Homeschoolers Choose Free Market Over One-Size-Fits All Classroom Education

Homeschoolers Choose Free Market Over One-Size-Fits All Classroom Education

Many homeschoolers have rejected the one-size-fits-all system in public and private school classrooms and have embraced a free market education for their children. As educational facilitators for our kids, homeschool parents are able to choose from vast quantities of curriculum and educational opportunities. With the ability for such customization, I don’t know two homeschooling families who do it the same way. Every plan is unique to each child and family. Homeschooling is educational entrepreneurialism at its finest!

recent Business Insider article titled “Homeschooling is the Smartest Way to Teach Kids in the 21st-Century” squarely stated: “While traditional schools try their best to tailor lesson plans to individual students, teachers often still end up teaching to the middle. There are simply too many kids learning at different speeds for teachers to give each of them exactly what they need. Homeschooling, meanwhile, is personal by design.”

Homeschoolers are free to customize every element of their child’s education and have so many excellent options from which to choose. Here are a few:

  • Curriculum–In most classroom-based public and private schools, a one-size-fits-all curriculum is used. This is not the case for homeschoolers. There is a massive selection of curriculum. Go to a homeschool convention or visit a site like Rainbow Resource to get a taste for all that is out there.  This allows families to select something that is a good fit for each of their children. If after trying a curriculum they realize it is not optimal, they are free to try something else. Their hands are not tied as they would be in a public or private school where a parent must accept their entire program.

Continue reading “Homeschoolers Choose Free Market Over One-Size-Fits All Classroom Education”

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Homeschooling is the Smartest Way to Teach Kids in the 21st Century According to Business Insider

Great article published yesterday in the tech section of Business Insider about homeschooling offering our kids a tremendous opportunity for gaining a 21st-Century education:

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-kids-should-get-homeschooled-2016-8

Many homeschoolers provide their kids with customized academics and are able to do it so efficiently leaving plenty of time for experiential learning, sports, free play and passions. Now you can find some of the best teachers in the world offering their courses and lessons online. Additionally, you can select curriculum and learning opportunities tailored to your child’s learning style. Furthermore, there is a massive infrastructure in place for homeschool families to participate in both enrichment and core classes as well as many other educational opportunities that are fun for the whole family.

alan surfer teaching
Learning about tides, waves and surfing at one of the most impressive surf spots in Southern Califonia. We love learning outdoors!

While traditional schools try their best to tailor lesson plans to individual students, teachers often still end up teaching to the middle. There are simply too many kids learning at different speeds for teachers to give each of them exactly what they need. Homeschooling, meanwhile, is personal by design.”

“The long-term effects of personalization are equally massive. According to a 2009 study of standardized testing, homeschoolers scored in the 86th percentile. The results held true even when controlling for parents’ income level, amount of education, teaching credentials, and level of state regulation. Research also suggests that homeschooled kids get into college more often and do better once they’re enrolled.”
Check out this series about using Legos to develop 21st-century skills:

 

For ideas on adding more structure to your schedule to allow more time for experiential learning, you may be interested in:

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part One

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part Two

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Benefits of Experiential Learning

Homeschooled students have much more time to engage in experiential learning than their conventionally-schooled peers. Are you taking advantage of your freedom and flexibility as a homeschool family to reap the enjoyment and benefits of experiential learning?

Homeschooled students have much more time to engage in experiential learning than their conventionally-schooled peers.

I’m a big proponent of being structured in our house so we can finish our academic work and be out experiencing the world. Here are some reasons I love experiential learning:

