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Final Word: Grade-school kids belong in classroom, not online

It’s official: I don’t like online education for grade- schoolers. I don’t think it should be a viable alternative for anyone under the age of 14 unless he or she has a disability that makes it impossible or unhealthy for them to attend school.

Online college makes a lot of sense for some kids.
Online courses in high school could too, under the right set of circumstances.

But elementary school? Come on.

The article pointed out the funding problems that occur when a student attends a school AND takes an online class inside a district. The district loses a reimbursement for a cost they likely pay whether or not that child is in his or her seat all day.

With school funding per pupil in Arizona at an all-time low, we certainly don’t need our kids to lose any more funding.

But aside from the funding question, I have always wondered about the worth of an online GRADE SCHOOL curriculum.

Am I supposed to believe that the experience my fourth-grader is getting at school today is ANYTHING like the experience he would get by logging on from home?

Nope. His day starts at 8 a.m. with prayer in the courtyard, and from that moment until 3 p.m., I trust those amazing teachers to get inside his head and get him excited about math, science, and reading.

But those seven hours? They are 50 percent about the schoolwork, as far as I’m concerned. The other 50 percent of his time is spent learning how to get along with others, show respect for teachers and other adults, and adapt to social norms that will help him succeed in the real world.

I want him to recite a poem he memorized in front of class.

I want him to get picked as team captain in gym class and play his cards right when it comes to picking his team members, boys AND girls.

And I want him to get in trouble a bit, not because I want him to misbehave, but because I want him to feel the sting of authority once in a while. It’s good for you.

You can’t get that by logging into the fourth grade.


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