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We all know that we should read to our children, but there are also benefits to the practice of telling our children stories.

On this episode of the podcast Charlotte Mason educator and master storyteller Sheila Carroll is here to talk about the benefits of sharing stories, some techniques to use, and how to enchant your children with wonderful tales.

This is your morning basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone. And welcome to episode 36 of the, your morning basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I am so happy you are joining me here today. Now I know I probably say this quite often, but only because it’s true.

I have the best guest for you guys on today’s podcast. It was such a joy to get to speak with Sheila Carroll from living books curriculum. Now, Sheila not only is a Charlotte Mason expert and the writer of the living books curriculum, but she is also a professional storyteller. And so she’s here to talk to us today about how we can use storytelling in our morning time.

Not only with us as moms, as the storyteller, but also teaching our kids to tell stories as well. It was a really great interview and I think you’re going to enjoy it. We’ll get on with it right after this word from our sponsor.<inaudible> Would you like to bring classical music into your children’s lives? Add classical music to your morning time today with Maestro classics,

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Sheila Carroll is the co-founder of living books curriculum K through eight Christian program of study,

based on the visionary philosophy of Charlotte Mason, a homeschooling parent, and grandparent with master’s degrees in children’s literature and an educational leadership. Sheila is an author of many books and educational consultant and a professional storyteller. She and her husband have a ministry which establishes schools and teacher training centers in Africa using Charlotte Mason’s methods. And we’re so happy. She is joining us today on the podcast to talk all about storytelling,

Sheila, welcome to the podcast. Oh, Thank you. I’m so glad to be here. Wow. We are so happy to have you, because this is a topic that I am really interested in. So would you tell me, how did you get started storytelling? How does one even become a professional storyteller? Well, that’s a great question. You know,

the short answer is I think I was destined, but here’s the, the backstory of that, and that is, I was a laid off teacher. So I’d gone into education. I wanted to make a difference. I saw that education really needed a lift. And at that point I didn’t even know about homeschooling at all. This was some years ago now and because of budget cuts,

I got my pink slip. So there I was, I think I was at the time 33, no job, no prospects. I didn’t know what to do. So I went back to school to get a second master’s and that one was a heart master’s the first one was, so I guess I better out to do this, but the second one was focusing on children’s literature and I absolutely loved it because I got to sit in the archives at our library,

which is one of the best collections of children’s literature and read some of the ancient stories that we know so well in our homeschool community. But at that time it was quite a discovery for me. So while I was there, I saw a poster one day and it’s said that a storyteller was coming and was being sponsored by the English department. Well, I thought that was kind of strange because here I was,

I am a graduate student. I’m a scholar now at this point, all right. I’m, I’m like seeing children’s literature, the scholarly academic way. And I’m seeing this sign that says a storyteller, and I’m thinking the English department sponsored this that’s just for kids. But for some reason I went probably it was the Lord leading me. So I went into an auditorium,

packed with people of every possible age, old and young students. It didn’t matter. Everybody was there and there was a bare stage. And when the storyteller came out, he had corduroy overalls that were baggy and he had this striped t-shirt that I remember long sleeve t-shirt and goggles for eyeglasses. And I thought, Oh my goodness, what are we in for?

And then he started to tell his stories without props, with only voice and gesture and for an hour and a half, we laughed, we cried, we dreamed, we applauded. And my life was changed that night. I couldn’t believe it because in that moment, what happened to me and any of the moms and dads that are listening to this, if this is you,

please take note. I was never able to put two worlds together, the world of work and the world of imagination and creativity and intuition. And here was a man who was earning his living, putting those two things together. And I didn’t have the words for it at that time, but I knew intuitively that this was something I wanted to learn to do.

