Picking curriculum to fit your family
I spent a lot of time reading about curriculum options before I decided to toss out all curriculum and just teach my kids what they want to learn. At this point, my kids have learned reading and typing via their video games. And I’m pretty sure they’ve learned a lot more, they just don’t need to check in with a teacher about what they learn, so I can’t exactly tell you what they learned.
That said, this system has been a pleasure because we have fun days where we all do what we want to do. Not all the time, but most of it. The curriculum that works best for my family is no curriculum.
So, spoiler alert: In this post about how to pick curriculum, I’m going to tell you that all curriculum is stupid. But this brings to mind the Anna Karenina principle: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. All curriculum is stupid for different reasons. So if we can categorize the stupidity of curriculum then we can better sort through it.
1. Predatory curriculum.
You intuitively know what this looks like. There are probably ads for predatory curriculum on this site right now. The more money a company spends advertising to you, the more suspicious you should be. Most curriculum comes to parents via word-of-mouth. Companies only need to take out ads when they don’t have the benefit of word-of-mouth and you have to ask yourself why.
A great example of predatory curriculum is a TV advertisement for ABCmouse.com. This is such terrible curriculum that I am happy to put a link in here so that you can go over and hate them as much as I do. The advertisement says, “My two year old is already reading and writing thanks to ABCmouse.”
The first problem with this is that we already know there are two ways a two year old is reading and writing. One way is if the child has Asperger’s Syndrome and then research shows that the child’s brain develops better if you do not let them read or write. Or, the child does not have Asperger’s and then you’re wasting your child’s toddler years by forcing them to read and write too early.
ABCmouse must be aware of this research because they chose to put a black kid in the commercials. I don’t think it’s racist to say that almost every education company uses a white kid unless they’re selling something that white people wouldn’t want, and then they use a black kid. So ABCmouse is preying on the idea that parents are unsure what their kids need and they are pushing the educationally unsound idea that memorizing facts is good for toddlers.
2. Fear-based curriculum.
A lot of parents think that because they’re rich that their kid should be good at school. But we know that this does not correlate, and in fact, it correlates in the opposite. If you don’t spend a lot of time on academics then you’re probably going to make a lot of money, and besides that, school does not reward cutting corners, but work does. So there is a whole world out there of parents who are trying to buy academic validation through their kids.
Academic prowess is genetic – in a way that is very similar to height. , but that doesn’t stop some people from thinking that even if they don’t have a particularly high IQ, their kid will. This leads to a whole industry of overpriced curriculum to do at home, designed to supplement curriculum in overpriced schools. And the only thing it does is ruin the relationship between the parent and child, because the child perceives they can never make the parent happy.
3. Denial curriculum.
Of course, every kid is not able to do every kind of subject. But school is insistent on all kids doing all subjects. Which means that parents eventually come up against the reality that their child is not going to Harvard and has limitations. The right response is to give your kid a Myers Briggs test and to start catering their schooling to their personality type.
The wrong answer is to buy extra curriculum in the subject where your child has already displayed extreme weakness and convince your child that it’s worth their time to develop their weaknesses instead of their strengths. Of course you should play to your kid’s strengths and go around their weaknesses. This is well established in corporate training circles where more money has been put towards how to make people succeed than we’re able to put into our schools. We know that
people succeed best if they’re focusing on their strengths.
So instead of helping your kid to do better at the subjects they’re failing at, tell your kid they don’t need to do those subjects. The best curriculum that you can give their kid is how to discover their strengths and leverage them. The whole curriculum industry is founded on the idea that your kid needs to be taught something that they wouldn’t normally explore on their own. Because let’s be honest, if your kid were going to explore it on their own, they probably wouldn’t choose to do it in a workbook.
We’re a homeschool family that spent the day (in Arizona):
1) picking oranges off the tree
2) making orange juice from fresh oranges
3) tasting the orange juice
4) comparison testing against frozen concentrate orange juice
5) arguing over who prefers which juice and why they are totally wrong
6) vacuuming (loudly) to drown out siblings fighting
7) playing piano (loudly) to PROVE who is right about the juice
8) going swimming because the weather is totally beautiful and the kids are sticky from the juice and the vigorous vacuuming.
9) Playing the “Math Jump” game at the pool — where Mom calls out a tough, multiple-part math equationa dn the child has to solve it before making hte biggest splash he can.
