Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Laying the Foundation for Narration

Since son only just turned five, we're not doing formal narrations.  Charlotte Mason recommended in her Home Education tome to not start narrations until the child was six.  I try to listen with intent to what he has to say.  I have ample opportunity to practice, as son has many things to say.  His imagination is fertile, I want to nurture it and keep it this way.  This is what I tell myself when I'm preparing dinner with fussy one-year-old daughter on my hip and son is chatting a mile a minute.

We're using a gentle, literature-based Kindergarten curriculum called Peak with Books which incorporates finger-plays, songs, poems, other books and kid and mom-friendly activities around wonderful children's literature selections.  It's not until I've been using this program in a relaxed manner for a while that I hit upon the fact that finger-plays and having him tell me of his own accord about the book and activities are excellent pre-narration preparation.

When he memorizes finger-plays, he makes connections in his head and has to organize the material in his brain.  As he demonstrates the finger plays, he shows me how much he knows about the subject.  I don't require any telling, but sometimes I remark what I found interesting about the book and he'll flood me with a stream of his own opinions and observations.

Lots of unstructured play indoors and outdoors, introduction to and appreciation of art and music, nature walks and living books all pave the road towards planting the seed of narration.  I consider finger-plays to be the preschool and Kindergarten equivalent of grappling with the material and synthesizing it towards higher order thinking.


MasterpieceMom said...

Thanks for sharing your resource! Another good book for finger plays is I Love You Rituals. I think most of us underrate the value of finger plays and how they foster relationships of parents with chidren.

jamie in rose cottage said...

Fabulous. Sounds like he's already doing wonderfully at narration!