Common Core Controversy: Parents Opt For Homeschooling Route

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-Some parents are deciding to pull their children out of area public schools as debate over the controversial Common Core program continues to heat up.

The small but growing number of north Alabama families who are making the decision to homeschool their children comes as state lawmakers prepare to debate a bill that would allow Alabama school systems to opt-out of Common Core (http://whnt.com/2014/03/05/bill-in-works-that-would-allow-common-core-opt-out-for-schools/). Several parents have expressed their intention to withdraw their children from school on WHNT News 19’s social media sites in recent weeks, with one Muscle Shoals woman planning to make the move official on Friday.

“It [Common Core] has caused chaos in our house, and it’s not worth it,” said Lori Peden, who will formally withdraw two of her children from McBride Elementary in Muscle Shoals on Friday. “It’s a huge change at once.”

Peden is already homeschooling her 9-year-old son Jake, who made the transition last fall. She said she had no plans of ever homeschooling her children, with the surprise journey only beginning after she noticed her son struggling with his Common Core math assignments. Lori said Jake and his classmates were required to find and learn up to half a dozen different pathways to the same final answer, creating confusion and constant stress.

“In math, they take a very long road to go a short distance,” said Peden. “You’re fighting over which method to use and how to figure out how he needs to do it. It’s a lot of time wasted, a lot of effort wasted.”

Peden believes Common Core creates an inflexible one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t fit every child’s learning pattern, a concern she says was shared by some of the teachers at school who confided in her.

“The teachers are not comfortable teaching it,” said Peden. “They’re frustrated. Parents are upset, kids are not making good grades. That’s what I’ve seen.”

Common Core concerns raised by teachers were echoed by one local educator, who decided to quit rather than teach under the new standards.

“I don’t think the student was being considered when Common Core was thought of or being implemented,” said Stacie Wooten, an eight-year teaching veteran who abruptly resigned before the current school year began. “As a teacher it took my creativity out of the classroom, and I felt like I was being forced to teach their particular way.”

Wooten taught chemistry and biology in both the Huntsville and Decatur City School systems before accepting her current role as a teacher in a local homeschooling association. She told us the dilemma of what to do grew while undergoing Common Core training last year, and said she became painfully aware that the program ignores fundamental differences in learning styles and behaviors.

“I felt that the needs of the student, whether it’s their socio-economic situation, whether or not they’re dealing with a learning disability, or just a child that’s very artistic and not a math genius, they’re not being considered.”

Wooten said several of her colleagues shared her concerns, but believes most will stay silent in the face of strong Common Core support from area school boards and superintendents.

“We [teachers] put on a face of agreement when we want to appease certain people,” said Wooten. “I don’t know how long those superintendents or representatives have been out of the classroom, but when you’re in the classroom it’s a completely different ballgame than being in an office.”

50 comments

  • Christopher

    Ms. Wooten, it sounds like you made the right choice when you quit teaching since you fundamentally miss the point of the Common Core Curriculum. Furthermore, if you taught Chemistry and Biology, what makes you such an authority about Math and Language Arts standards? The only people left out are the teachers who like the status quo of the procedural acquisition of rote facts instead of the conceptual development of a college and career ready individual which is the aim of the Common Core Standards. Teachers are not afraid to voice their opinions about their preferences as you would like to lead people to believe with your publicity campaign…

    • Atlas Educational

      Unfortunately Christopher it’s not really the CC standards that people really dislike, but rather the top down mandates. I really love the depth of the math standards and have no problem with the LA standards,but some schools and school systems are pushing scripted lessons in, and building an ever-increasing level of benchmark testing in all in the name of Common Core. Most people will realize that once CC goes away, the testing pressure will remain and then they will see CC for the Trojan Horse it really is.

  • Christopher

    Ms. Penden, you cannot have it both ways. You point out that students are taught multiple ways to get an answer with Common Core which is true. However, you then say that it is a one size fits all approach. If it is a one size fits all, then students would be taught only one way to solve a problem. Common Core teaches multiple ways to solve a problem because not all students can follow a one way street to get the answer. By showing students many different ways to solve a problem, they are afforded the opportunity of seeing it from many different angles. In other words, they have to learn how and why they got a certain answer, instead of step 1, 2, 3… and that’s the answer but no one knows why. Therefore, students are taught to solve real-world problems, skills that transfer to real life which is certainly not a one size fits all…

    • JA

      Well-said. I’ll be making an effort to keep my children in a common core school. I was also confused at how “multiple paths to the same answer” is “one-size-fits-all.”

