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#121 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 07:27 PM
 
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Panera is a rather yummy sandwich/bread/coffee shop big chain. But still, a chain and no organics.
totally OT, but our panera has almost all organics on the kids menu (none for grown ups though....)

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#122 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 07:35 PM
 
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totally OT, but our panera has almost all organics on the kids menu (none for grown ups though....)

-Angela
Sothere is hope? There isn't a drop of organic anything at the Panera near me.

But it's OK. I would rather they didn't, in a way. We have some awesome coffee shops here owned by locals-- shops that are one of kind, and are not chains; shops using available buildings and not ripping up virgin land, or remodeling the mall. Shops that aren't chains, that don't have the same food and same stuff all the time shipped from the main headquarters. Lots of organic coffee, too.

So I think it's better...at least for our community. Those of us who want that, can support the locals and all. Those who want the chain and the Panera taste can go there.

We have done Panera at times...but we don't support chains and gentrification. My kids recently cracked me up when they pretended shock at my giving them old chain free kid meal coupons to use when we were moving (and I couldn;t deal with cooking). My teen drove the kids to the restaurant, and they were all like, wow, I can't believe this...
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#123 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 07:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by M_of_M View Post
Ok, but aren't there some things that you can't learn by "living it?". How about some not-so-basic math? Can you really learn all the algebra and geometry by "living it?", or you just don't think that your kids need it and knowing how to fix a leaking toilet is more important for them since this skill will be useful in life?

What if your dc decides that he wants to have a career in a math-related field? Can he really do that if you only expose him/her to things that he/she can "live" in?

I realize that I'm only on page two of a long thread, but I wanted to address this point, and then the general question.

I think hands-on learning is particularly advantageous for math. There are many basic math skills that I have picked up as an adult by cooking, or working at a job, that I could not learn in school. I'm writing as someone who excelled in many subjects and completed a PhD before the age of 30. Hands-on learning is the model in many schools because it works so much better than trying to learn arithmetic, geometry and algebra totally in abstraction.

Here's my thought: some schools are great and some are really bad. The great ones are great because of the teachers and the students, the administrators, and the resources available to children. I figure, homeschooling has to be about the same. Some parents are going to be clever about curriculum and resources and some aren't. If you talk with homeschooled adults (which you can do easily on the internet, you can find one of every experience around here) you get to know both the ideal homeschooling experience and the worst possible ones.

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#124 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 07:49 PM
 
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Wow this is a long thread!! And many of the OP questions are being asked my my dh to me. I must admit, when I see how much my dd's peers are learning at school it seems way more information than we are doing at home, but I wonder if it is because they don't go into depth with things whereas at home a topic of interest could last for ages!!!!

Impressed though that this thread hasn't turned into a raging argument.

OP- just genuinely curious why you want to understand the whole homeschool perspective if you care to share? I ask because sometimes where I live I have people ask me about homeschool and it is because they may be considering it- I happily answer them. Then I get others who ask just to start a debate about how homeschooling is inferior to school and to try to prove that. (I am not implying you are this though) To these people I don't answer. We have different opinions. Period.

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#125 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 09:27 PM
 
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Some reasons we unschool -

1) I love unschooling because my children have the reins. My 6yo ds isn't reading yet, but he knows all about the solar system. He can explain in great detail how the digestive, respriatory and circulatory systems work. He understands the life cycle of frogs and the symbiotic relationship of flowers and bees. And he can make banana bread. He is learning what he needs to learn when he needs to learn it. He retains it because it is important to him.

2) The experiences my dh and I had in school were not positive. I was always way ahead in reading/English and way behind in math. I spent so much time trying to catch up and "apply myself" in math that I had no time for reading. Consequently, I started to get behind in my English classes. Ultimately, I ended up hating all school and gave up. I didn't graduate high school. Now, I love learning new things. I have learned more in the last 10 yrs on my own than I ever could have in school. My dh's experience was a little different. Practically from the first day of Kindergarten, he knew school would be a huge waste of his time. He literally slept through school and still passed with flying colors. He got a GED when he was 16 and has had no formal schooling since. And yet, he is the smartest person I know. He can learn anything and he has total recall. I want my children to follow their dreams unfettered now, not when they are 18.

3) School does not fit in with our lifestyle. We schedule our vacations and activities away from major hoildays and weekends so we can avoid the crowds. We like to stay up late and sleep in.

Unschooling is the ultimate freedom.

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#126 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 09:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sagesgirl
Having an education degree isn't exactly isn't exactly a signifier of being a brilliant, burning soul able to perfectly impart knowledge to hungry minds. In fact, education majors tend to come from and remain in the bottom part of those going to college. (This is one huge reason for the push towards "highly qualified" teachers, ie those who have a degree in the subject they'll actually be teaching.)
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Originally Posted by captivatedlife View Post
I'm sorry, I have to take offense at this.

