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Saturday, May 31, 2008

k12's Top 10 , Part 5

Will someone please get out the camera? We have a Kodak moment here. If you use high enough resolution, you can get a really good shot of the steam coming from the ears today.

I had to really stop and think about this series today. I never really intended to run a ten part series on using k12. Originally, this was meant to be only one post with a list of nine, then the number one post would take the bulk of the entry. I found, as I was writing, I had more to say about each section than I planned.

Each post in the series has been pretty easy so far. "This is why I like using k12." I've tried giving consideration to each reason and where I place it in my top 10. I know most of these haven't really been funny at all. They've been more of a soapbox for right now. That's okay in this case. I'm saving the fun part for last.

So, here it is. My #6 reason for using k12 is...


Basic concepts get taught everywhere and at all reasonable levels. Sentence structure, essay structure, SPELLING (now that's one we don't see too much of anymore), vocabulary, reading skills, and math computation all get taught as essential learning needs over teaching "skills we'll need as adults."

Teaching of basic concepts that develop and strengthen basic skills is a realm of success for the k12 corporation. If a child doesn't have a clue how to write a sentence, what good does it do to expect an essay? These people understand this. K12 teaches grammar, parts of speech, and sentence development before they put any focus on analyzing how well a student has developed communication skills.

Writing education actually goes into detailed lessons. When working the program, kids develop skills in writing quality introductions, essay bodies, and conclusions. At the end of a unit, each kid has a final piece of work to be proud of. In the process of getting to the final production, a student learns about the value of grammar and sentence structure in writing while learning to develop thoughts into written word.

Spelling is taught from lists that cover the rules of English. There is actually a reason "i" comes before "e" except after "c." There is a time and place for "ph" and a different time and place for "f" to be used. K12 takes the time to help kids understand the difference. There aren't too many programs out there in schools that make the effort to help kids understand the background of how to spell. It takes more than practice to win the spelling bee. It takes understanding.

Communication skills are even more well developed when a child understands the words he's reading, and knows how to use them. This is why k12 teaches vocabulary. Teaching vocabulary may be dabbling into more in-depth and advanced skills. A strong vocabulary may just make a person a better communicator. In the process of learning the usage of our own English language, we are developing dedicated work habits.

The program developers at k12 are not worried about weather or not a child reads for a variety of purposes. They just go ahead and let the kid do it. They care that a child enjoys reading. When a kid loves reading, there's no need to worry about why he reads. Its far easier to teach a child to understand reading material when the child is willing to read.

Right along with the ability to communicate comes the ability to compute the numerical side of life. K12 doesn't use calculators. I respect this decision with high regard. I just don't comprehend how someone can even learn math processes if he doesn't know how to add or subtract without a machine doing it for him. Besides, learning math is kind of one of those "practice makes perfect" fields. Just keep working at it, add some encouragement, and you get more than just really good math skills. You may just find the development of delayed gratification, a stronger work ethic, and a self-developed sense of accomplishment.

Oh my, it looks like the teaching of skills doesn't really need to be "taught" after all. looks more to me like we need to just teach basic content with a little bit of practice. The "skills" come with the flow of learning.

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