I experienced both by the time I attended school, I was prepared for the work and the discipline.
If the child is not being guided/prepared for schooling at home at that age, then they will face challenges adapting and learning.
Socialization is so very important at the early stages of learning in school. The experiencing of the differences that the classroom offers, to me, is essential for a child’s accepting and acceptance of others. This is why I have some issues with home schooling. To me, some of the Bullying in schools has a lot to do with children not "Fitting-In," and the fact that the adults responsible are not vigilant and proactive in monitoring students’ interactions.
I am a strong advocate for homogenous grouping, but by the student’s abilities, not their age. I support open classrooms. Lessons and learning should be based on the child’s aptitude. I really have a problem retarding children by holding them back because of their age.
The question of socialization, that the student is not being grouped with their peers, should not be an issue in a disciplined, well organized class. These same students, most times, when at home they are interacting with their siblings of different ages. When they are at school there is always recess and lunchtime to spend with their peers.
I understand too well of the concerns many parents have with the public school policy, No Child Left Behind, which in my opinion is their plan to Dumb Down the Future.
If I were to have to go back into the classroom, it would be on the elementary school level, where children are still impressionable, eager to learn and would benefit from a positive male presence.
Children at that age would be the best role models for their older disenchanted siblings, who have been turned-off by the negative examples of their adult role models.
From my experiences as an educator, to inspire and to encourage reading, I feel that the best way to address the literacy issues with our children today, especially with all of their distractions, is through illustration.
Students writing, illustrating and reading theirs and other students’ writings may encourage and inspire others to begin reading, much like how when they go home with a cold infecting everyone in the house.
I believe the way to reach the dysfunctional and the disenchanted youth is by having their younger siblings be their mentors, showing them that they themselves should and could be doing better.
Home Schooling definitely has its merits when the instructor is competent, but the downside is that home schooling can be lopsided, may lack physical education, trade options, the arts, and the special needs services, which all of our taxes go toward.
Hopefully, everyone who decides on home schooling is prepared to provide all of their child’s needs to succeed, in today’s challenging technical World Economy.
Ivan Butcher II, St. Croix
An Educator Opines on Home Schooling
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