Educator Charlotte Mason talked about living books - books that are written by a single author, with passion, books that make the topic come alive for the reader.
By living books, however, I mean living, everyday, in and out, as we breathe and talk and be, really living books. The books are so much a part of your life, they are who you are, they are who we are as people and as a family.
Shakespeare, Religion and Identity, we recall investigative method, connections, that feeling how-one-thing-leads-to-another, our knowledge of English history and Shakespeare. For, after all, it is connections that make learning. We connect, we think, we remember.
This is what is needed in education. Living books. A life intertwined with books and stories and texts and images and experiences.
One is never the same after having read, shared, experienced, followed up, a good book.
After a week of national Naplan tasting, a focus with parents at work and in the news on results and on tests, I look at our circle of readers. Young men who read, who live books, who are interested in learning, who do not fit the oft cited stereotype that boys do not like reading.
I realise that a life of books, of day to day happenings related to books, of living and breathing and cooking and climbing trees with books, has made their education. Not tests and bits of paper. But books shared and lived.
This is the legacy of life without school. Living books, living education, living memories.