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  1. Or is that so generalized that it is impossible to answer? Maybe the full spectrum was available 10 or 15 years ago, and the full spectrum is available now? There are so many homeschool curriculums choices now. I was wondering if, in general, they are more or less rigorous than the original ones? (Not thinking original original here. Just thinking about the choices when I started homeschooling 12 years ago.) I can see how it might go either way. There was a strong rebel-against-the-establishment feeling among some of the older homeschoolers. That might lead to less academicly rigorous curriculums, especially among those who felt strongly that academic skills were over-rated. Or maybe those who don't want to do things in such an academic way don't buy curriculums anyway so there is no way of knowing. On the other hand, academic expectations in general might have been higher, leading to more academically rigorous curriculums even though they were more loosely structured in a non-classroom-like way. Now far more people are homeschooling, which might alter the spectrum. And there are many people who are homeschooling for reasons other than a profound distrust of the methods schools use (or used to use) to teach academic skills. And there is the whole classical movement. Or maybe it is stupid question and we should all be working on our must-get-done-for-summer-to-happen plans and not be procrastinating on the computer LOL. -Nan
  2. I need to hear success stories for college admissions, merit scholarships, etc. and homeschooling through high school:) Thanks!!!
  3. We started home-schooling last year. This year we start the ever-so-mind boggling/planning/trashing plans/starting over/transcripting, etc. Is there anyone out there with a 15 year old in 9th grade or other high schoolers, she just turned 15 on the Fourth of July, that she could communicate with via social network Facebook or email. It can get kind of lonely out here in the sticks-40 miles from the nearest tiny town in South Dakota. We are 2 a half hours from the beautiful Black Hills. She did do some snow boarding last year, she is a skilled rodeo photographer and we do rodeo. If anyone is interested PM me for her email or mine. Thanks, Char:001_wub:
  4. Hi, As my topic shows we are going in to the 9th grade and I find Well Trained Mind forums and threads to be so helpful. I need to find how to keep our 2 year old occupied. Does anyone have any suggestions? We have guardianship of our two year old grandson after our adult daughter became disabled and was unable to care for him. We have a daughter starting 9th grade already having to make some changes to our curriculum after reviewing the books and teacher editions. We live in a very rural area and I have found Pearson Oasis helpful in getting texts with teacher's editions. Also, using the internet to gather resources and looking at the Heart of Dakota for Revival to Revolutions as well. As of yet, I have searched and looked for help with the above. Yes, my husband is very helpful and looks after our g-son. Just wondering if anyone have any suggestions how to plan our time to get all of hours in for high school credit yet not get distracted by the little guy... We had wanted to do one year adventure novel but now looking at a regular literature, writing and grammar instead... I am becoming overwhelmed... Need time out...:chillpill: Char
  5. Here's the thread it came from and below that is the post you made. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3351201&highlight=rabbit#post3351201 That post was in Nov. of this past year, and I've been wondering how the rest of the year went for you. When we met at the convention you seemed very happy about your year. Did you make a shift toward more rabbit trails or interest-driven? Did you find another way to get peace? Anything you plan to do differently for this coming year based on what you learned this year?
  6. This is sort of a spin off from this thread. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=381936 Nan's post #10 has stuck with me today. I printed it off and the "teaching oneself or being taught" hit me. An article I read this morning, also in this vein, struck me too. I'm still digesting it, so I have no comments. The Unteachables. http://pjmedia.com/blog/the-unteachables-a-generation-that-cannot-learn/ So do you differentiate between the skill of being taught and teaching oneself? Do you consciously prepare your children for both of these scenarios? My son is not an independent worker, he loves interacting and me being his active teacher, but he's not always responsive to being told what to do. However, in an area where he has vast interest, like computers, he'll spend hours exploring and being self taught. I think being teachable is a valuable trait and we're not quite there yet. I hadn't really given much thought the actual "being teachable" as a skill. So I have another adjustment to work on. I'm not sure I have a questions, but would love to see how others approach these differences. Thanks.
