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#1 blessedmom3

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:47 PM

Maybe some of you have read my first thread about PS. http://welltrainedmi...549#post2458549

What I forgot to mention , is that the principal said this year he had A LOT of homeschoolres going back to PS due to economic reasons (moms had to go back to work) and almost ALL of them had to take remedial classes because they were so behind !!! Remember this is just an elementary school .

Now this is a big surprise to me . I thought most of hs are so advanced ... I think my son it is and I know a few other hs kids that are advanced too . Or maybe I am wrong ?

I have NO experience with public schools in USA . My kids were hs from K , now they are 7 and 6 yrs old . But the test scores speak themselves : USA is behind most countries in math & science .

http://4brevard.com/...test-scores.htm

I believe some hs are unschoolers but I do not believe that MOST as he said had to take remedial classes ...I do not know what to believe anymore ,I cannot wait to experience USA ps on my own skin :) (or my kids )

#2 Horton

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:56 PM

My dd went back for all of three weeks this school year for 5th grade and was bored. They were far behind where she was so it really just depends.

#3 Blossom'sGirl

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:57 PM

My 7yo (just turned 8) nephew went to public school this year for the first time and they actually had him put into 3rd grade. One of his classmates said he is one of the best students in the class. Also, this is a top ranked school.

#4 littlebug42

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:02 PM

I think some of this is because they are expected to write much earlier in public schools. My kids would be behind what they expect because I have not pushed writing in the 5-point paragraph/5 paragraph essay way. However, I would put my kids' sentence writing ability against any of them though. I think this may make the homeschoolers seems more "behind" in the earlier grades.

#5 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:06 PM

My DD went to a Catholic high school this year as a freshman.

This school is competitive but not over the top. She had to take their test to get in and for placement. She placed at the 90th percentile in reading comprehension. That was her highest score, and I remember it because it got her into honors global studies and honors English.

Her peers don't seem to have learned grammar at all--the spanish teacher had to explain it to them. They maybe knew what nouns and verbs are, but not direct objects--pretty basic stuff. OTOH, the fact that she had to start with first year spanish was a bit unusual. The German and Latin that she had studied have not helped her as much as some exposure to spanish would have. She finds it much easier to do reading than most of the kids, and reads her English books over and over rather than just once. She is a far better writer than most in the creative writing and summarization areas, and in writing personal reflections (which are big in the freshman year at this school). OTOH, she is not as good at writing to a precise assignment or figuring out exactly what a teacher wants, and it drives her crazy to have to do 5 paragraph essays that argue just one position--she always wants to argue both sides and then say which one she comes down on and why, but so far her skill at nuanced writing has not been appreciated by her teachers. (I console myself that this will serve her well at the college level.) She has a better grasp of history than most anyone else. Her math is average-ish. She knows less general geography. I think that her science-related reading comprehesion is less than others, but am not sure yet. She has a good approach to jumping on projects and getting work done on them, but is not good at pulling late night study sessions and grinding through things. She is excelling beyond belief at art, of all things.

#6 kalanamak

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:15 PM

What I forgot to mention , is that the principal said this year he had A LOT of homeschoolres going back to PS due to economic reasons (moms had to go back to work) and almost ALL of them had to take remedial classes because they were so behind !!! Remember this is just an elementary school .


I really, really hope I can continue to hs until kiddo is a bit more mature (I'm imagining 11??). I have spent a lot of time on ground work, rather than on superficial memorization on a wide variety of topics. Kiddo is just now getting multiple choice and fill in the blank quizzes. He knows more about Sumerians than modern multiculturalism. He is okay with wearing pink. I feel like he'd be a very square peg in a round hole, and this would grieve him. He is also very tall for age, and if he was put back a year, he'd really look freakish.

(Here is me mentally fending off fatal car crashes and pancreatic cancer for at least another 4 years.....)

My other thought with this is uh-oh, I really don't want hs to get a bad name and have curriculum forced on me.

#7 Heather in WI

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:24 PM

I thought most of hs are so advanced ... I think my son it is and I know a few other hs kids that are advanced too . Or maybe I am wrong ?


I think this is a common misconception among homeschoolers, i.e. the line of thinking that says "my child is advanced just because we homeschool". While many public schools are completely terrible (the public schools in my district, for example), there are just as many completely amazing public schools (like the public schools just across the county line from me), too.

I know (as in really know, not just heard about) a lot of homeschoolers in real life. A handful are rigorous and above average, but most are working below commonly accepted standards for college prep homeschoooling.

#8 zaichiki

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:25 PM

My dd went back for all of three weeks this school year for 5th grade and was bored. They were far behind where she was so it really just depends.


I agree: it depends on the kid. My ds was in school last year for the first time and grade skipped. He learned almost nothing new. I was surprised. I know *many* homeschoolers who use the same curriculum/levels that we do and would probably have a similar experience if their kids were put into school.

You really cannot paint homeschoolers with such a wide brush. Those who attempt to do so are just silly.

#9 FaithManor

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:41 PM

He's making a stereotypical statement. He wouldn't like it if some homeschooler got in front of a microphone and announced that every public school kid heshe has ever met is below par and needs remediation.

Unfortunately, a lot of school administrators do have his attitude because they haven't met a lot of dedicated homeschoolers. In our area, the homeschooled kids who often return to elementary classrooms are the ones of parents who a. tried it and decided it wasn't for them b. believed in radical unschooling which meant, not doing anything educational and just hoping their kids absorbed something - so even if the child was a voracious reader, unfortunately, that lack of structured learning doesn't lend itself well to classroom success at the elementary level or c. kids who aren't behind but don't test well so they bomb the placement test even if their skills are not sub-par. This is a lot of what has lead to a negative attitude toward homeschooling in our local school district.

But, that is changing because with the negative economy here and many moms looking for any kind of a job at all, there are several homeschool families enrolling their children in school. Though I don't know of any personally who are classical homeschoolers, I do know of several families that have done a very solid job and especially on those 3 R's. They have received praise from teachers for the well educated, well mannered, respectful children that are a joy to teach.

