Thornton Burgess

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  • Valerie

    I am brand new to the CM method. I’ve been working my way through the Delectible Education Podcasts and reading other online resources.

    I would like to get started straight away with books I already own, one of which is the Thornton Burgess series of books.

    I have a 7 yr old and a 4 year old.

    Can someone kindly advise me? How many pages would we be reading a day from this book? We usually read straight through for 30 – 45 minutes but i’m guessing that would make narration rather difficult especially as we are getting used to the method. So, what would you recommend? 4 pages and then narration, put the book aside until the next day? Or?

    Thanks in advance. : )

    Also, my 4 year old is very unhappy being left out. Would i ask each child to narrate? or would i find a polite way to keep my son (4) from narrating? I know CM recommends keeping K/preK light and playful and to keep them from the rigors of study, but i’m basically a single mother, and he is with us at all times.




    For beginning narrators, a paragraph or two is good to start with. So read a couple paragraphs and ask them to tell what happened, then read another one or two. You do this to help them develop attention and the ability to keep events in order. I don’t read more than two or three of the chapters at a time because even though they are short, I want them to have time to think about the chapters.

    You don’t ask a 4 yo for narrations, but you never shut off a voluntary one either. =)

    My younger children love to narrate with little animals and people, drawing a picture, telling me about it, or acting it out as a quick skit. Love that for history especially – the dialogues can be very amusing!

    For beginners with narration, start with Aesop’s Fables (I like the Milo Winter version), 50 Famous Stories and 50 Famous People (history introduction), James Herriot, Beatrice Potter, Madeline stories, etc. for literature.

    If you want to let your 4 yo have her own book to narrate, you might get the Carl books by Alexandra Day (SCM Early Years recommendation). They have only a few words, but the pictures tell the story. Your child(ren) could tell you the story without prompting or help. My 9 yr still enjoys looking at the books – the illustrations are wonderful!


    Thank you! Oh, this makes it more approachable. I’ve been hesitating because I haven’t listened to all of the podcasts, nor have I read an entire volume of CM instruction, I just know enough to be excited, yet not enough to feel confident!  I love that we don’t shut off a voluntary narration. I was wondering what I would be up for….

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