Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Scarce resources…

On Tuesday, I’ll be voting on a property tax referendum for school. Every year, I hear from both sides on how schools use money. At a minimum, schools could probably allocate scares financial resources better and make things less administration heavy.

Barb the Evil Genius asks about another scarce resource, time. Barb home-schools and asks about “projects,” why home-schoolers sometimes like them more then institutional school families.

I believe the issue is allocation of the scarce resource of time. Is a “project” a substitute for a test or other homework? If not, what purpose does it serve? Parents must ask this question because parents spend a lot of time educating their children at home in supplement to the school day experience.

Institutional school parents have to teach their religious philosophy at home to combat secular humanism. They have to spend time with their students ensuring their students “get” their school work. They spend time reading and playing with their children. They spend time shuttling their children to supplemental classes such as sports or music lessons. Field trips are not as frequent as they were twenty years ago, so parents who wish their children to be exposed to zoos, orchestra, and museums must compensate as well. Extra homework and extra projects cut into these enriching activities.

Here is where home-schooling begins to appear attractive. A parent might argue, “My kid spends 45 minutes in math during school and an extra 45 minutes at home. This cuts into other things I’d like my kid to learn, so why don’t I teach my child math one on one, have control over the curriculum, and still get to do my supplemental activities.”

I’m advocating neither institutional education or home-schooling, rather just pointing out there are other scarce resources besides money to consider in a child’s education. The best use of projects during high-school was in my 11th grade social studies class. Projects were always a substitute to a test or regular homework, as such, did not cut into time spent on other classes.


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