  7. I just read a book called skip high school and go to college. Or something along those lines. It's basically about unschooling for high school and still building an impressive enough portfolio to get into any college you want. It really challenged me to think about some of the drudgery we are currently experiencing in our schooling. But mainly, I just could not see how a child would ever be motivated enough on their own to do the sort of things required to move on in life successfully. I mean, they are so short sighted. If I just told my 14yo tomorrow that she only had to do what she felt like doing, it would be precious little academically, that's for sure! I think it would mainly involve knitting, sewing, reading, playing piano, and riding her bike. You can't go to college on that. She doesn't have any career goals. So I feel like it's my job to make her do the work that she doesn't see the point of now so she doesn't close doors that she might wish were available later on. But I am tired of the battle. So what do people do that actually unschool? Like math, mainly. What child just thinks, well, I'll learn algebra this year? Anyway, I hope I'm making sense. I'm wanting to make some changes, but I don't see how. Jen
  8. I am very much enjoying the experiential and philosophical discussion on the current state of education in the other thread. I would love to start this new thread to discuss practical application. Please share strategies and/or examples of how you support and require excellence in your homeschool.
  9. This post was very eye-opening to read first thing this morn. I know I have read statistics that American students rank themselves as some of the best in the world, where their test scores show the opposite. But I have never heard it talked about or debated. I know our school district - affluent suburb of a major city - has some of the highest scores on our state standardized tests. Around 90% of our students go on to college. But the state ranks schools by the number of high school graduates that need remedial classes in college and how many actually graduate. 72% of our students take at least one remedial class in college, while 76% of students at the "awful" school on the other side of the city take remedial classes. Really not that big of a difference, considering how vastly different the schools are. I don't remember the graduation rates for our school, but know that across the state less than 40% of college students graduate within 4 years. In our own neighborhood, not one of the children that went on to college in the past few years graduated. One died of a drug overdoes, two are in jail for drugs and the rest flunked or dropped out. I am interested in hearing more about how American standards stack up. I know people look at me like I'm crazy for homeschooling in such a "wonderful" school district. But how do you make sure your homeschool student is ready for college when you are surrounded by low standards?
  10. I'll be honest, this is the part that scares me most about homeschooling high school. I did not attend college and it's been eons since I graduated. I've read a lot on the technical details, but I'm looking for hints on the subtleties. At this point my son has two very diverse interests, physics and video editing/special effects. He's not currently aiming for Ivy, preferably we'd like him to attend college instate (MO), but that's subject to change. As are his interests. However, I'm doing some footwork. I'm checking out state colleges that might offer a degree in his interests. I'd like to show him some options and what they require as part of his prep for high school. He's an average student. He'd probably do better at a smaller college, but again I know a lot can change in 4 years. In my quest to find what is out there I'm feeling overwhelmed. How do I know what is a "good" school? How do I know if a school is respected for the particular department ds desires? Asking around won't do much as our academic circle of influence is small. I'm on the hs2college yahoo group and I can google, but... any other tips would be helpful. Also I'm finding some schools seem to put you in classes for your major right away, a few seem to require a lot of core classes. What are the pros/cons of that? What about video/digital arts programs? Maybe I'll do a spin off on that, but I see film programs, communication programs, degrees for animation. For instance the film/video program for our local college is tied in with the theater program, but ds has no interest in theater. I'd rather he find a school where the programs were more defined. Is it too soon to order information from colleges? That would be mainly for me right now. I do better looking through printed information than online. I just want to make sure I'm aware of the options as he expresses/changes/solidifies his desires. Off to cook...
  11. Please help me make this list. Ds and I are going to have a discussion about his future choices.
  12. I believe that (no matter how you get it) a liberal arts education helps a person become a thinker who responds intelligently to the demands of the modern world (in the workplace and civicly). I've been a strong proponent of higher liberal arts type university education for this reason. I was always against the more "utilitarian training for a career" type of higher education because I believe so strongly in what a liberal arts education does in shaping the mind. I'm wondering though, in light of the kind of liberal arts education that a classical teaching model gives, is a liberal arts university degree as necessary for our (TWTM) kids? I do want my children to get a degree of some kind because I do think it opens more doors in the world. But I'm wondering if it's ok to focus more on the practical training needed for jobs training. But then I'm wondering if I'm compromising my values because of the bottom line and just wanting a secure job for my kids upon graduation. (I hope these musings make sense. Please give me your thoughts, including requests for clarification if you need them.)
