Thursday, December 20, 2012

Can The Average Parent Possibly Teach The 3R’s? Doesn't it take a Professional?

According to several ex-school teachers, most of what a teacher is taught in college is crowd control and philosophy (Secular Humanism).

They do not actually teach future teachers how to teach. They have to learn that on the job.

We certainly don’t need to know crowd control (even the most prolific homeschoolers won’t top twelve students at a time!), and we disagree with the philosophies taught in teaching courses.

These same ex-teachers say they had to unlearn what they learned in the classroom in order to homeschool.

Classroom teaching and one-on-one tutoring are two different skills. My experience teaching Sunday School agrees with this. Classroom teaching is closer to public speaking then tutoring. Homeschooling my own children took some re-learning on my part.

A parent is actually the best teacher for a child. No one loves him more than mom and dad except for God Himself. No one, except for God, knows him better. And no one but the child himself has a greater stake in his becoming a well educated, wise adult, (your retirement won’t be all that good if your grown children still have to live with you).

Studies have been done to compare the test results of the homeschooled children of parents who have teaching credentials and those that never have had. There is no difference in the test scores of children in these two groups.

In fact, the educational level of the parent seems to make little or no difference at all. It is the parents’ enthusiasm and love for their children that matters. In addition, the Bible says “… if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives liberally.” James 1:5

By the way, the most resent studies (using standardized tests) have shown that there is less difference between racial, social, and economic groups of homeschoolers than those in traditional schools.

The homeschooled child scores in the 80th and 90th percentile group, on average, in every subject, regardless of their parent’s income, race, social standing, education, or any other factor.

(A percentile score does not tell what percentage of problems a child got right or wrong. It tells where they place in comparison with one hundred other children their age. For example; a 50th percentile score means fifty children scored worse and forty-nine scored better. “99th percentile” is the highest score possible. Ninety-nine out of a hundred children score worse, none better.)
All of the above does make a great difference among traditionally schooled children (who scored, on average, at the 50th percentiles on the tests with ranges as low as the 10th percentile, depending on the above factors).

And the longer a child is homeschooled the greater the difference in their scores from traditional schools (this includes private schools. Their scores run in the 60th and 70th percentile).

I once read a study where the researchers took a list of children and randomly divided them up into two groups; Gifted and Special Needs. They gave the list to their teacher, telling her they were experimenting with integrated classrooms. The children never saw the list. Only the teacher did. At the end of the year, the children on the gifted side scored ahead of grade level. The ones on the Special Needs side scored behind.

Just to make sure they had not accidentally, correctly labeled the children, the next year they switched lists; the children previously listed as gifted were now listed as special needs and vice versa. The children had a new teacher and again she was the only one who saw the new list. Again, the children the teacher expected to score above grade level at the end of the year, did just that, though they had been behind the year before. The ones she thought would score behind, despite their early achievement at being ahead, scored just as she expected.

The conclusion is; it is the teacher’s expectation of the child that makes the difference.

I don’t know about you, but all my children are geniuses. I think that may be the real key to why homeschooled children generally score better.

Their teachers have faith in them!

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