Sunday, May 26, 2013

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What does credit recovery have to do with homeschooling?

Credit recovery has nothing to do with homeschooling... and credit recovery has everything to do with homeschooling.

As homeschoolers, credit recovery as a concept is pretty much off our radar.  We don't have to prove to anyone that our kid knows a subject, per-se.  At the same time, if our kid doesn't learn a concept using one method, we use another method.  In a way, you could call that credit recovery.

Let's take my daughter's recent tussle with Economics.  She went through the material effortlessly, passionately.  As her homeschool teacher and professor, I was unimpressed.  As far as I was concerned, she got a big-fat-zero for class participation. I wanted more.  So I assigned her a book to read hoping to get a rise out of her.  For someone who inhaled a good hundred books a year, getting her to read this book was like pulling fingernails.  I was very unhappy, and still not willing to assign a grade.  Credit recovery was absolutely necessary.

Then one day I had a captive audience.  I had to braid her hair, which is by the way, a many hour long endeavor.  Ha-ha-ha!  I win.  I had her pull together her hair implements, and the book.  She was going to explain it to me chapter by chapter.

I couldn't have been happier with the result.  She started explaining the book to me, then she began to elaborate and pontificate on her own thoughts... Ahhhh.  This is what I was looking for.  In the end, this gave me the information I needed to know that she had intelligently absorbed the information, and had something she could move forward with.  She had recovered that 1/2 credit of economics.  She had passed the test.

Oh if public school students had it that easy?  Instead, they are forced to test, test, test.  Some kids don't do well on tests.  Some clam up.  Others freak out an shut off.  How is the teacher to ever know that the child actually absorbed the information and may even have an opinion about it?  Perhaps, perhaps people need to give the idea of credit recovery a break instead of vilifying it,  and find new ways to assign that credit recovery, perhaps through a series of tutoring session, and a recorded discussion (written or otherwise) of the exchange.



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