Homeschooling In Public School

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I arrived home later than usual. She was at the table doing her math homework.

"What's a percent?" she asked.

I couldn't tell if her gap was the mathematical concept or the English word, since she's from Germany. "How many centimeters make up a meter?"

"One hundred," she replied.

"So per cent is per hundred." I'd grabbed a sheet of paper and was scribbling. Pulling from the amazing clue words provided in MathTacular4, I told her, "Per is a division clue word, so this is just a division problem. If we have 17 per cent, we have 17 per hundred, or 17 divided by 100. And what's that as a decimal?"

17 percent
Simulation of My Scribbles wonder she looked confused

Soon we'd run through problems involving 3 blue sweaters out of 27 and solved interest equations given a particular principle investment. It trickled back. Algebra was a long, long time ago.

And it struck me, as I explained yet another basic concept that her teachers had thus far failed to communicate to her: Homeschooling happens everywhere. Even in public school. Perhaps especially in public school for the kids who achieve the most. Teachers, no matter how good and dedicated and caring, simply do not have time or opportunity to help each student move at his or her own pace.

Homeschooling simply removes the potentially frustrating daily grind experience and replaces it with a one-on-one opportunity to teach your children exactly where they are.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Math Tutor

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  1. Very true. In fact, I like to say that the best class I took during high school was the one I did as home school--only I sat in the school's computer lab instead of at the kitchen table.

    The year was 1990 and I was a senior. My class schedule didn't allow me to take the college-prep writing class I wanted. Instead, I was forced to take a class where we spent the first two weeks learning how to alphabetize just so I could graduate with the required English credits. Ridiculous! By the third week, I asked the school administration if the writing instructor could tutor me during study hall--he was the monitor after all.

    No, that couldn't happen but the Typing/Computer instructor was allowed to plop me in the lab with a text book on writing essays and research papers. I was expected to turn in my weekly assignments (to the typing teacher) and as long as I cooperated, this would count as my necessary English credit. OK....

    It was fantastic! I was left alone. I learned to write AND I learned to use a word processing program. Absolutely the best class I ever took in high school! :o)

    As an end note: I almost didn't graduate despite completing the class according to set guidelines (and being valedictorian). The teacher of the "remedial" English class didn't like her name on my high school transcript when I didn't actually take her class. I almost had to take a summer English course at a local community class. In the end, a brief encounter with the school board made someone realize that administrative red tape was overshadowing what should have been highest priority--the education of a student.

    So it goes....

  2. The other good news is, if you homeschool from the start, you get to review those math facts as you go along!

  3. Great story, Missy! It is so unfortunate when red tape gets in the way of what's actually important.

    Thanks, Traci [smile].

    Wendy, you are absolutely right! One of the things that I think homeschool moms have so great is the chance to (re)learn things. And reviewing as you go along makes it much less daunting when the time comes to tackle Algebra or Calculus [smile].