Why Homeschooled Children May Miss Out on Socialization and Knowledge-Building
Educators know that students need to be exposed to multiple viewpoints in order to become well-rounded thinkers. However, the practice of requiring student participation in class discussions is often controversial.
EL Education’s K-5 Language Arts Curriculum is built with substantive content understanding (science, social studies, or literature) at the heart of each lesson and simultaneously teaches all key literacy standards through backward design. Module lessons, Labs, and the K-2 Skills Block include formal assessments that track student progress.
Socialization is the process through which a child learns to interact with people of varying cultures, backgrounds and experiences. This includes learning to communicate with peers and forming positive relationships with teachers. Home schooled children may miss out on this essential part of their education.
In addition, students must adjust to the structural features of school that differ from those of their family environments. For example, many public schools have a high emphasis on high stakes testing and deny students breaks and recess. This limits their socialization. School rules and codes of conduct can also influence socialization, especially if they are created through top-down authority and enforced with a heavy hand.
Knowledge-building curricula expose students to broad knowledge over time in a systematic and cumulative way. This knowledge helps students become more sophisticated learners and makes it easier for them to understand complex texts.
Moreover, research shows that student understanding of content depends on how much prior knowledge they have. Knowledge matters more than skills alone.
EL Education’s K-2 Skills Block combines full skills lessons with knowledge-focused lessons that build background on key topics or themes. These knowledge lessons are designed to take 60 minutes each day, and are available in English and Spanish to support dual language instruction.
Creativity is often associated with the arts, but teachers can support creative learning in all subjects. It’s important to remember that creativity doesn’t mean removing all restrictions – instead, it allows students to find different ways of approaching assignments and meeting academic criteria.
Teachers who use creativity in their classrooms report that students are more engaged in the class. These teachers also say that their students are more likely to master content when the work is connected to real-world problems and goals.
Creativity should encourage divergent thinking and the generation of a lot of ideas rather than convergent thinking that emphasizes working quickly to get the right answer.
Educators often use innovation to empower students to take an active role in their own learning. These small adjustments to classroom practice may include letting children choose the books they read for their reading lessons, or allowing them to lead science experiments.
Innovation can also appear as a new pedagogic theory, methodological approach, teaching technique or instructional tool that raises educational productivity and improves learning quality. In order to be effective, innovations must also be implemented – a much more difficult task than simply creating them – and supported by teachers and administrators.
The ability to think critically is a foundational skill that allows students to understand and evaluate information. Promoting children’s natural inquisitiveness, incorporating problem-solving activities, integrating cooperative learning, and encouraging decision-making exercises are all strategies to teach critical thinking skills.
Another important strategy is discussing and analyzing viewpoints that differ from one’s own. For example, having students research different news stories to identify media bias is an excellent way to practice this skill. It also helps them learn to separate fact from fiction. Other critical thinking exercises involve classifying and sorting information into categories.
Kristina, Elvin, and Omar’s engagement, perseverance, and mastery are a snapshot of realized goals for all children that underlie our comprehensive literacy curriculum. Grades 3-5 experience two hours of content-based literacy instruction each day (module lessons and the Additional Language and Literacy [ALL] Block), plus an optional companion Life Science Module.
The K-2 Skills Block combines whole group instruction, differentiated small group instruction, and independent student rotations. Its cycle structure and backward design allow for weekly formative assessment so teachers can group students for precise skill instruction. It also supports a strong classroom culture and builds classroom routines that are essential for primary-aged students.
The ability to identify students’ interests, passions, dreams and abilities can help them find the right career path. This is why school should provide students with a variety of career exploration activities and resources.
Career development is a skill that will benefit students for the rest of their lives. If schools only focus on providing the requisite academic courses, then they are not preparing their students for success outside of the classroom.
Collaboration is the key to solving problems in any field, but flexibility is what enables someone to adapt and succeed when things change.