  13. Or I should say "how can it be" or maybe even "how should it be"? I'm a homeschool high school newbie because ds14 is only in 9th grade but we're struggling a bit. It feels like we've transplanted the stress and pressure of p.s. (or maybe a really good college prep high school with good quality classes) to our home. I guess I'm asking what high school ideally should look like at home. I want rigor, not for the sake of having rigor, but because rigorous classes are more interesting and stretch our brains. (Ds14 isn't a slouch, I don't think. He's reading Oedipus Rex, doing chemistry and Algebra, Logic, Latin, Classical guitar and finishing up Analytical Grammar.) But how can we have the rigor without the stress? Or is stress ok? Or are we wimps to be stressed at all? Sorry for the angst in this post - today ended with ds14 having a meltdown after only getting 5 problems done in chemistry after working for 75 minutes. I have a tutor for him so we're addressing any actual instruction issues with it taking him so long. But if it isn't chemistry, then it's Latin that's causing the headaches or perhaps it's Classical guitar. The stress is from trying to get 7 subjects done excellently every day. Is there another way to do this? Is it ok to do it another way?
  14. A new blog post at Scientific American ties the writer's personal educational story to studies I've seen cited before and which have helped me take confidence in what I see my dd doing, and how we learn together (I seldom explicitly "teach" her). The post and the studies to which it refers may be of interest to those who are either seeking, or finding themselves unexpectedly taking, an alternative educational path. Those of us who have kids who seem to demand or to require a different approach may find it particularly encouraging. http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog Go to "Guest Blog." The post is from July 7th. "We say we want children to achieve at the highest level—to be the next generation of great scientists and innovators and artists and world leaders—yet the system we’ve put in place makes it nearly impossible for each child to reach their potential. Those worst off are typically the ones whose unique skills and talents we need the most—the most creative thinkers, the natural innovators, the ones who find comfort in the discomfort of not knowing, fearless in the pursuit of their vision."
  15. I just realized something in the dumbing down thread. Many of us who "homeschool" and the new ones that everyone seems to think are so terrible don't really want to homeschool as it was originally defined. Homeschooling seemed to be born out of a very conservative Christian home needs to be the center of all things kind of idea. Home is the best place to teach everything. I agree to a point. A lot of us newer homeschoolers just want the best education, period. I want it to be unique to the individual student. That may mean everything at home with mom designed courses, it may been CC, online, etc. For my daughter who loves music, drama, etc It may mean a lot of time outside the home with violin lessons, piano lessons, choir, drama/community theater things, etc. It won't be the same. Several moms on here are so upset at the fact that it is not the mom teaching everything, but I really don't think that is a bad thing necessarily. So what are we? What is our new term. I'm not a homeschooler. I'm a best education for each of my children for each subject kind of mom. Im a ..... Christine
  16. I'm afraid I couldn't come up with a better title as I don't know how to condense the main idea of this thread into a title. Reading through this thread on homeschool curricula being dumbed down, one quote really struck me, and I hope they don't mind me quoting them. Fear would be one reason for this. Fear that colleges won't understand the approach. Fear that the school districts won't accept the portfolio as "complete". Fear that those from the outside looking in won't understand and will judge or ridicule or belittle. What, if anything, can the homeschool community do so the way they teach their children can be more accepted by those looking in? I'm not suggesting anyone conform, or change their style in anyway. But, I wonder, would the acceptance of more people lessen the fear that so many struggle with when they choose the textbook over a living book or an experience or some other "non-traditional" way? (ETA: I'm not saying choosing a textbook is bad. I use textbooks. Just an example I thought up quickly.) Can more homeschool conventions offer more sessions on making transcripts and turning unusual experiences into something a college can understand? I guess this part kind of goes back to the "what homeschool conventions should actually offer" threads on the General Board, but maybe that is just one thing that could be done. Is it even the job of homeschoolers to try and change the perspective of outside bodies, whether they be institutional like colleges and research facilities or the public in general? I don't pretend to be an expert. I enjoy researching the different approaches and curricula. But, I've always wondered how the homeschooling world would change if it was just another school option, equal to that of a public and private school. I know it is an equal option, but with all the hoops that homeschoolers have to jump through for college admissions and sports and internships, etc., is there anyway the homeschool community could make their presence be known and understood on the same level as a public or private schools? Bit of a loaded question to end the night with :tongue_smilie: :bigear:
  17. I've been kind of surprised by some of the posts over the last couple of weeks, but have hesitated to post on this, because it seems like it could be a real firestarter. But I'm feeling brave . . . You know, I think of myself as having rather low expectations of my kids compared to a lot of people on these boards, as I don't expect much in the early years, and am a pretty flexible parent over all. But then I read some posts and I think, wow, maybe I actually have pretty high expectations compared to some other parents. And I kind of wonder why people don't expect more of their kids. I certainly believe parents have the final say over how they bring up and educate their children. There is a real beauty to just letting people be themselves, and I'm all for that. At the same time, once again, I do find myself surprised at what can sometimes seem like a low bar in some areas. Have you noticed this, too? Why do you think this is?
