Posted in Early Learning, Daycare, Preschool, Kindergarten, Education, Education & Homeschool News, Higher Education, Homeschooling, Homeschooling Issues, Leftism in Education, Public Education, Socialization, Subject English, Subject Math

Education News, July 10, 2013

Here are some of the latest articles I have seen pertaining to education:

Raising students’ test scores on standardized tests is now the only goal, and in order to achieve it the creativity, the flexibility, and spontaneity that create authentic learning environments have been eliminated.

Homeschooling, as most homeschooled students soon discover, is, after the first few years of coaching in the liberal arts (which are best taught one-on-one – hence at home), very largely self-teaching. If  we equate self-teaching with the current practical expression of that concept, homeschooling, we can see that the ancient Greeks well understood what our culture is being forced to concede reluctantly: all learning is essentially self-teaching. The superior academic performance of homeschoolers, now widely known and admitted, provides objective evidence of this fact. We best encourage and support self-teaching by preparing students for, and guiding them to, the classic works of the great discoverers, at home, close to the loving arms of parents, who are more likely to be able to give them the one-to-one tutoring attention that professional educators constantly tell us is essential to maximizing student  achievement.

Contrary to many arguments lately that children need daycare to provide ‘early childhood education’ I would simply suggest that we think again. All children already are in ‘early childhood education’ just by being alive. They are learning to walk, to talk, to hold a cup, to use a spoon, to use a toilet. Yes it is true they by playing with others learn social skills like sharing, taking turns, being quiet when others are speaking, speaking softly to not disrupt others. But it is not accurate that those ‘social’ skills can only be learned in large groups. They can learned in social situations – even with just one other person – say mom, or dad. They can be learned with siblings and one of the great virtues of siblings is that they are nature’s built-in cotravellers through life. Learning how to get along with each other is a vital skill siblings teach each other, with careful parental guidance. So let us not assume that ‘socialization’, the new buzzword, is the domain only of daycares.

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As a teacher I feel that two basic skills must be taught by parents if at all possible – literacy and numeracy- and if you had to choose, pick literacy. All kids need to learn to read if they are to have a chance at school success and to increase their odds of career success exponentially. I have been teaching kids for 30 years now and there are many many styles of teaching kids to read that make me feel sad and even revulsed. It is not fair to make little kids memorize words. That is not reading. That is parroting, memorizing and guessing. Yes it works for a while but then the child, told he is reading, proceeds to assume any new material is therefore open to him, and quickly discovers he was misinformed. He has no skills to figure out what words not on the memorized list said. No skills. He guesses only. That is nearly criminal.

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