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johnandtinagilbert

s/o home schooling too popular...the future of hsing regulation?

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I think this has to do with the fact that homeschooling is in its second generation. The first generation are the trailblazers, so they need to be clear about what and why they are doing what they're doing. They are the ones who went to jail and fought the lawsuits to homeschool. Second generation assumes its their "right," and in some areas it's even trendy to say that you homeschool, or have for a year or two. There is no fear of jail so the stakes are differerent. And, as it's gained more acceptance, the bell curve has grown, so there is a wider base of folks who are serious about it and a wider base of folks who are very laissez faire and then a smaller percentage of those who excell and those who really give the group a bad name. It's no longer a "movement" per se becasue it's been accepted into mainstream society.

It is all about the money from my pov. NEA wants what they see as their due. But, if the gov can moniter homeschoolers than I say the NEA be de-monopolized and we give school choice back to the taxpayers instead of making us pay for a dead and dying leviathon that does.not.work. I'd love to get my hands on a couple mill to create a rock-out ed program!!

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I've read a few of the post and I'm a little surprised. I do think that letting the governmental school authorities regulate homeschooling at all is a bad thing. But homeschoolers coming together to teach their children collectively is not hurting the community, in fact it is helping.

 

Some parents cannot teach those higher level classes adequately, and coming together with others, sharing the workload, ensures that their children are getting the education that the parents want for them.

 

I've been homeschooling for seven years, formally. I have schooled within a coop setting (3 different ones) and on my own the past year. I enjoy both.

 

Some co-ops are not very academic, but that's where the parents have to step up and add more to what the children are doing, if needed.

 

As far as I'm concerned, it would be foolish for a parent to try and homeschool, ignoring their short comings (whether they be time or knowledge) and short change their children. As long as the government is not involved with online classes, or group learning (co-ops) then I have absolutely no problem with either.

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
I've read a few of the post and I'm a little surprised. I do think that letting the governmental school authorities regulate homeschooling at all is a bad thing. But homeschoolers coming together to teach their children collectively is not hurting the community, in fact it is helping.

 

Some parents cannot teach those higher level classes adequately, and coming together with others, sharing the workload, ensures that their children are getting the education that the parents want for them.

 

I've been homeschooling for seven years, formally. I have schooled within a coop setting (3 different ones) and on my own the past year. I enjoy both.

 

Some co-ops are not very academic, but that's where the parents have to step up and add more to what the children are doing, if needed.

 

As far as I'm concerned, it would be foolish for a parent to try and homeschool, ignoring their short comings (whether they be time or knowledge) and short change their children. As long as the government is not involved with online classes, or group learning (co-ops) then I have absolutely no problem with either.

My impression (and maybe I'm wrong) is that they were talking about kids of all ages being completely farmed out to co-ops that aren't quality for everything just because parents don't want to teach their children. Personally, I'm not against co-ops like you describe for the reasons you describe. However, I do think it can easily get out of control when the parent (especially the parent of elementary school children) only have their children in co-ops, especially when the co-ops aren't very good. The vast majority of the people I know have either their young children in one or two co-op classes as a change/for fun/etc or have their older children (especially high school) in classes they don't feel they can teach but are taught by someone who does a very good job. To me, that is the difference, and what I see as the potential downside to co-ops.

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This is one of the reasons I don't think increased monitoring by the government would be effective. Those who aren't doing their jobs will find ways around it, even if it means doing things illegally. These kinds of people are only going to be caught if people in the community report them. Extreme government monitoring might catch some but even then I'm sure many wouldn't be caught and extreme monitoring would be way too intrusive. I'm sure we are all very much against parents physically abusing their children but would we be willing to have regular visits by a social worker to our home monitoring and evaluating our parenting to make sure everything we do is approved by the government? I don't think so.
Nope. I don't take kindly to the gov't telling me what to do for much of anything :D

 

My impression (and maybe I'm wrong) is that they were talking about kids of all ages being completely farmed out to co-ops that aren't quality for everything just because parents don't want to teach their children. Personally, I'm not against co-ops like you describe for the reasons you describe. However, I do think it can easily get out of control when the parent (especially the parent of elementary school children) only have their children in co-ops, especially when the co-ops aren't very good. The vast majority of the people I know have either their young children in one or two co-op classes as a change/for fun/etc or have their older children (especially high school) in classes they don't feel they can teach but are taught by someone who does a very good job. To me, that is the difference, and what I see as the potential downside to co-ops.
That's where I am, too. I have honestly, never, in 12 years of home schooling met someone who was entirely co-op schooling and wasn't selective to make sure academics weren't covered once their kids were in upper grammar grades.

 

I have met many moms who used a co-op for fun.

 

I also know many high school families that do as you describe and I see both academics and not in high school coops. I find you have to be selective. Currently, my dearest friend was telling me how happy she was that her son was taking a high school physics in coop for 10-12 graders. I asked her what they were using, and she said Apologia Physical Science (Not Physics, Physical Science). I told her the course was intended for 8th or 9th grade (from Apologia..."This course is designed to be the last science course the student takes before high school biology. Thus, we generally recommend it as an 8th grade course. However, your student can also use it for their 9th grade course work. "). This is common in co-ops. The other moms thought it was rigorous enough for 11th graders. :001_huh: These are the situations that *I* believe endanger us all. She was the ONLY mom who is choosing not to give her son high school credit for the class, so she dropped it and placed her son elsewhere. The other moms have said they will not supplement and they still think its enough. :001_huh:

 

I believe in educational choice AND I believe in obligation to educate; however we choose to educate, we should do it well and I like the classifications to separate K12ish at home/public school at home and home schoolers who are Not accountable to the public system...legally speaking. Just in the mood to state beliefs. I've been reading up to get ready for Tues. voting.

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I think Beth is referring to Columbia Virtual Academy. It is considered a "A Tuition-Free Public School." They support "family choice education through the values of personalization, flexibility, choice, and control."

http://www.columbiavirtualacademy.org/

 

 

CVA is a school district. Yes, I am a homeschooler reimbursed with state funds. From my taxes. I use my own materials & tutors -- some faith-based. CVA dictates nothing. I report what we do. Very simple.

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She was the ONLY mom who is choosing not to give her son high school credit for the class, so she dropped it and placed her son elsewhere. The other moms have said they will not supplement and they still think its enough. :001_huh:

.

