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Five FREE Ways to Improve Children’s Education

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BY LINDA DOBSON

5 Free Ways to Improve Children’s Education

1. Get rid of tests.

But how do we know if they’re learning anything?

learnTalk to them, you know, like they’re real human beings.

2. Let children learn the basics (reading, writing, basic arithmetic) by reading real books, writing for real purposes, and calculating for a reason.

But why would a 5 year-old need to write or calculate for a purpose?

Bingo!

S/he wouldn’t need to, would s/he? That’s why it makes more sense to wait until the child is old enough to have a purpose. (How many adults learn things they’re not interested in that have no purpose in their lives?)

3. Armed with the basics (reading, writing, basic arithmetic), let the children learn what they’re interested in learning.

But how do we know if they’ll learn the important things?

Please provide a list of all the things you feel are important to learn. Next, solicit similar lists from 12 friends. Do they contain items different than what’s on your list? Who determines “the important things?” You? Your “smartest” friend? A not-your-smartest friend? (See the problem here?)

See also Meaningful Learning Starts with the Child, Not a Curriculum

4. Remove the compulsory from compulsory attendance.

But why would a kid go to school if attendance wasn’t mandatory?

If he was enjoying learning there, the kid would go to school without anyone threatening to put his parents in jail if he didn’t show up. If the place isn’t inspiring learning, well, guess it needs to get its act together while the kid enjoys learning in one of the bazillion places where learning is inspiring.

5. Let parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, retirees and anyone else interested in helping a child with a project go to class with her.

But what about the commotion this would cause?

First, you have to remember this isn’t the place where one adult is preaching to dozens of children sitting in rows all “learning” the same thing at the same time. It’s a place that is competing with the greater world as a place of learning children want to be in.

Think of the benefits. Remember all those parents who supposedly aren’t interested in education? Now they are welcome to be a part of it. Remember that little boy who didn’t seem to be interested in anything? That was only until he saw the retired electrician showing his friend how to make a parallel circuit, and he was invited to learn about it, too. Remember that complaint about crowded classrooms? Now the teacher has lots of help from the real world, bringing real world knowledge into the institutionalized classroom.

Interesting that while Race to the Top – which replaced No Child Left Behind which replaced Goals 2000 – is spending billions and billions of taxpayer dollars to try to fix the broken system, the suggestions above cost nothing.

Nothing to lose and much to gain, including children who aren’t robbed of their inner drive to learn how the world works.

What else might you add to this list (if anyone bothered to ask us <g>)?

LindaSig

 

 

 

Linda Helps Homeschoolers. An active advocate for homeschooling since 1985, all of Linda’s books have helped homeschoolers through the decades. Let them help your family get started, succeed with, and totally enjoy homeschooling, too!
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2 Responses to “Five FREE Ways to Improve Children’s Education”

  1. These are 5 fabulous reasons! And they don’t cost money to implement either. Funny how people think if it doesn’t cost money it must not be effective. Thanks so much for breaking it down this way 🙂

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