Does that No Child Left…. phrase sound vaguely familiar to homeschoolers? It might, as it relates to the controversial No Child Left Behind federal law. Requirements from the 2001 federal No Child Left Behind law have been perceived as sacrificing areas such as science, in order to spend more time on high-stakes test subjects. Some field trips and time devoted to outdoor learning activities were cut. Homeschoolers can celebrate that we generally do not have that mandated problem.
“Passing the No Child Left Inside Act is a key step in improving the quality of our children’s education and preparing them for the complex challenges of the future workforce,” Senator Reed said.
Christine has concerns about the workforce and job market and posted How Then to Educate Our Children? at The Thinking Mother. She "asks questions on the nature of education and home education after watching a YouTube video with statistics about the rapidly changing job market".
If college is in the career preparations picture, Sarah Scrafford presents 100 Awesome Cheat Sheets to Get You Through College Admissions posted at Online Best Colleges.com. Nate Desmond has 10 Killer Tips for Scholarship Applicants posted at Debt-free Scholar.
Tami offers homeschooling help with her post: How Do I Effectively Homeschool? in Your Questions Answered About Homeschooling.
Daniel Willingham presents What Can Cognitive Psychology Do For Teachers? posted at Britannica Blog. As he says in the article: "Problem #1: Laboratory conditions do not apply in the classroom."
David presents The Picket Line — 24 April 2009 posted at The Picket Line. He says, "I have a flashback to my mental state as an anxious, unsure youth, and think about what a relief it is to have developed confidence in my own judgment, and how institutions like the public schools seem designed to keep people in an insecure state of stunted ethical immaturity."
Some homeschoolers might agree with that.
Learning opportunities seem to fall right into homeschoolers’ laps, while we take time to revel in the glories of nature. Reading the CoH posts this week, I know I’m not the only homeschooler who is ALL about no children being left inside for too long.
That’s one of the best reasons our particular family homeschools. My kids just spent some time with their grandparents while helping with their prairie burn. Critical thinking, Illinois native plants, burning for re-growth, fun fires… were just some of the lessons learned.
There are an abundance of free outside resources at our whim, and in front of the computer. Melissa Telling reminds us to appreciate that There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch at Lilliput Station Adventures. Melissa says, "If you have studied economics you are probably familiar with the expression "There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch". With no cost to us personally, it is easy to forget this fact. But the truth is, none of those "free" resources are really free. . ."
Following that, long time homeschooler Mary Nix has reminded us of another Duty posted at The Informed Parent. Mary says: "It is also important to take the time to encourage new parents, help them find groups such as La Leche League and others that will encourage their natural instincts."
You can’t ask for a better nature adventure than camping with the family. Jen at Cage Free Monkeys recorded their learning/family adventures in the post: Our First Camping Trip of the Season Completed.
Lara DeHaven highlighted Pursuing of Our Interests at Texas Homesteader. Horse riding in a Junior Deputy Mounted Posse and harps fill their world. Just like our family, they also have fiddlers and violinists.
Unit Studies are wonderful and and studying the great outdoors can be a back yard treasure hunt. Amy presents Nature Study-OR-How to Keep Kids Entertained While You’re Busy posted at Hope Is the Word.
Aliall at Fun out of the Box, gave us A Hat for All Seasons made by her daughter.
If it’s raining outside, (as it still is doing today), my little ones took their shoes off, raincoats or jackets on (or not), and smacked those puddles with their feet. (Big people think it’s fun too.) Squish some mud around those toes.
Whether it’s studying soil aerators, or even that dead opossum at the side of the road could turn into endless learning prospects.
**This Carnival has been delayed temporarily because one of my kids just told me there’s a dead opossum out by their Grandpa’s machine shed. I need to get their eyes checked again. With a closer look, it was a magnificent ring necked pheasant cock. It’ll be a puzzle finding out how it ended up dead in our barn yard. (I’m personally suspicious of the dog’s involvement.) **
I apologize for this interruption. Back to the Carnival
The NCLI site points out research from my bigger back yard (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), that says getting young people outdoors helps ease attention disorders.
