Educationese — or Teacherese — is the name sometimes given to the jargon too frequently employed by some of those who train our schoolteachers. It is characterized typically by its humorlessly abstract, Latinate, and polysyllabic diction and its convoluted, rambling, and frequently passive syntax. Fights are never “fights” and rarely even “quarrels.” Instead, fights are “conflict situations.” At its worst, instead of correcting imprecision and ignorance, Teacherese tries to conceal learning activities, frequently from teachers themselves.
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When you begin to Homeschool you may find it difficult translate to Educationese, if your state requires you to keep daily records of what your child has learned. And if you have decided unschooling is the right path for your family, you may find things even more difficult. However, using the key elements of learning – interest + practice = better understanding – it can become easy. Relax: knowledge is power.
Teachers in public schools are taught a method in college education courses: they take an ordinary activity and turn it in to a something that sounds impressive. Educationalese is a language that educators understand. Everything is learning, so surprisingly, you can call most of your ordinary activites “school.” Educationalese is also useful to answer that typical question, “What DO your kids do all day?”
Examples of Daily Activities Translated into Educationese
Please leave your own examples in the comment area below.
HOMESCHOOL ACTIVITY – TRANSLATED INTO EDUCATIONALESE
4-H Activities – Social Studies, Science, Language Arts
Arts & Crafts in relation to any subject – Manipulative Construction relating to ____ (name of subject)
Attending a homeschool conference – Academic conference to help develop strategies for learning success
Bicycling – PE
Child Learning to be Brave – Quantitive, Contributive Sociological Development
Chores along with the family – Manual Arts; Home Economics; Time-on-Task development; Values Education
Collecting lots of novels – Core literature selection.
Dentist Visit – Health, Occupational Education
Doing any learning activity at home using hands – Hands-on problem solving
Doing anything above their years – Participating in a GATE (Gifted and Talented) Program.
Doing anything educational at home – Homework
Doing anything with a sibling – Multi-age classroom.
Drawing – Art
Gardening – Botanical Science
Hanging out with other homeschool parents at a Park Day, Workshop or Conference – Staff Development Day
Having a family meeting about homeschooling activities – Doing site-based decision making
Homeschool Support Group Meeting – Socialization Development
Interesting Family Outing [even if it’s on the weekend, call it a school day] – Educational Field Trip; Resource Field Trip in conjunction with _____(name of subject)
Kicking Around a Soccer Ball – PE, Angles, Critical Thinking, Large Motor Skills
Leaving homeschool plans with another responsible adult – Filing an Independent Study Form
Nature Walk and collecting things along the way, identifying them from a book – PE, Reading, Research, and Science
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On computing devices a lot – Working on mastery of technology-enhanced manipulative
Playing Monopoly – Math, Economics
Playing Outside – Low-Organized Physical Education
Reading the Daily Paper – Social Studies, Current Events
Shopping[depending on grocery, building supply, etc.] – Consumer Math; Health and Hygiene Instruction, Geography, Consumer Education, Time and Money
Spending time in a room designed for a specific task: i.e. the laundry room, kitchen – Doing an activity in a learning center to build independence.
Spending time in their bedroom alone – Doing an activity in a quiet center to build independence.
Talking with Grandma About Her Life and Experiences – History
Talking with your spouse about homeschooling – Chatting with the Principal
Talking to yourself about homeschooling – A parent-teacher conference
Trip to the Library – Research Instruction; Silent, Sustained Reading; Resource Identification
TV Documentaries, Movies, TLC, History Channel, National Geographic, Animal Planet, PBS, Health Channel, etc. – History, Geography, Science, Social Sciences
Using whatever works – Balanced Curriculum Approach
Working intently on some project for days or weeks – Thematic teaching: tapping into all learning modalities of the student
Zoo Field Trip – Reading maps; PE – walking; reading and narrating (read and observe-tell about what you saw and read about); art (draw animals)
Doing better now being homeschooled – Now capable of hitting the developmentally appropriate targets.