Secrets to Parenting Perfect SAT Score Students (Part 6)

December 10, 2012

Family Together At HomeLet’s take our thoughts back to our role as parents.

Dr. Fischgrund, author of SAT Perfect Score: 7 Secrets to Raise Your Score, writes:

“Because these perfect score parents planted the seeds for self-sufficiency when their child was younger, they were able to sit back and serve as a support system during their child’s high school years.

Yes, some children may be born more internally driven than others, but all of us have the potential to be self-starters.”[1]

As a parent, your role in the early years of your child’s life is to teach and to guide educationally and morally. But once that foundation has been laid, your role moves to a more hands-off approach. You become a coach on the sidelines watching your now-skilled young adult further develop his skills—independently.

You provide support and at times help remove obstacles, but you should not be out there on the court playing your child’s game for him. We actually become obstacles to our kids by getting in their way and not trusting them to progress without us.

It is important to note that the parents of high achievers did not expect their kids to score perfectly on the SAT. I never set that expectation for any of my kids, and I never will.

It is important not to set goals and expectations for our high school students, even though expectation setting is key in the earlier years. We can still be involved with them in the process. We must trust our young adults to enjoy meeting challenges of their own making.

When I think about my sons’ SAT-taking days, I now see that they went into the test determined to beat it as best they could. They knew from taking practice tests that they could do well, and they wanted to rise to the challenge and succeed. I certainly never asked them if they thought they could get a perfect score. They just knew that it was possible.

My hope was simply that they would be able to do their best, as there are so many variables on test day. Had my husband and I raised our kids to doubt themselves at a young age by not allowing them to set their own goals and reach as high as they wanted to reach, their attitudes would have been different going into the test room on SAT day.

Finally, this is very cool: a whopping 75 percent of perfect score students listed either their mom or dad or both parents as the most influential people in their lives.

The Perfect Score study also revealed that parents had the most impact on the top performers, but teachers had the most impact on average performers.

So do parents of high achievers have more influence on their children’s lives? Are they more involved in their children’s education?

Do schools better serve average kids than super bright kids?

Or, as Dr. Fischgrund put it, “Which comes first, the perfect score students or the perfect score parent?”

He goes on to answer this question by saying he doesn’t know that the study can answer these questions, but “certainly, perfect score students do rely more on their parents than on teachers for input and guidance in their schoolwork.”[2]

If that is true, then why don’t home-educating students score more highly on the SAT since they presumably spend more time with their parents? Again, I believe the answer lies in autonomy. Too many home-educating parents micromanage their students, believing that they are doing their kids a favor. The reverse is true.

If home-educating parents want to build self-confidence and a Yes-I-Can attitude, they need to STOP MICROMANAGING start giving their middle school and older students more and more control over their daily educational endeavors.

Self-confidence comes from a feeling of control, and  The Perfect Score Study concurs completely.

 

[1] Tom Fischgrund, PhD, 7 Secrets, p. 68.      [2] Tom Fischgrund, PhD, 7 Secrets, p. 66.

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About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her new book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.

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A Higher-Education Revolution?

November 4, 2012

Today I want to tell you about something kind of exciting. It’s called Coursera.

Coursera is a for-profit company that is teaming up with more and more top-notch universities to bring you live broadcasts from classrooms across the realm of elite institutions.

Yes, folks, it’s free education. Do you earn a degree? Well, you do earn a “statement of accomplishment” signed by pedigreed professors, so there are certificates involved. You will also receive official course records as well. All of your study is based on an honor code.

For those seeking education for the sake of learning, this could be the start of something amazing.

I’ve taken classes via video before, and I have to say that it has its pros and cons. The cons are that even though these were classes I was interested in, I didn’t actually retain a lot through listening to the lectures and then taking a quiz online. I did earn several professional certifications this way, but to me the knowledge was minimal compared to the price tag.

Coursera presents a new and more exciting way to take classes than just the video scenarios of distance learning. It is live-to-you instruction. You can interact with other students and professors. And according to their website, they are very concerned with mastery. Imagine that. Yes, I am a fan.

I urge you to go check out the courses that currently are being offered. You can sign up TODAY! In many cases you can start TODAY!

I would like to take this Intro to Logic  class which is taught by a professor at Stanford. Looky! I am now a student in this class: Intro to Logic.

