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s/o negativity towards homeschooling from homeschoolers/others


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#301 Sadie

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 02:26 PM

I spent six hours yesterday watching kids who'd been in the system for 12 years do their final exams. Looking at their essays, I'd say they were in anything ranging from the bottom 10% to maybe just reaching over a pass mark. 

 

I continue to be cynical about the academic wonders of school.

 

Kid who do  well academically at school, are likely to do well academically at home. That's because of the massively contributing factor of engaged parents and a rich home environment. (Yes, there are always the kids who succeed in spite of).

 

But people are kidding themselves if they think all schools everywhere are churning out kids in the top 50%. I don't blame the schools. You'll find that schools which have 1.cash and 2. the ability to discriminate do much better than schools which lack these things aka poor schools. That's the kind of school I was in yesterday. There's a lot of 'em.  

 

Just because I don't teach what and when the schools teach, or give standardised tests, has zero to to with how well educated my kids are and how they compare to the school down the road. 

 

And....even if it did....some homeschoolers will be at one end of the curve, some at the other, and others will sit in the middle. That's how it works. Where I live, a lot of newer homeschoolers are school refugees - kids with LD's or ED's due to bullying. Overlay 'our' results on the local schools and maybe it will look like more kids are 'failing'. That's because we get their 'failures'. Chronically underserved kids whose interests school cares not one whit about.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#302 maize

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 02:38 PM

Which proves what I was pointing out....that I can see a risk for hsing in general when hsing produces no better consistent results than the national norms of public school.

I am having a hard time understanding your point of view. Do you believe that homeschooling must on average outperform public schooling in standardized academic assessments in order to be a valid or worthwhile educational model?

If so, why?

By the way I have a child in full time public school. I also have a teenager who has never been to school. If I have a particular bias it is that we should have a variety of educational options because individual children and family circumstances vary widely.

Edited by maize, 24 October 2017 - 02:42 PM.

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#303 natalie

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 02:40 PM


Interestingly, it is illegal to homeschool unregistered and without a teaching license in Michigan except by claiming religious exemption. It is never enforced, but should someone raise a stink, it could be an issue for secular home schoolers.

 

 

Not true. 

 

 

Excerpts from the following link:  https://www.michigan...ls_122555_7.pdf

 

 

Who May Home School

 

Home school education is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. The parent assigns homework, gives tests and grades these tests. The issuance of report cards, transcripts, and diplomas are the responsibility of the home school family (based on internal standards). If home schooling continues through grade 12, the parent issues a high school diploma to the graduate.

 

...

 

Reporting Process

 

The annual reporting of a home school to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is voluntary. It is not required unless the student is requesting eligible special education services from the local public school or intermediate school district.

 

...

 

Teacher Requirement

 

A parent or legal guardian who home schools his or her child is not required to hold a valid Michigan teaching certificate, permit, or occupational authorization. A parent or legal guardian reporting to MDE must have a minimum bachelor’s degree to be approved unless they claim a sincerely held religious belief against teacher certification (People v DeJonge). Reporting is required if the parent or legal guardian is seeking eligible special education services for their child(ren).

 

 

 

and  this link:  http://www.michigan....07002--,00.html

 

Exemption (f) Home School

Exemption (f) Home School

 

380.1561(3)(f) states:

 

A child shall not be required to attend the public schools in the following cases:

 

(f) The child is being educated at the child's home by his or her parent or legal guardian in an organized educational program in the subject areas of reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar.

 

 

If a home school family chooses to operate under exemption (f), the conditions listed below apply: 

  • The Michigan Department of Education plays no role with the home school family.
  • The home school family does not report as a nonpublic school to the Michigan Department of Education.
  • Intermediate and local school districts are responsible for interpreting and enforcing the Compulsory School Attendance Law.
  • There are no minimum qualifications for teachers except that they must be the parents or legal guardians of the children.
  • The home school family must provide "an organized educational program in the subject areas of reading, spelling mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar."

