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Found 11 results

  1. Sometimes rigorous creates a hatred in a subject a child once loved. Sometimes rigorous has the child just learning for the test and not really digesting and retaining the material. A rigorous HS curriculum doesnt mean the child will do better in college. Sometimes rigorous just means harder, not better. I am just saying.
  2. I have two daughters with whom I have just begun to follow WTM. They are aged 5 & 8. Whilst I have always had 'structured' homeschool, it has been nothing like WTM & I after reading WTM, I now feel they are 'behind'. I don't feel too bothered by this (except for when i break out in a cold sweat in the middle of the night!!!) We have begun to follow my version of WTM & I am really pleased with how things are going. But I have learned a lot about myself so far - I am quite 'soft' - I want them to have fun - & this isnt always fun. No one has protested yet - but it is only time. Please may I ask for thoughts on this from other classical homeschoolers. I can see that my children will get a much better education if I am following a method of this sort. (Than what I was doing previously) How do I toughen up? How do you keep focused? Advice & thoughts welcomed.
  3. If you self-identify as a Draconian HSer and know your personality type, do you mind sharing? I'm interested. My Myers-Briggs type is INFJ and I have a really hard time telling people what to do, even my children. It feels so unnatural.
  4. Probably I'm going to get tomatoes thrown and maybe I'm just feeling grumpy with too much paperwork....and maybe I'm misunderstanding because I don't read every word in posts dealing with this... It seems like SWB wrote her books to propose to those interested a path, for them or their children, to a "well trained mind"..... Then she opened her forums so that interested parties could have a place to discuss how to do that in practical terms and even refine her recommendations (that last is an assumption and hope on my part) and as a generous move towards people interested in her ideas and purchasing her materials.... Then, since it is a forum that gets so many conversations going and the format is so user friendly, more and more people join in...even with posts that have nothing to do with the original goal... and some people even get angry with the person hosting these forums freely to all of us...or with people trying to stick to the original goal... And then "rigorous" even gets a bad name... Something doesn't seem right - why is rigorous sidelined? (ETD because I didn't meant to offend. It was a rhetorical question that some took literally.) Am I misunderstanding the purpose of these forums? How can people overlook the generosity of the owner???? Just asking, since I'm asking myself this question and there is no one here with whom to discuss it, Joan
  5. (CMSAS/CESAS) and their Precursors..... I don't know whether this determination in the pursuit of understanding and identification is craziness or not but here I am again. :001_smile:....(Go ahead - tell me I am crazy)... Thinking about the dialog between Stacy in NJ and 8FTH helped clarify some thoughts. One person was talking about what materials were adequate as college prep and the other talking about what materials were challenging for advanced students....as 8FTH said, those are two different things (though of course what is challenging for an advanced child is probably going to be good college prep as well). CAVEAT - this doesn't mean people need to use/do these CM/ESAS to get into college - I'm just trying to filter materials/experiences. I don't even know how useful this will prove to be but it came to me in the morning. If it is not helpful, it will surely get lost in the hubris, and it will die it's own death.:001_smile: Then I was thinking about the "rigor" definition in the definition thread combined with Bloom's taxonomy...where it talks about 'analyzing, evaluating, and finally creating' etc. (see 8's posts in this thread). And finally came to the conclusion that one aspect of what I had been trying to get at was to be able to identify these challenging materials and their precursors....AS WELL AS "experiences" that do the same - normally we can't get those off the shelf but have to glean ideas from posts by people willing to/ and who have the time to share how their children got to where they are now - Kathy in Richmond, FaithManor, 8FTH, Jane, Nan, Ester Maria (though I guess your children are still young), etc, etc (please forgive me for not naming all the others so people would know where to turn, due to a bad memory and not reading all the posts, but I know you are out there...). I am keeping in mind what Sebastian was saying (I know other people said the same or similar things so I'm sorry not to quote you too, it is just that Sebastian's post was an easy one to remember without scrutinizing all the posts), she and others said, what is challenging for a child at one age is not at another, and what is challenging for one child is not for another...By the time kids get to high school, if they are advanced in some area, there are materials/experiences that will challenge them. Then there are the materials that brought them to that point, though maybe others would just use those as "end of high school" materials... So taking MUS/AoPS as an example since it was recently used (I haven't used either so don't speak from personal experience)...you could say that MUS can be college prep and AoPS is CMSAS, as well as, college prep....