K-12 Education


Natalie Fleming’s points on K-12 Education

Knowledge is power. The more knowledge and wisdom of each individual member of our society can attain empowers our communities and nation as a whole. Ignorance is suffering. Institutions of learning should share knowledge as far and wide as possible enriching our lives and society as a whole. Today, children may access the entire collection of human knowledge through simple smart devices. While free play and actually doing are the greatest learning tools, these must be balanced with access to technology to provide the fullest education experience possible for each child. There is no reason for anyone in our society to suffer from the hardships inflicted by ignorance any longer. Smart devices can be used as an aid or a detriment to a child’s education.  The children must be taught the appropriate use of technology and appropriate boundaries.

Learning and education can be a source of joy and enlightenment through curiosity-driven education. Curiosity-driven education allows the children to pursue their own expanding interests at their own pace and through their own insatiable appetite for knowledge. As the child pursues their own interests they naturally pursue skills and knowledge to accomplish their desires.  Our children have educational advantages and opportunities we never dreamed of.

The infinite resources of most homes today provide astounding resources through tech and well-funded libraries for parents and guardians who may wish to homeschool in order for them to reach the potential and needs of that particular child.

  1. A Child’s education is first and foremost the protected right and responsibility of the Parent or Guardian.
  2. The individual states come in second to support or provide education through Community School Districts, community libraries and education outreach to children whose parents are unable to educate full time.
  3. The Federal Government may provide suggestion and additional resources for states unable to provide a full education to children.
  4. The children’s private data must not be collected and shared with federal agencies. The current education model of massive data tracking of children and their families is an immediate threat to the core privacy rights of individuals and families.
  5. Technology resources can and should be used to reach all children.  However, those technologies must not be used to track the children.  Recording of Student Progress by parents or teachers must be minimal by hand, limited to the local and state level and never transferred electronically or via paper to federal agencies.

Natalie raised children that are outside the norms in education needs and enjoyed the opportunity to homeschool at times, use public school, and even dual enrollment when necessary. Just as Natalie’s oldest child began formal education and at the birth of her youngest child, the family faced a terrible tragedy reminding parents to show love and support in education rather than inflicting education on children.  This heart tearing event shaped every choice from that day forward. Natalie covenanted then not to punish her children into “successful” education.  It was a steep learning curve for her especially with children with unique learning challenges, but in the end, she got it.

Nat Knows:  Children learn when they are loved, supported and respected and stop learning when they feel unloved, unsupported and disrespected.  If you have a child that is “failing” you must love them and show them kindness and respect even as they fail.  When children realize that they are loved, then they may choose, and only they choose to pursue their innate abilities.  You cannot punish a child into “success”.  This is a very hard path, but it is worth it.

As a software developer, Natalie thought it would be fun to build a model of one of the Federal Department of Education database systems. Natalie found it massive invasive, and horrific. She stopped at 900+ tables (One table is equivalent to 1 spreadsheet).  Any database system out there can and will be hacked. It is time to set serious boundaries and limits of what the States and Federal Government may access. Foreign and domestic adversaries can and will break through and access anything we build.  Our children’s lives and our lives are none of their business. Privacy is essential to all our freedoms.

A few of Natalie’s favorite education articles.

TED Talk: Sugata Mitra: New Experiments in Self Teaching Youtube

The ‘granny cloud’: the network of volunteers helping poorer children in distant lands to learn. The Guardian

Delayed kindergarten enrollment dramatically reduces ADHD In children, Study Shows Inquisitr.com

A therapist goes to middle school and tries to sit still and focus. She can’t. Neither can the kids. The Washington Post

Kids Gone Wild: Denmark’s Forest Kindergartens Youtube

Outdoor Lessons Double Students’ Attention Span, Study Finds Returntonow.net

The decline of play | Peter Gray | TEDxNavesink Youtube

THE TECHIES WHO ARE HACKING EDUCATION BY HOMESCHOOLING THEIR KIDS Wired.com

The astonishing amount of data being collected about your children The Washington Post.

What’s stored in your school Google Drive account? You might be surprised. Missouri Education Watchdog

Lazarus | SAT, ACT test firms are selling out high school students to marketers LA Times

How the SAT and PSAT collect personal data on students — and what the College Board does with it. The Washington Post