Who am I Talking About?
This targets schools that designate time controls for students enrolled as opposed to outcome assessments. They can improve their scores and yet they’re attempting to do the same thing as public schools. They miss the opportunity of an individualized system supported by computer, and they generalize instruction with simulated classroom chat sessions.
The Character Problem with Students
Students only need three things to make them good people: respect, empathy, and courage. The problem with our typical methods is that 1) they lack consistency, 2) you aren’t willing to lose the relationship in order to make the point, and 3) you don’t actually have a plan. You’re just teaching the way you were taught, or the opposite of the way you were taught. You have to find out how your student prefers to learn, and start there. Character development must be based on the individual student. Do what fits for each student in the context of your home and sound child development theory. This requires individualized education for each student. It can be done.
The Parenting Problem
Some parents actually complain that their child won’t sit for a lesson. The solution is training in alternative and creative learning methods. Parents should not be expected to be excellent teachers without any training. Emotional intelligence, learning preferences, social and emotional learning, and behavioral economics are basic skills that every teacher should have. Add patience, love of learning, lesson planning, and willpower to create the version that parents require because they did not necessarily select teaching as a career.
Limited Use of Technology
I always laugh when parents stress over the time kids spend with video games. Some think the solution is to limit the game play. I’m more given to expanding the digital and technological diversity in the home. First, focus on technology as tool. Second, employ gamification to get things done.
Technology as tool evaluates tasks and applies technology where it will provide efficiency, automation, or corroboration. A number of tools live on the web for free including KhanAcademy.org. Other tools are more localized like the calculator on your mobile device or the ability to quickly ask your phone for a definition or spelling.
Gamification is an instructional technique. Games, coupled with a discussion, can challenge the student to find purpose in the game-play. A career, a creative outlet, or a meditative practice can be the reason the kid plays. Knowing that reason will enable you to support sustainable outcomes rather than wrestling away the one thing that inspires. What if your inspiration was supported and healthily explored in your childhood? What can you explore even now if you gave yourself the permission?
The Culture Problem
The cultural problem is a question: What is the purpose of education? Many students ask about algebra, or infinitives, or the distance between the earth and the Sun. Why do we need this information? All education comes down to communication. The system and style of education, the culture of education must be consistent with this reality. That’s why it is of utmost importance that a vibrant classroom be a talkative classroom. The ability to communicate is the great promise of education.
- Move to Outcome Assessment
As opposed to time controls and the expectation of meetings, outline the tasks, resources, and practice. This provides freedom for students to make their own schedules and varied opportunity for learning coaches to learn each student’s preferences.
- Hire Coaches (Homeschool: See Yourself as Coach not Teacher)
Instead of hiring teachers for classes, hire learning coaches that check in on students individually and frequently. Implement a student management (like case management) approach as opposed to class-based approach. Monitor each student according to an individualized plan for educational development.
- Train Coaches (Homeschool: Get trained Online)
Deal with parenting challenges including adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in order to screen and support parents as learning coaches. Train for creativity and flexibility in learning approaches. Support the parenting best practice as well as educational best practices for the character development of the student and development of the family.
- Extend the Tools
The computer provides vast knowledge, connections, animation, individual tracking, and feedback. Use what is being collected and improve on-the-fly for each learner. Employ learning coaches with the knowledge to interpret changes and data trends. Equip them with the technological skill to apply the appropriate resource or tool to the challenges a student may face.
- Create More Culture
Get away from education in a box. Support scavenger approach to education in response to project-based and problem-based education. Promote collaboration and shared experiences. Communicate the new experience of education as a collaborative and team effort resulting in rewards for the individual as well as the group.