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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Note quite sure how to phrase this but I'm wondering if/how you determine whether or not you child is keeping up? Do you try to make sure that your child is achieving the same skills and knowlage that his peers would be in school?<br><br>
So for example, if kids graduating from first grade are expected to understand how to do XYZ, do you work to ensure that you child also knows how to do XYZ at first grade age?<br><br>
I ask this because my SIL made a comment to me stating that she knows some folks on her community who HS and that their childdren (these are kids in high school) don't read at their grade level. I'm not real clear on how she knows this unless the kids were tested somehow or maybe struggling with some sort of mandated equavelency or entrance exam.
 

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<span>I didn't focus on what was happening in schools - I looked more to the horizon. My husband used to worry from time to time - not that often, really, at least not the times he told me about - and he could work me up into an anxiety attack - but we'd get through those pretty fast. You really can't try to compare the two paths - they're very, very different!<br><br>
I remember my husband freaking out at one point because we weren't doing formal math, and demanding that we get our son tested. I took him to a math tutoring center, and came back after an hour long evaluation. I was really nervous that the tutor, the owner of the center, was going to jump all over me about him not knowing his "math facts," but to the contrary, she was almost giddy about his comfort with math and his understanding of real math. She said she spends most of her time trying to undo damage that's been done by kids being run through unnecessary math drilling that kills their interest in it - and she told us we had no need of her services. He was not equal to his counterparts in school at that point - he was different - but he was doing just fine, and in the long run better than some who already knew their "math facts" at that point.<br><br>
There were enough epiphanies like that along the way to help suppress the tendency to make comparisons. Same with reading - you need to keep in mind what the purpose of all this is. There's nothing of great importance that a young child needs to read - what's important is for them to learn to love books and the things that come from them. Reading <i>to</i> them can accomplish that quite effectively. Knowing how to read at a certain age is absolutely irrelevant to the establishment of good skills and a love of books and learning that will serve them well in life when there's something they need or want to read. - Lillian</span>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>natashaccat</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Note quite sure how to phrase this but I'm wondering if/how you determine whether or not you child is keeping up? Do you try to make sure that your child is achieving the same skills and knowlage that his peers would be in school?<br><br>
So for example, if kids graduating from first grade are expected to understand how to do XYZ, do you work to ensure that you child also knows how to do XYZ at first grade age?<br><br>
I ask this because my SIL made a comment to me stating that she knows some folks on her community who HS and that their childdren (these are kids in high school) don't read at their grade level. I'm not real clear on how she knows this unless the kids were tested somehow or maybe struggling with some sort of mandated equavelency or entrance exam.</div>
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Maybe if I thought that the schools were doing a really wonderful job of educating kids, I'd care, but the fact is that they're not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> How can I be upset about "grade level" when most kids who are *in* said grades are not "performing at grade level?"<br><br>
I don't see how anyone can expect every child to, for example, learn to read at the same age when they don't do anything else at the same ages. Ask five different women here, for example, how old they were when they got their periods and you'll get five different (and all perfectly reasonable, "normal") answers. Why? Because they're five different *people*. We learn to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, and speak at different ages, so it makes sense to me that we'd also learn to read, understand basic math, tell time, and tie our shoes at different ages.<br><br>
Schools don't have some magical formula by which they can determine when every child will be able to read, or do anything else, so I'm not particularly worried about their standards. I'm sure that when 1st grade rolls around for BeanBean, he'll be "ahead" in some things and "behind" in others; I'm just as sure that by the time he's interested in classes that I can't teach him anymore, it won't make a lick of difference.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>natashaccat</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Note quite sure how to phrase this but I'm wondering if/how you determine whether or not you child is keeping up? Do you try to make sure that your child is achieving the same skills and knowlage that his peers would be in school?<br><br>
So for example, if kids graduating from first grade are expected to understand how to do XYZ, do you work to ensure that you child also knows how to do XYZ at first grade age?<br></div>
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Nope. I firmly believe that lists of "grade level skills" were devised simply as a management tool and nothing more. Schools group kids according to age as a matter of convenience. They then need to have the kids in each grade working on the same level--so they can move neatly on to the next level as a group.<br><br>
None of that means anything to my kids. Part of the joy of homeschooling is the freedom to develop at your own pace. It doesn't matter how they measure up to the school's list of what's important. What matters to me is that they're growing, and learning and developing in their own individual ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What about college though? OK so my dd is 3, lol, and college is a long way off but at the end of the road they do need to be able to pass entrance exams right?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>natashaccat</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What about college though? OK so my dd is 3, lol, and college is a long way off but at the end of the road they do need to be able to pass entrance exams right?</div>
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Well, if you've got an 8 year old who wants to go to college, you talk with the child about what a college will want to see from them and then you help them accomplish it. SATs, portfolios, whatever. Colleges have no trouble at all telling you what they expect an applicant to be doing. And in most cases, they care niether about the age of the applicant nor the age at which they acquired the skills they're looking for. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> I've never heard of a college saying that they won't admit a child who learned how to read when they were 8 rather than 3, you know? They just don't care anymore, as long as they can read *now* it doesn't make a difference.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>natashaccat</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What about college though? OK so my dd is 3, lol, and college is a long way off but at the end of the road they do need to be able to pass entrance exams right?</div>
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The vast majority of things learned in k-12 are not needed on a college entrance exam and will not be used in college. As long as they have good reading comprehension, writing, basic math, and logical reasoning they will be fine. Most of the k-12 curriculum is either a) filler fluff b) politically motivated or c) both. Think about it, the average school day is 7-8 hrs., but do you know even the strictest, most curriculum-based school-at-home hs family who spends 7 hrs a day "doing school"?<br><br>
My kids are still very young, but I try to take the long term view--will they be able to think critically for themselves? Will they be able to learn on their own and find the information they need? Will they be able to express themselves well? Will they have the strengh of values and self-confindence to stand up for what they believe in? I think these are much more important in the adult world, including college, then whether they learn fractions by age 7 or whatever.<br><br>
Just my opinion though.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>natashaccat</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What about college though? OK so my dd is 3, lol, and college is a long way off but at the end of the road they do need to be able to pass entrance exams right?</div>
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<span><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="huh"> My son didn't start thinking about college till he was well into his TEENS! And he's happily attending his first choice of college right now - well, actually, he's asleep here on spring break at the moment <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">... And this has been true of friends of his too.<br><br>
He never formally studied the traditional subjects - although he was a wealth of knowledge about the things that interested him, and he read voraciously. He also took some classes that interested him at the community college in his teens - anyone can enroll at community college - and continued there part time for a few years. When it came time to think about entrance exams for a four year college, he simply researched what he was going to need to know. He got a couple of books about the SAT, took the sample tests, determined from the results that he had no need to study for the verbal, but needed to learn a lot more algebra for the math section. He got some good algebra books, took his sample test to a math tutor and showed her what he needed to learn, and simply went about learning it. Took the test, and scored well in math, and <i>really</i> well in the verbal. He was almost 7 when he learned to read, by the way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Some colleges want other tests - like SAT II - but the other requisite subjects for them can be taken in community college classes at some point if a student is interested in one of those schools. Besides, colleges really like to see some grades that were given by someone outside the home - so it's good to take a few classes at some point anyway.<br><br>
Our part of the "high school" transcript was about a page and a half that was a very loose explanation what he'd done and pursued interests in, with an introduction that explained our philosophy about educational freedom. He had a year of full time, residential, volunteer work to add to the bag - a wonderful education in itself - plus his own essays, and personal recommendations. His essays, by the way, pointed out how much educational freedom had meant to him - how that had allowed him to really pursue and research his interests, and learn to think outside the box for himself. He was promptly offered scholarships by the first two colleges he applied to and didn't get around to finishing the application to the third.<br><br>
The whole college frenzy is overblown. There are definitely colleges that are <i>highly</i> selective, admit only a small percentage of applicants, and have heavy demands - but there are also a lot of great ones who are not so interested in all that and only want to see that it's someone who's going to do well in their program, enjoy it, and come out being someone they can be proud to have influenced as a constructive member of society.<br><br>
Here's an excellent article by a man I know who's helped a number of my friends and me stay relatively calm and see the college thing in a more balanced light:<br><a href="http://www.besthomeschooling.org/articles/wes_beach.html" target="_blank">Self-Direction, Engagement, and Success</a>. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Lillian</span>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good points all of you. It really is hard to decompress from the whole school/factory mentality isn't it?<br><br>
What you all are saying does make perfect sense though, our State University will accept anyone, no questions asked, no scores needed, for their Asssociate Degree programs and does not require anything beyond previous college transcripts for students entering 4 year degree programs with exhisting Associate degrees.
 