      I prefer my child learn the “whys” behind their work instead of just memorizing steps. Critical thinking is critical.

    • Happy2Teach

      Christopher, the issue we’re experiencing is that every child is FORCED to do all of the methods on every single math problem. It’s not that they are introduced to every method at the start of each lesson and then allowed to select their own unique path. And, as you problem can understand, not every student can master every route to every answer all the time. There’s no need for that in real life. So this is resulting in very poor grades, frustration, confusion, and general dislike of school for students, teachers, and parents. It is a very, very long road to what should be a short, easy math problem. There’s no need to force every child to use every pathway to an answer.

      • Christopher

        Is it really a shortcut if you have not the foggiest notion how you got an answer? What you perceive as separate methods are actually part of the whole piece, the part that is missing when teaching procedurally. The aim is for the students to gain a conceptual understanding of what they are doing, instead of following a series of steps and getting an answer that they do not understand. It is difficult and frustrating because people have been taught procedurally for so long that they do not know how to think conceptually, including the teachers. This is a problem that will continue until we get the students in the lower grades that have been taught to think and solve problems conceptually who know no difference between the two because they have been taught to think conceptually since the day they began school. The higher the students are in grade level, the more difficult it is for them. However, in time, Common Core should help fill in the gaps where students continue to lag academically. When you consider the students who graduate high school and begin their first year of college filled with remedial courses, we cannot say that the rote methods of the past have produced college and career ready students. I speak with 20 years of educational experience when I say that the more challenging Math standards are part of the solution to the problem, and that they challenge me to do my job with greater effort.

  • George

    Mr. Copeland nothing has crossed your desk or reached you because you don’t take the time to answer your calls of course it’s from someone who can help you believe that this common core thing is right.I sometime wonder if anyone in your position would feel the same way if you were not in the office you’re in.you are only helping the dropout rate climb even higher than it is now.lets face it the real world only requires you to be able to run a computer because it does all the work for you . But you just keep telling yourself your supporting the right thing . But just remember you are just following in the Obama footsteps .good luck with that

    • A Hilbre J Anderson

      George, Your reply would carry more weight if you made sure your punctuation was correct. It would also be more comprehensible, which is the purpose of punctuation.

      • LeSellers

        We have to cut him some slack: he was probably educated in a government-run, tax-funded welfare school, and so suffers from that handicap.

        Mr. Magoo O’bama, will there ever be any Jobs?

  • Skillpot

    Is it possible to eliminate those useless courses, like English (in its present form), and arts, and those worthless courses which do not contribute to the future in elementary school, and college, and get on with math, business (including accounting, business reporting, and letter writing), biology, chemistry, and history (Alabama, United States, and world), in the preparation of entering the workforce?

    The so-called English courses I had to take in college were a waste of my time, but those two business courses which fostered letter, and report writing were great!

    • baby2014

      Obviously your English courses were a complete waste of time! Your entire paragraph is one long run on sentence, what exactly did you learn in letter and report writing?

    • baby2014

      Skillpot, You are correct, I did not make me point clear at all. Eliminating English classes (as they are currently) is not going to affect children’s ability to learn math skills. There are English minded and math minded people in this world. Meaning, if a person enjoys English and other liberal arts (psychology, history, arts etc.) math and science will be difficult for them and vice versa. Eliminating a program because YOU think it doesn’t do any good, doesn’t really fix the problem. A lot of parents have issues with common core because their children struggle with homework and working through problems. And if you noticed, most of the common core issues surround math.

  • sts3

    Good for you folks for stepping in and taking accountability for your own children’s education! We have been homeschooling for about a year now and can definitely see the benefits of the much smaller teacher-student ratio and emphasis on creativity.

  • Nikki

    I’m just going to say that I completely and totally with every ounce of my being despise the common core and would like to believe that any other intelligent human being with any access to research would do the same. Unfortunately, most people will not take the time to do the research (which I have done extensively) and will draw conclusions of their own without any information to support their decision.I too am pulling my youngest from public school next year and will be homeschooling. But a work of caution….several of the math homeschooling curriculum’s are also used for charter and public schools so in order for them to get any piece of the federal pie being dished out if you exclusively adopt the absurd new core “standards” have changed or added to their curriculum to be core compliant. So make sure you do your research.

