Topic | Help drawing out narrations


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  • Crystal

    I really need some help getting my 8th grade ds writing narrations. He is a man of few words and I am having a horrible time getting anything out of him. He claims he doesnt remember and doesnt know anything. Meanwhile my 6th grade dd is chattering on about the reading. I started having him narrate seperately (and privately) on different subjects than her, thinking maybe he was intimidated by her more advanced narration skills, but he is still struggling. I got three sentences out of him today about Charles the Hammer, and I had to remind him of some details just for that. Then we read King Arthur and he could barely narrate that orally. I was stopping after each paragraph to help him. Not sure what else to do. We do find Howard Pyle a bit difficult and have to take it slowly, but he was really missing things. He did say he was having trouble focusing today in particular. I am just wondering if any of you have any ideas to get him thinking and talking and then writing. Is it ok to narrate paragraph by paragraph for more difficult books? He has only been narrating a few years, but I feel like he should be further along, yet I dont want to compare him to my wordy daughter. He will be in high school next year and I am afraid he wont be able to do hs level work. Any advice?



    You mentioned that he is struggling with it paragraph by paragraph. Is he a big picture type of guy? Maybe he needs more details or time to process and narrate.

    Would he think it more fun to narrate in other ways like drawing a picture or using figures to act out the story?

    Would showing him pictures of these stories/characters or their armor, geographical area, weapons or things like that appeal to him as something to spark more interest in the story? Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. Google different images based on the chapter…I do it a lot and enjoy the discussions that they can inspire.

    I really enjoy assigning each of us a character to play when we are struggling with narration because as we act it out everyone starts ‘getting’ the story or helping each other in fun ways. Who doesn’t enjoy getting to be the ggod/bad guy sometimes? 😉



    Dear mother that is a real worker!

    First of all you really are one great homeschool mom!  You really are trying hard.  I have found for my 3 children, ds21(graduated), ds15 and dd,11 and ds8. they really have their own narrating preferences.  We orally narrate, draw picture narrations, written narrations where we read them back for correct content and my favorite is when I narrate too.  I believe this has helped my children to have an example.  I also work really hard to write detailed narrations.  Over 18 months of me completing written narrations right along with them, we all end up needing correcting.  I encourage them to listen very closely to mine and they should never be worried about correction, as it keeps us humble!


    One thing I never do is to vote whose is the best.

    But, I used to have a rice cup(shot glass) that when filled with rice we did something grand, like went to the YMCA on a Saturday or took a trip to subway, their .  favorite restaurant.  The rice got put into the rice cup for each full sentence written for written narration.  My ds, 14( then)  wrote over 250 lines for narration once.  I also had him write my 130 sentence oral narration.  He claimed his arm was falling off.  I thought anything to make this narrating thing more fun.  Now they narrate with little trouble and I think because of mostly me!  I hope these ideas help.  Also, under

    forum search you may want to type in rice cup narrating because I think I explained the method better in that entry.





    I never ask for narrations. I think it would completely bore me. We just sit around and talk about whatever we’re reading. Or sometimes I ask something like, “How would that feel?” or something in the middle of reading together. When they read books on their own, I just let them tell me about it if they want or I say, “What’s going on in your book?” As far as history or science and subjects like that, I don’t always ask them to tell me about it, but sometimes I do. I decided it would drive me crazy to be asked to narrate everything I read, so I just don’t do it. Conversation is our favorite.
    My son hates writing anything too, so I have him draw or just tell me.
    Also, you said he’s only been narrating a few years, but I’ll bet he’s been telling you about things for a long time. That’s totally narration, and it counts!


    I wonder if giving your son a list of important words would help. It seems that when I do a reading the “right” way, my girls do better at narrating.

    I’m sure there’s a blogpost here at SCM, or a video somewhere, but it really makes a difference when I take the time to write the main point words (for example, George Washington, Potomac River, fog, etc.) on a white board, and THEN, read the selection. When the reading is done, because of the main idea words being written down, they have some hooks on which to hang what they’re hearing.

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