So I started to take workshops and so on. And pretty soon it was clear to me that you could actually make a living doing this. So I, one day put my shingle out and I never looked back. Oh, that is fascinating. Okay. So I’m going to, I know some things about you and we mentioned in the, in the intro that you actually,

your website living books, curriculum is based on the Charlotte Mason philosophy. So I’m just a little curious. So up until this point in your life, you were a public school teacher. Had you ever even heard of Charlotte Mason before? No. And the irony is that as an educator, you know, you learn all the names of all of the people that have gone before and what their philosophies are,

and I’d never heard of her, but here’s the, the part of it that I think your listeners will appreciate. So at the time I was a professional storyteller, I was not married and nor was I a mom and I met Jim and we got married and tried to have children, and then eventually did. And by the time I was 46 years old,

I was a mother for the first time. So I was, you know, you just think about what children are like, you know, young children and what it must’ve been like to be a 46 year old, but Bridget made my life route. She was just perfect. And what happened then is when we knew we were going to have Bridget, I said,

honey, I have to get off the road. I want to be here for this. I’ve waited too long. So that’s what I did. And once we got started raising Bridgette, I knew right away that I didn’t want to take her back into that same educational system that I had tried to change. And so that’s when I discovered homeschooling and Charlotte Mason.

And when I saw that, I mean, her whole approach is so profound. But when I saw that she was story-based that she used story to educate the heart and the mind the will. And if you think about all of the books that she recommends or any of the books that are recommended for this approach, they’re all stories or they’re implied stories. And it’s this part of it that continued to work on me in my life and led me to do more and more work with Charlotte Mason and her understanding of story and how it can shape our character.

So when we were homeschooling with Bridget and any of your listeners can download one of my talks where I tell the story of trying to get started with Charlotte Mason, and then having my dismal, you know, failure as a homeschool mom, and then how I recovered from it. But what happened as we went along was Jim and I began to realize we were,

what would be the right word? We love missionaries, and we love the work of the Lord elsewhere. And we, but we’re educators. And we really saw a tremendous need for education in developing nations. And most of us here in the United States have no conception of this, of what the problem is. Even if you have a school that school, and this is a personal experience that school may have one classroom with a hundred students,

no desks, no chairs, no pencils, no books. And a teacher who has a book, which is the test that the child or children will be tested from and a bundle of sticks to beat the child with that’s, that’s what we’re up against. And they’re not being cruel. It’s what they know. And once you show them that there’s another way to motivate and teach children and that you introduce them to good books,

the teachers are ministered to as well as the children. So when we saw this, we saw this as our way to make a difference. And so we started, our idea was to take Charlotte Mason to developing nations. And so we started writing curriculum the foundation year, and then the grade one. And what happened was that homeschool families. Now remember,

this is about 20 years ago. Charlotte Mason’s ideas have spread quite a bit, but about 20 years ago, there were a few resources and we had a complete Charlotte Mason curriculum. We had all the, everything you needed. And when people began to hear that they contacted us and said, can we buy this from you, homeschooling families? So we took this as a leading from the Lord as to how to pay for the work overseas.

So that’s when we launched living books, curriculum, and we began then to develop the whole K eight package and to use a hundred percent of the proceeds to support the work overseas. So for the last, that was in 2003, we started that. So we have grown and we have a lovely following of moms and dads. And right now, Bridget and Emmanuel,

my daughter, Bridget, and her husband are managing living books, curriculum. And so another generation is coming on board and supporting the vision that we originally had. And I’m thrilled.<inaudible> So how many schools are you supporting right now in Africa? Well, supporting is a tricky word. So I have to clarify that we have seven schools that we serve and we serve them in various capacities.