In fact, I believe I will have my high school junior sign up for this class as well, and perhaps my high school freshman, and we’ll do it TOGETHER.

Pop over to Coursera and peruse their catalog of courses. I bet you’ll find something there that excites you!

This is fabulous stuff, y’all! Let me know if you sign up for a course and then how you like it. I’d love to track your experience for my own research. I’ve found half a dozen courses I personally want to take! So much to learn, so little time.

Did I mention this is free?

It will be fascinating to see how this concept grows over time.

Happy Learning! 🙂

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About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her new book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.


~ Top 4 Tips for College-Bound Juniors ~

November 1, 2012

If you have a college-bound junior, I’ve got some tips for you over on youtube.

In less than eight minutes you’ll know my four top tips for college prep for high school JUNIORS.

Paying attention to these four things as an 11th grader means a smooth transition to the senior year, and ultimately to the college campus itself.

Check it out here:  The Underwhelmed Mom’s Guide to College Prep, Episode 1

Next we’ll look at what high school seniors should be doing in their first semester, and then doing the second semester.

I hope you’ll be feeling underwhelmed by the end of this video series!

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About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her new book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.

Thanks for stopping by!

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What Season Are You In?

October 15, 2012

The calendar says it is autumn, and that may be, but let’s talk seasons of your life as a Mom. I snapped the pic there on the left this morning as I was putting in my five miles at Normandy Dam. The pic is taken from the edge of the dam. What a view! I come out here regularly, and while the landscape may look the same to my eyes from one day to the next, the seasons are in a constant state of flux, following a design set forth by their Creator. I don’t really notice the gradual change in surroundings here at my favorite walking spot until the change becomes drastic. In the fall, the change certainly is drastically different than summer.

Here is a picture of the lake area I took just about two months ago at the height of summer. Everything is a verdant green except for the sky and the water. Time changes things, albeit without our notice. Often at this time of year you hear exclamations of “How did it get to be fall already?” or “What happened to summer?” Of course there are some who do not like such climactic changes, so they choose to live in a warmer locale perhaps, or maybe even a colder one.

The fact is that seasons change, like it or not, ready or not. Our lives are like that as well. As Moms, especially, we celebrate ~ and often endure with gritted teeth  ~ the four seasons of motherhood.

Spring is the season when babies are born and new life springs forth everywhere you look! As a Mom, spring is the beginning of motherhood. The newness of life is such a time of reflection and appreciation for this things called human life as you stare down at your little bundle of baby. Every time you have a new baby, you are in the season of spring.

With spring comes the planting season. Motherhood is all about planting seeds and watching them begin to sprout. In springtime, however, the work seems to go on 24/7. Sleep is a blip on your radar because new life has its own schedule. But as you move through the season of spring, the planting season, the fresh air and sunshine, the hugs and smiles and cuddles, make it all worthwhile.

Summer is the growing season. Summer is the time of pulling weeds and nurturing, watering plants and making sure they get the proper amount of sunshine and shade. Summertime in Motherhood signifies long, sweaty days of hard work. It is the watchful season when we are putting our whole selves into the formation of our children emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.

But summer is also the time to begin handing over responsibility to our children. Our job is to work ourselves out of a job, right? Yes. Summer should be spent doing that. Once our children become completely independent by the end of the season, the hardest work is done.

Autumn is the harvest season of motherhood. It is the season of finally reaping the benefits and joy of all the training and pruning and watering with our very lifeblood. It is the season of high school graduations and weddings.                                   

Part of harvesting includes saying goodbye as kids go off to college.  Autumn is a temperate time to reflect on how far we’ve come as Moms and to celebrate the new paths our offspring will take on their own as young adults. The crisp, nippy evenings flow in with each sunset, and the days seem noticeably shorter.

Winter is the season of the empty nest. It may be the longest season of all, in actuality. For many Moms, winter is a time for discovering who they actually are. It is a time to revel in the merriment of family yet have choices that you didn’t get to make before such as where you will go for dinner since it is just you and your spouse. Before, you went where everyone else wanted to go.

Now it’s your turn to make decisions about your life instead of having the demands of young children make them for you. The sunlight sure shines brilliantly off the snow, but it is cold. Pulling granny duty sure warms up the days (so I’m told). I’m looking forward to helping my daughters get through the summertimes of their lives!

