During my last decade of being a homeschool mom, I embarked on a journey of graduate school. Most of the classes were wonderful. The research classes and history of education classes interested me the most. If I had more time, I would read more about these topics on my own.
Learning about educational methods also intrigued me. Since I was homeschooling during this time, it amazed me how homeschooling methods were exactly on target for the mastery learning. Mastery Learning, developed by Bloom, is the newer method that classroom teachers try to implement. It’s so much more difficult to provide this in a classroom than it is in the homeschool.
I felt very good that I was providing individualized instruction as well as assessment. When the level of assessment met mastery level (90%), then we went on to the next educational level. Being a homeschooler allows such flexibility, there is no rush to move ahead until the child masters the concepts and content.
Most curriculum allows the homeschool mom to use mastery learning. It’s good when selecting curriculum that you study it to look for quality of content. If the “text” offers only a few pages and then a test “assessment” there is not much for a student to master. This type of curriculum would need to be heavily supplemented. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Even for young students, you want to grab their imaginations and create a desire to learn.
Be aware and cautious of many in the movement who encourage: fun, play, games, etc. Please don’t stop reading here. I’m not suggesting that you must sit in a desk all day. But, learning isn’t all fun and games. Becoming a diligent student who masters 12 years of school and who is ready to compete globally, must learn to be a hard worker. This isn’t accomplished by spending much of your time playing computer math games and going on 20 field trips per week. (You may disagree with me, and that’s fine. This post is my opinion.)
The wonderful homeschool SAT scores that we hear about are from students who worked hard and got into college. Even if your child doesn’t go to college, they need to learn to have a good work ethic and have good knowledge of high school subjects. The homeschoolers that don’t do this, will end up just like their public school peers: not able to get good jobs.
Now for positive news: When homeschool students work hard and complete their courses with Mastery Learning, they have a wonderful opportunity to enter the next step in life without educational hindrances. My children, and thousands more like them, have stepped straight into college and done well. Many others have succeeded in other career choices or accepted the beautiful call of wife and mother.
Life is not easy when you try to live right. Homeschooling is one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do. I tried to do it the best way that I could; and made many mistakes. God blessed me and our children, as we dedicated each year to Him who received all the glory.
God bless you and your family as you work and plan your homeschooling for this year.
@2017, copyright Lisa Ehrman