Today’s Poetry Type:
Failure is a Possibility
I’ve never tried to write this way
This is a brand new poem today
It’s possible that I will fail
As clumsy rhymes stumble and flail success away
What happens if I don’t succeed?
Is winning such a burning need?
Why must we always make the grade?
Let our creativity fade like shriveled seed?
Don’t rate ideas with a letter
Where B is good, A is better
And to get an F brings much woe
When we don’t risk, we never know or unfetter!
One of the most notable differences between our unschooling life and a more traditional school environment is this:
We don’t grade our children, and they aren’t in competition with others to “get good grades” and prove themselves better than the others – in other words, the striving to be at “the head of the class.”
You might be wondering how we know they’re learning, if we don’t grade them. Are they falling behind? Do they know what they’re “supposed to” at their ages?
We value learning as it naturally occurs in a rich and varied environment. Instead of a classful of students, and a teacher who needs to let parents know how well those students are doing, how they’re “measuring up” with their peers, there’s just….a family.
We don’t have a class full or a teacher here. We have two parents, and two children. We live together in one small house; we enjoy each other, talk with each other, play games and watch shows, shop and go to museums and plays and parties together.
I don’t need grades to tell me that they’re learning, growing, becoming more sophisticated and capable. It’s evident in their projects, passions, conversation, play…it’s everywhere, readily seen.
More, they haven’t absorbed an “us vs. them” mentality; they’re far more likely to collaborate than compete. They tend more toward the concept of ubuntu), where everyone benefits.
I feel like that’s a better thing, here in our family, and in the wider world, too – and a big part of that is not demanding that our kids “make the grade.”