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  1. My daughter is tired of homeschooling and last year was a disaster, academically. She was very unhappy and unmotivated. The last two years were actually very unpleasant. The homeschooling community where we live is very disconnected and it seems that no amount of effort will get anything going. She's lonely and she wants to spends more time with other kids, which I get. There are a few kids in the neighborhood that she plays with, but that's it. She's actually pretty excited about starting public school -- it's me who's having the problems. I think I'm going to hate my new job description. I've already spent so much time filling out forms, shopping for school supplies that we would never need for homeschooling, trying to sort out where we are supposed to be on which days, shopping for uniforms (searching for that elusive pair of pants that will both fit my daughter properly and meet the school's requirements) and gym shoes, e-mailing the school with questions. We have to pay a small fortune for uniforms -- (some pieces you have to order from their supplier and some, like the pants, you can get elsewhere). Who buys $85 skirts for their kids?! I mean, really. And they are supposed to be hand washed, dry cleaned, or machine washed on gentle cycle without any other garments. Obviously the people who made these things have never met a kid. Then, there's also the fact that everything looks like a sack when you put it on and makes my daughter cry. And we have to pay a small fortune for the school itself. The free public school in our area is full of drugs and doesn't seem like a good option. None of the public schools here are good academically. I've looked at some of the curriculum and understand why people come out of school not being able to write a proper sentence. The curriculum at this school is the same as everywhere else, but the kids seem an awful lot nicer, so it seemed to be the only feasible option. Also, in order to be accepted into the school, we had to sign a document saying that we would not question anything the school does academically. I signed it because she needed to get into the school, but I am perfectly prepared to disregard the fact that I signed it if I have something to say. Do they think we live in North Korea? I pay their wages. I think they forgot that. I'm so frustrated and discouraged. I don't want to spend time making lunches and driving there and back for an hour or more each day and putting time into compulsory volunteering at the school. Homeschooling is so much easier, really. I enjoy preparing for school and planning curriculum. I enjoy teaching my daughter. All of this stuff I now have to put my time into, I hate doing. My daughter's social needs are important and, emotionally, she is done homeschooling so I can't force her to stay homeschooled (I guess I could, but it wouldn't produce any positive results). I don't want to give up control of her education to a system that I believe is doing a terrible job educating kids. We all have to make sacrifices for our kids, but the ones I'm having to make now are not sitting well with me. I just want to cry! Anyone been through this?
  2. I've posted for years about my son. Today, I think I have a complete picture. We had him evaluated again in January, and today got the diagnosis of HFA (Aspergers). No real learning disabilities, though he is behind in math and writing/spelling. His verbal comprehension and spatial reasoning are superior, but working memory and processing speed are low. The evaluator's recommendations were to explore medication to help with anxiety and go to school. I will discuss meds and psych referrals with his doctor next week, but I don't think we are to that point yet. I want to keep working on self-awareness, exercise, controlling environment, etc. before we use meds, I think. She recommended school to help him learn social skills and have more structure, as well as get therapies that might be needed/available. She felt that keeping him at home would increase the gap in social skills between him and other kids his age. Thoughts? Are there others ways I could address these with him? We aren't totally against school, but my husband who is much like my son, hated it and isn't eager to try it. Finally, any advice on what to do now is helpful!
  3. I am writing here while being very emotional. Our life circumstances have changed and since the start of the school year I knew my child would need to go to public school. I did not enroll him at the start of the year (even though I got all the paper work together) because we were going to have to move as well. I did not want to enroll him and then change schools half way through the year as we would not be able to stay within the school limits. We are moving this week. I used a homeschool-friendly charter where he had enrichment classes and I worked with him independently 3 days a week. I explained to the ES my child was going to be going to public school in January and I wanted to get him as ready as I could. I was assured that he was fine. He has a summer birthday, he is 6 and technically in first grade. Will be 7 during the summer break. Now that we know where we will be moving I did some digging and based on what I have been told, I believe my child will be labeled as behind in writing. It is the one area I did not stress last year. We increased the writing this past semester, did spelling... however, during the enrichment classes the teachers would write for him at times and I have a lot of pages not finished. I do not believe he will have the stamina to write as much as first graders need to write. He is otherwise on par as he reads well (Frog and Toad/Cat in the Hat) and his math is fine (I have never timed him for his work and this could be an issue too). And now here is my dilemma: I think he would be better off finishing the year in K: to get used to the school routine, to build his stamina with the writing and to get used to being graded and so on. Like I said - he would still be 6 at the end of the school year. But because he was in a charter in first grade, I am not sure it is legal or even possible to place him in K. Any advice will be appreciated. I am nervous about having him go to school (I have to, like I said above) and the last thing he needs after a move and a change in schooling pace, is to feel extra overwhelmed with a skill that will surely label him as needing extra help. He is a good natured kid, and smart enough. I am confident he can develop the writing skills fine by the end of the year if placed in K where I am pretty sure he can otherwise do the work. Any help?
