This is a question that almost everyone askes, people who are exploring the idea of homeschooling to those who have been homeschooling for a while. But stop for just a minute and really let that question sink in…what do you need to teach your child?
Maybe a better way to phrase it is,“What does your child REALLY need to know?”
According to the Michigan Merit Curriculum, which Michigan public schools follow for graduation requirements,all children need to complete the classes listed below:
Mathematics – 4 credits: including Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, and one math course their senior year.
English Language Arts – 4 credits: which are English Language Arts 9, 10, 11 and 12.
Science – 3 credits: including Biology, Chemistry or Physics and one more science credit
Social Studies – 3 credits: including U.S. History & Geography, World History & Geography and a half credit in each Civics and Economics
Physical Education and Health: 1 credit
Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts: 1 credit
Language other than English: 2 credits
Online Learning Experience of some kind.
These are theminimum credits that Michigan requires for their public school graduates, but are they REALLY what your child needs to know?
It is important to stop and ponder these questions. What is your goal in educating your child? Is it to get them to pass their high school classes and get into college? Or is it to help them acquire the knowledge, learn the skills, and develop the habits they will need tobe prepared for the rest of their life?
Below is a list of traits that will serve your child better than a passing grade on any test.
- Being on time.
- Having a good work ethic.
- Putting forth your best effort.
- Exhibiting positive energy and good body language.
- Having a positive attitude.
- Being passionate.
- Being coachable.
- Going the extra mile.
- Being prepared.
- Having respect.
This list looks a lot different than the Michigan Merit requirements. Are the academics important? Yes. But are they the most important? Absolutely not! As you focus on the academics, be sure to focus on what is really important. What does your child need to learn, what skills do they need to know, what characteristics do they need to develop and what habits do they need to practice to live a good life? Be sure that you give the most focus to the things that are the MOST IMPORTANT!