Monday, December 31, 2012

Another No-Duh Headline About How Kids Learn

"Pediatricians say kids need recess during school"

Whoa! No way! Stop the presses! This is big news!


Seriously, this is common sense and shouldn't need to be said out loud.

Children need time for free play. 

Lots of it. And adults would be surprised how much of that time would be spent in educational pursuits, given the freedom and resources.

If kids don't learn that learning is living, that it's exciting to follow their own curiosity, we are going to have more depressed children and bullies.

If I could say something to the administrators in charge of our current education system, it would be this: 

Schedule LESS. 

Test LESS. 

Spend your money on toys for the classrooms through high school. Then let the kids loose to share and collaborate with a little guidance here and there from the adult in the room. 

That's it. 

We'd have more learning, more invention, and less wasted time trying to control the uncontrollable.

Quote from the article:

"The cognitive literature indicates that children are exactly as we are as adults. Whenever they're performing a complicated or complex task, they need time to process the information," said Murray, a professor at Ohio State University in Columbus.

"Kids have to have that time scheduled. They're not given the opportunity to just get up and walk around for a few minutes," he added.

They're not given the opportunity to just get up and walk around... so kids have to have that time scheduled. 

Think about that.

One more reason to homeschool.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Responsibility of All Parents

Homeschooling vs. Schooling

The duty of parents


"As a teacher, I would say that ALL parents have the responsibility to home school their children. Parents should be home schooling their children in the art of reading, basic number skills, colors, rules of polite society, the habits needed to study and learn something new on your own, problem solving skills, their native language (if they have one), skills like carpentry or art (if the parents have such skills), to name just a few. These are things that I, as a teacher, have limited ability to support in my classroom. Many are things that should happen before the child enters the school system, and continue afterward, so that the students have foundations on which to build their further learning. Learning that should continue, I hope, their whole life."

I agree with this teacher on this point: all parents have a responsibility to home school their children in the basics. 

Teachers cannot and should not be expected to teach children to read. That should be happening at home all the time. One of the things we don't talk about as much pertaining to the failure of the public schools is how parental attitudes have contributed to that failure.

I'll liken it to a doctor who tells parents not to try home remedies to resolve illnesses, to bring a child in immediately if there is a fever above 100 degrees. So they do. Then the same doctor complains that the parents are bringing in a child with just a fever and not taking care of it at home.

Likewise, certain educators have made a point of telling parents they can't resolve reading problems at home, can't possibly teach their own children to read. So they don't even try. Some parents have been told they could do damage to their children by trying to teach them to read before school age.


And then you get common-sense teachers like this one in the article who want you to teach your child to read before school.

So the wrong parental attitude of 'Let the school do it' is not only the fault of parents, but of educators who want to monopolize education regardless of the practical realities that make this impossible. 

Thankfully, the solution is already a nationwide movement. More people are homeschooling or "afterschooling" or "beforeschooling." More parents understand that the public schools will fail their children if they are not equal partners with their children's teachers. That's a wonderful thing!

In the next generation, we can look forward to more intelligent teens who know how to research, ask questions, and collaborate for greater innovation -- not teens who were taught to pass tests and expect spoon-fed knowledge.

Homeschooled teens become informed voters. Schooled teens become low-information voters, SNL-watchers who actually believe it's the "news."

So this trend toward homeschooling could save our nation, too.

Do you homeschool? Afterschool? Beforeschool? Or do you trust the schools to do it all?