Tuesday, January 13, 2015

More Reasons to Homeschool....in the News

homeschool, argument for homeschooling, educational reform
I do realize that I am biased toward a homeschool paradigm, but I have done a fair amount of reading and researching on what learning, knowledge, achievement, wisdom are, and I think that the schools are coming at it all wrong. I feel that they, the school admins, are working in a panic, trying to meet some pie-in-the-sky idea of what it looks like to be educated in this country and I so disagree with their idea of what that looks like. I'm not suggesting that the admins don't have the hearts of the kids in their goals and I'm not saying that I have the answers, but I do approach the questions from a different direction.

According to a January 13, 2015 Huffington Post article called 4 Surprising Reasons Why Preschool and Kindergarden Must Change, the author Rob Furman, an elementary principal, an author, and a lecturer, took a look at the perceived need to rework the school system to meet the quintessence of public focus:  standards.  Furman recommended huge changes...for four- and five-year-olds!  

MORE attandence.
MORE structure.
MORE rigor.
MORE regulation.

I disagree. Strongly.

I recently read that over a million kids drop out of school every single year. That rate is alarming. I honestly think that the tremendous loss wouldn't happen if less attention was paid to standards and more attention was paid to human beings. Because the loss of these students is more than just an exodus from the school system, it is a loss of the productivity of over a million more people each year. Those million kids certainly don't drop out with high feelings of self-esteem, a can-do attitude, and a positive view of their future. The school system has killed them, crushed them.

I would love to see a paradigm shift in this country in our approach to education. An approach that seeks to encourage the pursuit of knowledge, that seeks to enlighten, inform, support, and encourage kids, humans to reach for their highest potential, to follow their dreams, to take a moment and figure out what is meaningful to them, and to simply lay down the pressure and stress and allow kids to do what they do naturally:  learn.

I know, I am no professional (hey wait, YES I AM!) and I know I haven't shared all of my sources for my point of view with you. What I offer is simply my perspective on what I believe truly allows a child, a human being the freedom and individuality to flourish in their own way. No competition, no standards, no common core, just a person and their life.

You might also like these posts:
Parents Need to Deschool Too
Strategies and Stuff for Successful Homeschool Parenting
How to Homeschool
Teaching Things I Don't Know
Homeschooling Strategies

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen, I just found your blog, it is interesting and informative. I homeschooled my son from grade 6 through high school. He was having difficulty with anxiety and panic problems, seeing a pediatric psychologist and trying to learn new coping strategies. The thought of himself going to middle school was causing him so much angst, that I made the decision to homeschool...it was one of the best things I did. He achieved, really achieved academically. When in 10th and 11th grade, he was able to take college courses at our local community college. His English professor told everyone in the class that he never gave an 'A' grade because is would mean you were proficient and would be able write for a living. He was distrustful of my son's homeschooling. Guess who got the first and only 'A' given by the professor? A tenth grade homeschooler! He tested out of required mathematics and got an 'A' in chemistry. He now, at the age of 19, owns a company that was awarded a civic contract for building revitalization housing. He is also a full-time college student who is on the President's List at the community college. I could go on and on about him.

    My daughter was homeschooled from grades 2-until the very end of 4th grade when I needed to send her back to school because my health deteriorated and I was unable to give homeschooling the attention is required, she needed to take standardized PSSA testing with the rest of the students. The school principal did not want her to take the PSSA tests, sure that she would drag down the schools score. In the end, the principal delayed the her admittance as much as she could. In the end, my daughter had to take the science portion of the tests. She knocked their socks off. They were stunned by this homeschool girl, who had never taken those kinds of tests, out scoring their over-tested pupils. During the 5th grade, she continued her stellar performance and was recommend to test for the Johns-Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. This past year, 6th grade, she was on the 'Distinctive Honors' honor roll in middle school and elected as student of the month this past March.

    She still longs to be homeschooled and my youngest girl, who is going into 3rd grade also wants to be homeschooled. My health is improving some and we are giving it a trial run this summer.

    There were times during the homeschool year that the kids didn't feel able to focus. We would by able to work around that by deferring the class to the next day or going on a field trip to someplace interesting, like a cave, the zoo, a historical site such as Gettysburg or a children's museum. Within a day or two, they would be ready to hit the books again. Flexibility enable me to meet the need of the child, rather than the needs of the school.

    Thank you for your valuable site.



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