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I think we need new forum guidelines - Page 3  

post #41 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen'nZoe View Post

I didn't read the thread in question - from the title it just appeared that it would be all drama and little substance. That said, I am totally opposed to "support only" forums. Really, what's the point? If I come here with an issue seeking advice, it is because something I am doing is not working.

 

Personally, I wouldn't be posting with an issue seeking advice in a support only forum. Such forums do serve a purpose, especially when someone is making choices that are  rejected by the majority of people. I had a son in public school for 13 years, ending just a few weeks ago. I never once had do defend my decision to public school him (even though it was made against my own better judgment, because I felt I had no other option). I've been homeschooling for a whopping three years, in a location that's actually very homeschooling friendly, compared to many, and have been advised to give it up, because I'm tired (I was tired when ds1 was in public school, too) and frustrated (nowhere near as frustrated as I was with the school system - and nobody suggested I pull ds1 out), and dd1 isn't quite up to grade level in reading or math (ds1 wasn't up to grade level in math at three years older...and he'd had straight As for two solid years). So, sometimes support forums serve the purpose of simply reminding us that we're not the only ones making a given choice, that said choice can work out, that such-and-such obstacle doesn't mean it's not working, etc.

 

How does it help to only accept input from people who've made decisions similar to mine? Aren't I more likely to get a greater variety of ideas if I am hearing from people who have made decisions different from mine?

 

If someone is posting to a support only forum, they're frequently not looking for a variety of ideas. They're looking for someone to tell them they're not screwing up their kids for life, because their child is a bit behind on reading, or doesn't have that many friends, or, is spending their day at a B&M "institution". I'm inclined to feel that support forums are more important for choices that are out of the ordinary, and not the typical or "done" thing. But, MDC becomes complicated that way, as the atypical decision is frequently the forum norm, so the people here making the more usual, "mainstream" choice are frequently the ones who end up feeling attacked and left out. it kind of sucks, all around, to be honest.

 

And, yes of course, sometimes there are those unhelpful "Public schools are evil, and that's why I homeschool" posts. They aren't helpful, but really, they are no skin off my nose. When I see a post like that, honestly, I just think that it comes from a place of ignorance about our diverse public school system in this country and I ignore it. Easy-peasy!


I get that the posts aren't helpful, but can be ignored, but I'm not sure what the diversity of the system has to do with the situation you're talking about. If Poster A is having Problem X with the public schools in her area, and Poster B says "this is why we homeschool", then presumably Poster B is talking about the same problem. It doesn't really matter if that problem doesn't apply to every public school in the country, because it does apply to both posters involved in that part of the discussion.


ETA: I have no personal opinion about whether LAS,specfically, should be support only. While I haven't quite adjusted to the idea yet, I no longer have a learner in the public school system (well, I kind of do, because of the approach to homeschooling that I chose), so the current status of this particular forum is largely irrelevant to me, personally. But, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with having support forums in place.

 

Wow...I really don't have a child in public school, anymore...it's hard to believe after so long!

 

post #42 of 61

I think it is good to differentiate between a support board and a debate board. A board cannot really be both so the choice needed to be made. I think it is a good choice.

post #43 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post





The thread was specifically anti-homeschooling. It wasn't framed in any way as a "positive BM education thread"  or even "here's why we choose school" nor were the bulk of the anti-homeschool comments framed that way.  Homeschoolers weren't crashing a thread about the benefits of school. They were discussing the merits of their own educational choice.

In the homeschooling forum any threads that have even a whiff of an anti-school element to them are shut down or moved within 2 or 3 posts, even if they are intended to be a discussion about why people choose one forum of education over another.

 

 




Well then I guess it's a matter of consistency, and I know we're in the process of finding a new balance. My experience is that anti-establishment statements (anti-school) are tolerated more, but I'm not a consistent enough reader to really know.

