I am no longer a supporter of unschooling :( (BIG vent, dont read if ur going to be offended) - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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no this isn't common I graduated in '94 and even in those days before we had cell phones, PC's and internet kids were being tested frequently on their reading and math skills..at least here in Ohio where I grew up.
My issues were noticed at school. I had eye therapy for lazy eye and I have Dyslexia, it wasn't at all rare then. I am sure it is more noticed now but they acted like it was common and no big deal. I graduated in 93.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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But, I did want to make the point about the treatment odf LD's today vs. even 15-20 years ago. I am hard pressed to think that a child would be in 4th grade and be unable to read, and no one knew it. Kids in 4th grade are reading aloud, writing science journals, writing book reports, writing math problems, taking standardized tests (more often than we did, certainly), doing group projects.....I don't know, something doesn't really ring true about that to me.
It didn't ring right to me, either. But, it happened. In this thread, unschooling advocates are being criticized for not heeding the stories of people who struggled "because" of unschooling...but there are kids who struggle in public school, too.

And, my son's issue with times tables and basic math was in 5th grade. He's in 12th now, so it wasn't really that long ago. His teacher went on mat leave about a month before the year ended, and the teacher who came in told me that whole class was behind on math. Okay - so the teacher (wonderful woman and very dedicated) wasn't great at teaching math. That happens. But, all the standardization and testing should, in theory, let us know if there's a problem, shouldn't it? My son was getting As, and he was behind in math. He's never done really well in it since, although a year of tutoring at least brought him up to grade level (he's pulled steady Bs since then).

I'm not saying unschooling works for everybody. But, it also makes no sense to just assume that such-and-such problem in any given child was caused by unschooling or wouldn't have happened without unschooling.

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As Aslyn noted, child find seems to really target those kids with skills that fall outside of developmental norms.
No Child Find here.

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I think a big message is not to ignore when something doesn't seem right.
Yeah...but nothing seemed wrong with ds1 (not sure about my nephew, but I know there were no signs from the school). He was getting straight As, was (and is) in the gifted program and has always had fantastic report cards. Actually, if he'd been home with us all day, every day, I'd have been more likely to notice something was wrong.

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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no this isn't common I graduated in '94 and even in those days before we had cell phones, PC's and internet kids were being tested frequently on their reading and math skills..at least here in Ohio where I grew up.
umm...ds1 had math tests. He had them fairly regularly. He spent...this was a long time ago...think it was an hour a day, three days a week on math, and they did quizzes regularly and tests at the end of each unit. He was going through school only a few years behind my nephew, and I don't think much changed between the two of them, and he was also doing a lot of reading and Language Arts tests and things like that. I'm not sure where I said they weren't being tested. They were obviously being tested and evaluated - that's where ds1 got the "As" on his report card. The tests and evaluations just weren't worth the paper they were written on.

I graduated in 1986, and we got tested on math and reading, too. I actually can't imagine a school system where that wasn't happening.

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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My issues were noticed at school. I had eye therapy for lazy eye and I have Dyslexia, it wasn't at all rare then. I am sure it is more noticed now but they acted like it was common and no big deal. I graduated in 93.
http://www.strabismus.org/strabismus_cure.html
I graduated in '86, and they were definitely aware of dyslexia. I'm not sure they were terribly aware of lazy eye, as mine never seemed to be on anybody's radar. I think the staff and teachers saw it as purely cosmetic. (I actually had cosmetic surgery on it, but that was in '91, long after I graduated.)

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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I graduated in '86, and they were definitely aware of dyslexia. I'm not sure they were terribly aware of lazy eye, as mine never seemed to be on anybody's radar. I think the staff and teachers saw it as purely cosmetic. (I actually had cosmetic surgery on it, but that was in '91, long after I graduated.)
I was about seven when I had eye therapy, that would have been about 1982. I am from Oklahoma; not an area with a super famous medical facility or anything like that. I was in a MASSIVELY huge school district so maybe they just had more resources for staff who were familiar with that sort of thing.