Those who can do, those who can't teach, right?

I received a full ride scholarship to a local uni where I graduated in 3.5 years with a 3.9 average with a dual major (elementary and special education). I continue my education by reading everything I can. I teach because it is a passion for me. I teach because I want to make a difference. I am smart. I was a part of a cohort and at least 15 out of the 22 were from similar backgrounds and graduated just as high (or almost as!) as I did.
This has already been addressed with another poster, but I'll say it anyway. Sagesgirl was simply pointing out facts (facts that major educaional institutions confirm), that most ppl seeking education degrees are usually in the bottom part of college students. Its not an attack on teachers, it's just the truth. I know there are some wonderful, smart, inspiring teachers out there, but again, they are the exception, not the rule. I had one great teacher in the entire time I was in school (kindy - 12th grade) and he was a psych teacher who was also a college professor (for some reason psych teachers are always cool and very smart). The rest were between ok and totally unqualified to teach.
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#127 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 09:43 PM
 
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Well, we're only beginning our homeschooling journey (ds1 will be ready for Kindergarten next year), but I want to throw my 2 cents in, too.
I may the weird one here, but, as a kid, I really loved school.
Of course, school was a different thing when I was there. A lot more play, a lot less desk. And I was lucky enough to have really, really good teachers, and a mom who might as well have homeschooled me, because she was there every day anyway.
We originally decided to homeschool because it was so obvious that our oldest just would not be happy in formal school. His learning style would not be accomodated there, and he would spend his time being labeled, and in trouble. If we were lucky enough to find the good teachers (there are many out there, but you don't always get them), even they would have so much to do with 20-30 kids in the classroom that they could not take the time to teach him in such a way that he would learn.
I can.
The more I research it, the more I realize that there are so many reasons to do this. The freedom to go on vacations/field trips/etc when we want to. The freedom to let him learn at his own pace, in his own way. The closeness of our family. There are so many compelling reasons to homeschool.
As for how we will do this, we are in an ISP program for now. We believe that it will allow us the freedom we want while still providing the materials and structure that I (the rookie) feel I need.:
But, as I have been doing since my ds was born, I will follow where he leads. If that is unschooling, or more structured learning, or something in between, then that is what I will do.
All kids learn differently. I believe that homeschooling is the best way to ensure that each child learns everything he or she needs/wants to learn without losing who they are in the process.

Homeschooling mom of 2 rambunctious, loving, spectacular boys, wife to an incredible man who has been my best friend on this journey <3

 

 

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#128 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 09:49 PM
 
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Here is why we unschool:
1. I want my kids to enjoy learning and being told what to learn and forced to "learn" about it is NOT enjoyable.

2. Getting to school is an issue as we live in a small community where the closest school means a long and in some weather unmake able drive.

3.My kids have been labeled as "gifted" some mildly some strongly and the local school has no AP program and can't really help a child who can play cello, piano and violin at a high level or read Little Women when they're 4y or understands the principles of physics at 5y or knows more about computers then their entire family when they're 6y or speak Latin almost as well as they speak English or wants to be Rembrandt the 2nd and is doing a good job at it when they're 4y or knows more about composers and music then your average adult when they ar 2y. At least one of these has happened to my kids.

4. They are in the real world and can really learn what they will need to now. Why wait until you're in middle school to learn how to cook? Why not learn when you're 4y or 2y???

5.Our evenings aren't stressed with home work, but happy family times.

6. I'm not trying to pin 7 kids to their seats to do their school work.

7. We learn at our own pace. When dd was 9 she was doing grade 2/3 math but was able to read some adult books. Now 10 she is doing grade 5/6 math and read widely from the adult section. It doesnt bother me when my kids are behind, they will learn when they're ready.
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#129 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 10:04 PM
 
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Why would one woman in a school be able to teach a child more than one woman in a home..? Schools may have many teachers, but usually the child is in a classroom with just one. You don't have to be an expert on subjects to homeschool; all you have to do is read the material in the books and relay it to your children so that they understand. As for public schools, there are school shootings, for one. There is the possibility of our religion not being expected. My kids may pick up bad habits from other kids. I don't know what goes on when Im not there. More importantly, I don't think children learn well sitting at a desk all day. Parents know their children best and understand the way they learn, so they are better equipped to teach their own children. The meals I serve at home are far healthier than those served at public school. I don't want my childrne influenced by unknown points of view. I cant shelter my child completely but with me there when new information comes his way, situations he may not be ready for, I can guide him through them. Being a good teacher isn't about smarts; it's about passing on knowledge and preparing a child for the world. Parents are quite capable of doing that.

