Lower the Bar
Can I help you lower the bar to experience success?
In our desire to do a great job of teaching, we sometimes forget that the learning is happening whether the final product is pretty or not. I remember being at a meeting led by a credentialed teacher in a CA Independent Study Program to train homeschool parents how to ignite a love of reading. The teacher showed us how to make these adorable homemade versions of the books we were reading aloud to our kids. Her example books were art level amazing and every mother in the room swooned imagining a basket filled with these wrapping paper, decorated, cleverly designed little books.
I went home eager to follow suit. The project became this steep learning curve for me—I’m not a crafter, I’m not careful, and I had five little kids underfoot. I gave up. We read the books. The books—by the authors—held their own magic.
Instead of making my own books based on those, I let my kids create books that meant something to them. One year, my two youngest got enamored of fairytales so we decided to create a fairytale book over the course of the whole school year (one tale per month-ish).
This is the gorgeous (cough sputter) book that resulted. It IS gorgeous to me. But it’s not at all of the level of design or careful production that I remember from that CA teacher.
The danger in home education is we live for two results. First, we want our kids to learn. But right behind that is our second desire: to appear to be doing high quality work. Don’t let that one distract you.
The real learning happens inside a person and doesn’t have to look like a cute book or poster or handicraft. The retained learning is invisible to you.
My kids enjoyed this project immensely (it’s the first writing project in our program called Jot It Down!) and the results were cherished—even if not Instagram swoon-worthy.
This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!