 

I think the true endangerment comes from these kids thinking they have had a rigorous academic class, when the reality is that they are being coddled. That sense of entitlement and lack of reality based thinking is really the scary thing imho. But it's not just homeschooling. Remedial ed for incoming college students is a million dollar (at least) business.

Again, I think if more parents had a better grasp on the issues put forth in 2 million minutes, there would be less of this shlock. Our kids will be competing in a global market. Already in America there are people with Master's degrees working on lines in factories. The world is changing and if we don't prepare our kids for it, they will be the ones hurting.

(A local co-op here is "giving" 1 credit of h.s. science for classes that meet for 24 weeks (45 min classes), have little homework and the teacher shows up irregularly. Puhleeze. You don't get a carnegie unit out of that unless the kid is doing a whole lot of work at home on their own.)

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I think the true endangerment comes from these kids thinking they have had a rigorous academic class, when the reality is that they are being coddled. That sense of entitlement and lack of reality based thinking is really the scary thing imho. But it's not just homeschooling. Remedial ed for incoming college students is a million dollar (at least) business.

Again, I think if more parents had a better grasp on the issues put forth in 2 million minutes, there would be less of this shlock. Our kids will be competing in a global market. Already in America there are people with Master's degrees working on lines in factories. The world is changing and if we don't prepare our kids for it, they will be the ones hurting.

(A local co-op here is "giving" 1 credit of h.s. science for classes that meet for 24 weeks (45 min classes), have little homework and the teacher shows up irregularly. Puhleeze. You don't get a carnegie unit out of that unless the kid is doing a whole lot of work at home on their own.)

:iagree: and you should see the lack of teaching in those remedial classes....locally, it's basically online practice with a meeting if you need one from the prof. What's the point? Just read a book and save the money!

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But can they read with enough understanding? We've had relatives that are really illiterate (in that they can sorta sound out, muffle through) words, but their level of understanding is basically that of an illiterate. A couple of them are in college (community college, but, you know, that paper will still have the word college on it).

And I had a gal in a Master's program with me (M.F.T.) that flunked most of her tests in at least one of the classes we were both in. She passed anyway thanks to the prof curving her grades (though he didn't curve mine- nice.) I also helped her with some papers. Oy vey - how she was admitted is all about $ talks. She is now just months away from getting licensed. Scary imho.

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I agree with the above...some of these remedial classes are just ridiculous and they aren't remediating anything. In our area, many of the homeschool, private school, and p.s. school kids that are relegated to these remedial college classes just end up dropping out of college. It's a huge amount of money wasted.

 

In our area, I think the biggest issue I see is that pretty much everyone from every educational walk that I have met, is stuck in a time warp of 1988. They can't seem to get it out of their heads that the jobs that were available to them without a rigorous academic education are no longer available to their children. Even with a huge number of these parents hanging on to their jobs by a thread, they still don't see "the forest through the trees" so to speak. So, their philosophy is that if their kid even knows a little more math or a little more history or whatever, than they did, that's good enough AND IT'S NOT!

 

I also have seen that within our local homeschool co-ops, since teaching math and science is "hard", there's been a lot of dumbing down i.e middle school science used for high school and given credit, cover only half of the geometry book but award a full credit, etc. and the parents are okay with it. Though they are "homeschoolers" and rejected regular schools because of a lot of this type of thing, they have allowed it to seep into their own educational philosophies without even realizing it.

 

The poster that made that wonderful quote about being "second generation" homeschoolers presented an astute point. The first generation had to be hyper vigilant in order to win our right to homeschool and to present the legitimacy of homeschooling as a valid educational option. The second generation may be squandering that heritage by relaxing too much.

 

Benjamin Franklin's reply to a citizen's question of what kind of government do we have was, "A republic, if we can keep it!" Look where we are in this nation....a republican form of government that is floundering badly and in decay because those generations that didn't have to fight for it weren't vigilant in protecting it. Maybe this should have been the mantra of that first generation of homeschoolers when they won their legal victories..."We have the right to homeschool, if we can keep it. The danger is from within."

 

Also, I would like to point out that in many cases, co-ops are not actually a legally protected way to homeschool a child. The Michigan law clearly states that the homeschool statute protects the right of the parent to educate his or her child but it does not protect the right of the parent to farm that education out to someone else unless that someone else is a "non-public" school which means, i.e. has a teaching certificate. Now, a case could be made that it is still parent directed education if the parent has taken part in setting up the guidelines for the class, the structure, schedule, the curriculum, implementation, grading, etc. But, a class is by definition, not tutoring and so therefore, not necessarily protected by homeschool law. A homeschooler seeking to renew membership in HSLDA or to join for the first time, is required to fill out an educational form which includes a requirement to provide the names and subjects that someone besides the parent will be teaching. My sister-in-law has received a warning from HSLDA that she may not be eligible to receive legal representation if she runs-afoul of authorities because she farms out more than 50% of my niece's education to co-op classes. By their own guidelines, she is not homeschooling anymore but actually enrolling her child in a non-legal private school.

 

So, while co-ops do have their place, it is important to be very careful how much they are relied upon and I think that most of us "dissenters" in the thread are referring to people that are relying on co-ops for far more than just elective or enrichment and instead are using them for a large portion of the core subjects.

 

Faith

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Guest Dulcimeramy
I agree with the above...some of these remedial classes are just ridiculous and they aren't remediating anything. In our area, many of the homeschool, private school, and p.s. school kids that are relegated to these remedial college classes just end up dropping out of college. It's a huge amount of money wasted.

 

In our area, I think the biggest issue I see is that pretty much everyone from every educational walk that I have met, is stuck in a time warp of 1988. They can't seem to get it out of their heads that the jobs that were available to them without a rigorous academic education are no longer available to their children. Even with a huge number of these parents hanging on to their jobs by a thread, they still don't see "the forest through the trees" so to speak. So, their philosophy is that if their kid even knows a little more math or a little more history or whatever, than they did, that's good enough AND IT'S NOT!

 

I also have seen that within our local homeschool co-ops, since teaching math and science is "hard", there's been a lot of dumbing down i.e middle school science used for high school and given credit, cover only half of the geometry book but award a full credit, etc. and the parents are okay with it. Though they are "homeschoolers" and rejected regular schools because of a lot of this type of thing, they have allowed it to seep into their own educational philosophies without even realizing it.

 

The poster that made that wonderful quote about being "second generation" homeschoolers presented an astute point. The first generation had to be hyper vigilant in order to win our right to homeschool and to present the legitimacy of homeschooling as a valid educational option. The second generation may be squandering that heritage by relaxing too much.

