He wants to see a lower drop out rate of high school students, and more people entering into further education at college and university.
One of his memorable quotes from this speech really summed up his message:
“You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.”
Going to College
The more people that get educated, the better off the American economy will be. But more than that, it helps you on a personal level as well.
You will get into a career that you like, and you’ll have a secure job that pays well.
People who have a degree earn a higher salary than uneducated workers. They are also much more likely to be satisfied with their job, rather than being trapped in dead end work.
Many people don’t go to college because they think it costs too much. But Obama is also determined to make it more affordable. There is also the Pell Grant and other grant and scholarship opportunities available that can give you money to study.
Your first step is to finish high school, knowing you’ve done your best.
After that it is time to look for a college program that you are interested in. If you are already at college age, then you can go ahead and work out what it is that you want to do with your life.
More and more parents are choosing to home school their children. They do so for a variety of reasons. Some feel they can give their children a better education at home, that the uniform teaching methods required for classes of 30 or 40 students do not sufficiently account for each student’s different learning styles and aptitudes.
Others home school for religious reasons, preferring to include religious information in the curriculum, which is not found in public schools. Still others prefer to inform their children about various education topics from their own point of view, rather than what they would receive in public schools. Some parents may be choosing home schooling because they fear for their children’s safety. We do hear many reports of violence in our schools.
Obviously, home schooling is not new. Public schools are really the new kid on the block. According to Patrick Farenga, in his article “A Brief History of Homeschooling,” compulsory education, as we know it, is less than 200 years old. He points out that education used to be handled by parents, the church and the occasional tutor for special subjects. He also mentions that education was intentionally left up to parents by our founding fathers. There is no mention of it in the Declaration, Bill of Rights or the Constitution of the United States.
If you are considering home schooling your own children, you can find many more resources on the web. There are articles, curriculums, stories from other parents, textbook recommendations, school projects, and more. Home schooling families usually interact with other home schooling families so that children do get social time with other children. They may get together to put on a play, practice music or learn a sport.
Most students in elementary school if they have been taught phonics should be able to read. But they don’t always understand what they are reading. They know the mechanics of reading but they need more experience in what the words and sentences mean.
The best thing you can do is buy your child a child’s dictionary so she can look up the words by herself. If your children like the internet find a free dictionary on the internet they can use. This will save your sanity. If your children ask you what this word means just tell them to look it up in the dictionary, so they get into the habit of looking up words.
If their reading is really a problem try to get them to read more. As they say practice makes perfect. Try switching off the TV and computer games and get your children to spend more time on books. If you have more than one child get the older children to teach the younger children.
If you are a teacher try and set up a buddy system by pairing up a good reader with a not so good reader and see if this works. If you have class groups in the classroom use a competition that states the group that can improve the reading ability of the lower students is the winner. Don’t always encourage the top students.
Try to encourage the top students to help the not so good students. Most students love showing how good they are so use them to help other problem students.
How important is a science education for your kids? Our public school system curricula are changing every day, and it’s usually not for the better. Understandably, government-backed schools who are graded on students’ proficiency in reading, writing and math put more of a focus on those subjects. More than ever, parents are turning to homeschooling to fill the gap left behind.
What Happened to Science?
There was a recent article in the news regarding elementary schools in Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska. The topic was science curriculum, which has been reduced or even – in some districts – eliminated in favor of putting an educational emphasis on reading and math. According to the AP newswire published in the Lawrence Journal-World, “as many as one in five elementary teachers in Kansas and surrounding states are reporting science grades on student report cards, despite the fact that they don’t spend any time teaching the subject or testing pupils’ knowledge in it.”
What a travesty in terms of educational goals for our kids! This seems to be a trend not only in the Midwest but in public education districts across the nation.
The Importance of Teaching Science at Home
The good news, however, is that homeschool parents (and any other parents who are concerned about their child’s education) aren’t limited by this type of underfunding and overemphasis on everything but science.
In the National Academy of Sciences research paper, “A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Cross-Cutting Concepts and Core Ideas”, the importance of science throughout a child’s academic career is emphasized: “… integrating understanding the ideas of science with engagement in the practices of science and is designed to build students’ proficiency and appreciation for science over multiple years of school. We believe that the education of the children of this nation is a vital national concern. The understanding of, and interest in, science and engineering that its citizens bring to bear in their personal and civic decision making is critical to good decisions about the nation’s future.”
The best way to help your kids comprehend science and be ready for college level coursework is to use a consistent, building blocks approach across grades K-12. Teach your kids the basics at an early age, then build on that knowledge by continually introducing new topics. I recommend that kids as young as five start with chemistry and physics courses in order to best prepare them for biology, astronomy and geology in subsequent years. They need an explanation of core scientific processes early on to combat their previously formed and often erroneous interpretation of the world around them.