  4. Let's pretend you rubbed a magic lamp and the genie in it allowed you to set the ps schedules according to your wishes. (I'm not sure if all local districts are autonomous when it comes to scheduling or if it's state-wide in some places.) 1. How would you schedule the public school year and why would you do it that way? 2. How do your local and other school districts' schedules affect you as a homeschooler?
  5. I'm not looking for specifics (probably varies by school district and state). But what generally happens if you choose to re-enroll a child in public school mid-year? And if you wait until fall of the following year is this better? I'm wondering if there is always testing, and whether if a child tests below grade level in reading (impt), whether the school would have them repeat the grade. This is our 5th year homeschooling, and 3rd homeschooling our DD who is now in 3rd. We know there is impulsivity and hyperactivity issues (attention-related), but this year it's become a struggle across the board -- and our other older child (teen) is getting shortchanged because ALL the time and energy are going to address the struggles, adapt the curriculum constantly. So... we're pursuing evaluations but also wondering what would happen exactluy when a family re-enrolls a child mid-year? Or at the start of a new year? Would greatly appreciate anyone being able to share their experience. We are not ruling out homeschooling again, but for now -- this may be what is needed.
  6. I'm not looking for specifics (probably varies by school district and state). But what generally happens if you choose to re-enroll a child in public school mid-year? And if you wait until fall of the following year is this better? I'm wondering if there is always testing, and whether if a child tests below grade level in reading (impt), whether the school would have them repeat the grade. This is our 5th year homeschooling, and 3rd homeschooling our DD who is now in 3rd. We know there is impulsivity and hyperactivity issues (attention-related), but this year it's become a struggle across the board -- and our other older child (teen) is getting shortchanged because ALL the time and energy are going to address the struggles, adapt the curriculum constantly. So... we're pursuing evaluations but also wondering what would happen exactluy when a family re-enrolls a child mid-year? Or at the start of a new year? Would greatly appreciate anyone being able to share their experience. We are not ruling out homeschooling again, but for now -- this may be what is needed.
  7. Our DD was in public school for PK and K, and then we homeschooled 1st, 2nd, and this year 3rd. She has always been bright but highly active and has difficulty sitting still. With occasional outbursts. However, this year has been a battle and she's been refusing to do work, writing nonsense when she doesn't feel like doing assignments, etc. We have already discussed ADHD with her ped, and there are probably both sensory and attention issues. However, I'm thinking of enrolling her back in public school while we have her evaluated. She may benefit from the structure, I need a break quite frankly, and our other child needs more attention than I am able to give at the same time. Has anyone done this and what happens when you re-enroll? Do they test? I'm thinking she may possbly have to finish the year, but then repeat this grade. Which may not be totally bad, as she is yo9ung for her age and behind at least in reading.
  8. Last night I attended an Advent dinner for St. Lucy's Day. The hostess and her husband homeschool. I homeschool. One of the couples sends their kids to private school. The other couple have adult children who attend public school and the husband is about to retire from decades of work in public school. Private school mom started talking about how bad the ps system is after hearing that the other husband is about to retire from working in the ps system. Really? At a dinner party when the quality of an education wasn't the topic of conversation? It was a get to know each other kind of conversation. I tried to soften it with, "It depends on which ps you're talking about." She couldn't take the hint. She went on, "Yes, I know there are differences between them, but when you consider the quality of our private school, the public schools are just a mess." So I tried again to change the topic, "I'm just so glad we live in a state that has choices so people can find a good fit for their kids wherever that is. She didn't back down, "Yes, competition will improve some things but it won't be enough."The hostess finally managed to change the topic by moving to the next course and explaining the Scandinavian food what was probably new to everyone. Look, I have all kinds of opinions about what content and approaches should make up a standard ps education and it's different than the norm right now, but I don't trash a person's life's work at a dinner party for heaven's sake. It's not the time and place for a public policy discussion and or criticism. Grrr! The woman saying so is well into her 40s and is old enough to know better. To his credit Mr. Near Retirement didn't say a word in response. He patiently endured it with a completely neutral facial expression. A class act. You will not be surprised that the rude woman didn't stop talking to the person to her left (me) the whole time and it was a wide ranging stream of consciousness monologue about everything she through was wrong with the fostercare system, church, Jewish/Christian relations, US Refugee policy, and some other stuff I tuned out when I was in my smile and pretend I'm listening stage at the end. At least I had a choice of mulled wine and honeyed mead to take the edge off. The mulled wine was delicious! Now it's time for me to make sure I don't do that kind of thing in the future because that's what negative examples are for.
