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#1 charlotteb

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:08 AM

My son will be starting high school in Fall 2011. I have several friends who already have children in high school. From what they say, their children do all their work on their own. The parents don't teach, they just hand the book and lessons to the child to do figure out and do by themselves. I even have one friends who says she has no idea what her son is even doing in math! These are all very smart children and they seem to do just fine with this arrangement. But to me, it seems kinda unfair. If your child were in high school at a public or private school, the teacher would actually teach them. And even when I went to college, the professors taught us our work. Please don't think I'm trying to insult those who do this method- I'm just trying to understand where it comes from. I look forward to reading and discussing "The Oddysey" with my son in 9th grade, not letting him do it all alone. Also, I know he'll need (and benefit from ) me teaching him his new math concepts, etc. We are a very close family and homeschooling has just added to it. I don't want to lose that, kwim? I don't sit over my children and watch their every pencil stroke, but I am still the teacher :) So, what is the hive's opinion?
Again, I hope no one takes offense at this because that's not what I'm trying to do.
Thanks :)

#2 KarenAnne

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:20 AM

Like you, I am amazed at other kids who do work on their own. We will not be working that way -- my daughter is in 8th grade and will be starting high school next fall and I do not expect to change what we do very much. We read books together and discuss them together. We work on her math together, because we both find the actual math easy but the book hard to follow. We do science activities together because I adore them and my daughter likes cooperative learning (also she goes to a homeschool physics lab, and I plan to continue that kind of thing). When she reads for pleasure -- mostly science fiction -- she loves recommending books to me, seeing me read them and reporting back to her. I cannot imagine giving this up.

There's plenty of burgeoning independence. She takes outside classes in the arts. She takes riding lessons, and to fund them works at the riding stables several hours a week. She plays a lot by herself and is happy to write alone as long as I read what she writes and occasionally join in.

I feel lucky to have a child who WANTS to share her intellectual world with me. So long as she has this desire I am more than happy to go along with it. She's thirteen, so I know it will not last many more years.

#3 charlotteb

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:30 AM

Thank you Karen! I was beginning to think I'm the only one. You even explained things better than I did so I really appreciate your post and agree with you 100%!

#4 mama25angels

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:39 AM

We don't work that way and I know many others here don't work that way either.

#5 EKS

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:00 PM

My son is in his first year of high school and I am very involved in teaching him. I believe that one of the joys of education is in the interaction between teacher and student.

#6 Lizzie in Ma

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:03 PM

We have used the WTM eclectically for 8 years.
I greatly looked forward to the same things you are enjoying with you daughter with my own. And to a large extent, we share favorite books, discussions, cooking together and other things.

However, this year we have switched to something I always said I would never do and used to look on with a bit of a gimlet eye, to my shame.
Due to many reasons and many challenges, our 8th grader is doing all dvd school this year. We needed me to be all Mom for her now and remove the stress and tension of me being her teacher as well. I mourned the loss of my home school the way I dreamed of it but this was best for the whole family.
It wasn't what I wanted but she is thriving on it and we are all better for it.

She has made many comments about how much she is enjoying what she is doing and has asked to continue this for high school and we have agreed to allow it.

That having been said, I am always here to help, always here to encourage and there is a ton of administrative work with this route. While I may have abdicated being her school teacher, I remain a devoted homeschool Mom.

#7 Lori in MS

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:05 PM

I plan to use a fairly independant high school program, but will have discussion time each week to go over their work. I would love to spend more time with them but I don't see how I can do it all. How do those of you with large families get to it all? I have five and have only been able to survive this year by having my 7th grader be mostly independant. I check his math and grammar,go over corrections, teach new grammar concepts, discuss his reading with him, help him with science experiments and study for tests, but that is it, He does everything else on his own except history and read alouds which we do as a family. Each year I am moving him to more independance.

It's not really because I want to but I don't know how else to do it. I'm hoping that even with the independant program I will be able to have meaningful discussions each day even though the lesson plans are written to the student and he is expected to do it mostly on his own.

Edited by Lori in MS, 12 February 2010 - 12:08 PM.


#8 Jane in NC

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:09 PM

One of the great things about TWTM methodology is the level of discussion that we enjoy. Granted, I did not read every assigned book. Some I read, some my husband read, some my son read independently. Dinner and post-dinner discussions are a favorite family sport in this house. Assigned reading, historical analysis, experiment hypotheses and the latest cover story in National Geographic are often part of our dinner/post-dinner chats.

My son is not overly talented in math, but can hold his own. Yet he needs instruction in the subject. Some kids can read math books, do the assigned problems, make all the connections. My son cannot. Given that math is my thing, I often enjoy discussing tangential topics not in the text. (See son's eyes glazing over now.)

Even if I am not doing the reading, watching the DVD, or translating the Latin passage, I like to discuss with my son what he is doing and why he is doing it. I don't stress multiple choice tests, so without discussion I would have no way of evaluating his work.

That said, I also ask about courses that my son has taken at the CC or online. In some cases, like his Composition courses, he would ask me to proof read his papers. Then there were his science courses! His Chem II prof loved to blow things up (envision burned ceiling tiles). He had great stories to share on the pyrotechnics of the day--imparting what was learned in the process.

High school is too much fun not to be involved! My opinion anyway.

Jane

#9 Veronica in VA

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:18 PM

I was involved a lot, particularly the first couple of years of high school. But ultimately the goal was for her to learn time management and learn to do more on her own. As dd went into 11th, we still had discussions but she set her own schedule and did most of her own work with me just checking. By 12th she scheduled everything on her own. We still discussed lit and history but that was it. This semester she's taking all community college courses, but she still likes to read me her papers to get my opinion first.

#10 JennW in SoCal

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:20 PM

Well..... I don't know if it is always an either/or scenario. There is more to learning than being a passive student who takes in what a teacher teaches, and while discussion and shared interests have always been the backbone of homeschooling in my house, independent study is a necessary skill. As with most things in life, the challenge is finding that perfect balance!

Much of what my 10th grader does is independent because the bulk of his work is reading, thinking and writing. We discuss books, do biology labs together and go over geometry problems together, but he spends the bulk of his school time in independent study. We enjoy each others company, enjoy sharing books and debating our theories about the tv show Lost. But he prefers studying alone and needs to hone his study and memorization skills in preparation for a science major in college.

My older ds was different, and needed much more of my time to explain things and help keep him on task.

And, never say never in parenting or homeschooling! What works for you and your children now may not work when they are 16 or 17!

#11 zootle

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:45 PM

Hi,
I have one son that just finished up higshcool, a 10th grader, and an 8th grader. My oldest wanted some instruction. The middle boy has learning challenges and requires alot of instruction time with mom. I think the 8th grader could probably teach the 10th grader if I would let hime(not healthy for the 10th grader). All this to say that kids are different. What works for one won't necessarily work for another. My sister-in-law hands the books to her highschoolers and they teach themselves. She uses a video program for math. She is mostly relageted to grading tests. My other sister-in-law used a co-op to teach math and science but loved literature so she used a literature based history for her kids in highschool. They had great discussions and are wonderful kids. 3 Moms, 10 kids, multiple styles of teaching and learning.

