Homeschooling and After Schooling
My husband David, a mathematician, and I home school our kids essentially because we think we can provide a better, more flexible, more fun, and more thorough education than Madison and Ella could receive in a traditional school setting. Even when the girls were in school, though, we regarded their education as our responsibility. Many parents share this view, so even those who are "after schooling," or even just making sure they are on top of what their kids are learning, can use and enjoy this section.
Every family approaches education differently. Over the last few decades, several identifiable home schooling trends have emerged: School-at-home, classical, unschooling, Charlotte Mason, eclectic, unit studies, religious-based, and child-led learning are just a few of the methods, but few families fall strictly into a single category. And few families look to a single resource as their main source of curriculum! If I had to name our approach, it would be rigorous-eclectic. I borrow ideas and strategies from many different sources, all with the goal of math — and cultural-literacy. I look all over the web to find free resources, reviews based on others' experiences, and strategies for engaging kids in learning.
Many of my friends who are not themselves home schooling use these same resources and ideas for supplementing their kids' education. It is becoming increasingly clear that contemporary math education is NOT adequately preparing students for careers in math and science. At my husband's university where he is a professor of mathematics, the Rochester Institute of Technology, 40% of entering freshman (most of whom are engineering majors) DO NOT GRADUATE, and it is mostly due to their inability to do the college math that is required for advancement. Many of these students are profoundly shocked... they have gotten A's or B's in math throughout high school, but they are not prepared with the automatic math skills required to move on in college. Parents are increasingly starting to realize that they must themselves take steps to ensure that if their child is interested in math or the sciences, career doors are not slammed in their faces because of poor preparation when they are young.