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  1. I agree so much with this! In the medical field, you start with the assumption that what works best for most people will also work for the patient sitting in front of you, unless there is reason to think otherwise or until the treatment proves to be ineffective or contraindicated. If the most common treatment doesn’t work, then you move to the next one, but you do it in a logical fashion. You don’t start with the rarest, most complicated treatment first. I disagree when people begin with the assumption that they and their child are so unique that educational research couldn’t apply to them. I think that people are unique, and being able to tailor your child’s education to their interests and preferences is one of the great things about homeschooling. But I also tend to think that, for the most part, people have more in common than not. Most people are likely to benefit from the same things that benefit most other people, and for the most common problems, there are usually common alternatives. This is where research can be helpful. To clarify, I think there are cases where kids (or patients) truly need such specialized help that there is no research to assist them. I’m just saying that’s not the norm.
  2. I’ve seen rather heated debates over CC and the topic of memorization on Facebook, but I think those groups tend to have a different focus than this one. I also *think* (but I could be wrong) that a lot of people on the chat board aren’t actively homeschooling. I get the impression that many of them used to homeschool but don’t anymore, so that’s naturally going to lead to different discussions. I see the appeal of CC as far as belonging to a group, and I know there are people who join just for that reason. But I think freedom in choosing curriculum is one of the great things about homeschooling, and that’s why I’ve found it hard to join groups in general.
  3. I should clarify that I’m just thinking this through, and, although it seems plausible to me, I don’t know of any supporting research. I would be interested to see a study on it. I also wondered if early blending could be made easier by starting with sounds that are learned earlier and can also be drawn out as opposed to sounds that develop later or are stops. So man, win, and hum MIGHT be easier than vat, cap, or rip. I did a quick search and found some SLP websites that encouraged using sounds that could be drawn out for early reading, but they didn’t site any research. My 5-year-old is almost ready to start blending sounds, and I’ve already had the thought that we should save words containing /v/, /r/, or /l/ until she has some basic understanding of blending because she can’t say those sounds consistently yet.
  4. I’ve been thinking about getting some Sir Cumference books for next year. They look fun! I hadn’t heard of the Living Math website before, but I enjoyed looking through their resources. I’m always a sucker for a good booklist!
  5. That’s an interesting theory and makes sense if you consider that at the age kids are learning to read, it’s still normal for them not to have acquired all of the sounds of English. Even at age 8, it’s within normal guidelines for /r/ and voiced /th/ to still be developing. If most kids are learning to read at ages 5-7, then there are several articulation sounds they may not have fully mastered yet. It makes sense that these would be more difficult to blend in reading. Edited: Here’s a link to a chart showing the normal ranges of articulation development in English. https://www.veipd.org/main/pdf/webinars/mar_2015_tot_handout2.pdf
  6. Thanks for the recommendations! I could see my son liking the Murderous Math books.
  7. I’m sorry you’re feeling poorly and hope you are better soon. This is a great compilation of material. I think you are getting at the heart of the matter in that parenting well and homeschooling well don’t just happen by chance. It takes a lot of effort! I know it’s possible to forge ahead and do my own thing, but it’s also nice to have general examples of what works better for most people. I’m not opposed to reinventing the wheel, but my free time is limited! I agree with starting simple lessons before age 6. I don’t see 45-60 minutes of read alouds, learning letters, early math, and learning to write their names as being at odds with lots of play and outdoor time. I think my kids do better when they have a balance. I love reading with my kids! It’s my favorite part of homeschooling. I also love pouring over reading lists on homeschool curriculum sites to get ideas. Our book collection has grown substantially since we started homeschooling, and it wasn’t small before. I’ve learned to buy used, though, so I don’t break the bank! What kind of math books do you find for your kids to read?
  8. I think you may be misunderstanding my intention. I know people are busy, and I genuinely appreciated all those who contributed their thoughts here. Some took the time to research various data points or to private message me with further information they thought I’d be interested in. Some just responded that this isn’t their jam because they aren’t interested in the kinds of things research would measure. Regardless of their opinions on research, I truly appreciate thoughtful people who take time out of their day to respond to a stranger in an online forum. This thread has given me a broader understanding of the complexity of the home school world, and I think that’s a good thing. I’m not an SLP, although I did think about the field at one time. I ended up getting an advanced science degree, and that probably does predispose me to like data and research. I don’t expect everyone to have the same interests as me, but this is a big enough forum I thought there might be some on here who like research too. I appreciate the links you shared. I will look into those.
  9. What I’m seeing in the responses here is that people’s reasons for homeschooling make a big difference in whether they value educational research. I can see how those values also pour over into what people will accept as a valid measuring stick. I asked a fairly broad question in my original post, and the answers have been really interesting. I appreciate all the responses because even when we disagree, I think seeing the bigger picture is valuable.
  10. I see your point, but I think that also brings up the question of whether all methods are equal in outcome. Part of the reason I made my original post was because I wondered if there was other research like the phonics studies where one method seems to have clear benefits over another. I also think that sometimes research on learning disabilities can translate over into what’s good for kids in general. We use a reading curriculum that was developed by a woman whose son had dyslexia, but I can see that using a rules-based phonics system is beneficial for my own kids who don’t have learning disabilities. Honestly, I’ve learned a lot from it, and I took many speech therapy and education classes in undergrad. The Zones of Proximal Development theory is interesting. Guiding kids from “unable to do” to “doing unaided” can be so challenging!
  11. I re-read the Math Gap study, and I agree that I think the numbers are interesting even though I disagree with some of their conclusions. The studies they mentioned were the results of mandatory state tests for high schoolers and of college reports on math/science gpa’s and majors. They seem pretty straightforward to me. Collectively, the studies indicated that, in general, homeschoolers are better than average at reading and average to below average at math and science and that they are less likely to major in STEM fields. I don’t want to push the issue if this subject is too sensitive, but I am curious to know if anyone has reason to believe the numbers themselves are biased, rather than just the conclusions.
  12. So fun! I’ve seen those before and been very tempted to buy.
  13. Wow...what a wealth of information! Thank you for sharing this. I have come across a few of these in my own reading, but there are several I haven’t seen. I hadn’t read the Math Gap study before, but it didn’t surprise me. I have noticed that most homeschool curricula is heavy on reading and light on math, and I’ve seen many moms say that they aren’t consistent with teaching math because they don’t like it themselves. A Math Gap is the logical outgrowth of that. I think these results are helpful to homeschooling, though, if only as a reminder that math is important too. I like how you have balanced approaches to preschool...I don’t think lots of play time and early literacy have to be mutually exclusive.
  14. I’ve heard of this but haven’t read it yet. I need to add it to my (very long!) reading list.
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