  9. Our DD (8) is in 3rd grade. We pulled her out of public school in fall of her 1st grade year. She has other issues where she had to have an IEP (not behavior, a physical disability). Bottom line is, it worked well for two years, although there have always been ups and downs in her behavior. She can be hyperactive, challenging. But you know, it worked for two years. But this year the work is a bit harder, it does take a bit more concentration. And she has been SO challenging. She doesn't want to do her work, and she will actually make up numbers or scribble in her book to try to get away with not doing work. Multiple times. And she will shout, sometimes hit. And corner our animals. But then in between can be sweet and intelligent. But you never know when--except if you tell her no or try to correct her work or behavior, watch out. And we also homeschool another older child with ADHD and processing issues. Because of the attention, I have to constantly work to monitor progress. Did I mention one is loud and sensory seeking, and the other needs quiet to focus at all? I am literally shaking as I'm reading this, thinking about putting her back in public school. And this year also I've had some minor physical health issues that I need to get control of. What exactly happens if you enroll a child mid-year in public school? I'm thinking they might not count that year, or might test her abilities and then might not count some of the homeschooling since it isn't public. I'm not fond at all of the option, and we had problems getting and implementing the IEP, but I'm almost to the point of thinking that seeing her behavior corrected by others might help. Or at least give me a small break to regroup during the day. I know we need to pursue more evaluations, but in the meantime I am CRAZY trying to monitor her all the time. Any comments/suggestions would help so much. I need to be able to weigh what the options are. I don't want to pull in and out of school, but I'd look at this as a try it and see how it goes option. Maye?
  10. I signed up with my county to be a substitute teacher and substitute paraprofessional. Yesterday, I was assigned to sub for an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher at my kids high school. During homeroom I was briefed on my students by another ESL teacher. My class was made up of 17 high-school-age students; 15 Spanish speakers, one ?Mixtec? speaker, and one Farsi speaking young lady. The ESL teacher told me that the majority of them cannot read or write in their own language. The poor Mixtec and Farsi-speaking girls had no one to communicate with. He said they speak little to no English. The teacher had left lesson plans for me. My first task was instructing them to write in their journals. I don't speak Spanish so I had to demonstrate everything. I wrote, "This weekend I ______________.". Half of them wrote one or two very simple but complete sentences. Half did not participate. I moved on to my task of introducing the students to science vocabulary (canyon, shore etc.). I demonstrated cutting up strips of vocabulary words and gluing them into their journal (word bank). I then demonstrated gluing in the preprinted definitions. This was a big fail. Huge fail. I was relieved to hear the Bell ring as there was an increasing amount if chatting, jumping around and physical stuff going on. I was losing control over the class. After the class emptied out, the other ESL teacher asked me if I would come back today and fill in again. He was impressed that I was not afraid of the students and that I engaged them. I told him that my science vocabulary task was a failure and he said no worries. I don't think these ESL students are being served in our school. They are so behind. There doesn't seem to be a systematic approach to teaching them English. How are English-language skills acquired in a classroom where the teacher is the only one speaking it? You can't use flashcards with students that can't read the written form of their native language. These kids will age out of public schools at the age of 22. Can they catch up? There doesn't seem to be community support to assist in learning the language. It's discouraging and disturbing. Where will these kids be in 3 to 5 years? I can't stop thinking about these kids!