  18. Can you help me make a list of things to be considered when deciding where this balance point lies for each child? For my family, there is a delicate balance between emphasizing academics so much that the child finishes school "full up", uncurious, unenthusiastic, and deciding never to learn anything in an academic way again; and downplaying academics so much that the child becomes frustrated and is incapable of learning anything at an adult academic level because he doesn't have the skills. Both are a handicap. Fortunately, there are many other ways to expand one's knowledge, but academics are a nice way of doing this, one I want for my children on top of the other ways to learn things. I've been trying for years to get help figuring out this balance and it is only just recently that the board seems to have understood what I was trying to talk about, so I am going to try to get more information out of everyone before the hive moves on to other issues GRIN. I think many people do not have to worry about this. Perhaps their children are less fragile than mine, or more capable than mine, or they have a better understanding of their children, or they have a better understanding of how academics work, or they are better teachers and can manage to teach academic skills nicely enmeshed in content interesting to the child. My family is not like that. I struggle constantly to figure out which skills my children need, how to do skills things myself, how to teach them, what "basic" content consists of, how to learn it myself, how to teach it, and which things I actually need to teach and which things the child needs to teach himself. Obviously, some of this list can be taught, and obviously, we are all trying to teach some of it, since educating a child, even at home, generally is a large part teaching academic skills and content. And obviously, we are all trying to hit a moving target here - a growing, learning child. But student wiring, home environment, community environment, parents' goals for education, and what the student has already accomplished academically all have something to do with how one decides one's general approach from year to year. I just thought that if I had a list to run down, it might help... Maybe it is too complicated to make into a list, but even an incomplete list would help me to see which things I can change, which things I can aim for, which things are immutable, etc. Here are some things I've come up with. Could you add to the list? Correlano? KarenAnne? EsterMaria? Anyone else? So far I have: How willing is the student to work with you, the parent? How willing is the student to be taught by you? How willing is the student to be taught by other people? How willing is the student to teach himself? How willing is the student to work by himself? How willing is the student to work with other people? How much self discipline does the student have? How much natural curiosity does the student have? Is the student particularly interested in one or more academic areas? Do all the student's interests lie outside the academic realm? How long can the student stay still? How long can the student focus on something the student is interested in? How long can the student focus on something he is not interested in? Is the student "wired" in a way that allows him to do academics easily? Is the student frustrated or discouraged when he can't do something well right away? How good is the student at generating interesting questions about a topic? How good is the student at heirarchical structures? How good is the student at logical arguments? How good is the student at fine motor skills? How creative is the student with words? How creative is the student with ideas? Is the student especially talented at something? Is the student driven to develop that talent? How about the rest of the family? Where do they lie in this list? How about you? Are you especially good at academics yourself? How patient are you? How willing and able to teach? How much time to you yourself have to devote to academics? What other commitments or goals does your family have? Is your family academically oriented? Is your community academically oriented? Are you going to be able to find mentors when your child outgrows your own mentoring? What sorts of academic resources are easily available in your community (like libraries)? -Nan
