The High School Learning Experience: How Do Homeschoolers Compare?

So, homeschooling parent, think your teens are learning as much at home as they would learn in high school?

We know from our own childhood experience that the school day is full of interruptions and inconsistencies. Whenever you put 30 kids in a room, you create an environment that’s not exactly conducive to concentration.

But something’s changed since we were young, something that makes it even harder to learn: cell phones. Where I live, the high schools banned cell phones until 2007, when they allowed students to carry them as long as they were turned off and put away during class.

Guess what? It was too hard to enforce that rule, so now kids text throughout class. Teachers are worried that students could be texting test answers to each other. Perhaps, but at the very least, I think we can assume they aren’t paying attention to the teacher if they’re busy texting:

“Cell phone use continues to grow. Texting is more common, and many students are adept at sending silent text messages from their pockets. They don’t even look at the keypad.”

One teacher said, “Every kid has one, and they’re used covertly, regularly.”

I understand that today’s kids are good at multitasking, but I doubt that they can absorb much information while they’re busy corresponding with other people via texting.

Homeschooling parents needn’t worry whether their kids are learning as much as their publicly schooled friends. I’d say they’re way ahead of them if their home life affords them regular uninterrupted periods of time for reading, writing and doing math. Seriously, if kids can text during class, public high school has become a joke.

The Story of the Buccaneer Scholar

He loved to learn but he hated school.

Does that sound like any of your children? Does it sound like you? If you answered yes to either or both of those questions, I think you’d like Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar. Continue reading

When Severely Disabled Kids Go to School

While our son’s disabilities make it unlikely that he’ll be able to live on his own when he becomes an adult, he’s fortunate that he’s quite functional, unlike other young people who have more severe disabilities than he has.

I really feel for the families of those with severe disabilities, and I understand why many cannot homeschool their children. But sometimes I wonder what’s going through the heads of those who plan public school curriculum for these kids. Some of these educrats have many years of teacher training classes behind them, yet they seem to think something like this is a revelation:

Without knowing it, Mr. Adams’s efforts had touched on recent research in educating severely disabled children that focuses on using emotion and human connection to reach them. As higher functioning areas of their brains are underdeveloped, emotion moves them at a deeper level, lighting up the same part of their brain, the limbic system, as meaningful music, and possibly creating a bridge to greater intellectual cognition.

“We are so focused on teaching them skills, we don’t focus on the emotional part of the child,” said Rosanne K. Silberman, who coordinates graduate teacher preparation programs in severe disabilities and blindness at Hunter College.

Wow. You get results when you reach these young people on an emotional level. Who’d have thought? (sarcasm off)

PS Mr. Adams was the longtime teacher of the disabled young man in the article; after many years of working with the young man and developing a close friendship with him, he was reassigned to other students and now the young man has regressed. How sad. Way to go, educrats.

Seems Obvious, Right?

A school district in Georgia that was having financial difficulties decided to cut the school week to four days in order to save money. The result, according to the school superintendent?

Test scores went up.

So did attendance — for both students and teachers. The district is spending one-third of what it once did on substitute teachers, Clark said.

And the graduation rate likely will be more than 80 percent for the first time in years, Clark said.

Hmmm….if doing less of something results in more success, why not get rid of it all together and see what happens?  🙂