Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Who Decides?

I've been thinking a lot about relevancy. Who do we allow to decide what is relevant in our lives? Who decides what is relevant learning? Having spent almost a year in a far more unstructured 'schooling' atmosphere (which has made for a far more continual learning atmosphere because learning is never placed on a book shelf when completed) I believe that much of what we are told must be learned is irrelevant! I'm watching my children sprout in unexpected ways-I'm letting them sprout, encouraging them, occasionally steering them but mostly providing resources to their interests. All of this is relevant to them individually. Almost none of it is prescribed by 'educational benchmarks'.
I do not believe that you have to write an essay every day for 10 years to eventually become a thoughtful, understood writer. I believe that when the need arises, a 'student' will then work voraciously to master that task. There will be purpose and relevancy at that point. To force it any earlier is a mistake. Hmm! I find it fascinating the changes that have occurred in myself over the past year-It's been a surprising experiment in listening to the needs and desires of a child and following through on those needs and desires versus what the world tells us is necessary for that child.
Enlightening, fascinating, at times frightening and empowering!


Rebecca said...

Chari, I'm all over the place on this issue. I totally agree, but I don't feel like I'm understood or that others, who can't see the learning process can fathom that it is happening. I keep reflecting on my own education and how much of it was spent learning things that haven't molded me or stuck with me and I kind of feel like I want to leave it behind...but it's hard to do with your first. I am working with Ruby on Reading, because she needs that foundation in order to wean from being taught by me to learning more independently, and she's ready and interested, but anyway, this is a long conversation and I appreciate hearing about your journey because I'm on it too. Part of me feels like I don't have as much to show for the past year as someone would who did WAVA, for example, but then I had Ruby evaluated and of course she tested in the 99th percentile, and she's fun and creative and she knows how to play with all ages and she's a helper and a trier and she loves music and plays all day and I just don't know where I'm at for next year. There's a LOT of pressure!

Kyle and Sarah said...

Amen Chari! Being one of those people who has written an essay every day of her life for the last 12 years (and still goin I might add), I can attest to the fact that 5 years would have been sufficient lol. I love the creative genius of your children...they already know more in certain areas then I will be able to learn in the next 50 years! Their talents truly are astounding!