My best advice is "enjoy the journey, don't freak out over boys exerting independence over their mom (they will and should try), and don't worry about what anyone else is doing or telling you. Do what is working for your kids.
Cindy

#12 C_l_e_0..Q_c

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:01 PM

My son is enrolled in a long distance school. His textbook is more like a teacher writing to him, than an actual textbook. So, instead of having a 'real' teacher stand in front of the class, he gets to read what the teacher would have said.
He does not want me to go over his work with him. I do once in a while, if he lets his marks slide (he just did that in Spanish...) but if he keeps his marks up, mom is outta there. It's a great incentive for him to work hard ;)

#13 transientChris

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:38 PM

I have three. The first liked lots of discussion but did a lot of work on his own. The second comes and tells me about things or asks questions but doesn't like discussions with me that much, probably because we have very similar personalities and are mostly 'just the facts' kind of people. Now here comes my third. She likes personal connection. Yes, as a middle schooler, she is now doing more on her own. But I think I will be doing more with her for her entire highschool more than any of the others.

#14 AnitaMcC

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:49 PM

My son will be starting high school in Fall 2011. I have several friends who already have children in high school. From what they say, their children do all their work on their own. The parents don't teach, they just hand the book and lessons to the child to do figure out and do by themselves. I even have one friends who says she has no idea what her son is even doing in math! These are all very smart children and they seem to do just fine with this arrangement. But to me, it seems kinda unfair. If your child were in high school at a public or private school, the teacher would actually teach them. And even when I went to college, the professors taught us our work. Please don't think I'm trying to insult those who do this method- I'm just trying to understand where it comes from. I look forward to reading and discussing "The Oddysey" with my son in 9th grade, not letting him do it all alone. Also, I know he'll need (and benefit from ) me teaching him his new math concepts, etc. We are a very close family and homeschooling has just added to it. I don't want to lose that, kwim? I don't sit over my children and watch their every pencil stroke, but I am still the teacher :) So, what is the hive's opinion?
Again, I hope no one takes offense at this because that's not what I'm trying to do.
Thanks :)


I say it is totally up to the student/parent/family. You do it the way you want to do it as a family.

For my family... mostly our twins are doing it on their own. But they come to Dh and I when needed. I just don't have the ability to fully teach them. I don't know why it is.. but I am much better at dealing with specific questions and helping them through these questions. But to teach a full concept... I just don't know how to do it. And to discuss literature... I am horrible at it.
Also, Dh and I are of mind that the kids need to be self-learners as much as they can do it. Even in college there will be professors who are absolutely horrible at teaching. I had one teacher for calculus... I couldn't understand a word he said because his accent was so strong. So I had to teach myself and hire a tutor to help me through the rough spots. I couldn't afford a tutor to teach me every lesson so I had to work out what I could on my own.

So for us, we feel that it is important for the kids to learn to do for themselves and then to seek out help when they need help. Ds is very much a loner... he does not like us "interfering". Dd is much more interactive in her education. So I try to check in with them on a daily basis and we go over things. When they do their essays, we discuss them. When they do their math tests, we go over them. And so on... I just don't teach them the material. I guide and help them as they go along.

Edited by AnitaMcC, 12 February 2010 - 02:56 PM.


#15 HappyatHome

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:33 PM

I have had four highschoolers and it has been different with each. I do try to do something with them each day. There have been different subjects we have totally worked through together and some where I had no idea what they were doing. A couple have worked mostly independently and one I did most subjects with. Most of those involved some sort of other accountability. I will say that it is important to have some accountability in place.

So, no hard and fast rule. But there is no reason why you can't do something together on a regularly basis.

#16 Mom0012

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 04:44 PM

I haven't read all the posts but I think some children really learn best on their own. I know I did. I hated being "taught" material in a classroom and would just zone right out. If you handed me a text and told me to go at my own pace, I would zip right through it and do very well. I am still like that.

That being said, I'm sure that doesn't work for all children and I think kids are entitled to instruction if they need it or want it.

Lisa

#17 choirfarm

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 04:45 PM

I have several friends who already have children in high school. From what they say, their children do all their work on their own. The parents don't teach, they just hand the book and lessons to the child to do figure out and do by themselves.:) So, what is the hive's opinion?
Again, I hope no one takes offense at this because that's not what I'm trying to do.
Thanks :)


My question would be how many children at what ages do they have?? Also, their children may work better that way. I am starting to do more independent work because I HAVE to.

9th grader does Chalkdust Geometry all on his own. Many times if he gets something wrong, then I hand him the key so he can see why. I don't teach it. Chemistry-reads it all on his own. I tell him if answers are right or wrong. Dh discusses and does experiments with him once a week. TOG history and literature is read on his own with a discussion time once a week. Vocabulary and grammar are workbook base with no discussion. SOS Spanish is all computer, no interaction from me at all. Intermediate Logic with DVD and me sort of grading though I don't understand it at all.

7th grader- I have to go over Chalkdust Prealgebra with him nearly every day, TOG discussion once a week, vocabulary is independent and tried to do Analytical Grammar but just bought Winston to go over it with him, Apologia Science he does all on his own with no discussion and teaching from me.

2nd grader- ALL hands on, all subjects with me. Lots of discussion. Just beginning to read so can't be independent.

So, to be honest my high schooler spends a lot of his time in his room alone reading and teaching himself. HE actually likes that. Could I learn and interact with him and all of his subjects...yes, I could. But I don't have enough energy and time to do that. He can be independent, so I let him. So don't judge them to harshly. If I only had high school students, then I would be discussing, discussing, discussing. If I only had my 2nd grader, I would be doing her school SO differently as she hates it now. Right now, it is just surviving this mess.

I mean if I was discussing everything then I would be discussing: The Civil War, Huckleberry Finn (9th) Red Badge of Courage(7th) Little Women(2nd), phonics. Chemistry, Apologia General Science, Mercury with 2nd grader, Double digit subtraction, Pre-Algebra, Geometry, Logic, Spanish, thesis statements, civil war newspaper, Olympic game information, violin and piano. I am not competent nor do I have time to be able to discuss all of that in one day. I would have to study 24 hours a day!!! Sometimes I wonder if ps would be better. I feel like they would get much more interaction from experts in their fields. I'm really good with the history and English that I taught.


Christine

Edited by choirfarm, 12 February 2010 - 04:50 PM.


#18 Janice in NJ

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 05:23 PM

that in every single subject work slides to NADA unless an adult is checking their work at least once a week. Period. Both children. Every single subject. Yup! I could be missing something, but thinking back... I think that it is every single ONE!

