President Obama knows public school students score behind other countries academically. He has decided the best way to correct this problem is to extend the school day and to extend the school year. He states that children in other nations have more school and that is why they out-perform us.
What he doesn’t tell you is even though the schools in countries like Italy have a longer school year, their days are much shorter than ours. When one calculates hour versus hour, one sees that US students actually have many more hours than other nations. So, in reality, our children already attend school more hours than other countries and yet we still perform poorly.
So, what is the solution? Perhaps if President Obama and other government officials would look at homeschoolers to see what we are doing, it may be of great benefit to them. We school for less hours per day and still out-perform public school students. It doesn’t matter if we recreate the classroom in our home or if one unschools.
What are some of the secrets we have? First and foremost we tailor each of our programs to the child and not try and make every child fit into a pre-conceived idea of what they should know and when they should know it. This makes a huge difference.
As homeschoolers, we also have the flexibility of changing our materials and approach mid-stride if need be. How many of us have bought material only to find out that it doesn’t match our children’s learning style or even not our teaching style.
So, should homeschoolers be concerned about President Obama’s desire to increase the school year and day? As homeschoolers, we need to keep a watch on this. Whenever a politician decides it is time to “update” and/or “improve” our educational system, homeschooling tends to come into play. There is no need to panic, but a watchful eye would be prudent.
For a discussion on this topic and others, please go to our discussion forums at http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=51