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Allie

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  1. There is a debate about whether the United States is a Democracy or a Constitutional Republic, but also whether fascism is a far right or far left ideology.
  2. Gather round released a United States Government unit recently. There’s a heated debate on the group about this graphic being incorrect.
  3. Did anyone see this today on the MOMB Facebook group? In particular, the bolded part really rubbed me the wrong way. To imply that if someone doesn’t like it, they are not using it right, or have a bias or are “wounded”? Uh.... Also, to claim they have “documented proof” it is enough, is incorrect. 1. Every person on the group who has posted scores has used the CAT test which is not very accurate, and they usually interpret the scores incorrectly. 2. The courses haven’t been around long enough for any child to use 100% through elementary and middle school ”This morning, a post went up and the comment was made: “You should ask this in a different group. This group is only allowed to say positive things about Masterbooks and no one can suggest other curriculum to you. I'm not sure if this comment will get deleted, but I don't mean this in a negative way. You just won’t get someone to come out and say this product doesn't go deep enough for us, you should try ___.” This is not to target the member who made the comment. I don’t even know who made the comment but I feel it is important to address this perception because it can imply that the content in this group is unreliable and overly biased. This is an official Master Books group, run by Master Books staff; so it is realistic to expect some amount of bias. 😉 However, running a value added group like this is a complicated endeavor. Some decisions in how it is run are based on factors that members may never realize. 1) We have had individuals associated with other companies join our group and comment on posts with the intent of promoting their products. These posts would start with…”We tried Master Books but found that such & such was a better fit” which then turns the conversation into a referral for the other curriculum. With 23,000 members, we simply don’t have the time to try to figure out what is legit and what is platform hi-jacking so as a rule, these kinds of posts get deleted. 2) We realize one size does not fit all. Master Books will not be a fit for everyone. In those cases, we bless them in their journey to find the ideal solution for their family. However, remaining in the group and making broad negative statements about Master Books is not helpful to the conversation. Typically when we drill down, we often find that the root issue is mis-use of the product, wounded ego, brand or method bias, etc. as well as some members just having a track-record of stirring up strife. 3) The question, “Is it enough?” We encourage anyone to do a search in this group and you will find the overwhelming response is, yes. We have done livestreams on it, talked about the science behind it, and even encouraged posting students achievement test scores so there is documented proof. We do acknowledge that there can be certain underliers that may need to be looked at such as proper placement, child’s ability, parent’s ability, etc. but when the vast majority of the testimonials validate that it is enough and that their students are learning and enjoying school again, it’s difficult to allow 1 negative comment to take away from the 99 positive comments Especially if we suspect the comment may fall under 1 or 2 above. Sometimes we engage it, sometimes we leave it, and sometimes, we delete it. 4) As a growing company, we may not have a solution developed yet and we will ask that the question be posted on a more general homeschool group to avoid confusion. Discussions that happen in this group overflow to our help desk and customer service lines. When outside curriculum or links are discussed in this group, thousands are watching…and we will get calls or emails wanting us to provide support for those products or services. Our team is pretty busy just supporting Master Books products. 5) Master Book does allow constructive feedback in this group. We ask staff and authors in this group to not only provide value to the conversation but to also gain insights in how to improve the curriculum. It isn’t always easy to hear feedback, especially when it’s done in an insensitive way. We do remove insensitive comments that are not constructive out of respect to those who put their heart and soul into creating the products. However, we do use the feedback from this group to either improve the product or provide better instructions for use as well as developing new product. We know we are not perfect and that there is always room for growth. 6) We realize life has enough drama in it. Some topics are guaranteed to cause more drama. We choose to not allow more drama than necessary. Over the last few years, we do a lot less drama in this group. 😊 We spend a lot of resources to support this group and provide value to homeschool families. The members of this group are some of our favorite people and we consider it an extreme honor to serve you. We want to see you win and we think most will agree that we have a proven track record of seeing that happen. Anytime anyone has any questions regarding this group, please do not hesitate to contact us at moms@masterbooks.comor via the Help Desk on the Master Books website.
