Your Education Planning at Home
Education planning is an important part of the learning process. This means 1) having a goal and 2) getting there.
Parents, nobody can do step 1 of educational planning for you. Moreover, parents that have a goal tend to have learners that experience academic success. With less whining, kicking, and screaming along the way. The goal can be flexible, adaptable, and subject to the occasional 180 turnaround. So relax, choose a goal, and change it if it isn’t working. Again, the idea is to have “a” goal, not the perfect end-all-be-all goal permanently carved in stone, especially if you are new to education planning.
Long and Short Term Goals
Short term goals are related to getting though the day. You might say this is a lesson plan.
Short terms goals are also related to getting through the sequence of individual days that you might call a unit, quarter, semester, or whatever. Depending on how you measure school time. You might call this a syllabus, which is basically a set of lesson plans along with a calendar of some sort to plan out all those lesson plans.
But which lessons to plan in the first place? This reflects the intent of the curriculum, which means the outcome of all that schooling. Yes, all of it. Oh my. So what is your long term goal? The outcome of all that schooling?
It’s a loaded question, we are all unique, and yet it can be helpful to use some basic categories to systematically break down your education planning at home. The below goals are sorted from the least to most ambitious. It’s not about reaching the highest goal possible… just decide where on the spectrum your learner is. Academic success is totally possible at all these levels.
Have a Long Term Goal
We move forward on our academic path, slip backwards, side step, occasionally fall on our face, dust our self off, take another step… With a long term goal in mind, this is called “the learning process.” Without a goal, it’s just called chaos. Which of the following long term goals for learning science best resonates with you, here, today? Don’t be afraid to go with your first instinct. Don’t be afraid to change your mind later.
- Just pass a science exam or survive a science course (or whatever). It’s fine. No judgement. We all have appearances to keep up, and in school that means just to pass a science exam or complete a course sometimes.
- Find motivation for school and master basic study skills. School is more fun when your learner gets how it works. Motivation for school comes with understanding the structure. It’s really not much fun when they are confused about the process. Or worse, just waiting for it to end.
- Obtain job skills, such as organizational skills. The idea behind many curricula is simply to help learners get organized and be organized. Organizational skills are a great basic job skill. Also, having organizational skills is important to understand how an organization functions. Thus, having organizational skills is a great way to “fit in” with the culture at work some day. It’s called being employable, the most basic of all job skills.
- Exhibit college readiness, to be able to enter a community college. Examples would be to get a two-year associates degree in environmental science. To get a real job working outdoors, yeah! Or college readiness could prepare one for nursing school to get a nursing degree and have a nursing job. Or college readiness could prepare one to eventually complete a four year degree, with some additional preparation. Many, many other possibilities come from having a two-year degree.
- Do college prep to be actually prepared for a four year college. College is expensive, drop out rates are high, and student loans are un-forgivable (even upon bankruptcy). It’s important to have solid college prep fundamentals in science if your learner may go to college. Faking won’t cut it here, and you won’t be happy with those past teachers that provided more fluff than substance. College prep is especially important if your learner might pursue a Bachelors in Science (B.S.) versus a Bachelors in Arts (B.A.). What’s the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. you ask? About 17% higher lifetime earnings, on average. Not all college degrees are created equal.
- Participate in a pre engineering program. Pre engineering programs for K-12 aged learners are kinda new and thus are few and far between. If your learner enjoys things related to science, medicine, math, computers, technology, gadgets, building, or creating, then pre engineering might be something to consider. A good program is more hands on and thus less boring to interested learners. Plus pre engineering students start learning to develop professional skills long before anybody expects them to “act professional.” What does it mean to be a professional? I am talking about having a professional degree like a doctor, lawyer, pharmacist, MBA, CPA, or engineer. By the way, did you know that an engineering degree is the one professional degree with far fewer years of schooling compared to the others?
- In the new digital economy, it’s also making a lot of sense today to NOT pay $125,000 for a 4-year college education. Yes, it’s one hundred twenty five thousands dollars, on average, and only around 40% of students finish in 4 years. Learners that exhibit motivation, organizational skills, and strong problem solving skills, such as those found in a good college readiness, college prep or pre engineering program, are at a strong advantage at a young age. These are perhaps the potential entrepreneurs that will shape the future world as we continue to transition toward a service based, online economy. Through learning how to apply what they learn from schooling to the real world, especially related to problem solving and communication skills, increasing numbers of talented young adults today are finding a better way to financial freedom that doesn’t involve the traditional school system. They can learn at home, work from anywhere, and avoid the added expense of needing to live in an expensive big city right after college just to get that first real job.
Parent Strategy Sessions with Dr. Scott
Dr Scott is a big fan of educational planning at home. He is always there to help families with educational planning. If nothing else, it makes his job WAYYYY easier when parents have a plan for learners enrolled in his classes;) Plus all the good reasons listed above, too.
Parents can video chat live with Dr Scott for an Education Planning and Parent Strategy Session. It’s totally free for parents. You just have to be Signed Up to receive the weekly schedules and progress reports by email. You can Sign Up here, or use the form below. The Zoom (video chat) link is in the email every week.
ACCUPLACER Test Practice, directly from The College Board, is something you might look at a few years before high school is completed. The College Board is in charge of those exams you need to pass to get into college in the first place. This can certainly add a level of complication to your long term goals which doesn’t exactly relate to the learning process. Like I said previously, in school we just have to pass an exam sometimes to get to the next step.