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#130 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP- just genuinely curious why you want to understand the whole homeschool perspective if you care to share? I ask because sometimes where I live I have people ask me about homeschool and it is because they may be considering it- I happily answer them. Then I get others who ask just to start a debate about how homeschooling is inferior to school and to try to prove that. (I am not implying you are this though) To these people I don't answer. We have different opinions. Period.
Wow, I am back and I can't believe the length on this thread. To answer you questions, I am really in the middle between the 2 kinds of people that you describe. I am pretty happy with my dcs going to public school, and I am in no way planning to homeschool them. I personally still believe that public/private school is better for my kids. However, I asked my original questions to understand about your choices because I knew absolutely nothing about homeschooling. The more you know the more open minded you become. So, to repeat your last point, the more I would know about homeschooling, the less likely I would be one of those people who try to argue that homeschooling is inferior to public/private school. Hope you understand what I mean.
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#131 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 10:10 PM
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Why do people choose to homeschool?
I guess I just don't understand how a child can receive the same amount of information/knowledge at home given by 1 parent as he can get from school with a number of teachers + through interaction/projects done together with a group of other students.

I understand that a parent (who is not a teacher) has enough knowledge to homeschool a young child...but how about older children? Does the parent really know all about physics, chemistry, geography, art and everything else to provide a good enough guidance to a child? So, even through homeschooling the child will have enough skills to go to university and do well there?

I am not planning to start a war here. Just trying to understand the logic behind such a choice (it looks like so many people want to homeschool here but are unable to do so for financial/other reasons).

Also, what is so bad about public/private schools? Sorry, just trying to understand.
Well, I'll bite on this one too...

First of all, your question struck me as funny because I actually believe that a parent can provide far more information and knowledge than the school can, and in fact, that's a central reason why we're homeschooling.

Why?

1. TIME
At school, there are not only constant interruptions -- fire drills, shelter-in-place drills, lockdown drills, field trips, classroom visitors, class assemblies, daily announcements, the Pledge of Allegiance, class parties -- but there is a set schedule mostly dictated by the times standardized tests are given that dictates that you as a teacher move at a fairly fast clip through the curriculum, and if a kid doesn't get it, well, there's only so much you can do with her or him.

At the Murry Girl's School, there are sometimes interruptions -- grandparents, Christmas, the day the heater needed the guy to come and look at it -- but they are far, far fewer and can usually be made up for. There are no standardized tests for which we have to prepare, so if there is a difficulty understanding a concept, we can put that concept to the side for the time being and wait for other brain structures to grow and be in place, or we can try it from a new and different angle, or both. We can review material until it's learned and test when we're really ready. We can also go back and review old material throughout the year so that it's never really forgotten.

Moreover, in terms of time, the school meets 180 days out of the year. We homeschool six days a week most of the time -- not really because we have to, because obviously we don't, but because we enjoy learning. In the space of about two years or so, my dd's progressed through about four years of math, and math's not even her strong suit and we're not taking it particularly fast. It's just that we're able to spend the time getting in-depth in a subject.


2. Depth
We're able to go into as much depth as we want to on a subject with no concern about "keeping up with the other history teachers" or "making sure we teach the commutative property before the spring assessments." For example, my dd really thinks the Black Plague is cool, so we read several books on it, are going to order a Jackdaw Primary Source Document package for next year, and I let her read several chapters of a plague scene from Forever Amber. I never even *heard* of the plague when I was in school.

3. GREAT teacher-pupil ratio!
One factor that pretty much everyone agrees helps education is a good teacher-pupil ratio. At the Murry Girl's School, the teacher-pupil ratio is 2:1 (two teachers to one pupil). I defy even Phillips Exeter to beat that.

4. The teachers in PS are not well-educated as a rule
I am sure that there are many dedicated, well-educated, and intelligent elementary-school teachers out there, but the unfortunate reality of the situation is that teachers in general score in the lowest third to lowest fourth on measurements such as the SAT and PRAXIS examinations, an indication that teachers as a general rule (to which there are obviously exceptions) are not particularly outstanding scholars.

The stories one hears about this are just too numerous to be isolated cases here and there -- in the case of one friend, a teacher who marked her daughter wrong on a test because the teacher claimed that the answer "3x7" (what the daughter gave) is different from "7x3"; in the case of one more friend, a teacher who told her son that the object that prevents a person from dying if they fall out of an airplane is spelled "parashoot," and so on. I can't think of one teacher newsletter I've seen without some serious problems with spelling, grammar, and usage, none of which gives me tremendous confidence about the quality of teachers in our area.

