Inappropriate Standards and the Death of Self-Discovery

The Plain Satisfactions

­On a beautiful spring day, I sat on the porch and did some math with Oscar, my six-year-old son. In response to an educational system that is becoming more and more standardized and oppressive with the implementation of the Common Core, we made a personal decision to “opt out” of a brick and mortar kindergarten this year. Kindergarten isn’t obligatory in New York State, so officially we are not yet homeschooling as per the state requirements, but we do school at home none the less.

The one-size-fits-all, developmentally inappropriate Common Core standards is a big reason why Oscar isn’t sitting in a classroom right now. The amazing thing is that without forcing, and quite frankly without much effort at all, I see Oscar demonstrate his knowledge of basic academic talents when he’s ready and when provided with the resources to do so. I do feel pressure, even as a homeschooler…

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About Betsy Bloom

Betsy is an Associate Professor of Education at Hartwick College in Oneonta NY. She is also a parent of two, a nine year veteran middle school social studies teacher and the current president of the NYS Foundations of Education Association, an organization dedicated to achieving social justice through public education.
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