 

I found that thread difficult, I think, because I took the question as being in a fair spirit, and then it seemed like there was an avalanche of anti-school posting that made me sorry I'd bothered.

post #44 of 61



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post




ETA: I have no personal opinion about whether LAS,specfically, should be support only. While I haven't quite adjusted to the idea yet, I no longer have a learner in the public school system (well, I kind of do, because of the approach to homeschooling that I chose), so the current status of this particular forum is largely irrelevant to me, personally. But, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with having support forums in place.

 

Wow...I really don't have a child in public school, anymore...it's hard to believe after so long!

 

No idea why I can't quote your whole post, but here goes...


I get your opinion on the matter, but really, I personally still don't see a point in posting in a support only forum. I mean really, most of the posters here don't know what the other posters are really like in real life. Some of us might be ineffectual parents who are not really setting up our kids to succeed in life. So how does hearing a message of support and encouragement from someone who may or may not know what the heck they are doing help? In some cases, I think it might actually be harmful, if a parent is receiving support for something that really isn't a good course of action for their particular situation, you know?

 

Of course, I live in an area where many of the choices made here on MDC are not all that unusual or are at least accepted, making it easier to find support in real life from people I know well and value for the decisions I make. Maybe my opinion on the matter would be different if I lived somewhere else.

post #45 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by _ktg_ View Post

I read the thread in question and personally a large part of me is sadden that it had to be closed because I thought there were many meaningful posts to be had in the discussion.

 

   

 

 

 

 

nod.gif
 

 

post #46 of 61
Quote:

Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
 

Sorry I can't seem to get the quote thing to work at all lately and I can't edit and it's driving me crazy...my comments in italics.
 

That is hardly anti-homeschooling. Some posters were brave enough to share honest, very personal stories so that their experience might help others, and were met with hostility and negativity. It's very disturbing.  

 


There was negativity and hostility, and personal attacks flowing in more than one direction. A number of people were posting their (varying) experiences in the same valid attempt to help others see there is a balance or another perspective and were accused of lying, were personally attacked, or dismissed outright for not having enough experience to post a counter opinion. It doesn't make it any less disturbing but let's not paint one side as solely responsible for the tone of that thread.  

 

 

Every member is responsible for what they post. Every person is capable of expressing themselves in a respectful and thoughtful manner. And if they can't, they don't have to write anything at all. And if they can't stop themselves from posting, then they bear the responsibility for what they write and how it reflects on them.

Absolutely completely agree - that holds true regardless of what forum a thread is hosted in, imo.

 



 

post #47 of 61
Thread Starter 

OPer here---

 

reading other people's thoughts helped me clarify my own feelings.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by _ktg_ View Post

I read the thread in question and personally a large part of me is sadden that it had to be closed because I thought there were many meaningful posts to be had in the discussion. It made me think about  if I entertain the idea, about the research and getting information about the pros/cons - which I believe is called making an informed decision.

 

On the flip side - there were an equal number of derailments in the discussion and I believe that part of it stems from our new UA and MDC still working out the kinks of handling some of these hotter topics.  I hope that we don't go back to shutting threads down - but get some better practice at actually having civil debates.

 


I totally agree with you. I thought the question about possible downsides was a good one, a reasonable question for a mom of 4 year old to ask about the educational method she was considering. I thought the first several pages of the thread provided a really lovely, solid dialogue between homeschoolers and former homeschoolers. 

 

And then it turned into a train wreck.

 

In future, I would like to avoid getting run over by a train. I started this thread in an attempt to figure how to make that happen both for myself and for the other moms who are regulars on this board.

 

I don't see any reason for the guidelines for this board to be different than the homeschool board, but I do see the point about the unschool board being different. I can't find the guidelines for the homeschool board, which is why I used the unschool ones. bag.gif

 

My assumption that the Learning at School board should have a limit on what is allowed is consistent with the rest of mothering.com. The board as a whole has limits -- no threads about the wonders of CIO or spanking for example. Specific boards have more limits -- the religion board is support only, no debate. These guidelines have evolved to make the spaces as safe as possible for the people who frequent them, to help the boards better serve their purpose.

 

My question was for those who frequent this board -- what guidelines would make this the best place possible for you. 