That's just surface-level stuff. The other issues are that many teachers don't know their subjects very well. Liping Ma, in an excellent book on teaching math to the primary grades, is clear about the lack of fundamental knowledge of mathematical concepts teachers possess -- many of them know the algorithm, but not why the algorithm exists, and can't really do a problem any way other than the one way they know how to do it. That's very superficial knowledge, actually. That's just on the surface, though. The other, deeper-issue stuff concerns me even more: problems such as the perpetuation of historical mythologies with no basis in fact (e.g., America was largely uninhabited before the Europeans came; Columbus thought the world was flat, and so on). Teaching the students wrong information because they don't know better or because "We've always done it this way" will not suffice for me.

5. Groupwork is a joke and most projects are too
You mentioned doing projects with other students, but the reality is that in a group project, what most often happens is that the one motivated student ends up doing the lion's share of the work and bearing the burden for the others while only getting a portion of the credit. This is morally, socially, and intellectually criminal, and it happens all the time in schools because teachers don't have to exert themselves very much to grade groupwork. In fact, if one has twenty kids and each group of five does a project (as opposed to different projects from individual kids), you cut down your workload by a stunning 80%. That's why it's popular -- not because it works as an educational method, but because it makes teachers' lives easier.

To be honest, most projects are a joke because very, very few of them require genuine analysis, critical thinking, or synthesis of a learned base of facts. For example, even in high schools, some teachers have students do a poster or draw a picture instead of constructing an essay to demonstrate their knowledge of a book. Sorry, but there is no way that a picture, unless you are genuinely an artist of the caliber of Goya or Van Gogh, can beat the thousand words and more of a well-written (or even a shoddily-written) analytical essay.

In writing, one is able to craft one's ideas at length and with considerable elaboration and complexity, supporting one's ideas with abundant reference to the text and (ideally) other critics or readers of the text, having a conversation with those other critics and readers as a way of coming to an understanding of the author's point and how she used words to express that point. A few lame cutouts from a magazine with the words "Hester Prynne" underneath them really just don't do that for me.

By contrast, homeschooling allows for that in-depth analysis. The teacher isn't restricted to assigning only an essay or two every nine weeks because she's swamped with grading papers from the other 150 students she's in charge of. A student who's homeschooling can have the luxury of time, the luxury of being able to write and rewrite a piece of work and craft it until it's genuinely a reflection of the author's understanding.

I hope this helps you understand where I'm coming from.
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#132 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your answers. I do have a better idea about homeschooling now.

One last point though. A number of you stated that kids really don't need to sit in classes to learn. Kids really don't need teachers as teachers and they can learn all the material (including not-so-basic math) on their own just by reading the textbooks, searching the internet, etc.

Many of you also stated that it is not that hard to homeschool older kids because even if you don't know something (eg. physics) yourself, all you have to do is find the info for the child or help your child find that info on his own.

So, if that's your view, then how come after 10-12+ years of homeschooling....your kids (at least some of your kids) end up going to colleges? Wouldn't it be easier for them (as well as less expensive) to learn all of those things on their own at home? After all, they can buy the same textbooks as they get in colleges/universities. Also, after 10+ years of homeschooling, they should really be active experienced learners who (I think) could learn everything without anyone else's help just by "living it". As many of you said, there is also no real value to group work. So, why after all those 10+ years of "homeschooling freedom" instead of "institutional environment in a classroom", your kids end up going to that "institutional environment" anyway. In that institutional environment they might not be the brightest (and it will lower their self esteem), they would have to learn at the same pace as everyone else...they would have to sit in the classroom and do homework and prepare for tests after school...so why go for it?
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#133 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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So, if that's your view, then how come after 10-12+ years of homeschooling....your kids (at least some of your kids) end up going to colleges? Wouldn't it be easier for them (as well as less expensive) to learn all of those things on their own at home? After all, they can buy the same textbooks as they get in colleges/universities. Also, after 10+ years of homeschooling, they should really be active experienced learners who (I think) could learn everything without anyone else's help just by "living it". As many of you said, there is also no real value to group work. So, why after all those 10+ years of "homeschooling freedom" instead of "institutional environment in a classroom", your kids end up going to that "institutional environment" anyway. In that institutional environment they might not be the brightest (and it will lower their self esteem), they would have to learn at the same pace as everyone else...they would have to sit in the classroom and do homework and prepare for tests after school...so why go for it?
Simple. Some career choices mandate the need for a college degree. College is so much closer to homeschooling than mandatory schooling. You can choose your major, choose your classes, choose your instructor. Sure there are Gen Ed requirements but you aren't locked in to a bad teacher or a college that doesn't fit you if you don't like it. You have choices if one doesn't work, another might. College allows the individual to focus on the fields that interest them. You can take a class where there may be freshmen and there may be grad students in the same class. There might be a 17 year old and there might be a 50 year old mom returning to school to get her degree. This is good. This is nothing like those age-biased classrooms that PS sets up. College is not like PS. Many of us have said time and time again that college is so much closer to homeschooling than PS is. I teach at a university as a writing/literature instructor but I would rather flip hamburgers than teach high school English. We (homeschoolers) are not anti education.
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#134 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 10:41 PM
 