  19. I am in my 16th year of homeschooling, ds is graduated, dd is a junior. When I homeschooled his high school years, I felt like I needed to have everything he needed right there, in other words, all books, everything needed to answer questions, etc. He ended up not doing much research for everyday lessons, just when he did papers. I thought since he was doing all of his school on his own, that it should be "neat and tidy, all there." So, he would read, have what he needed to answer questions (mostly, answers were in his texts or the book he was reading), it went very smoothly (and quickly). For some reason I thought this was not right, so with dd, I have a history curriculum (All American History) that has these "extra" questions that you need to do for high school. The answers are not in the text, you have to research the answers. I couldn't understand why it took her so long, so I sat with her tonight. It.was.awful. Each reference gives a different spin on things. You have to read a lot of "articles" to figure out what you need to write. These questions could turn into research projects, but we don't have time for that (we do 2-3 chapters a week). It does seem very good for her to do this, she is learning how to reword things, research, weed through differing views, but again, it takes so much time. Add to the math and chemistry that take close to half a day, and reading whole books because she didn't like the selections in the American Lit. book, her day is long, and we aren't finishing (and definitely with this depth, not covering as much ground.) One idea I have is to make her do one of them each chapter (or every other chapter) as a project and grade it as her test, opinions? That actually would give her the research experience, and we would be trading studying for and taking the test (which takes her awhile). So, the continuing question of depth or shallow and more.... Can a few of you give me an idea of how much of this "deeper research" we should be doing, and how much we can just "get 'er done."
  20. It does seem like combining the two cause a lot of conflict. My take (so far) of classical education is learning at a deeper level, whereas traditional is cram all of the facts you can into your head at breakneck speed. Classical takes time to teach you how to think, how to form ideas, the whys, the hows, etc. Traditional seems to have you blazing through, barely retaining any of it, and certainly not digging deeper (no time or instruction how to). I have always wanted my kids to enjoy education. Ds loved reading whole books for history (became an English major). Dd loves to take her time reading a book, she says she imagines the setting, makes the characters real in her head and literally imagines books as movies when she reads. I love that about her, but find myself telling her she has to learn to read quickly or we won't get enough done. So I go the traditional route, but can't leave the yearning to understand, to enjoy behind. So I tried to marry the two ways, ending up with trying to dig deeper and cover a lot of material at the same time. It doesn't work. It seems to be the subject of a lot of threads a month or two into the school year. A few of the threads are mine! So hive, how have you worked this out? I see other threads that say to go at your kid's speed, read the whole books, don't worry about not covering it all. I really want to do that! But, I don't know how to weed things out to make it happen.
  21. ds14 (15 on Nov 5), grade 9 is a bright boy who understands all of his work. We have a problem with speed. He can do everything he has, with no problem, he is just perpetually behind schedule. As he finishes, he always masters, always explains understanding well, makes good grades, he's just forever falling behind our daily schedule and I just don't know what to do about. Unless I am riding his butt...being a nag and a meanie...he'll decide he's had enough and stop working. I'm tired of lighting a fire under him and I don't know what else to do. I don't think making the work easier is the answer, as I am certain he gets it, I'm just tired of the stress in dealing with timeliness. Not to compare, but his brother has the same workload (with lighter math) and gets the work done every day (brother is a faster reader, but otherwise, no difference) I don't want to take away Boy Scouts (where he thrives and has no issues on time :glare:) Help, please...I'm getting very discouraged. Here's his schedule: o Bible and Hymns – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 30 min. History – 2-TOG weeks in 3 calendar weeks (includes 6 weekend days, too for a complete 21 day cycle) o History core (occasional in-depth) o Reads gov't and answers ?? o Constitution Workbook Geography as assigned in TOG Core notes (2 pages from book); summary of those notes; famous people about 1-paragraph; memorization of important document Completing Dialectic literature until we finish year 3 (Jan or Feb) o Write Shop - Daily as follows □ 1: Pre-Writing/Practice Paragraph □ 2: Skill Builders 1 & 2 □ 3: Brainstorming; Skill Builder 3; Copy work □ 4: Sloppy Copy □ 5: Dictation □ 6: First Revision □ 7: Mom edits; Copy work □ 8: Final Draft □ 9: Mom grades; Dictation □10: 2nd Final Language Arts - The Latin Road to English