 

Students in home school families operating under exemption (f), solely, are not entitled to Auxiliary Services.  Students in these home school families may enroll in noncore courses such as band, physical education, or music in public schools.


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#304 StephanieZ

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 07:58 PM

 
But why would homeschooling have to exceed PS results in order to be valid or permissible? How could the state justify that when it would basically be an admission that PS does not provide an adequate education?
 
And what would that look like — the average of all homeschoolers in the state has to exceed the average of all PS students? There's no way to legislate that. Every homeschooler has to exceed the 50th% of PS students? Why would any state want to pass laws that put large numbers of lower-testing kids back in PS, over parental objections, while leaving the high achievers out of the system?
 
 
ETA: I'm not sure what you mean by "that which shall not be questioned"?

 

Thought: TWTM is all about doing (way) BETTER than typical schooling. IIRC, and I read at least the first 3 editions thoroughly and repeatedly, that's pretty much the entire point. Doing better. Classical education WTM style is waaaaayyyy beyond the typical/standard/average.

 

These are/were at their essence and in their name, TWTM forums. They're not the "hey, everybody should homeschool, even if you don't have the time, passion, resources, or energy to do it right."

 

I admit -- I'm about as Type A as they come. I embraced WTM schooling -- it spoke right to my little over-eager and over-ambitous heart the first time I read it. It was a shit load of work, even when the kids were tiny. Even if I was only schooling 2-4 hours a day, I was preparing, planning, studying, ordering books from the library, etc for many, many more hours . . . Classical education is a huge commitment from the parent(s). Honestly, many of the ways I drifted away from WTM norms (per the books, not these boards) was my own fatigue/time pressures over the years. By the time they got to high school, I was more than happy to share the load with the occasional online class or other "short cuts" that meant I didn't have to read dozens of serious literature books each year, read and discuss history at 2 or 3 levels each year, review my own Calculus, etc . . . I began to pick and choose which classes *I* teach each year and which ones I can find outside or self-taught sources that I feel are good options. (Life gets in the way, good >> perfect, etc.) I'm not perfect enough to live up to WTM every day, every year, with every kid, but I do aspire to it and embrace it.

 

So, well, I'm sure there are plenty of hs'ing forums that are pro-homeschooling-even-if-it-means-pluggging-the-8 year old-into-an-iPad-for-4-hours-a-day . . . I didn't seek out those homeschoolers for support or relationships, as I don't support that sort of hs'ing. I didn't start this hs'ing thing to do it "just as well" as other schools. I started it to do the best I could for my kids. 

 

That's probably part of the newer disharmony some have noted on these forums. The WTM'ers here were/are nice enough to be supportive of any/all comers (and humble enough to know there's not ONE right way to do things) . . . but, well, that's not because all of us actually believe you're doing the right thing by what you choose to do. So, it is accurate to feel that some posters get disapproval/discouragement for the sort of homeschooling they're doing/suggesting/seeking. If someone looks to me for support for the online-schooling-for-elementary set . . . or the just-the-basics approach . . . they won't be getting it, as I think that's not a great idea, and that most kids would be better served by a good quality "normal" school than a homeschool that isn't focused on providing a challenging educational environment. 

 

My inspiration to homeschool is rooted in the desire to provide the best education possible for my kids. I have come to also appreciate the social and familial benefits it provides, but that's not my inspiration/motivation. And, it takes a LOT of inspiration/motivation to keep at this for decades, so it's not insignificant to need/want a community of like-minded parents (that this community nearly uniformly provided 17 years ago) to "talk" to . . . 


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#305 Sadie

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 08:39 PM

Guess that's me told :)


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#306 ChocolateReign

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 08:46 PM


 

But people are kidding themselves if they think all schools everywhere are churning out kids in the top 50%. I don't blame the schools.

 

Isn't it impossible for everyone to be in the top 50%?


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#307 eternalsummer

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:00 PM

I've only been here for 3 years, but

A. I've noticed a change in that time

B. When I arrived, I would say maybe 50% of posters used (as I did) some aspect of the WTM either method or books (we were using WWS1 and SOTW at the time).  