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So, if that's your view, then how come after 10-12+ years of homeschooling....your kids (at least some of your kids) end up going to colleges? Wouldn't it be easier for them (as well as less expensive) to learn all of those things on their own at home?
I can only speak for myself, but if public schools in this country were run the way universities are run, I'd be a LOT less likely to homeschool. University classes cover a lot more material in a lot less time, on a more flexible schedule, and with more freedom given to the instructor to teach the way he or she sees fit. It's no longer 25 kids fidgeting and whispering in their desks as the teacher covers the same lessons over and over again - it's 25 (or 400, lol) people sitting attentively, taking notes, and learning what they came there to learn because they chose to take that class and they chose to show up that day.

Now, you couldn't do that with younger kids, at least most younger kids, because it's not in their nature to sit still and be quiet and concentrate that way. But that's just a developmental thing. When they're older, they'll be more able to handle it. And when they're older, they'll be getting into more advanced studies that may beyond their parents' knowledge.

In my personal educational utopia, kids would learn in a flexible environment that involved lots of running around, messy science experiments, art projects, and random in-depth study of stuff they thought was cool, until they were 11 or 12, and then at that point they'd start signing up for university-style classes in the subjects they wanted to do more serious studies in.

It *is* valuable to learn from the experts - but while it may take an expert to teach astrophysics, it doesn't take an expert to teach addition.
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#135 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 10:50 PM
 
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Thank you all for your answers. I do have a better idea about homeschooling now.

One last point though. A number of you stated that kids really don't need to sit in classes to learn. Kids really don't need teachers as teachers and they can learn all the material (including not-so-basic math) on their own just by reading the textbooks, searching the internet, etc.

Many of you also stated that it is not that hard to homeschool older kids because even if you don't know something (eg. physics) yourself, all you have to do is find the info for the child or help your child find that info on his own.

So, if that's your view, then how come after 10-12+ years of homeschooling....your kids (at least some of your kids) end up going to colleges? Wouldn't it be easier for them (as well as less expensive) to learn all of those things on their own at home? After all, they can buy the same textbooks as they get in colleges/universities. Also, after 10+ years of homeschooling, they should really be active experienced learners who (I think) could learn everything without anyone else's help just by "living it". As many of you said, there is also no real value to group work. So, why after all those 10+ years of "homeschooling freedom" instead of "institutional environment in a classroom", your kids end up going to that "institutional environment" anyway. In that institutional environment they might not be the brightest (and it will lower their self esteem), they would have to learn at the same pace as everyone else...they would have to sit in the classroom and do homework and prepare for tests after school...so why go for it?
What I've said (in this thread and a lot irl) is that there is no point to group work the way it's set up and administered in school. As Pookel noted in her post, at work, there is usually an acknowledgement of different skill sets and levels, and people will naturally split up work in ways that it gets done efficiently and well. Group work, in a setting where everyone is both putting something into it, and getting something out of it, is a fantastically joyful thing.

I would dearly love for my ds to unschool college. When, or if, he decides to go to college or any post-grad work, will depend on what he wants to learn. Some things make sense to go to school for, or can only be done that way for legal or professional reasons. Ds loves to fish, loves to cook, knows he wants to travel. Right now he's thinking about taking a commercial cooking course at 18 or so, so he can spend summers cooking at a fly-in fishing camp, save up money, fish all he wants, then think about what he really wants to do.

I work in restaurants and hospitality and I have a huge problem with the commercial cooking courses, they don't teach graduates enough to work as a dishwasher, usually, and it takes months to train them out of the bad habits, or narrow-mindedness they've developed from the course (my teacher told me this is how you have to make a sauce, so this is how everyone always has to make a sauce.) That said, I also know from experience that having the course opens many more doors than just having the equivalent experience. It's something that comes across quickly on a resume, and teaches really important stuff about food safety and handling that most restaurants don't emphasize nearly enough. It does not teach them to handle working the long hours and under the immense pressure of a large commercial kitchen, nor does it actually teach them how to cook. So, ds will get a combination of work experience and training that will give him what he wants.

That, to me, is the whole point of homeschooling. Ds knows what he wants to learn, and what he wants to do, and he can choose the path his learning takes. Just like any adult gets to.

You had a question earlier about advanced math. I'm just in the process of getting projects and stuff together for ds to do more advanced math. I have tried doing the school at home math with ds, bought all sorts of programs, he has been in ps for certain grades. Nothing was worse for his math understanding than a modern, schooly math approach. He hates, passionately, any math advertised as being "fun" (he likes very plain, no color, no pictures, just the facts), and learning from life math is the only way it really makes sense to him.

