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We cannot do it all


choirfarm
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This is a spin-off of my other thread. Here is someone's comment:

 

Originally Posted by Corraleno viewpost.gif

 

 

You can get along in real life without knowing anything about history or science or geography or literature, too — does that mean they're not worth studying? Many people seem to regard math as merely a skill rather than an academic subject like history or science. There is just as much depth and richness to the study of math as there is to the study of biology or classical literature or medieval history. Sure, as long as an adult can read a newspaper and balance a checkbook, they can "get along in real life," but I don't think anyone here on the WTM boards wants to settle for that.

 

Different parents will emphasize different subjects, and for some, teaching the basic math skills needed to "get by" will be as far as they want to go. But for those of us who see math as much more than just a skill, that's like saying "As long as my child can name most of the presidents and has memorized a dozen or so dates, that's all they need to know about American history.

 

So here are my comments:

Yes, that is it exactly. All of us are so passionate about music or literature or math or whatever and so we come across on the board that that is the only CORRECT way to teach it. Perhaps. But we are just moms. I'm sorry. I do not have the intellectual ability or emotional energy to explore each and every subject in the most fabulous, best, most interesting way. I'm sorry. With a 10th, 8th and 3rd I just don't. So those of you that are now currently horribly worried that you aren't doing math "correctly." Chill. If you do math correctly, then I guarantee you will do some other subject "incorrectly." Ok... off to actually do school.

 

Christine

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:iagree: sort of.

 

I think we tend to overthink sometimes.

Teaching "correctly" does not always mean spending every waking minute of every single day with our nose to the grindstone, never coming up for air so that we can "get it all in."

 

Sometimes teaching "correctly" means simplifying, cutting out extras or even adding in something fun and time consuming to the neglect of some other subject for a season.

 

Homeschooling has many seasons. Right now, we are in a textbook season...boring and simple, but my kids are happy for now and that makes me ok with it for now....They are learning. They are using their books to jumpstart their own learning in other ways...playing with their history topics with legos and reading extra books that don't neatly fit into a "history" sequence.

 

I just love SWB's lectures on MP3 because her way of teaching is so simple...read, talk, write. I think math works similarly...read, talk, do, show....

 

I have a lot more to say on this topic, but I have to get my kids up and moving.

 

Be Back Later...

Faithe

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I can get very caught up in the "correct" way of educating one's children. Fortunately, about that time we'll head to the art museum (even though I know it will put us behind) and spend the day discussing history, art, science, math, and the allocation of taxpayer dollars for installation art. We are not behind; we are ahead in so many ways.

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I keep a mental list of the goals of the stages of the Trivium. I remind myself often that we are training the mind. The Trivium is not about the a sheer amount of information and more about developing a mental skill set.

 

I think of it like making a sword. In the Grammar stage we work with the raw matarials heating, hammering, and working them into thier rough form. In the logic stage we shape the blade into its logical form to give it greater efficency. Finally in the Rhetoric stage we polish, sharpen, and detail our blade.

 

While of course we want our children to be armed with as much knowledge as we can give them. Developing thier skill set to find and learn information is far more important. In essence to think for themselves.

 

Eventually we send our children off to College or into the world where thier ability to think and learn for themselves is far greater than weather or not we tuaght this subject or that "Just Right". (With the acception with reguards to language)

 

In closing I would say, go with the flow. Schooling your child is organic, it grows with the childs mind, worry will only detract from your end goal. Even a subject taught wrong in homeschool is far better than the state run, propaganda filled education our children would get in public school.

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I do think that homeschool moms tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves (me included.)

 

I loved this statement of yours---"I do not have the intellectual ability or emotional energy to explore each and every subject in the most fabulous, best, most interesting way. I'm sorry." Love it.

 

I am a perfectionist and tend to drive myself mad teaching like this. These boards, while helpful beyond imagination, tend to feed that in me, so I have to be very careful. I've just had an epiphany lately that one of the main reasons I wanted to homeschool was RELATIONSHIPS-amongst our family members, and also/mainly our relationships with the Lord. So instead of pushing, pushing, pushing in all areas academically, I'm learning to do my work as unto the Lord, and be happy with that. I keep reminding myself that He equips me by His Spirit to do things how HE thinks is correct for MY children for HIS plans for them. He doesn't want me angst-ridden over what He has called me to do!