10) going to drawing class and regaling the other students with The Juice Chronicles
11) Going to bed early
Ahhhh. No curriculum. We’re free.
Having said that, we do own a German language course and I bought math materials.
I love this comment. I really enjoy hearing a day in the life for homeschoolers. And you make me smile.
The best curriculum I used when I was homeschooled was Wordsmith. I mean, of course I probably loved it because I already loved writing and therefore wanted to get better at it. So for kids who want to get better at writing, I highly recommend it. http://www.commonsensepress.com/wordsmth.htm
(Though I would also argue that all students should get better at writing, regardless of whether they want to or not. Because so much of success at work has to do with communicating clearly in writing. And I think that Wordsmith makes learning writing fun even for students who don’t love it.)
It’s very self-directed/move at your own pace. It’s more like taking a course from a great tutor one-on-one (Janie B. Cheaney) than doing “curriculum.” And she’s fantastic and writes back to emails…so students would be able to engage her online.
I would like to write a longer comment but all I can write now is how much I can verify this culture of childhood achievement without child development research in mind in schools. I even fall prey to it because the system of rigid classes and curriculum is built around the idea of achievement without coherent and child development-informed philosophy.
What about distinct trouble with reading? Would you include dyslexia curriculum with this? The products are always pricey, and the sales pitches are incredibly guilt-inducing. On the other hand, there is a minority who advocate letting nature and time work together. (My gut says stick with nature and time — unless my 10YO asks for something else.)
Yes, good point. My older son has dyslexia, and he was in school for first grade, when it was time to read. And of course he did not learn to read.
He learned to read by using flashcards and sitting with a teacher who specializes in dyslexia. So, I guess what I would say is that my experience is that you need a specialist to teach a dyslexic kid how to read. The curriculum is irrelevant.
I love how you categorized the different curriculum marketing methods. These are the very ideas we have to deschool ourselves from, and as you so well enunciated, the very things marketers use to convince us through fear, pride, or guilt to buy their product.
And then, when someone asked you about the learning disability market, you fell right into line with those same marketing strategies. As the questioner noted, there is a lot of fear, guilt, and pride packaged in those “special” curricula.
Did you compare your oldest as not reading in first grade as someone who was dyslexic and needing a reading specialist? This is the area that I advocate most strongly for, because somewhere along the lines, the time frame for learning to read has narrowed tremendously. There are natural reasons for late readers, especially for right-brained learners. I talk about this extensively at my website. Here is one such post: http://www.therightsideofnormal.com/2012/10/30/the-gift-of-three-dimensionality-we-call-dyslexia/.
I think you got this response wrong, Penelope.
I love the idea of self directed learning and reading all your stuff on it makes me want to so it for my future kids.
That said, I disagree with your thought that it is harmful for kids to learn to read too early. Teaching a one year old to read is probably not great and the teach your baby to read program tht you linked to is pretty scammy. But I feel like the too early line is really a gray area. I know someone who learned to read when he was 3 and I learned to read when I was four. Both of us were what might be called prodigies at a young age. I know that you talk about averages, but the majority of the motivation for homeschooling my own kids is that I know how boring school is when you’ve tested into 3rd grade at age 5 and your parents put you with your age group anyway.
I read The Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori. She tells the story of how these kids learned to read and write. It was sort of by accident.
They tore pages out of books and bunched them up in their pockets. Then secretly showed them to the other little kids and said whispering “there’s a story in here!”
Then everyone was tearing pages out of books and trading them haha!
Until Maria said “um, you don’t need to do that. Why don’t you take the whole book?”
She tells how some 4 year olds were ready to read and how some 7 year olds were barely getting the hang of it (because they were developmentally ready).
I am still back and forth on the issue. Let’s say that I force my 6 month old to practice walking. If his body is not ready I may just end up injuring him. However, if he’s ready to talk and I just pick him up on his feet and help him then he’ll give tiny steps. (This is actually my kid. We were surprised that he has no interest in crawling but he’ll walk if we hold him on his feet. We do it sparingly since I am scared of what it may mean physiologically).
I think P refers to holding back the reading if the kid has Asp. because then he’ll develop social skills better if he holds back on the reading. Something like that. She posted a link about it a while ago.
If your child walks before crawling he may need occupational therapy in the future.