So, it's not all negative out there. However, negativity, and especially when it pertains to homeschooling, tends to draw more ratings and interest than positivity and especially at a time when public schools are in a HUGE fight for funding and respectability.

Faith

#10 blessedmom3

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:45 PM

I think this is a common misconception among homeschoolers, i.e. the line of thinking that says "my child is advanced just because we homeschool". While many public schools are completely terrible (the public schools in my district, for example), there are just as many completely amazing public schools (like the public schools just across the county line from me), too.

I know (as in really know, not just heard about) a lot of homeschoolers in real life. A handful are rigorous and above average, but most are working below commonly accepted standards for college prep homeschoooling.



:iagree:

I've just changed my opinion on PS ... While I do think my son is above average in history , he is probably just average in math and reading . I just asked my neighbor who has a 2nd grade boy to show me samples of his work ... it's a lot like my son was doing this year in CLE math and Singapore 2A&B.

Math &reading are far more important in education than history which is just part of ge3neral culture. When it's about scores,testing , Sat's and scholarships , history does not count that much.

#11 simka2

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:46 PM

He's making a stereotypical statement. He wouldn't like it if some homeschooler got in front of a microphone and announced that every public school kid heshe has ever met is below par and needs remediation.

Unfortunately, a lot of school administrators do have his attitude because they haven't met a lot of dedicated homeschoolers. In our area, the homeschooled kids who often return to elementary classrooms are the ones of parents who a. tried it and decided it wasn't for them b. believed in radical unschooling which meant, not doing anything educational and just hoping their kids absorbed something - so even if the child was a voracious reader, unfortunately, that lack of structured learning doesn't lend itself well to classroom success at the elementary level or c. kids who aren't behind but don't test well so they bomb the placement test even if their skills are not sub-par. This is a lot of what has lead to a negative attitude toward homeschooling in our local school district.

But, that is changing because with the negative economy here and many moms looking for any kind of a job at all, there are several homeschool families enrolling their children in school. Though I don't know of any personally who are classical homeschoolers, I do know of several families that have done a very solid job and especially on those 3 R's. They have received praise from teachers for the well educated, well mannered, respectful children that are a joy to teach.

So, it's not all negative out there. However, negativity, and especially when it pertains to homeschooling, tends to draw more ratings and interest than positivity and especially at a time when public schools are in a HUGE fight for funding and respectability.

Faith


:iagree:Especially with the bolded. I was going to say...He's not unbiased. T

#12 Dawn in OH

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:49 PM

I'm certain my kids would be behind in the early years as well.

They don't write in journals every day (or ever) so their writing abilities will seem behind.

They don't read via sight words and I discourage guessing over sounding out, so their reading abilities will seem behind.

They rarely complete busywork-type worksheets, they don't often sit still, and they've never taken a fill-in-the-bubble test. From a teacher's point of view, all of these would need remediation.

I don't mean to sound so snarky and stir the homeschool vs. public school debate. Of course, there are good and bad, effective and ridiculous, stars and slackers, etc. in both camps.


This sounds like us. I'm certain my children are ahead in grammar and math, but their writing skills are weak. I didn't push it. I was more focused on learning to read, spelling, phonics, reading comprehension, and math. We didn't do sight words either.

#13 dmmetler

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:49 PM

I think it also depends on grade level. If your child is reading on a 4th grade level or higher, I doubt seriously there's going to be much to challenge them in Kindergarten, no matter how good the school district is-because it simply isn't that typical to read on that level at age 5. Even kids who are reading are a lot more likely to be reading Bob Books than Little House on the Prairie. However, a child reading on the 7th grade level in 3rd is a lot more likely to have company, and to be able to challenge themselves. For example, a friend's third grader was working on her research project on the Massachusetts Bay Colony-and for that, it was up to her what level books she picked and what level she chose to write at. While she brings in some test-prep materials when I see her each week (her younger brother is in a music class with my DD), a lot of what she's doing is open ended enough that I could see, in a year or two, that my DD might really enjoy it. She attends the top performing neighborhood (non-magnet) school in our district, and if what she's doing is typical, I can see why they're high performing. While I believe DD would have been bored to tears had she been in the classroom with her 1st grade music class friend, based on what I've seen him do, I do believe that in 2 years, she might well be able to be in class with him for 3rd, based on what his sister is doing, and be pretty happy.

Having said that, even in the best neighborhood school in the city, some of the stories my friend tells and some of the struggles her older child has had socially and emotionally make me feel that homeschooling is better for DD overall, even if the academics are only equivalent.

#14 Stacy in NJ

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:52 PM

Listen to SWB's high school writing lecture and remember she teaches English/Literature at a good quality college (William and Mary). Her assessment is that many of the kids coming from the good/college prep schools reach university level with poor writing skills.

#15 betty

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:55 PM

This actually doesn't surprise me.

First, if most of the homeschoolers you know follow something like WTM you aren't seeing all of them. There are some people who are convinced that if you opened a dollar store math workbook, played a magic school bus dvd, or read a book aloud, then they are doing more than public school. When my oldest was 6 and I was just entering the homeschool world I encountered a lot of these people. Because I had little in common with them, they dropped from our radar as we moved along on our journey. But these people exist, and their children would be behind the standards of my local school. I also think, but have no basis for this thought, these people are more likely to give up homeschooling as time goes on.

Second, in the lower elementary grades if the school is doing placement tests it's going to depend on the strategies and curriculum the child used at home. If it matches the school's program he'll be fine. If it doesn't, he may need to be grade levels ahead in order to test like he has the expected skill level for a specific grade in a specific curriculum. The lower grades are about acquiring the skills needed to learn content independently (learning to read, learning basic math and number concepts). There are multiple skills that can be introduced at multiple points in various curriculum. So, a second grader can look like she has serious gaps in math, when she was just using a different program.