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:50 PM
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Have you had his eyes checked?

The things you are describing are symptoms I experienced due to my eye issues. I had eye therapy when I was younger than your son.
I have a lazy eye too and when I read with my glasses off (like now ), I have to concentrate in order to read many sentences in a paragraph. I can feel my eyes skipping around the sentences picking up words but not really reading from right to left as I should. Generally I do not have this same problem with paper books. I didn't have this problem in school either because I was tested as a small child and around 4 had vision correction.

The thing is, 4evermom, without my glasses I can read message board posts on the computer but that really isn't deep reading. I need my glasses for books or texts on the computer that have multiple paragraphs. Anything that is more complicated than what you see in this thread requires my glasses and concentration.

I know this isn't "allowed" but I went through your back posts and I am afraid that what you are doing is teaching your child how to hide his illiteracy. He could have a vision problem like I do, a learning disability, or he could just need a little extra time or help. What I don't see you doing is guiding him on actually reading. I see you teaching him tricks on how to pass the tests or skirt the rules but in the end that just hurts your DS. The truth is, it is harder to learn to read as an adult than as a child. Stop teaching him how to fake it. Please.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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I was about seven when I had eye therapy, that would have been about 1982. I am from Oklahoma; not an area with a super famous medical facility or anything like that. I was in a MASSIVELY huge school district so maybe they just had more resources for staff who were familiar with that sort of thing.
I thought you meant when you were older. I had therapy for it when I was a kid (5 or 6 or something...maybe even younger - I think it was before I started kindergarten), but it didn't do much. Actually, I don't think it did anything. But, therapies for that kind of thing obviuosly have a range of success.

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
I was about seven when I had eye therapy, that would have been about 1982. I am from Oklahoma; not an area with a super famous medical facility or anything like that. I was in a MASSIVELY huge school district so maybe they just had more resources for staff who were familiar with that sort of thing.
I had eye therapy in the 70s and was tested throughout my life. The therapy made a great difference to where I didn't need glasses. Then when I was preg with DD my vision declined so I needed them again. Now I can see but can't read well without them.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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I thought you meant when you were older. I had therapy for it when I was a kid (5 or 6 or something...maybe even younger - I think it was before I started kindergarten), but it didn't do much. Actually, I don't think it did anything. But, therapies for that kind of thing obviuosly have a range of success.
It doesn't work when you are older. Recent research has shown that there is some success as late as seventeen but after that it probably won't help.

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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It doesn't work when you are older. Recent research has shown that there is some success as late as seventeen but after that it probably won't help.
I guess they've changed the therapies. I was very young, and it didn't help. I ended up opting for a purely cosmetic procedure, so my eye isn't staring out the side of my head when I talk to people (admittedly, it was a pure vanity thing, after a little girl made a comment about my weird, freaky eyes), but that's all they could fix.

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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I had eye therapy in the 70s and was tested throughout my life. The therapy made a great difference to where I didn't need glasses. Then when I was preg with DD my vision declined so I needed them again. Now I can see but can't read well without them.
I couldn't actually read before I had therapy and then once I had the therapy for a bit I started reading chapter books right away. I did end up needing glasses and I do have to wear them all the time. My eyes haven't really gotten worse in some time, so that is good.

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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I guess they've changed the therapies. I was very young, and it didn't help. I ended up opting for a purely cosmetic procedure, so my eye isn't staring out the side of my head when I talk to people (admittedly, it was a pure vanity thing, after a little girl made a comment about my weird, freaky eyes), but that's all they could fix.
We have a different type probably.

I am so sorry. I am sure that was really difficult as a child

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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I don't think of any of that as schooling. Of course, we all filter everything through our own experiences. For me, "school" is defined roughly as "the 10th - and unknown - circle of Dante's hell", and "education" is defined roughly as "learning".
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verb [ trans. ] chiefly formal
send to school; educate : a scientist born in Taiwan and schooled in California.
• train or discipline (someone) in a particular skill or activity : he schooled her in horsemanship | it's important to school yourself to be good at exams.
That's the ONLY definition for the verb, "school", and since it's been turned into a gerund, I can only assume that it's the verb being used here.

