Friday, November 10, 2006

What did you learn in school today?

Originally posted Dec 2005

In those first years of homeschooling, I dreaded those times when out of the blue my husband--who travelled a tremendous amount and commuted three hours a day and was not only uninvolved but largely clueless--would ask one of the kids, "What did you learn in school today?"

THEY knew we didn't "do school" but I had never really explained to him what unschooling was or how it worked. I had made attempts, but he, like most of us, was the product of our educational system, of forced learning. And his mom was a teacher. It made no sense to him that our children would learn anything if they weren't being"assigned" to learn it, made to do "homework", take tests and receive grades.

I tried to distill the reading that I had been doing into brief bits to give him some sense of the fact that not all educational theory supports the way we do school in our culture. I still don't know if any of what I was telling him made sense to him. I bought text books and workbooks, many of which went unused because their presence seemed to comfort him.

As the kids got older and I got more experienced, we became more adept at putting our days' activities into educationese, although by that time Dad had started to see the fruits of what we were doing and was no longer worried about unschooling.

Coming next time (note to self): Patrick and reading

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