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I think of it like making a sword. In the Grammar stage we work with the raw matarials heating, hammering, and working them into thier rough form. In the logic stage we shape the blade into its logical form to give it greater efficency. Finally in the Rhetoric stage we polish, sharpen, and detail our blade.

Love this!

 

I've just had an epiphany lately that one of the main reasons I wanted to homeschool was RELATIONSHIPS-amongst our family members, and also/mainly our relationships with the Lord. So instead of pushing, pushing, pushing in all areas academically, I'm learning to do my work as unto the Lord, and be happy with that. I keep reminding myself that He equips me by His Spirit to do things how HE thinks is correct for MY children for HIS plans for them. He doesn't want me angst-ridden over what He has called me to do!

:iagree:This is me too. I decided last night that because my house is a wreck that I have not adequately trained my children in correct stewardship of their belongings and their home. We are taking the day off today to clean house and organize. We will do this for the glory of God because we believe that He has provided us with a home and belongings to care for. We need this lesson today before we can even do our school work.

 

I personally think there are some things just as important as academics. I don't want to get so off-balance by placing some things as more important than others that we forget training in all areas.

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I try my best, but I wonder just how much their litttle brains can hold. I sometimes wonder if I present any subject fully and completely will they retain all of that. Everyone I know (myself included) doesn't remember everything we learned in school. It will also come up again as they get older. So, my theory is I do my best and trust that they will turn out all right.

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My dad always said, "Don't let school get in the way of an education." I repeat that to myself often. :001_smile:

 

I remember he used to pick me up from school to do random things. Every time one of our pets needed to go to the vet I got to go. The first day it snowed, he got us all out of school to play. I can still see the woman's face in the office. I had been called from class, and my dad was waiting for me. The woman told my dad he hadn't written on the paper why I was being checked out. My dad wrote, "Snow." The woman was baffled and my dad said that playing in the snow was more important than sitting in a classroom. She just stood there stammering as we left. :D

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My dad always said, "Don't let school get in the way of an education." I repeat that to myself often. :001_smile:

 

I remember he used to pick me up from school to do random things. Every time one of our pets needed to go to the vet I got to go. The first day it snowed, he got us all out of school to play. I can still see the woman's face in the office. I had been called from class, and my dad was waiting for me. The woman told my dad he hadn't written on the paper why I was being checked out. My dad wrote, "Snow." The woman was baffled and my dad said that playing in the snow was more important than sitting in a classroom. She just stood there stammering as we left. :D

 

Oh, I love it!! I had a college professor that shouted that same thing as we were leaving his class every Friday.

 

I get very much hung up on "getting it all done". As if I could ever get everything done. There's always more to do, and I don't want to damage my relationship with my kids my being a drill sargeant with them. Thanks for the reminder. (I say this after I spent my weekend sick in bed with a copy of TWTM, planning how to get "everything" crammed in with history next year. ;))

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:iagree::iagree::iagree:

I've just had an epiphany lately that one of the main reasons I wanted to homeschool wlas RELATIONSHIPS-amongst our family members, and also/mainly our relationships with the Lord. So instead of pushing, pushing, pushing in all areas academically, I'm learning to do my work as unto the Lord, and be happy with that. I keep reminding myself that He equips me by His Spirit to do things how HE thinks is correct for MY children for HIS plans for them. He doesn't want me angst-ridden over what He has called me to do!

 

After I began HSing and was so overwhelmed the Lord engraved this same thought in my heart. He gently let me know - Hey! They belong to me, am I not able to produce in them what they need for the future I have laid out for them! This has always brought so much peace to my heart.

 

I approach HSing by making it top priority, pouring my heart into it, and doing my best. Everyday I lay each of my 4 precious gifts at His feet (the throne of grace) and I walk away KNOWING - HE is faithful, He will NEVER fail them, He can do much more than what I ask, and He is a God who accomplishes.

 

Ephesians 3:20 "Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. AMEN."

 

Thank you HappyGrace for your words.