I’m leaning in a more unschool direction, but I’m not a purist. I think it’s possible to sort-of split the difference and keep academic work to a minimum without foregoing formal math entirely. At least that’s the conclusion we’ve come to at this point. We do a little math every day, but my kids dictate the pace. We do a little writing. But they read, journal, explore our woods, cook a little, build things–all on their own.
My thinking is that I may end up doing some sort of subject testing like with foods. How will the kid know if he’s interested in dinosaurs if there is zero dinosaur information around? what about history? or math?
I think basic subjects like math and reading and things like that will come naturally because everyone needs to read and add and subtract if they are going to get around at all.
But other things I was thinking of either bringing it up in conversation, maybe putting books around, offering to learn about it, or maybe make a trip somewhere that opens the possibility to the kid. Otherwise they may not be interested in it if they don’t know it exists at all.
You could ask that about adults as well: how do adults know they want to be a race car driver when their parents are lawyers? How did Taylor Swift know she wanted to write music when her parents were bankers? How do kids decide they want to do things their parents hate?
I don’t think you need someone to show you a list of things to choose from. I think we find those lists ourselves.
The post I wrote about my son doing his little stylist internship is a good example of this issue.
My list of things I need to expose my seven-year-old son to clearly did not include the job of a stylist. I never dreamed that would catch is attention. He figured that all out himself. Somehow.
Of course, one big difference between kids and adults is that adults are autonomous in a way kids are not. Adults can hop in the car and go where they want, talk to whatever adult they want to, etc. Since we usually think it’s unwise to allow children complete autonomy (especially since some adults are predatory and children need to be protected), it’s hard for them to know what they don’t know. That’s why the “strewing” method is considered a good unschooling practice–to help kids find out what they might like.
I disagree with the idea that children cannot freely explore due to the physical boundaries of their age. The digital era is amazing when it comes to removing physical boundaries. My 8 year old son gets and incredibly large amount of freedom on the Internet to learn what he doesn’t know. I mean this in the sense that if he wants to know more about algebra, or dinosaurs, or the Sistine Chapel, he gets to just Google it and find out all sorts of information telling him how much he doesn’t know. He does pretty much the same thing I do when I want to fix my brake caliper, or can’t spell a word, or want to find directions when I visit Detroit.
By encouraging him to listen to himself and his intuition, he is pretty darn all over it when it comes to know if something will be scary or intimidating. At that point, he will ask me to look with him. Mainly this happens on YouTube, or with some library searches.
We underestimate our children. We impose our personal fears upon the. We hang on to their childhood far more than they do.
I still think we should try and expose our kids to many different experiences and ideas. Some things, such as fashion (or music, or architecture) permeate our lives. Adults and children are in constant contact with these things and we can easily sense/understand how they affect us.
So it might be easy for your son, or Taylor Swift, to decide they love fashion, or music. These are everyday, intimate and easily accesible things. We are all immersed from birth so if your passion lies here you will likely know this early in your life.
But how might someone decide they want to be a geologist, or a diver, a philosopher, an astronomer, etc. We arent so familiar with these types of things, sure we see rocks and stars….but we dont typically see them as extensions or expressions of ourselves the way we do with art, fashion, music, etc. It’s feeling a personal connection that will turn something into a passion, and a kid might need some more exposure or an interesting conversation with an expert to feel/build a connection to rocks or stars or intangibles or far flung places. A first little connection to something perhaps they wouldnt have cared to explore because it seemed boring at a glance.
I know for myself I have discovered that many boring things turn out to be exciting when I speak to someone with great knowledge and interest.
In our world there are so many specialties and niches to explore, I thnk it is valuable to show our kids how vast the world is. If only to see that there is room for their curiosity/exploration no matter how strange or niche it might be.
We don’t use formal curriculum. We have workbooks, which my child enjoys, but we really don’t make her do them.
I often worry about writing and spelling. (Like another commenter mentioned.) Both those come naturally to me when I need them, but I think that is due to intense Phonics and spelling lessons when I was young in public school. Do you think these are skills that should be somewhat formally taught? Shouldn’t everyone know how to communicate with writing?
We did a formal writing course for the first time this year with our two boys (11.5, 10). It went well and they already seemed to understand a lot about ‘what sounds good’ because they read COPIOUSLY. I think reading a lot, talking a lot, and being read to, helps to develop a young child’s eventual writing acumen.