There you have it! The four seasons of motherhood as I see them. The funny thing is that each time you have a new baby, the clock gets moved forward to springtime once again, and you go through the springtime cycle EVEN AS you might be going through the summer cycle with another child or two.

Yes, we Moms go through various seasons simultaneously!

Currently, I am halfway into the fall season with half my babies grown,  while still in the summer season with four other babies. I’m heading towards winter. Cool! (get it?)

Where are you in the seasonal spectrum?

No matter where you are today, one thing is for sure: you are imperceptibly moving towards the next season of your life. This too shall pass. Enjoy this day; live today to the fullest.  Be faithful in the little things, and may your harvest be plenteous as you reap what you’ve sown in due season.

About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her new book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.


Says who?

April 11, 2011

Three of my girls take piano lessons. I am thankful to their Calderwood grandparents for funding the outsourcing of these lessons. I am a pianist myself, but I do not enjoy teaching piano. In the busyness of my life, I’ve found that it is very hard to find time to do things about which you are not passionate. Sometimes something’s gotta give; you cannot do it all. Know what I mean? I know you know what I mean!

Yesterday, Adrienne asked me to take a look at one of her assigned piano pieces. It was in 2/4 time, and the right hand was on the off beats in this syncopated piece of classical music. As I played through the piece for her, I flashed back to when I actually learned to play this piece as a child. I also remembered my teacher, who happened to be my mom, fuss at me because I didn’t always pay attention to the fingerings. And it didn’t only happen with that particular piece either.

There was a good reason why I didn’t always follow the suggested fingerings: I have a genetic thing where my pinky finger is smaller than the average person’s pinky finger. So what? Well, playing octaves is certainly a challenge. If you don’t have short-pinkyitis, don’t judge me. LOL Here’s a pic to prove my disability:

Notice how my poor little pinky only comes up to about the middle knuckle? Now look at your hand. I bet your pinky comes up to about the first joint on your ring finger, right? Because of this issue, I had to make some adjustments in the fingerings of music I played. I had to compensate for the stuff I couldn’t physically pull off.

I discovered that whoever wrote in the fingerings in my piano books wasn’t always correct. At least the fingerings didn’t always work for me. I had fun convincing my mom of this since I didn’t get the genetic issue from her side of the family. She would point out when I used the “wrong” fingers, but to me I was using the “right” fingers. Who said you have to follow fingering notations anyway? I doubt Mozart or Chopin included them in their original manuscripts.

Certainly fingerings in piano lesson books are there to help the budding musician adopt the easiest approach to playing any given piece. The fact was that just because it was easy for everyone else didn’t mean it was possible for me, so I adjusted the fingerings so that I could play more easily. I think my mom eventually gave up trying to enforce the fingering rules. I failed to conform because in many cases I just couldn’t due to the fact that my young hands were small, and they just couldn’t stretch like everyone else’s.

How does a tiny pinky relate to education?

Not all children are alike. Guidelines that work for one child may not work for the next child. In my teaching days, I was not always able to tailor a lesson to the needs of individual students due to time constraints. In fact, it was more like throwing all the information out there to the class and hoping some of it would stick with a high percentage of the children. I’d tell the class what I was going to tell them, then we’d go over the information together, and then I would tell them what we just “learned,” followed, of course, by some sort of quiz or test to see if they learned what we’d discussed.

Not all the children in my classroom were ready to understand the “ph” sound when I presented it. Not all children had the mental maturity to understand fractions just because the math book said it was time to learn fractions. In a classroom, it is difficult for a teacher to monitor each student to ensure that he/she has mastered each subject each day before moving on to the next lesson. The child either succeeds, partially succeeds, or fails. Or figures out a way to work around what they can’t do that everyone else can do.

In some cases, this involves self-protection devices where the child just gives up and accepts failure because he gets used to it, hoping that he’ll “get” the next thing that is presented in the sequence of the school year. Just as I totally disregarded the fingerings because so often I had to find my own way through the piece, children will find a way to work around what it is they cannot do. Or they will give up.

Had my mom insisted that I conform to the fingerings, I would have hated piano and felt a definite sense of failure. Instead, she let me find my own way through.