 

(and I don't have my own answer completely figured out)

 

I really don't mind having a reasonable conversation with homeschool moms about pros and cons -- everything has pros and cons. However, I think that this is extremely difficult for some (not all) homeschoolers because they are extremely, extremely defensive. They've taken a lot of crap for doing what is best for the kids, and they are ready to pounce. The see attack when none is intended.

 

Second, I think a respectful dialogue is only possible when those involved agree that there is more than one right answer. I have a lot of respect for Stormbride. From reading her post, I think she sounds like a great homeschooling mom. I feel that same respect back from her -- that even though I'm doing something different, there is a common thread that we are both doing what is right for our children right now.  Without that mutual respect, no real dialogue is possible. Because some homeschoolers truly believe that school is a waste of time and only bad mothers send their children there, they really aren't capable of a respectful conversation with moms whose children attend school (the reverse is also true, moms who believe homeschooling is just a bad idea are in the exact same boat -- it flows both ways)

 

The ironic thing about the train wreck thread is that several us of feel that what is best for each child or even for the same child at different points in their lives is different.  But that got lost in there somewhere. Having a respectful dialogue about making this decision wasn't possible. 

post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen'nZoe View Post



 

No idea why I can't quote your whole post, but here goes...


I get your opinion on the matter, but really, I personally still don't see a point in posting in a support only forum. I mean really, most of the posters here don't know what the other posters are really like in real life. Some of us might be ineffectual parents who are not really setting up our kids to succeed in life. So how does hearing a message of support and encouragement from someone who may or may not know what the heck they are doing help? In some cases, I think it might actually be harmful, if a parent is receiving support for something that really isn't a good course of action for their particular situation, you know?

 

Of course, I live in an area where many of the choices made here on MDC are not all that unusual or are at least accepted, making it easier to find support in real life from people I know well and value for the decisions I make. Maybe my opinion on the matter would be different if I lived somewhere else.

With the unschooling subforum, the point is to have a place to post where the responses will come from an unschooling perspective.  Just like the Montessori and Waldorf subforums.  One wouldn't go on the Montessori subforum and tell people they really ought to do Waldorf.  If someone was interested in Waldorf, they would go there to ask questions and learn with an open mind.  The support forums are so we can not get as many off topic responses.  I am not interested in people advising me to send ds to school if I post on the unschooling subforum.  Not wanting advice that doesn't relate to our lifestyle is exactly the point.  I'm open minded about many things, but some things I have thought long and hard about and I don't want to bother going through the entire process repeatedly to explain to others why I'm not receptive to their advice, when it is coming from a completely different place that I have already explored.

 

That said, I don't think either the Learning at Home or Learning at School forums need to be support only.  People should keep in mind where they are posting and be respectful of other's choices.  Anti-school threads are very quickly squelched in Learning at Home, as they should be.  Many people have kids in school and are also homeschooling, or go from one to the other.  They have experience with both school and homeschooling and can share their experiences in a valuable way.

 

post #49 of 61

 

 

Quote:
It doesn't make it any less disturbing but let's not paint one side as solely responsible for the tone of that thread.  

 

 

I totally agree but I see that still this is happening-------why think things can change if all it is means is to keep blaming ONE side and refusing to look at the other.

 

and oh, the derogatory words!

 

 

 

I do not favor limits here that would overtly bias one side and squelch the other to put forth an agenda. 

 

 

post #50 of 61


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


I really don't mind having a reasonable conversation with homeschool moms about pros and cons -- everything has pros and cons. However, I think that this is extremely difficult for some (not all) homeschoolers because they are extremely, extremely defensive. They've taken a lot of crap for doing what is best for the kids, and they are ready to pounce. The see attack when none is intended.