Grammar entering Level 2 next week o Latin – Daily o Logic: 3 pages/ Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday (Art of Argument, then Introductory Logic in Spring) o Vocabulary Daily (20 min. of mom-made program) words come from L. roots and mystical stories, etc. Algebra – until complete (TAKING FOREVER) o 20 problems Biology– until complete o Apologia Daily; Discussions Wednesday; as per Donna Young schedule (reading, vocab, study guides, tests...not a heavy workload) o Living books Daily w. summaries every 2 chapters o Nature journal – Wednesdays only Computer work – 10 minutes each o Purpose Games Daily o Quizlet: History vocabulary o Quizlet: Biology vocabulary o Quizlet: Vocabulary o Quizlet: Latin o Speed Reading – 2 days weekly Memory work 5 minutes, two times a day o Poetry □ Presidents □ Math □ History □ Bible o Poetry □ Presidents □ Math □ History □ Bible o H.O.P.E – 1 lesson daily (you may do more and finish the year early) Online class w/ FL Virtual School for Health and Physical Ed. about 30 min./day o Piano/Guitar – 30 minutes M, T, Th, F o Boy Scouts 2 nights weekly; camping 1-weekend per month, usually some activity 2x monthly on weekends. Church Wed pm (sometimes), Sundays (always) Thoughts? Anything? I'm about to lose it...his room is CONSTANTLY a disaster, he is disorganized unless I'm all over him...which tells me he can do it, he's just choosing not to. I don't know what else to cut and I'm starting to get really weary. Thanks.
  22. Let me frame this post. Life is grand. We are having a fabulous year. The BEST yet. So please read this post within the context of the hopeful smile that I feel as I write it. :001_smile: ===================== The longer I homeschool, the more clearly I see the two ditches flanking my path. (I used to see them as two opposites that could be merged by applying enough effort. I can't for the LIFE of me figure out why I thought that was a good idea. If I HAD found a way to merge the ditches, then there would have been NO MORE DRY GROUND in between them to stand on! :lol: I would be left standing in the mud forever with NO where to go. SO - NOT any more; I have no desire to merge the two sides. NOW I just want to appreciate them and figure out ways to be at peace with them. I don't want to change them or their courses; I want to change me. :001_smile:) On the one side, I see a delight-directed education. Days filled with interesting activities, inspiring conversations, and a deep interaction with ideas that grow the intellect as well as the soul. And on the other, I see the high-school curriculum. Tests, courses, plans. All of the hoops that prove competence. I get that - I GET why it's important! I really do! I also think I "get" the notion of the high path between the two; the compromise - a willingness to cede to the reality that left and right can't actually ever meet coupled with the reality that once you find yourself as far south as you can go, the only direction you CAN go in is NORTH; there is just no more "southness" available. Weird, but true. But even within the context of opposites, there are disappointments: Infinity is an idea; you can't actually ever GO THERE - so the mathematical notation always has a soft parenthesis() - never a concrete bracket []. There is just no satisfying end to the pursuit. Once you get tired of heading in the direction of negative infinity, the only place to GO is in the positive direction: even that bouncing exploration can lose it's luster if you've already explored the positive direction before. Neither is incredibly satisfying once you understand more fully the nature of your pursuit. :tongue_smilie: So I think I GET it! :001_smile: I don't need to debate standards vs. delight-directed learning. BUT I was wondering where you gals turn for inspiration when you find that you've just headed too far in one direction with a kid. How do you swing the pendulum back toward the "wonder" side? How do you find peace in minor course correction? (Cause I'm sadly just getting to the point where I see changes as a ton of work. ;)) I know how to DO it; I just want to feel BETTER about doing it? A book? A movie? A quote? Thanks for the boost! Janice Enjoy your little people Enjoy your journey
  23. This is sort of a spin off of the homeschool philosophy thread. The thought of homeschooling high school doesn't faze me, but the role of the guidance counselor seems intimidating (understatement :glare:). So what is good advice for helping to prepare for these duties? How do you organize this information, like testing dates and other deadlines? What do you wish you had done, or done sooner? TIA.
  24. I just read one of Nan's posts addressing this from a few weeks ago (thanks, Nan!). I'm wondering how you would answer this . . .
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