Education For The 24th And A Half Century

"To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge." - Socrates

To know nothing...while it is true that learning to question what knowledge you take for granted and admitting that there things you still need to learn are essential to intellectual growth, it also calls into question what our young minds are currently filling their heads with when they attend school. Not only that, but based on our current growth in the information age, it makes me wonder if we should change our educational curriculums to match the current needs of our society...and no, I don't mean adding video games to every class room.

When I was in high school back in the late 90's, I recall taking courses like Chemistry, Biology, Trigonometry, Geometry, Literature, Gym, Health, History, Computers (optional)...looking back, if I had to estimate, I use maybe ten percent of that knowledge today. I bet some, if not most of you, have thought the same thing from time to time. Why are we learning all of this crap when we never use it?

I've always been of the belief that knowledge is power. I still hold true to that belief. I also believe however that schools should reform their curriculum to include the basic things you would need after finishing school. Like what? Glad you asked.

Computers: Most schools offer this already, though not all schools make it mandatory. Most of us use computers every day...why not make it mandatory and throw in courses for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and other popular software we would probably use either at home or in the workplace? How about throwing in a chapter about scanners, faxes, and other machines commonly used in today's world and how to operate them? The options are endless.

Managing Finances: One thing some kids lack after high school is the ability to balance a checkbook. Some don't even know the value of a dollar. I really think kids would benefit from a class that teaches them about banking 101 and how banks operate. When kids are of age to move out on their own, chances are they are not going to have the well-paying job an older adult would have. The adult will have pay raises to reflect their years of experience in their field...the child will not. To someone just starting out, every penny will count, especially in today's society. A chapter or two on 401ks and IRAs wouldn't hurt either. Oh, and for crying out loud...INCLUDE A CHAPTER ON THE DANGERS OF USING CREDIT CARDS!!!

Workplace Etiquette & Basic Career Tips: As adults, you'd think we'd all behave like adults when in a place of business. Turns out no. I can't count how many times I've sighed loudly because someone around me did something office inappropriate. Also, how many students graduating high school know how to conduct themselves in a job interview? How many of them know how to put together a résumé? How many know how to dress for an interview? Why not develop a course to help students prepare for their future? Isn't that what school is all about?

Renting / Owning a Home & Other Bills: This might fall into the category above regarding managing finances, though there is a large difference between knowing how a bank operates and balancing a checkbook as opposed to knowing how to read lease terms and what is expected from you when you rent or own a home. How many students know that they are expected to pay local taxes to their municipality when they start working? Some places of employment automatically deduct that tax and others don't. How many students know what a security deposit is and how it works? How about utilities? How about common safety tips that all renters and homeowners should know?

Driving: I did have a nine week high school course regarding this topic to help prepare for the fun of sharing the road with complete lunatics. However, not all schools do this nor do they cover how insurance works. Most accidents are caused by young, inexperienced drivers that sometimes think that there are no consequences to having a lead foot. Every school nationwide should have a mandated course that MUST be passed in order to graduate high school and to get your license.

I'll be honest, it is really the parents' responsibility to teach their children these things. With that said, I do believe schools could reform their curriculum to include things like the above at the expense of classes most students won't ever need. Unless my son plans to be an engineer, I would rather he take a course on MS Office as opposed to Geometry. I have not once needed Pythagorean's Theorem despite knowing it off by heart. The Quadratic Formula? -b +/- the square root of 4ac all over 2a? Never used it. Move these advanced concepts into college classes to where those wishing to become an engineer or teacher can learn about these things. Move the advanced science courses like chemistry and physics into college course best suited for their respective majors.

Most, if not all kids, go to grade / middle / high school. The law demands it. Not all kids will go to college. Why not design the curriculums to include classes that ALL kids would benefit from? Out of all of the classes I've ever taken, reading, writing, and basic math are the ones I've really benefited from. Ironically, SATs are setup to include only these subjects, at least, they were back in my day. That's like saying, "Yes, we know those other subjects may not benefit you, but we're making you learn about them anyway." Not very efficient in my book.

Maybe some schools actually incorporate my suggested classes above, but definitely not the schools around here. Some Pittsburgh City Schools are a up and you pass. When I attended college at a school I will not name to protect its privacy, no one in my English class knew how to write a three paragraph essay...and these are people who graduated high school. I had my essay done in ten minutes. I got bored with the class so I tested out of it. Needless to say, I made a bit of money from my time there.