As a teacher of my own young children, I have learned not to be a slave to our curriculum. If my child is not understanding basic phonics skills that we’re doing together, perhaps I need to back off for a season. Who says every 6-year-old child is ready for phonics just by virtue of the fact that the curriculum says he should be?

Failure is not an option in my home school.

If a student isn’t “getting” something, I’m looking to see why. I’m looking at the possible reasons why he or she is struggling. Very rarely is it laziness on the student’s part. More often it is just a concept that needs to be presented in a fresh manner. (Reteaching, so to speak.) Or perhaps I need to set aside the consonant digraphs until the child is ready to understand blends.

The most important part of teaching children is understanding how their young brains work and not expecting them to conform to a curriculum in the elementary and middle school years especially.

What a great benefit of home schooling! The students move on when they are READY to move on. They don’t fail at a lesson and then just move ahead because we don’t have time to make sure they know everything to an A level. Of course we have time! But do we have the patience and stick-to-it-tiveness to identify the issue and then help the child find another way to understand the material?

If you get to a point in your child’s educational path where he is really struggling with something that is being presented, find out *why*he is struggling instead of moving on to the next day’s work, and help the student find a work-around.

Sometimes that may mean allowing them to do something a little unconventional like not forcing their little hands to conform to the fingering markings because they aren’t physically capable of playing that way. Or are they being lazy? Hmmm….as the parent, I should be able to discern the answer to that question. A teacher, on the other hand, may not be able to uncover the source of the issue because she does not know the child as she would know her own child. Conformity is the issue in a school classroom. Conformity is not always possible.

Says who? Says me, the parent of my children. Says you, the parent of your children. Don’t force conformity to curriculum without a good reason.


~ Extraordinary Happens ~

February 19, 2011

I remember when my first child was three, my husband and I contemplated the idea of homeschooling. As a former classroom teacher, I knew exactly what life would be like for my perky little red-haired boy who would soon be expected to be present in a classroom from, say, 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. five days a week. Nicky was reading at age three and a half. I can still hear him reading a short story called, “Who Will Bell the Cat,” in his tiny little voice as I sat on the floor with baby Taylor and sweet little Lauren, age two. I have a tape I recorded that day which preserved for me the sounds of young motherhood and childhood. Talk about priceless.

It really was the thought of putting Nicky on a school bus and not having the pleasure of his company all day long, five days a week that caused me to think seriously about homeschooling. Call me selfish. I had been conditioned to think that sending a young child into a big, strange building with complete strangers was a cool thing to do, that age segregation was the only way to learn, that someone else should be teaching my child the alphabet and teaching him to read. Wait. He already was reading.

Tim and I had just met our first homeschooling family about this time. We were Northern transplants to the South. I had never even heard of homeschooling before moving to the South in 1987. There was one family we knew who homeschooled their children. The mom was an elementary ed-degreed parent like me. Tim and I observed their two boys who were probably ages 8 and 10 at the time, and the first thing I noticed about these boys was their behavior. They seemed extremely mature for their ages and had *gasp* respect for their parents and other adults. They got along well and acted like they liked each other.  I was impressed. After observing this family in their natural habitat on different occasions–meaning we hung out at their house–we decided that homeschooling could only be a good thing.

I knew I could teach my kids the educational stuff, but beyond that, I wanted to be the one to influence their hearts AND minds. I wanted to be together as a family. Tim felt the same way. I would say that our educational journey began at that point, but that would just not be accurate. I had already been educating and training my children! Of course it is “normal” for parents to teach their children how to dress themselves, to feed themselves, and all of those life skills that develop early in life, you know, like how to crawl and how to walk.

Wait a minute. I didn’t teach my babies how to crawl or how to walk. They learned those important skills on their own. When they were ready. There is no classroom environment necessary for what pediatricians term “Developmental Skills.” Seriously, think about that.

Why suddenly, when Nicky was age five, did I then wrestle with worry about whether or not we were doing the right thing by not turning our child over to “the professionals?”  Isn’t that kind of silly? It seems silly to have worried now, but back then I lacked confidence. Before long, however, it was apparent that we were doing what was best for our family.

The thought of teaching my young children at home soon became a reality. I think that having a college degree gave me more confidence to “teach my kids at home,” but come on! I had been teaching them since birth! I had never had a course in that part of parenting, and 21 years later, I can see that the early years of child training are of the utmost importance in building character and forming lifelong habits. I’d never had a course in that stuff. We just trusted our instincts and prayed. A lot.

