Narration in High School – Using a Variety Makes Learning Come Alive

As I file away our work at the close of this school year, I am struck by how many kinds of narration my high school aged boys used throughout their courses. The personalized learning is what makes narration stand out among methods of evaluation of learning in our high school…much better than a test or quiz. I am impressed with the idea that no matter how they narrate an assignment, in the end,  they are simply telling me back in their own words in a way that makes sense to them how they interacted with the ideas presented in their reading.

We actually discuss the material together and often I have not read the material so I will just listen as they tell me what they took away from the reading. This may seem intimidating but if you have built a solid foundation and your children are reading well and engaging in the material, they will be able to give you an idea of how the assignments went. As suggested in Charlotte Mason’s volumes, I try not to get in between the book and my child.

The simpleness of narration is its beauty. There is no “correcting” of papers but I get to enjoy reading my child’s words and listen to his voice as we work our way through our school week.

  • Written notes in a Commonplace Book (History, Biographies, Speeches)
  • Written summaries on a notebook page (History, Government, Literature, Chemistry, Poetry)
  • Images and words on notebook pages (History, Chemistry, Poetry)
  • Drawings and sketches as part of our chemistry work (any science course)
  • Formal essays (History, Geography, Government, Science, Literature)
  • Poster boards (History)
  • Videos (History and Chemistry)
  • Poetry recitations

If I feel my boys have not grasped the concepts or ideas they need from a book, I will ask open-ended questions and many times this reminds them of something they wanted to say and just left out of the original narration. I can look back at all the different variations on narration and know that we truly learned something.

I’m a happy homeschool mom.

You may also be interested in reading more in-depth about our high school experiences with narration:
Narration in Our High School Plans.

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