 

I don't think it is likely that more than 10% of people on these forums use WTM and only WTM.  I also think if you polled the forums, even three years ago and certainly now and I'd guess many years ago (though I wasn't here so I can't say for sure), and said,

 "Is using WTM exclusively the only way of "doing it right" re: homeschooling?"

 

you'd get like 1 person who said yes.



#308 Sadie

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:09 PM

Isn't it impossible for everyone to be in the top 50%?

 

Well, you'd think so, but apparently there are schools and schools and schools where there is no bottom 50%! And everyone is better than average :)

 

 


Edited by Sadie, 24 October 2017 - 09:13 PM.

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#309 bethben

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:10 PM

Isn't it impossible for everyone to be in the top 50%?

 

Statistically, it would be impossible for in a range of scores for everyone to be in the top 50%.  But, I wonder what would happen if everyone who took the test got a 100% on the test.  Then there wouldn't be a bell curve.  



#310 maize

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:30 PM

I didn't start this hs'ing thing to do it "just as well" as other schools. I started it to do the best I could for my kids.

(snip)

My inspiration to homeschool is rooted in the desire to provide the best education possible for my kids.

Many of us are also seeking to provide the best education for our children, but we may have a different idea of what BEST looks like and out doing the public schools in standardized tests may not be it.

Most rigorous may not be it.

I want to educate my children in the way that best helps them mature and develop knowledge and skills that will serve them through life. Emotional regulation and growth mindset are near the top of my list of educational goals. Those are not goals that most public schools are good at fostering. Happens I have quirky kids as well, the kind that mostly don't fit comfortably and successfully into the fairly rigid structure of a brick and mortar school.

There is a lot of educational research showing the positive impact on learning of internal motivation and self directed interest. Those also are not fostered by a typical school environment.

And there is the fact that school, to me, felt rather like being condemned to prison for years.

So yes, I want the best possible education for my children. I just don't define that by "am I doing what public schools do better than they do it".

I appreciate the Well Trained Mind as a useful resource for homeschooling. I have owned and read three different editions. I do not however regard it as a Bible showing the way to the best possible education. I see it as one resource among many upon which to draw when considering paths and developing plans for my own children.

Edited by maize, 24 October 2017 - 09:51 PM.

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#311 eternalsummer

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:30 PM

Ugh, lost a great post.

 

In short, we use a classical text, Classical Writing, that explicitly states that there are non-academic factors without which academics are incomplete and not as good as they could be otherwise.  (specifically, she says virtue is required for the best, clearest writing and thinking).

 

For us, there are things more important in the development of a person than academics; you could call it virtue, or an understanding of our responsibility to society, or justice, or a lot of other things depending on your worldview.  That is not to say that we don't teach biology and calculus and grammar, but for us, when there is a choice between the two, we would choose virtue instead of calculus. (and to some extent we do make that choice, because we could always do another hour of math per day...)

 

My kids are bright and easy to teach, so we'll get through way more than the average public school kid does, and probably more than our kids would do at even a very good school - but we are not doing as much academics as we possibly could, because for me, academics are not the first goal.  If someone says to me, well, I've brought up my kids to be good mothers and fathers, responsible citizens, careful thinkers, conscientious people who act in accordance with their beliefs and examine their beliefs for goodness and veracity, etc., but they are only going to get through Algebra 2, or geometry, and while I've satisfied the state's requirements for academic education I haven't gone much beyond them, that is just fine with me (and thank god it's fine with the government too).

 

 


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#312 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:46 PM

Well, you'd think so, but apparently there are schools and schools and schools where there is no bottom 50%! And everyone is better than average :)


That’s only in Lake Woebegone.

(Have you heard of Lake Woebegone in Australia?)
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#313 Sadie

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:50 PM

That’s only in Lake Woebegone.

(Have you heard of Lake Woebegone in Australia?)

 

Sure have!