I guess my kids are incredibly lazy.
But that's life for me.

I believed that it was going to be different based on all of the rhetoric that I've heard about homeschooling and independent learners. Makes me so stinkin' mad, actually.... mad at my kids - which isn't good. So I've switched to being stinkin' mad at the rhetoric. :001_smile: Which is a lot less stressful. :001_smile: It's MUCH easier to be mad at an idea that I've gleaned from who knows where!!!! than to grump at my kids. Constantly!

Revelation: I think that will be the new me! My kids are lazy - but they're MINE! It will be much easier to love my lazy, ne'er-do-well kids than to constantly be wishing that they were different!

My new confession: Hi! My name is Janice, and I am homeschooling under-achievers. But I love them. I REALLY, really DO!!!!! Even though they are clearly hapless individuals who don't work unless they fear an immediate lash. :001_smile:

Thanks for this post! I feel better now!
Peace,
Janice

Plan to be involved.
Be presently surprised when my involvement is not needed. Nice!

vs.

Plan to be un-involved.
Be not so pleasant when my involvement is needed. A lot. Not so nice.....

Edited by Janice in NJ, 12 February 2010 - 05:30 PM.


#19 Blessed

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 05:58 PM

gaaaasp!:lol: you totally crack me up! this is how I feel sometimes! I hear what braniacs some homeschooled kids are and what self-starters they are!??? My kids are beautiful and smart if I dare say so myself but...motivated?....not so much. At least not one of them and the other 2 could put more effort in. I feel I set the course by some of my own slacker ways, maybe too much media time and then getting all bent out of shape and millitant when I see it in my kids. Hmmmm. But like you said they're mine and I love 'em. And we are enjoying the journey and trusting God to draw them into what they were created to do and be. Thanks for sharing!

#20 AnitaMcC

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 06:00 PM

that in every single subject work slides to NADA unless an adult is checking their work at least once a week. Period. Both children. Every single subject. Yup! I could be missing something, but thinking back... I think that it is every single ONE!

I guess my kids are incredibly lazy.
But that's life for me.

I believed that it was going to be different based on all of the rhetoric that I've heard about homeschooling and independent learners. Makes me so stinkin' mad, actually.... mad at my kids - which isn't good. So I've switched to being stinkin' mad at the rhetoric. :001_smile: Which is a lot less stressful. :001_smile: It's MUCH easier to be mad at an idea that I've gleaned from who knows where!!!! than to grump at my kids. Constantly!

Revelation: I think that will be the new me! My kids are lazy - but they're MINE! It will be much easier to love my lazy, ne'er-do-well kids than to constantly be wishing that they were different!

My new confession: Hi! My name is Janice, and I am homeschooling under-achievers. But I love them. I REALLY, really DO!!!!! Even though they are clearly hapless individuals who don't work unless they fear an immediate lash. :001_smile:

Thanks for this post! I feel better now!
Peace,
Janice

Plan to be involved.
Be presently surprised when my involvement is not needed. Nice!

vs.

Plan to be un-involved.
Be not so pleasant when my involvement is needed. A lot. Not so nice.....



LOL, so similar here. My kids are lazy!!! I have to check on them daily to keep them on track... and they have not been on track so far.

Dd 9th grader is not too behind. She is only behind a little in math but that isn't her strong subject so not too bad. She pretty much is a steady pacer. She gets 90% of her work done on time. Her thing is that she doesn't know how to manage her time so I have to help her with that.

Ds 9th grader is waaaaaaay behind but he is sooooooo capable and near-genius. His issue is that he just wants to absorb knowledge but not have any output other than whatever creative freedom he can have. He is an absent minded professor!!!! He forgets to do the routine stuff but he can sure sit down and read cover to cover a science book and come up with a creative activity. He gets side tracked often. So for him, Dh or I have to check in on him several times a day to help redirect him when he forgets to switch gears. Otherwise he would do one subject for 8 hours straight.

So our twins are self-learners, while Dh and I are very involved. We are always checking in on them, going over their work with them, answering questions, guiding them through their day.

#21 delaney

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 06:51 PM

My son is in 9th grade in PS and we are very much involved with his work mostly b/c he is a bit of a slacker right now. We dragged him through Earth Science and will help him through his math as well. It apparently is not "cool" to stay after or ask for extra help. No big deal since we are able to do any of the math he brings home.

#22 EKS

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:00 PM

that in every single subject work slides to NADA unless an adult is checking their work at least once a week. Period. Both children. Every single subject. Yup! I could be missing something, but thinking back... I think that it is every single ONE!

I guess my kids are incredibly lazy.
But that's life for me.

I believed that it was going to be different based on all of the rhetoric that I've heard about homeschooling and independent learners. Makes me so stinkin' mad, actually.... mad at my kids - which isn't good. So I've switched to being stinkin' mad at the rhetoric. :001_smile: Which is a lot less stressful. :001_smile: It's MUCH easier to be mad at an idea that I've gleaned from who knows where!!!! than to grump at my kids. Constantly!

Revelation: I think that will be the new me! My kids are lazy - but they're MINE! It will be much easier to love my lazy, ne'er-do-well kids than to constantly be wishing that they were different!

My new confession: Hi! My name is Janice, and I am homeschooling under-achievers. But I love them. I REALLY, really DO!!!!! Even though they are clearly hapless individuals who don't work unless they fear an immediate lash. :001_smile:

Thanks for this post! I feel better now!
Peace,
Janice

Plan to be involved.
Be presently surprised when my involvement is not needed. Nice!

vs.

Plan to be un-involved.
Be not so pleasant when my involvement is needed. A lot. Not so nice.....


:lol:

#23 choirfarm

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:32 PM

[quote name='Janice in NJ']that in every single subject work slides to NADA unless an adult is checking their work at least once a week. Period. Both children. Every single subject. Yup! I could be missing something, but thinking back... I think that it is every single ONE!

QUOTE]

I agree, sort of. I grade, almost every day, but I don't TEACH every subject. I guess I thought that was what the oP was saying. I grade everything, but we don't DISCUSS everything. If I only had 2, then I could do it. I really miss the fun elementary was with the two boys. I knew it all and we discussed, discussed, discussed. I just don't have enough mental energy to discuss 18 different subjects among the three of them. I just don't. Some subjects i need to send them off with a workbook and hand it back to them graded. Like I said with Spanish, Chemistry, Logic and sometimes Geometry I don't understand what it is I'm grading. Could I learn it? Yes, I could. But I can't learn it all. I never ever learned phonics. When I brought the kids home in 2nd and 4th, they could read REALLY well. I have always known how to read and don't have any idea how I spell. I just know whether it looks right. So now I have a girl who had visual processing issues. For the first couple of years, I just thought I wasn't smart enough to teach her how to read. So all of my energy has gone to her...well, not all, but a lot. I divide up my energy and give what I can...