All of that aside, I think colleges could stand to lower their tuition rates so that more skilled people can populate our workforce. I don't think putting a price tag on education is right, especially if it's for the improvement of oneself and ultimately mankind. How many potential Beethovens or Einsteins lie in wait for a chance that will never come because they can't afford to go to college? It makes me sad that in order to improve yourself, you have to open your wallet. Luckily there are some free courses out there for low-income citizens...and of course, Wikipedia and YouTube. However, I don't believe that to be enough. Neither do major corporations that seek job applicants, apparently. Most companies won't hire you unless you have that piece of paper, no matter which school you got it from.

As I previously maintained, knowledge is power, but why not mold the distribution of that knowledge so that the most important things are taught to our kids early on while their minds are fresh and bad habits nonexistent? Who might mean the difference between a life of success and a life of crime.

Oh yeah, and if you liked what you read and wouldn't mind, share this article. You'd be as sweet as C6 H12 O6. To drive my above points home, I wasted an entire year in chemistry class just to make that joke...fifteen years later. Yeahhh.

A Brief Introduction To The Abeka Curriculum

The Abeka Curriculum is one of the most widely used and high quality curricula developed for learning. It is basically a Christian based homeschooling curriculum that incorporates all the teaching methodologies of a traditional classroom. Therefore, it is used by most parents who choose to home school their children. It was developed in 1954 but remains one of the favourites to this day. Over the time, the curriculum has been developed and refined to suit the changing learning needs of children.

The Abeka curriculum is made up of five main subjects: Mathematics, Science, History, English and the Bible. All the subjects are taught from a Christian perspective. The curriculum starts from the nursery grade and goes up to the twelfth grade.

The Abeka Curriculum has many advantages over similar reading materials of its type. The Abeka books are easy to use with a defined set of instruction, so it is perfect for parents who are new at homeschooling. It includes workbooks for children and teacher guides to be used by parents. There are also flash cards and different learning games that you can purchase which make learning more fun for your children.

It is a high quality curriculum so if you are using Abeka you can rest assured that your children are at par with other public or Christian based schools. Moreover, if you are a follower of the Christian faith and want to instil Christian values in your children, then these books would be perfect for you. Moreover, Abeka books have a good resale value and can easily be resold once you are done with the curriculum.

Despite its popularity, the Abeka curriculum does have its cons. Firstly; most of its curriculum sends a Christian message to the children so some parents might not deem it suitable for their home. Also, the Abeka curriculum is quite strict and follows a fast pace and some parents might feel that it puts too much burden on their children. If you feel that your child has a slower learning pace and needs more time to grasp concepts, then Abeka may not be a good choice. It is also more expensive than most homeschooling curricula.

Before you decide to go for the Abeka curriculum, it is important to see if it would be a good option for your child. If your child is a fast learner, loves reading and is quick to catch on to new concepts then you should definitely opt for the Abeka curriculum.

Abeka has its own website from where you can get complete information about the books and courses. If you need some particular information, you can contact the key persons who will guide you through the process.

You can also purchase books online through this website which will save you a lot of hassle. There are also many websites from where you can buy second hand Abeka books at cheaper rates, if you think that the new books are too expensive for you.

Points to Know When Selecting a Homeschool Curriculum

The idea of homeschool curriculum usually sounds very tempting to parents because it is designed to suit the individual strengths and weaknesses of the children. It is an approach specifically designed to cater to one the educational program of a single child, so that he or she may benefit the most from it. But, there are numerous facts that you should take into consideration before making any selection in this regard.

Before opting to select any particular homeschool curriculum, analyze the learning style of your child. After all, you are going through this whole process for your child; but if, for some reason, your kid does not benefit from it, you will be left nowhere. What does your child like? Do pictorial illustrations interest him? Or his preference is reading and getting a lot of information from his textbooks? Is simple reading what he likes or he likes to listen to the lectures? Can you let your child study according to his own pace or a hands-on approach is better suited to him?

