Homeschooling principles may be coming to a public school near you.
It’s known as Standards-Based Learning, modeled on the belief every child learns in their own way.
(The principal at a school outside Denver, Colorado says) “Every student in every class is learning at exactly the spot that they’re supposed to. For the first time every child is getting exactly what they need, when they need it, and how they need it.” (CBS19)
They are referring to this as “gradeless grade schools”. One student may be a level 7 in reading, a level 3 in math and a level 4 in language arts. Former Secretary of Education, Bill Bennett said this sounds very much like a homeschool model! This is of course one of the major reasons I love homeschooling so much. Having the ability to spend more time on coursework where Hannah needs it while moving on in areas where she excels is a practical and beneficial education method. She struggles with math, but instead of her feeling pressure to just pass the test and move on, we are able to spend the extra time she needs to really understand the mathematical concepts. We are also able to use a variety of techniques and learning experiences to help bring those concepts to light. Unfortunately, there are children in public schools who don’t “get” math or who struggle with reading, but manage to guess their way through an exam in order to move on to the next grade level where they will undoubtedly continue to struggle and feel frustrated.
Gradeless schools are an interesting idea, but I wonder if public school teachers with big classes and limited staff can really make this work in the same individualized manner homeschool families utilize.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, while Hannah struggles with math, her ability in language arts is excellent. She just got done reading me an article from NASA about the truth behind the 1969 microbes that had been found in a camera that had been on the surface of the moon for 2.5 years (turned out to be a mishandling of the equipment).
Celebrating children learning at their own speed and through a variety of methods (better known as homeschooling in our family) …