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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Multiple Choice: Why Is Homeschooling Great?

Please use a #2 pencil and fill in your choice with a complete, dark circle.
  1. Customizable learning environment
  2. Parent-child interaction
  3. Low teacher to student ratio
  4. Nurturing environment
  5. a through d
  6. No Scantron®

I got thinking about this when I saw the comic in this post.

I'm not a fan of the standardized test. There are much better ways to go about measuring understanding, retention, application, recall... You know, all those terms we imply when we talk about "learning" and "education." Unfortunately, since schools don't have option e above, they must resort to the tools of f.

But here's what struck me today as the image of multiple-choice teen gnawed at the back of my mind: My friends have always thought just as creatively as I do. In fact, many of them are more brilliant than I'll ever be.

So, sure: Smile sadly at the incredible limitations mass produced education demands. Be thankful for the privilege we have to educate our children at home. Consider the many blessings we enjoy as homeschoolers. But do not, do not, stick your nose in the air and believe for a minute that the children in "the other system" can't function as well as yours.

I am well aware that the school system is flawed. In spite of this, my friends have turned out amazingly well.

The encouragement we should take from this, in my mind, is we don't need to worry about our own children. We're giving them so many fantastic opportunities, what gaps and struggles we encounter can and will be overcome with a life-long love of learning.

What have you found makes your homeschool experience great?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

7 comments:

Jo Princess Warrior said...

Great post Luke. We should not think that we are an 'elite' group that are doing it the 'right' way as homeschoolers. We should also not be anxious about any 'gaps' in our choice to homeschool.

Luke said...

Thanks, Jo! <smile>

~Luke

Jenn4him said...

What have you found makes your homeschool experience great?
Sonlight of course! Really and truly, I'd be lost without Sonlight. Keep up the great work.
Jenn

Luke said...

Thanks, Jenn! I can't hear that enough <smile>.

~Luke

Karen Joy said...

This doesn't really answer your question, but I must say that I do have mixed feelings over standardized testing. In May, I had my oldest three tested (the ITBS), mostly because I kept panicking that I wasn't doing enough, fast enough, and that there were gaping holes in their education, and it was all my fault. :) I'm aware that I shouldn't have that fear, but it didn't stop me from having it. What stopped it? The boys' results from the ITBS, which put them all above average, and my oldest two WELL, WELL above average. This, in spite of me taking nearly two years to complete each and every Core we've done (only 4 so far... about to embark on 5).

And, I did find they had a singular gap: All three of them did poorly in capitalization. Easy fix. :)

I'm not going to test them every year, but I am glad, that after eight years of home schooling, I finally decided to face my fears and have them tested.

IOW, I don't want to be test-dependent, and I know tests aren't the be all and end all of education, but in some instances, they can be an effective tool, just one tool of many in the box of a homeschooling mother.

AND... I keep in mind that some of my dearest and most favorite people, both young and old, are products of public school education. So, if something ever happens to our family that derails us from the track on which we're headed, I won't freak out. :)

Karen Joy said...

*I mean, we've only done Cores 1-4, and we're about to start Core 5 (and my oldest is in 8th grade).

Oooh, another thing, totally off topic. I continually find myself in search of supplemental books and DVDs to the time period (or whatever) that we're studying, along with the Core we're on. I think it would be fabulous if SL produced an extensive list of suggested supplements, both fiction and nonfiction, to go alongside the curriculum. :) Unless you know of one that already exists, to which you would be willing to alert me???

Luke said...

Karen, I've heard from many people over the years that standardized tests were encouraging. That's a very good reminder.

We've talked about gathering supplemental books now and again. But since we try to focus our efforts on things that can make money while serving others (and there's tons of work for us to do on that font), we haven't put much time into developing lists. I'm guessing you could find some good suggestions on the Forums... and I've seen a few blogs which post lists of extras and such that they do.

If you're looking for a giant list just to look through... you could try Ambleside. I know there's another curriculum provider who boasts thousands of titles to choose from their suggested book list, but I couldn't find a good link for you with a simple search. Sorry, but that's all I got for you right now.

~Luke

~Luke


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