Christine

Christine

#24 Charles Wallace

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:09 PM

My son will be starting high school in Fall 2011. I have several friends who already have children in high school. From what they say, their children do all their work on their own. The parents don't teach, they just hand the book and lessons to the child to do figure out and do by themselves. I even have one friends who says she has no idea what her son is even doing in math! These are all very smart children and they seem to do just fine with this arrangement. But to me, it seems kinda unfair. If your child were in high school at a public or private school, the teacher would actually teach them. And even when I went to college, the professors taught us our work. Please don't think I'm trying to insult those who do this method- I'm just trying to understand where it comes from. I look forward to reading and discussing "The Oddysey" with my son in 9th grade, not letting him do it all alone. Also, I know he'll need (and benefit from ) me teaching him his new math concepts, etc. We are a very close family and homeschooling has just added to it. I don't want to lose that, kwim? I don't sit over my children and watch their every pencil stroke, but I am still the teacher :) So, what is the hive's opinion?
Again, I hope no one takes offense at this because that's not what I'm trying to do.
Thanks :)


I think there needs to be a balance between letting them learn on their own -- a life skill they'll obviously need -- and teaching them directly. As with anything, I think it's a YMMV concept: some kids are very effective as self-directors.

#25 AngieW in Texas

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:14 PM

My two high schoolers both have weekly schedules. Only a few things on their schedules have specific days marked. I check math every day, because otherwise they could get seriously lost. My kids prefer for me to leave them alone with the textbooks. My 14yo comes to me when she doesn't understand something. My 16yo just skips the assignment, so I don't know that she doesn't understand until I go to check her work. I have to stay on top of my 16yo ALL THE TIME.

I'm just about done with being able to deal with my 16yo. She's going to do almost everything at the cc next year. All we're going to do at home next year is Government and we'll probably use something like Thinkwell for that. I need to be out of the picture as much as possible for her.

My 14yo is a pleasure to work with, but she doesn't want me to outright teach her. She wants to read the material and then discuss it with me, not sit there and listen to me talk.

#26 charlotteb

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 09:49 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm glad no one took my questions the wrong way :)
A few posters mentioned that their children really aren't self starteres. My DS is definately one of those kids. So maybe that's why I couldn't ever see him doing all independent learning. Plus, I do enjoy learning along with him!

#27 Sue in St Pete

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 10:30 PM

My new confession: Hi! My name is Janice, and I am homeschooling under-achievers.

Hi! My name is Sue, and I am the academic whip. My husband is the athletic whip. :cheers2:

#28 Guest_Katia_*

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:03 PM

But....but....Janice and Charlotte,

Being a self-starter or being a motivated student is not the same as a student that is not taught directly by the parent.

My dc did all of their high school level work on their own. I believe that learning is individual activity; not a group activity. You can not make someone learn something; they have to want to learn it.

However, just because my dc did all of their work on their own, doesn't mean they found the curriculum, scheduled the lessons and then got up happily each morning and did the work. NOPE. That is my job.

That, and keeping them working and keeping them on track and grading tests and reading papers, etc., and because I schedule each of their lessons I know what they are doing and can discuss it with them.....and they are always reading something in their lessons that they have to stop and talk to me about.

But, I don't 'teach' them. To me, that seems like the spoon-feeding that goes on in ps and that is not why I homeschool. I want them to be independent learners.

Each family and each student will have different needs, so it won't look the same in your family as it does in mine. That's ok. Do what works for you; others will do what works for them. But, don't confuse "not teaching" with a "self-motivated student". They aren't the same thing.....ask me how I know :D

#29 Karenciavo

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:08 PM

I pretty much teach my ds16 nothing. He uses dvds for chemistry and Algebra II. He does the work, he reads like crazy, I grade, we discuss. That's it. He's bright and driven. I'm very thankful.

#30 Janice in NJ

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 07:44 AM

There are steps in the learning process at our house.

1. The child encounters the material - usually in a book.
2. The material is reinforced - usually with an on-line class, a DVD, or a discussion with momma.
3. The child is required to produce output in order to ensure that he has interacted with the material in some way.
4. The output is checked by an adult.
5. Repeat.
6. Review: work with the momma to make sure that the child is seeing the bigger picture - the arc of the material: a beginning, middle, and a bit of a glance ahead to see what's next.
7. Test for mastery.

Repeat the whole cycle until May/June when I usually call those subjects done. (That always makes me laugh. Done. Hilarious! :001_smile:)

Now that reinforce part is NOT all me. If I told you that I "taught" every subject in our homeschool every day, you could clearly call me a liar. I have three kids: 7th, 9th, 11th grade. If I were preparing lessons, and spoon feeding my kids 180 lessons in the following subjects this year, I would be dead. I only get the same 24 that everyone else gets. So, no, I am not "teaching" these subjects this year:

7th grade English Grammar
7th grade English Composition
7th grade Vocabulary
7th grade Literature
7th grade 19th Century History
Algebra I
Earth Science
Robotics via Java
Music Theory
Piano
Violin
Pipe Organ
Choir
French
9th grade English Grammar
9th grade Rhetoric
9th grade Vocabulary
19th Century High School Literature
19th Century High School History
Music Appreciation
Geometry w/Proofs
Chemistry w/Lab
French III
French Conversation
Italian
Voice
Choir
11th grade English Grammar
Advanced Composition
American Government
Pre-Calculus
Electronics w/Lab
Computer Programming: Visual Basic
CADD for Mechanical Engineering I

Except for a couple of the classes that are on-line, I research and prepare an arch for the course. I purchase materials that supply me with teacher-help: DVD's, lesson plans like TOG, or textbooks.
My kids have personal planners. They have a rough outline of the pace of the course. (Donna Young - Semester Planner) http://donnayoung.or...anners/term.htm
Every course has one of these; their copy is in a comb-bound book along with their two-page weekly schedule spreads; the other copy is in my master binder behind the tab with that child's name. (When the course is finished it is placed in the permanent folder along with the child's output for that course. Before that course is considered "closed", I create a course summary sheet with a course description, materials used, method for arriving at a grade - usually a chart with assignments/tests that are each assigned a point-value), and a final grade for the course. Everything is in one place when it comes to supporting the transcript.) The copy of the chart in their comb-bound book helps me help them when we have our weekly "Let's look at next week" face time.
So yes, the child usually begins step one on his own. Without me. Steps 2 & 3 are sometimes reversed - the kids produce output in vocabulary, history, literature, piano :001_smile: before they interact with the adult.

But... and this was the reason for my cheaky-rant....BUT I have found steps 2-7 are very, very important. Drop any of them, and things grind to a halt around here - Even with the on-line classes. The mom is still in the loop. Solidly! I have learned my lesson, I will NOT sign my kids up for on-line classes where I am expected to do the bulk of the heavy lifting in the "checking the child's work" category. BUT I am still raising teenagers at our house. I still have to be involved a couple of times a week. I AM quality-control. Look away? The burger-flippers wander off to stare at the yellow wall in the back of the room. My kids are learning. They are growing. They are shouldering more and more and more. Every month. Every year. BUT they do not learn without some sort of mentor. They work for a breathing-body. Not for an ideal.

