- A favorite blogger this morning talked about why liberals have a hard time hearing what conservatives have to say about health care. "The problem for people who hate Obama's agenda is that some of us never showed zeal for the poor, and Obama did." I stand accused. I have certainly had compassion for the poor without healthcare . . . but zeal I have had not. But I believe that God instills in us "zeal specialties". And I do have zeal for the poor and uneducated.
- Our church in NJ had a relationship with a great organization called Urban Promise that ministered in Camden (one of the armpits of the country, for those of you who don't live in the Philly area). Urban Promise ran a high school that, when I first heard it described, sounded to me like a place where kids were taught like homeschoolers, just by people other than their parents and outside of their home. Upon learning more, my first impression wasn't completely accurate, but I still love that idea. A school that homeschools . . .
- Our friends, the Hernandezes, have their children in a classical Christian academy in NJ. I love a lot of things about the classical education movement. This particular academy starts teaching Latin in the second grade, which puts kids at a disadvantage if they start attending in 3rd grade or later. To make up for this, they offer a class in the summer called Latin In A Week. It catches kids up on a year's worth of Latin in an intense one-week course -- a course which, apparently, is not only quite effective but very enjoyable for the kids who take it. I always wanted to sit in on that class (or actually, to take it) to see how they do that. I can see a lot of application for such a concept . . .
- My experience homeschooling my girls has gotten me very interested in learning styles -- or, even more interested than I already was. One of the many big disadvantages of the school environment as we do school in the U.S. is that it is so difficult to accommodate the individual differences of students in learning style, and pace, and interests, and motivations. They are factories -- one size fits all. They standardize education -- and honestly, who wants our children to be standardized?
- I saw an article online the other day about a college professor who scrapped ABCDF grades for his classes. He modeled his new "grading system" on popular computer games (of which I am generally ignorant). You started out with zero points, and as you acquired skills and experience in the course of the class, you moved up to different levels and titles. How cool is that? Seriously! For some subjects, that makes significantly more sense -- I mean, what exactly does it mean to say your kid got a C+ in 2nd grade math anyway?
Yes, this train of thought is going somewhere. The question is, do I have the courage to hop on for the ride . . .