  11. Would it be detrimental to college admissions chances for a home-school student to be re-enrolled in public school and take pass/fail grades for all his home-schooling classes for sophomore year with the exception of two classes (ps and college)? The Situation: My son has been home-schooling for the past year. It has been a good experience and things have gone well. There are big changes in Ohio law regarding post secondary enrollment - a new program called College Credit Plus. The program is terrific and sounds like it will be a great benefit to many students, providing up to 30 credit hours per year funding at any public college where students qualify for enrollment. The only downside is that there are limited funds for home-school students, from my understanding- very limited. Due to how the funds are allocated it is unlikely that ds would receive funding. We were planning on having him utilize the previous post secondary program where he probably would have received some funding. Public school students will receive all the funding they request with the new College Credit Plus. So, we have considered re-enrollment in public school. The public school has always been very helpful and I understand that they can only give pass/fail. I should say he has been taking a class at public school this year and is planning on taking two classes there next year.Also took a college class this year self pay. Ds is a very academically oriented student with PSAT scores that might put him in the running for National Merit recognition - college is his goal. The reason he is home-schooling this year is the ability to move at a faster pace than ps classes with material he found challenging. I just want to do the right thing, but not sure how colleges view a whole year of pass/fail?
  12. My always-homeschooled son will be starting third grade at public school tomorrow. Today we were able to visit the school and briefly meet his teacher for the first time. I asked her if I could see the books they were using and have her tell me a little about what they were doing in each subject. Rather reluctantly (after I asked her twice), she brought me into the classroom and showed me the math and science books. I told her that I was particularly concerned about writing, as I wasn't sure if he was where the school would expect him to be (my son is currently at the beginning of WWE and struggles with and balks at that). She explained that they had just finished narrative-writing and that she would expect him to show up when he starts (which is tomorrow!) being able to write a good narrative. I thought to myself, "Okay, so that's not too bad ... he can tell me a good narrative from his SOTW lessons, he just never writes the entire thing himself, so that part will be something new for him." Then the teacher continued, "A full three-paragraph narrative with three, good paragraphs is what I would expect from him right now." Well ... she is probably going to faint when she sees the writing samples from WWE 2 that I left her, because I don't think he's ever written three sentences, let alone three paragraphs! She also said something about how they use Lucy Calkins' Writers Workshop. I am sorry to say that I made a visible face when I heard that. I read some of Calkins' stuff when I was working on my M.Ed, and if I remember correctly, it could not be more different than the WWE approach! I get the impression -- although I could be totally wrong -- that the Writer's Workshop stuff is all about "write about your feelings, write, write, write, it doesn't matter what, it doesn't how, just write lots and lots" and the kids write pages of garbage (or worse, spend a lot of time doodling and goofing off, since they can't or won't write for an hour every day!) (Anyone know more about it than I do?) Anyway ... other than the fact that I probably totally got off on the wrong foot with my son's new teacher ... I'm wondering if anyone has any advice about how to make this transition. How can a kid go from complaining and struggling with copywork and dictation of a sentence or two to suddenly writing three paragraphs off the top of his head?? Any ideas what we can do to make this easier for everyone involved? Thanks!
  13. I have three kids who have always been homeschooled. My husband has been saying for some time that he thinks that our youngest, an eight year old boy, would be happier in school. (Mostly because of social reasons.) To make a long story shorter, this weekend we all agreed to give school a try for him for one grading period (nine weeks) and then make future decisions based on how it goes. Our local elementary school has a very very good reputation. First of all, has anyone else ever done something like this? Second, whether you've done school as a "trial" or just entered public school for the first time in the middle of a school year, what should I know and advice do you have? I'm so out of the loop -- my older child asked if we needed to go shopping to get him a backpack, and I was like, "Oh yeah ... I guess so!" Thanks for any insight or stories.
