This is another great blog reprint from unschooling blogger, Idzie Desmarais. Idzie has graciously allowed us to reprint her blog post from her blog, I'm Unschooled. Yes, I can write
! Thank you Idzie!
Idzie Desmarais is a (grown) unschooler, feminist, green anarchist, (confusedly) queer, pagan(ish) woman who makes her home in the Montreal area. She spends her time reading fantasy novels, writing, cooking up lots of tasty food in the kitchen, and dreaming of the homesteading intentional community she wants to help found someday.
The Value in Writing for an Audience, Not a Grade
After not reading any non-fiction books in quite a while, I picked up Better Than College
by Blake Boles this afternoon and started reading. Instantly, something sparked a blog post idea. Blake writes:
Instead of working on homework, papers, and presentations destined to be seen once and tossed into a trashcan, self-directed learners turn much of their hard work into useful products for other people.
I don't know about "products," per se, but definitely something useful and appreciated.
Reading that, I had a thought that somehow had never occurred to me before. Most young people view non-fiction writing as something primarily done to get good grades, something that is only useful insofar as it pleases a teacher or professor and thus leads to good marks.
I've never written a five paragraph essay. Count paragraphs, you say? Construct an essay based on a rigid outline? Why would I do that? I've worked within word or space or time constraints numerous times, writing articles for magazines or talks for conferences. But I've never written an essay expected to adhere so closely to a specific outline, nor have I ever written something designed to please just one specific person.