Who came up with school rules anyway? Administrators, looking for ways to maintain safety and order on campus? Curriculum “specialists”, in search of ways to standardize instruction and guarantee equality among students? Teachers, as a way to maintain a schedule and accomplish everything required of them in a day?
Whoever devised the rules, homeschoolers may break them. Daily.
Designed for classroom use, these practices developed from having to manage hundreds of students at one time. Breaking them has little to do with misbehavior, but everything to do with learning.
Which of these rules will you break today?
Rule #1:. Students must adhere to rules regarding restroom use during school hours.
Homeschoolers take bathroom breaks when necessary, not according to a published schedule. Bathroom privileges are never taken away and are never prohibited at particular times of day.
Rule #2: Students must work independently. No cheating.
Homeschoolers may work together to increase fun, learning, and efficiency. Students may learn from one another, or from anyone they like, to enhance the learning process and take advantage of all of the resources the world has to offer.
Rule #3:. No open book tests. All materials must be stowed and out-of-sight during tests and quizzes.
Memorization is not the same thing as learning. Neither is cramming one day, and then forgetting everything the next. How are students expected to learn without consulting the text? Homeschoolers may use texts any time they like.
Rule #4: No resubmissions. The grade you receive will appear on your final, year-end report.
Homeschoolers know that the only way to learn is to practice until they get it right. Receiving a “D” or an “F” does nothing except destroy pleasure, confidence and self-image. Trudging forward without mastery only creates additional D’s and F’s in the future. Resubmissions produce additional learning, and a guarantee that no student progresses until concepts are understood.
Rule #5: Bubbles must be filled in completely and properly, as shown in the sample provided.
Homeschoolers may fill in bubbles if they like — either to measure things they’ve actually been studying, or to create patterns if they prefer. Sometimes, bubbles are useful in science and art, too, because they float and come in pretty colors.
Rule #6: No talking. No tapping. No noise of any kind.
Homeschooled students may talk if they wish, especially if it helps them learn. Many students benefit by reading aloud. Some like to listen to music, bounce on a chair, and tap pencils, too. Many need to bounce ideas off other people. Still others enjoy discussing what they’re doing, leading to greater assimilation and additional connections, anyway. Walls, doors and headphones become particularly useful when breaking this particular rule.
Rule #7: Breaking other rules results in sitting alone at lunch. Or silent lunch for all.
Homeschool moms and dads realize that meal time is valuable time for learning. Taking social time away during lunch robs families of opportunities to model behaviors, reinforce characters and reinforce bonds that may be stressed all morning long. Silent lunch is a greater punishment than most people realize.
Rule #8: No recess/playtime until all work is done.
Homeschoolers know that learning comes from play. Not to mention P.E. credit. Play is great for exercise, good health, practicing sportsmanship, improving coordination, learning rules and so much more. Lots of games teach facts, too. Many kids need movement throughout the day, and not just during recess, either (refer to Rule #6). Taking recess away punishes the children who may need it the most. What’s wrong with a little fun anyway?
Rule #9: All shirts tucked in and pants belted. Other dress code regulations must be followed.
Homeschoolers understand that comfort is not same as unhygienic or sloppy. And the only things they’ve been known to hide under their shirts are puppies and crayon drawings they’ve created for mom and dad anyway. Have you ever been able to do your best when your waist is cinched too tight?
Rule #10: Give everyone a chance and take turns when answering questions. Never answer more often than the other students.
Really? Have you ever tried to silence a homeschooled student who wanted to share what he/she knew about a topic? Enough said.
Have I left any important rules out?