Logging hours has definitely sparked the conversation over at the Well Trained Mind Forum. A few of them actually referenced my blog on logging the hours either by actual hours spent or by the credit hour method.
One of the main issues that I saw arise regarding the hours was the issue of integrity. Some were dismayed with the credit hour system; seeing it as an easy way to get an hour out of five minutes of instruction. However, a closer investigation of the definition of the phrase “credit hour” might be in order for those who have issues with this method or are abusing it.
I hate to track back to public school since the reason so many of us are homeschooling is for the lack of education received there. However, during my public school career I remember two things very clearly. During the hour allotted for us to learn a particular subject some of us where faster than others in our assignments. Some of us got to take out our colors or library books as others still pressed their way through the assignment hour. Everyone learned the allotted lesson for that day, the teacher fulfilled her duty, and the students worked with their assignments until completed. Some had to take it home and finish it and some got to go home and play instead.
Regarding credit hours in the homeschool we may find similiar logic being followed. The days lesson is presented, the child excels and completes the lesson. It took 30 minutes all together even though you have an hour of time allotted. The “hour” is marked. However, the next day, the lesson is presented. The child lacks understanding – you work together; extra problems are added for demonstration, a different approach to the method is tried and success attained. You look at the clock and it has been 1 and a half hours. You pick up the log book and the “hour” is marked. At least, this is how I do it. When the lesson runs short as it does sometimes than extra practice or review is added to the days lesson. Most of the time, however, as many homeschooling families can tell you that time gets made up for. Why do I use credit hours??? Because I’m TERRIBLE at keeping track of minutes, I’m homeschooling 4 children and taking care of a toddler and I’m expecting again. I would literally drive myself insane trying to log in and log off time for each one of my children as I teach. This way I KNOW this is the hour for language, this is the hour for math, this is the hour for reading….you get the picture.
The debate between actual hours recorded and the credit hour method in this instance isn’t actually the issue. The issue lay with the integrity of the homeschooling parent. It would be just as easy for me to cheat writing down my minutes as it would be for writing down credit hours. If you are interested in credit hours simply because you want more on the logs for less work than your child may be better off not to be homeschooled. However, most homeschooling families I know want to give their children the best education possible. Each of us have our own theories on how we do that, we each have our personalities, and each of us have different family situations and demands on our time.
Let each of us remember our reason for homeschooling is the EDUCATION of our children and act with integrity as we teach.