At first, it was just to take care of a few schools, but the need was so huge and so many requests. So we had to find a way. So we began to do teacher training and we realized that in order to show the teachers what it’s supposed to look like, we had to build a school from the ground up. So we build a model school,

which the teachers wanted it named living books, community school. So that’s what it’s called. And so they’re in the, the Bush of Africa in Nigeria. I mean, in the Bush, we are talking to, you have to take a motorcycle to get in there. There is a school called living books, community school, and it has 167 students,

six teachers, a library, a well, a generator. It’s amazing. It’s just amazing. And that’s our model school. And as of two years ago, we received from the government of Nigeria registration for our teacher training center. And we are now getting requests from other African nations to come and train there. Now, when I say we, we have our partner Zucca or Santa Mecca,

and several staff over there who are the real legs on the ground, they are the real heroes of this story. And they’re the ones that go and train. So the dream finally has come true that we now have Africans teaching Africans. Oh, that is such an amazing story. And you’ve had me just sitting on the edge of my seat to here.

I can see where the background comes in. Okay. Let’s go back to well, living books. Curriculum is an example in that foundation year, because I know that storytelling is actually part of that particular year of your curriculum. So when did you start seeing the educational benefits of using stories in teaching? I really saw it fairly early on when I was teaching teaching,

and not as a going back in as a professional storyteller and educational consultant as they might’ve called me before that I wasn’t really allowed to, I didn’t even know it was okay to, I thought you had to just do it the way everybody else did it. And it was just so hard on me. And I was often very depressed and unhappy about my work,

even though I loved the kids. And so then discovering storytelling, it didn’t take me long to realize that this was the missing piece for me. You know, growing up, I grew up with parents who gave me access to any books I wanted. I could walk to the library and check out as many books as I could carry the home library was available to me.

My parents bought new books every month. So I was very, very fortunate in that way that I grew up with living books and not everybody anymore can say that. So all of that was in me, that was a deposit in me of story and story, that visions, the good, the true, and the beautiful, we can talk in abstract terms about these things,

but in tell you hear a story that shows you what it looks like, then you don’t know, we need stories. We are storytelling creatures. That’s the way we communicate. I’m communicating to you in a story me. And it’s just, it’s who we are Very much so. Okay. So talk to me about the difference between crafting a story and telling it,

teaching a child with a story and simply reading aloud to the child. Okay. Let me give you a couple of concepts that I think are very important. And I just want to alert your listeners that you may not have heard this before, but I pray that you will hear it because it’s so important. And you know, we talk about literacy and teaching our children to read,

and there is no greater privilege than to teach our child to read because then the world of books in the world of stories is open to them. But before there is literacy, there is orality. Now orality, just like we say, that literacy means you can read and you can write, or reality means speaking and listening. Now you think about a little child before,

say five. You don’t have to teach them to speak. You don’t have to teach them to sing songs and you could teach them songs. You don’t have to teach them in the way that you teach them to read or to write. They come to it naturally. Now here’s the important piece. And that’s where we’ll talk about the reading aloud versus storytelling.

Children have two vocabularies as they’re growing up that are receptive vocabulary and expressive. So receptive and expressive, expressive is the words they can use in everyday. Speech receptive are the words that they know, understand, but cannot yet use if you have a child that is given is in a literature, poor home, given the occasional dumbed down picture book, but spends most of their time in front of the television set,

this child has a very small receptive vocabulary, very small. They’ve got there’s research. Now that to show that the more that you read aloud to a child, the more they’re receptive vocabulary grows. Now there’s that spillover because now they begin to be able to use it and never a day speech. And every one of the listeners am sure has seen this phenomena of,

there comes a point in your child’s education. If you’ve been reading good books to them and they hold forth on a topic that is just remarkable, where on earth did they get that you think, well, they got it from the book she’d been reading to them. And that’s the importance of if nothing else you’re reading aloud, but now why should you do storytelling for another reason,

let’s compare storytelling just for a minute to narration. They’re not the same, but just for a minute. So Charlotte Mason says that when a child reads and then narrates, they own the knowledge, it’s their inheritance, their legacy, their it’s theirs. And we know that if you can say something back, you know it, but if you, if you can’t,

then you don’t know it. It’s just something that’s passed into short-term memory and gone again. So by asking a child to narrate, what you are doing is using their orality to take those living ideas into their little hearts and minds. And Charlotte, Mason didn’t have those words, but that’s that’s the process is that we hired two parts were oral and were literate.