  4. So I found out about the copyright thing. Apparently Rebecca filed to trademark the name Hip Homeschooling, we’ll after (Many years) the Hip Homeschool group/website had been going. The women behind Hip Homeschooling say rather than her dropping it, they had to spend a ton of money fighting to get it back. I looked up and there’s definitely a trademark application with her name attached. So copyright issue posted about in her group wasn’t about GRH, but the hip homeschool name.
  5. So I saw a weird post by chance yesterday on the GR Facebook group. Someone posted that they recommended GRH in the Hip Homeschool Moms community group and that an admin deleted the post with the note “please do not recommend gather round here due to a copyright issue”.... Does anyone know what this is about? Shortly after it was posted it was deleted.
  6. Also - she says the curriculum costs “tens of thousands of dollars to produce/create a month”....I can’t see how that’s possible. Maybe I’m just naive on how much this stuff costs?
  7. Rebecca posted this in her Gather Round fb group yesterday. SO much of this is concerning to me, including the way she phrases how she must do what God told her then in the same sentence says the real concern which is that people might leave her curriculum, the way she elevates her group and insists it is the ONLY one like it that exists, and the way she tries to guilt trip people about her financial situation. “Hey guys, I opened up for you to discuss curriculum in relation to, to use with, or to ask about switching from. This is what has come from it: 1. I am now seeing outside links to other curriculum companies where people are sending others to go buy something else. 2. I am getting emails about people upset that they can't talk about what they don't like about Gather 'Round. 3. I am getting messages from people who want freedom to promote their own books or curriculum or courses or resources. Here is the deal: I try to have grace and an open hand and trust God to defend me and to promote Gather 'Round. But this is God's group for His vision and purpose and something He laid on my heart that I am trying to stewart and bring into fruition. You want a platform to say what you want to say, but I hold a responsibility to do what God has told me to do. These kinds of posts quite literally turn people away, in my own forum, under my own covering, from a group that I put everything into. Like blinders on a horse, I am trying to just tune out it all out and focus on the next step in front of me, but I wanted to explain to everyone all at once the heart behind any decisions I make with your posts. This takes all of me: All of my heart, my vision, my passion, my creativity, my time, my energy, my vulnerability. People probably think this is business and not personal, but maybe not everyone understands that this is personal. Maybe you have noticed that this group is like no other on the internet. A big part of that is because unlike any other curriculum company, you get full access to me. Your words incite change and are heard and valued. That means that you aren't just venting to a community, the words you post don't go to a board of producers, they all come to me: one mom sitting in her PJs hoping today won't be too negative and God will guard her heart from the burden of all this. Sifting through the sea of posts to foster a safe place but also stay centered on what I feel God has laid on my heart. Then there's the financial side: Gather 'Round costs tens of thousands of dollars a month to produce/create. I pour pretty much everything back into this to create jobs for homeschool moms, to create a better product, and to try to do all this without completely ignoring my family. Jonathan and I have only pulled enough out to pay down some debt and make our home work better for the increasing size of Gather 'Round. But all of our plans involve growth for this business and providing opportunities and blessing others as much as we can. I'm not trying to take my burden and make it yours. The reality is that it is mine and mine alone. I can't stop negativity, I can't stop people taking advantage of me. But what I can do is when I see a post that maybe didn't start out negative but turns into a bashing opportunity: I can delete it or stop comments. When I see someone posting a link to another curriculum that people should use... I can remove it or stop comments. When I see someone trying to promote their own product on my community that I have invested everything to build... I can remove it. I reserve the right to maintain and protect positivity, and to keep this group focused on what it is about: Gather 'Round curriculum and lifestyle. I know that your posts can have the best of intentions and maybe get taken a different direction in the comments. I don't judge or blame you for that: I just am trying to protect the atmosphere and the purpose and intention of this group. If you have a concern or something you don't like, I'm not trying to filter you, I'm saying: if you want Gather 'Round to live a long and healthy life, instead of posting it for everyone to see and become a vent magnet: E-mail me! E-mail me! Seriously, e-mail me! I see them, I read them, and you have all seen changes that have come as a direct result. It is a way to actually incite change instead of just purposeless venting. If you are producing your own product... please create your own community to promote it! I'll be the first to tell you it is hard work... but if I did it you can do it! I call it ethical advertising and it is something I am so passionate about: share what you love in a way that is authentic and genuine and not trying to use other people's success as your moment or your place.