Archive for September, 2014

Do I believe in Common Core?

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment

When first hearing of Common Core, I thought it was a positive idea. The first signs of it not being so was the negative comments made about the Common Core. I researched articles and found most being very negative about Common Core. The few positive articles were not enough to keep me in the educational stance I had at the time. Those involved alienated me further. This would be the government (I have not trusted the government for some time), academics with something to gain, big businesses and people with money. All I saw was a method of education to benefit everyone but those that mattered. Yes, Bill Gates is one of those people with money. When you have money, you have a political or ideological agenda.

Looking more deeply into Common Core, I found much of the educational pathways to be different than what I believe. This was not an ideological or political or even a religious disagreement but an educational one. From my perspective, I saw failure and an agenda even if that was not the original purpose of Common Core. This is no different than the health care mandate. What I saw were people attacking and supporting Common Core based on politics as well as ideology. The supporters were ignoring who would benefit why the detractors bought into every exaggeration or myth.

I still believe Common Core is flawed and wrong. The idea is not. The United States would benefit from a standardized education mathematics and science. A better methodology could be used to teach these courses but not in the way we are trying. The other subjects can not be standardized and should not be. History and the study of literature can vary and there is nothing wrong with that. I do recommend we study the classics as a mandatory curriculum. History poses a different problem. History can and is warped according to ideologies. Another problem with standardized education is the fact not everyone is destined for college. Why should a tradesman study calculus or even chemistry? They should not be held to these standards. Your history and language arts have a different use and requirement, thus this needs to be taught but not on a standardized level. Again, ideology skews the learning of these two subjects. There are other class subjects that do not require standardization such as a computer science class or even physical education.

The reality of high school education is not everyone needs to abide by the standard and standards are not required for all subjects. It should be simple to break down what subjects require standardization. How the subject is taught is not necessarily important. Everyone learns differently and a standard teaching methodology is not the best way.

If we can exclude those that profit from Common Core, it can become a viable method of education. I guess that would mean we would have to remove the majority of teachers in our schools as well as corporate sponsoring – bye Apple and Microsoft. Government, mess up something else.

Homeschooling has an advantage over any type of Common Core. There is an inherent desire for the student to learn and curriculum can be adjusted to the student’s future desires.

I am supportive of a Common Core system but not the way it is being pushed. Until we eliminate ideologies, politics, greed and any other selfish desires; we can not have a successful education transformation. All we need to do is look at our own government and the people that fight over it.


Education or Social Interaction?

September 22, 2014 2 comments

The last of my children was not ready for this school year. The Educator and I decided to amp up his work to a college-like level. My son didn’t believe me all summer as I warned him. Now he is at a C grade and is being warned of losing privileges. I’m not worried at this. He’s a smart kid and will bring the grade up. He may lose a privilege here and there before he is on board.

Yesterday, he had a few friends go somewhere. These friends go to a public school but have become close to him because of soccer. They contact each other most evenings and spend time discussing teenage topics. The occasion yesterday was a rare opportunity to spend time with two friends. There was one requirement and that was writing two papers for me to review. How was he going to accomplish this with a high school soccer game Saturday?

He began the first paper Friday evening and finished it after the game on Saturday. The second paper was now next in line for him. Saturday evening was not planned for work in his mind. I was expecting to tell my son he could not go with his friends. He feverishly worked on the paper and finished it late Sunday morning. He completed the task of writing the paper but was it worthy of my acceptance? My expectations were low, and I was steadying myself for a cancellation. I read the first paragraph and was amazed at his imagination. I was going to allow my son to go. Can’t tell you how happy I was to allow him to go.

When I picked my son up in the evening, he said something I won’t forget. “Thank you for letting me go with my friends.” I learned a lesson. Sometimes the education is not as important as the social bonding required. My focus on education blinded my need to balance education and social interaction. The next time I’ll evaluate everything differently. This doesn’t mean I won’t say “No.” What this does mean is I’ll be more lenient and less rigid when it comes to these situations. He’ll still have to pick up his grade or risk losing privileges. There will be some privileges worth allowing for my son to continue to grow.

Categories: Homeschool Tags:

Agenda Directed Education

September 13, 2014 Leave a comment

My college direction was towards engineering. The liberal arts were the necessary evil I had to go through in order to achieve a degree. History was the only class I truly enjoyed while psychology, sociology and the other courses were considered as a nuisance. I was supposed to be getting a rounded education by taking these “extra” courses instead of math and science courses. I graduated and was considered well-rounded.

