A discussion of what an online program ought to be:
- Safe, secure, ad-free, online learning environment
- Interactive software exercises for reinforcement and discovery learning of new materials
- Multimedia lessons that feel more like video games offering a fun way to present difficult concepts
- Short lessons that teach concepts which can be evaluated later with online quizzes and tests
- Automated record keeping or a portfolio to keep track of student usage and completion
- Homeschool portfolio reporting that turn into student transcripts.
- Online lessons and quizzes that align with your homeschool curriculum goals
Notice: there is no mention of world-and-life view.
Yet this is the key to homeschooling. Is your family’s curriculum consistent with your worldview? If not, find a new one.
We also believe that an online environment ought to be safe, secure, and ad-free. But what about the rest of it?
We believe that students ought to be trained to be ready for college when they are finished with The Good Curriculum. They should be ready emotionally. They should certainly be ready ideologically. They should understand what their worldview is. They should be able to defend it verbally and publicly. They should be able to defend it in writing. They should be systematic in their thinking. They should be able to use critical reasoning. Any curriculum that is not designed to achieve these goals is missing the boat.
The reason why the high school program in The Good Curriculum uses university professors and men with Ph.D. degrees is because we are committed to training students in the rigors of self-learning that are required in an upper-division college environment. They should walk into classrooms ready to compete in an upper-division major.
Here’s our position.
Students should begin writing weekly essays in the fourth grade. They should learn that this is required, and they should discipline themselves to get the work out on time. Parents should read these essays every week, and give the students encouragement. Parents should be able to see the improvement in their children’s writing, year by year.
There are no interactive video lessons in college. There is no hand-holding by professors in college. When a student goes to college, that student had better be ready to compete. It is sink or swim in college. Your children should be emotionally and intellectually ready for the college experience by age 17. They won’t achieve this by playing video games.
A curriculum had better teach them what the rigors of writing on a weekly basis are like. Then parents must make certain that they are able to do this work, year by year.
By the time a student has taken all the courses in The Good Curriculum, he or she has learned to take lecture notes, write weekly essays, analyze new material, and write term papers that are suitable for upper-division college work.
The basis of academic success is not the ability to know how to play a lesson disguised as a video game. If a child becomes dependent on video games and interactive computer programs to learn new material, that child will be in serious trouble when he or she goes off to college. There is none of this at the collegiate level. Professors lecture. They assign term papers. They give written examinations with the purpose of equipping the students the basics of success in business and the professions.
Life is not a series of video games. Education had better not be a series of video games. Education is not fun and games. It is hard work. Students must learn this at some point. We recommend earlier rather than later.