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#1 of 11 Old 11-04-2012, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

 

I am a grad student and I am doing research on the differences in high income, medium income, and low income parents view educational enrichment activities, particularly those with a math and science bent.  I am curious to know about the following from those with higher income levels:

 

  • What types of activities do you engage with your child
  • How much of the outside activities you engage with your child are educational in value
  • When do you have the opportunity to engage in these activities (do you have time during the work week or is it relegated to the weekend)
  • Do you like to participate with your child or do you prefer to drop him/her off while you do some other activity
  • What generally attracts you to a particular activity

 

Any help can be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

KB

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#2 of 11 Old 11-04-2012, 09:31 PM
 
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You've posted this in a homeschooling forum- is that the demographic you're looking for?


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#3 of 11 Old 11-05-2012, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Eris,

 

What I am trying to get at is whether affluence is a driver in the ability of the parents to really be engaged in the intellectual development of a child outside of a traditional, structured environment.  Homeschooling is one aspect of it.  

 

If there is a better place to pose these questions, let me know.  

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#4 of 11 Old 11-05-2012, 08:43 AM
 
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I think you'll have better luck with it here if you rework your questions. Homeschoolers don't think in terms of fitting in activities after a work week or during weekends, for instance. And it's hard for most homeschoolers to think in terms of "outside activities" separate from their ongoing educational lifestyle that's happening at home and all around the community (or world). 

My family was fortunate in having the resources to travel together and pursue interests in all sorts of interesting places and to provide some wonderful separate group educational opportunities for our son during his teen years - but I know plenty of other families who didn't have nearly as much in the way of such resources and were yet able to engage with their children in lots of the kind of educational activities you're thinking of.

 

The fact that people are able to homeschool in the first place, rather than having to be away at work full time does provide a lot more opportunity for all sorts of wonderful educational opportunities, but many homeschoolers are living on very little income in order to do that. On the other hand, I've known much more affluent families who do/did not homeschool, and their outside activities are more often than not simply recreational ones - because they feel the "educational" part is taken care of at school. 

 

Homeschoolers tend to come to a point where they stop thinking so much in terms of one activity being "educational" vs. another not educational, because it all starts to blend in and they start to see the natural learning that weaves through everything. So it's kind of complicated.  - Lillian

 

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#5 of 11 Old 11-05-2012, 09:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Student View Post

Hello,

 

I am a grad student and I am doing research on the differences in high income, medium income, and low income parents view educational enrichment activities, particularly those with a math and science bent.  I am curious to know about the following from those with higher income levels:

 

  • What types of activities do you engage with your child
  • How much of the outside activities you engage with your child are educational in value
  • When do you have the opportunity to engage in these activities (do you have time during the work week or is it relegated to the weekend)
  • Do you like to participate with your child or do you prefer to drop him/her off while you do some other activity
  • What generally attracts you to a particular activity

 

Any help can be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

KB

 

Ohh... research! I just love it.

 

I think first of all the kind of information you are looking for would be better posted in The Childhood Years (you would have to repeat your post in the different age groups). As a previous poster mentioned, the data you collect in this forum is not going to be representative of the typical population. Well, for that matter, the data collected from anywhere on this site is not going to be the typical population, since people who tend to visit this site are a bit alternative and intensely focused on providing excellent parenting, and oddly enough, because of that, tend to be of lower income temporarily than you would find in mainstream culture because many of the families will have chosen to go to one income for a while in order to focus on child-rearing.

 

You might consider re-wording your poll so that it more specifically captures the information you are looking for. And use the poll feature.

 

For example,

 

"What types of activities do you engage in with your child" is going to be hard to answer. What are you after, here, exactly? Maybe it would be better to ask:

 

How often do you read to your child?

How often do you visit the library or buy books for your child? or How many children's books are in your home on average per week?

How many activities does your child participate in outside the home per week?

How many of  these activities 1. sports related 2. art/culture related 3. specifically academic

 

And so on. Just some rough ideas that popped into my head.

 

Also, you might have us indicate income level (you can make the poll private I think). 

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#6 of 11 Old 11-05-2012, 09:44 AM
 
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Agree with Bellingham. These questions are very difficult for me as a homeschooling parent to answer. We don't draw a distinction between living daily life, playing and learning. I am in a sense "involved in" almost everything my homeschooled children do and learn. Sometimes my involvement is simply to facilitate: to provide resources and be available while they are busy doing stuff if they want to talk or ask questions or get help. Sometimes we work side by side on shared projects. Sometimes I directly teach or administer a program. Sometimes I drive them places, observe their outside activities and perhaps help out with them, listen to podcasts with them and discuss casually and informally, go with them on a bike ride on a nature trail, bring them along to a chamber music rehearsal where they do sudokos and absorb Mozart. 

 

I would have a really tough time chopping the sort of things my kids and I do together and separately into educational vs. not and outside the home vs. not. Whether I participate in outside activities with my children or not depends on their preference, and varies with age and developmental stage. The only one of your questions that I can answer clearly is the last one: what attracts me to a specific activity is my child's attraction to a specific activity. If my child is keen, I'll do my best to support that desire.

 

Homeschoolers may turn out to be a confounding factor in your research. Many of us have had to trade a second income for the opportunity to be highly involved in our children's education. Our family income is just over half what it would have been if I was in the workforce full-time in my profession. Because of that choice, I am able to be much more highly involved in my kids' educational activities. Lower income is proportional to higher involvement in my family's n=1 study. wink1.gif

 

Miranda


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#7 of 11 Old 11-05-2012, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your great and interesting responses and feedback.  I guess I should take a step back and ask, what motivated you to make this decision to homeschool?  

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#8 of 11 Old 11-05-2012, 10:20 AM
 
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What's your field of study?


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#9 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 09:28 AM
 
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Thanks for all your great and interesting responses and feedback.  I guess I should take a step back and ask, what motivated you to make this decision to homeschool?  


I'll try to keep my response in a nutshell. I found no school that could meet the individual needs of my child. When I thought about homeschooling, I suddenly realized what a joy it could be to set our own schedule, stay up as late as we pleased to read books or do whatever we wanted, travel and go on field trips whenever we pleased, and pursue whatever ways of learning that were perfect for my son. We would not have to put up with some teacher's notions of how he should learn, when or how he should learn, what he should learn, or who he should be. We were getting particularly fed up with the liberties teachers had been taking with trying to tell us how we should be raising our child - it wasn't that he was a problem to them or their classrooms in any way (to the contrary, they found him easy and delightful), but they kept crossing boundaries in trying to direct every little thing. As it turned out, homeschooling was even better than we'd imagined - the freedom was exhilarating. When he was applying to colleges, he expressed in his essay how grateful he was for having had the opportunity to grow up in such a way as to be able to pursue his interests and develop sound confidence in his ability to learn anything. He got scholarship offers from his first two choices, and never went on to complete the third application. - Lillian

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#10 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 12:26 PM
 
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Hello,

 

 I am curious to know about the following from those with higher income levels:

And if we're don't consider ourselves "higher income", do we not respond?


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#11 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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So, your "research" for grad school is being conducted by asking people questions on a web board?  Without stating your name, or the institution you're affiliated with?  Have you cleared this research by your IRB?  Reviewed the institution's ethical guidelines for research with human subjects?  Does your adviser know you're taking this approach?

 

Your questions are extremely general, and when you refer to specifics (i.e., "high income", "with a math and science bent") they are undefined.  This is poor scholarship, unlikely to yield useful data.  And whatever you get, you may have to junk it for failure to comply with ethics guidelines that would normally require you to, at the very least, state your name and affiliation, and discuss the planned uses of your data.

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