In recent decades, homeschooling, or the traditional practice of educating children
within the home as against sending them to a public or private learning institution,
is slowly making its way back to the educational mainstream.
This alternative means of elementary and high school education dates back to
1906 in the United States when the Calvert Day School in Baltimore, Maryland offered
the “curriculum in a box” partnered with a National Geographic advertisement.
Shortly after its fifth year, almost 300 children employed Calvert’s instructional
materials for homeschooling. Almost a century later, this method, alongside many
other methods and materials developed, spread like wild fire not only within the
U.S. but also to 90 other countries all over the globe.
Notable home-schooled personalities include, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein,
Benjamin Franklin, Dakota Fanning (famous Hollywood child actress), Christopher
Paolini (book author), Sho Timothy Yano (an American boy of prodigious intelligence).
Through history, the methodology with which homeschooling is carried out have
proven to be effective. However, as times change, so do the needs and requirements
of the learners change. With this, certain modifications are required of the conventional
homeschooling methods. Something more stimulating, more motivating, and worthwhile
to encourage today’s children to learn and explore.
Looking through the vast resources available on the world wide web under the
subject of home-schooling, it could be seen that there has been so much improvement
on how homeschooling is done through its century long history. From the crude
and very simple methods and materials, new ones that are more sophisticated and
complex have become available.
Fresh ideas are readily offered on how lessons should be planned for children
of varying ages. Suggestions for fun activities are also presented to always keep
the homeschooling atmosphere exciting and something to be looked forward to by
the children. It is understandable that kids have shorter attention spans that
may usually be a deterrent in keeping their interest in sitting down and listening
to a lesson. Taking this into consideration, doing fieldtrips to museums, libraries,
even zoos might just do the trick for the little tykes.
In general, the conventional methods and techniques of homeschool need not always
be applicable to all settings and apt for each child. Modifying these conventional
methods by throwing in some fresh ideas for exercises and activities in such a
way that suits the learner’s needs the best should always be regarded.
It doesn’t matter if you just want to explore home schooling possibilities or
have made the decision and are looking for a guide to point you in the right direction,
“The Parents Guide to Home Schooling” will provide you with the information you
require. And here are some places for the curious to discuss homeschooling or get non-religious homeschooling info.
Education MegaTrends & Computers
There are two apparently contradictory trends dominating the dynamics in public education in the last half decade.
One one hand, schools are recognizing that children have different learning issues. The number of children being recognized as “exceptional learners” is steadily
increasing. Nationwide, 38% of the children in public school are categorized as
exceptional learners and the schools need to provide them with Individualized
In contrast, there is the trend towards rigid standardization. The NCLB (No Child Left Behind) mandate to rigidly define standards of performance.
The increasing impact of high-stakes standardized testing to measure student’s
and school’s is rapidly focusing everyone on the baseline testable benchmarks.
These trends appear contradictory but they are not.
NCLB insists that all children must learn the same basic materials. But how they learn is now being recognized as not a simple one-size-fits-all formula.
So, how to reconcile the need to have individualized instruction while driving towards high standards
of performance. Obviously, everyone would like more individualized instruction
from the teacher and smaller class sizes. However, this is not likely since budgets
are limited and the focus in more on investing into holding onto the best teachers
and extending education to the PreK year.
I believe that it’s technology which will come to our rescue.
The computer for education is uniquely powerful as a private and supportive way for children to practice their lessons and further
their learning. Many children, especially those wrestling with learning skills
different from mainstream ones, become very self-conscious about their intelligence
and learning ability. A large number of these children expend a lot of time and
energy hiding their needs from their peers, teachers, and even parents. It is often
necessary for them to need to spend longer periods of time understanding instructions
or explanations, to need more time to think about and to work on exercises, or
to need more practice time to master basic skills, or to have material presented
to them verbally and visually.
One example of a new advanced online educational teaching games that can fulfill these needs. Take a look.
Reprinted with permission from
Learning & Fun Online