Narration: that's it?

Narration seems too easy. Asking a child to "tell back" looks like nothing much.

Doubters might say something like, "You just ask the kid to tell what he's heard? That's it?"

I admit I have the same "that's it?" response to not narrating. To end a reading without pausing to absorb and respond with your own words? That's doesn't feel like enough. 

Without narration, it's like the moments with the author's words didn't matter, like the moments didn't even exist. Losing those moments is sort of sad to me. 

I've noticed an empty feeling after events like classes, field trips, performances, even services at some churches. People are quick to be finished and outta there. I don't know, but it seems uncool to mention what you find interesting, and it's unhip to linger over a moment and have a reaction to it. Quick reactions, negative reactions, no reactions...these are what I notice when narration is absent, and I wonder, "That's it? Do we have nothing to say?"

Narration fosters the habit of finding something that's interesting, and I like that habit. It's odd that being interested in the world requires a habit, but I guess it does. Or, maybe we're born with the interest and then are taught to neglect it. But from what I've experienced, narration helps keep interest alive, and  I'm cool with that.

Read. Narrate. Notice. That's it.

Photo: Chairs in the children's room at a local library. I originally wrote this post about story times, but the gist changed. Still, I really like the photo, so I kept it here. 


  1. Exactly! I struggle with this same thing with church meetings and group Bible studies and any reading group. How can you have nothing to say? I feel like we just wasted an hour of our life if we have nothing to say.

    I also feel frustrated with reading too many things too fast. I was trying to keep up a "Great Books" reading list, but it was too much. I need time to linger and process. What's the point otherwise?

    So grateful to have learned about Narration for my child. It has changed Mom too.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Kay. It prompted a new blog post for me. :)