Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Do Grade Levels Matter?

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If you ask my children what grade they are in you will get a blank stare or a really bizarre response, because we don't emphasize grade levels in our home. Instead our children learn based on their abilities, not grade levels or what state standards dictate. Last year I told my daughter that she was in secondish grade. So that ended up being her reply when people asked her what grade she was in. And instead of her giving a blank stare we received one back.

By any standard, marker, or goal set and especially by today's sad requisites, grade levels are meaningless. Yet so much emphasis is still put on grade levels both in public/private schools and homeschools. But why?

Our current education system focuses on the "No Child Left Behind Act," standards-based education, and common core. Children are lumped together based on grade level, age and standardized measures and expected to all learn the same things at the same pace regardless of their ability. This means that the slowest or least intellectually developed child inhibits the growth of the most intellectually advance child and vise versa. Both suffer because of a broken education system. At one time a grade level defined a level of excellence, knowledge or expertise, but now it is just a meaningless number. I don't have the answers on how to fix our public school education system, but it does need to be fixed so that children can flourish, be empowered and have a drive to learn.

Prior to the government's control over education, grade levels were non existent. Children were in one room learning different material, each at their own pace. Children were challenged by those who excelled before them and encouraged to advance when they were ready, rather than being forced.

It is imperative that children receive individual educations and get what they need, when they need it and when they are ready for it. And this is yet another reason we chose to unschool. It is our desire that our children receive the individual educations they deserve. They can learn at their own pace in the way that best suites their learning style. We encourage their strengths and accomplishments and provide the support and encouragement when they need it. Children are unique so whey shouldn't their education be individualized?

Don't forget to enter the MEGA homeschool curriculum and cash giveaway here.

Also be sure to head over to Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog to see what my fellow crew members are blogging about this week for their 5 day blog hop!


Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Here are a few quick links to some of my bloggy friends:

Amy @ Counting Change... Again 
Shawna @ Tenacity Divine
Adena @ AdenaF 
Jenn @ Simblissity Cottage
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Kathy @ Kathys Cluttered Mind
Sara @ Embracing Destiny
Annette @ A Net in Time Homeschooling

12 comments:

Lisa John Rupertus said...

I think grade levels matter when your at the end of your school career. (like 9-12) Just so you don't miss important milestones like psat test or sat testing.

Dawnita Fogleman said...

It's too bad people have been led to believe those one-room schoolhouses were inferior. I've had elders tell me, "I only went through 8th grade." but they are some of the most intelligent and well educated people I know. Grade level or college degree don't hold a candle to good ol' common sense and experience. :-D

Marisa said...

From Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher "I don't know what I am at all. If I'm second-grade arithmetic and
seventh-grade reading and third-grade spelling, what grade am I?" The
teacher laughed. "You aren't any grade at all, no matter where you are
in school. You're just yourself, aren't you? What difference does it
make what grade you're in? And what's the use of your reading little baby things too easy for you just because you don't know your multiplication table?"

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Kathy Balman said...

Love that!

Kathy Balman said...

Totally agree Dawnita!

Kathy Balman said...

Lisa maybe! I am not a advocate of testing either. That is another post I want to write. Tests prove nothing except you are a good test taker. I am a smart person, was on the honor society and honor roll at school, had a 4.0 grade point average yet I did horrible on the psat and sat.

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