Trust your instincts.

If you feel called to keep your children out of the public school system, if you want to be the one to experience the joy of teaching your child to read, to see the spark of joy when all the phonics pieces come together, and most of all, allowing it to happen at your child’s own speed and readiness level, then do it with confidence! You can raise extraordinary kids who impact the world!

Children are naturally curious, and they naturally want to please their parents. Working with my young children and watching them learn, being a part of that process, has been a source of great joy! Mentoring our young adults in the high school years has been relationship-building to a degree that we never imagined!

To have had the privilege of being part of our children’s lives 24/7 with no interference from well-meaning educational institutions has made an enormous difference in the relationships we have with our kids, and that is PRICELESS! That is the bottom-line value to homeschooling, in my opinion.

I have no more babies to teach to read. Lilie just turned nine, and Nicky–excuse me–Nick will graduate from college this year, with six other children in between those two. I have been so blessed as a mom to be able to be with  my children, to ENJOY them daily. Sure, I have a bad memory and forget the really hard parts of the early years of lots of babies and lots of diapers and all of that potty-training fun, but some things are best forgotten.

What is so cool and something I will remember the rest of my life is this incredible sense of freedom I have as a parent who is not tied down to a school system’s schedule. My husband and I have total control over our children’s lives and so do you have with your children. You can direct them in the way that you see fit.

Every family has a distinctive flavor all its own. Some families are willingly fragmented each and every weekday from breakfast until dinner time. That is the norm. That is “normal.” If parents choose to outsource the education of their children, so be it. That is the glorious freedom we have as Americans, right? I am not one who would say that every family should home school. It is not the right choice for every family, just like public schooling is not the right choice for my family.

But if you want to educate your children at home, you can do it!

That is my message to you: you can educate your children with excellence in the comfort of your own home! Heck, after about the third-grade level, they even teach themselves!

“But Joanne, how do they learn chemistry? I did terribly in chemistry when I was in school!”

My answer is: you give them the book, or you give them the online course.

I want to raise extraordinary children who grow into extraordinary adults! This is much easier to accomplish through the medium of homeschooling these days for many reasons I don’t have the space to go into at this moment. I know and am convinced that parents can teach their children better at home than teachers in a traditional schooling environment can. How do I know this?

I’ve lived it! I’m still living it!

If my first child had turned out to be a socially-shriveled-up, educationally-stunted piece of work, I wouldn’t be writing this. He didn’t have to score perfectly on the SAT to prove anything to me. I knew he was extraordinary before that happened! His perfect score was merely an outgrowth of his desire for excellence. And our next three kids have all wildly excelled in their respective realms as well, with four more guinea pigs to go. (Extraordinary guinea pigs, mind  you.)

Why settle for normal when you can have extraordinary? Every child has the potential for extraordinary! Your children have the potential for extraordinary, and I bet you already know that because you see it in them already. Nourish that potential! The public school system is not likely to do so.

My final thoughts:

Extraordinary is not random; it is the result of attitude, motivation, and mentoring.

You as a parent can provide the attitude to model, incite motivation, and be the best mentor on the planet for your child or children. Homeschooling provides the format for doing so.


~ Counting Hours vs Mastery Learning ~

October 30, 2008

I will post this with my apologies to my SelfLearning4Life Yahoo group, as it is sort of a repeat for them. I am passionate about mastery learning, and the question arose about how to homeschool in states that require X number of hours of study in order for a student to earn course credit.  I thought it may be of interest to you as well.

The short answer is keep track of hours….or not.

Counting Hours. Just a warning: this is a topic that raises my ire more than just about anything aside from not requiring mastery in the school systems. Since the question was raised, here are my thoughts
and musings.

There are many states, mine included, where high schoolers are supposed to count hours spent on a subject. I have NEVER required the counting of hours and this is why: If you have a bright student who learns quickly the first time through the material, they are not going to require 120 hours on a subject in order to learn it.

If you have a student who takes his time in learning and is careful to master each section before moving on and achieves A-level work, what does it matter how long it took to do the work, or how long it didn’t take to do the work? Time is irrelevant except on the SAT and ACT. Of course speed in doing one’s work is a goal which can always be improved upon if necessary.

