When my husband and I first started having children, we always assumed that when our kids got old enough they would go to school just the way that we did...by attending public school, learning their lessons during the year and going on to the next grade level at the end of the school year. And that's exactly what our first two children did...up until our oldest got into the third grade. That's we started noticing a problem that started when the school decided to switch to a new math curriculum. Our son, along with other kids in his class, was having trouble with this new curriculum so the teacher also supplemented the work with additional worksheets in the "old" style of teaching math. Unfortunately, the school made her stop the additional help and told her she could only teach from the new math curriculum regardless of whether the kids could learn it or not. We worked with the teacher and the school for the next two years regarding the issues that our son was having with this new math curriculum but to no avail. At the same time, our second son went into first grade were he did amazing...until he was about 3/4 of the way through the school year and the teacher indicated that he was working at such an accelerated pace that she'd run out of things to give him and that there was nothing else for him to work on that year."Don't Let schooling interfere with your education." ~Mark Twain~
Both of these situations seem to be examples of where schooling has gotten in the way of education. In the one case, our oldest son kept getting passed along through the grades even though he did understand most of the math concepts that he had been taught since the third grade...he was going into fifth grade at this point and still working at a third grade math comprehension level. And our second son was being held back from his full potential of learning due to the stipulations of the schools grade level work requirements. Just because a school says this is what the kids have to work with and this is all they are required to learn during a year doesn't mean it's best for the child. We decided at this point that it was in our childrens best interest to start homeschooling them. That way we could let them learn at their own pace and if that was accelerated past their grade level...great. We'd let them learn however much they wanted to learn with no stipulations. It also gives us the freedom to take things slower when need be. It took a year of work with our oldest to get him back on grade level in math but more than that, it took that amount of time to build his confidence back up. He'd become so disillusioned during those two years that we tried working with the school system that he'd lost his will to learn and that's a terrible price for a child to have to pay for letting schooling getting in the way of their education.