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#314 Plum Crazy

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:51 PM

Thought: TWTM is all about doing (way) BETTER than typical schooling. IIRC, and I read at least the first 3 editions thoroughly and repeatedly, that's pretty much the entire point. Doing better. Classical education WTM style is waaaaayyyy beyond the typical/standard/average.

 

These are/were at their essence and in their name, TWTM forums. They're not the "hey, everybody should homeschool, even if you don't have the time, passion, resources, or energy to do it right."

 

I admit -- I'm about as Type A as they come. I embraced WTM schooling -- it spoke right to my little over-eager and over-ambitous heart the first time I read it. It was a shit load of work, even when the kids were tiny. Even if I was only schooling 2-4 hours a day, I was preparing, planning, studying, ordering books from the library, etc for many, many more hours . . . Classical education is a huge commitment from the parent(s). Honestly, many of the ways I drifted away from WTM norms (per the books, not these boards) was my own fatigue/time pressures over the years. By the time they got to high school, I was more than happy to share the load with the occasional online class or other "short cuts" that meant I didn't have to read dozens of serious literature books each year, read and discuss history at 2 or 3 levels each year, review my own Calculus, etc . . . I began to pick and choose which classes *I* teach each year and which ones I can find outside or self-taught sources that I feel are good options. (Life gets in the way, good >> perfect, etc.) I'm not perfect enough to live up to WTM every day, every year, with every kid, but I do aspire to it and embrace it.

 

So, well, I'm sure there are plenty of hs'ing forums that are pro-homeschooling-even-if-it-means-pluggging-the-8 year old-into-an-iPad-for-4-hours-a-day . . . I didn't seek out those homeschoolers for support or relationships, as I don't support that sort of hs'ing. I didn't start this hs'ing thing to do it "just as well" as other schools. I started it to do the best I could for my kids. 

 

That's probably part of the newer disharmony some have noted on these forums. The WTM'ers here were/are nice enough to be supportive of any/all comers (and humble enough to know there's not ONE right way to do things) . . . but, well, that's not because all of us actually believe you're doing the right thing by what you choose to do. So, it is accurate to feel that some posters get disapproval/discouragement for the sort of homeschooling they're doing/suggesting/seeking. If someone looks to me for support for the online-schooling-for-elementary set . . . or the just-the-basics approach . . . they won't be getting it, as I think that's not a great idea, and that most kids would be better served by a good quality "normal" school than a homeschool that isn't focused on providing a challenging educational environment. 

 

My inspiration to homeschool is rooted in the desire to provide the best education possible for my kids. I have come to also appreciate the social and familial benefits it provides, but that's not my inspiration/motivation. And, it takes a LOT of inspiration/motivation to keep at this for decades, so it's not insignificant to need/want a community of like-minded parents (that this community nearly uniformly provided 17 years ago) to "talk" to . . . 

I know I had seen polls and posts that ask those questions, being the curious person I am, I had to Google it.  :D

 

How often have you read WTM? - 2008

How closely do you follow WTM? - 2009

How much curriculum do you use from SWB? - 2013

 

I'd almost like to have a Throwback Thursday or a tag or something and bring back a classic thread for the day for newbies to read. Or would that be too confusing?  


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#315 maize

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:57 PM

I'd almost like to have a Throwback Thursday or a tag or something and bring back a classic thread for the day for newbies to read. Or would that be too confusing?


I think that is a great idea!

Edited by maize, 24 October 2017 - 09:58 PM.

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#316 StephanieZ

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:02 PM

I know I had seen polls and posts that ask those questions, being the curious person I am, I had to Google it.  :D

 

How often have you read WTM? - 2008

How closely do you follow WTM? - 2009

How much curriculum do you use from SWB? - 2013

 

I'd almost like to have a Throwback Thursday or a tag or something and bring back a classic thread for the day for newbies to read. Or would that be too confusing?  

 

Let's do a poll. I betcha a lot of folks here now have never read it.



#317 Sadie

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:04 PM

Read it. Own it. Use it. (Sometimes).


Edited by Sadie, 24 October 2017 - 10:04 PM.

