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Should it be possible to choose the study subjects staring from the elementary school?

Lately there have been many serious discussions about the quality of the modern education system. The biggest issue is that students are forced to study subjects they doesn’t like and they are not good at. At the university anyone can choose what to study on the bases of their interests, talents and strengths, but at the elementary school and secondary school there is very small or no chance to choose the content of the education. So should there be a chance to choose the study subjects to learn from the very first school year?

The proponents of the idea claims that everybody is not alike. Some students are great at human sciences, some are better at exact sciences, but some are free minded artists. There should be a chance to work on each children’s talents not to force them all do the same tasks and measure by the same criteria. No one should be criticized because he cannot do something he’s not good at, because there defiantly are some other fields where he is great.

Also forcing to learn everything makes huge load for students. Elementary school students usually spent more than eight hours at school. That is more than time grownups spend at work. Children heads are stuffed with everything at once and they are no able to deal with it. It disturbs them to focus on the subjects they like, because they have to spend a lot of time learning subjects they hate and they are not good at.

On the other hand there are some disadvantages to this idea as well. One of the biggest concerns is that students on such a young age doesn’t know what they want yet and they haven’t discovered their talents yet. There will be no chance for them to understand what they like and what they want if they have to choose few subjects at the very beginning. Maybe someone will understand that he made a mistake as a child and it will be too late to change something.

Another concern is that children will choose only the easiest subjects such as physical education, arts, music etc. No one will be willing to study math, biology, physics and other hard sciences even if they are talented and strong in this field. Children are willing to play and have fun not to actually learn. Of course the final world will have the parents, but still, there will be a less chance to discover talents in hard sciences.

So should there be a chance to choose subjects to study since elementary school? Yes, but not all of them and from specific age. Everyone should study the main subjects such as math, languages, biology, physics etc., at least in first grades. When students understand what they like and what they are good at, they could focus more on the subjects they have chosen, but still study the basics of the most important subjects.

What is bilingual education?

In today cosmopolitan society it is very important to know how to speak in many languages. Usually it is hard to learn the second language, because there is lack of practice. Teachers provide only learning of theories and students doesn’t have a chance to use this language in real life. That is why many schools now choose to provide bilingual education.

Bilingual education is the teaching method by using two languages at the same time. The teachers teaches the students in their native language, but there is also used second language to teach some most important words and phrases. There might be different proportions of both languages used, because there are many different models for this teaching method.

Basically there are two models. First one is meant to help the students who are not talking in the native language of the place they are living. Nowadays here are many multi national countries in the world and lot of students have different nationalities and native languages as well. In this case the teacher mostly speaks in the students native language, but the most important terms and phrases he translates into the native language of the country they are living in. Usually the amount of country’s native language used in teaching is increased during time. The second method is meant to teach the students second language. Then most of the time teacher speaks in their native language and add some terms in the second language. These two models also are subdivided according to impact of the second language and other factors.

The advantages of this education method is obvious – students can learn another language, beside they can learn it not only theoretically, but also practically. They see how words, terms and phrases are used in sentences and they can understand the differences between similar words. Basically, it can help students to learn how to talk in two languages fluently.

There are also some disadvantages to this method. Many people believe that involvement of the other language just disturbs to learn the subject properly. For example, if the terms in math are being taught in two languages student can get confused and there is possibility he won’t be able to tell the difference between terms in native language ans second language. It also takes some more time to teach in two languages and without that teacher could dedicate some more time on teaching the actual subject.

So is bilingual education good or bad? It is hard to tell it clearly. Those who have tried this teaching method usually have good reviews, but there are also some negative stories heard as well. Most of the experts believe that this method gives good results in those cases when student have some basic knowledge in the secondary language used as well. Then the student is able to tell the difference between both languages and he won’t get confused. If student doesn’t know the other language at all, there might be some misunderstandings.

Should higher education be for free?

It is common situation when people are not able to get the higher education just because of their financial situation. Even if the achievements in secondary school were good enough to get into any university, the dream of higher education stops when it comes to paying for it. The only option then is to take the student loan, but that is risky and also not always available, so many smart and talented people are forced to work simple jobs. That means there is something wrong with this system.

The coast of higher education is different in many countries and schools, but in most of the cases the cost for one year of studies is higher that minimum wage. That means it is almost impossible for lower and middle class people to save money for their children education and also it is impossible for student to cover the cost if he works while studying.

That is why many people are forced to take loans at very young age without any guarantee they will be able to give it back. Theoretically student loans are specially designed to students needs. That means student loans must be paid only few years after graduating, but nowadays it is very hard to have well-paid job right after graduating. So practically is lot of cases this system is not working and person can become insolvent, just because he wanted to have higher education and better future.

That seems very unfair. People who really are willing to study are not able to do that. Maybe someone who was great in exact sciences at school now is working as a waiter, just because he didn’t have a chance to use his knowledge and strong mind in the real life. So we could all agree that higher education should be free of charge or at least for reasonable costs, but it is not all that simple.