So, no! I don't teach my kids everything. They learn most things independently of me - as I do. Interacting with the ideas. Working problems on my own. Struggling to see what is beyond what I can see. Yes! That happens here every day.

But I hear/heard stories about "independent" learners at the high school level. I hear stories about how parents hand their child a math book (They say the book - not a DVD, not a tutor, not lesson plans, not a scope and sequence. A book.), and they say that the child figures it out on their own. I connected that with "independent", passionate learners, engaged kids... all of those terms and mistakenly assumed that would seep into our lives by the time my child reached a certain age - 9th grade. It was inevitable. Right? Wrong. Nothing around here works that way. I am NOT saying that it doesn't happen for others. NO! I am saying that it hasn't happened here yet. But I believe in it. THAT is why I am working toward it. I believe in it very, very much! Children must learn to work without an overseer. They must. We strive toward that line.

All's well. We'll get there.
In our homeschool, I do not stand in the front of the room and teach. But I do interact with my kids on a regular basis with all of their subjects. I am quality control. I can't tell you how many times I have bellowed from the kitchen, "Again! Are you really going to let that soaring note sing off-key like that? Again. Listen!" Keep in mind that I can not play anything on the violin - not even one note well. But I've kept my ears open; I know where the little man is headed; I know what his teacher is working on. I'm in the next room when he is taking his lesson. Now keep in mind that the little man does most of that all on his own every day. But he slides from time to time. I let it go for a bit. And then I redirect the chin. I rub the back of the neck, and apply a soft kiss. Surely. But I firmly redirect the chin. :001_smile:

That's how it works around here. As I said, I thought it would be different. But being jealous toward folks with those kinds of kids doesn't work in the long run. It's not produced a ton of fruit in our lives. Doing the job that I need to do - making baby-steps in that direction - every day - always - never not - needs to get done. So that's what I do. I'm trying to enjoy that journey. Even when I'm not. Redirecting my own chin. Firmly. :001_smile:

Peace,
Janice

Enjoy your little people
Enjoy your journey

#31 choirfarm

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 07:50 AM

Hi Janice,

Sounds like we are both doing TOG year 3. I do all of the steps except step 6, I think. I do with TOG because that is what I teach. But I don't have a clue what the bigger picture is for Spanish, Geometry, science or Logic with my 9th grader. I do with my 9th grader, but not sure I've ever gone over it. I see the big picture with TOG because I understand it. I'm just treading water in the other subject. If I just didn't have to teach my 2nd grader, then I could stay on top of it.. Just feeling discouraged and REALLY wondering if I should put my younger 2 in school and concentrate on my older one that i really enjoy working with.

Christine

#32 Quiver0f10

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 07:54 AM

I was one of those moms who handed their highschoolers the books and they were on their own. It did work OK for my older kids but I wanted to be more invovled.

So this year I work with my littles while my highschoolers do math ( DVD based) then science and stuff like vocab, reading etc. Once my littles are finished I teach the highschoolers latin( which I am also doing the excerizes myself ), english, writing and we go over their math and science. Once a week we sit down and go over history and literature. It can be time consuming but I have really enjoyed doing this and I feel my kids are getting more now then they were by working alone. My 15 yo Dd especially has gone from a mediocre student to an A and B stuudent and her attitude has really changed for the better.

Edited by Quiver0f10, 13 February 2010 - 08:37 PM.


#33 Janice in NJ

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 08:35 AM

I don't know, Christine. But I do know that the times that I least like working with my kids are the times that they really need me to work with them. Really need me.

Try not to be discouraged. Chin up. You'll get there. Just keep leaning forward. :001_smile:

Peace,
Janice

#34 creekland

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:15 AM

We're among those that let our middle and highschoolers learn and set their schedule on their own. We do have to keep them motivated at times, but generally, they do very well on their own. My oldest two are especially self motivated and self driven - scoring at or near the top on national college entrance tests. Where there were gaps it was generally because they were in ps till 8th and 6th grades. We had to fill those in. The one I pulled out in 7th tops the one I pulled out in 9th. My youngest is getting there motivationally. He's only in 8th grade and improving with each year. He's already well above his ps peers in academic knowledge and loves learning - unlike many of his ps friends.

Hubby and I grade and verbally go over anything they get wrong. Our family often has discussions on various topics school related or otherwise. Sometimes we all read the same book, sometimes we don't. We watch a fair bit of educational TV - or let me say - when we watch TV, most of the time it's educational. Considering we don't really watch much, that's a better way of putting it.

I'm one of those that believes, if possible, independent learning is the best - coupled with a desire to learn. Right now, with my oldest having been well sought after from all sorts of colleges, we're beginning to see the reward of it all. I'm certain he'll do well in college. He was already top of the class in his CC class and got a great recommendation from that prof toward his merit aid (offered from several colleges). Many college admin people have told us self motivated homeschoolers make their best students. One college wanted us to have him skip his senior year and start there early (requested of us on a springtime visit). We declined.

Independent learning is not always possible. Some students don't do well with it. Some (including mine) need help with certain subjects or areas. But personally, I'm rather against spoonfeeding all education at the high school level. I work in our local public high school and see the results. While a few kids do well, most learn just what they need to get by for a test and promptly forget it. If you gave the test even one day later - and unannounced, scores often are radically different. Granted, that is ps - not hs with teaching. Hs would be better.

One has to internalize learning - by whatever method works best for the student. In most cases, that's some sort of combination of things.

The nice thing about hs is we all get to choose - and do - what is right for our students. I relay my experience just so you can understand the view some of us independent folks have. While I enjoy sharing discussions with my boys and love their newly gained knowledge, I do feel it's important to let them "explore and learn" on their own - for their future. No one way is always right. We just all have our preferences.

No matter which way you choose, enjoy the journey!

#35 Nicole M

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 08:28 PM

I don't know. I think some of us just really need dialogue with other human beings to deeply engage in the world of ideas. I thought of my son as lazy, trained by public school to be a passive follower and unable to break out of that habit, and then I realized that he is an original thinker, he just needs to be taught by a person, and, more importantly, it takes him longer to seriously mull over new ideas before they catch fire than, say, I do, or his younger brother does. He is taking a hybrid online course at the community college (because they're busting at the seams and can't spare the classroom space), and he does not like it, not because he's lazy, but the format is not his thing.

