A Standards Based Homeschool?
Why do you homeschool? There are so many varied reasons why people choose to homeschool their kids. One of the benefits of homeschooling is the freedom it brings. Parents get to choose what their kids learn, how it is taught, and when they learn. Some parents have been so jaded by the local school system that they want to do everything they can to be different from the local school.
In their quest to create the best homeschool experience possible, they abandon a standards based education. Hear me out here...I know this can be a touchy subject but I want to throw something out there.
State standards, as we all know, are not the end all be all. If your student fails to master all of your state's standards, she will not be a failure in life. If she masters all of the state standards and more, there is no guarantee of her success.
Here’s a little history lesson. The standards movement in education was developed in response to business’s concern of a lack of skilled and educated workers. Long story short (and very simplified), groups of educators and professionals got together and created a continuum of standards that kids should meet each year up to high school in order to be better prepared for a competitive workforce.
So what does that have to do with homeschoolers? Here’s how I see it. Whether or not we like it, we kind of have to play the game. If most kids in the country are being exposed to these standards, then we need to make sure our kids are at least equally prepared. We have to know their play book!
I see most homeschool families raising leaders, givers, and problem solvers. What a blessing to be able to shape and educate your kids the way you see fit! But we are cheating them if we are not preparing them to be competitive with the brick and mortar students post high school. What good does it do to raise such stellar individuals if we are not preparing them to impact their world in a positive way? Isn’t that the point?
I’m not pushing the standards...just encouraging you to be aware of them. We don’t need to adhere tightly to them. We don’t even need to teach them at all. Just educate yourselves and know what they are in your state. Teach your kids what you want, when you want, how you want. But teach in a way that you are preparing them to be competitive and make an enormous positive impact in your community and the world!