We often worry about getting behind, and we celebrate getting ahead. But what does that mean? Many of our measurements for “on target” were set by norms – where you have to have some people above average, and some below average, because that’s how norms work.
Other goals were arbitrarily set, just because somebody decided that’s when we were going to cover something. Why does the United States cover US History in fifth, eighth, and eleventh grades? Could the same content be learned at other ages?
With homeschooling, you can determine where students are at, and move them forward. For example, a student might read at an “above average” level for their age, but then be “below average” with math. A homeschool learning program can accommodate both of these. You learn best at the level you are ready to learn, without frustration (too hard) or boredom (too easy). This idea is known as Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Student-centered learning adjusts for the ZPD; student-driven learning has the student learning how to self-assess for that ZPD.
The above is an excerpt from the Homeschool Quickstart class, available as stand-alone or as part of the Parent Empowerment Project.