And when you use that orality as a, a lever, you can accomplish amazing things. So now we come to storytelling. Why should you do storytelling? Well, think about a child who can narrate quite well from a history text that you’re not a textbook, a history book that you’re reading with them. That means that they have the information. They even have the language that the author used,

and you might even see them use it in a more creative way. But when you’re telling a story, you have learned the main idea of the story, and then you create your own from it. It’s like a sketch, the story that you learned as a scaffold for your creativity and imagination. So it’s a way to use a whole other aspect of our abilities that are God-given abilities to express ourselves into,

to embrace ideas and to share ideas and to, yeah, the self-expression. And when I have taught children to tell stories, which over the years, I’ve taught many, many, many children to tell stories. It is a delight to watch them come alive. Most recently, I was working with a young boy who was autistic and he’s, he’s really quite high functioning,

but he being able to stand up in front of a group and to go from the start to the finish of a story was at first very challenging, but we worked on it and we found a story that he learned that he was passionate about, that he thought was funny. And when he got a laugh from his audience and when he saw they were getting him,

it changed him. Now that’s an extreme example, but every day you can do that with your children. I don’t know if parents out there I say, Oh, well, that’s fine for you. You you’re a professional. Well, I started somewhere and everybody has to start somewhere, but here’s some tips if that’s okay with you, Pam, for me to give those.

Yeah. Okay. I was sort of rolling on here. I said, wow. No, that was my next question. So what are some keys to tell a good story? Yes. All right. Well, the first thing is that every parent has within them a tremendous resource for stories, and you don’t have to memorize anything. All you have to do is remember how it was when you were younger.

First time you rode a bike. The first time you really blew it, you could make a list of first times of that you remember in your life. And if you told every one of those stories to your kids, they would love it. Now, when you get to the teen years, it’s a different thing, but I’m speaking of the elementary years.

And if you make it a regular practice of telling family stories around the table, you have given your children a tremendous, tremendous legacy. Because in addition to your personal stories, you can tell the stories of grandma and grandpa, great grandma and grandpa, or you know, what nationality, how they came here. But no one else in the entire universe will tell your children who they are and where they come from.

But you, but you want it to be cemented in their little hearts. You want them to go away and never forget the way to do that is to tell stories, make a deposit in their life. Now you can also tell Bible stories. Those are easy to learn. And that’s another thing that you can do with a child. Now, I’m not saying that parents should be the only storytellers in this.

I’m a strong believer in parents encouraging their children to tell stories in our curriculum. Then every year we have different ways in which we encourage families to do that. And Pam, I just mentioned the, the book I did a number of years ago called storytelling, a creative teaching strategy. And so there’s a number of resources in there that they can have a look at.

But even that you don’t even have to get a book. Well, actually one book I was going to suggest in addition to the Bible that you get ASAPS fables, because those stories are very short to the point. And in fact, it takes minutes to learn them. And most of us already know the story of the tortoise and the hair, and could probably talk our way through that.

Am I right Pam? And we could just sit here and name the ASAPS fables that we know about, But we don’t remember that. We know that<inaudible> when we started learning how to narrate and actually came to it a little bit later. That was exactly what we did was we went to a SOPs fable because they were such approachable, brief little stories and you could get the whole narrative in one retailing and then be able to narrate it back.

So they’re great for duration. And then it sounds like you’re saying they’re great for storytelling, for learning to be a storyteller as well. Right? So if you think about all the ways in which you use oral expression in a Charlotte Mason home education, it’s significant narration of courses is key. It’s one of the foundations stones. But if you add to that recitation where you’re learning a poem or a scripture,

and you’re, you’re saying it from memory there’s discussions, there’s a tremendous amount of orality in a Charlotte Mason education. And I think it’s one of the reasons why there are such remarkable results. Yeah, very much so. Very much so. Okay. So we’re not only talking about moms telling stories here, but we’re also talking about kids participating in the storytelling process as well.

