In simple terms, narration as a learning technique is applied when a child is asked to retell what has just been read to him or her. This is a very effective and natural way for a child to internalise and demonstrate what has been learned and understood through reading. What better way is there than to encourage your child to narrate from living books that engage their minds and spark their interest?
The best way to start this method is to, from a very young age, read aloud to your child. Nursery rhymes are a wonderful way to encourage narration with smaller children. With older children, passages for narration should be kept short in the beginning and gradually increased to the stage where a whole chapter is narrated.
Narration is not only done when reading from living books, but can take on various forms: it can be an explanation of how something works, it can be a drawing of a poem or piece of music he or she listened to, etc. When a child observes anything and then tells, draws or writes about his observation, it is seen as narration.
Some of the great benefits of narration is that it helps with retention; it is a reliable way of evaluating what a child knows, inspires a love of knowledge and it strengthens and challenges all the powers of the mind.
Narration requires that a child pays attention, comprehend, visualise and synthesise, which makes it such an effective method of learning.
Charlotte Masson believed that every child is born with a desire to tell what they know. This was one of the building blocks of her philosophy of education. She also believed that narration is the answer to help your child to become an independent learner. You can read more about the art of narration in The Original Home Schooling Series, by Charlotte Masson.