Budget is a very significant part and parcel of this homeschool curriculum business. More often than not, parents end up purchasing things which are not necessarily needed or liked by their children. If you keep on purchasing stuff just because you feel your child may use it, the need to use it may not materialize at all. And, at the end of it, you will start hating yourself for being spendthrift. Go budget wise; you have to look after other needs of your child and spouse as well and also have to deal with other major expenses.

Prior to making selection of any homeschool curriculum, first you should scrutinize yourself. Job, household chores and other such obligations do not exactly give you a lot of free time to have at your dispense. How much time can you give to this teaching purpose a day? Do you have hours and hours of free time or hardly one hour in the whole day? Choose a homeschool curriculum that is not arduous and can be dealt with in the span of time that you can allocate to the purpose of teaching.

Bear in mind your own preferences before choosing any specific homeschool curriculum for your child. Do you feel burdened if a plethora of exercises and activities are given at the end of every concept and chapter? Consider the following: Do you like a simple approach towards teaching or this whole complicated way of teaching? What is your preference? What style of teaching is compatible with your choice and style? Opt for the option which is in par with your own style of teaching.

These are all the majorly important factors one should be mindful of before making a particular decision. Another notable facet of choosing a homeschool curriculum is contemplating which homeschool curriculum will meet your requirements and the needs of your child flawlessly. Learning style, teaching style, individual interest and preference, and the cost of it; all are of consequential importance if you want to make a choice that is suitable for you and your child.

Importance of Getting a Homeschool Curriculum That Suits Your Child's Learning Style

Children grow up to be the adults who mould and shape both our societies and our Countries. That being said, it is the job of the parents to mould the child in to being an educated and responsible adult. Children are little individuals, with strong personalities, strengths and weaknesses. If you are planning on home schooling your children, the first step one should take is to find or design a program that best fits your child learning ability.

There are three main learning styles, which are sight, smell and touch. Traditionally, in more scientific terms, they are known as visual auditory and kinesthetic learning modalities. By creating a program that best suits your child/children, you not only help out your children but yourself as well. How? - By reducing your own frustration, when you see your children grasping concepts quickly and increase your chance of success at laying great foundation for them.

Keep in mind that home schooling is nothing like a traditional classroom education. There are handful of different home school methods, theories and philosophies. After you have recognized the ability of your child to absorb knowledge and learn, start thinking about how you want to start with the teaching process.

Before anything else, keep in mind your family lifestyle. See how many kids you plan on teaching, the availability of time, If your schedule a structured one or is it fairly flexible, what do your children prefer, working independently or working alone? When looking at different home schooling methods, keep in mind what your family desires.

When deciding a curriculum, it should be designed for the entire year. This way, it would not be a hassle for you to keep restructuring and redesigning the curriculum time. A whole year is more than enough to calculate the educational goal of your child. You should always include academic goals, for example reading, writing and arithmetic and non-academic goals like life skills and character building.

Jot down all the subjects that you want to teach your children in separate lists (depending on the children). Each child should have its own list and yearly planner. Always keep in mind that, along with a bookish education, your children need to enhance their natural learning abilities as well.

If your child or children have the opportunity to be homeschooled and get more attention from their teacher (you) then they would normally get in a proper classroom, making their learning experience fun and out of the box instead of boring and tedious.

Never be scared to give your curriculum a tweak here and there to make it work just for you. The flow of the curriculum should suit you and your child the best; speed it up or slow it down if necessary. Always take out pointless activities that are just a waste of time instead of a valuable lesson for your child. As said before, if you are using a textbook curriculum, add textbooks, activities and projects that make the lesson more fun.
Do not let the curriculum enslave you. If after all the tweaking and changing the program is still not good enough, you can always ditch it and try something new and better.

Weighing the Differences Between Classical Education and Calvert Grade-In-A-Box Curriculum

Since 1905 Calvert School has been offering homeschoolers a complete package- one year of curriculum covering all subjects. Previously I hadn't even considered their company for two reasons: cost (one time fee of over $600) and my control over materials: a parent has no control over the choices for subjects.

This year Calvert began offering a payment plan which would cause its cost to be similar to what we budget for now, when we deliberate and choose our texts. So with the cost objection out the window, I looked more carefully at the course descriptions.