(Rebecca's business and advertising class coming soon, ha) For curriculum, you can still post, I'm not changing anything. Post things like: "what recommendations do you have to expand on spelling," or "how does this work with this curriculum?", or "what about switching from this one?", etc. To reiterate: No TGTB, no outside links, just chatter about curriculum in relation to GR. GRH is still the focus. All I am asking is please keep it positive, please remember that if you love Gather 'Round and want to see it grow and continue then you are either adding to it or detracting from it with everything you do and say. You get to be a part of creating the atmosphere and facilitating constructive feedback that can bring change. I am setting up my first lifer focus group chat this month and SO excited to talk about what we can grow in or improve. You matter, your voice matters, what you bring to this group matters. ❤️ Love you guys, taking this weekend off a bit to emotionally and physically recover after two launches back to back. But I'm still working behind the scenes on South America and US government, so lots more to come! Rebecca“
  8. I have definitely been concerned about this. I actually went on their website to post a review and knowing they go in and hand approve them just makes you feel like you can’t say anything negative. I’ve read from several people their negative reviews were denied. They are the only HS company I’ve seen that is dead set on creating a false positive image. It really rubs me the wrong way, and so does the way they talk about some other HS companies as if their approach is just wrong. Sometimes kids excel in a rigorous program. Mine does. But they act like you’re horrible for using one. I also have concerns about the fact that an entire family (basically) works there in writing, marketing, etc. Randy gets super defensive anytime someone mentions a negative about his wife’s curriculum or his daughter’s curriculum. The comment above about them blocking admins from the BST group is mind blowing. They even sort of took over the unofficial MOMB group where honest discussion was allowed.
  9. I’m curious about what this is. Can you elaborate?
  10. What are your thoughts on the elementary curriculum from Masterbooks? I have looked at it a few times. Parts of it seem great. Other parts seem weak and jumpy without nearly enough repetition of concepts in math and language arts. They have such a massive following and their company swears their curriculum is enough, and sometimes I am confused by it. Their courses haven’t been around more than a few years at the elementary level so there are obviously no kids who have used it all the way through school. To me that is not nearly enough data to know if it is “enough”. I guess my reservation is that it’s SO short and so different from pretty much every other thing I see onthe market.
  11. I was just coming here to post about the math! “• Math! It's coming! We had our first official meeting, we have three amazing writers (our upper level math writer has a degree in theoretical mathematics). This project is huge, with a budget far greater than any of our main units, and I am determined not to do it if I can't do it well. In my mind, this is going to be amazing, but it's a beast you guys! We are aiming to take 2 years to slowly launch it, one unit every 2 months. But each unit will have 12 notebooks covering all 12 grades (they will be named as A B C so that you can place wherever). We will have a placement test and our first one we are aiming to release end of August. No clue yet on pricing, the idea is buy it once and you literally have math forever, so I have to pray and think on this one. But just know it is coming!”
  12. What are your thoughts on Heart of Dakota in the middle school/high school years? Is it enough? Is it solid?
  13. What are your thoughts on Heart of Dakota in the middle school/high school years? Is it enough? Is it solid?
  14. Here is a link to a page about it. https://gatherroundhomeschool.com/products/app-supporter
  15. I still believe she could have had a fantastic business selling subject specific unit studies and just marketed it as family style instead of an all-inclusive curriculum. She’s bitten off far more than she can chew.
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