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#318 LMD

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:07 PM

Read it. Loved it. Own two different editions of it. Use some of it.
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#319 Barb_

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:09 PM

I have (had) all of them. Still read parts when I start getting too far from my roots.

#320 StephanieZ

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:32 PM

I've only been here for 3 years, but

A. I've noticed a change in that time

B. When I arrived, I would say maybe 50% of posters used (as I did) some aspect of the WTM either method or books (we were using WWS1 and SOTW at the time).  

 

I don't think it is likely that more than 10% of people on these forums use WTM and only WTM.  I also think if you polled the forums, even three years ago and certainly now and I'd guess many years ago (though I wasn't here so I can't say for sure), and said,

 "Is using WTM exclusively the only way of "doing it right" re: homeschooling?"

 

you'd get like 1 person who said yes.

 

And you have some of us here who were WTM-style schooling long before SWB published ANY of the curricula! I was way too entrenched in my other WTM-inspired ways of teaching English/writing/etc to try out her curricula, although I did LOVE SOTW, which was published just in time for my oldest's first history year . . . Back when the Activity Book is a GIANT 3-ring-punched binder. :) Back in those days, WTM-inspired schooling was not about a specific curriculum but about the process and the subject matter . . . So, I felt/feel very WTM-loyal, despite never using any of her curricula except SOTW (love, love). Honestly, the newer and greater curricula always coming out makes me want to help school my grandbabies someday. I so regret not getting to try out Beast Academy (AoPS), as my youngest was already beyond it by the time it was published! So many wonderful curricula out there, so few babies!


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#321 eternalsummer

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:38 PM

I solve this problem by curriculum-hopping, which I've been told will doom my kids to vast gaps and never understanding anything, unfortunately. :) 

 

They'll just have to suffer as I service my curricula addiction.


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#322 amy g.

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 11:17 PM

And you have some of us here who were WTM-style schooling long before SWB published ANY of the curricula! I was way too entrenched in my other WTM-inspired ways of teaching English/writing/etc to try out her curricula, although I did LOVE SOTW, which was published just in time for my oldest's first history year . . . Back when the Activity Book is a GIANT 3-ring-punched binder. :) Back in those days, WTM-inspired schooling was not about a specific curriculum but about the process and the subject matter . . . So, I felt/feel very WTM-loyal, despite never using any of her curricula except SOTW (love, love). Honestly, the newer and greater curricula always coming out makes me want to help school my grandbabies someday. I so regret not getting to try out Beast Academy (AoPS), as my youngest was already beyond it by the time it was published! So many wonderful curricula out there, so few babies!


I joined right after the first edition came out too.

This year, I find myself going back to all of those pre SOTW resources like the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia and The Usborn Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Natural World with my younger kids.

In fact, if anyone still has the first edition of WTM and would be willing to sell it, shoot me a PM.

I feel like coming all the way full circle.
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#323 Amy in NH

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 12:28 AM

I had to make my own activity guides to use along with the first SOTW editions with my oldest kids. SWB's weren't published in time. They were pretty good, but I like her map questions, and some of the reading lists have been helpful with my younger set, so I did end up purchasing them too.

Edited by Amy in NH, 25 October 2017 - 12:29 AM.


#324 soror

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 07:17 AM

My main goal in hs'ing wasn't to exceed the educational standards of ps and although it may have been one of our reasons at the beginning of our journey it is pretty far down my list these days. 

 

I think the education I give my kids will exceed the ps in some ways but I also know that it will lag behind in others. That is ok, we cannot do everything and I have chosen my educational goals based on what is important to my family, which coincidentally doesn't perfectly coincide with the PS, if it did I'd have them in PS!

 

Maize's thoughts above echo mine. 

 

My son is a different kind of learner and I wanted the option to tailor his education to him. I didn't want him to think he was "stupid" because he didn't fit the mold of PS.

 

I think the school day is way too long. I think much of school work is busy work with little value. 

 

I found school to be torturous for the social aspect and because of the lack of autonomy and independence as I got to highschool age.