I've been brainstorming ways to continue learning math with him (I was awful at math as a child, hated it), and to help him to understand that math isn't a "subject", it's the entirety of life, it's a descriptive language that allows the plotting of, and understanding of the universe (sounds way more fun that trig, right? ) Ds is the kind of boy who takes everything apart, loves projects and building stuff (almost as much as he loves to destroy stuff ), so we'll be spending the summer making an astrolabe, plotting stars and comparing them with star charts (algebra and trigonometry). He'll be spending lots of free time rebuilding two bikes into one, and wrestling with all of the calculations and math that come with metal working. We'll be working on designing and builiding some small electronic projects, and doing some larger electrical work, both of which require an understanding of algebra to do safely and well. Over the winter we're going to be reading about, planning and designing a sundial to put in the playground of the building we live in (more algebra and trig).

We also spend a lot of time discussing politics and news, and we've been reading a lot of books on statistics in order to understand what we're being told about crime, the environment, social programs, etc. Ds continues to learn and reinforce both basic math and more advanced skills through cooking and building (you'd be surprised by how many well-educated adults can't measure out 3/8' cut and how likely that is to get you beaten up on a construction site , in fact, most construction jobs I've worked, the first thing the foreman does is go over basic measurements, because they can't afford any mistakes)

My point is (and I do have one : ), if that all these advanced skills, scientific, computer, math, etc knowledge that schools claim they need us to teach, were discovered by and implemented by and used by real people in real situations. Schools teach math as a completely abstract set of useless concepts that we just need to memorize in order to be judged worthy, like esoteric bits of knowledge in a mystery cult. But all of this math is needed, and used on a daily basis and we've forgotten this with calculators, computers, and experts who do our thinking for us.
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#136 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 11:03 PM
 
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M&M you do realize that homeschoolers/unschoolers consistently score well above public schoolers on standardized tests? I think that speaks for itself.
http://www.khea.info/kheafiles/homeschoolstats.htm
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/arti...9/183359.shtml

College is nothing like high school, I HATED school with a passion, but I love college!! I don't really know any homeschoolers who rely on one single person to provide all of their children's education (this is referring to your physics question). Homeschooling doesn't mean we are at HOME (in fact I hate the word homeschool), we are anything but at home....lol.

Why do we personally homeschool? Because school doesn't educate, schools certainly don't teach critical thinking. Here is an article/speech by John Taylor Gatto, who is a well known, if not famous teacher (no doubt as a teacher yourself you have heard of him):
http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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#137 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 11:06 PM
 
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Here is something else, too: anyone who I have ever known who is unable to hold a job, or who is a "drain on society" went to PUBLIC school. I am not saying PS is the cause of these issues, but whenever a homeschool opponent mentions wondering how the homeschooler will handle college or a job later in life, to me, that is a moot point. In MOST cases a homeschooled student will be as able, if not BETTER able, to handle himself in these situations.

Just THINKING about the social aspect of college was literally enough to keep me from attending. Even though rationally I knew it would not be like the first 13 years of my education, I still could not get past that mental block to attend...
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#138 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 11:10 PM
 
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You go to college to get a degree to get a job. Employers aren't interested in hiring those who are self-taught. Yes, those kids could learn on their own by reading, researching, apprencticing, but that's not impressive to employers. If my kid goes to an institutional environment it will be because he choses to do so. Oh, and btw, that environment isn't even a necessity. My husband is doing online courses. He gets to read the material, take tests, submit work for grading, but he gets to do it when he wants. There is no institutional environment. He can go at his own pace. All you have to do for a GED is pass a test, and you can even get a diploma in some ways for home schooling. There is no such way of obtaining a degree by self-teaching. There are colleges that allow students to self-teach though, following a curriculum. Not to mention, college as someone else said isn't like high school. The environment is far better, far less controlled. The issues you fac ein college are totally different.

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#139 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 11:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by M_of_M View Post

So, if that's your view, then how come after 10-12+ years of homeschooling....your kids (at least some of your kids) end up going to colleges? Wouldn't it be easier for them (as well as less expensive) to learn all of those things on their own at home?
Because in our current economy many positions are only open to those with a piece of paper called a college degree.

My dh loved college. He uses none of it in his job now. But he holds a better position and makes more money than he would be able to without a college degree.

Simple really. Not fair, logical or right. But simple.

-Angela
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#140 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 11:14 PM
 
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The longer our students attend public schools, the lower their ranking compared to other nations. That is a fact. I really don't get why people send their children to school actually when you look at the facts and how horrible our education system is and how public schooled american children perform (which is lousey) ....what is the point?

Lower grades of primary schools score well, but by the end of high school, American students rank near the bottom in the industrialized world! No thanks.

http://www.americandaily.com/article/987

Have you done any research about american education (public schools) and how american children in the public school system perform? I'm not saying that to be snarky, just a thought since you asked why so many people homeschool.