  14. Here's my situation: My homeschooled son is 11 and in 6th grade. The only subject he's behind in is Spelling and he's VERY behind. I determined that he is spelling on a beginning of 2nd grade level (4 grade levels behind). I've tried AAS, Spelling Workout, Sequential Spelling, and a couple other programs. He is trying but has made very little progress in spelling and makes classic dyslexic mistakes like leaving out vowels and whole syllables, and spelling super phonetically, but not correctly. Dysgraphia is also a big issue. He does have reading issues (mainly new words, names, pronunciations, and skipping small words/inaccurate reading), but these pale in comparison to his abysmal spelling that never improves. I'm at the point where I NEED to do something drastic to help his spelling... something VERY different than anything we've ever done. I had my heart set on Barton (I love Susan Barton and her website as it really helped me identify what was going on and learn more about dyslexia). But I was sad to realize that I cannot afford it. I looked for it used and still couldn't find it. So now I'm considering whether I should seek services from the public school. I have no experience with dealing with schools other than sending in my homeschool paperwork. Now what?? My questions are: 1) Are there any other highly recommended OG methods like Barton that ARE affordable? Do tell!! 2) What about the more "alternative" methods like rainbow writing, sculpting words with play-dough, or associating words with pictures? I'll try anything! lol Are these worth a try for a kid who struggles a LOT in spelling (not mildly dyslexic)? 3) Should I tell the school district about my son's dyslexia? If so, how? 4) Am I *legally required* to inform the district about a diagnosed or suspected learning disability? 5) If I do tell them, what are the possible repercussions for my homeschool, or for my son's "record"? 6) I know that public schools are legally required to provide services to those who request it, but are they generally even equipped to provide remediation for dyslexic kids? (One of my fears is making it "public", it going on his record, getting involved with the school, getting an IEP, and THEN finding out that all they do is work with him on spelling once a week or so and aren't even trained in dyslexia remediation or use an appropriate method... since that's the whole point. 7) If I did get him an IEP would he then have an IEP for the rest of his school career? 8) It's very obvious that he is dyslexic as he has MANY classic signs, but is a diagnosis required in order to get an IEP? I think I read that diagnosis isn't required, but a "need" is required. Is that right? For example, my understanding is that the school does not diagnose, but the school is required to assess whether a child is *eligible* for services. So doesn't that mean that I don't need to go through the whole diagnosis process prior to getting an IEP if we went that route? 9) If I didn't get an IEP but instead got private tutoring or tutored him myself, am I still legally required to tell the school district about his learning disability?? Anything else I should know? Any other options I'm not thinking of? I really need to get on a "road" and I'm so confused about which one to take at this point!! I'm reading books about dyslexia and how to deal with schools, but they never talk about how it relates to homeschooling so I feel like there's a big gap in my understanding about where to go from here. Even HSLDA doesn't seem to provide much info. Thanks in advance!! Tara
  15. My friend is considering homeschooling her daughter who is currently in public school (New York State) with a 504 Plan. She receives speech therapy, etc. Her mother would still want her to receive these services while homeschooling. Is that possible?? How does a 504 Plan affect homeschooling? I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with this. Also, any links are appreciated! (X posted on the Learning Challenges board) TIA!
  16. My friend has a daughter in public school (New York State) who has a 504 Plan. She receives some services like speech therapy, etc, through the school. My friend is considering homeschooling her daughter but she still wants to receive those services through the school. Is that possible?? She says her daughter does not have an IEP. I'm confused because everything I read about 504 is that it makes sure kids receive extra care they need like wheelchair assistance, nursing care like diabetes help, administering meds, etc. Of course, none of these would be an issue with homeschooling. So does a 504 affect homeschooling at all?? I'm so confused. Please answer if it applies to *New York State*. Links are appreciated as well! TIA
  17. I just read this article and am posting the link here, because I suspect some of you will find this very interesting. Another good reason to Home School or have your DC become Distance Learners, as my DD is. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/25/lawmakers-push-to-end-scream-rooms-to-punish-students/
  18. It's a long story, but we have had to wait until the beginning of this year in order to pull our daughter from school and begin homeschooling. We had thought to deliver our letter today, with Monday her first day of homeschool. However, we still have some paperwork outstanding (a report we are waiting to come in) and a piece of equipment to return on Monday. So it was worth it to us to take an extra couple of days. Our state does not require any notice, I did check with HSLDA. However, I am wondering if anyone else has done so and encountered any problems? We want to turn in letter mid-week, and definitely be homeschooling by next Friday. Any thoughts/suggestions? Amy
  19. Anyone else dealing with this transition? Ds wanted to go to school this year. He started in 7th grade. He's adjusted fine and is happy there. I'm the one having a hard time. Just wanted to see if anyone wants to share on the subject.
  20. For the last two years I couldn't homeschool due to getting Lyme disease and not knowing what it was. Now, after 6 months of antibiotics, I am feeling much better and considering HS our 13 yo dd and 11 yo ds. Any one else take time off from HS and return to it? How did you jump in? How was it finding groups again?
