Before we started using living books and narration, I was entirely opposed to letting our kids pursue their personal interests while I was trying to teach. I thought that whatever was in their hands would surely distract them from the lesson.
Narration gave me the opportunity to test my hypothesis about multitasking during school, and for most of our kids, it turned out to be incorrect.
Four of our kids assimilate more when they do something with their hands while listening, one does not, and the verdict is still out on the youngest, who can absolutely not sit still whatsoever. Ha!
Letting them draw, hand sew, bead, or engage in some other quiet activity while I read aloud during Morning Basket Time has another benefit besides improved retention – they are improving their skills in things that bring them great enjoyment in a non-pressurized environment.
Maybe this will help them discover what they really love to do in terms of a future career or ministry, and perhaps at the very least, it will give way to a relaxing, productive hobby that can provide a bit of reprieve from this crazy world.