Not so fast: Home schooling trumps full-day kindergarten Jun. 18, 2009 The Globe and Mail Amira Elghawaby
Research shows home-schooled kids outperform their public-school peers. So why so is there little or no financial encouragement for parents to take it on?
Seated beside a mom with coiffed hair, polished nails and an elegant suit, I listened wide-eyed as audience members talked about a world I had totally misunderstood and stereotyped.
They talked about children who weren’t being challenged at school – one daughter came home crying, begging her mom to let her stay home and “teach” herself. Another parent described a school that just didn’t know what to do with her rambunctious boy, so she decided to take over. He excelled.
While I’m not so interested in governmental “financial encouragement” (strings are always involved), I’d rather ask, why is there little encouragement for homeschoolers from the official educational world? Home education means parental involvement is at its max, children are interested in learning….everything a teacher would want in their classroom. That is the point, right?
It works at home, so why the attempts to interfere, as in Graham Badman’s Report to the Secretary of State on the Review of Elective Home Education in England ?
Headcounts via compulsory national registration, along with vested interests monitoring and analyzing why families home educate seems oppressive. As Badman acknowledges “England is the most liberal in its approach to elective home education“, he’s doing everything in his power to change that with his recommendations.
His suggestion of a “statutory definition of what constitutes a “suitable” and “efficient” education” seems very limiting and unimaginative, at best. Following that recommendation with a demand for “the right of access to the home” and “the right to speak with each child alone if deemed appropriate ” would be formidable to one’s personal living space. (That space also serving as the safe place for families to land.)
In Elghawaby’s article, she asks a logical question about the Canadian government’s Early Learning Advisor wanting drastic governmental actions such as daycares moved into the schools for a “seamless day” . (By the way, what would sustain and improve an employee’s chances of staying in the government industry? Could it be more “Early Learning” programs funded by taxpayers? Just sayin’….) From The Globe and Mail:
In England, a three-year study concluded that home-schoolers achieved better results in both literacy and mathematics. Home-schooling movements are growing there, as well as in Germany, Japan and Switzerland.
So why isn’t any of this mentioned in Charles Pascal’s report on full-day kindergarten?
That question should be asked since there is a persistent drumbeat for birth to 5 year old programs by world leaders (and other interested proponents). If the agenda is for government oversight of babies and little ones prior to compulsory attendance ages, then families can start touting the glories of not starting academic training too early.
Much Too Early!
by David Elkind, Ph.D.
Although David Elkind is a professional educator rather than a “homeschooler,” his writing offers the wisdom of experience and research that can be of great benefit to any parents concerned about providing the right start for their children.
“Children must master the language of things before they master the language of words”
—Friedrich Froebel, Pedagogics of the Kindergarten, 1895
It works well when our little ones are nurtured by their families and other loved ones to live and learn. Those young ones have questions by the mile. They deserve the freedom to seek answers outside a classroom.
Lillian Jones’ thoughts ring true in her article: A Homeschool Curriculum for Preschool and Kindergarten
If you’ve been raising a child up to the age of “pre-school” or “kindergarten,” you’ve already begun homeschooling. In those early years, the most appropriate homeschooling activities are things that gently introduce a child into the wonders of his immediate world and the imagination. As Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge” – and those early years are the perfect time to provide an atmosphere where the child can freely dream and play and explore and grow in both body and imagination.
These are lots of things a parent can do to help a child develop a love of learning and searching – things that will carry through as a foundation for a life of joyful and successful learning. Most of these are things a parent does at one time or other anyway. A bonus is that your child will be getting a good foundation for later studies, even picking up some elements of reading, writing, and math!
If you read on in her article, her suggestions are educational and positive fun! As she concludes, childhood is short, fleeting, and so very important. Families can (and should be able to) do what works for their children’s learning needs. It should not be for a bureaucratic stranger’s satisfaction.