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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#141 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 11:20 PM
 
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Thank you all for your answers. I do have a better idea about homeschooling now.

One last point though. A number of you stated that kids really don't need to sit in classes to learn. Kids really don't need teachers as teachers and they can learn all the material (including not-so-basic math) on their own just by reading the textbooks, searching the internet, etc.

Many of you also stated that it is not that hard to homeschool older kids because even if you don't know something (eg. physics) yourself, all you have to do is find the info for the child or help your child find that info on his own.

So, if that's your view, then how come after 10-12+ years of homeschooling....your kids (at least some of your kids) end up going to colleges? Wouldn't it be easier for them (as well as less expensive) to learn all of those things on their own at home? After all, they can buy the same textbooks as they get in colleges/universities. Also, after 10+ years of homeschooling, they should really be active experienced learners who (I think) could learn everything without anyone else's help just by "living it". As many of you said, there is also no real value to group work. So, why after all those 10+ years of "homeschooling freedom" instead of "institutional environment in a classroom", your kids end up going to that "institutional environment" anyway. In that institutional environment they might not be the brightest (and it will lower their self esteem), they would have to learn at the same pace as everyone else...they would have to sit in the classroom and do homework and prepare for tests after school...so why go for it?
No offense but have you done ANY research at all about homeschoolers and college? You realize there are many top notch colleges out there who actively recruit homeschooled students because they do VERY WELL in college?

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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#142 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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Ok, but aren't there some things that you can't learn by "living it?"
Unschooling doesn't mean you can only learn things that come up in everyday life. It means you learn in a way that is individually tailored to your needs, by your choice, according to your interest and desire, and when you are ready, which is something only you can know.

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Can you really learn all the algebra and geometry by "living it?", or you just don't think that your kids need it and knowing how to fix a leaking toilet is more important for them since this skill will be useful in life?
Do you really believe that algebra and geometry never come into real life? That they're entirely academic? What would be the point in learning them (and for them to exist at all for that matter) if they had no actual use?

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What if your dc decides that he wants to have a career in a math-related field? Can he really do that if you only expose him/her to things that he/she can "live" in?
Of course they can. When my boys were first starting to get interested in math, they would for instance observe how fast I was going and how far from home we were and wonder how long it would take us to get there. This is an algebraic problem. A while ago I painted a many-pointed star on our dining room ceiling above the pendant lamp, and wanted the points to all be the same size. Type of math used? Geometry. Now, a person can get along perfectly well in life without understanding anything of algebra or geometry, and most people do. The point I'm trying to make is simply that there are many opportunities, if one is interested in looking for them and exposing them, in which to learn about math in an active, real-life way. It's a much better way to start out with math, actually, because it helps you develop an intuitive base. So many people think they aren't good at math because the way in which it's presented is too abstract for their brains to catch hold of it. There is a place for abstract math, but in general the value and use of math isn't totally abstract, so it's absurd to approach it that way from the outset.

And what if my child does want a career in math? Assuming that one who wants a career in math is also someone who is mathematically inclined, it's ridiculous, given the richness of resources in this modern world, to assume that the the absence of school structure matters in the slightest. If my child has an aptitude and desire to go into a math-related field, his ability to do so is not going to hinge on what I teach him. He has a brain; he has my support; he has resources. He is going to be drawn to it, seek it out, and it will be right there for him to find when he's ready, and he will do it. How many parents have stood by befuddled while their children with high aptitudes for computer theory started programming all on their own? Heck, I don't even know how to navigate my way through our satellite channels and my (grade school age) kids are programming the damn thing. My son taught himself how to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, fairly complex programs, when he was nine. He put the effort into it because he was interested, not because I said, "hey, you'd better learn this if you ever want to get into graphic design!" And trust me, he's not a genius, just a regular kid. If you're shocked by something like that, then you totally underestimate the power of the natural (not coerced) human drive and ability to seek out information.
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#143 of 253 Old 05-17-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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Without starting a war, of course, I would like to ask all the homeschool moms here a question as well:

have you ever posted on the school forum, without any intention of sending your kids to ps, to question their parenting choice(without ANY knowledge of public schooling)? I looked it over and couldn't find any such thread. Please correct me if I missed it.

That is why I homeschool, to answer the original question. The mentality that everyone has to do the exact same thing can clearly affect a person from public school all the way into adulthood.
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#144 of 253 Old 05-18-2007, 12:28 AM
 
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have you ever posted on the school forum, without any intention of sending your kids to ps, to question their parenting choice
No and it wouldn't even occur to me to do so.
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#145 of 253 Old 05-18-2007, 12:35 AM
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Great point smocklets....
Let me jump on my soap box for a moment

We are conditioned to accept what is "main stream" without questioning be it
public school, vaccinations, circumcision, eating chemical laden over processed foods etc.
If a child is adversely affected by any of those things then the child must be defective, not the system. The child needs to be fixed, not the system. The child needs to adapt to the system, the system should not adapt to the child etc.

