Alternative to Aesop's Fables for beginning naration?

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  • eawerner

    We are in our first year of SCM and homeschooling.  DD is 6 and we need to start doing naration.  Looking through Aesop’s Fables, which I do already own, they seem like a great starting point, but we will be reading them next year with Module 2 so I don’t know that I want to do them two years in a row.  Is there another book of stories that would work well? 

    Would something like the blue fairy book work? Or another folk tales type book? 


    Sorry, I’m replying to myself…

    Parables from Nature? or The Storybook of Science?  Anyone have experience with either of those books?


    We used Aesop’s Fables, but we also did “Fifty Famous Stories” as our beginning narration books last year.  They are short little tales that my DD did well narrating.  They seemed to segment well into a couple of sections to narrate, and are also short enough that after a while DD could narrate the whole story (most of them anyway), without having to have it broken up.  We did use some of the Blue Fairy Book, but some of the fairy tales are quite long, and even the sections are long, so DD found them more difficult to narrate.  We didn’t enjoy the book as well.

    You could also look into some of the picture book versions of fairytales.  We have enjoyed many from the library, especially tales from other lands that we might not otherwise have known.



    Parables from Nature isn’t an easy narration…

    I think Fifty Famous Stories is an good choice, although still more difficult than Aesop’s Fables. My sons learned to narrate with Fifty Famous Stories.

    Parables is advanced. I don’t have experience with Storybook of Science.


    My daughter has done really well learning to narrate with Aesop…to the point that I’d suggest using part of it at least now, and part of it next year. (Haven’t done Mod 2, but I believe it only uses selections from Aesop, and not the whole thing? Maybe someone can correct me on that.) She’s also done well narrating from the Christian Liberty Nature Reader (the first book), although she reads this by herself, it’s not something we read together. I like both of these b/c they are short and sweet and so you can read the whole thing in one go before asking for a narration. My dd doesn’t really like it when I interupt the story to have her narrate, so starting with very short selections (rather than ones we have to break up) has been a key part of progressing in narration without too much frustration on her part, in our experience anyhow.

    If not…Fifty Famous Stories (or the companiion Thirty Famous Stories) are probably the simplest other option you mentioned. We’ve read some of these this year and my dd has done all right narrating them. But they are longer so you’ll have to break them up, probably.

    I’d save Parables from Nature until your child is older, personally. We started to read it this year and while my dd liked it, they were difficult to follow and definetely too difficult for her (as a beginning narrator) to narrate. I felt like she would gain more from reading this one if we saved it for a few more years.

    Hope that helps some.



    I second the Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 1 for early narrations.  I read aloud from it to my daughter when she was 6 for her to narrate.  It is divided up into short selections.

    We also read from The Golden Children’s Bible each day when she was 6, and I had her narrate.  We actually began narrations with Bible stories and added the Nature Reader later in the school year.  She was successful with the Bible possibly because she already knew the stories well, but I think it built up her confidence to be able to retell something when asked.  

    I also think that most children practice narration informally even before you begin requiring it.  Did your daughter tell you about something that happened today?  Or something she saw?  When you add in narrations for school time, it also teaches attention.  The child has to be attentive to what you read to be able to tell it back.  For this reason, it may be easier to begin with something she would definitely be interested in.  As she builds the habit of listening and narrating, she will have the power to do it even when it is not so interesting…. 

    For the record, I am still new at this too! Smile  But that is our experience, and I like what I’m seeing! (I mean hearing!)


    Thank you everyone for your replies. I actually have the Liberty Nature Reader already so I’ll check that one out.

    She does do informal narration all the time, especially to dh at dinner time! I’m just getting worried about something that I really don’t need to. 😉

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