That’s my thought too. My daughter read a few “how to write” books on her own (Spilling Ink she really liked), but she never followed a formal writing curriculum (at least not supervised and at any length). But she reads voraciously and was read to aloud for her formative years. Now that she’s taking MOOCs (at age 13) she’s having no problem writing at a quasi-college level. Her younger brothers seem to be on the same course (though one of them is an atrocious speller, but I’m not torturing him about it).
I am pretty sure you are not teaching kids how to write at work. Because here’s what they need to do:
1. Write very very short.
2. Write in the way their boss wants to read — once a week, via instant message, in a weekly list, whatever the boss wants
3. Write via iPhone – the future of work communication will be mobile.
4. The long-winded writing will be reserved for academia and there will be a video attached to it. So there’s no point teaching long-winded writing if you are not also teaching how to make videos
5. Writing is about social skills. You need to be able to get an idea across in a politically expedient way at work. No one cares if you are right. No one cares if you are eloquent.
So the answer is no, I definitely do not think you need to teach kids writing so they succeed at work. And I’m a professional writer. So I’m the first person to appreciate beautiful, well reasoned writing, and the last person to say you need that at work.
Your kids can read and type and that is it? They don’t know any science, any addition, subtraction or multiplication, any history? How sad. They are missing so much beauty in life. There is so much you could give them, if you chose too. Why deny children information because they are too young and immature to ask for it?
And avoiding these subjects because they are “bad at them” teaches very poor skills for life.
I think you know that unlimited video games is wrong by the way you get irritated when they play video games for 8 hours. I urge you to watch out, once they reach adolescents they won’t be nearly so willing to learn from you. This pre-adolescent time is a valuable window that is closing rapidly.
I find this comment frustrating. The kids live on a farm they know tons of science. One of her children is several grade levels above in math.
Jane, Penelope actually said – “At this point, my kids have learned reading and typing via their video games. And I’m pretty sure they’ve learned a lot more, they just don’t need to check in with a teacher about what they learn, so I can’t exactly tell you what they learned.”
If you’ve only read this post or only a few other posts, I can understand how you may have come to the incorrect conclusion of – “Your kids can read and type and that is it? They don’t know any science, any addition, subtraction or multiplication, any history? How sad.”
I’ve been reading and commenting on both of Penelope’s blogs for awhile now. So I know both of her sons have learned much more than “read and type”. As an example, here’s a blog post written almost two years ago on her other blog about one of her sons – http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2011/07/19/on-sunday-my-son-sold-his-pig/ .
I recently became aware of a trend named hybrid homeschooling. It’s a multi-dimensional approach to learning that may include any or all combination of the following – self-directed homeschool learning, tutoring, traditional school type learning, and online learning courses. I like it because as I view it, it is a very customized learning environment set up for the individual. It is left up to the child as to how they prefer to learn whether it is by worksheets, flashcards, computer, a workbench with drawings and schematics, or whatever.
You nailed it!
We are in Portugal and that’s exactly what my 6 yo is doing this year… hybrid HS, thank you :)
BTW, I love you blogs, Penelope.
“ABCmouse must be aware of this research because they chose to put a black kid in the commercials. I don’t think it’s racist to say that almost every education company uses a white kid unless they’re selling something that white people wouldn’t want, and then they use a black kid. ”
Sorry, but this kind of sounds like white parents don’t want an education program that promotes toddler memorization, but black parents do (or can be convinced that they do). I dont think that’s what you meant, but that’s how it sounds.
Personally, I think parents of all races are susceptible to making foolish educational choices, based on things like pride. I don’t think white parents can avoid this more than black parents, I think we all do it equally.
To be clear, it’s not what I think. I didn’t make the commercial. But I think the people who made the commercial think that.
Do you really think “almost every education company” is thinks that black parents will buy a foolish educational scheme, but whites will not?
They put an African-American child in their commercial for whatever reason. But it was you who made this supposition about black parents.
I don’t homeschool (I don’t have kids), but I love reading this blog because I learn so much about myself and about how to be more effective in my life and work.
This: “school does not reward cutting corners, but work does.”
It took me YEARS to learn this the hard way, because no one teaches you that in school. I’ve never seen it so boldly and clearly stated before, but it is so true.
Also, this: “The best curriculum you can give your kid is to discover their strengths and leverage them.”
School is set up to make kids feel they have no strengths, that they are just like everybody else, and that doing things the same way as everybody else is the path to success. I am still shaking off that style of thinking and practicing leveraging me.