 

Benjamin Franklin's reply to a citizen's question of what kind of government do we have was, "A republic, if we can keep it!" Look where we are in this nation....a republican form of government that is floundering badly and in decay because those generations that didn't have to fight for it weren't vigilant in protecting it. Maybe this should have been the mantra of that first generation of homeschoolers when they won their legal victories..."We have the right to homeschool, if we can keep it. The danger is from within."

 

Also, I would like to point out that in many cases, co-ops are not actually a legally protected way to homeschool a child. The Michigan law clearly states that the homeschool statute protects the right of the parent to educate his or her child but it does not protect the right of the parent to farm that education out to someone else unless that someone else is a "non-public" school which means, i.e. has a teaching certificate. Now, a case could be made that it is still parent directed education if the parent has taken part in setting up the guidelines for the class, the structure, schedule, the curriculum, implementation, grading, etc. But, a class is by definition, not tutoring and so therefore, not necessarily protected by homeschool law. A homeschooler seeking to renew membership in HSLDA or to join for the first time, is required to fill out an educational form which includes a requirement to provide the names and subjects that someone besides the parent will be teaching. My sister-in-law has received a warning from HSLDA that she may not be eligible to receive legal representation if she runs-afoul of authorities because she farms out more than 50% of my niece's education to co-op classes. By their own guidelines, she is not homeschooling anymore but actually enrolling her child in a non-legal private school.

 

So, while co-ops do have their place, it is important to be very careful how much they are relied upon and I think that most of us "dissenters" in the thread are referring to people that are relying on co-ops for far more than just elective or enrichment and instead are using them for a large portion of the core subjects.

 

Faith

 

Good post. We really must look at the big picture.

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But can they read with enough understanding? We've had relatives that are really illiterate (in that they can sorta sound out, muffle through) words, but their level of understanding is basically that of an illiterate. A couple of them are in college (community college, but, you know, that paper will still have the word college on it).

And I had a gal in a Master's program with me (M.F.T.) that flunked most of her tests in at least one of the classes we were both in. She passed anyway thanks to the prof curving her grades (though he didn't curve mine- nice.) I also helped her with some papers. Oy vey - how she was admitted is all about $ talks. She is now just months away from getting licensed. Scary imho.

I don't think they can read well. In fact, my "adopted daughter" has outstanding daily grades b/c she gets her homework finished (they also have a 3 time allowance for submitting work :001_huh:) but on her test, she made a high B b/c she did not do all that well on the reading comp sections. Her spoken English is terrible and yet she's getting a high A in her remedial writing class. The assignments are so easy my 5th grader could complete them. I just don't see how the classes are preparing anyone for college level courses. I have started tutoring her in addition to her classwork b/c she realizes her remedial classes are a joke. Most of the people in the class submit work in text language when they have group discussions (online). I really do sit in awe when she shows me. She is one of the brightest in her classes. I can't imagine half of them will pass and if they do, how on earth they will be able to understand college text or write a research paper. I just.don't.see.it.

 

I agree with the above...some of these remedial classes are just ridiculous and they aren't remediating anything. In our area, many of the homeschool, private school, and p.s. school kids that are relegated to these remedial college classes just end up dropping out of college. It's a huge amount of money wasted.

 

In our area, I think the biggest issue I see is that pretty much everyone from every educational walk that I have met, is stuck in a time warp of 1988. They can't seem to get it out of their heads that the jobs that were available to them without a rigorous academic education are no longer available to their children. Even with a huge number of these parents hanging on to their jobs by a thread, they still don't see "the forest through the trees" so to speak. So, their philosophy is that if their kid even knows a little more math or a little more history or whatever, than they did, that's good enough AND IT'S NOT!

 

I also have seen that within our local homeschool co-ops, since teaching math and science is "hard", there's been a lot of dumbing down i.e middle school science used for high school and given credit, cover only half of the geometry book but award a full credit, etc. and the parents are okay with it. Though they are "homeschoolers" and rejected regular schools because of a lot of this type of thing, they have allowed it to seep into their own educational philosophies without even realizing it.

 

The poster that made that wonderful quote about being "second generation" homeschoolers presented an astute point. The first generation had to be hyper vigilant in order to win our right to homeschool and to present the legitimacy of homeschooling as a valid educational option. The second generation may be squandering that heritage by relaxing too much.

 

Benjamin Franklin's reply to a citizen's question of what kind of government do we have was, "A republic, if we can keep it!" Look where we are in this nation....a republican form of government that is floundering badly and in decay because those generations that didn't have to fight for it weren't vigilant in protecting it. Maybe this should have been the mantra of that first generation of homeschoolers when they won their legal victories..."We have the right to homeschool, if we can keep it. The danger is from within."

 

Also, I would like to point out that in many cases, co-ops are not actually a legally protected way to homeschool a child. The Michigan law clearly states that the homeschool statute protects the right of the parent to educate his or her child but it does not protect the right of the parent to farm that education out to someone else unless that someone else is a "non-public" school which means, i.e. has a teaching certificate. Now, a case could be made that it is still parent directed education if the parent has taken part in setting up the guidelines for the class, the structure, schedule, the curriculum, implementation, grading, etc. But, a class is by definition, not tutoring and so therefore, not necessarily protected by homeschool law. A homeschooler seeking to renew membership in HSLDA or to join for the first time, is required to fill out an educational form which includes a requirement to provide the names and subjects that someone besides the parent will be teaching. My sister-in-law has received a warning from HSLDA that she may not be eligible to receive legal representation if she runs-afoul of authorities because she farms out more than 50% of my niece's education to co-op classes. By their own guidelines, she is not homeschooling anymore but actually enrolling her child in a non-legal private school.

 

So, while co-ops do have their place, it is important to be very careful how much they are relied upon and I think that most of us "dissenters" in the thread are referring to people that are relying on co-ops for far more than just elective or enrichment and instead are using them for a large portion of the core subjects.

 

Faith

Wise words. I remember when we started home schooling public schools were clearly behind all the home schoolers I know, but now, IB programs, magnet schools, charter schools, have all brought some amazing opportunities for those who Will be competing against our children for college. That's part of the reason I keep my fingers crossed that we'll be able to get in as much dual enrollment as possible. When they take their SATs, ACTs, I'm hoping for really high scores.

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Interesting debate. Personally I could care less how others wish to educate their children. If they want to do fluff, then that's their decision. This was the whole point of homeschooling in the first place - parents get to choose what type of education they want to give their children based on their personal beliefs.

