Thursday, March 30, 2017
Grade Levels Are Made Up
So many parents are trying to keep their children up to the grade level they are suppose to be at with their age. We all do it. Public schools do it; they are the ones who made up what a child should know for each grade level (or age). Homeschoolers do it. We buy curriculum by what? ....... Grade level.
Who is the expert on what every single 8'th grader across America should know not considering any other aspect except age (grade)? If you think about it, it is dumb. Just plain dumb.
My middle son was reading small books at the age of 4 years old! Yes, 4.... and he loves to read even now at the age of 18. I had to ground him from books in Middle school because he would stay up until 3am reading the new 'Peter and the Skycatchers' by: Dave Barry. (He never lets me forget that by the way, lol.) My youngest child struggles with reading. He's in 8'th grade and absolutely hates to read.
Let's take a look at the 'grade level' subject again. Let's say we have a 5'th grade class that consists of 30 students. Every single 5'th grader in that class isn't going to be able to read at the same level. It's impossible. There will be a few that may read fast and hard words will come easy because they can remember all the English Language rules and they can put them together and pronounce a word right off the bat. But there will others who won't be able to even know where to begin to sound out the vowels to make that word make sense in the sentence. Why? Because we are NOT the same. We are NOT robots made up of all the same equal parts. So why does the school system focus so much on 'grade level'??? I understand why they have it. They have to have a baseline for children to move up to different levels until they reach graduation status, of course. But again, WHY DO WE FOCUS ON THIS SO MUCH??
Let's look at this in a different way. I'm 43 years old and last summer I learned how to ride a horse. I was a total beginner. When my friend (mentor) started to teach me to ride, she didn't think to herself.... 'Ok, she is 43 so she is at level 10 which means she should know how to ride a horse without instruction'. No. I was a beginner and it didn't matter that I was a 43 yr old adult. To assume, because of my age, that I was an experienced rider would be totally ignorant. Ahhhh, then why do we do this to our children?
I wish I would have followed this concept when I first started homeschooling 13 years ago because I would have homeschooled my boys so differently. I wouldn't have purchased curriculum by grade level. I would have purchased it by what level they were at and what needed to be covered.
So my advice to you is ditch the 'grade level' thoughts and focus on what your child needs to learn to be a successful adult. I will repeat this again as I have in my blog posts, but my 3 goals for my sons are as follows:
1. Have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. Be able to support themselves and their families.
3. Be happy and helpful.
That is what life is all about right? It's about helping others, being happy, raising a Christ filled family, and supporting that family financially. Those are my goals anyway. With only one son left homeschooling now (my other 2 have graduated), our homeschooling is very different than years ago. We have a different focus, not grade levels, but goals.
God Bless & Happy Homeschooling!!