Calvert is really impressive for a few reasons. First, teachers are available on-line or by telephone if your kid(and you) are stumped by some topic. They have initial placement tests and unit testing in subject material online. Each enrolled student has resources available to them in their Calvert account. These include math and spelling games, an "i-Library," tutorials, and e-textbooks. There is a lot of parent support available, through the phone, email, or the parent's online resource which include answer keys.

The coursework is thorough, and includes art history, geography and computer literacy from elementary years on. However, the approach of the curriculum in general is scatter-gun in organization similar to public schools. For instance, putting life cycles and physics together in the same year of science instruction. Biographies not laid in the timeline of history, but as a focus of the history course? I much prefer the classical organization of science with history in a chronological flow.

I am a staunch believer in the classical methodology of running the sciences along with the story of history:

1st/5th/9th grades: biology with ancient history
2nd/6th/10th grades: astronomy & earth science with medieval history
3rd/7th/11th grades: chemistry with the age of exploration
4th/8th/12th grades: physics and computer science with modern history

During each period of history, vast improvements in the corresponding sciences occurred. I think studying things within their natural framework leads to a cohesion mentally as to when things and why things happened the way they did in history.

In addition, another beneficial aspect of classical curriculum is using whole books instead of readers. Textbooks for literature are edited for ease of reading. The most exciting and pivotal scenes are chosen so that the reader is always entertained and engaged without effort. Each selection is provided with a character and plot summary bringing the student reader 'up-to-speed' on the passage. Carefully phrased questions pertaining to the portions provided are at the end of each passage. Definitions of unknown words are available in bold in the margin. How does a child learn to analyze for content with such material? Reading literature from a textbook is akin to watching educational television: you are passively fed information, and are asked to regurgitate someone else's assessment of the information. Classical education requires the reader to do investigative work to discover under their own mental powers what the text has for you.

Perhaps you took your child out of public or private school because of social or safety reasons, and you know that homeschooling is best for this child. Maybe you found homeschooling to be a solution to your problem, but you aren't one of those people who always knew this was the road for you. If this describes you, I would wholeheartedly recommend this company and their curriculum as a solution. It ensures that if your child does the work, no gaps will be left in your his education.

However, for our purposes, I will invest the time and energy to lay out a curriculum based on The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home. I think the benefits of a classical education far outweigh the ease and convenience available through Calvert School, however excellent it may be for others.

GAS Up The Education Curriculum For Your Middle School Students & High School Students

Is your school district or corporation reviewing your education curriculum to meet local, state and national benchmarks? Has your school struggled and struggled to meet the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates? Possibly, you have failed to include these three basic elements when developing curriculum.


The goal of writing curriculum is to secure specific measurable results. Have you considered including a proven goal setting process as part of the curriculum when developing curriculum?

Goals are something that is present within the school classrooms across America. Yet, goal setting and goal achievement are not actively taught. Does it not make sense to have a proven goal setting process for your middle school students, high school students and even post secondary students?

These young people's future performance will be based upon their ability to set and achieve goals in the workforce. Yet, if they never have the opportunity to learn how to set and achieve goals in a protected environment, how will they learn in the real world?

Attitude Redevelopment

This is a quick question for any educator and possibly curriculum developer who is reading this article. How much time did you spend in your educational process to learn how to redevelop attitudes? Unless you are an instructional designer or have an advanced degree, the answer is usually less than 15 minutes in some educational psychology course.

If attitudes, the desire, to want to do something are so critical to learning, does it not make sense to include this element in developing curriculum? Would this not put learning within the responsibility of the students and remove it from the teachers? Remember, learning is about change and accepting change must come from inside each individual.

Self Leadership Skills

Look at any curriculum for middle school and high school students and you will discover the emphasis on reading and writing. These are two essential skill sets for being a good communicator, but communication is mostly non-verbal. Except for the speech and debate students, most students are not taught how to be truly effective communicators.

Or how about time management? With the demands of classes and extra curricular activities, many young people (not to mention adults) find great difficulty in managing their time. Yet, where is time management in most education curriculums? It is not present. So, once again, young people are set up to fail.

Communication and time management are just two of the strong interpersonal skills necessary for success in today's highly competitive global marketplace. These soft skills are really self leadership skills. The ability to lead yourself must come before you can lead others.

When you are developing curriculum, consider infusing goals, attitude redevelopment and self leadership skills for your middle school students, high school students and post secondary students. Taking such action is truly about working smarter and not harder in your ongoing efforts to meet academic benchmarks.