  1. Fosters Innovation and Creativity–New and unusual experiences wire our brains to think differently. They stimulate original thinking and trigger a broad range of thinking strategies which can’t be garnered from books or lectures.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 65% of today’s grade-school kids will end up at jobs that haven’t been invented yet. Technology is eradicating many jobs causing employers to seek out creative and innovative individuals.
  2. Learn From Mistakes–With hands-on learning, students learn from trial and error what works and what doesn’t. Instead of seeing a mistake as a failure, it can be viewed as an opportunity from which to learn and build upon.
  3. Memorable Learning–Experiential learning is usually far more engaging, fun and memorable than sitting through a lecture and being in the same classroom day after day. These hands-on experiences in varied and interesting locations will be seared into the students’ brains for many years to come. This is the opposite from the brain dump that occurs after taking a test about information that seems irrelevant to the student. Much of what a student learns sitting in the classroom he sees as irrelevant.
  4. Increases Neural Connections–The coupling of theoretical learning with real hands-on learning increases connections between neurons. Homeschool parents are intimately involved in our children’s education.  We are able to assist with making connections between things we are learning in our academics and books and tying those in with real-world experiences and experiential learning. The more connections that are made, the smarter the student will be!
  5. Builds Collaboration and Teamwork Skills–When engaged with experiential learning, a student is often working with a partner or team. Not only does this mean working with different personalities and backgrounds but in homeschool this also means collaborating with students of various ages. This mirrors the real world working environment.
  6. Joyful For Our Family–As a homeschool family, we often engage in experiential learning jointly. We have a blast growing in knowledge together. This really fosters a love of learning and creates strong family bonds.

I am so grateful for my freedom in homeschool to provide these wonderful experiential learning opportunities for my kids! What an amazing life we have!

Are you taking advantage of your freedom and flexibility as a homeschool family to reap the enjoyment and benefits of experiential learning?

For ideas on adding more structure to your schedule to allow more time for experiential learning, you may be interested in:

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part One

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part Two

Here were our curriculum choices last school year:

An Example of an Eclectic, Academic Homeschool Curriculum

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Homeschooling is an Excellent Choice for Making Neuron Connections

While reading aloud today, I came across the  passage below in our  book. After uttering the words, I told the kids that is exactly how we are homeschooling. Experiential-based learning with lots of reading is such a huge part of their education, and I know it is for so many of you. Such a blessing to homeschool where there are abundant opportunities to experience so many different things!

“Though you haven’t gained many neurons since you were born, the connections between the neurons you have continue to form all your life. The more you read and learn and experience, the more connections you’ll have, and the smarter you’ll be!”–Apologia Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology by Jeanne Fulbright and Brook Ryan

From The School Revolution by Ron Paul

“If parents understood that they are responsible for their children’s education in the same way they are responsible for their feeding, housing, and clothing, we would see far more attention given to the consent and structure of educational programs.”–Ron Paul

“Parents would seek out the best programs they could afford. They would sacrifice for the sake of their children’s education in the same way that they sacrifice their feeding housing and clothing.”–From The School Revolution by Ron Paul

Note: Ron Paul is a big advocate of homeschooling and talks a lot about it in this book, The School Revolution. I highly encourage you to read it. The book is very inspiring, and I have read it several times.

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TV in the Car?

“Why do so many Americans say they want their children to watch less TV, yet continue to expand the opportunities for them to watch it? (backseat car TV monitors). More important, why do so many people no longer consider the physical world worth watching? The highway’s edge may not be postcard perfect. But for a century, children’s early understanding of how cities and nature fit together was gained from the backseat: the empty farmhouse at the edge of the subdivision; the variety of architecture, here and there; the woods and fields and water beyond the seamy edges–all that was and is still available to the eye. This was the landscape we watched as children. It was our drive-by movie.”

Some of our best family conversations are while driving.

“Yes,” we’ll say, “it’s true. We actually looked out the car window.” In our useful boredom, we used our fingers to draw pictures on fogged glass as we watched telephone poles tick by. We saw birds on the wires and combines in the fields. We were fascinated with roadkill, and we counted cows and horses and shaving cream signs. We held our little plastic cars against the glass and pretended that they, too, were racing toward some unknown destination. We considered the past and dreamed of the future, and watched it all go by in the blink of an eye.”

“But for a century, children’s early understanding of how cities and nature fit together was gained from the backseat. This was the landscape we watched as children. It was our drive-by movie.”–Richard Louv

Is roadside America really so boring today? In some stretches, yes, but all the others are instructive in their beauty, even in their ugliness.”–From Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

This excerpt does not even mention how we all benefit in communication and relationship building without gadgets in the car.  Some of our best family conversations are while driving. Most of the time everyone is relaxed and either being silly or discussing meaningful topics. I love our family time while driving.

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Note: If you decide to make a purchase through my blog link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it.  This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. So, thank you!