The Homeschool Advantage: Teaching to Mastery
There are as many different reasons to homeschool as there are families that choose this challenging, yet ultimately rewarding, journey. No matter what a family's reasons are for homeschooling, one of the most significant advantages they have over traditional schools is the freedom and flexibility to teach to mastery.
In the traditional school system, time is the constant--each class takes one school year, and when it's over, it's over. Learning is the variable--some students comprehend 90% of the data, some less than 60%, and most absorb somewhere around 80% of the information taught. Regardless of where a student's understanding falls, they move on to more complicated and advanced material the following year, ready or not. Even the best students move on with holes and gaps in their understanding.
In a homeschool environment, however, teaching to mastery is a natural fit since homeschoolers are not constrained by rigid classroom schedules and time-centric curriculum. They can allow their learners to acquire knowledge in an individualized way, with a focus on understanding.
This concept of teaching to mastery is beautifully presented in Sal Khan's powerful call to change the approach to education in America. Well worth the watch, if you haven't already seen it.
Unfortunately, changing the traditional school model in America is a massive undertaking that will not bear fruit for many, many years, if ever. Instead of waiting for the educational institution to change, homeschool educators can transition to a mastery-based model now. Taking their children's education in-house allows students to progress when they have mastered a concept and are ready to build on their foundation. Because learning continues well after traditional schooling ends, this is ultimately the only model that sets learners up to succeed in their lifelong-learning journey.
If you have questions about Heron Books mastery-based K-12 curriculum and how to use it in your homeschool, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us to speak to a consultant!