There are many homeschooling methods and many families have many methods that they settle on. I would consider some of the homeschooling methods and parents’ groups ”organized chaos” because the systems and methods are complex and change constantly.
Homeschooling is very repetitive. As a child, I liked to complete one lesson and then move on to the next, and then the next, and then the next. That is one purpose of homeschooling — to get to know the curriculum and the way it should be done. And as I got older, I began to realize that standardized tests destroy creativity. They don’t have to be as complicated as they are.
For example, I remember when I was doing my first year of teaching. The U.S. History/Social Studies curriculum was standard, with a lot of fine print. I and my fellow students were very frustrated because we knew that the writing was weak. The standards were damaging and unrealistic. When I complained, I was told that someone else would take over the class and it would be turned back to text but someone else would have to come in to teach for the next round. Yes, someone else would have to participate in the devastation that this process was causing to the students.
Today, I see the disaster that is happening to many of our inner-city kids. They have no identity and they don’t know who their friends are. If you tell a young person that they will be turned into a stereotype, they take it as a given. And that is a very dangerous thing for society. When we continue to teach that all people are the same, then we increase the divisions and struggles for each of our students.
Most students who exit school do not know their audience. They don’t know who their parents are. They don’t know where they stand. The parents that look up to them the most, hate them. The worst thing to do is put them in front of a standardized test and talk to them like they are five-year-olds.
We need to stop teaching to the test and teach to the 21st century. Why? We are losing our kids. We are failing to prepare them for the real world. If we produce children who are unprepared for the future then no matter how high the economy is, we will be in a downward spiral of failure.
Production is a way to teach kids to think creatively and adapt to life’s challenges and challenges. Since 1950, statistics have shown that roughly one in seven Americans of the school-age population has not completed high school. The numbers are way up in both urban and rural areas.
This is a travesty and everybody knows it. Yet, we continue to turn our backs on the potential of this massive reservoir of future knowledge. If we can’t teach to the test, then how can we teach the test?
“A full commitment to the goals of literacy must be a primary object of social and government policy.” Dr. Samuel Blumenfeld, author of Getting More Out of Schools.
This was a primary goal of the National Reading Panel: to encourage and guide the school community in the process of increasing the literacy levels and young adults. It is unfortunate that government support for literacy has waned to the point where only one-fifth of our students graduate with the literacy skill of Albert Einstein.
The panel recommends that the government and the private sector support efforts to build the capacity of literacy and writing. Educators must:
- Provide daily opportunities for reading whether it is in books, magazines, or newspapers.
- Rouse the deepest curiosity about reading.
- Create situations that will stimulate the most curious questions about the reading.
- Bring every subject or facet of reading into every one of their curriculum and lesson plans
- Extend curriculum and lesson plans to the full spectrum of subject matter.
- Refuse to ration literacy as a commodity
- Attack at the roots.
- Demand for standards and accountability of literacy instruction.
- Links education to career and workforce.
- Call for a reversal of the system of “Detroit schooling”.
- Demand for the protection of literacy as a democratic right.
- Support parents’ right to choose.
- Offer every citizen the chance to receive a high-quality education.
- Provide healthcare, including dental and medical services.
- Improve the quality of life of our communities by reducing crime.
- And encourage adolescents to achieve their dreams and democratic rights and responsibilities.