Also, there's the loneliness factor. Learning stuff alone, not having someone to share and engage in dialogue about it, shoot, I would not like that, either. It's hard to get excited about something in a vacuum. I am highly involved because I would have no idea what the kid was talking about if I were not, and that irritates him. (He is interested in the environment and politics -- boring! -- and reads the Economist and is constantly trying to engage me in discussion. Finally I had to tell him, you download the podcasts and I'll listen, but I don't have time to sit down and read, pal. Less friction this way, and I'm gettin' me some education, too, even if it is not what interests me.) Tonight my "homework" is reading up on Milton and Paradise Lost, having just watched a TC lecture about him last week, for my son's Bible and Its Influence course.

Kids are different, families are different. We approach learning as a shared lifestyle, not as a chore to check off the list. Ultimately, yes, he's responsible for his work, but we're all in this together.

#36 KAR120C

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 10:12 AM

We're into highschoolish stuff here (hard to put a distinct line down and say "now high school"... but that's another story. What I've noticed is that while DS doesn't actually take his work into his room and come out with everything done, he also doesn't need his hand held through every minute. Where in elementary grades I really did need to be in the room or close at hand for just about anything, now I can say "don't forget you need to read ___ by Thursday" and pretty much trust that he will.

And it's not that we don't discuss, but that the discussions are generally broader. He might read half a book before we discuss, and he has remembered or marked specific points he wants to bring up... where it used to be that he needed to discuss after every chapter or two or he'd have lost track of the details. And he can discuss a book with me even when I've not read it, because he can explain what I've missed and tie it to other things he knows I'll recognize. Or he'll call me in to ask a question when he needs to. He was studying for a math test last week and came across a question in the review that he needed help with, but he didn't need me to walk him through it, just come in to take a look at where he was stuck.

I think for us at least the difference is that he has all the basic skills now. He can read without my being there to define words, he can do his math without any prompting more than one or two well-placed hints or questions, he can handle himself in lab science even when there's open flame involved and he doesn't forget his safety goggles. (I do supervise of course, but I don't need to interfere.) He knows how to take notes and how to study, and he keeps track of his materials. And all that means that if we have one good "meeting" in a topic he can pretty much ride on that until the next week with just an occasional check-in. That would never have worked in elementary grades, when he needed discussion at each little bit.

Since he's my only child and I don't have to divide my time, I take this as an opportunity to ramp up the discussion. It may be less frequent, but it's meatier. It has less to do with the nuts and bolts of things and more to do with the connections and the theory. And he can go for several days in between without completely losing his direction, so it might look much more independent (and it does free me up to get some of my own work done!) but he's not been set adrift. He's just been given a little space to do his work.

#37 Mama Lynx

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 05:36 PM

My oldest is 14 and no, I don't teach him much.

His father teaches him math. I teach his Classical Writing (to a point), and his Latin. He does have a teacher for Greek.

I give him literature to read, and we discuss it. Same with history.

Next year I will teach him science.

But I don't spend much *time* "teaching" him. I give him his assignments, and off he goes. When he's finished, we discuss. This works very, very well for us, and we're certainly not lacking in closeness or intellectual sharing. Believe me!

(Except for Greek. I am not in the loop with Greek. And frankly, I don't care.)

As I am teaching four children, two of them under fourth grade, I am extremely grateful that my two oldest have developed into independent, motivated self-learners. I teach my two younger students everything - I simply don't have time for that for the olders.

#38 Nan in Mass

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 08:44 AM

When my older one got to high school, I announced that everything would be different now. He heard me out very, very quietly as I went of for days about this. Then he finally said, "Please can't we keep doing things the way we always have? It works really well and I like doing school that way." I could hear the tears behind his voice. We looked at each other for a minute, and I thought: Why on earth not? What was the point of pulling him out of our very good public school if we couldn't all do things together? Where did I get this idea that everything had to be different? It wasn't as though I had to worry about him depending on me for everything; he's off peacewalking for months at a time every year. I backed right up and we continued to do things together. Nevertheless, I worried about it, until one day as I was doing math with him, it occurred to me that when I was in high school, somebody taught me math. Even when I was in college, somebody taught me. I read the text book, but only for review before the final or as a last resort. It didn't mean I couldn't read it when I wanted to, just that it was nicer to go to the lecture and have someone tell me the information. Then I stopped worrying. I did make sure that we transitioned him back into the classroom before we dropped him into college full-time. As the years went by, he became more independent about some things. When he was 16 or 17, his academic skills and independence really kicked in and I was so, so glad that I had only gently encouraged earlier, not pushed or forced. You can teach a very young child how to tie his shoes, but you know what? It is much easier and faster to wait until he is a little older.
Anyway, I think you have the right idea. Just love your children for who they are and try not to worry. Which would you rather have? A studious, serious, driven child or a more robust, all around good jo? They each have their advantages and their struggles.
-Nan

#39 Nan in Mass

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 08:58 AM

PS - Piano. I am heavily involved with everything but piano. And I am only not involved with piano because I consider piano a finished subject, one in which I have given him (via lessons with a piano teacher) everything he needs to continue on his own, and whether or not he continues is at this point totally up to him. He has chosen to continue, and he chose his own method: no more lessons, just sit down and play whatever he feels like, mostly stuff he makes up or bits he steals off of youtube. As far as I can tell, his music reading skills are atrophying almost completely, but his pieces are growing and changing as he adds new things to them and experiments with different I-don't-even-know-what-to-call-it's? embellishments? colours?, so I am happy. I give him school time to work on it, which is why I count it as an idependent subject instead of just a hobby. He has plenty of hobbies that require independent work. I think maybe that is how we should be judging our children. Are they doing something for themselves that involves research, learning, and practicing? If they are, I don't think it matters if we are force-feeding or spoon-feeding them the things they aren't interested in. We make them eat their carrots, too, and yet we have confidence that when they are out on their own, they will manage to eat fairly nutritiously when they have to.
-Nan

#40 Nan in Mass

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 09:03 AM

Creekland, how do your children become self-motivated learners? My younger one (unlike my older one) is a more engineering-oriented person rather than a more people-oriented person. I can see the beginnings of this in him but I am unsure how to encourage and reenforce it. What do you do in your family?
-Nan

#41 Nan in Mass

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 09:11 AM

Christine - I think this is the point where you have to define why you are homeschooling in the first place. If it is for academic excellence and you think that your public school would do a reasonable job teaching your younger ones without spoiling them, then perhaps you should let them go and concentrate on the older one and tell yourself that your younger ones' times to learn intensively at home with you will come. If you have other reasons for homeschooling (we do) then you have to decide whether those reasons are worth sacrificing some academics for. It is hard. I know. We have an excellent public school system that would undoubtedly do a better job at the academics than I can. We sent our oldest though, and know to our sorrow that excellent high school academics are no use if the child who wanted to be an engineer his whole life decides he hates school.
-Nan

#42 Nan in Mass

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 09:13 AM

What a great post, Nicole! My older one is like that. You did a much better job of explaining than I did.

#43 Mad Jenny Flint

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:58 AM

The checking, discussing, grading, discussing, review, testing for mastery... I have to be fully engaged. This does not mean in any sense that my son is lazy.