I think of "a school" as an institution, but "to school" as to "to educate". And that's not because I read the dictionary--I think it's actually used that way.

I think the term "unschooling" gives the impression that knowledge and skills are acquired without intent, somehow naturally. As if it will... just happen. Because there is no intentional learning going on. It just kind of floats in there. Now, from what I'm reading here that is not what successful unschoolers are doing. But that impression remains, and not only for me.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
We have a different type probably.

I am so sorry. I am sure that was really difficult as a child
You mean a different type of lazy eye? That's possible. I was thinking that therapy may have also improved. I probably had mine about '72 or '73 or something like that.

It was actually as an adult that I reached my limit, but yeah...it wasn't fun. I wasn't ever very good at social stuff and the gratuitous commentary on my eye never helped much.

And...this thread has gone waaaayyyyyy OT now!

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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I don't think of any of that as schooling. Of course, we all filter everything through our own experiences. For me, "school" is defined roughly as "the 10th - and unknown - circle of Dante's hell", and "education" is defined roughly as "learning".
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verb [ trans. ] chiefly formal
send to school; educate : a scientist born in Taiwan and schooled in California.
• train or discipline (someone) in a particular skill or activity : he schooled her in horsemanship | it's important to school yourself to be good at exams.
That's the ONLY definition for the verb, "school", and since it's been turned into a gerund, I can only assume that it's the verb being used here.

I think of "a school" as an institution, but "to school" as to "to educate". And that's not because I read the dictionary--I think it's actually used that way.

I think the term "unschooling" gives the impression that knowledge and skills are acquired without intent, somehow naturally. As if it will... just happen. Because there is no intentional learning going on. It just kind of floats in there. Now, from what I'm reading here that is not what successful unschoolers are doing. But that impression remains, and not only for me.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:05 PM
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I couldn't actually read before I had therapy and then once I had the therapy for a bit I started reading chapter books right away. I did end up needing glasses and I do have to wear them all the time. My eyes haven't really gotten worse in some time, so that is good.
I was tested/treated when I was 4 so I probably couldn't read in either event. for no decline in vision.

One thing, I was told that lazy eye can be genetic so I had DD tested when she was 4 even though she didn't have symptoms. She doesn't have vision issues so far, thank goodness. DS will also be tested when he turns around 4.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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I was tested/treated when I was 4 so I probably couldn't read in either event. for no decline in vision.

One thing, I was told that lazy eye can be genetic so I had DD tested when she was 4 even though she didn't have symptoms. She doesn't have vision issues so far, thank goodness. DS will also be tested when he turns around 4.
My son has Noonan Syndrome, people with that can tend to have strabismus. I have had my son's eyes checked a couple times (he is only two) since we have an established genetic link.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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That's the ONLY definition for the verb, "school", and since it's been turned into a gerund, I can only assume that it's the verb being used here.

I think of "a school" as an institution, but "to school" as to "to educate". And that's not because I read the dictionary--I think it's actually used that way.
Yes, I know it is. But, not by me. After 13 years in the public school system, and watching ds1 go through 12 more years (his 13th has just started), I can safely say that "school" and "education" (or "learning", for that matter) aren't conceptually linked much at all in my brain. I thought you were talking about how you interpreted the term "unschooling". I interpreted it very differently, even before I knew (more or less) what it means.

