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April 2008

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atumnnn in nameyourcow


Now, I don't really know how to approach this, but it is obviously an integral part to every society. The problem needs to be addressed of what kind of knowledge will be required and how we are going to structure the learning. Will we focus more on applied learning and learning usable techniques or go back to the old fall-back of testing? Personally, I think it depends largely on the topic. I think math is impossible to test "out in the field" but is still an essential subject to learn as it not only teaches you a new and linear way of thinking but it also opens the door to other important topics like physics, chemistry, biology, etc.

So, I think that the basic english, math, science, history are a given. I don't know how we are going to measure what is "enough," maybe we could invest in the What every blankth grader needs to know series or something and go from there. I don't think that high school standards as they stand are apt, but at the same time I don't know if we should require the students to go any further than they want to (past the bare knowledge for them to leap from). Plato had this concept where every person would study or do what they were meant to do in society, which I tend to agree with except that he had this decision made for the people by the time that they were twelve years old, which is... difficult. On the one hand, if you are going to use his method then you would have to know so that you could get on with their formal education, but at the same time you are not the person you are going to ultimately be when you are twelve, and I shudder to think that my future be determined by me twelve year old state. The basic concept is a lot like how we will be setting up our community I think though, in that we will all be contributing to the society by doing the things we are most suited to do for the good of the community, not for any sort of gain. Unlike Plato, though, I think that the shoe-maker should be able to question the law maker and vice versa, otherwise you never get beyond the nose on your face.

But what classes beyond the ones expected in high school will we be Required to take? I think obviously that learning should be encouraged if the child or teen or adult wishes to learn anything more on any subject then we should go out of our way to provide them with the means to do so, but it's difficult to decide just what is Essential to each person. I think maybe for the core requirements we could require that they have two years (or whatever) in history but then not specify which history unless they are indecisive about it and allow them to pick the field that they want to go into, trig over geometry, etc. Based upon their interests.. This could be risky at the same time though because they might get boxed in before they can explore all of their options.

We should all teach those subjects that are in our expertise, but how will we address the things that we don't know? I am inclined to just have whoever the child approaches go down to the library or whatever and find out, but it's not like we can Force anybody to do that, and who will it fall to if the person doesn't feel like or have the capacity to address it? Should we then relate it to the closest area of expertise and have them pursue it? Or should it just be a monthly switch type scenario, so kind of like jury duty where everybody has to serve their time on the bench (or in this case in the library halls).

Anyway, I'm just throwing that out there...


That's a moot point, we Have to by law provide them with basic education. More of what I was asking was what on Top of that we are required to do and where the focus should be. What Every blankth Grader Should Know is a highly acclaimed novel and one of the basics for any homeschooled student, and so isn't just some random book, I picked that one because that's what we used to help Jonny catch up and it's a fabulous little book. I brought it up to illustrate a starting point, not the start all end all.

I am asking merely about methods and what on top of the core requirements (required by law) we should teach and where we should place emphasis and in what order. My point was that you can't just say education is important, end of story, we should have laid out concrete way of accomplishing it. As I said in the post, I do Not agree with Plato's placing of a twelve year old in a field, but I was merely talking about the requirements changing based on the individual's interests. If they want to go into animal husbandry, I don't think we should require the Women's Lit class for example. We need to decide what we (in addition to the required by the state stuff) we are going to require of our students (we've already mentioned first aid, languages, etc.)

Speaking of languages, I think that every language that is brought into the community (by somebody joining it) should be something that everyone in the community should be required to learn. However, the other question that we must ask ourselves is how much "government" is going to be involved here, because although I like the concept of togetherness and the fairness and understandability that it brings to the table, is that more of a personal choice? In other words how far into the for the good of the people laws are we going to get into?