So what are some favorite stories? You’ve told us the Bible stories and you’ve told us a ASAP, are there any other ones that you enjoy? Oh gosh. Well, I’d like to tell this story because it’s so easy to learn and it’s, it’s called the burning up note out. I won’t tell that one is called a single grain of rice and it goes like this.

Once there was a King and he had four daughters and one day he called his four daughters to him. And there they stood before and like stairsteps. And he said to them, I’m going away to seek the meaning of life. And I’m leaving the kingdom in your hands. And the four daughters looked at him as a father were only children. How can we take care of a kingdom?

And the King said, I won’t leave you without a gift. Something to help you rule. And they were satisfied with that answer and they waited expectantly. And so the King took and gave to each child in their open Palm, a single grain of rice. And then he went away. Well, the oldest daughter, she looked at her grain of rice.

Now she knew what to do. And she went out and got golden thread and she spun it into a long golden chain and tied that grain of rice to that golden thread and put it in a crystal box. And every day she took that crystal box down from a spot on a shelf and took out that long golden chain with a grain of rice. At the end,

the second daughter, she looked at her grain of rice. She was more practical. She made a little pouch, was soft as she sold it. She kept it at her waist everywhere. She went the third daughter, she looked at her grain of rice. She made the worst face. You can imagine. And she said, this is only a dumb grain of rice.

And she threw it away. The fourth daughter thought a long time. She saw it and she thought, and she thought until she finally realized what she would do, time passed. The four daughters ruled the kingdom as best they could in their father’s absence. One day they came returned and a great banquet was held everyone feasted at the end of the banquet,

the King stood up and everyone could see now that his beard was now longer with white hairs. And in his eyes, there was a new look of wisdom. He called his four daughters to him and there, they were grown taller and he held out his hand to the oldest daughter. And he said, give me back. The grain of rice I gave you.

When I left the oldest daughter, she ran for her crystal box and took out the long golden chain with the grain of rice at the end, brought it back. And she bowed, lifting her open hand with the grain of rice to her father saying here, father, the King took the grain of rice in his hand. He bowed and said, thank you.

The second daughter, she reached into her pouch. She pulled out the grain of rice. She handed it to her father and he bowed and said, thank you. The third daughter, you remember her? Yes. She ran down into the kitchen where they had a bag of rice for cookies. She grabbed a grain of rice. Did she ran back up?

And she handed it to her father. He took it, he bowed. And he said, thank you. The fourth daughter stood before her father. And she said, father, I don’t have my grain of rice. And he asks, why not? Well, father, I thought about it a long time. And I realized that a grain of rice is a seed.

You plant seeds. So I dug a hole and I put the seed in and I watered it well. And after a season, a rice plant grew up. It had more seeds on it, barely a handful then, but I took those and I sold those and harvested those father. I’ve been sowing and harvesting every year, since you left come and see.

And she led her father to the window. And there, as far as the I could see was field after field, after field of rice. So much rice that the kingdom would never need to worry about food ever again. The King took the golden crown of rule off of his own head and he placed it on the head of his youngest daughter. And she ruled her kingdom from that day forth.

And she ruled it wisely and well, and that’s the story. Very nice. Very nice. I love that. I mean, you could definitely see where a character education could come out of stories like that. That true. Good and beautiful that you were talking about the illustrations of it earlier. Yes. So just to show you that it’s not so hard as it seems to learn a story,

and this is a, this is a very simple story. Really? So Pam, I’m going to put you on the spot. So there were four daughters. What did the first daughter do? Just in your own words? What did she do with the grain of rice? She spun golden thread and tied it around the grain of rice and put it in a crystal box.