 

I value the time we have as a family. I value having a slower paced life that hs affords us.

 

HSing gives me more time to impart our values.

 

HS'ing gives me the opportunity to tailor my kid's education to our strengths and weaknesses. I remember being bored out of my mind in highschool, I so wish I would have been able to steer my education with hs'ing my kids can do that, we have to keep somewhat between the lines but there is a lot of range in there with lit, history, and science.

 

HSing gives us the time to work on practical life skills that are oft neglected. 

 

And FTR I have read WTM multiple times. I do use several programs from SWB this year I'm using SoTW, WWS, WWE, and FLL. I don't care for her history and science approach but I think she shines in the areas of her expertise. Although, SoTW is great for the elementary crowd I prefer to keep a narrative/lit approach for middle school and jr. high. I don't care for her science rec's at all, we do nature study, bits of some curriculum, and lots of books. 

 

In Catholicism there is a phrase, more Catholic than the Pope, I think of that on here sometimes after seeing Susan speak in person and listening to her other talks. The book is just a guideline, not all kids fit that guideline, and life can be messy.


Edited by soror, 25 October 2017 - 07:24 AM.

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#325 mumto2

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 10:31 AM

Quickly, way back when I decided that I might want to try home ed WTM gave me a guideline of ideas that I knew I could do. It also convinced me it was possible to do home ed well for my children with an education tailored to their needs. It was inspirational. I have no idea how many times I have read it cover to cover. I own the first three editions and have contemplated buying the fourth even though I am retired. :lol:

My kids are just slightly too of for much of the curriculum. I own an assortment of bits in some cases out of curiosity. I wish I had much of it back when I started this journey.

I keep a couple of loaner copies of Wtm that I have shared with several people over the years who were somewhat lost in terms of how to, many in my part of the world are unschoolers and not everyone is comfortable with that. Just my extra copies have changed several lives. I just loaned a copy about a month ago. ;)
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#326 Homeschool Mom in AZ

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 05:33 PM

Read it.  Follow a significant portion of it, but I'm a hybrid:  Neo-Classical Trivium+ CM.



#327 Sadie

Sadie

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 12:11 AM

My main goal in hs'ing wasn't to exceed the educational standards of ps and although it may have been one of our reasons at the beginning of our journey it is pretty far down my list these days. 

 

I think the education I give my kids will exceed the ps in some ways but I also know that it will lag behind in others. That is ok, we cannot do everything and I have chosen my educational goals based on what is important to my family, which coincidentally doesn't perfectly coincide with the PS, if it did I'd have them in PS!

 

Maize's thoughts above echo mine. 

 

My son is a different kind of learner and I wanted the option to tailor his education to him. I didn't want him to think he was "stupid" because he didn't fit the mold of PS.

 

I think the school day is way too long. I think much of school work is busy work with little value. 

 

I found school to be torturous for the social aspect and because of the lack of autonomy and independence as I got to highschool age.

 

I value the time we have as a family. I value having a slower paced life that hs affords us.

 

HSing gives me more time to impart our values.

 

HS'ing gives me the opportunity to tailor my kid's education to our strengths and weaknesses. I remember being bored out of my mind in highschool, I so wish I would have been able to steer my education with hs'ing my kids can do that, we have to keep somewhat between the lines but there is a lot of range in there with lit, history, and science.

 

HSing gives us the time to work on practical life skills that are oft neglected. 

 

And FTR I have read WTM multiple times. I do use several programs from SWB this year I'm using SoTW, WWS, WWE, and FLL. I don't care for her history and science approach but I think she shines in the areas of her expertise. Although, SoTW is great for the elementary crowd I prefer to keep a narrative/lit approach for middle school and jr. high. I don't care for her science rec's at all, we do nature study, bits of some curriculum, and lots of books. 

 

In Catholicism there is a phrase, more Catholic than the Pope, I think of that on here sometimes after seeing Susan speak in person and listening to her other talks. The book is just a guideline, not all kids fit that guideline, and life can be messy.

 

I love your post, soror. Yes. (To maize's post too).