|Back to July Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 210||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||JULY 2003|
|Homeschoolers Outdo High Schoolers on Test |
Andy Schlafly of Far Hills, New Jersey, taught the American History course to 30 homeschoolers, including several on the internet. They met only one morning a week for 2 1/2 hours for a 15-week period. Internet pupils interacted with the rest of the class by emailing questions and comments to Mr. Schlafly. Students completed weekly assignments emphasizing conservative and Christian themes in our heritage. They learned American history without the liberal spin that discourages and depresses so many high school students.
Four of the homeschoolers earned college credit by acing the CLEP exam at the end, even though they are years away from college age. Ten students were so inspired that they volunteered for a writing program over the summer. "Whoever knew that one could actually enjoy history?" exclaimed a student who scored 760 on the SAT II. "You won't believe this," declared an internet student in reporting her score of 720.
"History is easy to learn without the liberal gloss," Schlafly explained, "and history can best be understood as a march toward conservatism."
Students particularly enjoyed the weekly debates on controversial issues. Should we support a balanced budget amendment? How about women in combat? The most heated debate of the spring was on the issue of nullification. Did states have that power under the Constitution? The class was evenly split.
Class attendance remained very high throughout the course, and not a single student dropped out. The demand even triggered a waiting list. Prizes were awarded both for achievement and improvement. Parents were amazed at how motivated their children became.
At the outset, many thought it too ambitious for the students to take the SAT II after only a half-year course. High schoolers meet every day for an entire year, and even then only the better history students take the exam. Schlafly explained, "We had a unique advantage over high school students. The home-schoolers could learn history in a logical manner, without the distortions demanded by liberals who control education."
For example, the Republican Party's opposition to abortion is a logical development from its earlier opposition to slavery - but liberals will never admit that. Ronald Reagan's rise to power and our subsequent prosperity mirrored that of Warren G. Harding and James Monroe, and will be repeated again in the future.
Ranking the antebellum presidents by how conservative they were was a popular assignment. Many students reached similar conclusions independently. "Will history repeat itself in the election of 2004?" was another provocative assignment. Though young, the students appreciated the many references to current events provided during the course.
The central role of religion in our history was a basic theme. It is impossible to understand American history without it. Every student learned the prophetic words in George Washington's Farewell Address: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports." The numerous references to God in Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address were also emphasized.
Demand is overwhelming for an encore this fall. Schlafly plans to offer the course again in September. Individual and group rates are available. Email Andy at [email protected] for more information.