Since Mastery is not required in any educational arena, homeschooling is the only option available for parents to enable their children to learn at a mastery level.
Mastery is simply defined as “command or grasp, as of a subject.”
For example, “Lilie has mastered short vowel sounds,” or “Peter has mastered the present tense French verbs.”
All home schooled children should earn an “A” in each and every subject.
Why would I make this outlandish statement? Simple. A student does not move on until an A is achieved on the material. A student doesn’t move on until he or she totally understands what has just been presented.
A very, very simple concept with life-changing implications.
Mastery requires practice. Practice, practice, and more practice. If a student does less than A work, then the material is re-done until the student can demonstrate that he or she thoroughly understands the material.
Why should a parent or teacher or school administrator EVER be happy with B-level work? A = Excellent; B = Good. Why is “Good” good enough?
If a student only grasps 80% of the material, he is not “getting it.” It is a disservice to the student to allow him to move on. How can you build onto that old concept when you don’t truly understand it? There is no disgrace in practicing until the light bulb goes on.
All students are capable of mastery. All students may not enjoy a subject being studied, but if mastery is required, if mastery is expected, then the student will sit up, pay attention, and soak up the material the first time around because he knows he will be going back over the material if it is not understood.
Going back over material is not punishment! It is practice. There is a huge difference.
Perhaps a student is not ready to tackle a certain subject at a certain age. That is known as readiness, and I urge parents to look for readiness. Children learn at different speeds as we all know. Some things just can not be forced. In a situation where the learner has not reached the point where the learning is possible, I say wait.
If you do not expect mastery in your home school, chances are exceptional that you will not receive mastery-level results from your students. Human nature often dictates that “good is good enough.” Is good good enough for you as a parent?
Most of us as homeschooling parents pore over curriculum year after year to find just the right tools for teaching our children. We have a great blueprint, so to speak.
Picture a construction company beginning a project. The blueprints look excellent. They are well thought out and structurally sound on paper, so the actual building begins.
Oddly, the building of the foundation is off by 15%, but the accuracy target is hit 85% of the time. Oh well. We’re still operating at a good level.
The building of the first floor level is off by 18%, but it is still good by the standards the company is using. No need for concern; they probably have built in some leeway for being off-target anyway.
What if you knew that this building project was for a 60-story building? Would that make a difference? The errors made on the construction of a single-story house are not going to be as horrific or potentially life-threatening as those made on a 60-story building. Would you want this construction company to build your home?
Education is more like the 60-story building. It is important to have excellence at each and every stage of the building process. Having a great blueprint is not enough!
Not only do children thrive in an environment where excellence is expected (and rewarded), but also they have higher self-esteem and a higher expectation of themselves than children who are allowed to settle for “good work.”
If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time insight into and understanding of many things.~ Vincent Van Gogh ~
If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldnt seem so wonderful at all.~ Michelangelo ~