Thanks, Penelope, for another unschool career lesson!
I really appreciate hearing the reason you read this blog, Brenda. That makes me so happy – I learn a lot about myself when I think this deeply about school as well.
“School does not reward cutting corners but work does.”
Years later, I told my professors about the time I handed the same paper in to all of them. With sufficient planning and compromise I had crafted one good paper that met the requirements for the term paper in three of the classes I was taking, at the same time. The part I found amusing was the difference in comments and grades from the three professors.
I ended up having an argument with one professor. He told me he considered that cheating and would have failed me if he’d known at the time. I disagreed and said I thought it may have been the most educational and useful exercise in my college career. And besides, he was the only one to give me an A.
See, I said, this is exactly the kind of thing you need to do in real life: meet the needs of multiple stakeholders with economy. When I do this kind of thing at work or in a project, everybody wins.
In school it’s called cheating; at work it’s called efficiency.
You do realize that most early readers do not have Asperger’s, right? In fact, my child who has High-Functioning Autism is the only one of my 3 to NOT be an early reader. Plenty of kids teach themselves to read at 2, 3, or 4 y.o.
I cannot remember a time before I could read. My mom had no idea I could read for a while because she thought I had simply memorized my story books and was reciting them by heart. Then I mispronounced a word that had some tricky quirk to it like a silent letter or whatever and she tested me by asking me to read something I hadn’t before seen. The first time I saw all the phonics rules was as an adult in homeschooling my own children. I didn’t start phonics with them until they had figured out on their own how to decode simple CVC words.
My son found out he liked public speaking by having to take the required class his freshman year at Community College.
He is now going to major in public speaking.
I do agree that we need to focus on our kids natural interests and what they enjoy and yet occasionally they find out they are good at something (and it comes easy) when they are forced to try it.
I thought I was the only one who hates that ABC mouse commercial!! The girl isn’t even writing her letter “correctly”…she writes an “A” by starting at the bottom! But try to google this and you won’t find it anywhere! ABC mouse is apparently very good at removing any negative comments/reviews….which should make you hate/distrust them even more! BTW I homeschool my daughter.
I don’t homeschool (although I greatly admire those who do). But I do absolutely HATE the ABCmouse TV commercials that run ad nauseum on Sprout! The one that always gets me, as you point out, is the “My 2-year-old is reading!” I know that there are some rare cases of this happening, but really? Does she really understand those words or did she memorize it?
I would never say never but I scoff at a program like this performing such miracles on a daily basis. If people are having their 18-month-old use this program thinking they will be reading in a few months, they are going to be seriously disappointed. Yet I have no doubt some people will. Like the ones who buy Your Baby Can Read!
I will say that my son’s kindergarden used ABCMouse in the computer lab and the kids seemed to love it. It did make math more interesting to him. But it was one of many methods they were exposed to, not the sole one.
Well, I am sitting here looking over home schooling. I have a daughter, 14, with Down Syndrome. She is so smart but has to attend class with others that hit her, scream and pull her hair. They school “tries” to keep them all apart.
I don’t even know where to begin so I was looking for a curriculum. Thoughts??
I just saw an ABC mouse commercial 10 minutes ago that prompted me to google “racist ABC mouse commercials” Well as an African American woman I am absolutely mortified by that darn commercial that looks like this: There is a seemingly “got it all together and I’m here to save the day” Caucasian female teacher who talks about how she works in the “inner city” and that her kids barely know their letters. She goes on to say how ABC Mouse is the best tool she has, etc. All of the kids in the commercial are Black. Many of them have unkempt hair (parent should have combed it before letting them on TV). So, the problem is that the commercial enforces the biggest racial undertones in American Education – that Black children are inferior to White children and that our children are inept, behind and need to be “saved” by some White “do good” teacher. Stop it! A lot of White people love these types of commercials because it reinforces them to feel good about the “superiority” of their race and their children. It’s very subtle and subconscious but it happens. First, all races of children have learning issues – White, Black,etc. But the problem is that TV always and I mean always focuses on Black children. I am so darn tired of this! Educational achievement is mainly tied to SES (socio-economic status) not race. Thus Black children who come from a home with higher SES do just as well and often times better than their White counter parts who come from the same SES background. Hence poor kids of all races – tend to score the same. And let me add that there are more poor white kids than Black kids in America. More white women are on welfare – as there are more White women in America. But anyway, poor kids and high SES kids are equally smart – it’s just that higher SES kids don’t have to think about a lack of food, basic needs not being met, etc and they can focus more on learning. They also have more access to better resources. If we must compare academic prowness of children – we must absolutely compare kids who come from the same SES to make sure we are comparing apples to apples.
