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Real Learning

Originally posted in 2006

My daughter Jacqueline (age 7) is self taught on the subject of space/the universe. She’s interested in learning about the universe, because she’s interested in the universe, and that interest has taken her in many directions.

I’ve been re-reading Guerrilla Learning by Grace Llewellyn and I wanted to share this:

“Real learning requires meaning. Meaningless information can be memorized and repeated, but it’s not learning. For information to have meaning, there must be meaningful context for the information. That’s why most people, unless they are really good at absorbing and retaining meaningless data, forget most of what they learned in school.

In school, subjects are artificially separated from each other. It’s as if schools believe that if you give kids one tree at a time, year after year, they will save them up and make a forest out of them. School can sap kids interest in learning, confuse them with so many meaningless “trees” that it may take years to recover and begin to see the “forest” again.

School can simply eat up so much of their time that there’s none left for the real learning, for spontaneous exploration or free play. Instead of discovering their unique gifts and talents, many learn to see themselves as “disabled” if they don’t keep up with the traditional school systems standards of measurement.”

I love the tree analogy. School did that to my older two and it would have done that to Jacqueline, had I not taken her out. When I see my kids learning, really learning, it makes the artificialness of school much more obvious to me.

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8 Responses to “Real Learning”

  1. Home Schooling Grandma says:

    I loved this post on Real Learning and I couldn’t agree more!

  2. Kez says:

    Great quote. That sounds like a good book.
    .-= Kez´s last blog ..Wednesday Weigh-In – Wk 22 =-.

  3. Your kid is smart. We rarely see kids take interest about complicated subjects by themselves.

    Here’s to hoping she becomes a successful spaceman someday. Grin

  4. One of the kids says:

    Let’s just say that I’m irritated about the fact that I have to be at work in 24 minutes and won’t be able to read anymore of the book until 11 tonight or sometime tomorrow. I never thought I’d read something like this, but I have a feeling I’m a “closet unschooler” LOL

  5. Joanne says:

    I’m surprised also. My library doesn’t have The TLH but I’m going to see if another branch has it. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while now. Let me know how you like it!

  6. One of the kids says:

    I’ll have to see about inter-library loaning around here. I was surprised they didn’t have it. Our library does have another one of her books “The Teenage Liberation Handbook” and I’m going to read it this weekend….then, I’m going to let my son read it.

  7. Joanne says:

    Hi Vickie!

    Actually, that’s where I got my copy. LOL I had borrowed it from the library once before and last time we went, I decided to take it out again.
    Can your library do a loan fron another branch? Jacqueline does that all the time with books she wants to read. Maybe also you can check ebay or amazon for a pre-loved copy.
    It’s a great book, I enjoy the way she writes. It’s like she’s having a conversation with you. Smile

  8. One of the kids says:


    Would you be interested in loaning out your book? I can’t find it at my local library.

    vickie (aka: ambyryoshi)

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