#16 Renee in NC

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:58 PM

Listen to SWB's high school writing lecture and remember she teaches English/Literature at a good quality college (William and Mary). Her assessment is that many of the kids coming from the good/college prep schools reach university level with poor writing skills.


I would agree. It seems in our area that they elementary grades are "advanced" in writing, math, and reading. However, it all seems to fall apart somewhere because I would not characterize my 12yo's 6th grade that way(more like the zoo than a classroom.) I am not sure why this happens (unless it is a middle school thing.) Obviously by high school it picks up again because the local high school has one of the largest IB programs in the country. However, those who aren't in the IB prgram seem to fall through the cracks.

Edited by Renee in FL, 23 February 2011 - 09:00 PM.


#17 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:59 PM

I want to add to what I posted above.

DD got the best religion and confirmation training she possibly could have gotten anywhere in town, because we homeschooled.

She was in an opera, a professional opera, because we homeschool.

She was on a robotics team and headed up the project which took them to the state championship, because we homeschooled.

She is superbly comfortable in wild nature and with wilderness survival, because we homeschooled.

She has tremendous skills in writing poetry and fiction, because we homeschooled.

She is comfortable in a crowd but also by herself, because we homeschool and she has had plenty of opportunities for both.

She has had experiences that have made her sure of herself and well-rounded, and has had the time to pursue them, because we homeschooled.

None of these things are out of reach to schooled children, except for the homeschooling nature studies which are very special around here, but in each case she went further/deeper/broader/faster because she had the time and support to pursue non-standard areas of study. Some schooled children would have been able to do all these things and go to 'regular school' as well. DD would have been a frazzled wreck. She is a bit of an introvert, and homeschooling has enabled her to have the space and time to collect herself and to learn to occupy herself and be alone. It's hard to explain this next thing, but she has a confidence and an ability to be articulate and assertive in her personal life that appears a bit unusual among her high school peers.

She is definitely better off in many ways that are not part of the high school education or culture, and is just fine among reasonably advanced peers in high school itself. I consider that a great success.

Edited by Carol in Cal., 23 February 2011 - 10:54 PM.


#18 justamouse

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:06 PM

I think some of this is because they are expected to write much earlier in public schools. My kids would be behind what they expect because I have not pushed writing in the 5-point paragraph/5 paragraph essay way. However, I would put my kids' sentence writing ability against any of them though. I think this may make the homeschoolers seems more "behind" in the earlier grades.


I agree.

The sad thing in this aspect (IMHO) is that the fruit was plucked too early. The first years of homeschooling are laying the tracks. It pays off in the latter years.

My Dd 16 went 'back' (she timeshares) in 9th grade, and she is one of their top students and this marking period got a 99.

But she went back in 9th-not 2nd. All that stuff I struggled teaching her in those younger years needed to settle, mature and grow.

Her classmates are constantly asking the teacher what words mean (yes, she knows them) and she said the younger classes (she is a teacher's assistant for the freshman class) are even worse. They can't follow simple directions, and can't manage to assimilate information and use it-they just want to be told what is on the test.

In this testing race the early years of PS are slammed full of stuff for the kids, and yes, he may have not tested well, but the thing is that in later years there's a drop off because they were pressed to hard to fast.

#19 LG Gone Wild

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:07 PM

I am not really sure where my kids would be. The one area that concerns me is writing. We don't write all that much. My son is that reluctant writer and yet, when he does produce stuff, *I* am impressed (perhaps some PS educator may not be). That may be because it was like getting blood out of a stone and so I am happy with what I got. :tongue_smilie:

YET, I am not on board with all this journaling that appears prevalent in this generation of elementary education. It seems shallow and encouraging self-centeredness.

Maybe my kids aren't top tier but that was never my goal for them (I am off that Asian rollercoaster). I am shooting for actual knowledge and wisdom and not prepping my kids to look good on paper (although, that would be nice, too :blushing:).

IDY, just thinking out loud.

#20 LG Gone Wild

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:10 PM

I agree.

The sad thing in this aspect (IMHO) is that the fruit was plucked too early. The first years of homeschooling are laying the tracks. It pays off in the latter years.

My Dd 16 went 'back' (she timeshares) in 9th grade, and she is one of thier top students and this marking period got a 99.

But she went back in 9th. All that stuff I struggled teaching her in those younger years needed to settle, mature and grow.

Her classmates are constantly asking the teacher what words mean (yes, she knows them) and she said the younger classes (she is a teacher's assistant for the freshman class) are even worse. They can't follow simple directions, and can't manage to assimilate information and use it-they just want to be told what is on the test.

In this testing race the early years of PS are slammed full of stuff for the kids, and yes, he may have not tested well, but the thing is that in later years there's a drop off because they were pressed to hard to fast.



Good God, I hope so, I sure hope so. It's been a rough ride.

#21 mothergooseofthree

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:14 PM

I'm certain my kids would be behind in the early years as well.

They don't write in journals every day (or ever) so their writing abilities will seem behind.

They don't read via sight words and I discourage guessing over sounding out, so their reading abilities will seem behind.

They rarely complete busywork-type worksheets, they don't often sit still, and they've never taken a fill-in-the-bubble test. From a teacher's point of view, all of these would need remediation.

I don't mean to sound so snarky and stir the homeschool vs. public school debate. Of course, there are good and bad, effective and ridiculous, stars and slackers, etc. in both camps.



This fits us as well. My kids would seem behind for all of the same reasons, but I feel that in the long run, their skills will be stronger. My kids have never taken a test and wouldn't even understand the concept of it. I do realize I need to teach them test-taking skills, but basic skill have taken priority of that area.

#22 FaithManor

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:41 PM

So I'm going to bring up Bill's viewpoint.

