I stumbled across a curious little story out of Colorado. From the summary in my email box, I thought I knew what it was about.
Board member Becky Johnson raised a question concerning the state required number of hours required for home-schooling — four hours a day — and that required of public schools — six or seven hours a day. Trail Gazette
I am obviously well-trained by stories like the one in Arkansas where a lawmaker is seeking to restrict when a parent can withdraw their children in order to homeschool them. When government officials begin comparing homeschool requirements and public school requirements, I assume they are thinking about ways to change the homeschool laws.
But that wasn’t what Ms. Johnson, the Vice President of the Estes Park School Board was getting at.
Johnson said there’s a huge disparity between the requirements of public school and home-school.
“Are we really spending our time effectively or on seat time to meet calendars?” she asked. Ibid.
Now that is an interesting question to discuss come calendar time for public schools. Are we truly educating children, or just mandating they sit in a seat so many hours per academic year?
Ms. Richardson’s point to the contrary is valid…and also manages to be completely respectful of homeschooling.
Board member Marie Richardson said home schooling might require less time, because there are only one or two students, versus 20 in the classroom, at different levels. Ibid.
Johnson said kids, if they’re adequately prepared, shouldn’t have to sit in class for an entire year, just to meet a seat time schedule. Ibid.
I like it. Those are the kinds of discussions I would like to see more of in the field of education. Ways to make the system more flexible to more adequately meet the needs of all students.