Many home-schooling parents do not realise just how powerful Narration is as a tool to learning. But once you understand the psychological leverage it provides, you will wonder how you ever managed without it.
As Ivana Ries explains in her book Streams of Refreshment, “Narration is assimilating information and RETELLING it.” For instance, when you and your child have just finished reading about the planets, you ask him to tell you what stood out for him about them.
Why Implement Narration in Your Homeschool?
The answer is simple:
It meets every requirement for effective learning you would want your child to have.
First and foremost, it provides multiple, daily opportunities for you as the parent to grow the HABIT OF PAYING ATTENTION in your child. Your child is being honed for adulthood and good citizenship. Perfect attention and absolute recollection are an asset to society: in the life of the Church, in employment and in business, and in the nation.
- It provides your child with daily opportunities to EXPRESS HIMSELF, orally and in written form, about the discoveries he makes in his studies.
- It introduces your child gently to the values of INTEGRITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. When he knows that he will have to give account at the end of every lesson about what he has understood, he learns to apply himself to concentrating and remembering.
- It activates THE BRAIN’S CAPACITY FOR RETENTION and RECALL beyond the walls of the schoolroom.
As the parent, you have the privilege of keeping your finger on the pulse of your child’s learning styles, and exploiting them to the full to his advantage. Bear in mind that all children benefit from a mix of the three most dominant learning styles: KINAESTHETIC, AUDITORY and VISUAL.
It is important that you identify which learning styles work most effectively for your child and shape lessons and Narration slots around those.
AUDITORY children learn most effectively when the hearing centres in their brain are stimulated through sounds, poetic elements, music and song. Encourage them to sing their Narrations to you, or invent poems that explain what they have learnt.
KINAESTHETIC children learn best while they are moving. Allow for physical interaction with the material: jumping, hopping, skipping, clapping, twirling, dancing, running, painting, cartwheeling – whatever makes learning – and narrating their learning – meaningful and fun.
VISUAL learners respond to what they see: pictures, diagrams, maps, street plans, music sheets, demonstrations, images, reading, charts, flash cards, cartoons, graphic organisers, illustrated reading material. Allow them to use their notebooks as creatively as possible for Narration purposes. Exploit different notebook devices to the full – turn their notebooks into graphic organisers, record-keeping diaries and even scrapbooks of knowledge.
If you work with your children’s abilities, you will be inspired by the feedback and the progress they make!