 

If they want to unschool - then go for it. If they want to do arts and crafts for 2/3rds of their day - then who am I to say no. If they want to do algebra in 4th grade - more power to you.

 

I don't pretend to know what it best for anyone's kids but my own. I think it would be a huge step backwards to allow regulation beyond what we have now. I would question those people who want to depend on the government to babysit their homeschool progress - WHY? Why not just accept responsibility for your decisions and live with it?

 

I think anyone who wants to better their education by taking remedial education is great. And the measure of success isn't their intellect or GPA - it's their confidence level. In addition - grade inflation is a problem even in the best of schools.

 

While I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to work towards a college education, I don't believe that everyone needs one. Innovation and determination beats academics any day. I really don't care about test scores. I got a Masters and never even took the SATs. There are many paths to a fulfilled life - if you find one that's comfortable everything else falls in place.

 

Homeschoolers don't have to excel at academics unless they want to, that's the beauty of free will.

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Interesting debate. Personally I could care less how others wish to educate their children. If they want to do fluff, then that's their decision. This was the whole point of homeschooling in the first place - parents get to choose what type of education they want to give their children based on their personal beliefs.

 

If they want to unschool - then go for it. If they want to do arts and crafts for 2/3rds of their day - then who am I to say no. If they want to do algebra in 4th grade - more power to you.

 

I don't pretend to know what it best for anyone's kids but my own. I think it would be a huge step backwards to allow regulation beyond what we have now. I would question those people who want to depend on the government to babysit their homeschool progress - WHY? Why not just accept responsibility for your decisions and live with it?

 

I think anyone who wants to better their education by taking remedial education is great. And the measure of success isn't their intellect or GPA - it's their confidence level. In addition - grade inflation is a problem even in the best of schools.

 

While I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to work towards a college education, I don't believe that everyone needs one. Innovation and determination beats academics any day. I really don't care about test scores. I got a Masters and never even took the SATs. There are many paths to a fulfilled life - if you find one that's comfortable everything else falls in place.

 

Homeschoolers don't have to excel at academics unless they want to, that's the beauty of free will.

 

I do not advocate greater gov't control at all, but I completely disagree with your post. When the quality of education among homeschoolers is sub-standard, then we will be impacted by those "decisions of others."

 

It is already starting to happen. At one pt in time, homeschoolers went off to college and out performed traditionally schooled children. Those students are the ones that had to jump through hoops in order to be admitted. As those #s increased, universities started to lessen the regulations they had previously placed on homeschoolers and the admission process became much less complicated.

 

As more homeschoolers graduate under-prepared for academic rigor, it will reflect again upon homeschoolers at large. Universities do not know how to deal with homeschoolers b/c we are not a group of equals, but individuals; yet, they logistically set up systems that treat us as a collective.

 

FWIW.....I have known far more homeschoolers with lower academic standards for high schoolers than ones with average or above average standards. It does concern me. I also know far too many that completely farm out their homeschools to co-ops. I see that approach as the most threatening to homeschool freedoms b/c it is not actual homeschooling and does "invite" more gov't regulation to define what homeschooling actually is.

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Interesting debate. Personally I could care less how others wish to educate their children. If they want to do fluff, then that's their decision. .

 

Actually how others in my country choose to educate does concern me, though I'm not interested in gov regulation at all. How can we have a responsible citizenship if the citizens don't know what their rights and freedoms are, the branches of governemnt, how to make change (Honestly, a kid at a drive thru last week had to get someone else to help him count out my change- ACK!), balance their checkbook or the budget. Yea, I'm concerened about what others are (not) learning. We are always getting comments about how bright our kids are. They are smart kids but not brilliant. That concerns me. Where are the other smart kids?

 

I started a couple of class days. The one enrichment day is now "giving credit" for classes that are not up to snuff and the academic one is making an effort (they are using Latin for Children for h.s. latin). Sadly, what I kept hearing from folks is that I wanted to push the kids too hard. "Not everyone can be an Einstein." Well, no, for heavens sake, but can't we allow them to be just plain old smart? (oh, this has so touched a nerve!!)

We are in a Tutoring Center this year and I have to say, the classes are academic. We are paying for the privilage- which it is. Chemistry is being taught by a Ph.D. in Geography etc. My kids are getting pushed, but they are rising to the challenge and I love that.

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Interesting debate. Personally I could care less how others wish to educate their children. If they want to do fluff, then that's their decision. This was the whole point of homeschooling in the first place - parents get to choose what type of education they want to give their children based on their personal beliefs.

 

I think I'm in your camp. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I was on this side of the camp for opposite reasons -- in defense of the rights of homeschoolers. It made sense to me that homeschoolers shouldn't be micro-managed on the presumption that public schools produce academically educated children in all cases, because my life experience has taught me that public schools produce many un-educated citizens, despite 13+ years of effort.

 

However, your post is resulting in my thinking it through from the opposite end -- should our society require that all children be educated to high academic standards (at home or not)? And I think no. I guess I'm always thinking along lines that are different than the mainstream. But in the end, I think it truly is fruitless to force everyone to be the same.

 

I've long felt that the biggest problem in the American public schools is basically just this issue -- can we expect schools to take in every single child and successfully educate every one? I think this is a highly improbable expectation that dooms our public school teachers to failure. You just can't force everyone to be the same, even if you *decide* that the a certain minimum sameness is a good thing for all people.

 

Everyone is not academic, either by ability or by interest. I've known too many people over my lifetime who absolutely did not share my interest in academics to think that my way must be the only way to live a productive, happy life. Yes, we have a cousin who "homeschooled" her child by doing nothing until she sent the child to public school in about 4th grade; that child is a mess now. But I've known academic and non-academic, homeschooled and non-homeschooled kids who grew up to be a mess, too. I think many in my own family learned that some things just aren't as important as we once thought.

 

The founders of our nation did not assume everyone would be academic; that's why they set up the electoral college. Maybe our society thrives because we started out with so much variety and so much flexibility, allowing citizens to become academic at a young age or to take it up later, or not at all?

 

It reminds me of folks who really like everyone to wake up early, and I like to think that we need folks who stay up late and patrol our streets or man our Emergency Rooms. I guess I think education ought to be offered to all citizens, but not required, at any age, unless as a family requirement by the parents. (And I must add that even when academics are required by the parents, it isn't always a requirement that succeeds.)

