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Don’t Let Educationese Stop You from Homeschooling

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Don’t Let Educationese Stop You from Homeschooling

BY LINDA DOBSON

homeschooling

Educationese is the language of an institution concerned with management, efficiency, teachers’ unions, and funding.

The tool most frequently used to make parents think long and hard about removing their children from public schools is criticism of homeschooling children’s socialization. The secret language of education – a.k.a. educationese – is a close second.

Fearing they won’t be able to toss out the right jargon to explain their concerns, many parents don’t question teachers and administrators. Those parents who do dare to speak up are often barraged by unfamiliar terms, and quickly fall prey to the “professionals'” implications that they know a lot m ore – and better – than an untrained parent.

Non-Homeschooling Educationese Examples

If you are trying to stay involved with the education of a child in public school, you might want, for example, to bone up on the differences between types of assessment: authentic, alternative, group, valid, peer, portfolio, or self. Which does your child’s school use?

You could study theh implications of outcome-based education (OBE), and whether your child’s school is in the stage of traditional OBE, transitional OBE, or transformational OBE.

Heard talk about CIMs and CAMs? Do you know what they are? Where they came from? Whether your child’s school plans to drop traditional diplomas when adopting them?

Did you wonder what was wrong with “old” math when you studied “new” math in school? Do you know how “new new” math differs from both? (I’m not making this up, folks!) And, by the way, how do your child’s metacognitive skills measure up?

Truth is, each of the “educationese” terms can be explained in a few, plain English sentences. Within fifteen minutes you’d have a handle on it all and be capable of discussing it with anyone. (And I strongly recommend doing so!) As easy as the jargon is to translate, though, it’s totally unnecessary to the practice of homeschooling. Educationese is the language of an institution concerned with management, efficiency, teachers’ unions, and funding. This language needn’t be applied to a homeschooling situation where the only concerns are the needs of one or a few children surrounded by supportive family.

See also Yes, You CAN Afford Homeschooling!

Ironically, many of the current educational reforms are attempting to take what works in a homeschooling setting and institutionalize it, mostly with disastrous results. It stands to reason, then, that if you take what works in an institutional setting and put it in the home, the results will be equally calamitous. Indeed, personal reading and anecdotal evidence suggest that it’s those homeschooling parents who create “school at home” who suffer the highest incidence of stress and burnout and send their children back to school in frustration.

Homeschooling Educationese

There are many ways to go about homeschooling without resorting to school at home. Understand just a few of the varied homeschooling approaches available and you’ll have all the educationese you need to better understand homeschooling. Unschooling, interest-initiated learning, unit studies, eclectic studies, Charlotte Mason, the Moore Formula, and others will help you see how many different ways there are to go about helping your child receive an education, and probably get you thinking of a dozen more ways!

LINDA DOBSON has been helping families start and/or enjoy homeschooling since 1986, in person, phone consulting, and her classic homeschooling books.
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