“How do you know they are learning?” people would ask, referring to my homeschooled children. Their inquiries are well meaning, and yet, in the box. They have been taught that learning is measured by standardized testing, and that education is something bestowed, or “done to” by others.
Without these frequent tests, lacking the standardized measurements, how do homeschoolers know what our children are learning? We spend time with them, talk to them, listen to them, watch them, pay attention to the questions they ask, the books they read, the interests that develop. Instead of quantitative measurements of my children’s learning, I offer anecdotal evidence–stories of their explorations, their insights, their growth in directions I never imagined.
It is hard to shuck the mantle of institutional education and recognize that human beings are hardwired to learn, to allow oneself to dance free of the constraints of institutional thinking, and to truly grasp that most things worth attaining cannot be measured by a standardized test.
(c) 2006, 2011 by Shay Seaborne. All Rights Reserved.