Beware of Being Behind

The most common myth that I am regularly addressing at fairs, on the phone, and in emails, is that someone’s student is behind.

I often diffuse this by asking what the scripture reference is that determines what age a student must be to take Algebra 1 or Geometry or begin studying fractions. Is it in 1st Hezekiah or 2nd Assumptions? There is often a pause, then a light begins to dawn, and the look of consternation from wrongly surmising their child is behind, is replaced with a look of relief when they realize he is right where he needs to be.

Now if you have an 18 year old that is still counting on his fingers I recommend you consult a learning specialist to determine if there is a problem. But in 20 years will it make a difference whether your student is studying fractions when he is 10 or 12? The primary indicator is a child’s readiness and math background, not his age, or God forbid, his grade level. Perhaps the root problem is not the student, but an insecure parent? While I am at it, most studies do not support putting children in school at 5 years old. Neither is it in the law given at Sinai, that children must leave home at 18 and enter college.

All three of our college graduates were 20 when they entered college, and they did fine. In fact I think they did better with a few more years of maturity than they would have done as an 18 year old.

This is not to say children can’t begin formal schooling at 5 or enter college at 17, but please trust your instincts and teach and train your children according to what you know about their abilities and readiness.

I do not have grade levels because so many older students have to go back and redo these levels. Most of these older students were moved through successive math classes based on their age and not their achievement. There’s never enough time to do it right the first time, but there is always enough time to go back and do it again.

Please let your children move at their own pace and not some man made standard from one of the worst math nations on the planet, the good old USA.

Protect your children, those precious individuals that God has placed in your care, from state imposed guidelines and raise them and train them in the way they should go.

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