Monday, September 26, 2011

Home School vs Public School

The subject of home school vs public school does not have to be an all or nothing topic! Our desire to increase our students ability to learn and succeed should be the out come we are looking for.

Not all students learn each subject at the same rate. Unfortunately this is the way that classes are set up in public schools. A certain amount of subject matter must be covered each day and the student that can not keep up is soon left frustrated. Sometimes the subject matter is way behind the students learning curve and they loose interest and quickly become bored. Both of these instances lead to lower SAT scores. Lower enthusiasm for learning. Disrespect and less desire to interact with the learning process. This leads to behavior that is disrupting to the school and can lead to the students being expelled.

Finding the correct approach for each student to achieve at their highest ability should be the desire for all parents and educators. When students are excelling then schools are rewarded through more funding and parents can rest easy knowing that their children will have the tools they need to succeed in life.

But, how do we find that balance. Looking at their SAT scores is the first step. Then have a conversation with the student. What are they interested in? Space, animals, building are all subjects that can easily be encouraged. Understand that as they grow their interests may change. However, any one of those interests can be used to develop more knowledge in Science, Reading, English and Math.

My youngest daughter was fascinated with animals. When she was very young she informed me that she wanted a horse. I informed her that when she could afford the Vet bills she could have one. Her desire to work with animals never slowed down. This encouraged us to help her join a wildlife rehabilitation group and volunteer at a Veterinarian's office. She attended three years of public school before electing to study at home. At the age of sixteen she took her GED and entered college. Today she is a practicing Veterinarian with several years of work behind her. She also volunteers her time with a local Wildlife Rehabilitation organization.By finding what interested her and encouraging her she is well on her way to having a very fulfilling life and being a productive member of society!

One of the resources I have found since my children have left home is Kahn Academy on Youtube. It is full of awesome lessons that span the spectrum from elementary education to college level. This free resource is available to any one who has access to a computer. A total curriculum could be designed around this or you can use it to supplement a students level of education. Home School vs Public School can be a starting point to help all students succeed!

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