    • Christopher

      Where in the world have you done such extensive research. Apparently, it was not professional research. Reading opinion articles does not count as research where research-based articles in professional educational journals do. Which professional educational journals have you been reading?

  • PisseOff

    They’re going to find it increasingly difficult to find homeschool curriculum that isn’t Common Core aligned, too. Everyone is jumping on the stupid-train with this nonsense. In addition, the standardized tests, such as SAT and ACT are going to be aligned and a child not brainwashed from the beginning with the idiocy is going to score lower. Or maybe they’ll have to dumb the down so much that a non-common core third grader can ace it. Time will tell on that one. For certain, common core is NOT good for kids, schools, teachers. It’s good for lining pockets, though. Yay! Go pockets! Our kids are your collateral damage.

    • sammy

      The Education system is not about the kids, just follow the money trail, My guess is some already know.

    • Christopher

      To what exactly do you object about Common Core? You make all kinds of unsubstantiated allegations… One claim I find interesting is “brainwashing” when in fact Common Core teaches students to think and work out real life problems, a skill that transfer to real life. Unless you are afraid of kids thinking and working out problems, I fail to see the objective of your ranting.

      • paul

        Christopher , not having a dog in the fight ,( Other than taxes) just one question to you. If you have not had a real world, job (not just in the AEA world ) how do you know any of the programs work in the real world? twenty years in the AEA system does not make a person smarter,only dependent of the system.

      • Gloria

        Christopher. Have you looked at some of the actual pieces of work kids are supposed to do? I am guessing not. It is insanely circuitous and not appropriate for the younger students. They need things concrete and clear. They are not old enough to do the abstract thinking that is required. I have seen stuff that does not even make sense, to anyone, at all. There has not BEEN sufficient research done, that is one of the problems us parents have with it. It was pushed through WITHOUT research. As far as encouraging students to think…they are not encouraged to read fictional literature and the non-fiction they are given is limited. Far from encouraging them to think for themselves, it TELLS them what they should think. This is not education, it is indoctrination.

      • Christopher

        Paul, you are the one who is not in the real world. I worked real jobs to pay my own way through college four times. My job is real even if AEA vanished off the face of the globe. Teaching is my life!

      • Christopher

        Gloria, I have no idea where you have been through all of this discussion. I have been in public education for 20 years and have taught Common Core Math for three years. Therefore, yes I have looked at Common Core Math problems. I teach it every day…

      • paul

        Christopher , what a great reply, Please tell us the type of “real world” jobs you had putting yourself thur college FOUR times. I hope you have a Masters in some think,are you will continue to make your thirty eight thousand in THE SYSTEM.

      • Christopher

        Paul, I miscounted earlier. I paid my way through college five times. Yes, I have a Master’s Degree and an EDS. I worked outside on a farm, painted, did carpentry work, and did janitorial work to pay my way through college. By the way, I do not need the fear of being fired to motivate me to do my job. In my classroom every day when I walk in, I have plenty of reasons and ample motivation that causes me to do my job and to do it to the best of my ability. I know that not only the future of not only my students is at stake but the future of our society… If that is not enough to motivate a teacher, then they need to hunt a job working with things and not people.

  • paola

    The more you tighten , the more the fish is darting away . Soon you’ll have no fish to play with. It’s already happening.

    *** Homeschool !!! ***

  • Samantha

    Christopher, I have a few simple questions for you as you seem to be “knowledgeable” concerning CC…
    1.) In what way does CC prepare students for college when its’ curriculum does NOT require students to take advanced math (which is anything harder than Algebra) but nearly ALL 4 year universities require such classes as prerequisites to their freshman level math? Same question applies for English.
    2.) In what way does CC data mining NOT undermine FERPA and parental rights?
    3.) Do you know how many standardized testing days there are under a CC curriculum vs. how many actual teaching days?
    4.) Do you even understand what is the PURPOSE of an education? (hint, it’s NOT to “compete in the global job market.”)

    • Christopher

      1) It appears you have the Common Core Curriculum confused with the requirements set by the State of Alabama for a person to graduate high school.
      2) The same way that it did or did not undermine FERPA and parental rights before Common Core.
      3) For Reading and Math, at my grade level, there is only one day of standardized testing for each subject (2 days) vs. two days for each subject (4 days) with the ARMT we took last year. Prior to that, we took both the ARMT and SAT which lasted about a week and a half.
      4) The purpose for an education is to make students college and career ready.

