August homeschool reads

I'm on a homeschool roll these days. Maybe because I'm working on the kid's portfolios for their review in a couple weeks. I seem to recall being in an "education state of mind" last summer around this time.

I've come across some interesting reads & listens lately that I wanted to share.

  1. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is a fascinating read. This is not a homeschool book or even an education book but what he writes has implications for both. And implications for understanding life in general, which is what education is all about anyway. It blows out of the water our false assumptions about success (work hard enough and you'll financially succeed, for one) and tells such interesting stories.
  2. Don't even ask me who this Exuberant Animal person is (Damien sent me this link) but I love what this guy/gal has to say about lower education. Wow, there's actually a term, newly formed no doubt, for what we hope to teach our children. I don't want to re-hash the whole thing here but if you question the pace of modern education and it's disembodied, head knowledge focused, no-good-at-basic-life-skills outcomes you'll want to visit this post.
  3. I heard J.K. Rowling's Harvard graduation address recently on NPR while... in the kitchen - where else?? Click through that link and then listen to the story, it's great stuff. Rowling talks about the value of failure and imagination (in the sense of empathy) to change our own selves and the world. A very good listen while cookin' in the kitchen.
  4. My friend-in-real-life, Emily "paints" a lovely picture of family life and in turn, homeschool life, in a piece called Watercolor Living.

Does anyone have a good educational read/listen to suggest? A book, podcast or news story that challenge our educational notions. Please do pass along.

Now I'm jumping back into my week and all our current learning projects, community involvements and life lessons. Helping my younger two learn to read (a reading post coming soon), taking the kids to swim lessons at a local lake, attending public dance and music performances, picking blueberries, trips to the library and making time for Celine to sew a backpack with her Daddy.

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  • nicola

    nicola on Aug. 6, 2009, 7:53 p.m.

    thank you for the links and book suggestions. i want to read outliers. the director of the school my daughter is starting mentioned it during a discussion about whether to start her now or hold her back a year. she turns 5 right after kindergarten starts. apparently, gladwell says data points toward holding kids back, that older kids succeed more later. it is a tough tough question for parents. it has been for us, and we can only hope we are making the right choice and be open to change as we travel along the path of education. nicola

    nicola's last blog post... on food


    • kyndale

      kyndale on Aug. 7, 2009, 8:28 a.m.

      Hey Nicola, I put Solomon back a grade. I think it's going to be the best decision I can make for him. I was lucky that Amelia was born a few days after the cut-off. She is the oldest in her class and I think she has done so much better.


  • kyndale

    kyndale on Aug. 7, 2009, 8:33 a.m.

    Where do I begin Renee, You are so amazing. Just full of so much good information! I will be reading the Outliers. I have always thought that I want my kids to be happy first, doing things they enjoy and not be pressured to be something society wants them to be.

    The second link is fascinating and full of common sense.

    Thank you! Your kids have amazing parents!


  • Jessica

    Jessica on Aug. 7, 2009, 12:09 p.m.

    The Exuberant Animal article was very, very good! I passed along to a friend in Asia, who is EVEN more caught up in the higher ed trap. She came to Europe and learned some basic skills (like, if you don't eat decent food, your brain won't perform well! OR, if you don't sleep decently, your bod is going to give out...) Anyway, it was nice to find it 'packaged' so well by the author ;) Thanks for the pointer!!!


  • Kika

    Kika on Aug. 10, 2009, 3:37 p.m.

    I guess we're always knee-deep in various learning projects: mine and kids or family. Sometimes this stresses me out... but then if I didn't have learning projects on the go I'd be bored. I know my lifetime will never be long enough to allow me to learn all I want to or find answers to all my questions :)


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