Friday link round-up

Published by Lori Pickert on January 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Hope everyone had a great week. Here are the links I shared on Facebook…

Shelli shared a beautiful post about her son’s first project work — building the Titanic not once, but twice. A great rundown of some of the things that can go wrong and right when doing project-based homeschooling:

“Let’s face it: it’s not easy letting children take the lead. It wasn’t easy trying to understand this process when my son was crying and inconsolable. But I understand now that he has to learn these lessons, and there’s no better way than letting him learn with a project that’s his own. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have cared about doing it well, and he may have given up completely.” — Building the Titanic: Project-Based Homeschooling on Mama of Letters

More project-based homeschooling in the blogs this week: Misa shared her son’s solar system project here and here — the videos are so great.

Kate had a lovely post about setting up a Reggio-style provocation:

“Reggio inspired activities are about exploration and discovery; exploring with their senses, asking questions, testing theories, making plans and thinking deeply.” — Setting Up a Reggio-Style Activity on Everyday Stories

I really liked Elisabeth’s explanation of why she blogs:

“Someone I met recently asked me why I blog. Well, because I enjoy it was my instinctive response. Because I like to share, to get feedback and to promote myself and others I guess, was my second comment. The third comment must is the main reason though — because the therapeutic effect it has on me, and the escape from a harsh reality.” — The not so fluffy reality on Fine Little Day

I do think blogging makes great therapy!

An interesting article on why some people insist they aren’t creative:

“Unfortunately, because the belief that failing is such a terrible thing to experience, many people can’t accept that exploring is perfectly normal. So they never explore.” — The psychology behind people believing they aren’t creative on Creative Something

I liked this article on setting areas of focus rather than concrete goals — there are a lot of studies showing that most people have a difficult time meeting goals, and maybe this would be a step in a better direction. (Although personally I love my goals.)

“Instead of identifying goals, consider identifying areas of focus.

A goal defines an outcome you want to achieve; an area of focus establishes activities you want to spend your time doing. A goal is a result; an area of focus is a path. A goal points to a future you intend to reach; an area of focus settles you into the present.” — Consider Not Setting Goals in 2013 on Harvard Business Review

This article also reminded me of people choosing a word for their upcoming year. Do you do that? I never do, but this year instead of a list of resolutions or goals, I decided to just focus. I want to focus on my priorities, focus on finishing the things I’ve already begun, and focus on my long-term goals. So I guess my area of focus is focusing. :P

Loved this post and felt it was one of the most evenhanded and thought-provoking looks at whether college will be necessary or preferable for our kids:

“Look, I teach at a high school that each year sends roughly 92% of our graduates on to a two or four-year college. We live in a community where college is the default assumption and, to be sure, that's worked really well for many of our students for a long time. But I'd like to delve a bit deeper. Roughly 92% of our graduates go on to two or four year colleges, but how many of them graduate and then use that degree for gainful employment? We don't have that data, so let me do a bit of assuming...”

“Who says that it has to be learn, then work? If you were devising a system from scratch, is that how you would design it? If you were designing your life from scratch, is that how you would want it to look?” — In Just Six Short Years on The Fischbowl

I can’t pull enough quotes to do this post justice — it’s well worth the read, even if you are positive you want your kids to go to college.

Speaking of which, I posted a quote from this article and got a big response in comments:

“In fifty years, if not much sooner, half of the roughly 4,500 colleges and universities now operating in the United States will have ceased to exist. The technology driving this change is already at work, and nothing can stop it. The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone; the residential college campus will become largely obsolete; tens of thousands of professors will lose their jobs; the bachelor’s degree will become increasingly irrelevant; and ten years from now Harvard will enroll ten million students.” — The End of the University as We Know It on The American Interest

Did you know that only 32.9% of men finish a degree in four years? Only 27% of first-generation college students? (I was one of those.) Did you know how many kids walk away from college with student loan debt but no degree? I didn’t. I don’t know if the writer of the above article is right and the university as we know it will eventually disappear, but the current system doesn’t seem sustainable. College costs have been outpacing inflation, income, healthcare, and everything else for decades. And fifty years is a long time — I’m guessing we’re going to see some real change. The only question is, how fast and what will it look like?

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