Our K–12 school system isn’t a good fit for allor even moststudents. It prioritizes a single way of understanding the world over all others, pushes children into a rigid set of grades with little regard for individual maturity, and slaps “disability” labels on differences in learning style. Caught in this system, far too many young learners end up discouraged.
This informed, compassionate, and practical guidebook will show you how to take control of your child’s K–12 experience and negotiate the school system in a way that nurtures your child’s mind, emotions, and spirit.
- Understand why we have twelve grades, and why we match them to ages.
- Evaluate your child’s maturity, and determine how to use that knowledge to your advantage.
- Find out what subject areas we study in school, why they existand how to tinker with them.
- Discover what learning disabilities and intellectual giftedness are, how they can overlap, how to recognize them, and how those labels can help (or hinder) you.
- Work effectively with your child’s teachers, tutors, and coaches.
- Learn to teach important subjects yourself.
- Challenge accepted ideas about homework and standardized testing.
- Help your child develop a vision for the future.
- Reclaim your families’ priorities (including time for eating together, playing, imagining, traveling, and, yes, sleeping!).
- Plan for collegeor apprenticeships.
- Consider out-of-the-box alternatives.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
About This Book xiii
Part I The System
Chapter 1 The Way We Do School 3
Chapter 2 The Three Biggest Myths About School 13
Part II Mismatches
Chapter 3 You Can't Make the Earth Go Around the Sun Faster 21
Why Age = Grade (It's Prussia's Fault) 22
Three Questions for Evaluating Maturity 24
Action Plan 28
Chapter 4 Differences, Disabilities, and Disorders 33
The Three Labels 36
Action Plan 53
Chapter 5 The Perils of the Gifted and the Good 63
What Is Giftedness? 64
Four Challenges of Giftedness 66
Action Plan 70
Chapter 6 The Toxic Classroom 78
Uncovering the Problem 79
Action Plan 84
Part III Taking Control
Chapter 7 Basic Principles (Or, How Not to Be "That" Parent) 91
Laying the Foundation 92
The Way Forward 94
Chapter 2 Control the Tests 98
What the Tests Measure 99
The Right to Refuse 101
Types of Tests: What They Are and How to Use Them 104
The Way Forward 113
Chapter 9 Challenge the Homework Monster 117
When Homework Doesn't Work 117
The Way Forward 122
Chapter 10 Accelerate (But Don't Necessarily Skip) 127
Single-Subject Acceleration 128
The Way Forward 130
Chapter 11 Shift the Method 132
Sample Projects Designed for Multiple Intelligences 133
The Way Forward 136
Chapter 12 Teach, Yourself 139
The Way Forward 140
Part IV Rethinking the System
Chapter 13 The End Result 147
Thinking Backward 148
Thought Experiment 1 150
Chapter 14 The Child's Vision 151
The Challenge of Self-Awareness 152
Challenges for Your Child 153
Thought Experiment 2 160
Chapter 14 All the Other Things School Does 162
The Noneducational Tasks 164
Questioning the Agent 166
Thought Experiment 3 170
Chapter 16 Solving for X 171
Why Imagine? 171
Thought Experiment 4 177
Part V Opting Out
Chapter 17 Deciding to Homeschool 181
Homeschooling Styles 184
How to Investigate 186
Chapter 18 Getting Started in Five Steps 188
Chapter 19 Developing Independence 194
The Stages of Independent Work 195
Chapter 20 Out-of-the-Box Teaching Strategies 205
A Caveat 205
The Strategies 206
A Final Caution 211
Chapter 21 Radical Alternatives 213
Different Paths 215
Postscript: About College 223
Appendix A High School and the Transcript 229
Appendix B Skills vs. Content 235
Appendix c A Brief Essential Bibliography 241
Works Cited 249