I’m suggesting (strongly) that you work to return autonomy to your student, as much autonomy as possible. Restore to the student as much freedom to use their time and to move about and to act as you possibly can.
If you take a hard line on no homework, you can work a small miracle. You can return anywhere from two to twenty-five hours of autonomy to your student every week. You can do this right now, this very minute! That’s huge! All that time will be given back to the student to spend in pursuit of their ambitions! It will certainly seem to your student as though you have worked a miracle on his behalf, and so you will have done.
How to make such a miracle happen? How to open the doors to the future for your student? End homework. End it now.
You can do this in steps, if you must. Make a deal with the student. If he finishes his “normal” school work, no homework. If he doesn’t, well, I guess he can do an hour a day of catch-up, but for my money, that should simply not be.
Or another kind of deal if you’re worried about how your student will use all that free time. Limit his TV and video games…to nothing if you like, you’ll get no argument from me on that. I think that TV and video games are Satan, pure and simple. You might even limit his social interactions, I suppose, as teens often take the “need” for that a bit far. Still, it is the student’s life and not yours.
I’m suggesting a rather radical and powerful departure from the educational status quo, here. This is no small point.
The returning to the student of control of hundreds of hours of time a year is a powerful gift that could entirely reshape a young person’s future. Replace homework with the personal interests and pursuits of your student. He wants to dance. Give him dance class three times a week. Or horseback riding lessons if that is the dream. Or Chess Club, if he sees knights and castles in his future. Or private sessions with an art teacher if perspective and design are what he yearns for. Or help him get cast in a local theater production if that’s his passion.
In supporting such activities in lieu of enforced school work above and beyond that which should be mandated, you will be giving the student control over his future.
It is within your power. Your student is not “owned” by a school or teacher, no matter how loudly the government or school may protest that it is so. As for Child Services, someone needs to tell them in no uncertain terms to get their hands off of industrious and loving families. We do not need the government’s assistance to raise our children. It may, as Hillary Clinton wrote, take a village to raise a child, but the mayor can just stand at the podium and take a bow when it’s all said and done.
Save trees and electrons. Put the aspirin away. End homework. And while we’re at it, put an end to science fair. We all know that it’s mom and dad who create the project. No more! Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
As you probably know, I am an advocate for homeschooling. It’s my belief that homeschooling potentially provides a student with a vastly superior education than schooling in any form. This is backed up by a lot of numbers and research. I’ve taught for public and private schools, at the University level, as a private instructor in thousands of workshops, and as a homeschool dad running a homeschool group. Homeschooling by far works best for most students- and most families.
But I understand that many parents do not believe they can effectively homeschool. They’ve been told that they “don’t have degrees,” and that they “aren’t qualified.” This is all nonsense, of course. You’re legally not required to have any kind of a degree to homeschool your kids anywhere in the U.S. A lot of people who have degrees and who call themselves “professional teachers” are simply awful, and even destructive at what they do. A lot of parents…hundreds that I know of…have homeschooled their kids right into universities and careers.
In a serious effort to make homeschooling easier to do, and more commonly successful in terms of education received, I’ve authored my own curriculum. It took some 15,000 hours to write, over more than a decade of work, and is intended to replace the need for schooling a student from age 5-Adult Continuing Education. The curriculum is called Steps (or “CTT”). It has been used by over 20,000 students worldwide over the past 10 years. Hundreds of “success stories” attest to how well CTT works.
CTT courses are written in a way that gradually allows the student to take over his own education. Each course itself largely does the teaching, relieving mom and dad of that duty unless they wish to use our daily lesson plans in various subjects as springboards for family discussion and discovery – as many families do, every day. The parent has the job of making certain the student is working and has what they need to study. (And you’ll need to find a good math program for homeschooling as we don’t provide one. There are many.)
Below are links to our site discussing each level of curriculum, and every subject at that level that we offer. (You can start any level at any time. We don’t have “semesters” that start at a certain time, and each course stands alone well.) You’ll find free videos describing how every subject and each level works. You’ll discover free samples of every course we offer. Our site offers many other services and surprises, including numerous free courses you can download and try out.
Starter is for ages 5-6, and for preliterate students of any age. It focuses on starting to develop literacy skills, while teaching about various subjects. Starter includes full two-year programs in Reading, History, Science, Creative Writing, and Living Your Life, courses that develop life and study skills for the youngest students. Every lesson plan at the Starter level works to develop literacy.
Elementary is for ages 7-8, and for students who are developing literacy. It includes two-year programs in Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing (which also teaches the parts of language at this level), and Living Your Life courses which develop life and study skills in preparation for more advanced studies to come.
Lower School (ages 9-10) offers two-year programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, P.E. Electives, and in various arts such as Animation, Music Theory, and Acting. At this level, students must read fairly well, and studies are progressively turned over to the student.
Upper School (ages 11-High School, and Adult Continuing Education) provides programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, Current Events, Literature Guides, P.E. Electives, and in arts such as Animation, Acting, Music Theory, and Music History.
For parents who wish to teach at home, but are intimidated at the thought, and for parents who just wish to improve the homeschool experience, we offer a ten course homeschool program for homeschool teachers, as well as several books about education and homeschooling today.
We want you and your children to win with homeschooling!