Saturday, April 13, 2013

From the mouths of babes

My teen may not be a "babe" anymore, but she said something truly insightful the other day.

We were talking about her grade 10 science course, one she's doing online to meet provincial requirements for credit. There is a LOT in this course and she has been very discouraged because she is so behind. I told her how they had cut back on what used to be 3 separate courses (chemistry, bio and physics) and crammed it all into a single science course. I can't remember exactly what led to her comment, but here it is (more or less):

"Why would they want students to rush through all of this? Wouldn't it be better if we had more time and really learned the stuff?"

She is learning the unfortunate lesson of standard high school education (and even the education for many college-level programs) that is not really about learning and mastering, but about just getting through the work. She is determined to get the provincial high school diploma (only high school diplomas granted by the provincial government are recognized as authentic diplomas here), but is starting to see she's going to have to sacrifice really knowing the material.

My son has 2.5 years before he is high school age. I'm not sure which direction we'll go in with him. There is definite work that needs to be done before he can even consider starting high school credit courses, should that be the route he pursues, which may mean waiting an extra year (he has a birthday that would easily allow us to do that). But even if he doesn't do official credits, there's still a certain level of education that would be good for him to attain, wouldn't there be? Having a longer range vision in mind may help me figure out what to do in the short-term.

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