      • Chuck

        “The purpose for an education is to make students college and career ready.” Since when is that the purpose of an Elementary education? Elementary learning is about the basic fundamentals. That portion of education has absolutely nothing to do with college or a career. Thats what High School is for. these are KIDS sir, little grade school Kids. And your suggestion about MAKING each student learn every way to do each math problem……would be like making them learn every single way to study for a test. I’ve got news for you, not everyone is looking to be a math teacher sir. Critical thinking is about developing and/or learning a Strategy or strategies that work for YOU, in order to solve the problem. How can you fail them for not grasping the ways that dont WORK for them? That is insane, and sounds unreasonably controlling.

      • Christopher

        Chuck, your greatest problem is that you are reading the comments of others and reading them in to what I really said. Nevertheless, any curriculum at the elementary level lays the foundation for what is to come. You do not wait until a child is 18 and say oops, I forgot to prepare your for the future! We are not talking about starting college courses in kindergarten but simply building the necessary academic scaffolding at an early age that leads them toward greater conceptual acquisition of the subject as they continue through school. Common Core is very concrete at the early grades.

    • Christopher

      Samantha, to answer your second concern more seriously, the following was issued by the Alabama State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tommy Bice…

      Facts by Tommy Bice
      John Adams, 2nd President of the United States, is attributed with the following quote, “Facts are stubborn things: whatever may be your wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” This quote seems most appropriate in the midst of the ever-increasing amount of misinformation circulating throughout our state regarding the “Common Core.” The term “Common Core” has come to stand for all that is perceived as evil regarding the federal government and almost anything else that can remotely be attached to “it” politically. In a recent Alabama State Board of Education meeting “it” was credited with things as obscure as retinal scans being conducted on students to measure their emotions and reported to the federal government to removing classical literature from Alabama classrooms – both simply false.

      However, the members of the Alabama State Board of Education and I take our responsibility seriously and have listened to each and every concern, even those without any basis or evidence and, as a result, have taken the following actions:

      1. Strategically chose to not participate in either of the federally funded Race to the Top Common Core Assessment Consortia but rather followed the recommendation of the Alabama Assessment and Accountability Taskforce to adopt the ACT and its related assessments for Alabama as it creates an aligned assessment system for K-12, our two- and four-year colleges, and business and industry.

      2. Strategically deferred from applying for a federally funded Longitudinal Data System Grant to ensure state control of our student data system. The result is a state-developed and state-owned student data system managed through the Alabama Supercomputer Authority.

      3. Adopted a Statewide Data Use and Governance Policy to ensure that not only our internal data system remains secure and meets all FERPA requirements, but that all contracts and agreements with third-party vendors or service providers meet those same privacy expectations.

      4. Appointed a State Data Privacy Officer to oversee our internal data system, review all contracts and agreements that include student data, and provide guidance and training to our local school systems on the development of their data use and governance policies.

      5. Rescinded the original Memorandum of Agreement between the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association executed for the development of a set of Common Core State Standards. This was the only signed agreement associated with the Common Core State Standards, but it had no binding authority past the development process, yet the State Board felt it important to rescind it in good faith to those concerned that it had governance authority.

      6. Conducted a mid-implementation review of Alabama College- and Career-Ready Standards based on input from Alabama teachers, leaders, and others. This review was conducted by the same group of Alabama professionals who made the original recommendation for adoption in 2010. Their recommended changes to the standards were completed and adopted by the Alabama State Board of Education in January of 2014 with no permission sought nor needed from any outside entity.

      7. Removed, as part of the standards revision process, Appendix B from the English/Language Arts Course of Study that included exemplars incorrectly referred to as a required Common Core reading list. These decisions rest at the local level as one part of the local curriculum and instructional resources development process.

      At no time throughout this years-long process of work did the Alabama State Board of Education or the Alabama State Department of Education seek or require approval from the United States Department of Education, the Office of the President of the United States, or any other professional organization or philanthropic foundation. Each and every decision by the State Board was based on recommendations from Alabama teachers, administrators, and professors who are experts in their individual fields of academia.

