A major part of the Charlotte Mason approach to education is narration. It allows children to process what they have read or otherwise experienced. But what does narration look like? Most of ours is oral, but we do try to do written narration at least once a week. I probably really should be upping that for the older kids. Miss Mason does not require children to narrate before age 8 or so but my 6-year-old likes to do what the older ones do so she does it too. Usually for written narration, the younger two dictate to me which allows them to express a lot more than they could writing on their own. Lately, though, the 6-year-old has chosen to do her own writing, which ahs indeed led to shorter narrations from her. I do not correct spelling errors or otherwise edit their narrations. So without further ado, here are four narrations from a recent geography lesson from Hillyer’s A Child’s Geography. The chapter was on India.
From the 11-year-old:
“In India the people in charge -called rajahs- are not very nice. They gorge themselves while the poor people starve. Rajahs like to go tiger hunting. In India the main belief is hinduism. It states that if you were god you would become a good person or animal when you die and if you were bad you become a bad person or animal.”
From the 10-year-old:
“In India, the ruler is called a rajah. He rides on an elephant and wears jewels and pearls. There is an island just off of India that is very famous for its pearl-divers.
It is against the law in India to shoot an elephant. So people capture elephants and tame them. This is how they do it.
They build a pen to put the elephant in. Then, when there is an elephant near the open, they make loud noises on the other side of the pen and the elephant gets scared and runs into the pen. Then they have to train the elephant.
Training elephants is hard because elephants are very dangerous. But when elephants are trained they are very useful. They can lift things or you can ride them. They are like machines or cars.”
From the eight-year-old (dictated to me):
“In opposite feet land, there are people called rajahs who rule towns, and they go hunting for tigers. How do they do it? Good question. First you have to have to do it: a tiger to hunt, a rajah, and slaves, and maybe a couple of friends. So you send the slaves out playing drums. And the tiger doesn’t like it so he goes in one direction. And there the guys are waiting in trees, and they shoot him. It is very bad for the tigers though. Even tough you can;t do it because there’s no tigers in the USA. Be sure not to get that confused with the UAE.”
And lastly, from the six-year-old, written ion her own:
“INDIA HAS SOME OF THE FINEST AND BEST JOOLS [aka jewels] SOME OF THEM ARE HINALS [Hindus, I think] THER IS CITY CALD BOMBAY AND THER IS A RIVAR CALD GANGES PEOPEL LIVE IN A PLAS CAKD CEYON [Ceylon] AND THEY COEM THER HARI THER [No idea on that last bit] THE END”
So her handwriting is atrocious, she uses all caps and she doesn’t spell well. But she remembered things.
And that was our weekly written narration.