Things are about to get impassioned up in here!
I am a home educator. I am a huge advocate for homeschooling.
The current landscape of education in America has me worked up in a tizzy.
I do however, recognize and understand that homeschooling is not a legitimate option for a huge segment of parents for a multitude of reasons.
So, though this blog is openly pro-homeschooling, it is not anti-public schooling, or anti any other form of education for that matter. I support forward thinking and advances in education in all its many facets.
Everyone recognizes that our current model of education SUCKS. That is why parents are seeking alternatives in droves. American schools are outmoded, uninspiring, and in many instances detrimental and downright soul sapping. We parents, are looking for a better way.
Government, states, school districts, teachers, lack of funding, etcetera, all get accused of being the cause of the current lackluster state of education. Who’s really to blame though? Perhaps it’s time to examine our own role in the problem.
What troubles me more than Common Core?
Answer: Lack of Parental Ownership in the education arena.
The only reason systems are allowed to limp along unchanged and unchallenged is because the masses take no responsibility or interest in the matter. PERIOD! If parents were proactive partners and investors in the education system they would demand rapid and valuable changes to the way their children were being educated.
As it stands, parental involvement and oversight are negligible at best. Schools are more akin to glorified babysitting centers than beacons of enlightenment and empowerment. Too many parents are not partners in their children’s education, nor are they champions of it.
A 2015 study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ranked the results of kids aged 15 in the areas of Math and Science. Where did the United States rank? A dismal 29th place! Estonia, Slovenia, and Latvia all placed higher according to the OECD. (I’ll wait while you go find them on a map…) Overall, the United States sits at 14th place in the world for education.
A 2016 Global Education Report identified areas that need improvement to better the quality of education for students aged 3 to 21 via survey. The survey polled students, parents, teachers, educators, and taxpayers. The survey’s results are as follows.
Things needed to better the quality of education:
Better Teachers- 19%
More Government Funding for Education- 15%
More Technology- 13%
More After School Programs- 10%
No More Standardized Testing- 10%
More Challenging Class Work- 7%
Smaller Classrooms- 7%
Better School Leadership- 6%
More Cultural Activities for the Classroom- 4%
More Community Involvement in Schools- 4%
More Parent Involvement in Schools- 3%
Safer Schools- 2%
WHOA! Back the truck up!
WHY is the education system in the United States flailing?
Clearly, 97% of the people who have a vested interest in our education system feel the problem lies with everything BUT more parental involvement in school!
Bang, bang, bang…
What’s that noise you ask? That is the sound of my forehead hitting my desk. Please excuse me briefly while I bash my head on my desk out of frustration and exasperation.
Bang, bang, bang…
OK, I’m good…
WTF!? (FRICK, this is a family blog!)
Surely, the other concerns aren’t small potatoes but, talk about pointing fingers!
Now, I’m going to have to be restrained from resuming bashing my head because the survey breaks the results down even further, with even more alarming news.
Of the parents surveyed, the top five concerns were:
More Government Funding for Education
More After-School Programs
Better School Leadership
It’s evidently occasion for time-out in the dunce corner America!
Allow me to slap some common sense, responsibility, and accountability into your consciousness with the ruler of truth.
If your child is failing in school, if the school is failing your child; the only shoulders this fault falls on, fundamentally and ultimately are your own. We absolutely owe it to our children to be their number one advocates.
Parental Ownership people!
Homeschool and alternative schools are options for some, but what of those parents and students for whom these are not currently viable options? Do these children deserve any lesser quality education?
We aren’t going to change the education system overnight; so let’s start with something we do have full control over- ourselves. Small changes stemming from individual parents who are claiming their stake in Parental Ownership can bring about massive shifts.
See, change is only going to come from the bottom up. You need to ask to see your children’s school work, you need to be available to do homework with them, you need to have conversations with school staff, you have to attend meetings, you have to latch onto the teaching moments of everyday life and run with them. You can’t sit on the sidelines. You have to be involved. You have to keep abreast with the current politics. If you don’t like the status quo, go start some fires!
Playing the victim of circumstance is no longer for you. You are taking a vested interest in your child regardless of environment, school district, curriculum, etc.
Collectively, we need to stop separating ourselves. We need to band together for the greater good. What is wholly unproductive, is the current polarization of parents. Homeschoolers over here, unschoolers over there, private schoolers in their own world, and everyone frowning down on public schoolers. Ostracizing “others” and postulating that your method of education is superior to everyone else’s serves no one.
Education is not one size fits all. I want to see all parents united. We all need to advocate for the real issues at hand. We need to extend a helping hand. Every child deserves to be uplifted and inspired. What good is an amazing education for my children if all of their peers have a lackluster one? What kind of world can they expect to live in? We parents are in the same business, together; not exclusively. If I don’t advocate for all children, then I too, am a part of the problem.
I care about your child’s education as vehemently as I care about that of my own. My greatest wish, is for all children to blossom into strong capable adults. We ALL benefit when we support education. Igniting the sparks of ingenuity, peace, love, and beauty are no small tasks. We can only accomplish this together. We have to make the commitment to care.
Are you bringing your all to the table? Are you accepting Parental Ownership for your own family? What part are you playing to shift the tide of education in your community? We can’t turn a blind eye and hope someone else will fix these problems. We have to be the solution!
“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” ~Henry Ward Beecher