Sunday, August 3, 2008

Preparing a child for public highschool

It recently occurred to me, out of the blue, that Timothy is most likely going to want to go to public/private/non-home-based school starting in 9th grade. I've no idea why it took so long for the idea to penetrate the fog surrounding my head, but it certainly made itself known once it arrived. I admit, I panicked a bit. Gone was the idea that I had plenty of time to fit everything in. Welcome the days of trying to figure out what to cram into Timothy's schedule for the next 2 years (more on those plans later).

I finally got around to doing something today to help me prepare for this possibility. I went to my local public school district's website to find out what they are teaching, and so adjust my plans. Many things are really difficult to determine how they translate into real life, since the depth and quality are so subjective. (How do you determine the quality of "All students write narrative, expository, persuasive and descriptive text of at least 500-700 words"?) Topics of social studies, however, are much easier to compare. These topics are what I am surprised at, most specifically the ones that Timothy would encounter upon entering the 9th grade.

K-2 develop a conceptual base for history, government and economics.

3-5: study local, state, and early American history

6-7: study Ancient World History through the Renaissance & Reformation, with a unit about juvenile law.

8th grade: study colonial America through 1915 with an emphasis on gov't and industry, and another unit about juvenile law.

9th grade: study world geography, the concept of nationalism, global environmental issues, global population issues, and scarcity of crucial global resources.

10th grade: study modern era world history with an emphasis on Africa and Latin America.

11th grade: study US geography and history from late 19th century to present with an emphasis on government.

12th grade: civics & economics

It makes me want to be extremely politically-incorrect in my teaching just to combat all the silliness and indoctrination he will no doubt encounter. Or at the very least add some extra lessons on how to discern, and think for oneself. Sheesh.

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