Government Mandated Curriculum Hurts Kids
By Judy Arnall
Many people who work in education believe that if home education is to be fully funded as much as public education, than families should follow the prescribed government programs of studies.
Here are some reasons why some home educators do not and should not be coerced to follow government mandated curriculum.
- Time spent following the government curriculum takes time away from important aspects of home education such as travel, jobs, projects, reading (most home school kids read 5-50 books a year), discussions and community activities.
- Government curriculum is updated every 7-15 years. We have now had our current government approved math curriculum for 10 years. In that time, smart-phones (10 years), IPADS (7 years) and SIRI (10 years) have changed the world. Curriculum has not kept up. There is still no mandatory instruction in coding, the basic skill for living in a digital world. My kids had to learn how a micrometre works in grade 10 math, but not html. Guess what they use more? Everyone needs to eat, but there are no mandatory classes on cooking. With the advent of online shopping, there is no instruction in personal finance. Most people become parents and there is no information on child and brain development. Indigenous treatment in residential schools has fleeting mention. President Trump is not mentioned once in any currently used textbooks. Handwriting has gone by the wayside when much coursework is now delivered and received online. University professors ban computers for note-taking and exams so kids who can’t handwrite are left behind. It’s the same with calculators which are introduced in grade 3 and banned in university STEM classes. Our current government curriculum is not adequately preparing our children for adulthood or post-secondary success.
- Values and beliefs. Teaching children our values and beliefs is not an adverse childhood experience. It is not abuse or brainwashing. It is our right and duty as parents to provide scaffolding for our children’s brain development with our experiences and
- Parents can choose to teach whatever they wish. They know their children’s temperament, personality, learning style, interests and gaps better than any government. They are not teaching a classroom of 30 kids which has limitations in content, and delivery method due to a large numbers. Parents are teaching their own kids and that is it. Children eventually get critical thinking skills as their pre-frontal cortex and executive function develops. If children choose to follow the high school government curriculum from ages 18-20, they will still have access to funded courses as a teenager.
- Education Is Not Static. The government mandated school curriculum delivered in a classroom setting is no longer the gold-standard in education. Alternative education in many forms such as nature school, home-schooling, free-schools, world-schooling, unschooling, roam-schooling all have documented positive outcomes for children and look nothing like a classroom setting.
Every child deserves a unique, personalized education that works for them. A standardized curriculum from the government is not a personalized education and is no longer acceptable in today’s changing world.
Guest Blog Author Details
Judy Arnall BA, DTM, Canadian Certified Family Life Educator (CCFE)
Judy Arnall, BA, CCFE, DTM is a certified child development specialist and master of non-punitive parenting and education practices. She is the bestselling author of Unschooling To University; Relationships matter most in a world crammed with content, available at your nearest bookstore.
Best-selling author of 5 print books on non-punitive parenting and education