      So it should be no surprise that I continue to be perplexed about this continual debate about federal overreach, indoctrination, data mining, etc., based on the facts that I have just presented that state otherwise. I am equally as perplexed that in recent forums conducted around the state “experts” who have spoken against our work here in Alabama were all from outside our state and have never spent one second in an Alabama classroom, yet they had much to share about what our teachers and leaders were doing?

      And, finally, I am most perplexed because the facts as they apply to the state of Alabama are clear – we have not relinquished state control of our public education system to anyone but rather on three occasions adopted a resolution affirming the Alabama State Board of Education as the “sole and exclusive entity vested with the authority, without restriction, to adopt or revoke all academic standards in all subjects for students in the public schools of Alabama, without direct or indirect pressure or coercion by the United States government or any of its subdivisions.” I am not sure how much more direct that could be stated!

      Facts are stubborn things and there you have them.

  • High School Teacher1

    I respect the opinion of all. However, from a teacher’s perspective, since I’ve been teaching Common Core, for the very 1st time in my career, I see students having to actually think! Many of my students have said that for the 1st time, they’ve learned to truly think critically. It has taken me a lot of time and professional development to realize how I can help my students to master the standards (which is basically through practice, practice, and more practice), but bigger issue may not be the actual standards. Perhaps the frustration comes from the lack of teachers’ development in teaching the standards. Most of us were not taught this way, nor were we taught to teach others in this way. Thus, I personally believe that teacher development is where the problem lies.And most any teacher would agree that the old Alabama Standards did not demand high order thinking. I therefore believe that to delete any set of standards under the rationale that they are “too high” for our students would be similar to saying “Our students are not smart enough to learn this…” or “I’m not smart enough to teach this.”

    • Christopher

      Well said. This has been my experience with teaching Math. After my first year of teaching with Common Core standards, most all of the students would say that they did not like Common Core because it was so challenging but at the same time would say that they learned more about Math than ever had. The fact remains that students by nature will choose the easy road when given the opportunity, but in later years will appreciate those who pushed them to become more than what they they could become.

      • Earl

        Its look like the school system workers,after three years, can choose the easy way out, as a large percentage have already done, no fear of being fired, they skeat on in the SYSTEM.

      • Christopher

        Earl, if fear is your only motivation for doing your job and doing it well, then you are an ineffective employee, no matter the job that you work. Obviously, you are not a teacher. A real teacher is motivated by the contribution that they can make toward the betterment of their students and society. It has nothing to do with tenure. With or without tenure, I would still do my job and do it effectively because I care about doing my job and doing it well.

      • Chuck

        Christopher, one of the hallmarks of life is that you find ways to make things more PRACTICAL, not confusing and more stressful…….which is all your opinion really advocates. This is why people INVENT things. MAKING an elementary student learn 6 different ways to do one Math problem, is simply moronic. It DOES waste time, because it makes a student spend more, unnecessary time on a certain kind of problem, limiting their time for working on OTHER problems. Math is already the most hated subject by most students as it is, because for many, mastering just ONE way of doing a difficult problem is,well, difficult, and already time consuming. I’ve had several math and algebra teachers through school and college, and they all taught us how to approach each new problem as Efficiently as we could, and to use what worked best for US. and they always encouraged us to use tactics to SIMPLIFY the problem, not make it more of a head-ache. I’m afraid what you’re pushing for is the exact opposite. Critical thinking should be about figuring out the problem, However you may choose to arrive there.

      • Christopher

        Chuck, you use the phrase “making them learn” which was actually not my post but from someone else. They are not made or forced to learn as you perceive. I said they are afforded the opportunity to have the concept presented in different ways… In most if not all cases a child can choose for themselves which way works best. However, how can they choose the way that works best if only one choice is given? That is like saying I have four flavors of ice cream and you have to choose the best flavor, but you can only taste one of them, and then you have to choose between the four. What you are saying is that a child can choose their method, but they cannot be taught but one method. Actually, you are the one saying that a child should only be taught one way and force to solve a problem one way…