(presuming the right levels are used of course). So that's why I'm proposing these words (actually others have proposed them in different ways in the "acceptable word" thread - I'm just putting them into a separate thread to highlight them). As a second point - I think that one thing that might have to be taken into account more is parental education/ or drive (I know there are very intelligent people who are self-educated as well) where they provide the "environment" where the student thrives, even if the text itself is not that "hard"... Ok, now I'm thinking of FaithManor's thread as an example (sorry for overuse, it is handy because it is so recent)....if someone asked her the book her daughter used - it would be completely insufficient to know the book if she did not describe the family and environmental background as well as her dd's inner drive. It took Faith 3 pages to describe what she did. Sometimes we are probably not giving enough background when proposing certain materials and then the materials might not be as effective for another student. I know there are also "out of the family" ways of enriching our children's exposure - friends, groups, etc... Eg...our family has a science bent...we've been buying experiment kits and discussing science almost since the children were born - though not nearly as much as Faith (not putting mine at the level of her dd). We are not very literary or philosophically developed. Those aspects of any suggestions I would make in literature vs science could change the outcome radically, though not automatically if I have made a huge effort to ameliorate the lack. Another example would be our language materials...which is why I generally don't discuss French materials...it would be too hard to tease out the environmental factor in any success. Yours truly, Joan
  6. Now that I've been educated by the hive more thoroughly :001_smile:, I see that there is a problem with the use of the word "rigorous" because some people are rigorously studying (with their dc) and others want to provide an education that will fulfill requirements of "rigor" for certain universities, and the two do not always overlap. There is a huge range of "rigor" in different subjects and for different "children" and since I wasn't thinking of that when starting the other thread, I can see how people took offense. But that was not at all my intent. ETA - I want to keep the word "rigorous" to deal with how students are studying - most vigorously for themselves, and look for a new word per below... However, since people in all different situations with different students sometimes need to have a program that a college would think of as "rigorous", it seems like we need a new word to deal with this kind of study - that does not provoke hurt feelings and misunderstandings. And there are people looking for materials that go beyond the average level of work and so need a way of talking about that, again without making waves. The problem with "Draconian" is that it seems to apply to the measures/method rather than the studies themselves... Could we find such a word? The words that come to my mind seem to have the same potential for misunderstanding.... The types of studies that I'm thinking of typically incur more effort for the average person. While it is easy to think of AP coursework, there are individualized plans of study that are at a difficult level but not measured by AP exams, yet would be appreciated by more selective schools... (All this is not meant to restart old conversations about what schools are looking for, but to find a word to describe challenging studies - uh oh, another weighty word probably - but please try to help me - and sorry Janice - I haven't read the Crazy U book yet if I am playing into that? - I still hope for a useful word in these circumstances). Ever hopeful, Joan
  7. I'm going out on a limb here. I thought I'd first return the three PM's on the topic, but just maybe others might be curious about it. I am a little anxious because, well, the boards have been in a bit "interesting" as of late, and I have to wonder how well-received it will be. I've tried to be helpful in the past and not give too much by way of detail and exercise discrimination concerning what I will share of our personal homeschool experience, graduating our first, etc. But, it seems that a few would like to hear it, and so I'll step onto the thin ice of "rigorous" science or "what happens when a child inherits the dominant mad scientist gene of the father, and the repressed mad scientist dream of the pianist mother". The above mentioned child, our dd whom I will refer to as "R", clearly early on showed an aptitude for science. Though she is herself, a highly accomplished pianist and vocalist, the reality was that she was never going to be competitive at it as I was...science reigned supreme in her mind. When she was young, (she's 20 now), there weren't a lot of science resources available and certainly none that were particularly challenging to a child who began devouring science material as soon as she learned to read and had the added benefit of a crazed, scientific lunatic father constantly saying, "Well, you know....now that you've learned that principle, we can go even further!" Even further usually meaning putting something I owned, something she owned, something in the yard, something somewhere in peril from chemical elements of mass destruction. Though, except for the kitchen floor flood of 2000 A.D., the working boat locks system built inside a large, clear rubbermaid tub, was fairly innocuous. We did have a few projects that were slightly less destructive yet probably just as costly. Please keep in mind when you read this post that what some parents have spent on sports equipment, music lessons (thankfully, I can teach those at home - whew), etc. we've spent on science and probably a lot more. (Don't ask me what happened to my electric skillet in 2004! Don't go there! I still work to bury my angst.) Anyway, I digress...we ended up not using a formal text because the curriculums