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I think the term "unschooling" gives the impression that knowledge and skills are acquired without intent, somehow naturally. As if it will... just happen. Because there is no intentional learning going on. It just kind of floats in there. Now, from what I'm reading here that is not what successful unschoolers are doing. But that impression remains, and not only for me.
I think that's actually fairly close. Unschooling parents aren't doing intentional teaching. There's a lot of unintentional learning going on, but also a lot of intentional learning. I think it's got a lot more to do with what, when and why kids are learning than with whether they're learning anything at all. And, lots of learning does "just float in there". I can't recall ever trying to teach any of my kids to talk, but three of them do, and the fourth one is starting. I never taught any of them to walk, or crawl, or climb, but they all do those things, too.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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Yes, I know it is. But, not by me. After 13 years in the public school system, and watching ds1 go through 12 more years (his 13th has just started), I can safely say that "school" and "education" (or "learning", for that matter) aren't conceptually linked much at all in my brain. I thought you were talking about how you interpreted the term "unschooling". I interpreted it very differently, even before I knew (more or less) what it means.


I think that's actually fairly close. Unschooling parents aren't doing intentional teaching. There's a lot of unintentional learning going on, but also a lot of intentional learning. I think it's got a lot more to do with what, when and why kids are learning than with whether they're learning anything at all. And, lots of learning does "just float in there". I can't recall ever trying to teach any of my kids to talk, but three of them do, and the fourth one is starting. I never taught any of them to walk, or crawl, or climb, but they all do those things, too.
Walking, crawling, and climbing aren't fair comparisons - those aren't taught, they are all figured out instinctually. I saw a Nat Geo show on a family which had some strange genetic disorder and out of like 8 kids, 3 had never walked, and instead got around like bears, on all fours. Science was very, very interested in these kids because it was the only known family where multiple children without *physical* disabilities had never learned to walk.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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My son has Noonan Syndrome, people with that can tend to have strabismus. I have had my son's eyes checked a couple times (he is only two) since we have an established genetic link.
hmm. I think I need to read up on this. I've never been told that my eye problem has a genetic link, or that it can affect vision, except for depth perception, which I don't have. However, we do have the children's eyes tested now, anyway. I put off dd1's first exam for too long, but they'll be on an annual schedule now. And, the doctor knows about my lazy eye, my astigmatism, dh's protanopia, and dh's severe nearsightedness, so he knows what he's looking for (even if I don't). DS1 seems to have inherited his dad's eyesight, which is a good thing, as his eyesight is pretty close to perfect.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:38 PM
 
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Walking, crawling, and climbing aren't fair comparisons - those aren't taught, they are all figured out instinctually. I saw a Nat Geo show on a family which had some strange genetic disorder and out of like 8 kids, 3 had never walked, and instead got around like bears, on all fours. Science was very, very interested in these kids because it was the only known family where multiple children without *physical* disabilities had never learned to walk.
Fair enough. (Although, whether it's instinctually or not, they still learn it.)

What about talking? I don't teach my kids to talk - it "just floats in".

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:42 PM
 
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I just wanted to thank everyone who's participated thoughtfully in this thread! Our family is nowhere near choosing an educational philosophy, but I find it so very useful to see a really full picture of different types of education, not just the rah-rah, everything is covered in glory cheerleading. If nothing else, it's a great reminder that nothing is going to work for everyone.

So - thanks!

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lalaland42 View Post
How do you know which Craigslist ads are authored by public schooled adults?
I think the latest statistics (in the US) were that 90% of children attend public schools. Assuming the vast majority of a population has a public school background is a valid assumption.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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Have you had his eyes checked?

The things you are describing are symptoms I experienced due to my eye issues. I had eye therapy when I was younger than your son.
Just the vision screening with a pediatrician which I know is not comprehensive. I really don't see any signs that anything is amiss with his vision. If he were trying to read longer sections of text and having difficulties, I'd be concerned. If he wasn't continuing to make progress, I'd be concerned. He read much of a magazine article to me in the car recently. He wouldn't have done that even a couple months ago. As it is, I think it is a temperamental issue. His older cousin followed a similar pattern of reading at a similar age.

