What if you spend the summer reading oh, I don't know, something BIG to them...maybe the entire Chronicles of Narnia...and at the end they know the stories, but don't seem to have made any particular connections, at least that you can see, with the symbolism or character examples? What does Lucy learn about the dangers of eavesdropping after looking into the magic book? How does Aslan's ripping off an enchanted dragon's skin (in Voyage of the Dawn Treader) symbolize our need for submission to Christ's sometimes painful cleansing of our sins? Why is it such a puzzle about who gets to go into the New Narnia at the end of the last book? (Wasn't that a bit unfair on Susan? How about Emeth the Calormene?) What if all this seems to go over their heads? What if they never grasp the world's desperate need for more Puddleglums, those who will not be lulled by false logic and propaganda, even if it means sticking one's foot in the fire?
Charlotte Mason says that's a necessary risk that we take when we tell (or read) stories. The mind feeds on ideas, not dry information; to use her food metaphor, we may not get exactly what we need from any particular meal, but it's certain that we won't get anything at all from a meal made of sawdust. Even when we read the best books, we (or our hearers) won't receive or understand everything, all of the time; but that still gives us a better odds of getting (or giving) at least some nourishment, than in presenting what she calls "pre-digested" or sucked-dry material.
In Philosophy of Education, she writes of the child:
He is an eclectic; he may choose this or that;
our business is to supply him with due abundance and variety
and his to take what he needs.
Urgency on our part annoys him.
He resists forcible feeding and loathes predigested food.
What suits him best is pabulum presented in the indirect literary form
which Our Lord adopts in those wonderful parables
whose quality is that they cannot be forgotten though,
while every detail of the story is remembered,
its application may pass and leave no trace.
We, too, must take this risk.