I could say that I’m shocked, flabbergasted, or completely floored by the fact that very few US students are proficient in science. I would of course be lying if I said those things, and everyone who reads this blog would know that I was. Nor am I shocked that the worst results come from the south…all of my education was received in the south…in my Marine Science class we had a fish fry…that should just about sum up the situation down there.

One thing did really bug me about the article and it was the following quote:
“Yes, we have to be intentional about science education, and we have to ensure that all schools have working science labs, but you can't introduce a kid to a science lab and expect them to do well if they can't read the text”.~ Amy Wilkins

While I do agree that we can’t thrust children into a science lab without them being equipped to read the text *or more importantly equipped with the knowledge of the rules when inside a lab*, I don’t see why we think we can’t intentionally introduce scientific understanding until a lab is needed though.

Children are hungry for scientific information at an early age, and we can easily mesh science with reading. In fact using science themed reading material is a great way to teach reading comprehension, while also meeting a science objective. We do it all the time in our home, it is actually really easy, and requires very little effort to make happen.

You can’t even interpret scientific data if you don’t possess the skills to comprehend text, period. By exposing children to reading comprehension thorough scientific material, we are setting the ground work for reading comprehension in a lab based setting later on. So why then are we treating science and reading like two issues that can’t be solved together, when they so clearly can be?

Yes reading is important, reading is the gateway to all knowledge. Once you possess the ability to read you can learn anything and everything you want. Science and Technology as well are important, they are what allows us to move forward and thrive on this planet. Without them we would still be in the Dark Ages. Ignoring their importance sets the future generation and ultimately ourselves on a path that isn’t as promising. Reading and Math are just half of the educational battle. Full mastery means mastering all “core” subjects. Not just the two “big” ones.

So what does that have to do with homeschooling? Well it is the biggest reason we continue each day on this homeschooling journey…mastery! We don’t just want our children spouting off a few “need-to-know” facts in order to pass a test. We want them to know the material to the point that a test is almost pointless. If we spent half the time we use testing children, on actually instructing them to the point where they really KNOW the material, these test wouldn’t be needed.

A lot of our “tests” are oral, I prefer knowing TBM can articulate back to me what they know. Instead of just being able to color in the right bubble on some sheet. Why? Because life isn’t a sit down test. We have to be able to voice our knowledge in a way that the world can understand us. We don’t walk around filling out bubble sheets when asked about our knowledge, we have to express it through papers, speeches, or in everyday conversations.

I think the current state of education in America is shameful, I won’t even pretend that I think otherwise. It doesn’t promote acquisition and retention of knowledge. Which is why we have made the decision that we have. As mentioned before we want our children to master the things that are getting pushed to the side or cut all together *history, science, technology, physical education, sexual education, and the arts*, not just reading and math. We feel well-rounded individuals emerge when they have a well-rounded education.

This idea of mastery over test taking seems foreign to people who question us, but all I need to do is take a look at the data to see that we are truly headed in the right direction. Hopefully one day the American school system will hop on board, drop the “standardized” testing, and work to achieve across the board subject mastery.

Until that day *oh who am I kidding…until TBM reach college age* we are educating at home. Don’t like our educational choice? Well you can go Google national stats for math, reading, writing, science, and history, and then come question me about our choices. Or not. The choice is yours, just like the choice in how our children are educated is ours.

To the homeschooling skeptics I present to you our nation’s report card. Enjoy.

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink of it deeply, or taste it not, for shallow thoughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking deeply sobers us again."~Alexander Pope

Copyright(c) 2011 Rayven Holmes


  1. Just came across your blog from Picket Fence Blogs and LOVED your post here. I'm passionate about truth in education and from my home educating in Australia vantage point I look across the vast seas to see a 'proud country' sink backwards academically. It's a difficult path to be a home edder, especially one who is willing and eager to tackle secular science! I absolutely LOVE your Alexander Pope quote and I'm shamefully copy/pasting it in my Facebook feed to stir some pigeons!


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