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<span>And, y'know, I'm always concerned that it might seem as if I'm bragging about my son's abilities - but no, the point is that there are a whole lot of kids who have abilities they don't even know about because they've never had the chance to think independently, learn independently, and gain confidence in themselves as learners and researchers. Jumping simple hoops has been made into a big, scary, mysterious process that's supposed to be hard for anyone who hasn't gone through all the other standard motions along the way. What he's been able to do has seemed perfectly natural to him; same with his circle of friends.<br><br>
I remember one two hour talk that Wes Beach did for a group of us on high school/college opportunities, and at the end he said very thoughtfully: "So...A s near as I can figure from my experience in all this is that a child could go into suspended animation at age 5, come out of it close to college age, get into college, and even become a doctor if he wanted." A few of us were standing around grinning at one another at the end, and nothing was said, but we all burst out giggling at once over how daunting we'd been imagined the process to be.<br><br>
The unschooled daughter of one of those moms got herself into a good four year college after she'd gone to the community college taking more than full loads just because she thought it was fun. Her parents were too busy setting up a business at the time to help out, so she did all her college research and applications on her own. Then she excelled there and got herself a full scholarship to grad school at Tufts. Her brother, on the other hand, took some classes at the community college, worked some as an assistant in an outdoor education camp for teens, and went off to bicycle and tour Europe with his college grad girlfriend, <a href="http://www.wwoof.org/" target="_blank">WSOOFing</a> it on organic farms. Living the good life <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">. The son of another of the moms who'd been there that night was working in theater lighting and going to the community college full time - last I heard he was headed off to a four year college to pursue whatever it is that he's now most interested in. The son of another one has done the same. So our premature giggles were right on. Can you see why I get so impatient when I see all the anxiety these days about getting 3 and 4 year olds up to speed on their reading <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wild.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wild">? Good grief - a friend told me she got a call the other day from a woman who's <i>thinking about getting pregnant</i> and wanted to come to their park day to find out about homeschooling... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I blame the craazy school system for all this. - Lillian</span>
 
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