Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reading About Education

I've been reading a few things on education. One is The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner, which was recommended by my friend Sarah (two blogs:  Teach a Fish and Ordinary Canary). This book makes me much less worried about my kids missing out on a public school secondary education. (Not that I was very worried about that in the first place.) It's clear that most high schools are not doing enough to prepare kids for a high tech future in a world where you can't make a living on the assembly line. Am I doing enough, though? Well, there are a few things I am going to change after reading the book - much more writing, more discussions to encourage critical thinking, more experiences designed to make my teens comfortable in the business world. How will I do this? Not sure. But textbooks are not part of it.

You should read this book.

Something else I've been skimming through is The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn, first published in 1991 when the author was 26. This one isn't as valuable to me for a number of reasons. The author was briefly a middle school English teacher and then began to promote unschooling and even anarchy to teens. The book is written directly towards the teenager and includes advice a homeschooling parent may not want them to consider, such as drug use might not be all bad. The subject area chapters do seem to be fairly useful, but this is a book to be seasoned with a whole salt shaker.  Skip this one, unless you are truly into counter-culture and the concept of total unschooling. 

I also recently finished reading I Saw the Angel in the Marble by Chris Davis. I started this years ago and read a little bit at a time. The book is a collection of essays on education and homeschooling by the owners of the now-defunct Elijah Company, Chris and Ellyn Davis. I highly recommend this to give you a new outlook on education.

I have my set of Chris Davis seminar audiotapes back again. I'd lent them out and almost despaired of ever seeing them again. We'd been listening to them in the car and we will again, when we are driving in the vehicle with the antiquated audio cassette deck. I'm trying to find a place online that you can download these. Thought I had found one a couple years ago, but now having no luck at all. If you have the opportunity to hear these seminars, do it.

Chris Davis has a blog -

What have you been reading to encourage you in your homeschooling and to enrich your knowledge of education?

1 comment:

Denise said...

We were just talking with friends yesterday about how important classic literature is when it comes to schooling. Of course that directly relates to how well one can perform in a trivia game, but still, that's education for ya, right?