In some ways it's like comparing apples and oranges. Bill, Spycar, obviously lives in an area with stellar schools. He sees children receiving an excellent academic education, though he is still actively involved in afterschooling or shoring up what he sees as gaps. If he spends time with a lot of homeschoolers who aren't too motivated, half-hearted, etc. then he's seeing bad apples...people who aren't, in his view, doing as much as the local school much less more or at least better. But, if Bill lived in my school district, he'd see a school district that literally only, by their own admission, spends in the elementary years, 45 minutes of a six hour day on academics - admitted at a school board meeting I attended and GRIN - I brought up the question and pushed for the answer! They spend the rest of the day dealing with chaos, P.E., Music, more chaos, Fuzzy library activities, more chaos, and bubble test prep after bubble test prep after bubble test prep. So, as my dad puts it - he's a small business owner in the area - "If bubble testing and guessing the right answer out of four were skills I needed, these kids would make great employees. Unforunately, the inability to even take down a phone message, write a coherent sentence, read something from an informational brochure to a customer, read the safety instructions on a power tool and then follow those instructions, or converse appropriately with a sales rep, are not skills these grads possess." So, I end up comparing my homeschooling product to fuzzy oranges here.

Generalizations are just so stinking hard to make and yet, as humans, we are just sooooooo prone to making them!

As to the above, if I set my homeschool standards to "just be better than the local ps" my kids would have a cr*ppy education as what my local ps gives is lower than the pits. I'd expect that if Bill met my kids under those circumstances, he'd be thinking, "There's another homeschool failure/lazy parent". But, having taught in some unbelievably wonderful private schools, I am wise enough to set my bar higher than those lovely schools. I've met other homeschoolers that have set the bar well. I've met a bunch that didn't and all manner in between.

As for the elementary years, I've seen journaling and I'm not impressed. Let's learn to write a good sentence before we embark on incoherent paragraphs. Globs of faux sentences only identified as paragraphs because someone harped at the poor second grader to remember to indent until the child was numbed into jumping the hoop. Apparently, rules of grammar need not be applied!

My kids, in their elementary years would not have done well on placement tests because I didn't spend any time on bubble test prep. We start that in middle school when I feel I can, and should, sacrifice some time to learning how to jump that hoop.

Faith

#23 Cindyz

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:44 PM

Reposting from another thread because I think it fits the topic!

My son attends a school program for home schoolers through the public school two mornings a week. Because my son has ADHD and needs sensory breaks during school time, my husband or I attend class with him. We have been cleared to work with the other children in the class as well so we see what they are capable of academically. All of these kids are home schooled. I have no idea what methods most of the parents are using, but honestly I'm shocked at their skills or lack thereof. This class is K and 1st grade mixed and only a couple of the kids can actually read and as far as I can tell my son is the only one who is reading beyond CVC words. The writing is...worrisome. Many or most cannot make proper manuscript letters and those who do, do not form them properly. Many do not even know the sounds of the letters. When they ask for help with spelling a word, I will ask them what sound they hear for the first letter of the word and they cannot answer!!

For math, my son goes to another classroom which is 1st and 2nd graders and he can easily do all of the math that is presented and surpasses many (he is in kindergarten).

Beginning in third grade all of the students are tested and the scores are abysmal. I find this information so interesting because I don't know where else you can see testing stats for home schoolers. (I'm sure it exists, I just don't know where.)

Scale: % meeting or exceeding standards

Grade 3
Reading
64% (2010)
The state average for Reading was 72% in 2010.

Math
36% (2010)
The state average for Math was 62% in 2010.

Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010


Grade 4
Reading
55% (2010)
The state average for Reading was 67% in 2010.

Writing
41% (2010)
The state average for Writing was 61% in 2010.

Math
32% (2010)
The state average for Math was 54% in 2010.
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010


Grade 5
Reading
48% (2010)
The state average for Reading was 70% in 2010.

Science
13% (2010)
The state average for Science was 34% in 2010.

Math
30% (2010)
The state average for Math was 54% in 2010.
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010


Grade 6
Reading
53% (2010)
The state average for Reading was 65% in 2010.

Math
40% (2010)
The state average for Math was 52% in 2010.
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010


Grade 7
Reading
40% (2010)
The state average for Reading was 63% in 2010.

Writing
Posted ImageData not available for this school (2010)
The state average for Writing was 70% in 2010.

Math
33% (2010)
The state average for Math was 55% in 2010.


Grade 8
Reading
57% (2010)
The state average for Reading was 69% in 2010.

Science
36% (2010)
The state average for Science was 55% in 2010.

Math
14% (2010)
The state average for Math was 52% in 2010.


So by 8th grade only 14% are meeting or exceeding standards in math. Again, I don't know the methods that are being used by these home schoolers, but I do know that many that I talk to at our stage state they are unschoolers and unschooling is very popular in this area. However, what it does show me is that there may actually be a bit too much relaxing going on around here. We're obviously not in that boat because people usually look at me crazy whenever I answer their questions about what we're doing.

#24 tammyw

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:08 PM

I can't help but feel this post is going to make people doubt themselves, and wonder if they're doing the right thing, which is sad. There are always going to be differences between each student, whether homeschooled or public schooled.

#25 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:19 PM

I can't help but feel this post is going to make people doubt themselves, and wonder if they're doing the right thing, which is sad. There are always going to be differences between each student, whether homeschooled or public schooled.


Doubting yourself isn't so bad, if you stop and take an objective look at where your children are in their subjects. I had to do that with my dd9 this year. She is behind in some subjects, right on track in some, ahead in some. I didn't panic but I did make a plan to address the subjects that she's behind in once I determined that it wasn't just a developmental lag but something that she really needs to work on. It's good to do a comparison now and then. But remember that a comparison (esp. if it's something that we are doing in a different order) needs to be far-sighted enough to see where the skills coincide down the road so that you can see if you are truly behind in those areas.

