I am pretty eclectic in my homeschooling approach, but one thing I absolutely love is Charlotte Mason's narration method of learning. For my non-homeschooling readers, basically you read to your child (or they read themselves), then they retell it back to you. Here is a good, short explanation of narration and its benefits.
Anyway, back to the kids. I have been attempting narrating since we started homeschooling back in January, with limited success. Ruthie is capable, but hasn't liked it. Robert has really struggled with it. His Asperger's means that he has difficulties with comprehension and expressing himself, so narrating can be a real struggle. The I read Linda's advice to start with Aesop's Fables. We started and still struggled, until I came upon the idea of having them narrate to me while I typed it into the computer. Success! They both loved this. Ruthie took to it right away, but Robert, while he tried harder, still struggled.
This week, Robert gave me the following narration for the fable of the The Wolf and the Crane. Read and enjoy. :) (The punctuation is mine, but the words are all his.)
A greedy wolf had been eating too much and got a bone
stuck in his throat. He couldn't spit it out nor swallow
it, and of course he couldn't eat anything. So he asked
for the crane's help. He said, "If you can get this bone
out of my throat, I will reward you greatly." The crane did
as he asked and took the bone out. Then the wolf left.
The crane said, "What's my reward?" The wolf answered,
spinning around angrily, "Tch! Isn't it enough
that I let you take your head out of my throat without
biting it off?" The moral is do not expect any reward for
serving the wicked.
It's absolutely wonderful. I almost cried and I did have to hug and hold him close when he was done. When you have a child that struggles, breakthroughs mean everything.
In the spirit of fair play, and because I am also proud of Ruthie's narration, here is hers.
There once was a greedy wolf who was eating and got a
bone stuck in his throat. He could not move it up or down
and he couldn't eat. It was a bad state of affairs for
the wolf. He went to the crane, thinking that she could
surely get it out with her long bill. The crane, as you
could imagine, was very nervous about putting her neck in
the wolf's throat. But the wolf promised her a reward, so
she did it. When she pulled her neck out, the wolf started
to leave. "What about my reward?" she called. "What?!"
cried the wolf. "Haven't you got it? Isn't it enough that
I let you put your neck in my throat without snapping your
head off?" The moral is expect no reward for serving