VicPark, I don't compare my kids to others, they learn what they want when they want for as long (or as little) as they want. I don't need for them to take tests or have any assessments done to know they're learning. They are life learners and enjoy learning (often without even realising it). That's how unschooling (the type of homeschooling we are practicing) works.
Pretty big difference between unschooling and home schooling IMO!
"Officially" home schooling is completely different to unschooling.
There's plenty of homeschooled kids/families who don't test either. There's different varieties of home schooling. Some people unschool for some subjects but hsve a more traditional/school like approach to others (this is how we started out).
Anyway, I'm sorry to hijack.. You want to know more use Google.
I don't really believe in homework either in some ways. I think children should be encouraged to read for half an hour each night, maybe maths games that can be played as a family and that's about it. When they're in seniour primary school I think doing homework such as doing projects etc is a good idea as it prepares them for high school where they get assignments.
I'm not a fan at all of standardised testing, but even countries like Finland assess their students, but it's done in class by their teacher throughout the year. There has to be a way of measuring they are learning something. Personally I think homeschooling and unschooling is ridiculously under regulated and a child being able to count the letters on a sign or plant a tomato plant proves nothing if it's not assessed in a methodical way by a professional who actually knows how to do that.
But I digress lol
As for homework, I only support from the perspective that sometimes it pushes the parents to actively involve themselves with their child's learning. Whatever schooling option you choose, the parents' potential value as a teacher of their own child should not be downplayed. As parents, we are all our child's first and most important teacher, that shouldn't stop once they go to school.
There have been times when I have written a note that DD won't be doing her homework if I cannot see any benefit to it. She works hard at school and is a self motivated learner. Skipping pointless, repetitive homework tasks will not have a negative impact on her learning. Her new school does homework how I would as a teacher if I wasn't dictated to by the school council policy where I teach. She just has to read free choice texts 4 nights a week and occasionally gets a bit of project work. It leaves time and room for after school activities, busy weekends etc. If they don't read they stay in one playtime to read.
The vocal parent population where I teach strongly support homework and I get emails from a few regularly asking for more/additional tasks. I have to send home weekly maths, spelling and levelled nightly readers. I reward homework done but don't punish if it's not done.
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