I am hoping to start doing narration with my 9yo son. My question is if he is reading a book to himself and I ask him to narrate a chapter, how do I know if his narration is correct if I haven't read the book myself?
Ideally, I really, really think a mother should try to read as many of her children's schoolbooks as possible. We can hardly be qualified to teach if we don't know our subject matter. Miss Mason agrees with me on this. If you make this a priority, I believe your children's education will be richer because you will be empowered with the knowledge you need to have important conversations that continually pop up in the schoolbooks- conversations about relationships, morals, war, prejudice, etc... And this is where the real learning takes place. Some people believe Miss Mason was against having such conversations with the child. This is simply a misunderstanding of her ideas. I actually thought this at one time, but have learned not to pull a single quote from her writings, but rather look all she had to say before drawing such conclusions. She thought discussion was vital to the child's growth. She was against being preachy and drawing the conclusions for the child, in short, thinking for the child. But guidance- ahh... that's another matter. Guidance is good.
The key is not to get behind in your readings. It's really not that much, actually. Even though I have four children, I only have to read my oldest child's books because I read the other children's books years ago when my oldest was in that particular year. Now, I read along with my child but I stay one week ahead of her (unless I've already read the book before) Occasionally, I only skim a particular book. Reading the books is really not a chore for me, but an enjoyable learning experience. I make time for this each day. This is the ideal.
Life sometimes gets in the way, I understand. Illness, travel, etc... are sometimes unavoidable. (But some of us are just too busy and need to slow down.) And there are those who may have switched over to a new method or curriculum and all the children have new books. It is quite impossible to read all those books before the children get to them. In these cases, for the younger children, you can have the book open before you while your child narrates, glancing over the first lines of each paragraph and grasping the general idea, places and characters' names. I have been known to do this while pregnant and confined to bed rest. For older children, you can go to Sparknotes.com and read the cliff notes for the chapter. This is an immense help for busy moms, especially for those larger volumes. I would like to emphasize that Sparknotes should be for teachers, NOT students. However, this is not the ideal. If you make the reading of your children's books a priority, then, come what may- it will get done and years down the road you will thank yourself.
one step at a time...