I've never, ever thought of him that way- in fact, I think he is very driven and extremely hard-working. Do I have to press him on occasion? Do I have to present the big picture now and then to get him on board? Do I have to give him a kick in the pants now and then? Does he become sullen about certain assignments or the work load in general? Yes, emphatically, YES!

I guess I thought that was normal, because these are all things that I need for myself, as well, and I get cranky about all the things I must do occasionally, too! And I am a driven, hard-working adult!

#44 transientChris

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 11:52 AM

Well the same daughter who was reading Pilgrim's Progress instead of Paradise Lost quickly made up for that and on top of it, had done one math chapter and was about to go into the next when I mentioned she needs to do the test. So yes, she is working without prompting but still needs to have some checks.

#45 G5052

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 12:00 PM

I've heard people say this too, but I don't think it's good to completely let go. At some point you need to monitor. I know enough long-term homeschoolers to know that many families who turn it over 100% tend to have problems at some point. One of my SILs has done this for years, and my kids reported when they were visiting that the kids in that family including the teens routinely got up before the mom and used the answer keys to do their work. One or two of the families in our academic co-op have the kids 100% in charge of their work, and every one of those kids is not doing well. Last year one kid turned in nothing at all the whole semester, but they did not allow him to continue the second semester and he has effectively dropped out of school.

My oldest is good with his co-op assignments, but I still look over his work here and there all week and check it all before he packs it up for class. I also read all of the novels that he reads so that we can discuss them before he writes his papers. So even though I've delegated somewhat, I'm still involved. I just consider that part of parenting a minor, and I'd probably do the same thing if they were in the classroom. Most of my friends with kids in public school are involved at some level with their kids' homework.

Edited by GVA, 15 February 2010 - 12:05 PM.


#46 Nan in Mass

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 01:51 PM

This thread could morph into "parent involvement in college". We have found that it takes quite a lot of work on our part to support (and I'm not talking about financially) our grown children in collge. It could be the particular college. It could be our particular children but I don't think so because we have wound up doing it for their friends as well. It isn't so much supporting with school work as supporting with life: how to track a package, how to buy plane tickets, how to build an icefishing shack, what to do when it blows across the lake, how to line a pair of pants with pile, how to patch a drysuit, how to pick your courses so if you drop one you won't become a part-time student and unable to compete with your athletic team, how to look at a lease, how to renew your passport, etc.
-Nan

#47 creekland

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 04:25 PM

Creekland, how do your children become self-motivated learners? My younger one (unlike my older one) is a more engineering-oriented person rather than a more people-oriented person. I can see the beginnings of this in him but I am unsure how to encourage and reenforce it. What do you do in your family?
-Nan


This is a really good question that hubby and I have discussed many times as we've watched our kids grow up. Essentially, we wonder if the tendency is nature or nurture. Overall, we have come to the conclusion (our own thoughts, of course) that it is a combo of both.

We've been encouraging it with our kids since they were really young. We model a desire to learn by watching educational programming as a family (History Channel, etc) instead of pure mindless entertainment (which we do once in a while, but not as a rule). We take tons of time when we visit museums in order to read all the side info that is around exhibits. We discuss intelligent ideas/topics all the time - and have since ours have been young (though we do keep a bit of it age appropriate). We're always interested in things they have found out from elsewhere, be it another person, book, or simple self-discovery.

I'm terrible at trying to teach pre-puberty, so my own kids went to ps up until 8th, 6th, and 4th grades. Ideally, I'd have pulled each of them after 6th grade, but we wanted to pull them all out at the same time, so we took the middle point. It helped that our local elementary ps was great - up till they switched to Everyday Math anyway (only caught my youngest with that).

By high school our schools are terrible (academically). I've worked there for 11 years now (subbing in math/science classes). When I try to pinpoint the problem, it tends to all come down to the lack of desire to learn. Somewhere between elementary and high school the kids quit wanting to learn. Is it all nature? Or is it nurture?

Going off nurture...

We all watched documentaries on some of the greatest people who ever lived - many of whom were self-educated in whole or in part (like George Washington Carver). We discussed as a family how little these folks had as kids/teens and how they "should" have failed or been mediocre, but what drove them on was internal - and a desire to succeed academically.

We point out often the many people that "make it" in life who are internally driven - and materialism is not our measure of success.

We've watched shows on how the brain develops - and how the more "different" things they learn as teens (not all academic), the smarter they will be as adults.

We still listen and care when they make discoveries of any sort, after all, we're all still learning.

We make sure they have intelligent people of all sorts that they can communicate with.

We've taught them how to research anything they might not have understood in any conversation (isn't google wonderful?).

We've told them to think of their education as their job... but not just 9 - 5 - anytime.

We totally take a break on Sunday. Everyone needs SOME time off. That's ours. They know they can depend on it. No homework, no housework, no yard work. They can have time to do whatever they enjoy (after church anyway).

Then, academically, we gave ours what we thought were decent programs and/or books and went over with them what was expected (hw done, no grades for it - all readings done and be willing to discuss them at any time, not just for a test - all tests taken when an adult is present, all work done by the end of the school year). The first couple of years it took some monitoring and reminding or else they'd fall behind. This year there's very little reminding needed with my 12th and 10 graders. My 8th grader is still 13/14, so needs some age appropriate guidance, but is definitely showing huge amounts of success with it even with lapses.

We occasionally discuss content of what they are learning, but only when they miss something on a test or come to us with questions for "formal" discussions. Otherwise, they are simply expected to know it when we have our regular conversations. This can range from "To be or not to be," to "which direction does the earth rotate?"

They all do the SAT/ACT questions of the day and enjoy that they get most of them right. Any they get wrong they discuss among each other first, sometimes with us.

And perhaps more controversially, we haven't allowed much mindless entertainment. They don't have their own computers and are limited in time on ours. They have very few hand held electronic games. They didn't grow up watching all the latest sit-coms, though we watched some of the older ones as a family. Their play has been self-directed using things they can find instead of buying everything pre-made. We didn't entertain them on our long distance trips with the latest in videos. Instead, those are some of our great teaching moments with discussions - and they appreciate nature (or whatever else they can see out the window). When the scenery got boring, they learned to make up their own games.

More or less, mine have been forced to use their minds from a young age. Maybe it's cruel, but it sure has worked well - and I have no complaints from them either. They may not keep up on the entertainment category of Trivial Pursuit, but they can sure hold their own in the other categories. They have decent social lives, but not on Facebook (none of us are on it). They have impressed people in interviews, on mission trips both domestic and international, and even when questioned by outright strangers who told me they opposed homeschooling - except for mine! (Added note - I know they need to see more examples, but we hope to have changed some stereotypes.)