 

How's that for strange viewpoints?

Julie

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I guess I think education ought to be offered to all citizens, but not required, at any age, unless as a family requirement by the parents.

 

Only as long as my taxes do not have to pay for the consequences of somebody being uneducated who COULD have gotten an education (I am not talking mentally disabled people here).

I am talking about people who have no skills to sustain themselves through paid work. People who do not know enough to keep their bodies healthy or prevent themselves from bearing children they do neither want nor can support. People who can not manage their finances...

So as unless the society says: these people are on their own, there is no support for anybody who made uneducated choices, then I think requiring a certain standard of education is necessary.

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Only as long as my taxes do not have to pay for the consequences of somebody being uneducated who COULD have gotten an education (I am not talking mentally disabled people here).

I am talking about people who have no skills to sustain themselves through paid work. People who do not know enough to keep their bodies healthy or prevent themselves from bearing children they do neither want nor can support. People who can not manage their finances...

So as unless the society says: these people are on their own, there is no support for anybody who made uneducated choices, then I think requiring a certain standard of education is necessary.

 

But does education do that? We've had mandatory 13-year public education for like 100 years in this country, and I cannot say that all folks can manage their finances 'round here, let alone make healthy choices.

 

Julie

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I think that even if we are all supportive of "no regulations of homeschooling whatsoever" the reality is that we live in a society with a government that has mandated school attendance and some effort, however paltry, at academics. Whether or not we think it is right, homeschooling will end up regulated if not, out and out, criminalized if a significant enough segment of homeschoolers thinks that they shouldn't have to give their children an academic education. It won't matter what should be, it will matter what WILL be.

 

The reality is that we are no longer a society in which there is very much that an unacademically educated person can do to earn a living and those that don't learn a living often draw on the taxes of those that do. So, it's not an issue whether or not we like it. I think vocational school and apprenticeships are wonderful avenues of getting an education but, most will not be able to compete in those skill areas without more than say a GED education. An electrical journeyman's license is very rigorous to get and requires advanced math skills, the ability to read schematics, the ability to comprehend technical journals, etc. The test for the mechanic's license in Michigan is HARD! More and more contractors in our area, prior to the real estate economic crisis, required their own "tests" of potential job candidates because too many applied but were not going to be able to learn the work because they had so little preparation for "learning the skill" and by that I don't mean power tools etc. I mean the ability to think critically, read well, do computational math mentally (without calculators) etc. The public school kids weren't making it but I also have met a lot of "homeschooled" kids that were applying for these jobs that weren't making it either. Ask my dad, a heating and cooling business owner, how many homeschooled, publicly schooled, and privately schooled kids he had to turn down because they were unemployable. The publicly schooled kids did not shock him...but the number of privately and homeschooled kids that couldn't do basic math was just astounding to him. Astounding enough that he began to take a keen interest in how we educated our kids and breathed a sigh of relief when he realized that we do learn our three R's plus a whole lot more!

 

So, in an ideal world, yeah, it would be great to not have to worry about what other homeschoolers are or are not doing. But, I don't live in that world. I live in the one in which if enough homeschoolers don't educate their children to some sort of minimum standard that the government is going to demand (regardless of the fact that the public schools aren't managing it), then the right to homeschool will cease to exist!

 

Faith

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Good post. We really must look at the big picture.

 

:iagree:FaithManor's post was excellent.

 

FWIW.....I have known far more homeschoolers with lower academic standards for high schoolers than ones with average or above average standards. It does concern me. I also know far too many that completely farm out their homeschools to co-ops. I see that approach as the most threatening to homeschool freedoms b/c it is not actual homeschooling and does "invite" more gov't regulation to define what homeschooling actually is.

 

I have an up and coming high school student and the bolded part is what concerns me.

 

 

So, in an ideal world, yeah, it would be great to not have to worry about what other homeschoolers are or are not doing. But, I don't live in that world. I live in the one in which if enough homeschoolers don't educate their children to some sort of minimum standard that the government is going to demand (regardless of the fact that the public schools aren't managing it), then the right to homeschool will cease to exist!

 

Faith

 

:iagree:

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I read many of the post, not all, so forgive me if I'm off. But the same criticisms I am reading about home schooled children being uneducated hold true for public schooled children. As long as the public schools are graduating students with such low skill sets, we shouldn't have any problems with the colleges.

 

Furthermore, I don't think co-ops or private tutors are going to mess up homeschooling. As a mom that has her kids in co-op, I am my children's primary teacher, even for core classes. What they learn one day a week can, in no way, give them what they need for the other days of the week. I am actively sitting with my kids, all four of them, six hours a day, except for one day of the week, teaching my children myself--administering tests, answer questions, providing instructing, giving explanations, cheer leading, and offering guidance.

 

Any homeschooling parent with a child in a co-op is still a homeschooling parent.

 

Even legally, it makes no sense that a person with the child 1 hour a week usurps the parents authority and responsibility.

 

I don't see how that is any different that claiming that any high school student that does not have a parent lecturing to him or her for every subject is not a homeschooled student. Instead that child should be classified as a self educator because in reality that parent really isn't involved, and therefore isn't really homeschooling.

 

With that line of reasoning, many of us wouldn't be considered homeschoolers simply because the book is doing the teaching and not the parent.

 

It is impossible for a one hour per week class time non-parent teacher to take on the role and responsibilities of a full-time 5 days a week teacher. Maybe this is why the academic performance in some co-ops is so low. Everyone assumes that one hour with a teacher is sufficient instruction for a weeks worth of material. That isn't the case in my world. When co-ops are done, the parent is the primary teacher.

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What's interesting though is the quesiton of "who decides what a good homeschool or public education consists of?" Barring outright neglect, I think homeschool parents should be able to make this decision themselves. It's an interesting dilemma, however. At what point does, say, not teaching your child a subject mean that you are 'neglecting' that child's education? I remember seeing a movie about some homeschooled surfer kids who travelled the world surfing with their hippie parents and they never had any formal education. One child, as an adult, was saying that he had wanted to go into medicine, but when he inquired about it, was told he lacked so many basic skills that he would need probably 5-8 years (or something crazy) of remedial work before he could even apply to college, let alone medical/nursing school. He had a lot of resentment towards his parents for neglecting what he perceived as a basic necessity of childhood. All the other adult children were pretty unhappy too.

