Why Homeschoolers Need to Learn to Translate Everyday Activities into Educational Jargon
© Beverley Paine
Learning to translate every day life activities into educational jargon was a turning point for me in understanding the nature of learning naturally. Before then I thought it was my role to provide a huge smorgasbord of activities and knowledge in the hope that my children would find something to excite or interest them. This led to 'burn out' and I felt like I was continually in danger of falling into the trap of edutainment - needing to make learning fun in order to capture their enthusiasm and keep attention high. I felt like an overworked teacher, but with only three children instead of thirty!
To help get your head around how to record what your child is learning, try to focus on recording what is already happening and in your notes reword those things under 'subject' headings. Think broadly - eg think biology or geology or astronomy instead of science; think listening, speaking, comprehending, etc instead of English, etc. And don't just jot down the content of the activity (washed the dishes for me), think about the specific skills being honed and displayed (courtesy, care handling glass, attention to detail, persistence). You'll soon wow yourself and your family with your lists showing how your child is learning, not just what.
What I did when home educating my children was read through the curriculum framework, which helped (and still helps) to get my head around the way teachers think about education and how it happens - because the people reading our application and review reports are teachers, and although it isn't necessary to include a lot of detail it helps them 'get' that our methods actually work.
What I would do is look at what I'm recording - which could be a captioned photo of my child doing an activity, or a photo of a work page, something he's written or drawn, etc - and see if any of the objectives or outcomes mentioned in the curriculum around my child's year level describe in any way what I have selected. The year level doesn't have to be the exact year level your child would be if they were in school - it can be up or down - all children at different rates, and across different subject areas too.
Doing this isn't necessary for recording for the annual review for home education registration purposes but I found it extremely helpful in guiding me to see how much child is naturally learning naturally covers the curriculum.
And it is very reassuring for others - family members who have doubts about your decision to home educate - reading your review too.
S ee Beverley's other articles on jargon:
She also has a Practical Homeschooling Series booklet on the subject, called Translating Everyday Language into Educational Jargon.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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