make the transition to having my child do written narrations?
- Should I be correcting my child’s written narrations?
- Is narration enough for high school level studies?
Those will be our starting point; we are already planning to include them sometime in the discussion. But if you have other questions, send them in and let’s spend a few weeks talking about narration—that incredibly flexible staple in a Charlotte Mason home school!