Real Learning

  My daughter Rachel is preparing to be a linguist for the Air Force.  She is in California, studying Arabic, and doing very well.  But she is sometimes frustrated with the whole process.  Recently, she shared her concern with me that the focus of their learning is geared towards the proficiency test they need to pass.
   I smiled.  It is so common, but not to her.  As a home educator, I have resisted the temptation to make achievement testing the cog that turns the wheel.  I don't even give my kids grades until they are in high school and need transcripts to comply with their diploma programs.  That's because my focus is learning, not performance.
   It's probably my random, global nature, but I am all to happy to take rabbit trails in our learning.  In fact, it is often difficult for me to stick to a particular book or curriculum, because something else comes along, say an event or holiday, or even a snow day, and I start down a new road.  One of the things I like about living books is that we can study several different books in a given subject all in the same year, breaking up the monotony of a single book, with its given approach.
  My oldest daughter, Tabitha, gets the picture.  She has already purchased quite a few books for my 5 month old grandson, and takes him to their very nice library for a weekly learning experience.  Why?  Because she wants him to be reading at three?  No, because she likes books herself and wants him to enjoy them as well.


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