One of the most valuable concepts I learned as a Waldorf teacher was that “breathing out” is just as (or even more) necessary to successful learning and teaching as “inhaling” is. Recreational time or time out from learning is totally important to every student’s health, well-being, and true educational success. The good news is that the homeschool math curriculum can breathe!
Adopting 作文 ensures that your students will not just have good, healthy fun between their math lessons but during them as well. Spending time out of a math lesson or pencil-and-paper practice by having students do jumping jacks is something. But what happens if your homeschool math curriculum was so lively, fun, and invigorating that there was no requirement to take this sort of time from it? Now that’s a truly successful math program!
We have now only to witness the results of cutbacks in our schools’ arts and PE programs to note how mistaken the notion of “more academics is better” could be. And nowhere is this notion more apparent compared to China’s school system. Yong Zhao, the Associate Dean of the University of Oregon, writes in the 12/10/10 blog the staggering hours of schoolwork and homework which are expected of top Chinese students (especially middle school and school students) might be backfiring.
He notes that “Chinese students (a sample from Shanghai) outscored 64 countries/education systems on the latest PISA, OECD’s international academic assessment for 15 year olds in math, reading, and science.” He wonders why international education experts were so astounded by this statistic since, “It is actually no news that this Chinese education method is excellent in preparing outstanding test takers, the same as other education systems in the Confucian cultural circle-Singapore, Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong.”
Zhao continues to say that this news did not produce a big splash in any of China’s major media outlets. He searched extensively but failed to find any mention of this outstanding achievement. What he did find instead was actually a story coming from a Chinese middle schooler’s mother which is both shocking and sad, and may give you the real cause of the outstanding performance of top students in China. It “follows a mother’s online posting, complaining about how her child’s school’s excessive academic load has caused serious physical and psychological damage.”
This article details the grueling work load and unreasonable expectations which are piled on the vulnerable shoulders of such youngsters. The online post says that her daughter’s 7th grade middle school schedule included extra evening classes that ended at 6:30pm. But that since entering 9th grade, her evening classes have been extended to 8:40pm every single day, which 12th graders can also be needed to take additional classes from 7:30am to 8:00pm on Saturdays.
You will find 5 weeks of classes during winter and summer school vacations, and also the long school days do not include any self-study time or physical education classes. The mother adds, “After coming home after 10pm, she must spend a minumum of one hour on the homework. She must wake up at 5am. She actually is still a young child. May I ask the number of adults could endure this type of work? This kind of practice has seriously damaged students’ health. They have got completely lost motivation and desire for studying. My child’s health becomes worse daily. So does her mental spirit.”
There’s maybe a fine line between a “fun” math program and kqwgyq much-maligned “fuzzy math.” But Math By Hand’s homeschool math curriculum is nicely balanced precisely on that fine line because within it, depth and academic integrity are certainly not sacrificed in order to make math likeable and friendly. Its hands-on, experiential format relies on the concept that math’s true, deepest nature is creative and imaginative, because what can be found at its root is the sort of truth and sweetness that compels including the most reluctant student to interested and respectful study.
There’s some faith and trust that must definitely be inherent in every teacher’s approach. It is this quality that enables any curriculum to “breathe.” Equally as breathing organisms thrive on both the intake of oxygen and the expulsion of co2, so do our students thrive on the intake of knowledge or wisdom together with the accompanying creative or physical expression that should be encouraged being a natural outcome.
As Dorothy Sayers said, “Will it be not the fantastic defect of our own education today that although we frequently succeed in teaching our pupils “subjects,” we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how you can think? They learn everything, except the ability of learning.” So, because learning is both a science and an art, it is actually incumbent upon teachers to deal with it as a such, and to understand that every great work of art is made far more on freedom than coercion. Infuse your homeschool math curriculum with inspiration, creat