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I think I'm in your camp. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I was on this side of the camp for opposite reasons -- in defense of the rights of homeschoolers. It made sense to me that homeschoolers shouldn't be micro-managed on the presumption that public schools produce academically educated children in all cases, because my life experience has taught me that public schools produce many un-educated citizens, despite 13+ years of effort.

 

However, your post is resulting in my thinking it through from the opposite end -- should our society require that all children be educated to high academic standards (at home or not)? And I think no. I guess I'm always thinking along lines that are different than the mainstream. But in the end, I think it truly is fruitless to force everyone to be the same.

 

I've long felt that the biggest problem in the American public schools is basically just this issue -- can we expect schools to take in every single child and successfully educate every one? I think this is a highly improbable expectation that dooms our public school teachers to failure. You just can't force everyone to be the same, even if you *decide* that the a certain minimum sameness is a good thing for all people.

 

Everyone is not academic, either by ability or by interest. I've known too many people over my lifetime who absolutely did not share my interest in academics to think that my way must be the only way to live a productive, happy life. Yes, we have a cousin who "homeschooled" her child by doing nothing until she sent the child to public school in about 4th grade; that child is a mess now. But I've known academic and non-academic, homeschooled and non-homeschooled kids who grew up to be a mess, too. I think many in my own family learned that some things just aren't as important as we once thought.

 

The founders of our nation did not assume everyone would be academic; that's why they set up the electoral college. Maybe our society thrives because we started out with so much variety and so much flexibility, allowing citizens to become academic at a young age or to take it up later, or not at all?

 

It reminds me of folks who really like everyone to wake up early, and I like to think that we need folks who stay up late and patrol our streets or man our Emergency Rooms. I guess I think education ought to be offered to all citizens, but not required, at any age, unless as a family requirement by the parents. (And I must add that even when academics are required by the parents, it isn't always a requirement that succeeds.)

 

How's that for strange viewpoints?

Julie

 

Interesting! I think I might agree.

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
I read many of the post, not all, so forgive me if I'm off. But the same criticisms I am reading about home schooled children being uneducated hold true for public schooled children. As long as the public schools are graduating students with such low skill sets, we shouldn't have any problems with the colleges.

 

Furthermore, I don't think co-ops or private tutors are going to mess up homeschooling. As a mom that has her kids in co-op, I am my children's primary teacher, even for core classes. What they learn one day a week can, in no way, give them what they need for the other days of the week. I am actively sitting with my kids, all four of them, six hours a day, except for one day of the week, teaching my children myself--administering tests, answer questions, providing instructing, giving explanations, cheer leading, and offering guidance.

 

Any homeschooling parent with a child in a co-op is still a homeschooling parent.

 

Even legally, it makes no sense that a person with the child 1 hour a week usurps the parents authority and responsibility.

 

I don't see how that is any different that claiming that any high school student that does not have a parent lecturing to him or her for every subject is not a homeschooled student. Instead that child should be classified as a self educator because in reality that parent really isn't involved, and therefore isn't really homeschooling.

 

With that line of reasoning, many of us wouldn't be considered homeschoolers simply because the book is doing the teaching and not the parent.

 

It is impossible for a one hour per week class time non-parent teacher to take on the role and responsibilities of a full-time 5 days a week teacher. Maybe this is why the academic performance in some co-ops is so low. Everyone assumes that one hour with a teacher is sufficient instruction for a weeks worth of material. That isn't the case in my world. When co-ops are done, the parent is the primary teacher.

The concern is about parents who were farming out all of their children's classes to co-ops that are of questionable quality.

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I have thought about this a little more and I realize that the co-op examples some of you are referencing are totally different than what I have experienced. The first co-op I had my children in 3 hours per week was for pure enrichment, time with other kids. But at that school, the science labs were taught by engineers and a medical doctor, who left her practice for a couple of hours per week.

 

The next co-op I attended was an offshoot of the first. My kids were a little older, by then, about 5th grade for my oldest. The parents, including myself, gathered together and organized the classes and choose the curriculum.

 

The co-op I'm a part of now has the nurses teaching biology, the engineers teaching the science classes, and the PhD pastor teaching the highschool history classes. This co-op is by far the strictest I have ever been involved with. The standards are rigid and the teaching is intense and the parents work together for the good of the students.

 

In every coop with which I have been involved, the parents that struggle teaching their children are helped and supported by the co-op. Their eyes have been opened as to what children should be capable of. Many of the parents that were participating did not have any idea of the work load that should have been required of children of different ages.

 

For the high school writing class I taught, I know I made in difference to those home schooled kids, preparing them for college. I did my best to shore up their weaknesses. I held timed essays and taught them basic essay writing. Some of them couldn't write a paragraph well, but for those that were graduating, I know I helped to get them more prepared.

 

Eliminating co-ops, eliminates the opportunity for homeschooling parents to help each other. For the 3 co-ops I have experienced, the co-ops raised the bar for the students that for the most part had been set extremely low by the parents. Sure not all co-ops do that, but it can't be an accident that I happened upon three of them that were offering an avenue to help the parents and the kids too.

 

Believe me, after meeting these kids, including one that was a musical genius, teaching himself to play 15 or so instruments by ear, many of these co-ops are helping students and shouldn't all be lumped together. Said musical genius was way behind in other areas.

 

When children have died, I have seen the co-op parents step in and carry the family academically, helping to keep the children going when the parents couldn't. I've talked to moms who don't realize that they're harming their kids by allowing them to play video games and watch TV instead of reading. (I do it too some times, but I know that I'm wrong.) I see my participation as a way to help other families. However, at this current co-op, fewer students actually need that kind of help. The parents at this school are pretty much followers of Charlotte Mason or SWB. They're all on target academically.

 

And yes, I'm harder than the co-op. My children school year round, and do extra work.

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
I have thought about this a little more and I realize that the co-op examples some of you are referencing are totally different than what I have experienced. The first co-op I had my children in 3 hours per week was for pure enrichment, time with other kids. But at that school, the science labs were taught by engineers and a medical doctor, who left her practice for a couple of hours per week.

 

The next co-op I attended was an offshoot of the first. My kids were a little older, by then, about 5th grade for my oldest. The parents, including myself, gathered together and organized the classes and choose the curriculum.

 

The co-op I'm a part of now has the nurses teaching biology, the engineers teaching the science classes, and the PhD pastor teaching the highschool history classes. This co-op is by far the strictest I have ever been involved with. The standards are rigid and the teaching is intense and the parents work together for the good of the students.

