Sasha Pachev wrote:
I feel that teenagers today are doing a lot of academic work with rather poor results. 7 hours of class time + however many hours of home work for years to score only 20 on the ACT on average by the age of 18. Using other measures, try talking to a random high school student about something he learned 6 months ago in any of his classes - in most cases you will discover glaring ignorance of the subject matter.
There has to be a better way to do this. My wife and I are not professional educators, we have ten kids, I work full-time (though from home), she chases the little ones all day long, our kids being home-schooled and studying maybe 3 hours a day total are able to go above 30 on the ACT by the time they are 16. We do not cram a whole lot of material into them, but we make sure they remember what we have taught them. We also make sure to focus on the skills that are critical for future growth rather than spending a lot of time memorizing tangential facts that without the foundational context will be quickly forgotten. We try to give them a strong reason why with the vision of becoming a provider not only for yourself but also for a potentially large family as early as possible, as well as a contributing member of society that makes a positive difference. With that vision they learn to see daunting math equations, physics formulas, and lines of programming code as something that will put food on the table, give them independence, and allow them to help others when they are grown.
I think what needs to happen is that the schools should have a clear vision of what they are trying to make out of the teenagers they are teaching - help them become independent productive members of society with the ability to comfortably support themselves and a small family by their early 20s rather than find themselves in a lot of debt by the time they are 30 with not a lot of practical skills that would pull them out of it. With that vision somebody better trained in educational methods and with the ability to focus 100% on the task of educating will attain the results that are at least similar to ours, and likely better.
Hey Sasha. I’ve seen your name in the news a lot. I do agree that teenagers could be much more productive, but I also want you to realize what “average “ means. The average teen doesn’t necessarily do all the hours of homework and school you seem to think they are doing. Kids who are raised in a 2-parent home to college-educated LDS adults have a better shot at succeeding in life than the average kid from those studies. Your kids are pretty amazing, but not necessarily because of homeschooling. They probably would have succeeded in a traditional setting as well.