available were too easy or at least not interesting enough. Instead, I lined our book shelves with books on all kinds of science topics, put a periodic table of elements on the wall, ran experiments out of science fair books, spent a small fortune on science kits and lab equipment, etc. We began exploring and science, even at the 2nd or 3rd grade level, took easily an hour a day. I discovered WTM in 2003. SWB articulated what I'd been feeling all along were the goals of our homeschool except that we knew we would go deeper with science and less deeply with Latin. That's the beauty of homeschooling, tailoring it to your child's natural talents while shoring up the weaknesses. I loved her idea of "specializing" in high school and we devised a middle school plan that would allow dd to be ready for six sciences in high school instead of three or four. DD's high school courses in science were as follows: Biology - Apologia, plus different dissections because we had already done quite a lot of dissecting. I taught science labs at a Lutheran K-8 school in exchange for lab privileges for my children. They had a WONDERFUL lab. This worked out very well for us. Additionally, we used a college text (whose name escapes me because I ebayed the book the very next year), to explore a few topics not covered in Apologia. I also created my own tests because I didn't think Dr. Wile's tests were challenging enough for dd, though they are probably just fine for most students - they are certainly much more difficult than the tests I've seen generated for our local public school and private high school which test mostly vocabulary knowledge and use multiple choice questions only -DD learned science soooooo easily and I also wanted to include questions concerning some of the scientific reading she was doing outside of her regular course work. At the same time, we covered astronomy with my sister's intro-to-astronomy college textbook that she had completed a semester prior(again, I can't exactly remember the name because I gave it back to my sister when we were done so she could sell it on campus). DD definitely only tolerated the biology, though she did very well. She LOVED the astronomy. This astronomy course required that algebra 1 had been completed since there was some math involved. This is common with college texts so if you choose to pursue astronomy from a college text, make sure you don't do it in 9th grade if your student has not yet completed algebra 1. In 10th grade, we used Apologia Chemistry and again, she explored topics outside of the book or topics that were covered but read more from other sources. I think the book was actually quite good and dd responded well to his writing style. She used the Advanced Chemistry book in 11th grade and during that year, as a result of learning her chemistry basics well, taught a public school chemistry class by default. Let me explain this: Dd's closest, dearest friend, an excellent student and one headed for a career in forensic science, was taking first year high school chemistry at her p.s. No Child Left Behind requires that a teacher with "science certification" must teach science classes. This sounds like it makes sense. But, like all regulations, they don't address real world problems. The real world problem being that the only two "science" certified teachers in the high school had managed to graduate from a local university with a rather sad teacher ed department in which one could get a degree in secondary teacher ed science, and never take a math based science class in college! Yep, you read it right! Neither of them had EVER taken chemistry, physics, astronomy, bio-chem, genetics etc. They managed to graduate with only freshman level science classes all of them introductory and all of them non-math. So, the "chemistry" teacher had taken 100 level biology, botany, earth science, life science, introduction to the solar system - a very, very easy class, an overview really and not a true astronomy class - introduction to geology, and introduction to ecology. Previous to this, the trigonometry teacher had been assigned to the chemistry classes, and the calculus teacher had the physics classes. Those classes, under the math teachers who did not possess science certs, were learning. Under the new teachers, whose apparent attitude was to NOT learn the material before assigning it themselves, no one was learning. (This really caused me a great deal of frustration though my child was not in their classes. Seriously, we home school moms many times sit down with the books and thoroughly learn new material so that we can educate our children. The fact that someone who teaches as a profession was too lazy to do so and could continue to get a paycheck for it, made me see RED!!!) The kids were lost. DD's friend, desperate not to get a low grade in a science since she was going into science in college, asked for tutorial help. DD tutored her and taught her ahead in the public school text, and then "A" went back to class and taught her mates. The teacher did nothing but, this is the absolute truth as reported by many students and other faculty members, keep a grade book and read the morning newspaper! Therefore, by default, dd taught high school chemistry based on Apologia chem books and her own exploration of topics in dh's old college chem book. I'll stop here and then post again so that this doesn't get too long. Faith
