We do not believe there is just one way to teach any topic, including spelling. Children deserve to learn in the way that is easiest and most comfortable for them. The education of the young should never focus on the adults goals or convenience but on the needs and abilities of the children.
Wave 3 Learning, Inc. was founded in June of 2010 to carry forward the long record of success achieved with Sequential Spelling and to transition the curriculum into the 21st century. We see ourselves in the context of a rapidly changing educational universe characterized by a much broader range of opportunities than before. Children, so long seen as the material of education rather than the beneficiaries of education, are now moving to the forefront in the consideration of all levels of educators. We support this from the experience of our own children and that of hundreds of thousands who have benefited from Sequential Spelling. A learning challenge is no longer a sentence to a lifetime of constrained life choices, but just another attribute of our children's growth and development that can be remedied with care and effort. We hope to help bring the best of institutional education and the best of home education together in one child-centric format, dedicated to the advancement of the children's educational needs. This is "Wave 3" that we foresee.
The first wave of education began with the Dawn of Time and continued through about 1850. If one event marked its end, it would be the publication of The Communist Manifesto. This wave was almost entirely home education. Education focused on useful skills learned at home from parents or other relatives and often reading. Mathematics were much more rarely taught beyond the rudiments of counting and arithmetic.The State took no part in the education of the vast majority of children. Students who took on formal education usually did so at church supported institutions.
The second wave of education began with early experiments in community education in places like Massachusetts which provided "Common Schools" funded by the local community corporately. This began in the eighteenth century. When revolutions broke out all over Europe in 1848, the interest in universal education as a means of achieving equality and republican forms of government gained powerful support. It was into this series of events that documents like The Communist Manifesto inserted themselves to inform and direct the popular uprisings. While the revolutions of 1848 mostly failed, the concept of free and universal education, funded and controlled by the state, caught on. Education was seen as a means of inculcating nationalism, preparing workers for the discipline of an industrial workplace, and forging unitary nation-states around common languages. Dialects and regional identities gave way to a national consciousness born and nurtured in the shared experience of the state-funded classrooms. Literacy became almost universal in North America and much of Europe and among the European-derived populations of colonies all over the world. Knowledge of mathematics and science, so critical to the developing industrial economies of the West, became much more common. The exclusion of the Church from this process, to as great an extent as possible, was seen as necessary to enable modern, scientific topics to be taught.
The third wave first appeared in acts of rebellion. Parents of faith, parents of children being left behind because of learning disabilities, and parents who feared the disintegrating cultural consensus of the West began first in secret and then more and more openly to resist the demands that the State be allowed to educate their children. If any event marks the beginning of the third wave, it is the reemergence of home education in the 70's and 80's. Parents successfully petitioned to regain the right to direct their children's education personally. While institutional education continued to founder and numerous experiments were undertaken to reform it around the edges, the new home education expanded rapidly. Before the 20th century had ended, home education was once again legal in all fifty states.
For those who believe in home education, however, one challenge remains almost insurmountable: home education, as successful and effective as it is, lies outside the ability of most parents to do. Time, money, lack of teaching skills and knowledge deter most parents who would undertake home education from doing so. A means must be found to integrate the best of institutional education (teaching specialists, physical resources like science labs), with the best of home education --customized learning and strong teacher focus. It is this challenge that Wave 3 Learning, Inc. seeks to positively affect the educational marketplace, making it easier and less expensive for parents to home educate.