 


Having read that thread, I have to say it wasn't just the homeschoolers who showed extreme defensiveness and saw attack where none was intended.  I didn't actually see anyone saying anything overly critical of anyone else's choices, or of schooling or homeschooling in general.  The only things people were being harshly critical about were other people's posts and the things they were reading into them.  If everyone who saw a post disagreeing with their own opinion could have just let it go without seeing it as some kind of attack, the thread would have gone perfectly well.

post #51 of 61

 

 

Quote:
That said, I don't think either the Learning at Home or Learning at School forums need to be support only.  People should keep in mind where they are posting and be respectful of other's choices.  Anti-school threads are very quickly squelched in Learning at Home, as they should be.  Many people have kids in school and are also homeschooling, or go from one to the other.  They have experience with both school and homeschooling and can share their experiences in a valuable way.

same here! so true

 

 

 

and as I posted previously - I must walk in BOTH world as well to legally HS in my state---it's not like it a one way all or nothing

 

I see as it was stated things can be removed but placing restriction on who can and can't is dangerous and unwarranted in this section-IMO

post #52 of 61
one point of clarification.  I stated earlier in the thread something like "if you don't like a thread's content then don't read it."  I was referring in general to my belief that there should NOT be a predefined set of subtopics or types of people who can post in a forum (i.e. no homeschooling posts and no homeschoolers).  And that if something comes up that is a trigger for you personally, then it might be best not to "go there."
 

I do, however, see that once you are involved in a thread , especially when you feel you are personally being attacked, it isn't realistic advice to just "not read it."  (Well, I suppose that is always an option, but if hurtful things are being said the "victim" shouldn't just have to leave the thread or ignore it.)  So my apologies if anyone misinterpreted it to mean that they weren't attacked in that thread or that they should have just ignored it.  As I have said on this thread and the other thread, I think there were a lot of unnecessarily harsh words spoken by folks on both "sides" of the debate and I think the thread would have been very helpful and interesting if that had not occurred, and, undoubtedly, a lot fewer feelings would have been hurt.  Also, to the extent that my posting the question, or wording the title of the thread as I did triggered any of the unpleasantness, I sincerely apologize.  

 


Edited by SaveTheWild - 7/13/11 at 9:36pm
post #53 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post



 One wouldn't go on the Montessori subforum and tell people they really ought to do Waldorf. 


Except there is a thread there right now, and that is basically what the OP has suggested. There is a pretty clumsy attempt to dress it up in an inquiry/discussion format, but it's awfully transparent. And that thread has been allowed to remain. I think it's the only time I've felt it necessary to post something intentionally rude at MDC, but it reflects my genuine, spontaneous response when I first read the OP. (Outright disbelieving, burst of belly laughing).  

 

ETA: BTW, I think that thread should be allowed to remain, just for the amusement that OP provides. 

post #54 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post




Except there is a thread there right now, and that is basically what the OP has suggested. There is a pretty clumsy attempt to dress it up in an inquiry/discussion format, but it's awfully transparent. And that thread has been allowed to remain. I think it's the only time I've felt it necessary to post something intentionally rude at MDC, but it reflects my genuine, spontaneous response when I first read the OP. (Outright disbelieving, burst of belly laughing).  

The "Montessori is selfish" thread?  That got a similar reaction from me.  Being the person's first post, I didn't take it seriously and wouldn't use it as an example of how MDC is so much.  I guess the mods are working out how much to mod.  Maybe some only move/remove threads when they get flagged and no one flagged it, sort of a community approach to what they want their subforum to be (like Craigslist)?  Maybe your response was so perfect nothing more needed to be said?  We do get similar things in threads in Unschooling and someone usually reminds the poster that it's a support subforum and they get quiet or polite.  When I say "one wouldn't" I mean anyone with manners and familiar with MDC should realize it's inappropriate.
 

 

post #55 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post



The "Montessori is selfish" thread?  That got a similar reaction from me.  Being the person's first post, I didn't take it seriously and wouldn't use it as an example of how MDC is so much.  I guess the mods are working out how much to mod.  Maybe some only move/remove threads when they get flagged and no one flagged it, sort of a community approach to what they want their subforum to be (like Craigslist)?  Maybe your response was so perfect nothing more needed to be said?  We do get similar things in threads in Unschooling and someone usually reminds the poster that it's a support subforum and they get quiet or polite.  When I say "one wouldn't" I mean anyone with manners and familiar with MDC should realize it's inappropriate.
 