 

In every coop with which I have been involved, the parents that struggle teaching their children are helped and supported by the co-op. Their eyes have been opened as to what children should be capable of. Many of the parents that were participating did not have any idea of the work load that should have been required of children of different ages.

 

For the highschool writing class I taught, I know I made in difference to those homeschooled kids, preparing them for college. I did my best to shore up their weaknesses. I held timed essays and taught them basic essay writing. Some of them couldn't write a paragraph well, but for those that were graduating, I know I helped to get them more prepared.

 

Eliminating co-ops, eliminates the opportunity for homeschooling parents to help each other. For the 3 co-ops I have experienced, the co-ops raised the bar for the students that for the most part had been set extremely low by the parents. Sure not all co-ops do that, but it can't be an accident that I happened upon three of them that were offered an avenue to help the parents and the kids too.

 

Believe me, after meeting these kids, including one that was a musical genius, teaching himself to play 15 or so instruments by ear, many of these co-ops are helping students and shouldn't all be lumped together.

 

When children have died, I have seen the co-op parents step in and carry the family academically, helpling to keep the children going when the parents couldn't. I've talked to moms who don't realize that they're harming their kids by allowing them to play video games and watch TV instead of reading. (I do it too some times, but I know that I'm wrong.) I see my participation as a way to help other families. However, at this current co-op, fewer students actually need that kind of help. The parents at this school are pretty much followers of Charlotte Mason or SWB. They're all on target academically.

 

And yes, I'm harder than the co-op. My children school year round, and do extra work.

I can't speak for everyone but I don't think they should be eliminated, especially not ones like you describe. To me it's alarming to see how many co-ops of questionable quality are cropping up, and how many parents send their children to these co-ops for all or most of their classes (especially elementary students who don't have a need for all of their classes to be taught outside the home). It's alarming because it reflects poorly on homeschoolers and give those who want stricter regulations ammunition.

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I think there are different arguments being put forth here. One that parents placing the responsibility of educating their children on others (co-ops and other avenues of private instruction) might lead to more regulation because the parents are not actually schooling their kids, giving the government an argument for more regulation.

 

The second being that as the number of unprepared homeschooled college applicants grow, the collegiate community will see us all in the same vain, which could lead them to making the application process for all homeschoolers more difficult.

 

I didn't get that the argument was one and the same.

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homeschooling will end up regulated if not, out and out, criminalized if a significant enough segment of homeschoolers thinks that they shouldn't have to give their children an academic education. It won't matter what should be, it will matter what WILL be.

 

You're right Faith, that is the most important thing to keep in mind. The rest of my thoughts are purely theoretical (i.e. useless :) )

 

The reality is that we are no longer a society in which there is very much that an unacademically educated person can do to earn a living and those that don't learn a living often draw on the taxes of those that do.

 

Back in the theoretical realm, I just don't see this changing.

 

I think societies just need to accept that there are going to be citizens who do the menial jobs, and how can we get on without them, anyways? Plus there are just going to be citizens who won't work, can't work, or even those where no one wants to work with them :tongue_smilie:

 

I suppose that setting the bar higher in theory could push those who could use a push, and that would be a good thing. But I still maintain that there are those who won't be an inch farther than they would have been anyways, even after 13 years of state funded "education." And the fallout there (besides the wasted $$) might be that those students might have ended up a bit more productive if they hadn't sat in a chair accomplishing nothing for 13 years.

 

But Kimber is right in trying to refocus the original topic, because I fear I have taken OT to a new level :) I needed a distraction today and this conversation did it for me.

jULIE

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I am fully in favor of homeschooling but I am also in favor of radical school choice. To me radical school choice allows a family to choose any public school whether is crosses school disctrict lines or not, any charter schools, any private school with vouchers, any public cyber charter schools, and, of course, homeschooling:)

 

I have used a public cyber charter school in the past and fully understood what it was-public school at home. The public cyber schools also made it very clear that they were public schools in no uncertain terms prior to enrollment. I understand that some public cyber schoolers get confused and call themselves homeschoolers but there are many confused people in life in general. I also understand that public cyber charter schools try to attract homeschoolers but as charter schools they are trying to attract customers which I see nothing wrong with IMO. Of course, we need to be vigilant and protect homeschooling. I favor reasonable oversight as in Pennsylvania or Virginia for homeschoolers as long as it does not impinge on the freedom to choose curricula or the ability to use early college or other classes such as co-ops.

 

For the record, this year I am using a small, Lutheran, one room school house for ds. Next year I plan to return to homeschooling and not public school at home.

 

I guess what I am saying is that radical school choice should meet the needs of all children which I think is great:D Let the money follow the child and long live homeschooling:)

 

My 2 cents:)

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Actually how others in my country choose to educate does concern me, though I'm not interested in gov regulation at all. How can we have a responsible citizenship if the citizens don't know what their rights and freedoms are, the branches of governemnt, how to make change (Honestly, a kid at a drive thru last week had to get someone else to help him count out my change- ACK!), balance their checkbook or the budget. Yea, I'm concerened about what others are (not) learning. We are always getting comments about how bright our kids are. They are smart kids but not brilliant. That concerns me. Where are the other smart kids?

 

I started a couple of class days. The one enrichment day is now "giving credit" for classes that are not up to snuff and the academic one is making an effort (they are using Latin for Children for h.s. latin). Sadly, what I kept hearing from folks is that I wanted to push the kids too hard. "Not everyone can be an Einstein." Well, no, for heavens sake, but can't we allow them to be just plain old smart? (oh, this has so touched a nerve!!)

We are in a Tutoring Center this year and I have to say, the classes are academic. We are paying for the privilage- which it is. Chemistry is being taught by a Ph.D. in Geography etc. My kids are getting pushed, but they are rising to the challenge and I love that.

1. I know just what you mean. I get the "you have great kids! your kids are so bright! wow they read so well!" comments all the time and I don't get it. We're pretty regular in my book. Just like the honors students that were in my classes in high school...not even as smart as the brightest in those classes. Plus, I know all of our weaknesses and we have so far to go, yet they're tops in all they do. It honestly doesn't speak well for my dc as much as it speaks little of the mainstream quality in general, in my humble opinion.

 

2. The Latin class...sad and just what I mean.

 

I think that even if we are all supportive of "no regulations of homeschooling whatsoever" the reality is that we live in a society with a government that has mandated school attendance and some effort, however paltry, at academics. Whether or not we think it is right, homeschooling will end up regulated if not, out and out, criminalized if a significant enough segment of homeschoolers thinks that they shouldn't have to give their children an academic education. It won't matter what should be, it will matter what WILL be.

