Me on a Map (and process education)

Recently, my 3 younger kids made Me on a Map projects. We started with city and moved out to Earth. We keep them paper clipped together and they now have them on hand if they ever want to review. While my 11 year old needs just a little help remembering that we don’t live in Kansas even though we live in Kansas City, the other two get confused with this whole mess regularly. Eden reasoned that if our city has the word “city” in it, our state should have the word “state” in it. Ergo, our state is the United States.

Logic: 1. Geography: 0.

Top to bottom: Eli, Xander, Eden.

By deviating from the original project a bit, I was also able to work on some process art. Process art happens when the end result isn’t the primary focus.  It is all about getting there. So rather than define “Missouri” and “USA” for them, I let them explore what they thought and use any medium they wanted.

They chose crayons and through group think agreed on natural landforms (mountains, streams, flowers). And Eli spent so long on Earth that he was phoning it in for the rest.

Process Art: 0. Finish this project quickly: 1.

But, similar to process art, our educational philosophy focuses just as heavily on the process of learning and exploring as it does on end goals. Some of the time that means walking around outside observing nature (science), doubling cookie recipes (fractions), and writing letters to people (handwriting).

And some of the time it means worksheets, non fiction books, and dry erase boards.

So when people ask how we homeschool, I say “we’re eclectic.” It’s easier than to say, “We follow 4 basic philosophies. First, how Dennis learns best. Second, how Xander learns best. Third, how Eli learns best. And, finally, how Eden learns best.” Not only would that be annoying to say, can you IMAGINE how pompous I’d sound? I’d be one of those homeschoolers.

And, regardless of school choice, when it boils down to it we are all in the same boat — preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Education is a winding path full of choices that are made and then changed and then readjusted and maybe even changed back. Enjoy the process!


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