  • Samantha

    1.) Does CC not impact HS graduation requirements? For math and English, anyway?
    2.) So having your education records from GRADE SCHOOL and beyond, religious preferences, social security numbers, addresses, mothers maiden name, family political affiliations, behavioral reports etc… available for the perusal of employers is acceptable to you? This goes well beyond providing credentials to obtain a certain job. Furthermore, in the wording of FERPA, access to this information is “limited” to entities who have a vested interest in the education system. Well, that could be ANYONE!! Please read this article in reference to the data mining… http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2013/201309100.asp#en2
    3.) This could be different state to state but in my state, and several others, kids are looking at 4-5 weeks worth of testing per year. Between the PARCC, the SBAC, benchmarks BEFORE the “real thing” and any other assessment a school/district/state imposes on these kids to grab a little more funding money. Here is another link pertaining to HST… http://www.fairtest.org/common-core-assessments-factsheet
    4.) Wrong. The purpose of education is to inspire a kids mind, not just filling their heads. Inspiring a mind can do more than “make them college and career ready” ever could. As an inspirational education slogan, that one leaves much to be desired. Instead of “Oh the places you will go” the kids these days get “college and career ready” because Dr. Seuss isn’t an “informational tract.” How sad for them.

    If I were an educator, I would be ashamed for promoting this haphazardly thrown together, un-researched, un-tested, hastily enacted farce of an illegal federal curriculum… But I’m not an educator. I’m a nurse. However, even a nurse can see that 39% of educators oppose CC and these are just the ones that AREN’T being threatened by their superintendents to support it in public.

    • Chuck

      Samantha, your post is spot on the money. And you’re right, its sad that people like Christopher look at education and school as merely some kind of factory, thats supposed to churn out identical thinkers just for “career and college.” Like they’re robots or something, just used to make a government and education system “look good” to the rest of the world. To me thats so shallow, and its that kind of approach that really discourages inspiration and original thinking.

      • Christopher

        Again, an exaggeration no where near the truth!!! One “efficient” method is not very inspiring and original… I guess you missed the comments that what is often perceived as another method is a part of the whole.

    • Christopher

      Samantha, if you change the word inspiration to motivation, you might have an argument. For example, I may be inspired to climb Mt. Everest, but inspiration will not get me to the top where motivation will. I may be inspired to make a million dollars, but it will take motivation to make that dream reality. The song Amazing Grace inspires me, but if I do not apply it to my life, inspiration is all it is. A ministers sermon may inspire me to change my way of living, but it will take some motivation to inspire real change. As a matter of fact, inspiration will also take some perspiration if my aspirations become reality. Oh the places inspiration will take me? No, oh the places inspiration will take me when it is coupled with motivation.

  • AnnieM

    Good for Lori Peden! I began homeschooling my three when my middle child (now 9th grader) was going into kindergarten. My intent was just to try it for a year but it has been a GREAT choice for our family. We used literature based programs through elementary and my kids are all AVID readers.. In middle school they began taking lots of classes at homeschool co-ops and have been exposed to some amazing teachers. My ninth grader just took the PSAT for practice and scored in the 99th percentile on both the reading and writing sections. Her math was a bit lower but she had only begun geometry when she took the test. My eighth grader also tests really well, Their big brother (now 18) wanted to go back to “real” school in 7th grade so we let him. He transitioned VERY well and has been taking all honors and AP classes. I’m not saying any of this to brag about my kids.but just to emphasize that although it’s clearly not the best for every family in every situation, homeschooling is definitely a viable alternative and it DOES WORK! I’m so glad that I don’t have to worry about my kids being used as guinea pigs to test whatever new methodology the state wants to impose.

  • Cindy Osborne

    I have many issues with Common Core but academically the one that has hurt my children most is that the new curriculum, especially math, dropped New concepts on them that they hadn’t been prepared for in previous grades. It’s making students who did well in school, fail. It’s causing students who loved school, to despise it. That bothers me a lot. I’m considering home schooling next year as well. I want my children to continue to love learning and that hasn’t happened this year. It’s been a very bad, sad year.
    Cindy

  • Atlas Educational

    Cindy, I’m currently homeschooling my own son after teaching in the public schools for 23 years. I left not because of CC, but because of all of the testing, mandates, and scripted lessons entering public schools. There is no longer any freedom in public schooling.

    Just be careful, don’t put your child in the same situation when homeschooling. Most people start out with a boxed curriculum and you’re doing the same thing that schools are doing with that approach (though you do have more flexibility). Look into homeschooling before you talk about it with your child, join some Facebook homeschool groups, and research curriculum in your local used book store. Just like traditional school the curriculum can be supportive for learning or overbearing.

    The focus should be on children engaging in learning- not testing.

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