#26 tammyw

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:27 PM

I personally am not doubting myself based on the opinion of one school principal, but I can assume that there will be those who do. I guess the problem (as I see it, which is of course only my opinion) is that a big thing occurring here is that schools teach to the test, so it would stand to reason students taught in that manner would do better on those tests. Just doesn't seem like a fair comparison (not by you, but by this principal). Again, of course, just my opinion!

#27 blessedmom3

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:27 PM

I can't help but feel this post is going to make people doubt themselves, and wonder if they're doing the right thing, which is sad. There are always going to be differences between each student, whether homeschooled or public schooled.


Sorry,it wasn't my intention . I doubt myself too after experiencing all this . Just sharing and making fellows aware.

I thought we were very rigorous doing 2,ever 3 math programs, reading a lot , doing foreign language(which I fluently speak) and following TWTM . I thought my son was advanced , but now I doubt it. I guess after all the criticism on PS from the 90's -See The lost tools of learning and other books -- PS officials had taken steps to improve it.

I read too many negative things on PS (here and on other boards) . It seems they are not as bad .That was my point.

Like the PS , homeschoolers must have high standards .

Edited by blessedmom3, 23 February 2011 - 11:54 PM.


#28 Veritaserum

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 12:22 AM

Doubting yourself isn't so bad, if you stop and take an objective look at where your children are in their subjects. I had to do that with my dd9 this year. She is behind in some subjects, right on track in some, ahead in some. I didn't panic but I did make a plan to address the subjects that she's behind in once I determined that it wasn't just a developmental lag but something that she really needs to work on. It's good to do a comparison now and then. But remember that a comparison (esp. if it's something that we are doing in a different order) needs to be far-sighted enough to see where the skills coincide down the road so that you can see if you are truly behind in those areas.


:iagree: Yep. My dd10 has had trouble with some areas that I am now specifically addressing. I didn't panic, but I did correct our course. :) I have plans for what we need to address next as well. I think it's important to be aware of which skills a child should be capable of and to help the child develop those skills. Of course, I also take into account any particular issues my child may have. I've learned a lot this year about how to help my dd with ADHD.

I looked at the educational standards in my state tonight because of these threads. My kids are "ahead" on some things, right on target with others, and "behind"/unfamiliar with a few. And I was thoroughly unimpressed with their standards for social studies/history. There is no history until part of fourth grade, which talks about the history of our state. Sixth grade gets ancient civilizations. There is one year of world history in high school. All the other years from 5th - 12th are American history. If nothing else, my kids will have a better understanding of how the history of our country fits in with the world at large. I expect, however, that they will have a better foundation in skills as well. That's one of my goals, anyway. :)

#29 MIch elle

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 07:56 AM

I did relaxed homeschooing in K-3 and then ramped it up every year to make sure my boys had all the academic skills required by middle school. They would have had to take remedial classes early on - I KNEW this!

Don't kid yourselves! You cannot compare the bad public schools to high achieving homeschoolers just as you cannot compare high achieving public/private schools to low achieving homeschoolers.

Just keep your eyes open and know where you are and what you are doing to prepare YOUR dc to succeed! Don't take ANYONE'S word for it - FIND out for yourself. Compare homeschool curricula to what's being done in the best public schools today. School is NOT the same as it was when you or I attended. It's MUCH more academically focused.

Many homeschoolers have their heads in the sand. :tongue_smilie: I was one of them for awhile (maybe some of you remember my dislike of R&S math?).

Edited by MIch elle, 24 February 2011 - 12:07 PM.


#30 mommaduck

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:16 AM

The truth always lies somewhere in between.

My oldest started Catholic highschool this year. There are some things that he is advanced in (Latin, Algebra, Science) and there are some things that he needs remedial. My oldest daughter just had her appt with the principal of a Catholic school for next year. He said he would test my daughter and some things she will probably show up strong in and others she will probably show up weak in. The principal and I both agreed that this is NORMAL regardless where the child is coming from (homeschool, public, private). It's also individualised by child...EVERY child has strengths and weaknesses (in fact, I'm very straight with the schools about my children's strengths and weaknesses). Every teacher (whether home or professional) has strengths and weaknesses. Not every child in homeschool or private school is going to be a "super student". In fact, there are those that homeschool because their children are NOT super students and the parents don't want their child lost in the shuffle.

Edited by mommaduck, 24 February 2011 - 08:22 AM.


#31 Terabith

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:19 AM

My older daughter would be ahead in reading and math, but probably behind in writing. She gets anxious with even the short answer/ fill in the blank questions in R&S reading (2nd grade). I do shorten it and have her do a lot of it orally, but I am requiring her to write more and more answers. She would only be in first grade, but I am starting to think I need to ask her to do some more beyond copywork.

My younger daughter would be in kindergarten, and I actually feel sort of depressed. I see what her friends in public and private schools are doing, and there is no way she could do it, but it's not for a lack of trying. The public school does seem to be using a good phonics program with few sight words. She used soporific and luminous in conversation a couple weeks ago, but we're having a devil of a time getting beyond short vowel words (and achieving any fluency with those, and e still gives her trouble at times). We're also having a lot of trouble with handwriting and math. I've honestly wondered if she would do better in public school.

#32 AmyinMD

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:31 AM

I would agree. It seems in our area that they elementary grades are "advanced" in writing, math, and reading. However, it all seems to fall apart somewhere because I would not characterize my 12yo's 6th grade that way(more like the zoo than a classroom.) I am not sure why this happens (unless it is a middle school thing.) Obviously by high school it picks up again because the local high school has one of the largest IB programs in the country. However, those who aren't in the IB prgram seem to fall through the cracks.



This is true in our area as well. Our grade school is advanced. Kindergarteners are reading compound words and writing sentences by the end of the year. 1st graders keep journals. My oldest entered middle school as a 7th grader this year. My dd is dyslexic and I was just sure would be behind the other kids. She's getting As in most thing except math which she has a solid B in. The level of work is not at all what I would consider advanced for the middle school. There has been minimal writing aside from practicing BCRs and ECRs for the state assessment.