She did. That’s correct. How about the second daughter? She was more practical. And so she made a little felt pouch and put the grain of rice in it and wore it around her waist. How about the third daughter? She threw her grain of rice away because she thought it’s just a grain of rice. Yeah. It’s that stupid old grain of rice and the fourth daughter.

Well, she thought and thought for a very long time about what she would do with her grain of rice. And eventually she planted it and planted again and planted again. Right. And that’s pretty much the story, everybody. And You’re probably thinking, Oh yeah, but you had all that good stuff in it. Well, I just made it up,

you know? And so can you, it doesn’t have to be the way I did it. All you need is the bare bones of the story. And in this case we have a King and four daughters and we know what they did and what happens. So usually in one of my workshops, I’ll have people pair off. Kids are adults doesn’t matter.

And they play the switch game in which one person will start and I’ll call switch. And the other will have to pick up the story where the first person left off. It’s a very good way to teach listening skills as well as storytelling skills. Oh, that’s awesome. And you probably don’t tell that story exactly the same way every time. No, no.

In fact, if I had to memorize things, word for word, I’d be in big trouble. That’s not my skill. If I know that it has to be perfect, guaranteed, I’m going to get flustered and you know, but this is, this is where I can let you know my own natural ability to use my imagination and to use my language.

That’s when it, that’s how it comes in. And when you allow children to do that, and when you give them the gift of you doing that, however you want to do it, then they will take that into the future and their children will do it. And what you’ve done then is not just entertain them, but you’ve touched their souls and you’ve touched the souls of your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren.

I can remember very much. So, you know, I used to visit my grandmother and grandfather’s house as a child and laying in bed at night with my grandmother. And she would tell me stories as I drifted off to sleep. And it’s, you know, she’s long gone now, but that’s a memory that I’ll carry with me forever and ever, because she did that for me.

So, Yeah. All right. I want to catch you on that. You said she did that for me. Yeah. And that’s the beauty of when you tell someone a story, it doesn’t matter if there’s 500 people in the room, although it’s not likely to be, but if it’s just your, but each one feels that the story is for them.

Oh yeah. That’s very much so well, and I want to back up and touch on this point again. And I think this is important for moms. And I think it’s also important for them to let their kids know this too. That so often we get caught up in the idea that I have to tell the story, right. But really it’s the creativity.

So every time you tell it, it’s going to be a little different and the kids need to know as they’re learning to tell stories that it’s okay for them to make it a little different every single time they do it. And you know what it is also, another thing you can do is if you flub and you can’t remember what comes next, you just say,

so, or you say, okay, help me out. What comes next? And that’s, that’s a wonderful way to teach them to listen more closely. First of all, the second is inclusive. It’s not, I am on the stage. I am the storyteller. And you are the listeners. No, it’s not like that. It’s a delightful sharing.<inaudible> Okay.

So let’s talk a little bit about some practical aspects. Do you ever use voices or props in your storytelling? Is that something you could do or is it something that both storytellers wouldn’t do? I encourage people to find their own way. I tried using props, but because as you can tell, just listening to me, I, I like to express myself with my voice and my hands.

If you could see me right now, my hands are moving. But when I put a prop in my hand, then I have to remember in what way I want to use it. And it was pretty hilarious early on because I would see storytellers who use puppets in wonderful ways and have wanted to do that. But I would, what would happen is if you can picture me standing up and then having a puppet on my hand and starting out pretty well.

But then as I got caught up in the story, waving my hand around with the puppet. So this poor puppet is flailing around And the children are looking at me stricken, you know, what is she doing? So I knew that that was probably not the approach for me, but it definitely is a tremendous value. And making homemade puppets is something that I really encourage families to do.

All you have to do is just Google it. You can find all kinds. And there’s a lot, there’s a lovely book. It’s out of print now, but you can get it easily on Amazon. It’s called the family storytelling handbook and it is meant to teach. Each family can find traditions that they want to share with their children and make a story around it.