 

 

I like the idea of a community approach with members mostly policing themselves, but that can result in group-think and a bullying atmosphere. It's one thing to school a mischief-maker or run a trouble-maker out of town, but community policing can make it hard to post an unpopular but valid opinion. I know there's been a lot of discussion about moderating lately and I've followed the threads in Q&A closely. I haven't contributed because I'm still sorting out my thoughts about it. I prefer free discussion until I see something that I think is unfair or inappropriate so I'd like some moderation for content. Except moderation for content tends to stifle conversation. I like to read thoughtful, well-balanced discussions so I'd like moderation for tone. Except tone can be hard to interpret when it's in writing.

 

In short, I'm one of those awful people who wants it all different ways. Since that's impossible, and probably not healthy, I favour less restrictions from mods, overlooking the stuff I don't like and maintaining my own personal guidelines about posting. Although I break my own rules every once in a while (yes, the "Montessori is selfish" thread). And frankly, in trying to word things without being offensive, I have always thought that my writing at MDC is stiff and unnatural and tends to be prolix. That's me trying hard not to let the nasty out. 

 

 

post #56 of 61


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I don't see any reason for the guidelines for this board to be different than the homeschooling board, but I do see the point about the unschool board being different. I can't find the guidelines for the homeschool board, which is why I used the unschool ones. bag.gif

 

My assumption that the Learning at School board should have a limit on what is allowed is consistent with the rest of mothering.com. The board as a whole has limits -- no threads about the wonders of CIO or spanking for example. Specific boards have more limits -- the religion board is support only, no debate. These guidelines have evolved to make the spaces as safe as possible for the people who frequent them, to help the boards better serve their purpose.

 

My question was for those who frequent this board -- what guidelines would make this the best place possible for you. 

 

(and I don't have my own answer completely figured out)

 

I really don't mind having a reasonable conversation with homeschool moms about pros and cons -- everything has pros and cons. However, I think that this is extremely difficult for some (not all) homeschoolers because they are extremely, extremely defensive. They've taken a lot of crap for doing what is best for the kids, and they are ready to pounce. The see attack when none is intended.

 

Second, I think a respectful dialogue is only possible when those involved agree that there is more than one right answer. I have a lot of respect for Stormbride. From reading her post, I think she sounds like a great homeschooling mom. I feel that same respect back from her -- that even though I'm doing something different, there is a common thread that we are both doing what is right for our children right now.  Without that mutual respect, no real dialogue is possible. Because some homeschoolers truly believe that school is a waste of time and only bad mothers send their children there, they really aren't capable of a respectful conversation with moms whose children attend school (the reverse is also true, moms who believe homeschooling is just a bad idea are in the exact same boat -- it flows both ways)

 

The ironic thing about the train wreck thread is that several us of feel that what is best for each child or even for the same child at different points in their lives is different.  But that got lost in there somewhere. Having a respectful dialogue about making this decision wasn't possible. 



I wander in and out of this board from time to time mostly because my kids are just starting out in school.  It is nice to have the space at MDC to discuss B&M education because when I first began reading (and then joining), it seemed the only acceptable option was choosing something off the beaten path (montessori, waldorf  or homeschooling).  I saw a thread not too long ago which was basically asking if HS was the next step in being AP.  IMO as you have mentioned - I think a small number of members hold that belief that you (in the general sense) are not AP/NFL enough or a "bad parent" if one is not x, y or z'ing.  This is my own general opinion though, and I know it has been brought up in several threads recently which have just devolved into vitrol and I do NOT want to get into here on this board.  I'm simply setting the context for my statement.

 

I absolutely agree with your second point - respectful dialogue is only possible when there is the recognition of having more than 1 answer to the question at hand and that it does not have to be an all or nothing scenario when deciding educational options.  There is fluidity and change based upon a child's needs and yes that notion certainly got lost in the thread as it continued forward. 

