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Homeschool Fiction

Follow homeschoolers Nadia and Aidan as they travel the USA! Each book in this series explores a new state and a new research topic. Along with their parents and pet turtle, they find adventure and learning everywhere.

...and just what is that mysterious device of theirs?

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February 2008
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Topics: education,empowerment,homeschooling,mindful parenting,Unschooling

Homework Sucks! (and so do tests)

I’ve known for a while now that homework isn’t a good thing. However, I’m excited to see that this knowledge is hitting the mainstream. The Toronto Star recently had an article titled “Homework a homewrecker: Report“.

It’s a well known fact that our schools are not properly serving our children today (even ABC News had a report on that last year — and it takes a long time before this type of news makes it to mainstream news shows). If schools in the United States were serving us properly, the U.S. wouldn’t be so far behind other countries and the ridiculous No Child Left Behind Act would never have been proposed. While the children continue to suffer, the adults involved are banging their heads trying to come up with metrics that show whether or not the kids are actually gaining knowledge by going to school. Yet, few question whether their methods and beliefs are the true failure.

Everyone involved in this system is failing. The schools are failing. Testing does not work. The school systems of today have never been proven to work, and they are completely broken down at this point. It’s time we quit this trial mode and move on to a system that has proven to work with 100% of the people involved. What is this proven method? Unschooling. I have never heard of, nor met a failed Unschooler. They don’t exist. [Caveat being that not all parents are capable of allowing their children to Unschool properly — this failure is purely parental failure, not failure of the child. Children aren’t born lazy and uninterested in learning! Yet, every day parents are finding themselves unable to see how learning occurs due to the fact they were rarely allowed to follow their own natural learning process.]

Want substantial proof that schooling today (with the constant testing and homework) doesn’t work?

Look at the schools! Read John Taylor Gatto! Talk to the kids today (better yet, talk to the janitors in the school — they see the real “hidden” truth). I was in line at a local store when a woman and her husband (who were also in line) struck up a conversation with my kids and me. When it came out that we are homeschoolers, they couldn’t stop telling me horror stories about the local (best!) schools that the man works at. The children are scared to tell the truth, the parents don’t want to hear it, and the teachers are denying it. As a parent of a school aged child, it is your duty to acknowledge the truth and give your children a better life — they deserve it!

Since schools are failing and parents are starting to see it, they are forcing the teacher to do something to educate their children. Thus, schools are increasing homework. Does this increase the knowledge of the child? No. It is busy work that makes it appear that schools are doing something. Then, when the children fail (as they assuredly will continue to do — the fact that ACT and SAT tests are having to be adjusted is proof of this), the blame can be put onto the parents.

According to John Holt:

“…the anxiety children feel at constantly being tested, their fear of failure, punishment, and disgrace, severely reduces their ability both to perceive and to remember, and drives them away from the material being studied into strategies for fooling teachers into thinking they know what they really don’t know.”

Here’s more reading for those interested: