Education(n). A heated topic that affects everyone and the aforementioned “everyone” thinks it needs changed.
As the school year is coming to a close for many, this may be a strange question to ask today. But do you have any ideas on how to change education?
I love that homeschooling has become so popular, but I’m afraid it is merely social, economic, and racial segregation in sheep’s clothing. Gasp! Now hear me out. I want families to have the choice to homeschool, but that doesn’t mean I want the families who circumstances prevent them from having the choice to get a sub-par education.
So how do we integrate homeschool principles into a mainstream school system? Here are my ideas.
- Throw out the overall demanding curriculum. For the average adult, an entire year of trigonometry is a wasted year of life, and I say that being a huge math nerd. I loved trigonometry and calculus, but I haven’t used it. Let’s start being real and honest about what kids need in school.
- Focus on life skills and relevant issues. During that year of trig, we could have been studying fair trade and how consumer spending effects the world. Budgeting. Taxes. Nutritional proportions and ratios. The business behind charities and NGOs. And those are just the issues that are math related. I’m not for throwing math out. But let’s find a better context for it.
- Enter my idea for monthly or quarterly units for the WHOLE school or grade level. If we immerse the students in the topic of fashion for a month or three months, think of how much they could actually learn on a deep level. In art they can design their own clothing using recycled fabric where they pair with math to determine surface area they would need to create each piece. In history, they can study the evolution of a military uniform. In science, we explore the environmental effects of different fabrics (I would highly recommend watching “True Cost” by the way). With everything connected, their connections will last longer than the test. By really diving into fashion, we have peaked the interest of many kids not reached before while still teaching content. What if the following month we explore soccer (did you know child labor is used to make most of the balls in sports)? And then we talk Mind Craft? Drake? Marvel Movies? The list could go on forever.
These ideas would take a lot of collaboration from teachers. It would take a lot of creativity and dedication. But I know the pay off of having students excited about learning would be worth it.
What do you think? If you are homeschooler, what is your favorite aspect of your day? If you are a public or private school friend, what would you like to see changed?