Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Education

I found these posters at the dollar store today and fell in love with them. Whoever coined the phrase "Education is a journey, not a race" is nothing short of genius, in my humble opinion. All too often, education is viewed as a race - who can get "there" first is the winner. Where "there" is, I am not quite sure. True education is about the process. It does not matter who does what first.

When I saw this poster, I thought of unschooling. My sons' education is not about meeting grade level or passing a series of standardized tests. My sons' education is about, first and foremost, giving glory to God. What better way for them to give glory to God than to explore the interests and passions that He gave them? What better way for them to give glory to God than to use their talents? I've said before that Jesus was very specific about talents. If we do not use them, what we have been given will be taken away. Using those God-given talents is the best way to enjoy the educational journey.

Many unschoolers shy away from the word education, because of the way that it has been used - as a synonym for institutional learning. That is not the way I view this word. I view the word education as something that encompasses all of life. We can gain education so many ways. The journey never ends.

This second poster is awesome! I have blogged before about differences and how sometimes differences cause conflict, especially with children. I hope this poster will speak to others the way it spoke to me.


As an unschooler, I often am asked how I keep records for my sons. Since we do not really plan what we do - it's child-directed (except, of course, for the little bit of structured learning Taliesin requests) - how do we keep records in case they are needed? Well, I try to keep this blog for a type of educational records. But, of course, it often turns into opinion pieces about life (education), in general.
This top picture is of a chart that hangs on our playroom door. Each day, I write down generalizations of what Taliesin and Nathanael do each day. I include everything. After all, as I wrote above, education is life and life is education.
The picture below includes my teacher's journals. I write as often as I can in more detail about what we do and why. I fit those generalizations into categories (what schools call subjects). Sometimes it also includes some opinion pieces.
And, of course, since Taliesin and Nathanael have been getting more into lapbooks, these provide a good portfolio of some of their studies. (We just finished "mosquitoes" and "everyone has different abilities" and are getting reading to begin "spiders"). Right now, there is a plastic storage container full of finished lapbooks and a milk crate with those we're working on a little at a time. It is a little easier for me to keep records with lapbooks, something that I'm thankful for. But it is possible for unschoolers to keep good records with a little time invested.

Kandy