I think there is something wrong with such "conditioning" and I am really tired of being labeled a freak, outcast etc for questioning the system.
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#146 of 253 Old 05-18-2007, 12:37 AM
 
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Without starting a war, of course, I would like to ask all the homeschool moms here a question as well:

have you ever posted on the school forum, without any intention of sending your kids to ps, to question their parenting choice(without ANY knowledge of public schooling)? I looked it over and couldn't find any such thread. Please correct me if I missed it.

That is why I homeschool, to answer the original question. The mentality that everyone has to do the exact same thing can clearly affect a person from public school all the way into adulthood.
Nope. I never have. I have also never questioned anyone's decision in my real life to send their kids to public school. I have not been afforded the same courtesy. I have had people assume that I am just letting Joe wither away because we don't have a structure to our day...

Oh well. I am glad to be able to tell people how wonderful homeschooling is. Most anyone I know whose kids are in public school has experienced a moment or two of doubt or regret, or has had issues with the school clashing with their feelings or beliefs etc. NEVER for a moment have I regretted my decision to homeschool my son- & that is the best feeling in the world!
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#147 of 253 Old 05-18-2007, 12:42 AM
 
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We are conditioned to accept what is "main stream" without questioning be it
public school, vaccinations, circumcision, eating chemical laden over processed foods etc.
If a child is adversely affected by any of those things then the child must be defective, not the system. The child needs to be fixed, not the system. The child needs to adapt to the system, the system should not adapt to the child etc.
That is brilliant & oh so true... like I said before, I saw the way school changed my nephews. Nothing HUGE, & they are still great kids- but they lost a certain spark. I like Joe's spark, ya know? I want it to remain lit!

(I had to run by my nephew's school last year to drop off a change of clothes, & he looked so sad & unlike himself- he had a mosquito bite on his head & I told the secretary he had bad reactions to bug bites & signed him out & took him home. : I couldn't help it!! He DOES have bad reactions to bug bites, but I think I would have tried to spring him anyway LOL. It just happened. My sister was none too pleased!)
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#148 of 253 Old 05-18-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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I was a ps student from age 4 to high school. College was a very different environment for me. It was the first time I woke up and enjoyed learning.
Learning in college IMO is much more like homeschooling than a ps situation.
I was not stuck at the same pace as other students because there was no one level. I didn't even have to take some classes because of my high test scores. I had a few classes with 1 or 2 other students. I had independent projects often.

One former homeschool student I knew in college did better than most students. He had no trouble fitting in to the environment or with his self esteem. He was a leader on campus in many activities.

I'm not sure I understand the concern about a homeschool student not being the brightest in the class anymore. That is an institutional school mentality. I think a lot of us homeschooling are not concerned a great deal about grades/testing but focus on knowledge/skills acquired. I don't expect my dd will be crushed by not being the highest grade earner in a class if I have not drilled her constantly for 10+ years to measure her self-worth on attaining a certain grade.

My dd may not choose to go to a 4 year college. If she does I am sure she will be just fine.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#149 of 253 Old 05-18-2007, 01:26 AM
 
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By the way, the first thing that made me think seriously about homeschooling my kids was taking a biology class in college with a girl I knew from youth orchestra in high school, who had been homeschooled. There were 400 people in this zoology class and it was known to be the "hard" class to fulfill the biology basic requirement, so out of the 400 students, at least 380 were in pre-med or a science-related field. I was in history; she was in music. I just thought it sounded more interesting than botany.

Now, I was the kind of student who got straight A's without ever studying or doing my homework at home (why bother, when you can do it during class while you're ignoring the teacher?). I set a school record on the PSAT in 9th grade when I was taking it just for fun. But I worked my ass off to get a 91 in that zoology class. I went to every class, took notes, studied before every exam. And my homeschooled friend? She maintained an average of about 98.

That was the first thing that made me go, "hm ... "
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#150 of 253 Old 05-18-2007, 01:30 AM
 
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Great point smocklets....
Let me jump on my soap box for a moment

We are conditioned to accept what is "main stream" without questioning be it
public school, vaccinations, circumcision, eating chemical laden over processed foods etc.
If a child is adversely affected by any of those things then the child must be defective, not the system. The child needs to be fixed, not the system. The child needs to adapt to the system, the system should not adapt to the child etc.

I think there is something wrong with such "conditioning" and I am really tired of being labeled a freak, outcast etc for questioning the system.

Homeschooling mom of 2 rambunctious, loving, spectacular boys, wife to an incredible man who has been my best friend on this journey <3

 

 

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