  8. This is from The Heart of the Mind, by Michael Clay Thompson, which is a collection of essays. This is from the essay entitled "Give Me Rigor or Give Me Mortis". My apologies if you have already seen it. "Imagine a vertical continuum of challenge. The challenge at the bottom is zero; every student can do everything asked already, and no new learning or mental effort is required. Much of American education falls into this category; research consistently shows, for example, that bright students can answer eighty percent of final exam math questions before taking the course. The challenge level in the middle of the vertical continuum is minimal. Students already understand most of what is required, and the few details that are new do not provide enough growth to generate excitement. Students come home every day and answer "Nothing" to you-know-what question. Higher on the vertical challenge continuum, we find a level of genuine difficulty. There is some real demand, some interesting complexity, a bit of abstraction, and a dash of depth. Here and there, the minds light up, and begin to read and learn, feeling that at last, their time is not being wasted. Still, no deep growth is required; students do this work with equanimity, feeling that though more interesting, it is well within their ability. Even higher on the continuum, there is a level of stringent, severe difficulty, that makes strong demands of students through advanced levels of reading, abstraction, complexity, and pace, but which nevertheless remains within the realm of familiar terrain. Students here are doing more complex and elaborate varieties of things they have already done. They are learning more, faster, with more mastery and discipline, but no change is required in the way they think of themselves. Above this, high up on the challenge continuum, there is a thin, almost unnoticeable band. It represents a level of rigor so challenging that beyond requiring students to study difficult content, it requires students to reconsider themselves. At this level, a small amount of fear creeps in. Rapid breathing ensues. The thrill factor jumps. Students not only do not know the material at all, they are not sure they are in the right place. They are not in Kansas anymore. Moses-like, they are intellectual strangers in a strange land. To answer the demands of the assignment, they must not only learn what is new, they must be what is new. Master teaching, for gifted children, involves positioning the learning demands right at this seam, forcing students not only to learn, but to molt, to crack off the crusty shells of exoconcepts and get bigger. The unthreatening hard study in the level below is insufficiently rigorous because it builds their knowledge without developing their selves, and the really threatening impossibility in the level above is inappropriate because it will bruise them with failure, but between the difficult and the impossible is the rigorous." My thoughts later...
  9. As a spin-off from the Parent's General Board about public schools and their academic rigor, I am curious about what you feel are the most academically rigorous homeschool curricula on the market currently for the following subjects. This is not the curriculum you personally love to work with or that your child particularly responds well to, just that it requires hard work from an average student for the grade level it is intended. Math Science L/A History Geography Foreign Language
  10. Is it just me, or do you sometimes wonder if science is "dumbed down" for all of us homeschool parents who have trouble understanding it? I think homeschoolers have a reputation for being really bright in the English/literature area but severely lacking in the sciences. I bought RS4K Chemistry this year thinking it would be a great program. My husband took one look at the book and said, "I could teach this whole book to ds in about a week." Granted, I was only expecting it to last 1/2 a semester, but boy that was an expensive program to be so "meatless"!! Has anyone found a science program for the middle grade that you feel is competitve with what the public schools are using?
  11. We've homeschooled from the beginning, but as my oldest is only 7 I lack experience. I've been reading the high/low standards threads, and frankly I don't know if my second grader's day is rigorous or not. Below is a typical day M-Th. We rotate history, literature, geography, science, and drawing. Fridays are shorter; we still do math but exchange most of the rest for library, art/music study, critical thinking, e-mails to family, and some type of project for other people, e.g., get well cards to sick relatives, take food to the food bank, etc. Listened to Memory CD during breakfast (15 min) Primary Mathematics 2A, introduced multiplication, did Exercises 31-33, and did 5 Practice 2B problems orally (25 min) Copywork in best Italic cursive “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.†~ Eleanor Roosevelt (30-40 min with excessive dawdling, lots of daydreaming, and a brief interruption when Grammy came to p/u dd; could have been done in less than 10 min) Circle Time: reviewed topics from Children’s Communion class; prayed; read one poem from Now We Are Six; read one chapter from Charlotte’s Web; read one chapter from Black Ships Before Troy (30-40 min) Song School Latin: listened to chapter song twice, read short paragraph called Chapter Lesson, briefly discussed commands versus nouns, talked about one English derivative (less than 10 min) History: read aloud one LG book from TOG Y1, short oral narration, he read related books independently during Quiet Time (20 min) Math: Played one RS Math game (10 min) WWE 2: began copywork for Day 2, accompanied by much groaning. Only made him do half the sentence today in best cursive, “I shall give you half an hour to be up, dressed, washed, teeth…†(20 min, including groaning) Spanish, listened to audio, added 2 vocabulary words to poster, colored a page (20 min) Sometimes I think we're doing great, and other times I think we basically wrote 1-2 sentences and did a little math. I need perspective. Anyone able to chime in?
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