Monday, June 21, 2010

Miss Mason Monday

Summer time is upon us! We will be finishing up our '09/'10 school year this week and are looking forward to a more relaxed pace. Although to be honest with you it has been pretty relaxed here these last couple of weeks!! It's been hard keeping our focus when we've felt the end ever so mischiveously tickling at the backs of our necks.

So I said that I would talk about summer narration today. This is what I am planning to do. I am planning on having my school age children read 10 books of my choice this summer. These are good quality literature books that I have picked using the following resources:
I will have the girls go through the books on their lists this summer and once done I will allow them some free choice reading (from a McMama approved list). I am doing it this way because as we are still learning and growing in the CM philosophy we are also slowly training an appetite for the best in literature. My children still seem to lean toward twaddle so I feel that it is best for now if I do the book choosing.

The books that I have chosen for them are not very long books. I have carefully selected books that are on the shorter end as far as page numbers are concerned so that they can feel a sense of accomplishment more quickly. Baby steps.

Once a day I plan to have my children narrate from their reading. I will mix it up so that they do not always have to verbally narrate. My hubby and I are both people of few words and our children tend to be the same way. In this aspect verbal narration is going to be a benefit to them as they grow older however it is not a natural strength. What is a natural strength is art. The girls are fabulous artists and have been drawing since I can remember! I will incorporate much drawing for narration and some drama (acting out parts of the story) along with the ever faithful verbal narration. Here are more ideas that I have found from The Common Room:
  • Draw a picture of a scene from your reading.
  • Set up a scene from the story with your blocks.
  • Model something from the story using play-dough.
  • Narrate into the tape recorder.
  • Narrate orally to Mama.
  • Write down five sentences about what you read.
  • Tell me about another story or event that reminds you of what you just read about. Write down three sentences about what you read.
  • You have 10 minutes to plan a short skit from what you read.
  • If you were giving a test on this reading, what are three questions you would ask? Skip the narration today.
  • Write a letter (or e-mail) to Grandma about the reading you did today.
  • Tell me what you think is going to happen next, and why.
These ideas will be typed up in large bold print, cut into strips and put into our Narration Jar. When it is their turn to narrate they will choose a slip of paper and do whatever kind of narration activity that it listed. I am anticipating having some fun with this one!!! We will also use a simple narration cube.

This page over on Squidoo has some great narration bookmarks avaliable for printing. There is also a link to a page on Funschool for narration cubes. All of these will help us in our journey in narration.

Why am I going through all of this trouble this summer? Well I have prayerfully decided that we will do only two "school" things this summer with the girls, Math games (from Rightstart) and Reading. I am going to devote as much time to working on narrating as I possibly can. Beginning this in the summer will allow me to do just that! We are also going to try to work with Brother on his letter sounds.

Okay, so that is my summer narration bit. Now, here are my *unfinished* lists of reading choices:

Biggest age 8:
  1. Leave Horatio Alone
  2. Horatio Solves a Mystery
  3. The Velveteen Rabbit
  4. Fiona's Flea
  5. Pimm's Place
  6. The Most Wonderful Doll in the World
  7. Betsy and Bills
  8. Betsy and Tacy Treasury (a selection or two)
  9. George Washington's Breakfast
  10. A science book from our shelf
Big Sis age 6:
  1. The Little Wooden Farmer
  2. The King at the Door
  3. Dandelion Hill
  4. When I Was Young In the Mountain

  5. George Washington's Mother
  6. Bread and Jam for Francis
  7. Bedtime for Francis
  8. Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader Book
  9. The Ordinary Princess
  10. Tales of Trotter Street
Brother's "Read-to-Me" List:
  1. Blueberries for Sal
  2. Corduroy
  3. Caps for Sale
  4. Angus Lost
  5. The Carrot Seed
  6. Mike Mulligan
  7. George and Martha
  8. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
  9. Johnny Crows New Garden
  10. Happy Winter
Family Read-Alouds
  1. finish Ginger Pye
  2. Missionary Stories with the Millers
  3. Mr. Popper's Penguin's
  4. The Adventures of Old Man Coyote
  5. Mountain Born
And here is a sample of Big Sis' narration from her Christian Liberty Nature Reader bk. 1. In this narration she is describing a robin and a moth.

"The robin has a brown body but his belly is orange. He has an orange beak and orange feet. The robin's song is like this, "Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet."

"At first a moth is a caterpiller. Then he turns into a moth. During metamorphosis he changes inside his cocoon. The caterpillar makes his own cocoon. Inside he is changing into a moth. When he comes out he has two antannae, two wings and a head."

Still a work in progress!! Any suggestions? I had to prompt her quite a bit during these two narrations...patience...I need patience!!!!

**Update** We just used the Narration Cube that I printed off at Squidoo. After we finished with our History reading I had Biggest roll the Narration Cube. She rolled the PLOT square she was to describe what happened in the story. She procedeed as follows,
"In the story General George Washington put on his coat and left his cabin for a walk. As he was walking he came to a group of soldiers that were trying to build a fort. They were trying to lift a very heavy log. Their Colonel was shouting orders at them but wouldn't help them. General Washington ran up and helped them to get the log up. After they were done he asked the Colonel why he did not help his men. The Colonel said that because he was their Colonel. Then General Washington took off his coat and they were all surprised to know that their very own General had helped them. The Colonel was ashamed. General Washington was not too great to help his men."

I was sooooooo excited as her narration progressed because this was hands down turning into the absolute best narration she had ever given!! Normally narrations from her are choppy and disconnected and she needs lots of prompting but this time it was so beautiful!!! I think that the "fun" in rolling the cube, not knowing what they were going to have to do took a lot of the pressure off of her...Mommy pressure that is!! I am excited about all of this!!

 Okay, post a response, thought or suggestion to your blog and then link up! Why? So you can share your own experience with Miss Mason's philosophy with me (I could use the suggestions!) and others. Tell us how narration works in your home, how your children are growing with it etc. Hope to see somebody sharing!!

Thanks!!! See you next at the next Miss Mason Monday!!
Lovin' Learnin'


  1. Sounds like your kids are going to have fun while developing life long skills... good job!

  2. Sounds like your children are going to have lots of fun learning and developing skills this summer... good for you!


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