Common Core – The Truth from a Homeschool Perspective

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momschool logo 4I recently read the article The Truth about Common Core in the Guardian. I loved the fact that they presented several different views of the common core. However, since I homeschool the one on homeschooling really seemed to stand out to me. What is your opinion about the Common Core?

The view from home-school

By Nicole Reuter, home-schooling parent in upstate New York ( quoted from the article The Truth about Common Core – in The Guardian.com)

One of the things that shapes the typical home-schooling parent’s mentality about education is the ability to teach my kids what I want, when I want – as well as the freedom to move at a pace that’s appropriate for each child and to teach them in a way that is best suited to their learning style.

My biggest concern about the Common Core State Standards is how long we’ll be able to maintain our freedom to educate our children in the way that works best for us. There are no federal home-schooling standards but, in New York State, we already agree to cover certain specific subjects, report grades to our school district, and track our children’s progress with standardized tests (like IOWA or CAT tests) or written end-of-year evaluations. National standards, both directly and indirectly, could be devastating to home-schoolers by forcing us to abandon the very reason many of us chose home-schooling in the first place: flexibility.

Even if we maintain the legal right to be free of Common Core, we might well still have to cope with its effects. Some educational companies that market to the home-school community have already begun altering their curriculum in alignment with Common Core. Worse yet, we are told that college entrance exams are likely to change to reflect the new Common Core standards, rather than being tests of general knowledge. If that happens, home-schooled students would be disadvantaged in their pursuit of higher education unless they adhere to the standards, regardless of what they actually know or what skill sets they posses.

I also worry that politicians could just decide that home-schooling parents need to comply with all of the picayune standards of Common Core, full stop. At that point, I would lose the freedom to decide on behalf of my children – my students – how to help them grasp certain concepts, and instead be beholden to teaching them certain things at certain times as determined by the government. How much does it matter if a student masters fractions in the fourth grade or the fifth grade?

My husband was a public high school teacher at the time we chose to home-school our oldest two children, so he’s seen the educational system from both sides and knew this would be a good choice for us. Common Core standards want to make cookie-cutter students that get a one-size-fits-all kind of education. I know that’s not what’s best for my children, and I don’t think it’s what’s really best for any child.

 

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2 Comment

  1. Tina says: Reply

    I 100% agree with you. You explained exactly what my fears are regarding Common Core. It is imperative that every homeschool parent be involved (actively) in the fight against Common Core – – on a local level (educating parents, attending BOE, handing out flyers), on the state level (meeting with Senators, etc) and know what is happening on the federal level. CC’s intent is to standardize education, standardize every child in America to be the same cookie cutter individual. No individuality, no excellence, middle of the road with everyone having the same knowledge. It is terrifying. Imagine a world where everyone knows the same? And, only the select top few get chosen to move beyond into the “specialized” fields. This is the goal of Common Core.

    I will do everything in my power to fight for our continued freedom to home educate and for my children to get the education they deserve and want. I am especially nervous, given I have a toddler and young elementary student. Homeschoolers fought for the right to have the freedom to homeschool once and we must remain active and vigilant to keep it.

  2. Nicole Reuter says: Reply

    My name is Nicole Reuter, the author if this portion of the article. Thank you for sharing this! It is important for homeschoolers to understand the dangers of Common Core even though their children are not in government schools. I am incredibly humbled by the fact that you chose to share this.

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