I usually start my morning with Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, Hoagies‘, Davidson, and a strong cup of coffee. I consider this time, before my children are awake, as my homeschooling professional development.
This morning, GHF posted If We Want Better Students, End the Grading Game, written by Elyse Watkins. Folks, do you ever read an article and see so much of yourself contained therein? I played the grading game throughout my entire schooling. In September, I’d sum up the teacher and class and determine what I needed to do to get that A, and then I’d do that.
And that’s all I would do.
Any teacher would say I was a stellar student. I was in honors level and AP courses and I had excellent grades and conduct. Meanwhile, I daydreamed, doodled in the margins of my notebook, and all too often secretly read something else in the back of the classroom.
Is that learning?
Certainly there were a couple of courses with amazing teachers that stand out in my mind and from which I can recall books read and subjects covered, but this wasn’t the case for the majority of classes. The college I attended had a required four-semester interdisciplinary course, Development of Western Civilization, which met every day. I earned As each semester, but what did I learn? What have I retained?
One of the best parts of homeschooling has been experiencing genuine learning. There is no test looming, no grade to earn. We are exploring what we are interested in and we are all learning together. I am learning alongside Leo and loving it. Throughout our homeschool year, there have been names and dates and terms that ring a bell, somewhere in the recesses of my mind. I can recall having to remember them for a test once, way back when, but I truly couldn’t tell you much about them. I can now, folks! Together, we are learning for learning’s sake. This type of learning goes beyond grades.
What about you guys? What are your experiences with learning and school? Did you play the grade game, or were you able to go beyond and experience in-depth learning? For the homeschoolers out there, do you notice a difference between homeschooling and traditional schooling, with regard to learning? Share here!
Self-education is, I firmly believe,
the only kind of education there is.
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, GeekMom, and many others. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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