Monday, November 2, 2020

Learning leaps and lingers

School creates the illusion that learning is a smooth curve, divided into hours, units, terms, years. Sometimes unschooling parents look for that.

Often, learning happens suddenly, like a flash. A person "gets it" or makes a connection between two things. It's fine to rest for a few days after that!

Folklorists who study traditional ballads say "A ballad leaps and lingers." Later, films did that, too. Though many ballads are ancient-old, they are a bit like movies. They might start in the middle of an action scene, or with a mysterious dilemma. A scene might be portrayed in great detail, and the next scene pick up six months or three years later in the story. Learning can be that way.

Doing something "in fits and starts" means there are stretches of quiet nothing, and then suddenly things are happening. Then nothing, again, for a while. Learning is like that.

In the novel Shogun, the character Mariko says early on:

We have a saying that time has no single measure, that time can be like frost, or lightning, or a tear, or siege, or storm, or sunset, or even like a rock.
Try not to measure.

The learning Curve of Unschoolers
photo by Karen James

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