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This year has moved some mountains for me. I work so hard to get it all in and I think, since I noticed the same quality in one of my dearest friends, I started evaluating a little more than math lessons. I started remember, too, why we home school. Academics -- yes, but so much more and relationships with family and God are on our list.

 

I think we see in others what we are within ourselves -- that's why it is often so easy to see. Without judgement, I noticed my friend is rushing through a list of things so she can simply check them off and I realized I was doing the same. I started individualizing a bit and the more I do this, the more I see for some dc, math will be a focus, while with others, it will be "just enough." Isn't that the beauty of home schooling?!?! We can make this journey what it needs to be. If I went into depth in every subject area the "right" way, we'd never live beyond education and we might miss out on the times when life educates just fine without the brick and mortar of our HOME. Lest we forget, we can easily turn this place into That place.

 

OP, you're right, sometimes, there is more to life than home education (gasp!) and we simply can't get it all in. I'm SO learning this and I'm learning to switch my focus not only in subject matter, but also from little people to the bigger ones. Independence is important, but I was rushing there, too. What good is the depth of the Grand Canyon in mathematics, when the application is performed by a person who had "just enough" rearing in other important parts of life and has a "just enough" relationship with the woman who spent her entire adult life raising and teaching him. What good is reading all the classics at home, when you know the kiddo was rushed and will not be picking up any ole book once they're no longer required.

 

The big picture is clearing up a bit for me. Perhaps, for those like me, it just takes time to get through the fog of all the "right stuff" and see the light; but either way, so long as I give my best, and leave the rest to the Lord, I'm hoping for our very own masterpiece in the end. Like all great works of art, not everybody will appreciate my style ;) and I'm learning to be okay with that more and more.

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:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

 

After I began HSing and was so overwhelmed the Lord engraved this same thought in my heart. He gently let me know - Hey! They belong to me, am I not able to produce in them what they need for the future I have laid out for them! This has always brought so much peace to my heart.

 

I approach HSing by making it top priority, pouring my heart into it, and doing my best. Everyday I lay each of my 4 precious gifts at His feet (the throne of grace) and I walk away KNOWING - HE is faithful, He will NEVER fail them, He can do much more than what I ask, and He is a God who accomplishes.

 

Ephesians 3:20 "Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. AMEN."

 

Thank you HappyGrace for your words.

:iagree::iagree::iagree: This has given my dh and I peace. Especially with my oldest who struggles so much academically.

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Maybe I will do some other subject incorrectly- but not all subjects are created equal. For some, it will be easy to fill in gaps at a later point - for others, that is virtually impossible. If the kids have holes in their math education in middle school, it will come back to bite them in college and it will be very very hard to fix something. I have seen many bright students fail college science classes because their math skills were insufficient. The same is true for writing.

Education provides people with choices. Not teaching math and writing properly will severely limit the options children have when they choose a profession. Not being a proficient in music will eliminate being a professional musician - but nothing else. Not being proficient in math will keep them from being scientists, engineers - and even doctors or pharmacists ( who have to pass college math and science classes before they can go to med and pharmacy school). I would hate to limit my child's choices by the education I provide. The things which I am not competent to teach will be outsourced.

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Maybe I will do some other subject incorrectly- but not all subjects are created equal. For some, it will be easy to fill in gaps at a later point - for others, that is virtually impossible. If the kids have holes in their math education in middle school, it will come back to bite them in college and it will be very very hard to fix something. I have seen many bright students fail college science classes because their math skills were insufficient. The same is true for writing.

Education provides people with choices. Not teaching math and writing properly will severely limit the options children have when they choose a profession. Not being a proficient in music will eliminate being a professional musician - but nothing else. Not being proficient in math will keep them from being scientists, engineers - and even doctors or pharmacists ( who have to pass college math and science classes before they can go to med and pharmacy school). I would hate to limit my child's choices by the education I provide. The things which I am not competent to teach will be outsourced.

 

I agree. I also agree with the main point in the OP, which is that I can't do everything to perfection. I can't. It's just that I can't allow the skills that I don't teach well be foundational skills. Math is a BIG DEAL. It simply can't be that kids in other countries are smarter than our kids. The issue isn't whether or not our kids can learn it (unless one suggests that our kids are intrinsically less capable - they're born defective or something). The issue is that we (most of us anyway) don't know how to teach it well, and because we didn't learn it well, we figure it doesn't matter if they do. The problem with that reasoning is obvious, IMO.

