Why America's Best School Doesn't Exist
There's no such thing as a perfect school. But you can still give your kid the best education they can get — here's how
Despite all these big ideas and proven philosophies, we do not believe in our public schools: One percent of Americans give the nation's schools an A, according to a recent Gallup poll. But here's something we didn't know about ourselves: The percentage of Americans who give the schools in their community an A is 14 percent, the highest that figure has been in 28 years. Thirty-seven percent give their own child's school an A.
Here's the lesson, boys and girls: What does the best school in America look like? It looks like your child's school.
Better their education:
•Grow something. Plants are a hands-on way to cover a number of topics (measurements, nutrition, weather, seasons, etc.).
•Fill in any curriculum blanks at home. Stage a talent show, set up a science lab, or work on an art project together. (Get inspiration at educationaltoysplanet.com.)
•Set specific goals, with a clear timetable. The goal shouldn't be “Do better on your spelling.” Instead, try “Getting eight out of ten correct.” Share the goals with family members: Making it public helps increase motivation. Rewards should be relative to the achievement. Don't buy them a scooter for completing a collage.
•Love your child first, and your student second. Here's one idea: “Don't send kids off by themselves to do homework. That makes it seem like a punishment,” says Eskelsen. Instead, “when they're doing homework, that's when you pay the bills or make a grocery list. It sends the message ‘We all have homework."
•Make science cool. Thinkfinity.org has tons of fun lessons, webinars, worksheets, and videos.