Month: January 2014

More Thoughts About Narration by Carroll Smith

We continue this week with another blog on narration.  In this post I try to answer such questions as, is narration a fad; what are basic guidelines for narrations; what about preschool children; and what can parents do with preschool children?  I hope these are helpful and provide ideas for you to think about and maybe even discuss in your Mason study groups. 4.  Is narration just a Charlotte Mason fad or trend? Narration, the art of telling back as a means of knowing was not invented by Mason, but has been around for thousands of years in the oral tradition.  Prior to the prevalence of print with the invention of the printing press in 1400s, the oral tradition of narration or telling back was the tool used to convey knowledge and information to the next generation.  We need not consider the oral tradition as less substantial or a lower skill set because it is an ancient tradition.  Albert Lord (1964) tells us that “We realise that what is called oral tradition is as intricate …

Narration for the Newbie by Carroll Smith

The next series of Charlotte Mason Institute Blog posts on narration are a conclusion to what I started back sometime earlier.  Narration, the practice of students telling back after a single reading what they have heard or read, is a cornerstone in the educational practice of Charlotte Mason.  The previous posts on narration began to set the background for these more practical posts on narration.  In these my wish is to help those who are just beginning to use Mason’s ideas, to give as clear as possible an understanding of narration and to provide practical suggestions on how to narrate.  The following question format is my attempt to condense my years of research into a user friendly format so the beginning parent or teacher can implement narration immediately. From decades of working with educators in schools, homes and colleges, I unreservedly say that narration is both an essential key to learning and a most satisfying and worthy life possession.  This post and the ones that follow are not meant to be an exhaustive discussion of …

Grandparents as a “Living National Treasure” by Linda Fern

Japan has a popular term for persons who are certified as “preservers of important intangible cultural properties.” They are called Living National Treasures.  The term isn’t stated in the law, but it has become familiar to all.  The “intangible cultural properties” in Japan include mastery of artistic skills in art, drama, music, and crafts. It is a bold proposal, but couldn’t grandparents aspire to the title?  Years of experience, growth in all areas of life, developing and honing mastery in one or more specific areas that enable us to share with our grandchildren must surely qualify as holding “intangible cultural properties.” Perhaps your childhood mimicked that of our children—camping trips, hiking, learning to fish and hunt, visiting historical sites, museums, engaging in nature—wildflowers, birds, trees, animals—and because of that a Charlotte Mason education is an extension of ‘normal’ for you.  Perhaps you didn’t experience most or any of the above, and that’s what you want—a relational environment rich in knowledge and experience—and you want your parents (the grandparents) to affirm and enlarge that environment and atmosphere. …