  21. I've wrestled with posting here (and in which forum), but I really would like to receive advice. :) My son is 4y2mo. I believe he is gifted (but not profoundly gifted). The plan is to send him to public school for K in Fall 2014. We can't afford private and husband is opposed to HS'ing. I am weighing options (essentially local school, montessori charter, K in a nearby school that offers foreign language immersion starting in 1st). Our local school district doesn't have a gifted program until 3rd. But to come to the point, I'm trying to figure out what to try and teach him in the year before he goes, and that's what I want advice on. I don't think of myself as a tiger mom, but I do want him to do the best he can, and also give him the best foundation I can. My MIL seems to feel he will already be bored to tears in K with the implication, stop teaching him now. I think because I was terrified of the school teaching him to read, I began that process maybe 2 months before his fourth birthday. He is through the first 3 sets of regular BoB books and the K and 1st grade sight word sets; he is now reading Elephant & Piggie and Little Bear, for example, though not independently (he reads aloud to me and might need help with 2-5 words per story). My plan for the upcoming year is to advance his reading as much as I can through read alouds, independent reading, some phonics; introduce critical thinking with logic books and such; and introduce science, mainly as a way to introduce critical thinking / scientific method as opposed to background knowledge. I also feel like I should do math mainly for the reason that he not pick up an attitude of "I'm not good at it" from PS. I think he already is close to achieving K math standards already. When he turns 5, I also hope to get him piano lessons. Everything else will be playing, play dates, active gross motor extracurriculars (we have done swimming, gymnastics, dance this past year, signed up for soccer next), unstructured art & music. As might be expected, he is fairly awful at sitting still and handwriting. What I really want is to give him confidence and (inner) motivation to achieve heading into PS...and something to prevent PS from killing the joy of learning, without killing it myself. I also wonder to myself whether I can train him to be more "well behaved" (sitting still, listening, attention span, executive function) from a teacher's perspective without killing his amazing little spirit. Will my choices help or hurt? Any suggestions? And what can I do to help prevent complete boredom and hating school once he goes? Anybody's thoughts on any aspect of this are welcome. Debi
  22. Looking for pros and cons on sending 9yo back to ps for 5th grade next fall. Next year his older sis will go to Jr high, at her request. And little sis is doing ps kindergarten because it's so much fun! As such I was putting ds back so he wouldn't be alone here at home. But he's pushing back. He doesn't want to go. I think there's some fear of change, hs is easier and low stress, he's comfortable with his friends... But are there good reasons to send him anyway? Only good, sound answers please, pro or con. PS is not the pit of he√√,though it's got its share of negatives. Thanks!
  23. I thought this was interesting. Funny how I find myself following the news about public school even more closely now that we homeschool. (We never did enroll.) What say you, classical educators, about this development? (Ps I love to read Malcolm Gladwell.) http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/what-should-children-read/
  24. We homeschool our son, now in 5th. We planned to do both 3hour kindergarten AND homeschool our daughter, who just turned 5. She has a visual impairment and did two years of inclusion 1/2 day PK before this. (She also did HS co-ops with us though, so she's really been both all along.) This year is just NOT worked out well. She does well in K (only one week so far) but the atmosphere just isn't sitting well with me. At what point do you think it would be okay to pull her and just HS? At first, we were going to pul her after K (she is VERY active and needs lots of redirection). But I just don't see it working well even for 1/2 the year. The school just doesn't want involvement from the parents (other than contributions and reading). It is very corporate. The 3 hour in the morning period also is not enough for me to do all HS with our DS. The amount of time responding to teachers, getting her ready and then calmed down after (she is WILD, we think it is sensory or related to transition) -- is more than the 3 hours she is there. And the main reason for trying kindergarten -- the low vision devices we're trying -- is really not getting much attention at school. At home we could do so much more with her. So, has anyone else had a child in school or in kindergarten, and then decided early to pull and homeschool? Any thoughts would be so much appreciated! Amy
  25. In the "Better Late Than Early" thread, Esther Marie said something I thought was really interesting: I do think the Anglo-American culture of early start is a bit insane. You guys seem to be very hard, in terms of your expectations, on the littles (academic pre-K and K and alike, with a lot of seatwork and forcing certain skills which would have come a lot more naturally to children if you only gave them a year or two more to play and mature), but then somewhere about upper elementary you start erring on the lax side. From middle school onwards, there is little place for comparison, because by that point the educations our children receive are so fundamentally different (and, if you ask me, in Europe it is typically academically superior). And ironically, kids still spend often less TIME in school. Another poster or two added that the years between 10-14 were totally wasted in American school. I was really curious about that. What does Europe do differently that is so very superior? If Americans are spending more time, how is it so lax? What are they doing? And I'm curious about the implications that schools here starts out being rigorous and having high standards, then just goes completely to pot after several years. When -- and how -- does it change? And why do you think this happens?
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