Also how can we ignore how sometimes minority children of all races score lower on these standardized tests? At some point someone has to see that the tests are usually designed by White people who speak the same speak. So of course when White kids take these tests they do better – they have had the advantage of being surrounded by the language and nuances that are used in the tests all of their lives. Whereas minority kids have to first learn these nuances (which don’t occur in their homes) and then posture to take the test. That’s a lot of work and another topic for another day.
Back to ABC – I want this commercial off the air. It’s too stereotypical. Minority children have enough to overcome before they can even start to compete (due to institutions that are not set up in their favor). Let’s focus on the too often overlooked great aspects of Black culture. I’ll use my life and the life of my friends as an example. I was married before I had my son. My husband and I met in church and got married in church. We did not have sex before we got married. My son was born 2 years after we got married. We live in one of the most prominent communities in our State – a neighborhood that the average White person would not be able to live. Hubby and I are both college educated and have held corporate jobs for many years. I have a Master’s degree. I am going to law school in a few months. I’m a serial entrepreneur who has launched several successful internet businesses. I’m also a stay at home mom. I’m a published author and I own an adoption agency. Hubby and I are both active in our church. We have a nice savings account and many investments. When I was 6 months pregnant we opened up a savings account for our son. Our son also has investments that we will manage for him until he is 18. Because of our planning our son will likely be a millionaire when he turns 18. My Black friends have similar lives. I am not bragging. I am proving a point that the Black community has beautiful, bright and progressive adults and children who are in a lot of ways way ahead of White families. TV needs to focus on this part of Black children and not these over exposed commercials that continue to tell our children that they are behind, slow and inadequate – because it’s simply not true. Now, who’s on board with me to complain about this commercial to ABC Mouse?
I am on board with that Monica!! I am a White Adoptive mother of a AA son, and I will not accept that. Thank you for your comment!
Thanks for your comment. Good to see someone who is apart of the majority race try to understand what minorities are subjected to at times! I might just draft a complaint and send it to ABC Mouse.
I am going to start a new home school for my 3 kids in Aug but am scared since my kids are already smarter than me . However it is for the best for our family and we are happy about it. What can I do to teach them what I don’t know but they need to know for the test given by states every year so they don’t fall behind one is currently an ib student (8th grade going in)so is more advanced and the other is suppose to start next yr (6th grade going in)but I am not having any in a school outside the home and the little one will be in kindergarten. I am a single parent with very tight income so I have a lot against me to make it as nice as we would like. However I believe in homeschooling fully and just need some direction that can keep all the fear of what would fall under “neglect” due to it’s not what government wants or as listed on the test. Any useable advice tools places knowledge etc would be so greatly given especially for other homeschooled groups can socialize make friends hang out dances etc would be great ! Especially pagan themed or pagan families so we could meet people with similar interets and beliefs thanks if can shed some light and relieve alot of the stress and worry I fear from it.Thanks again.
I have to share this even though I do not totally agree with a curriculum free school setting, especially k-6. However, this being said, I do agree that our education system fails our youth by forcing too much of what they are not interested in or are simply terrible at onto them. I have always despised English, grammar, literature that must be dissected and philosophy of most any kind. I am a high school teacher and college professor in the often dreaded mathematics department. Mathematics in any version has always been fun, exciting and even fairly simple for me. My students on the other hand? Oh dear… Why is it that a child that has no interest in anything even remotely to do with math & science is forced to take algebra 2 in 11th grade to graduate high school? What this does is cast even more of a black cloud over the term “math” and the kids that are interested in the course are constantly being dragged backwards so the 1/2 of the class that just doesn’t belong in there can fight their way to a C. I would be able to teach 20x the material if I had a classroom full of enthusiastic kids truly engaged in learning the principals of the subject matter!?!? Learning algebra 2 will not help these kids when they are unable to graduate because of this lone class or they go off to college and major in theater. Speaking of college though- why is it that literature majors are forced to take my finite classes and get this- early childhood education majors are forced to take the same stats class here that my pre-med kids take?!? Broken system. Thanks for the stage! Mel