You are likely beginning to see that American Family Education differs from the traditional compulsory education in many ways. Here is a quick overview of the reasoning behind why we don’t:
Give Grades: Grades are an extrinsic and fear based motivator used to compel students to learn certain content in certain ways at a certain pace. None of these results support a joy filled meaningful education. Grades make students accountable to teachers instead of their parents. They limit a child’s sense of ownership and self-direction. In short, we believe so strongly in personal liberty and family autonomy that allowing teachers to grade students is just inappropriate.
Assign Homework: How your family spends their time inside your home should be completely up to the discretion of parents. The vast majority of assigned homework is simply to keep kids busy. Yes, your children should spend time learning outside of school hours but the way they do this should be up to you, the parent.
Require Standardized (National) Testing: Standardized testing gives parents zero information about what their children know and don’t know. There is no functional use for the family or student in government mandated testing. Instead, we suggest Diagnostic Testing at the parent’s discretion. These tests give you valuable information about where your children are on their academic journey. The results are only reported to the family.
Heavily use Technology: We do not allow students to use any form of technology during school hours. This may seem counter intuitive considering the technological world we live in, however, we feel that screens at school cause more of a distraction than they aide a child’s learning. School time is for connecting with real people, face to face– a skill that is quickly dying with youth today. Any use of the internet or word processing can be done with parental oversight at home.
Have an 8am to 3pm, 5 days a week, school schedule: Reducing the number of hours children are way from their families enables parents to have more time to build relationships with their children. It also allows students more time to pursue their talents and interests without over scheduling and causing undo stress. We learn best when our minds and hearts are at ease and we are connected to those who we love.
Continue to Step 8: Family Culture Shift