My 6 yo ds is in Cub Scouts with 1st graders from our local public school. The boys had to write a letter a few weeks ago and about half of them did quite a nice job. I noticed there were a few that needed quite a bit of help with it though so there is probably quite a range of abilities in the 1st grade classrooms.

#33 fairytalemama

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:38 AM

I agree: it depends on the kid. My ds was in school last year for the first time and grade skipped. He learned almost nothing new. I was surprised. I know *many* homeschoolers who use the same curriculum/levels that we do and would probably have a similar experience if their kids were put into school.

You really cannot paint homeschoolers with such a wide brush. Those who attempt to do so are just silly.


I can't help but feel this post is going to make people doubt themselves, and wonder if they're doing the right thing, which is sad. There are always going to be differences between each student, whether homeschooled or public schooled.

:iagree:
One of my dear friends who is a mom of 7 and has homeschooled from the beginning is in the process of putting her oldest ds (age 10) into PS. He has dyslexia and ADHD and she has struggled with teaching him from the beginning. They have hired tutors over the years to no avail. She had him independently tested in December. He was at grade level in math, but up to two grade levels behind in every other area. On the other hand, her 2nd oldest child (age 9) who has no learning disabilities is above grade level in every area. She's beating herself up about "failing" her son, but I think they will have just as much of a challenge teaching him at PS.

It SO SO SO depends on the child, on the quality of your school district, and what your expectations are as a parent.

#34 Renee in NC

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:39 AM

This is true in our area as well. Our grade school is advanced. Kindergarteners are reading compound words and writing sentences by the end of the year. 1st graders keep journals. My oldest entered middle school as a 7th grader this year. My dd is dyslexic and I was just sure would be behind the other kids. She's getting As in most thing except math which she has a solid B in. The level of work is not at all what I would consider advanced for the middle school. There has been minimal writing aside from practicing BCRs and ECRs for the state assessment.

My 6 yo ds is in Cub Scouts with 1st graders from our local public school. The boys had to write a letter a few weeks ago and about half of them did quite a nice job. I noticed there were a few that needed quite a bit of help with it though so there is probably quite a range of abilities in the 1st grade classrooms.


There is quite a bit of range. My 8yo is in first grade (October birthday *and* held back a year) and he doesn't know his alphabet, but he can copy, so when he writes, he tells someone what he wants to say and then copies what they write down. My 6yo is also in first grade and she can write circles around most of the other kids (after starting the year not being able to write at all due to only doing copywork.) Most of the other kids are somewhere in between, though my 8yo's teacher says he is doing very well (which is funny because he knows no letter names, sounds, or sight words at all!)

#35 Renee in NC

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:41 AM

:iagree:
One of my dear friends who is a mom of 7 and has homeschooled from the beginning is in the process of putting her oldest ds (age 10) into PS. He has dyslexia and ADHD and she has struggled with teaching him from the beginning. They have hired tutors over the years to no avail. She had him independently tested in December. He was at grade level in math, but up to two grade levels behind in every other area. On the other hand, her 2nd oldest child (age 9) who has no learning disabilities is above grade level in every area. She's beating herself up about "failing" her son, but I think they will have just as much of a challenge teaching him at PS.

It SO SO SO depends on the child, on the quality of your school district, and what your expectations are as a parent.


I was beating myself up, too, until I realized recently that my 8yo still can't read despite all the intervention he has received. I wish he could read, but it's nice to know it isn't my fault. My 9yo has made great strides, but I am almost positive it is due to ADD meds, not the remediation he is receiving. The teacher had the same issues I did with him until we got his meds at the proper dose. Then, all of a sudden, he could remember words!

#36 LisaK in VA is in Italy

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:43 AM

Also, keep in mind, that the more "advanced" schools are also the ones where they are more likely to have tests for entry to K, and are more likely to strongly encourage the "red shirting" of children, especially boys, who were born within the 3 months prior to the state cut-off.

#37 EKS

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:51 AM

A few things.

There is a persistent myth in the homeschooling community that just because a kid is homeschooled, he is advanced. This is simply not true.

Also, even if a homeschooled kid is working above grade level, that work doesn't necessarily translate to being able to do that same level work in the classroom. Lots of adjustment and scaffolding goes on at home, simply due to the nature of homeschooling, that cannot go on in school, making it easier for a kid to fly ahead. In addition, if there is an area of relative weakness, that is the area that is going to determine placement in a school situation, not the strengths.

#38 BabyBre

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:51 AM

Maybe some of you have read my first thread about PS. http://welltrainedmi...549#post2458549

What I forgot to mention , is that the principal said this year he had A LOT of homeschoolres going back to PS due to economic reasons (moms had to go back to work) and almost ALL of them had to take remedial classes because they were so behind !!! Remember this is just an elementary school .

Now this is a big surprise to me . I thought most of hs are so advanced ... I think my son it is and I know a few other hs kids that are advanced too . Or maybe I am wrong ?

I have NO experience with public schools in USA . My kids were hs from K , now they are 7 and 6 yrs old . But the test scores speak themselves : USA is behind most countries in math & science .

http://4brevard.com/...test-scores.htm

I believe some hs are unschoolers but I do not believe that MOST as he said had to take remedial classes ...I do not know what to believe anymore ,I cannot wait to experience USA ps on my own skin :) (or my kids )



I would attribute this to your particular school, district, and/or principal. You'll often find public school teachers and administrators are threatened by homeschoolers or simply just don't understand it. Honestly, it could be that your principal just wants to make sure they aren't behind, regardless of their placement scores, as they will now reflect on him and his teachers with their test scores.

