The "Crowded-Out-Curriculum": Are We Shortchanging Our Students?


RE@L Logo 60pxAre our kids today learning the skills they need to be successful in this changing world? Most teachers could answer this with one word: “No!”

But it’s far better to ask the school kids. Their answer is still a resounding “No!” They will tell you why if you ask. They won’t likely choose the word “irrelevant.” They will say it’s called learning, just not real world learning. They will say it’s mostly stuff you now find tested on a bubble sheet. It’s just, plain not real.

We at RE@L say it’s not real, too. Yes, we know kids need basic skills. But the curriculum has become so over-crowded with basics and testing and reteaching and more testing, that there’s no time for Practical Life Skills.

Standards are important! Kids need to know how to read, to compute, to write, to possess a common set of key skills that most everyone needs to get by in life. But in doing that, and adding in repeated testing, we are driving out other important skills.

The arts are among those curriculums that have lost out. They are trying to make a comeback in the new STEM movement: Science, Technology, Environment, Arts & Mathematics. That’s fine, and we support it.

In fact we have products coming down our pipeline that address it.



Coming soon to a school near you: RE@L-world water quality investigation:KidsQ's

Classroom-based and outdoor activities that make learning real.

But more on that later! Back to the what those kids think….



KidsQ'sHere’s a list of some of the questions we hear them asking:KidsQ'skidsIPADKidsQ'sKidsQ's

•   How can I find a job?


•   What do I really want to do with my life? What options to I have? 

 •   What am I good at? What do I dislike doing?

•   Where can I learn the skills to become a competent worker and provide useful services to others?

 •   How can I ever compete in the global market-place?

 •   Most importantly, how can I become successful in my career, give back and enjoy what I do?

RE@L has more Real Life Practical Skills in the mobile app pipeline:

Child Care, Social Life, Teen Wellness, Consumer Life Skills and more……

Why? Because we all know kids today need to know more.

RE@L will be there with useful mobile apps to address those unaddressed, but important topics in the crowded curriculums.

 More exciting real learning tools are coming!

From RE@L!  

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Tom King & Dale LaFrenz

Dr. Tom King has served for over 40 years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in the School of Education. The Saturn School of Tomorrow, formerly a St. Paul Public School, and his visionary response to educational reform, was a lighthouse on the frontier of school change. Tom was an experienced high school teacher of mathematics, a school administrator, and Director of Technology for the St. Paul MN Public Schools. He is also a member of the RE@L Team. Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L and one of the founders of MECC Software who brought “Oregon Trail” to millions of K12 kids everywhere. He has written extensively on the history and evolution of Ed Tech. His work in forging new paths for MECC’S “edutainment" software was instrumental in connecting school-markets, kids, teachers and consumer-markets/kids/parents, and now serves as the new launching pad for RE@L apps and software.

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