Saturday, 18 October 2014

Introducing the *Public Domain Curriculum*

How do low-income families make homeschooling work? Can they? Is homeschooling only possible or acceptable for comfortably middle-class, two-parent families? Should poor families have no choice but to rely on public education, no matter the quality and the needs of their individual child?

The bloggers at Investigate The Landscape believe that education — a solid, quality education that enables people to learn to think for themselves — should be available to everyone, no matter who they are. That "no matter who" includes people of all different ages, locations, socio-economic classes, and life paths.

The Public Domain Curriculum
  • English starts with learning to recognize and write the letters of the alphabet and ends with reading at a college level and writing a research paper.
  • Math starts with learning to recognize the numbers 1-5 and writing those numbers with tally marks and ends with algebra and geometry.
  • The content subjects will focus on providing the information that students need to understand and enjoy books and their world, and to participate as a valuable member in their society. This may be somewhat US-centric, but as we've said, this is a curriculum without copyright so you are free to tweak however you like.

Racism In Old Books and Why So Much Fiction?

"Aren’t old books racist?", some people will ask, personally offended that anyone is still reading these books instead of boycotting them. Some of the authors of these books were provincial and elitist, but we consider it even more provincial and elitist to entirely boycott several centuries worth of literature from multiple countries for any reason. 

This author hopes that parents will teach their children that racism is ONE of MANY human rights violations and that ALL human rights violations are wrong, including those present in our modern literature.

Racism is disgusting. This author does not condone and encourage it. This author also believes that the disempowered moms who will be most attracted to this free curriculum are not required to shoulder all the burdens of all disempowered groups throughout all of time and throughout all of the world. These moms have enough on their plates just meeting the basic needs of their families, and not everyone is called to be a boycotting activist for every cause at every stage of their life.

A literature-heavy curriculum results in students with different sets of skills than those that were explicitly taught with more non-fiction, but I’m not so sure that the skills gained from reading lots of fiction are inferior for ALL students in ALL parts of the USA and in ALL parts the world. Reading fiction gives insight into other people, and it is other people we have to deal with (or avoid) all our life long. For more on the benefits of fiction, see The School of Life's youtube clip:

What about the textbooks that are used? The dated content in most public domain textbooks is a paltry percentage of the whole. The minutiae that never needed to be taught in the first place often represent most of the dated content in textbooks. The most obvious dated material can be easily explained by mom, and the less important and questionable details can often just be skipped. Severely dated material will seldom be scheduled without adequate explanations and support.

I hope my attempt here inspires others with their own unique life experiences to adapt this curriculum to suit their own needs, giving the world multiple options to choose from in educating with only free materials.

- By a Lady

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