Don’t exclude Homeschooled Children

Did you know that Connecticut is one of the 21 states that doesn’t allow homeschooled children to participate in sports and other activities in public schools? There are approximately 1.7 million homeschoolers in the United States ( A House Divided; Homeschool Students on School Sports Teams ), and only 25 states in the U.S. allow homechooled children to play public school sports. At this current time, more than 19 states allow home-schooled children to participate in public school activities ( some with requirements ), while 21 other states only allow children with full enrollment to participate in their activities. The state of Connecticut doesn’t allow any homeschooled children to join and participate in their activities, and this is because Connecticut follows the rules of  the CIAC. The CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference ) says that, “Home schooled students are not eligible to participate on CIAC schools’ interscholastic teams”. Only students that are fully enrolled into the school that is under the rules of the CIAC are allowed to play and do the activities at that school.

Image result for homeschool

By excluding homeschooled children from participating in public school sports, its discriminating against parent’s  right to educate their children how they see fit. Everyone should have a right to tryout for and if they make, participate in any organization or  athletic team that their  tax paying dollars support. ( Pro/Con; Should Homeschoolers be Allowed To Participate in Public School Sports? ) There are many positive  benefits for children who play on a school-based sports team, this includes weight control, self esteem, social skills, leadership skills and better academic achievements among children who play on sports teams.  Even though children have the opportunity to attend  public schools in the area they live in, some children choose not to  attend them, and this can be because their parents are in  the military and they move around alot, religion reasons, and bullying issues.  I was very disappointed when I found out that in Connecticut the CIAC wouldn’t allow my friend and travel basketball teammate to tryout for the Dodd team.  So, I wrote to my local representatives asking them to create a new  law that would ban the CIAC from discriminating against home schooled children. All in all, if you pay taxes for the school system and you chose to educated you child at home  your children should still be able to participate in your schools team sports and activities.  It would  benefit the homeschooled children and it would make the school team stronger because you never know the next Michael Jordan or Rebecca Lobo might be homeschooled in your town.  


Malala Yousafzai and the Right to Female Education

Do you ever feel like not going to school because you’d rather be at home doing something better than sitting in a classroom all day? Well most people don’t realize how lucky they are to be getting an education. In Swat Valley, Pakistan girls aren’t allowed to go to school. They stay home and help their mothers. The Taliban were threatening the lives of families that sent their daughters to school. It seemed like the Taliban had complete control over everyone, but not quite.

Malala Yousafzai, the daughter of a school owner was only 11 years old when she spoke up about how the right to education should not be taken away. The Taliban threatened her life but that didn’t stop her. She snuck into school every day with only a few other girls because to her education means everything. One day on the way home from school her bus was attacked by the Taliban. Two other girls were injured but she was the target. Her speeches about education angered them and they wanted to stop her. Malala was shot in the head and many thought that would be the end, but due to the gunman’s shaky hand she survived. Malala is now 18, an author and the youngest person to receive the Nobel peace Prize. She has left Pakistan but travels around the world fighting for the right of education and inspiring millions of people with her story and beliefs. So next time you wish you didn’t have to go to school just remember that other people risk their lives for an education.


Standardized Testing…is it Truly Effective?

Whether it’s the SSATs, SATs, ACTs, or anything else, standardized tests are big here in America and other countries. These timed tests test your knowledge in three sections, reading comprehension, math, and vocabulary and have been around since the mid1800s. But are they really doing us any good? Does your future really depend on how many words you can memorize or how fast you can do algebra? Colleges would look at your score and if you didn’t score well, then you could be in trouble and not get into a good college. So standardized tests aren’t good for this country because they don’t improve student achievement and they are certainly not a proper way to judge student performance and intelligence.

Starting from the third grade, students are required to take these hour long tests that assess their knowledge on math, writing, reading, and science. But do these tests really improve academic achievement and development? No they don’t. In 2001 the No Child Left Behind Act was passed in order to fund schools that teach kids in the poorer districts of the nation. But this act has also required all students to take standardized tests. And since this act was passed, student achievement didn’t really improve. In fact, it plummeted. In 2009, the U.S. went down from 18th to 31st place in the math section of the Programme for International Student Assessment. 18th to 31st. Worldwide. There was a very similar drop in science but the reading remains about the same. So as you can see, these hour long tests don’t actually do us any good. In fact, they can hurt us.

Sometimes, that big number on your test is all it takes to get into that dream college. But is really getting a good score on the SAT or ACT really a good measure of student intelligence? I don’t think so. I understand why math is important and reading also, but is a big vocabulary really what it takes to get into that big university? Yes. It could. And not only that but your job as well. In a study conducted in 2014 by a former dean at Bates College, results show that some jobs though not many still ask candidates for SAT scores recent or not. And those with the higher score are more likely to get the job. Yet even though math and reading are important, there are many other traits that could get you that dream job. Logic, patience, willingness to work with others are some qualities you need in so many job and these tests don’t test any of these traits. And not every job has you go do math or read and write papers. So as you are studying for your SAT think about how it will affect your future.



Should Schools Stop Assigning Homework?

Of course students would say yes to no homework, but that’s because when they think of homework, they think of time consuming school work that they have to do at home when they can be doing other things. Every day students go home with 2-3 hours of homework and not everyone is able to get it done. This is because of how time-consuming it is. Even when they do have enough time to do it they spend way more time than they needed to. Schools in the U.S have decided to completely ban homework or have a no homework policy because homework itself takes up so much time and also immensely stressful. Most teens have to deal with the pressure of having good grades and making sure all of their homework is done before they can do other things. It’s the main reason why students have stress, so they have to stay up late and lose a lot of sleep just to finish it.

I like the idea of no homework so I do agree with the no homework policies schools are trying, but sometimes it would be better to have a few examples to practice with if I’m not understanding something. I mostly disagree with the overload of homework that we usually get daily. I would rather not understand something and ask my teacher about it the next day, than stress over getting the work done when I’m most likely doing it completely wrong. Most students participate in school sports and because the practices take up a lot of after school time this means that they can’t get all of their homework done. Even extracurriculars take up most of our time. As you can see, homework has become quite a problem for many reasons and will continue to be until a better solution is found.


Benefits of Learning a New Language

Even though learning a new language may seem like a very hard thing to do, there are many benefits to learning a new language. Learning a new language can provide brain growth, helping your brain in necessary areas. It can also help with your memory- children who grow up in a bilingual environment have better memories than children who grow up only learning one language. If you grow up in a bilingual environment, speaking two (or more) languages can improve your listening skills because the brain has to work to figure out the different languages. Lastly, knowing two different languages can improve the first language. It can improve the first language by drawing your attention to the rules and format of the language.

In my opinion, all people should start to learn a new language. Knowing two (or more) languages can help with brain growth, memory, listening skills, and improving the first language. For me, learning another language doesn’t just help me- I think it’s fun! It has also helped me learn about a new culture. Although it might be easier to learn a new language by growing up in a bilingual environment, I believe that learning a new language will benefit you in many different ways.