 

As for support only, I see it that it has pros/cons.  The spirtuality forum is support only which is great many times, but it also hosts a subforum of Religious Studies where debate/discussion can occur (again respectfully from what I've seen).  So my proposal would be if it goes support only, to offer an outlet for debate & discussion to occur.  

post #57 of 61

I would do a general education forum where debate can happen, plus support only  subforums of "school" and "homeschool" (with smaller subforums as desired).

 

There are so many people struggling to figure out their schooling options -it would be nice to have a place where all voices are heard and debate can happen.  There are other numerous cross-over issues. 

 

OTOH, as someone who uses subforums it is nice to have a place to talk amongst those who are exploring things from a similar POV  without having to defend yourself and explain thing over and over.

 

 

post #58 of 61
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post  without having to defend yourself and explain thing over and over.

 

 


 

yes, that's really part of it. I'm really done defending myself. We've been to hell and on education issues. For one my kids there are NO easy solutions. I feel have more in common with a parent who agrees that different things work for different kids than one who believes in a one size fits all solution, even if their child were sitting right next to mine in school!

 

One of the completely bizarre things to me about the way the other thread went and the degree to which I felt attacked is that I completely lack judgment about how other people educate their children. Because I have wrestled so deeply with this issue myself, I am not deluded enough to think I could possible know what is best for someone else's child.

 

We aren't even all starting with the same options. Public schools vary widely. Private schools vary even more widely, and are less accessible. Homeschooling is an option for some families, but not others, and it is different in different places -- some  cities have more options for enrichment and social activities, and some moms have far more support than others. Some kids seem more wired for homeschooling than others.

 

I'm committed to my children's best interest and LONG over any philosophical views.  Right now I'm torn between not wanting to tell our story again to avoid the discomfort of feeling judged by people who don't even know me, and the desire to be open in the hopes that it could spare another child and mother the tremendous pain that we went through a few years ago.  Deep pain that many of you can't imagine that burned away any views I had on education philosophy.

 

I don't want to end up in a situation again where I am revealing deeply personal things and others are arguing their philosophy. I'm questioning how much personal information I want to share on mothering any more at all.

 

I used to consider this site a safe place, but I no longer do.

 

I just got beat up for talking about the tremendous difficulty in finding an educational option that worked for my kid with autism. Some posters almost treated it like a sport.

post #59 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 


 

 

 

One of the completely bizarre things to me about the way the other thread went and the degree to which I felt attacked is that I completely lack judgment about how other people educate their children. Because I have wrestled so deeply with this issue myself, I am not deluded enough to think I could possible know what is best for someone else's child.

 

I am sorry you were hurt. hug2.gif

 

 

 

I'm committed to my children's best interest and LONG over any philosophical views.  Right now I'm torn between not wanting to tell our story again to avoid the discomfort of feeling judged by people who don't even know me, and the desire to be open in the hopes that it could spare another child and mother the tremendous pain that we went through a few years ago.  Deep pain that many of you can't imagine that burned away any views I had on education philosophy.

 

Disclaimer:  I have not read much of the the other thread - hope I am not covering any covered topic.

 

I like discussing philosophy.  In the final analysis I know  individuals and families come before philosophy but that does not change the fact I like discussing it.  I am not sure how to have philosophical discussions  in a place where people are sharing deep feelings but I do think different forums might help serve that need.   At a minimum you will not be sharing personal feeling with people who wish to debate.

 

I like how the Vaccine forum is set up - the main vaccine page is open to debate (and you know that going in) and the subforums are not.  TBH the subforums are of occasionally infiltrated but you have more teeth when you tell them to knock it off. smile.gif   

 

 

 

I just got beat up for talking about the tremendous difficulty in finding an educational option that worked for my kid with autism. Some posters almost treated it like a sport.

 

I think we sometimes forget there are humans on the other end of these screens....not good.

 

 


 

 

post #60 of 61



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 

I used to consider this site a safe place, but I no longer do.

 

I just got beat up for talking about the tremendous difficulty in finding an educational option that worked for my kid with autism. Some posters almost treated it like a sport.


never mind - so incredibly not worth it. I'm sorry you and others were hurt in by comments made from both sides that thread. It wasn't nearly as one sided as you are portraying.

 

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