Nature Deficit Disorder, as depicted in the No Child Left Inside website, could be non-existent with homeschoolers’ types of studies, along with time allotted to follow interests.
Heather knows that "every member of the family is vital to your homeschooling journey. " When mom or dad is the special need is posted at Special Needs Homeschooling.
Research shows that when environmental education is integrated into the curriculum, student achievement increases in core academic areas including science, math, and reading.
At Let’s play math!, Denise presents Kitten Poses a Puzzle, where her"daughter made up a problem to help her mom practice math."
The sciences and exploring outside aren’t the only NCLI concern. Arts and Smarts: Test Scores and Cognitive Development was posted at SharpBrains. While schools are preoccupied with standards and testing, homeschoolers can put the focus and the crayons, drawing pencils and brushes in kids’ hands to let their imagination go.
Erika observed her children’s artistic/creative leanings, while hoping to encourage them in Their Artistic Bents in A Real Momma’s Book of Days.
Amy Smith presents Kids Love Learning: Starting a Nature Journal posted at Kids Love Learning. One of the Course of Study Checklists posted at Walking Therein by Jacque is also using a nature journal.
Congressman Sarbanes said that one goal of NCLI is to "fully prepare students to become lifelong stewards of our natural resources". The No Child Left Inside Coalition has 1,300 organizational members and some of the coalition members are our park districts, zoos, museums and nature centers.
Many science museums have Lego centers set up and those areas are usually crowded. Christine Guest presents M’s First Lego Expo posted at Our Curious Home. Adventures like that can lead to deeper studies of physical sciences and fulfill FIRST‘s Lego/Robotics competion founder’s vision: "To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
Indeed, as noted by No Child Left Inside backers, “there is nothing like hands-on environmental education to engage children and pique their curiosity". Fortunately, homeschoolers can jump straight past the research, formal assessments, and strategic initiatives with little ado.
Yes, indeed, no child is left inside when you homeschool. Recess is called playing outside just for the fun of it. Field trips can mean riding around the neighborhood on bikes or trikes, while socializing with the friendly neighbors. The parks provide exercise and exploration.
Childhood obesity is increasing and was brought up by the NCLI legislative proponents. The television and couch potato status has been blamed for much of that problem. One homeschooling mom, Carleta, posted her observations and their family’s reclaimed free time during TV Turnoff Week. Is Television Robbing Your Kids of Free Time? : posted at Successful Homeschooling.
Dana Wilson presents Writing a Book Review posted at Epi Kardia Home Education, saying, "Rather than the typical boring book report, Dana Wilson from Epi Kardia Home Education offers a more appealing solution to your reluctant writer…".
Besides using "whole books", rather than textbooks; nature journals are used a great deal following Charlotte Mason’s learning philosophy. Homeschooling Styles: Charlotte Mason was posted at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers by Kris.
Katie Glennon presents Our Charlotte Mason Version of the Middle Ages posted at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage, brought their studies to life and have just returned from the Middle Ages. They ended with a medieval feast.
Ya gotta eat using all of that energy. Ice cream works nicely too. Beverly’s Homeschooling Blog (About.com) presents Making Ice Cream in a Bag. Beverly says: "Making ice cream is a fun and delicious way to build science skills".
After extensive exploring and good food, Kerry’s tips at A Ten O’Clock Scholar on How to Create a Daily Oasis in Your Home School, can come in handy when we "need a little quiet in the midst of our busy homeschool days".
It’s very appropriate to end with No fighting, no biting! blog’s spring field trip to the National Arboretum. Katherine noted it in her post what a beautiful day, while finding that it was great fun for all the children.
Thank you to all the participants of this No Child Left Inside Carnival of Homeschooling. You were extremely (and naturally) obliging in showcasing the learning possibilities of our world and the glories of not just looking out a window.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference
It might not surprise some that Robert Frost was homeschooled.
Thanks for reading.