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I know this isn't "allowed" but I went through your back posts and I am afraid that what you are doing is teaching your child how to hide his illiteracy. He could have a vision problem like I do, a learning disability, or he could just need a little extra time or help. What I don't see you doing is guiding him on actually reading. I see you teaching him tricks on how to pass the tests or skirt the rules but in the end that just hurts your DS. The truth is, it is harder to learn to read as an adult than as a child. Stop teaching him how to fake it. Please.
Uh, wow? Presumably you are referring to a post about a reading comprehension test where I encouraged him to read the beginning and the end and make an educated guess on the answers. The other option was him refusing to do that section of the test. Ruling out obviously wrong answers and making an educated choice is a test taking skill that is taught in schools.

Skirting the rules? Seriously? More like I was carefully teaching him TO follow the rules. I could have easily "red shirted" him and bought him another year before he needed to take this test. I could also have done the test for him. I could have homeschooled "under the radar" rather than registering as legally required. But instead, I had him take the required test, only giving him some guidance on the mechanics of test taking just as all school teachers do.

My ds is following the same pattern in learning how to read as other family members who were "late" readers. His reading skills are steadily progressing. They are not plateauing or backsliding. I have no clue why you think he still can't read and is going to have to learn as an adult. Of course you don't see me guiding him in reading since you can't see me.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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I think the term "unschooling" gives the impression that knowledge and skills are acquired without intent, somehow naturally. As if it will... just happen. Because there is no intentional learning going on. It just kind of floats in there. Now, from what I'm reading here that is not what successful unschoolers are doing. But that impression remains, and not only for me.
I think that this blog post is a good insight into the life of an unschooler...

Unschooling: A hands off approach?

BTW... she started reading around 9...

 
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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hmm. I think I need to read up on this. I've never been told that my eye problem has a genetic link, or that it can affect vision, except for depth perception, which I don't have. However, we do have the children's eyes tested now, anyway. I put off dd1's first exam for too long, but they'll be on an annual schedule now. And, the doctor knows about my lazy eye, my astigmatism, dh's protanopia, and dh's severe nearsightedness, so he knows what he's looking for (even if I don't). DS1 seems to have inherited his dad's eyesight, which is a good thing, as his eyesight is pretty close to perfect.
It isn't very rare, it is mostly associated with heart defects

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noonan_syndrome

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Old 09-15-2010, 09:18 PM
 
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This is kind of OT, but just to clarify- strabismus and amblyopia (lazy eye) are NOT the same condition. Strabismus can cause amblyopia, but they're two different conditions.

*ETA* I only mentioned this to point out that this may be why people seem to be talking about different eye conditions when talking about "lazy eye."
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:18 PM
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I think the latest statistics (in the US) were that 90% of children attend public schools. Assuming the vast majority of a population has a public school background is a valid assumption.
So lets take a mixed bag of marbles (90%) and disconnected eye balls (10%). Put on gloves and grab out a small number of round things from near the top of the stack of things (ie not a random sample). Squeeze. I guess a lot of those marbles are soft and squishy, right? I mean since the majority of the population is marbles, who cares if you don't have a random assortment or that marbles are heavy and will probably drift to the bottom.

People who post to Craigslist are not a random sample from the city. They are near a computer, with internet access and extra time. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say the large majority are public schooled but the poster slammed ps using a population whose education she knows nothing about.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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It isn't very rare, it is mostly associated with heart defects

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noonan_syndrome
Interesting stuff. I don't see anything there that looks like me or the kids (except the eye, of course). But, I clicked the link for strabismus, and I'm going to research it further when I feel better. What I've read so far is contrary to a lot of what I've been told about my lazy eye.

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Old 09-15-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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People who post to Craigslist are not a random sample from the city. They are near a computer, with internet access and extra time.
Seriously? Craigslist isn't a random sample? Based on...internet access and extra time? How much "extra" time does it take to post a Craigslist ad? How many people don't have any internet access? Craigslist is a pretty freaking random sample. It's a pretty safe bet that a large percentage of people posting Craigslist ads have a public school education (although there's certainly no way to know exactly which posters, or whether any given poster finished public school).

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