But as an example, they give all these simple little puppets, like a handkerchief puppet, for example, it takes minutes to learn and you have it as a treasure or string stories. That’s another one I can do string stories, fortunately. Okay. You have to tell me what are strings stories. Yeah. Well thank you for asking most of the native American cultures,

particularly in the Intuit. So that would be what we’d call Eskimos that are storytellers. And they have a deep and abiding tradition of story. And one of the things that they, one aspect of it is string stories. So as they’re telling the story, they’re making a figure with a piece of string. So picture cat’s cradles. Remember that one, right?

It’s just like that, except that you’re telling a story instead of just making the figure. Oh, that’s interesting. I could just imagine a lot of 11 and 12 year old boys really getting into to that idea. And it works too because although some kids do have hand-eye coordination problems. And so, you know, we have ways to handle that, but for the most part,

children are challenged by that and want to learn how to do it. I can send a long, it’s a very simple string story called the mosquito, and I can just send a sheet along for your listeners and they can learn it from that. And all you need is a piece of string about three, three feet long, and you tie it in a knot,

that’s it? Oh, we would love that. We would love to have that as the little bonus for this episode. That would be great. Okay. So one last question. What do we do with the reluctant storyteller? So here we are, we’re ready to incorporate storytelling in our homeschool in our morning time. And we have a child who’s really reluctant.

Is there any way I know we don’t want to force them, but is there any way to encourage them to do this? Yes. First of all, you have to think about developmental readiness and is this child ready to do this now a four and a five-year-old. You can do make believe and pretend with them where you do it together with them. And that builds confidence.

And that builds orality as a child gets into six, seven, eight. You need to use very simple stories are perfect. Example of that is the three little pigs or the three bears, even though they seem utterly common to most of us to have child learned, to tell a story like that is a real possession to have. And so it’s simple enough to help them learn it.

And if you read the picture book of the three bears, for example, they know the story. Now this is the danger point. Moms and dads is you don’t leave the book open for them to look at. If they get stuck, you have to help them talk through the story, if you will. And one of the ways that I have discovered for children who are nervous,

this is a little bit older children. Now six, seven, eight, nine, who are nervous about speaking because they feel like there’s only one right way is I have them do a story map. Now that’s different than draw your favorite picture in the story. And it’s what it is, is let’s say you’ve got the three bears. All right. So you’ve got the house and you have the three bears standing outside the house and you probably have their bowls and you have Goldie locks and you have a pathway Goldilocks going,

you know, you can suggest these things, but let your child’s own imagination do its own work as much as possible. All right. So once they’ve made a map of the story, then you ask them to retell the story. They won’t lose their place And they use that map to help them correct. And then a big, it becomes a lovely thing to put up on the walls because these little maps are so fun.

Yeah. And I could see how that would be a great aid for that. Well, you know, you mentioned something in here, Julie Bogart from brave writer talks about partnership writing. And you mentioned working with little kids on telling their stories. Is there any such thing as partnership storytelling? Well, that’s a great question. I wouldn’t have called it that,

but what I w I would say is I, I give the bare bones of a story, I guess, once again, I’m going to have to send you another one of these handouts of mine from a workshop, because it’s because it’s so clear. There are things called cumulative tales, and we all know them. This is the house that Jack built or gingerbread man,

I’ve run from the old man at run a run from the old woman, a run from the old man. And I’ll run from you. Catch me, catch me if you can. So there’s this repetition in it. Well, once you teach a child, the bare bones of it, then you show them how they can substitute. So it’s not a gingerbread boy.

It might be something else, you know, it might be, let’s see, what were your kids involved in tonight? Legos, all right. A Lego robot. And you begin then to help them work out the story. Do you have to make sure that the children are ready for that? So eight, nine, every parent has to be the judge,

but it’s a wonderful way to allow them to create stories, but they have a basis because that’s always the problem. Isn’t it is when you want them. You say, now we’re going to be creative. I want you to make up a story. And the children just look at you. Like, are you crazy? Because they, you know, they think there’s only one right way.

