Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why the difference in the test scores?

After reading the previous post, those who are not familiar with homeschooling will not believe or will not understand why the difference in the test scores.  The reasons are easy for those of us who homeschool.....
  • Lower ratio  My "class" has a ratio of 1 teacher to 3 students.  Sometimes its 1 to 5,  But, it is never 1 to 24 or 1 to 30 as the traditional school setting.  This means each student gets more 1 on 1 with the teacher.
  • We do it till we get it right  If we don't understand it, we keep working at it.  A traditional school keeps moving according to schedule.  If a student doesn't get it, the rest of the class doesn't stop for them.  So, he gets further and further behind unless he gets worked with quickly.  When you homeschool, you can afford to adjust the schedule and learn it,  as your class most likely only has 1 to 3 in that grade.
  • Less time wasted  I can tell you from subbing the in classroom that we aren't waiting for people to sit down, quit talking or goofing off, taking turns to the water fountain, breaking up fights.....Then, when it finally settles down you have good 30 minutes before the bell rings.  Here, we just sit down and do it.
  • We can get more credits and electives  Homeschoolers tend to count or grade more things.  For example many traditional schools only offer home ec in middle school now.  We can offer it EVERY year.  Its called doing their own laundry, helping in the kitchen and with housework, sewing, mending, baking...every day life.  I heard a report on the radio once that said home schooled adults tended to have more and better life skills such as maintaining a budget, home ec, gardening and food preservation, cooking, making their own auto and home repairs....  This is probably why.  As kids, they were doing it for a grade, not just because they were told to do it.  If we find a TV program or video that deals with a recent lesson, we will watch it and count that time as well.  Often I will even make up a quiz to go along with it after we watch it.
  • We can school year around, and not have a 3 month "forgetting break" during the summer.
  • We don't rely on twice a year notices from the teachers to find our students weaknesses-IF our students even remember to bring the note home.....  We observe them at work on them immediately
  • We tend to get more "hands on" and fieldtrips.  Many people learn from seeing and doing or watching much better than reading about it in a text book.
  • We don't generally have to get up as early as some students do to catch a bus.  For many kids it is hard to get up at 5:30 to catch a 6:45 bus then be awake to learn at 7:55.  After school, they want to play, eat or nap, then they finally get to their homework (often after sports) and don't make it back to bed until 11 or after.  That makes it a difficult environment  to get enough rest which is necessary for our minds to work properly.
  • Everyone knows (including me) traditional schooled straight A students.  If you know anything about their family or home life, you will notice that they usually have parents who are very very involved with their children and their children's friends, activities and whereabouts.  Sadly for too many kids out there, that is not the case.  Since homeschoolers parents are usually their teachers (sometimes it is Grandparents or other close family members or friends), they as well tend to be involved in knowing their children's habits, learning patterns and activities.  Involvement is a huge factor in education.




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