Is Intentionality in Education Our Only Hope?
Hope lies ahead as the movement of intentional education continues to grow.
The failure of America's school system—and the success of alternative models like homeschooling, charter schools, private schools, on-line schools, hybrid schools, tutoring et. al.—isn't exactly breaking news, but it is always nice to be reassured by the evidence.
A 2012, article published by Julia Lawrence for Education News reported that:
Recent studies laud homeschoolers' academic success, noting their significantly higher ACT-Composite scores as high schoolers and higher grade point averages as college students. Yet surprisingly, the average expenditure for the education of a homeschooled child, per year, is $500 to $600, compared to an average expenditure of $10,000 per child, per year, for public school students.
This article received additional support earlier this year from the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) whose findings confirmed those of Ms. Lawrence (and then added) that:
Homeschool students typically scored 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (The public-school average was in the 50th percentile with scores ranging from 1 to 99.)
Homeschool students scored above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.
Homeschool students typically scored above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.
Colleges have begun to actively recruit homeschool students.
Homeschool parents vs. certified teachers - certification was unrelated to their children's academic achievement.
The degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling was unrelated to academic achievement.
Of course, even if homeschooling is not an option, parents can still be intentional about their children's education. There are numerous alternative educational resources to explore that can be individually tailored to the child. If you are dissatisfied with your child's education and homeschooling is not an option for you, read the following checklist and see if it sounds like your situation.
Does your child say that he or she hates school?
Is your child addicted to social media? Does your child find it difficult to look an adult in the eye, or to interact with older or younger children?
Does your child seem fixated on designer labels and trendy clothes for school?
Does your child come from school tired and cranky?
Does your child come home from school complaining about conflicts that they've had, or unfair situations that they have been exposed to?
Has your child lost interest in creative expression through art, music, and dance?
Has your child stopped reading or writing—or pursuing a special interest—just for fun? Are they investing the bare minimum in homework?
Does your child procrastinate until the last minute to do homework?
Does your child come home from school talking about anything exciting that happened in class that day?
Did the school nurse or guidance counselor suggest that your child may have a "disease," like ADHD, and should be given Ritalin or another behavior regulating drug?
SOURCE: "The Ten Signs You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child" by Jerry Mintz of the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO).
There are so many great alternatives to the public school system…keep looking until you find the one that best fits your family!