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Educationese for Beginners

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Educationese for Beginners

Try It – It’s Easy!


My friend, Ann Zeise, of A to Z’s Home’s Cool Homeschooling, said I could go ahead and share this with you, because she, too, understands that “educationese” is just a matter of verbiage that ANY parent can get into – if need be.

NOTE: Educationese for Beginners is also part of the ever-growing information and resources available on PARENT AT THE HELM’S “New to Homeschooling” information pages!

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.

Ref: The Columbia Guide to Standard American English

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.” Educationese is also useful to answer that typical question, “What DO your kids do all day?”

The New Homeschooling Parent’s Guide to “Educationese”

Examples of Daily Activities Translated into Educationese

Homeschool Activity Translated into Educationalese
Trip to the Library
Research Instruction;
Silent, Sustained Reading;
Resource Identification

[depending on grocery, building supply, etc.]

Consumer Math;

Health and Hygiene Instruction,
Consumer Education,
Time and Money
Homeschool Support Group Meeting Socializational Development
Playing Outside Low-Organized Physical Education
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)
Arts & Crafts
in relation to any subject
Manipulative Construction relating to ____ (name of subject)
Chores along with the family Manual Arts;
Home Economics; Time-on-Task development;
Values Education
Legos, K’nex or Blocks building Building Critical Thinking;
Small Motor Skills;
Gardening Botanical Science
Child Learning to be brave Quantitive, Contributive Sociological Development
Dentist visit Health, Occupational Education
Kicking Around a Soccer Ball PE, Angles, Critical Thinking, Large Motor Skills
Zoo Field Trip Reading maps; PE – walking; reading and narrating (read and observe-tell about what you saw and read about); art (draw animals)
Nature Walk and collecting things along the way, identifying them from a book PE, Reading and Science
Reading the Daily Paper Social Studies, Current Events
Drawing Art
4-H Activities Social Studies, Science, Language Arts
Bicycling PE
Talking with Grandma About Her Life and Experiences History
Playing Monopoly Math, Economics
TV Documentaries, Movies
TLC, History Channel, National Geographic, Animal Planet, PBS, Health Channel, etc.
History, Geography, Science, Social Sciences
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Reader Feedback

2 Responses to “Educationese for Beginners”

  1. What a great list of educational tag phrases! I'm copying it to hand out to parents who are new to homeschooling and don't feel like they are doing school unless they are sitting at a table working multiplication problems.

  2. So good to know that it will be well shared – and a great suggestion for folks. Thanks, Yvonna!

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