Using Abeka Curriculum As Your Preferred Homeschooling Curriculum

Homeschooling is considered as a useful technique to improve the educational efficiency of your child. It is very important to keep the student connected with the books, even after the school. Homeschooling not only helps to lay a sound foundation but also helps to strengthen the concepts of the student for the rest of his academic life. Among the various homeschooling curriculums, Abeka has its own distinct position. The curriculum supports the Christian homeschooling method and has been developed by the real classroom experience for about 50 years, at the Pensacola Christian Academy.

Abeka curriculum, from kindergarten to the higher grades, focuses on accelerated and advanced learning. The Abeka homeschooling curriculum helps you to teach many things in advance. It is quite useful for intelligent students with high picking pace, but at the same time, this feature can be overwhelming for some other students and parents.

Abeka curriculum offers different choices including DVDs, parent directed education and textbook materials. The different teaching choices help to keep the education lively and interesting through games, charts and videos. It covers different subjects including math, phonics, literature, science and history.

Abeka curriculum, from preschool to twelfth standard, presents a well-organized and systematic learning program. The textbooks contain lesson plan in the start of every chapter. It is a user-friendly curriculum as each textbook contains a teacher manual. The manual helps to teach the correct thing in the correct style and direction.

Moreover, the textbooks also contain some Christian material including biblical verses and principles. Especially, the math and the science curriculums are taught with the biblical point of view. Thus, you can instil the noble values right from the childhood. It is best for those parents who want to enlighten their children with Christianity teachings and truths.

Phonics in the Abeka homeschooling program emphasizes on the reading skill of your child. It concentrates on the pronunciation of the words and helps to make them good readers. Additionally, different workbooks are also included in the Abeka curriculum. The workbook exercises give much writing practice to the child. The separate handwriting curriculum at the fifth standard tends to teach cursive handwriting. It also offers other writing options such as ball and stick including the pre-cursive print.

Using the Abeka curriculum, you can help your children in memorizing different things easily. The workbooks repeat the concepts so often that children really benefit from these reviews. You do not need to force them to learn everything. By its repeating exercises, the child learns almost everything at the end of the curriculum. Moreover, the editions are subjected to revision so that you can benefit from the latest knowledge and concepts.

The complete Abeka curriculum contains all the materials required for the entire year. It also includes items for arts and crafts. The books attract the attention of children through attractive patterns and colours. The curriculum keeps the children occupied till the last page. Using Abeka curriculum, you can also assess their progress, time to time. Thus, Abeka is a comprehensive curriculum that provides both balance as well as enlightenment.

Preschool Curriculum - Educational Programs For Kids

A preschool curriculum represents a great chance for all kids. Children's instruction is extremely important today and for this reason it should not be restricted to text books or other conventional learning methods. A preschool curriculum deserves to go far beyond the conventional system. An ideal preschool curriculum would be the one that would include the beauty of the world and the real life bonds into it.

The main objective of a preschool curriculum is to generate a good studying atmosphere for all the kids involved in the studying process. Instead of laden and grinding syllabi, the curriculum at this level level should be practical and focused. An incredibly good and helpful preschool curriculum is the one that develops kids skills throughout fun activities such as: games, rhymes, puzzles and many more. Other activities like singing, performing or gardening are extremely helpful because are developing children 's skills in a very practical manner.

The objective of any good curriculum is to provide activities which are going to develop kid 's abilities. The perfect curriculum must imply game playing and other fun activities that are going to improve their skills in a natural way. The best way to develop kids abilities is absolutely by playing games. Consequently, they must not be quizzed but made to experience and understand. Different kinds of experiences need to be felt by them rather than just teaching them verbally or theoretically.

If you are attracted in finding more info about a preschool curriculum, verify the following list:

* the curriculum should assist all the kids in the process of improving their life experience;

* anticipation and conclusion deduction are two key abilities that must be acquired during the curriculum;

* there should be right methods to train expression of thoughts; the right attitude; self-managing abilities, interest development and determination;

From time to time, parents themselves stay concerned about the category of preschool curriculum their child would be subjected to. The preschool training is extremely important for all the children and parents don 't like the idea of pressure. The studying process should be effortless and also natural.