If you have a student who works sloppily, does the reading but does not fully comprehend what is read which is reflected on the exams (Bs or Cs and not As), but hours are filled up just to say that the
requirement was met, then what has been truly accomplished?

The state’s requiring hours and not mastery learning is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen in the realm of education, and I have been in the system long enough before homeschooling to have seen
an awful lot of stupid stuff. I think this is what lies at the very foundation of a school system gone awry.

I require my students to re-do and/or do supplemental work if they have not mastered their material. Some may need to go back over sections and re-learn, and THAT IS FINE! I never have a problem with not mastering something the first time through.

However, if we gloss over a paper where 20% of the items were missed and say, “Oh, Johnny! You got a B! That’s great!” then somewhere down the road that 20% of unlearned material is going to come back to haunt
the student, especially in math and language skills.

We are cheating our students if we do not require material mastery. Now if a student scores a 90% on a math lesson one day, it may have been an off day. Regardless, the student needs to go back and fix what
was wrong as well as make sure they understand why they missed what they missed.

How do we know if they understand the material? We may not know ourselves, but THEY will know deep down if they get it or not. They need to see that it may be painful for the moment, but making sure
they understand what has been presented is the heart of the matter and is worth the effort. They are helping themselves by asking for help if needed or just taking the time to go back and re-learn. This is a learned response and comes with maturity.

We are cheating our students if we do not REQUIRE mastery learning. Requiring hours of study is absolutely ridiculous. Requiring mastery learning is true accountability, and it yields the fruit of understanding.

If our public schools required mastery learning and allowed students to go at their own speeds in the classroom, I truly believe that we would see a revolution in education.

I firmly believe that a student’s attitude would change towards schooling if he were held accountable for the material that is in front of him, if he were free to admit what he didn’t understand and seek help without condemnation.

Instead of a teacher passing off a student with a C on an exam, the teacher needs to say, “You can do better, and I will help you understand what you missed on this exam so that you truly learn and grow.” Oh, and “You are not getting out of this class until you master the material…until I know that you have digested the concepts that are so important to understand before leaving my class.”

The whole classroom concept brings shame to those who do not learn as quickly as others, and that is a major component to the demise of public education. Peers are merciless, aren’t they? Instead of saying,
“Hey, I am having trouble understanding this. Can you explain it again?” kids will, under pressure from peers, just go along and hope that they can sneak in under the radar.

Why is there an issue surrounding asking questions? I don’t know about you, but in math class, I prayed that someone else would ask the question that was on my mind because I was too timid to ask it.
Consequently, I never even built a strong foundation in math, and I had little to build upon as I got older. Shame and embarrassment can certainly keep kids silent in class. Certainly there has to be a better way.

Readiness in a classroom is also a major issue. I was not ready to learn “less than” and “greater than” when the concepts were presented in fourth or fifth grade. I had spatial issues,(Hey…I know what you are thinking…LOL) and I can see that now.

What I needed was a teacher who saw that I wasn’t getting it by observing how I only got Bs on my tests because I missed all of the < and > questions! Maybe I just wasn’t ready in my brain development to
grasp the spatial concepts. I know now that I wasn’t!

Why aren’t teachers trained to look for ways to intervene with each child in order to guarantee that mastery is attained? I do not consider missing 20% of the material as having mastered it. As I said earlier, everyone has off days. Look for repeated patterns of behavior though. I wish my math teachers had stopped me from going on and helped me to understand stuff before allowing me to move on.

If a student is free to say, “I don’t get it,” and then get the help they need in order to understand, they will grow in wisdom and CONFIDENCE. If they know they are not moving on until they do get it,
understanding the material becomes essential.

In schools today there is the lack of vital CARING about education. Kids just don’t care, and teachers aren’t trained to teach for mastery learning. But that is a topic for another day.

Summary: if you feel it is your duty to meet the hour requirements that your state has, by all means record the hours. However, don’t record hours instead of requiring mastery learning.

The goal is understanding what is learned, not seeing how many hours have been filled up as though that guarantees an iota of learning.

Next question? I know you all are afraid to ask *ANYTHING* now….! As my son Frank says, “Is it possible for you to give a short answer to anything, mom?” :0

Thanks for loving me despite my many faults, Y’all ~
joanne


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