Friday, July 6, 2007

I'll Tell You a Story, I'll Sing You a Song

I’ll Tell You a Story, I’ll Sing You a Song by Christine Allison should be a great help to any parent wishing to incorporate story-telling and singing. For Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, telling stories in the early years is a must, since Charlotte Mason herself emphasized its importance:
Every father and mother should have a repertoire of stories––a dozen will do, beautiful stories beautifully told . . . .   Away with books, and "reading to"––for the first five or six years of life. The endless succession of story-books, scenes, shifting like a panorama before the child’s vision, is a mental and moral dissipation; he gets nothing to grow upon, or is allowed no leisure to digest what he gets. It is contrary to nature, too. . . . And here is another advantage of the story told over the story read. Lightly come, lightly go, is the rule for the latter. But if you have to make a study of your story, if you mean to appropriate it as bread of life for your children, why, you select with the caution of the merchantman seeking goodly pearls. Again, in the story read, the parent is no more than the middleman; but the story told is food as directly and deliberately given as milk from the mother’s breast. Wise parents, whose children sit with big eyes pondering the oft-told tale, could tell us about this.
Volume 5, p. 216
Allison’s book provides the tools a parent needs to begin to develop that repertoire of stories in an age in which storytelling is not a common skill.  She provides sample stories, songs, rhymes–material to help you get started.  She also provides tips on how to present this material and make it your own.

The material in the book is aimed at preschool-age children and younger.  However, while the stories might change for older children the tips would still apply.

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