Another possiblity is that the school's curriculum introduces topics in a different sequence than many popular homeschool curricula. I've found this with my dd for the first time this year. She's been in ps for 4 years and always ahead in math by at least one grade as she began using Saxon Math at home in pre-K. This year, the school's curriculum (TERC Investigations) is diving into topics in 4th grade that she hasn't mastered by Saxon 6/5, like fraction-decimal conversions. Many public school curricula do this (and it's just my assumption it's not limited to math, but it's an educated assumption) because they skip fundamentals. Dd's class is learning fraction-decimal conversions, for instance, merely as a way to add fractions. They convert to decimals, add the decimal numbers, and convert back into a fraction in terms of 100ths and reduce, thereby bypassing the need to learn lowest common denominator. I haven't discovered yet if Investigations will teach it later or not, but I'm not just assuming it will.

I've learned from experience that identifying yourself as a homeschooler in public schools typically doesn't win you any friends. Be an advocate for your kids. I'd want to see their placement tests.

#39 Dobela

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:16 AM

Maybe some of you have read my first thread about PS. http://welltrainedmi...549#post2458549

What I forgot to mention , is that the principal said this year he had A LOT of homeschoolres going back to PS due to economic reasons (moms had to go back to work) and almost ALL of them had to take remedial classes because they were so behind !!! Remember this is just an elementary school .

Now this is a big surprise to me . I thought most of hs are so advanced ... I think my son it is and I know a few other hs kids that are advanced too . Or maybe I am wrong ?

I have NO experience with public schools in USA . My kids were hs from K , now they are 7 and 6 yrs old . But the test scores speak themselves : USA is behind most countries in math & science .

http://4brevard.com/...test-scores.htm

I believe some hs are unschoolers but I do not believe that MOST as he said had to take remedial classes ...I do not know what to believe anymore ,I cannot wait to experience USA ps on my own skin :) (or my kids )

I would also believe that the principal is painting with a broad brush. I wonder if he had to sit down and actually give you numbers of homeschoolers who have enrolled then told you how many were in remedial classes and how many receive no assistance if his answer would still be 'almost all'. My guess is, and I am a former public school teacher, that yes, some homeschoolers are not quite where the school is and that he is only hearing about the ones who need help. I wonder how many more have come in and are doing just fine. When I was teaching in public school, you never heard about the good or successful ones thru the grapevine. If they were doing fine, the fact that they were homeschooled was quickly forgotten. If they had any deficit, homeschooling was the automatic reason the child was behind according to the school and teachers. Never mind that some students who moved in from other districts could be just as behind and need the same remedial classes...

Some homeschoolers are ahead, but not all of them by any means. And unschoolers by definition are not 'behind'. Some are right on track, some ahead - just like all homeschoolers.

Please stop perpetuating the myth that all homeschool students are ahead. For those of us with children that have special needs it just makes it all the more difficult for us to overcome stereotypes. I have had people assume that I was neglecting my son's education or that I was yet another example of a lazy homeschooler because he wasn't working years ahead when we were actually working harder and putting in more hours than most of our homeschooling friends.

#40 BabyBre

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:31 AM

It's hard to explain this next thing, but she has a confidence and an ability to be articulate and assertive in her personal life that appears a bit unusual among her high school peers.

She is definitely better off in many ways that are not part of the high school education or culture, and is just fine among reasonably advanced peers in high school itself. I consider that a great success.



:hurray: I love your post!

If your dd has been largely surrounded by and interacted with adults, has therefore been treated more like an adult, it's no wonder she acts more like an adult. You mention the high school "culture". What an unrealistic situation to toss young, emerging adults into for them to learn social skills. TWTM says it well. There will be no other time in their lives where they'll be surrounded by and interacting with only their agemates. It really puts the "socialization" arguement into perspective.

#41 pdalley

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:39 AM


Some homeschoolers are ahead, but not all of them by any means. And unschoolers by definition are not 'behind'. Some are right on track, some ahead - just like all homeschoolers.

Please stop perpetuating the myth that all homeschool students are ahead. For those of us with children that have special needs it just makes it all the more difficult for us to overcome stereotypes. I have had people assume that I was neglecting my son's education or that I was yet another example of a lazy homeschooler because he wasn't working years ahead when we were actually working harder and putting in more hours than most of our homeschooling friends.


:iagree: Thank you. We just discovered my oldest has a profound hearing loss in one ear. Added to his processing issues, autism and dyslexia he's not on grade level but he is making progress.

Not all kids can be advanced.

#42 Laura Corin

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:41 AM

My boys did well when they joined private school - the eldest grade skipped and the youngest is working on advanced topics within his class - and the school has, in general, had a good experience with the home educated pupils who have joined. I think it's important to stress that home education does not inevitably lead to high academic standards, however.

Laura

#43 FeFe

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:42 AM

I'm not sure that they are taking remedial classes because they are behind or if it because as homeschoolers, we can do things outside the "normal" scope and sequence. Homeschoolers may be ahead of their public school peers by leaps and bounds in some areas but have not yet covered other areas.

I homeschooled for eight years but now all of my children are in public schools. We are having a good (not perfect - but homeschooling wasn't perfect either) experience. I have noticed "gaps" but the kids catch on quickly. They haven't needed remedial classes but we do have a tutor for math.

#44 Laura Corin

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:43 AM

She is a bit of an introvert, and homeschooling has enabled her to have the space and time to collect herself and to learn to occupy herself and be alone. It's hard to explain this next thing, but she has a confidence and an ability to be articulate and assertive in her personal life that appears a bit unusual among her high school peers.

She is definitely better off in many ways that are not part of the high school education or culture, and is just fine among reasonably advanced peers in high school itself. I consider that a great success.


Laura

#45 Paige

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:44 AM

Another possiblity is that the school's curriculum introduces topics in a different sequence than many popular homeschool curricula. I've found this with my dd for the first time this year. She's been in ps for 4 years and always ahead in math by at least one grade as she began using Saxon Math at home in pre-K. This year, the school's curriculum (TERC Investigations) is diving into topics in 4th grade that she hasn't mastered by Saxon 6/5, like fraction-decimal conversions. Many public school curricula do this (and it's just my assumption it's not limited to math, but it's an educated assumption) because they skip fundamentals.