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This is just another way of saying, "There will always be gaps."

 

We can never see every single thing of value there is to see in the world.

 

We can never do every single thing of value there is to be done in the world.

 

We can never sing all the songs, dance all the dances, read all the good books.....

 

There's too much. We can only try to fill the pot with as many ingredients as possible to make a good stew/soup/whatever.....

 

The way the final recipe turns out will be different every time for every individual child, both because of our strengths and weaknesses and because of theirs.

 

Attempting to cover some good, solid basics soundly, while also allowing them to pursue areas that are of particular interest to them, is the best that any teacher, anywhere can do for an individual student.

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Maybe I will do some other subject incorrectly- but not all subjects are created equal. For some, it will be easy to fill in gaps at a later point - for others, that is virtually impossible. If the kids have holes in their math education in middle school, it will come back to bite them in college and it will be very very hard to fix something. I have seen many bright students fail college science classes because their math skills were insufficient. The same is true for writing.

Education provides people with choices. Not teaching math and writing properly will severely limit the options children have when they choose a profession. Not being a proficient in music will eliminate being a professional musician - but nothing else. Not being proficient in math will keep them from being scientists, engineers - and even doctors or pharmacists ( who have to pass college math and science classes before they can go to med and pharmacy school). I would hate to limit my child's choices by the education I provide. The things which I am not competent to teach will be outsourced.

 

Ok, so how do you outsource elementary math??? If Iam not doing it right. Which to be honest, I don't have a clue. I don't understand what half of those mathy people say about the deepness of math. I mean place value just means one, tens, hundreds, etc. I don't get the "concept" behind it. It just means what it means. So have I killed my children's education??????

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There has to be a middle ground academically. I believe that a good education is training the mind - hence the term "The Well-Trained Mind". No, I do not expect my children to retain everything we've read in history, but does that mean that we don't do history because they won't remember it? Absolutely not. Because the point is not to necessarily have all the names and dates. The point is to expose my children to ideas and at this point, the ideas are that there were a lot of people who lived and did things before we live and there's a big world out there, and people do things and did things differently than we do. And there are good people and bad people. To me, the content of the academic subjects is important, yes, but I teach the subjects in order to discipline the minds of my children. It's the running and jumping and weight training of their intellect. I don't want my kids to just be able to balance a check-book and "get by". I want my kids to be able to look at our society and think through the social and economic ramifications of what is going on. I want them to be able to recognize Marxism for what it is and fight against it and that takes thought and logic. Now, that doesn't mean I spend hours finding the "best" and creating all these amazing lesson plans. I follow the recommendations of TWTM and it's pretty easy and effective.

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Ok, so how do you outsource elementary math??? If Iam not doing it right. Which to be honest, I don't have a clue. I don't understand what half of those mathy people say about the deepness of math. I mean place value just means one, tens, hundreds, etc. I don't get the "concept" behind it. It just means what it means. So have I killed my children's education??????

No, you haven't killed your kids' education :grouphug:. I agree with you about place value basically just being ones, tens, hundreds - there really isn't much to it, once you understand it, in terms of *how* it works (which is all you need in order to successfully teach and learn arithmetic). It's just that if you look into *why* it works, you can teach place value in a way that shows how it fits into the larger picture of math.

 

But you don't have to do this in elementary school. Charon and Myrtle, my math guru inspirations, didn't bother with trying to teach real math until algebra. They just did SM and called it a day, leaving the explicit teaching of concepts till algebra and the logic stage. It's just that I'm curious, given the success of Hands-On Equations, if those concepts can be taught in a concrete way to younger kids. Since I've got the time and interest, I'm trying to put something together. But if I can't, if I just go with my back-up plan, do the best pre-fab program I can find and wait till algebra, too, then I don't think it will spell failure for my kids' education or anything ;).

 

We do the best we can with what we have - that's all anyone can do :grouphug:.

 

ETA: If you want to see how place value and the standard algorithms are developed via the field axioms, Professor Wu has a great presentation in his drafts for his proposed math for math teachers book - Whole Numbers and Fractions (pdfs).

Edited by forty-two
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