And they very quickly, I just have to tell you the story. I was working with some kids in the classroom one day, I never forget it. And I was telling a story called the stone cutter, which is another one of these cumulative tails. And in it, there’s a King and a Prince. And so I’m helping the kids who have never been invited to imagine before to imagine what does their King look like?

And so we had time. We really took time. Each of us would say, well, when I picture it, I see this and this and this and this one boy was so unhappy. You could see it on his face. And he was so worried. And finally, I said, you know, do you want to share with us about your King?

He said, no, I don’t know. I don’t know. And I said, well, when you picture him in your mind, what do you see? And then he looked at me and he said, you mean big stuff up? And I said, yeah, make stuff up. So he was looking for the right answer. He didn’t even know he had permission to make stuff up.

And once you knew what was okay to say what was in his heart and mind, he was fine. Oh, that’s awesome. I love that. You know, invitation to imagine that’s just, that’s fabulous. Something good to keep in mind. That’s a title for a book or a podcast. You better I’m that down. Well, you said it.

So there you go. Well, Sheila, thank you so much for joining me today to talk to us about storytelling. It was such a delight And I will be sending along those things I mentioned so that your listeners can have them as resources. Right? We appreciate it so much. It’s been a delight. Thank you.<inaudible> And there you have it.

Now the basket bonus for today’s episode of the podcast are those wonderful handouts from Sheila Carroll storytelling workshops. She provided those for us, and we’re going to have those for you to download also as part of your basket bonus. Today, we have a discount on two of the books from living books, curriculum. First of all, storytelling, a creative teaching strategy from Sheila and also a book of ASAPS fables with scripture references.

So you can get both of those for 20% off when you use the coupon morning basket at living books, curriculum, and we’ll have links for both of those books, for you in the show notes of this podcast, you can find links to those and all of the other resources that Sheila and I spoke about along with your basket forward slash Y M B 36 and guys that’s it.

That’s the last podcast of this season. We’re going to go on hiatus for a few months over the summer. Give me a little time to enjoy the summer with my kiddos, but don’t fear. We will be back in August with a more your morning basket episodes. And until then you guys have a great summer and keep seeking truth, goodness and beauty in your homeschool.

Links and Resources from Today’s Show

The Tortoise and the HarePinThe Tortoise and the HareOne Grain Of RicePinOne Grain Of RiceGoldilocks and the Three BearsPinGoldilocks and the Three BearsThis Is the House That Jack BuiltPinThis Is the House That Jack BuiltThe Gingerbread ManPinThe Gingerbread ManThe StonecutterPinThe Stonecutter


Key Ideas about Storytelling in Morning Time

Humans are made for stories. It’s how we communicate which is why it can be such an effective means of educating children. Learning through stories is very powerful.

Allowing children to narrate and tell stories gives them a chance to internalize the living ideas being presented to them. If they can tell the story back, even if it’s in their own words, they will truly know that story.

Storytelling to your children can start with just telling stories from our own childhood or from your family. These stories give our children a piece of their own story and where they come from. Other simple stories to use are Aesop fables.

Children can also learn to be good storytellers by using tools like story maps and cumulative tales. It’s our job to help them understand that storytelling is really just an invitation to imagine. There is no “right” way to tell a story.

Find What you Want to Hear

  • 2:29 Meet Sheila
  • 7:00 Sheila’s introduction to Charlotte Mason
  • 11:56 Sheila discusses their mission in Africa
  • 13:45 benefits of storytelling
  • 15:37 crafting stories vs. reading stories
  • 21:17 keys to good storytelling
  • 24:44 Sheila tells a story
  • 33:47 practical tips for storytelling
  • 37:05 handling the reluctant storyteller and telling stories with our children