My son is in 3rd and was in school until this year. He placed into 3rd grade with Math Mammoth and was very mad when he saw that the curriculum spends so much time on addition and subtraction. The school he was in hadn't spent time on addition and subtraction since the middle of 2nd and he knew his friends were already doing multiplication, division, and adding and subtracting fractions. He felt he was going to get behind and that there wasn't anything else to learn.

But, those first chapters on addition and subtraction kicked his butt. He excelled in public school and our schools are considered to be good. He knew how to add and subtract- at least he thought he did- but the depth to which MM went into it challenged him to think in ways the schools never had. By the end of those chapters he told me that he was very impressed with how much he had learned. I'm sure the extra time we spent on "basic" math will pay off when he moves on to higher level concepts like algebra but I do feel trapped a bit now. I had planned on homeschooling one year at a time and maybe sending the kids back to school when we move. Now, I know that he will appear behind in math for a few years because our curriculum spends more time going over the basic operations. We won't cover long division or multiply large numbers until next year, for instance, and I know the schools are doing it now.

Similarly, we aren't doing large essays regularly yet, but then the kids in school can't diagram a sentence. My DS and his BFF compare what they are doing every time they get together so I have a pretty good idea of how we are comparing and I know if I sent him back next year that it would be a mixed bag. Also, things we are doing like Greek and Spanish would count for nothing at his school because they aren't taught.

On the other hand, my younger students are behind in most things compared to the schools. But, they were behind when I pulled them out- and the teachers had no idea!! The teachers kept telling me they were fine and didn't realize that the girls were faking it. I shudder to think how far behind they would have been before someone noticed in the classroom.

I agree with whoever said that most 2nd graders are reading on a 4th grade level. Or, at least what is called a 4th grade level a lot of times on here.

#46 54879525

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:46 AM

I really, really hope I can continue to hs until kiddo is a bit more mature (I'm imagining 11??). I have spent a lot of time on ground work, rather than on superficial memorization on a wide variety of topics. Kiddo is just now getting multiple choice and fill in the blank quizzes. He knows more about Sumerians than modern multiculturalism. He is okay with wearing pink. I feel like he'd be a very square peg in a round hole, and this would grieve him. He is also very tall for age, and if he was put back a year, he'd really look freakish.

(Here is me mentally fending off fatal car crashes and pancreatic cancer for at least another 4 years.....)

My other thought with this is uh-oh, I really don't want hs to get a bad name and have curriculum forced on me.


I have similar thoughts!

And btw my boys fought over the pink DS stylus I bought. Who says pink is for girls! ;)

#47 MrsMe

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:54 AM

I haven't read all the responses, but maybe it's because we value the better late than early mentality. I don't feel that kids need to write in K, nor do division in 2nd grade.

So using his own thoughts, why do many kids need remedial work in college because they failed so badly in PS? Why can't they count change or think for themselves? Why can't they spell or read at more than an 8th grade level? Why do kids end all their sentences with a question and say, "like" alot? For the amount of time the ps system has their hands on our kids, you'd think they should be rocket scientists. I could go on.

Edited by alilac, 24 February 2011 - 09:56 AM.


#48 SailorMom

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:10 AM

My DS is very advanced - went back to PS this year - 8th grade....
He' basically bored with everything - except with grammar in advanced language arts because our entire family is bad at grammar :)

That being said - I know quite a few HS kids who would be at least 1 year behind - possibly a lot more - and not for any LD issues. Lack of rigor, schedule, etc.

#49 TXMomof4

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:31 AM

.

My younger daughter would be in kindergarten, and I actually feel sort of depressed. I see what her friends in public and private schools are doing, and there is no way she could do it, but it's not for a lack of trying. The public school does seem to be using a good phonics program with few sight words. She used soporific and luminous in conversation a couple weeks ago, but we're having a devil of a time getting beyond short vowel words (and achieving any fluency with those, and e still gives her trouble at times). We're also having a lot of trouble with handwriting and math. I've honestly wondered if she would do better in public school.


But see - at home she is able to move at her pace. If she were in ps she would be labeled as slow or behind. My dd3 is the same way. She is 2nd grade and we've had much agonizing over what to do with her. We tried a virtual school this year and she was miserable, I was miserable, and she wasn't learning anything. We were spending hours everyday trying to get the 'work' done and not getting any learning done. We pulled her out at Christmas.

In the last 2 months she has exploded with her abilities. We went from easy readers to chapter books literally overnight. Her math is still challenging, but she's enjoying the challenge. I have no doubt she'd still be a little behind, but in 2 months we've been able to easily cover twice the material we covered in the whole semester previous. I'm finally breathing a sigh of relief. It will take us time, but by this time next year I expect she will be right on her level and she is enjoying the process rather than feeling dumb and behind.

Just wanted to share that little experience. If she had been my first child I would have had her back at school because of self-doubt. But I *know* I can successfully homeschool - I have two olders who are very capable and competent with their school work. Everyone told me to relax, but it was almost the end of me, waiting for this child to mature enough to learn.

#50 Horton

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:39 AM

What I've noticed is that it seems the young elementary grades push a lot of critical thinking skills and it "seems" the kids are doing much harder work. Then they get to the upper elementary / junior high level and can't move forward as fast as they should because they haven't spent enough time on the facts. One of the reasons my dd was so bored when she tried going back in 5th was because they spent a large part of the day working on mulitplication and division facts. :001_huh: It drove her nuts since she had not only learned how to mulitply and divide but had also memorized those facts in the 3rd grade. She had been able to move on and was now comfortable using those thinking skills. I had pulled her out in 2nd because she was not an "outside of the box" thinker yet and so she started calling herself stupid. I think, at least in our district, that the level of advancement dwindles as they enter junior high and high school.



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