I took the kids to a conference with me a couple of weeks ago and told them they would have to find something to do quietly while we were there. They decided to make story books.
Below is my six year old boy's book. He drew the pictures at the conference, then bugged me for several days after to write the words in for him. He dictated the entire story as is.
As you read through, you will notice the common errors in it, like calling the knight "it" instead of "he". Had he shared this story in a Kindergarten class, these grammatical errors would undoubtedly have been pointed out, marked in red, made to be corrected, etc. Then perhaps, next time he told a story, he would be concerned with its correctness and his thoughts would flow a little less fluently.
What I love about CM's method is that, grammar, while not completely ignored, is not taught formally until around ten years of age. CharlotteMasonHelp.com had this to say about it:
There is a misconception that Miss Mason was against teaching formal grammar, spelling and composition; the idea being that children would just acquire these skills by reading good literature. On the contrary, she was a strong proponent of teaching these subjects. She just didn't believe that these should be focused upon as separate formal subjects when the children were still very young. DAILY Oral narration, rich literature and copywork were used with incidental grammar and punctuation instruction until about ten years of age. About that time, grammar, punctuation, composition (in the form of written narrations) and spelling (through studied dictation) were studied in earnest, but always in the context of their living school books, avoiding the workbook mentality which zapped the life out of learning.
"Zapped the life out of learning." That is exactly what grammar would do to my boy right now. I'm so glad CM focused her methods on cultivating a love of learning, something she claims, and I believe, is natural to our children. I am grateful she so sternly insisted against hindering the children.
Now I hope you'll enjoy my boy's unhindered story!
First there was a knight and it was a really brave knight. It has won a lot of battles too. And he was waiting for a battle to fight.
Then a scary dragon came up to fight him. The knight was all prepared for the battle. The king was looking for a brave knight that would fight this battle.
He got down from the castle. The dragon was ready to win this battle. The knight came charging at the dragon and the dragon came charging at the knight. The knight tried to strike the dragon in the belly, but the dragon picked him up and flew away with him into the forest. The dragon put the knight down and flew away hiding from him. The knight was trying to find him. The knight was walking and looking behind all the trees to find him.
Finally he found the dragon. The dragon was blowing as much fire as he can out of his mouth, but the knight was seeming not to die. The dragon thought it would kill him. The knight tried to strike it in his mouth for him to die, but the teeth were in the way so he couldn't. The dragon picked the knight up and dropped him on the ground. But he still didn't die. And the dragon was wondering how to kill him and the knight had very strong muscles.
Then he went home to get his horse. He's even stronger with a horse. And he can't run as fast as a horse so he was even faster on a horse. So the knight was charging at the dragon again. The horse was going to jump and the knight was going to stick his sword right through his neck. But the dragon moved too fast for the horse to strike it. The knight was getting mad. The knight was thinking that he would lose this battle. He was thinking that he was going to die.
And then the knight stuck his sword into the dragon. But the dragon didn't die. Then the knight was thinking he would win this battle. The dragon was getting weaker. The dragon was kind of dying too. The dragon was getting mad. The dragon was doing all he could to win this battle. But the knight would not die. And the dragon was beginning to be afraid he would die.
And the dragon almost surrendered. But the dragon kept on fighting. And the dragon kind of thought he would win this battle. The knight was charging as hard as he could to stick his sword into the dragon. And the knig striked his sword into the dragon's mouth. And the dragon died.
The knight was soooo happy that he won this battle. He was thinking that he should go tell the king. And the knight was walking to the king's castle. And he was walking on and on and on. He wasn't close at all. It took a long time for him to get to the castle. He still wasn't close, it was like 3 miles to get there. It took all day and all night and he still wasn't close. He was getting tired of walking so he decided to get on his horse.
Then he got to the king's castle and there was a guard watching. And the guard sad to the king "Somebody's here." So the king was walking to see who it was. The king saw it was the knight who fought the battle. The king said "Don't open the drawbridge yet. I want to see if it is someone disguised like him." And so the king had to ask him a lot of questions. And he had to answer them all. And finally they let him in. They knew he was the knight that fought the battle.
The knight was talking to the king. And the king was really happy that he slayed the dragon. The king gave his princess to the knight. And the knight said "thank you." And the king said "thank you for slaying the dragon." And then they left the castle. It took more than 4 hours to get back to the knight's castle. And the knight let the princess ride on his horse. And it took all day and all night to get back. And they still weren't close, it took 10 miles to get back to their castle. And then they got to their castle. And they lived happily ever after.