If students won’t pay, where the money will come from? Universities claim that it is not possible to lower the coast of higher education, because of the high expenses of providing it. Good professors won’t work for free; beside there is need for modern classrooms and equipment, because it is impossible to provide quality education with outdated teaching materials. So with the coast of education, students just cover the expenses of it.

Also the governments are usually not able to do anything about the higher educational system. To provide fully free higher education, there should be some serious budget reallocation needed and then there won’t be enough of money for other important scopes.

So on the one hand, there really is something wrong with higher education system, because it is available only to wealthy people, and the opportunities to study is not based on intelligence or other abilities. On the other hand, there is no one who could support higher education beside students. It is a service that no one will give for free. As long as someone won’t come up with good ideas how to noticeably reduce the costs of providing the higher education, it won’t be possible to offer it for fee, no matter how unfair it seems.

Pros and cons of homeschooling

Nowadays more parents choose to take up homeschooling instead of sending their child to public school. It is almost like a trend, because nowadays the emphasis is on put on child ability to learn individually. Home schooling really is better than private or public school from many perspectives, but it also has some disadvantages. Before deciding which education method is more suitable for your child, take a look at list of pros and cons of homeschooling.

Let’s start with the pros. The most important benefit of homeschooling is the individual approach. If your child is the only student, than all the curriculum is based on his needs and wishes. Your child can choose the subjects to learn. Of course, there are some compulsory subjects, but some are free choice. Also the duration of each subject and theme can be varied according to child’s needs. So it is possible to study more efficiently.

Also homeschooling will cause less stress. Especially younger children are afraid to go to public schools. Unfortunately, nowadays students can be cruel to each other. Bullying is a serious problem in many schools and if you want to protect your child from that, homeschooling is a great option.

Also the free schedule is a huge advantage. Although the amount of studies remain the same, it is possible to adjust time to child’s and whole families’ needs. You can be sure your child won’t miss any important events and will be able to take part in all the family vacations. Also you won’t need to worry about skipping school and delaying works in case of child sickness.

Everything seems great so far, but let’s also looks at the cons. First of all, it takes a lot of time for parents to teach their child. It is almost impossible to connect fool time job with homeschooling. Even if you hire a tutor, there is a need to get involved into the teaching process. So homeschooling is not available for anyone.

One of the biggest issues is lack of socializing. Your child won’t meet other students so it will be a lot harder to make friends. Although there are other ways how to meet new people, yet the school is a place where usually children are socializing more. If you want to provide normal childhood to your kid, you have to either send him to public school or find some other equivalent ways how to meet their peers.

The last disadvantage of homeschooling is the lack of life experience. Unfortunately children, who study at home, can’t get the same experience. When they grow up, they usually are a lot more frustrated and copes bad with difficult situations. That might sound rough, but some problems at school can teach your child some valuable lessons and it will ease the entire life.

When you clearly see all the pros and cons it should be a lot easier to make a decision about the teaching methods of your child.

Is private school worth the money?

Private schools are considered to be very prestigious, but they are also very expensive. At the same time public schools are totally free of charge, so is it really worth to spend so much money on your children’s overall education? Lot of parents really believes that it is a good investment into child future, but before sending your children to private school, there are some things to consider.

The factors that attract parents the most are smaller size of classes, better teachers and higher academics. Most of the private schools really provide all of this, so theoretically it is possible to learn more, but there are also a lot of good public schools. Actually, if we compare student’s achievements in public and private schools, there is no clear superiority over one of them. There are good private schools and good public schools as well, so before choosing a private school, take a closer look at school ranks. Maybe you can find something even better among public schools.

Next thing to think about is the location of the school. There is a lot less private schools than public schools, so be prepared that appropriate private school might be located many miles away from your home. That means you will also need of transport or accommodation for your child. If there are some good public schools nearby, take a closer look also at them. Maybe student from these public schools even have some better academic results that students from private schools.

Also think of other things beside academics. School is not just a place where your child will have education. It is also a place where to socialize. As there are smaller classes in private schools and students come from remote places, there is a lot smaller chance that your child will be able to make some friends. Also it is better if your child meets all kind of people. It will help to expand horizons and learn more about real life.

Also think of the coasts. Even if you can afford it, think if you really should. There are so much other ways how to support your child with this money. The costs of private schools usually are close to costs of collages. Those are several thousands in a year. Maybe it is worth to send your child in public school and provide an opportunity for him to attend some very good summer school with special educational program. Usually children learn a lot more in that kind of schools, because there is interactive education program.

In the conclusion we can say that many private schools are in the same level of academic results as best public schools. There are some exeptions, but in general they don’t differ that much. So it really is more about prestige, not the level of education. If you think it is worth to pay the money for the prestige, than you can choose private school.

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