M is for Menus



You know, I’ve had a passion for learning since I was very young. I was always interested in collecting ALL OF THE WORDS and ALL OF THE IDEAS about my passions! (That wasn’t yelling, it was excitement, by the way.) I just wanted to know it ALL!

But there was always a glitch in my learning. I didn’t want to learn most of what was taught in school. I’m not sure if it was premeditated or a rebellious act, or just the way that I’m wired. I am sure that a large part of my dislike was the modality, or approach. Much of what I learned was just….boring.

Now, before you write me off as one of those children who thinks learning is boring, remember that I was also the 12 year old at the library all day on Saturdays because I wanted to learn. I thoroughly enjoyed research. Aliens? Cool. Big Foot, Loch Ness Monster, biorhythms, psychology…these were all hits in my book. Why couldn’t I take a Science class where we gathered evidence to prove/disprove the existence of some creature? Why couldn’t I take Psychology in 8th grade? Instead, I sat and ‘learned’ about some war and attempted to vomit information about it on paper for a grade that I never cared about.


Why can’t education be set up in a convention style where I pick and choose what I like, the way I do selecting my WordPress app and Facebook on my phone-but instead we do it for student learning? Why couldn’t I select what I wanted to learn about from a menu? Imagine the possibilities.My 8th grade, or even high school year may have looked like this:






History Your Way– Join us as we explore the psychology behind why battles were waged and fought, won and lost. Who won and why. Who lost and why. How might the country be different today? How did the win influence the country in the future?

Elements of Design- You know what you like and of course you have great taste, but what is great taste? How can you appeal to others? Learn about elements of design like shape and texture along with the principles of design like balance and contrast. As you learn, you’ll create, make mistakes, and learn some more. We’ll be here to support you.

Yucky Appetizer- You don’t like it, you don’t order it. If everyone dislikes it, it will disappear from the menu forever.





Introduction Applied Psycho-Neurobiology – Forget about waiting until college, why not take this course now?  Learn about how our brain works, how it can be tricked, and how neuroscience gives us insights into the structure and functioning of our thoughts and feelings.

Visual Algebra– Yes, we know algebra is tricky when it’s not made for you, but what if we told you we know about a company of the future called Dragonbox that will help you learn your way? Conceptual math encourages inter-connectivity among math and other subject matter. Learn it all, why it really does make sense, and how it really works. No memorizing formulas, just understanding and application along with lots of creation.

Socratic Seminar Literature and Language-Delve into the classics and beyond. Join in-depth discussions of character study. Examine historical references and how they manifest themselves in current day. Most of all, read and think.

Disgusting Main Course– Some people find it enjoyable, but since you don’t, please don’t order it.




Book Discussions 101-We’ll all bring in our favorite books and break off into small groups to enjoy reading, discussing, researching the author, making connections to other interesting books, and explore why this book has meaning in our lives.

Pool and Book Combo-Enjoy reading in this relaxing and peaceful environment surrounded by your favorite books.

Visual Astronomy-Speak with famous astronomers as you ponder the universe. They’ll bring the photographs, videos, and excitement and you’ll bring your enthusiasm for the wonder of the world and the worlds that lie beyond.

Boring Dates to Memorize in History– If you don’t want to know about the people, places, or events in-depth and instead want to memorize a bunch of dates and fill them in on papers, this will be your favorite side dish. Otherwise, it just might make you sick to your stomach.




Physical Science Experiment a Day– Join us as you experiment, gather data, draw conclusions, and continue your research for as long as you like. Every day a new chance to experience the wonder.

Beach Volleyball- We know you’re really not interested in sports, but we also know you love going to the beach and getting in the sand. Sign up for this course to enjoy a rollick in the hot sun and learn how to set, spike and win your way through your new favorite sport.

Cross Country Running– We know you don’t like to run, so we know you won’t be ordering this one! Ask your server if you’d like more details someday.




Reading on the Grass in the Sunshine- Be sure to bring your favorite pair of flip-flops or come in your bare feet. Bring a pile of books and your favorite pair of shades. Lounge, dream, and relax.

Write Your Dreams- We’ll teach you how to write not by making you follow procedures, but instead by encouraging you to write to share your dreams, visions for the future, and struggles of the past. You’ll be invited to share yours and read others. Most of all, you’ll have fun and learn to enjoy writing in a relaxing atmosphere. We’ve got comfy pillows to lounge on and our poolside seats are always warm. Bring your favorite pens!




Why am I suddenly starving to learn? Are you?

A2Z-BADGE 2016-smaller_zpslstazvib

4 thoughts on “M is for Menus

  1. I am homeschooling my daughter and this is, more or less, how we do things. I have heard numerous labels for it- unschooling, curiosity lead learning, etc.. Here are the two important hooks that keep the government from instituting this model:
    1) teacher’s unions. Can you possibly imagine how skilled an individual would need to be to accomplish this with a class of 25-30 3rd graders?
    Should American teachers be this skilled to accommodate so many levels of learning? Yes. Are the majority? Sadly, the degree programs that have existed to produce teachers have NOT facilitated this level of professional existing by and large… So, no.
    2) entirely new and progressive systems of assessment would need to be developed and instituted in order to assure retention/comprehension and actual progress and learning- please read- ‘standardized testing will not work with this model’.
    Consider the CORE movement over the past few years. Now imagine something so much more innovative in progressive as actual individual achievement? Bahahahahaaa!!! My estimation is that 35-40% would be highly enthusiastic leaders, such as yourself, and I, and many others who ignore politics and focus on children every day. The majority would be frightened of the thought of something far superior to what they have ever imagined possible.
    This is the WHY behind American education lagging.

    Your model is beautiful. I love the manner in which you present it as a restaurant experience- familiar and manageable, yet, as eclectic as you may choose to make it: ). My daughter is 8- her vocabulary is above 8th grade and much of the learning that she is interested in is 7-8th grade. Some of the topics I was only ‘allowed’ to investigate in college. Molecular models, for instance.
    Let’s keep pushing for gifted programs that accommodate this manner of learning! I think that under this federal designation is where the key lies to creating a better- more individualized- set of opportunities that will inspire a larger portion of children and accommodate those with needs.

    Please feel free to contact me at Leandra.pierce@waldenu.edu with any insights you have gained on your journey. We can work together to increase the opportunities for kids: )

    Liked by 1 person

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s