Looking back on my college education, I was fortunate to never encounter professors such as Mireille Miller-Young. My religious studies professor never indicated a preference to any belief or ideology. Indeed, all of my professors displayed a religious and political neutrality even during discussions or debates. These professors allowed me to grow and developed my own beliefs whether it was opposite of their beliefs or not.

You would believe a student going to college would be well educated but that is not the case. Students are indoctrinated with the professor’s belief. This I have mentioned in the past. It is difficult to get a true education when the student is encountering such professors. Even in the science world, there is a problem with ideology. All one needs to do is look at global warming. If you are not a believer of human caused global warming, success becomes very difficult. You must join the global warming cult in order to succeed. The same applied to string theory in physics. If you didn’t subscribe to the string theory belief you were ostracized.

There is another distorter of the college education. It is money from groups that demand their ideology to be taught. We can look at the Koch Foundation as an example. A university must align their education with the beliefs of this foundation in order to get the money. If you think this is a conservative issue, you are gravely naive and blind. Liberals have been doing it, too. These groups do not care about education, only ideology.

How can we expect a college graduate to be educated? How can you understand if all you know is one side of a topic? Our educational system is quickly degrading and hurting the American student. This decay ranges from high schools to our universities. There are professors educating without displaying a bias. I just wonder how long they will be there.

Categories: Education Tags: ,

Parent Responsibility

September 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Growing up in a small town outside the big city, my parents knew my every step. They didn’t have to follow me around or even have me call them to say where I was. There was no need. A network of communication was in place to do that for them. If I caused any trouble they knew about it minutes after I was involved. These were my “nosy” neighbors. This and my parents rules to go along with a curfew kept me in line. My friends around the block had the similar rules.

I see little of this today. Children are given responsibilities far beyond their developing brain. You see ten year old children staying home while the parents either work or go out. In my youth, I was sent to a neighbor’s house with explicit direction from my parents. I would not cause any trouble nor ask for anything. My task at the neighbor’s was to be seen, not heard.

Today we have teenagers causing problems on a consistent basis such as the teen mob attacking people at a Kroger grocery store. What is going on with not only these teenagers but their parents? If you see the video of this event, you see no respect for humans. This is happening at night no less.

I will not claim this as a modern incident. There have always been teenage violence and mayhem. It is the scale of this event as well as the frequency that makes it disturbing. You could blame the herd mentality but that is not the cause. The cause is from multiple areas such as the reduction of religion in America. Religion is losing the grip on society as an important moral institution. Another cause for concern, is the availability of materialism. Materialism isn’t old but easier to be involved in. Years ago, it was expensive to be materialistic. Today, both parents work in order to accumulate recreational goods. I would even blame the internet as another source. Teens do not engage in human interaction. They engage in electronic interaction where they are not accountable for their actions. There is a sense of narcissism with these teens.

I find teenagers with parents that have rules to be more successful. When education is emphasized in a family, there is fewer unacceptable incidents. Families showing respect to their children have responsible children. Parents involved in their children’s life have fewer issues with their children.

As parents. As adults, we need to display a positive lifestyle for our children to emulate. We need to provide rules and boundaries for our children to adhere to. We need to respect our children and listen to them.

Categories: Family Life

Excellence in Writing

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment

I am watching a live class in the living room with the DVD playing todays lesson. I am finding out how unaware of what I should already know in the English language. There is a desire in me to continue through this course with Youth 2. My skills need not only a refresher but a rebuild. I remember or know little of the review mentioned in this course. OH NO!

Youth 2 has to read an article and mark six or more important or interesting facts. I recognize this as very necessary for writing research papers. This skill is very necessary. I hope my skill at doing this task is above average. I need this for history.

This course the homeschool student watches a class being recorded. The student works along with the video. This is no different than taking a class that is based on video. The downside is the inability to converse with the instructor. The plus side is the ability to pause or repeat a section. I am also able to hook up my laptop to the rely.

As I watch and write, there is one glaring issue developing within my household. We are beginning to experience a lack of DVD playing computers. Only two of the five devices have players. Soon the desktop will go away and my ageing laptop will die, thus leaving me with an old DVD players or Xbox.

As I watch this lesson, I notice the experience between Youth 2 and myself. I am more interested than he is about this subject. My maturity and experience has developed my interest for I know why this is needed and used. My son does not have this advantage. It is a shame that the person needing this the least interested. This is no different for any other student. If we can only get students to recognize the importance and need. How do we get our students to be truly interested?