Why use a functional curriculum?

  • Adapted from: My Older Brother Daryl by Preston Lewis

    18 years old.

    Been in school 12 years.

    With lots of "individual instruction."

    He has learned to do a lot of things he couldn't do before!

    He can put 100 pegs in a pegboard in less than ten minutes.

    But, he can't put quarters in vending machines.

    Upon command he can touch his ear, leg, elbow, and hair.

    But, he can't blow his nose when he needs to.

    He can do a 12 piece puzzle, and color a picture staying in the lines!

    But, he prefers music, and was never taught how to use a radio or CD player.

    He can now fold a piece of paper evenly in half.

    But, he can't fold his clothes!

    He can sort blocks by color- up to 10 different colors!

    But, he can't sort clothes: whites and darks so he can do laundry.

    He can roll Play-Doh and make wonderful play snakes.

    But, he can't roll cookie dough and cut out cookies.

    He can string beads in alternating colors and match a pattern.

    But, he can't tie his shoes.

    He can sing his ABC's and name all the letters of the alphabet.

    But, he can't tell the men's room from the ladies' room when we go to McDonalds.

    He can identify the weather and choose the correct weather picture to put on a weather chart.

    But, he still goes out in the rain without a raincoat or umbrella.

    He can identify different sports in pictures by pointing to them.

    But, he can't walk up the steps or bleachers unassisted in the gym to go to a basketball game.

    He can count to 100 by rote memory!

    But, he doesn't know how many dollars to pay the waitress for a $3.95 McDonalds' coupon special.

    He can put a cube in a box, under a box, beside a box, and behind a box!

    But, he can't find the trash bin in the cafeteria and empty his trash into it.

    He can sit in a circle and sing songs and play "Duck, Duck, Goose."

    But, nobody else in the neighborhood his age seems to want to do that.



    Let's make sure that our children are ready for all of the things that they will need to do in their life....so that they can be the most independent, self-directed person they can be.  I believe in a functional curriculum because LIFE is an ongoing functional curriculum.