If I had a dream for my blog it would be to spark a national conversation about how massive parental involvement could be the magic bullet towards solving our educational woes in America. Spending extra time with your child afterschool teaching him or her new concepts does not mean you are a “Tiger Mom”; it means that you know your child deserves one-on-one instruction, and you are going to make sure that he or she gets it. Just to be clear, I’m talking about more than just checking your child’s homework. I’m talking about meaningful, planned instruction. I’m talking about Afterschooling.
By my calculations, if your child logs in 120 Afterschooling hours a year, then your son or daughter is on target for accomplishing an extra two years of school by the end of high school. That might mean your child will be capable of taking AP, IB, community college, or university courses in high school, and have the option of graduating from college early. I myself entered college with 90 completed quarter units already, and graduated in three years. I really wish I could have stayed for the fourth year because college was so much fun, but I’m glad I don’t have the $30,000 worth of student loans it would have meant being burdened with.
I don’t believe in forcing children to learn anything. I strongly believe that kids need time to goof off!!! But if my son wants to play Lego Nijago on the computer, then I am going to make him work for it. 🙂
This is how we prioritize:
- Playtime/Free time/Outside time
- Limited extras like soccer or piano lessons
- Screen time
So are you interested in a plan for Afterschooling your 1st-4th grader? Feel free to leach off of me! Here is what Bruce(7) did this past year. Our Afterschooling calendar begins in summer and is ending right about now (May). We’ll take a brake until summer vacation starts again.
Don’t think you have time to Afterschool? Sneak in some learning while you are on the road. Most of these titles are available at your local library.
Spelling and Phonics
Michael Clay Thomspon (Grammar Island and Building Language)
Right Start (1/3 of Level D)
Singapore (1/2 of 4A)
Hands on Equations (1/3)
Science and Technology
All of those extra little bits of learning really add up. For Bruce, that total time spent Afterschooling this year equals at least 200 hours, not counting all of the times we listed to the same Carschooling CD over and over and over again. That’s like an extra two months of school! These hours were mainly put in over the summer, Christmas Break, Spring Break, and as a way of earning screen time.
I invite you to share your own plans for Afterschooling in the comments section below. Let’s get this national conversation started!