Can all kids do this? I honestly don't know (nature/nurture again). We've had three who can. Only one was a "natural" at it (middle son). The other two had to learn, but now that they've learned they are taking off with it. My oldest has even more of a desire now that he knows where he's going to college (and looking forward to it). My youngest still has issues with remembering, but I think it's totally age related, so he gets some friendly reminders. He still loves to learn - and that's key. If I had tried to make my middle son learn the "normal" way I'd really have held him back. My other two might have done just fine, but I'm happy with them the way they are, so have no plans to change.

We're involved in our kids' education, but not in the normal teaching way. I teach more at school than I do with my own kids using that method, but my own kids know incredibly more than those I work with at school - and both their test scores (SAT, etc) and any discussion with them shows it (as long as the discussion isn't on modern entertainment or actors/actresses!). There are a few self-motivated kids at school too - and they always know more than what they learn in school. I love working with those kids too - in conversations or with the tidbit here or there that they don't understand. :)

Interestingly enough, when I was in college, my profs tended to tell us we were responsible for knowing what was in the books they assigned, but they taught us other things in class. Often they weren't teaching from the book, but rather, using what we learned that was in it. We were supposed to already know (from reading) the basics. I know not all colleges are the same, but I loved my education.

#48 creekland

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 04:49 PM

Just want to post a ps that we're not perfect even if my long post last time seemed to imply that. What happens in theory sometimes doesn't happen exactly right and we did have to adjust to homeschooling. My oldest doesn't write as well as I would like. Nature or nurture again? I'm certain it's part of both. It's not where he's gifted, but I probably should have done more along the way. Fortunately, it hasn't held him back from what he wants to do or where he wants to go.

AND, in the aspect that we're all still learning... my younger sons write better with more supervision in those areas - esp with my youngest! :)

#49 Jean in Wisc

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 09:27 AM

I have two in college and I'm teaching my last and most contented child. :)

Over the years, I've found what seems to work in our home. I give them a list of assignments--one for each class--to show what they need to do each day throughout the year. At the end of the day, when the child is done with his work, we sit down and go over everything. We discuss the section reviews in history and discuss whatever he is studying, I ask what he read in science and look at the work he did and see if he needs any clarification or vocab help, I ask how math went (it's a video program, so I don't teach it), I correct any Spanish that needs a teacher (a computer program--doesn't need much of me), we talk about the literature he is reading, and I give feedback on his papers for composition, I grade his Logic, I hand back tests and we discuss them.

Every day that I am able, we do this. It takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. It makes keeping up with what he is doing easy, and I am on top of the work. He is pretty much independent, however, and does his work each day in his room by himself.

It works for us.

Jean

#50 Nan in Mass

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:47 PM

Here is a something long that I just wrote that happens also to explain why we don't put a huge emphasis on academics. It was very interesting to read about your family. Thank you for writing it all out for me. The problem is one of time as well as attitude. I guess what I'm hoping is that we have done enough of what you do to get your results. I have only recently begun paying attention to your posts, so I can't tell whether your family is as involved with other things as mine. Have you read enough of my posts to have any sense of this? I guess, to be blunt, I'm trying to decide exactly how much of our non-academic lives I have to give up to achieve this, and whether the price is higher than we as a family want to pay, or than my son himself is willing to pay. With the older one, I didn't have much choice. The nature part was missing. This son could do either, so now I am having to choose whether to add the nurture. All the details you put in your post are valuable to me because they (hopefully) will let me take a guess at this. I always find "how much" harder to judge than "whether or not". In case you want to help me guess GRIN I have marked which we do or have done, and which we don't. Maybe you have a better sense than I do of which things on your list are crucial?

We've been encouraging it with our kids since they were really young. We model a desire to learn by watching educational programming as a family (History Channel, etc) instead of pure mindless entertainment (which we do once in a while, but not as a rule). We used to do this. Our youngest would rather spend his time playing online strategy games now, so to do this, I would have to make it a requirement, and I've been reluctant to do that. We take tons of time when we visit museums in order to read all the side info that is around exhibits. Yes. We discuss intelligent ideas/topics all the time - and have since ours have been young (though we do keep a bit of it age appropriate). We do this some. We aren't a very talky family, though, and gymnastics means we don't eat together. Lack of family meals is one of my big regrets. We're always interested in things they have found out from elsewhere, be it another person, book, or simple self-discovery. Definately do this.

I'm terrible at trying to teach pre-puberty, so my own kids went to ps up until 8th, 6th, and 4th grades. Ideally, I'd have pulled each of them after 6th grade, but we wanted to pull them all out at the same time, so we took the middle point. It helped that our local elementary ps was great - up till they switched to Everyday Math anyway (only caught my youngest with that). It took me years to undo the tangle that Everyday Math caused. My oldest's college has only just now succeeded in doing it. Ug.

By high school our schools are terrible (academically). Ours is excellent, causing me to second guess myself constantly. I've worked there for 11 years now (subbing in math/science classes). When I try to pinpoint the problem, it tends to all come down to the lack of desire to learn. Somewhere between elementary and high school the kids quit wanting to learn. Is it all nature? Or is it nurture? This is why we began homeschooling, but then unfortunately we tried high school for the oldest and this was the result. Now if I could just stop wondering if it would work ok for my youngest... His friend and cousin managed to hang onto their love of learning, despite high school, making me wonder if it was just my oldest.

Going off nurture...

We all watched documentaries on some of the greatest people who ever lived - many of whom were self-educated in whole or in part (like George Washington Carver). We discussed as a family how little these folks had as kids/teens and how they "should" have failed or been mediocre, but what drove them on was internal - and a desire to succeed academically. We have never done this. This is a good idea, but one that would be hard for us to implement because none of us likes history videos. We find them depressing.

We point out often the many people that "make it" in life who are internally driven No - and materialism is not our measure of success. Yes

We've watched shows on how the brain develops - and how the more "different" things they learn as teens (not all academic), the smarter they will be as adults. No - This I would have more success at.

We still listen and care when they make discoveries of any sort, after all, we're all still learning. No problem here. The whole extended family is genuinely fascinated.

We make sure they have intelligent people of all sorts that they can communicate with. Again, no problem. My son's friends all play strategy games with tons of rules that require good study skills to master and a good bit of intelligence to win. They also play with language all the time and discuss science. I wish he had more adult role models. A few ivory tower research types would be helpful right about now.

We've taught them how to research anything they might not have understood in any conversation (isn't google wonderful?). Yup. Google is wonderful. My son spent an hour of his Feb break yesterday googling all the different ways to figure out how to calculate the day of the week from its date and melding them together into something he considered memorizable. Guess we have no problem there. Except when he accidentally gets a virus and we have to spend the entire weekend rebuilding his laptop, like last weekend. He also discovered how to watch all the mythbusters, leaving me uneasy about the legality and wondering if I need to broach that topic.

We've told them to think of their education as their job Yes... but not just 9 - 5 - anytime. We aren't very good at this. One of the main ways homeschooling works for us is that we have an ending time. This might be key. Perhaps I need to work on this.



continuing...


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