 

The reality is that we are no longer a society in which there is very much that an unacademically educated person can do to earn a living and those that don't learn a living often draw on the taxes of those that do. So, it's not an issue whether or not we like it. I think vocational school and apprenticeships are wonderful avenues of getting an education but, most will not be able to compete in those skill areas without more than say a GED education. An electrical journeyman's license is very rigorous to get and requires advanced math skills, the ability to read schematics, the ability to comprehend technical journals, etc. The test for the mechanic's license in Michigan is HARD! More and more contractors in our area, prior to the real estate economic crisis, required their own "tests" of potential job candidates because too many applied but were not going to be able to learn the work because they had so little preparation for "learning the skill" and by that I don't mean power tools etc. I mean the ability to think critically, read well, do computational math mentally (without calculators) etc. The public school kids weren't making it but I also have met a lot of "homeschooled" kids that were applying for these jobs that weren't making it either. Ask my dad, a heating and cooling business owner, how many homeschooled, publicly schooled, and privately schooled kids he had to turn down because they were unemployable. The publicly schooled kids did not shock him...but the number of privately and homeschooled kids that couldn't do basic math was just astounding to him. Astounding enough that he began to take a keen interest in how we educated our kids and breathed a sigh of relief when he realized that we do learn our three R's plus a whole lot more!

 

So, in an ideal world, yeah, it would be great to not have to worry about what other homeschoolers are or are not doing. But, I don't live in that world. I live in the one in which if enough homeschoolers don't educate their children to some sort of minimum standard that the government is going to demand (regardless of the fact that the public schools aren't managing it), then the right to homeschool will cease to exist!

 

Faith

Exactly. The bold is the crux of why I started this thread. You are far better at summarizing than I, Faith!

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I read many of the post, not all, so forgive me if I'm off. But the same criticisms I am reading about home schooled children being uneducated hold true for public schooled children. As long as the public schools are graduating students with such low skill sets, we shouldn't have any problems with the colleges.

 

Furthermore, I don't think co-ops or private tutors are going to mess up homeschooling. As a mom that has her kids in co-op, I am my children's primary teacher, even for core classes. What they learn one day a week can, in no way, give them what they need for the other days of the week. I am actively sitting with my kids, all four of them, six hours a day, except for one day of the week, teaching my children myself--administering tests, answer questions, providing instructing, giving explanations, cheer leading, and offering guidance.

 

Any homeschooling parent with a child in a co-op is still a homeschooling parent.

 

Even legally, it makes no sense that a person with the child 1 hour a week usurps the parents authority and responsibility.

 

I don't see how that is any different that claiming that any high school student that does not have a parent lecturing to him or her for every subject is not a homeschooled student. Instead that child should be classified as a self educator because in reality that parent really isn't involved, and therefore isn't really homeschooling.

 

With that line of reasoning, many of us wouldn't be considered homeschoolers simply because the book is doing the teaching and not the parent.

 

It is impossible for a one hour per week class time non-parent teacher to take on the role and responsibilities of a full-time 5 days a week teacher. Maybe this is why the academic performance in some co-ops is so low. Everyone assumes that one hour with a teacher is sufficient instruction for a weeks worth of material. That isn't the case in my world. When co-ops are done, the parent is the primary teacher.

Comparing outcomes of home schoolers to public schoolers is currently a non-issue as each has its own set of laws and what the ps do has less affect on home schoolers than home schoolers have on home schoolers. In the cases mentioned in this thread, we've pointed out that "Homeschoolers" means an awful large and varied types of persons. I'm all for school choice. The co-op you describe sounds magnificent. I've never seen one that amazing and generally see the opposite. Educate how one sees fit, no doubt; but, I am alarmed as I see a decline in the academic ability, or perhaps better spoken, academic application (b/c I'm sure there is untapped ability), of those I have witnessed home educating over the years.

 

I've been involved in 4 groups over the years and I've witnessed some amazing work going on in a variety of home schools, but nowadays, I find more people home schooling very school light (outside of this forum) in middle and high school years and I'm concerned for the reflection it puts on the "whole" of home schooling. Honestly, the #1 question I used to get was, "What about socialization?" Now the comment is either, "Are you using the internet school?" or "You do a lot more with your kids than the other home schoolers I know."

 

I see many using Virtual education well and I honestly have no problem with the option, I would prefer, however it was titled otherwise legally, and clearly so b/c I'm concerned it will be a spring board for deeper regulation. Public schools are stepping into the home. Give an inch...it may take some time, but the mile may come eventually. As I said before, I probably won't see it, but I wonder if my children's children will.

 

I have thought about this a little more and I realize that the co-op examples some of you are referencing are totally different than what I have experienced. The first co-op I had my children in 3 hours per week was for pure enrichment, time with other kids. But at that school, the science labs were taught by engineers and a medical doctor, who left her practice for a couple of hours per week.

 

The next co-op I attended was an offshoot of the first. My kids were a little older, by then, about 5th grade for my oldest. The parents, including myself, gathered together and organized the classes and choose the curriculum.

 

The co-op I'm a part of now has the nurses teaching biology, the engineers teaching the science classes, and the PhD pastor teaching the highschool history classes. This co-op is by far the strictest I have ever been involved with. The standards are rigid and the teaching is intense and the parents work together for the good of the students.

 

In every coop with which I have been involved, the parents that struggle teaching their children are helped and supported by the co-op. Their eyes have been opened as to what children should be capable of. Many of the parents that were participating did not have any idea of the work load that should have been required of children of different ages.

 

For the high school writing class I taught, I know I made in difference to those home schooled kids, preparing them for college. I did my best to shore up their weaknesses. I held timed essays and taught them basic essay writing. Some of them couldn't write a paragraph well, but for those that were graduating, I know I helped to get them more prepared.

 

Eliminating co-ops, eliminates the opportunity for homeschooling parents to help each other. For the 3 co-ops I have experienced, the co-ops raised the bar for the students that for the most part had been set extremely low by the parents. Sure not all co-ops do that, but it can't be an accident that I happened upon three of them that were offering an avenue to help the parents and the kids too.

 

Believe me, after meeting these kids, including one that was a musical genius, teaching himself to play 15 or so instruments by ear, many of these co-ops are helping students and shouldn't all be lumped together. Said musical genius was way behind in other areas.

 

When children have died, I have seen the co-op parents step in and carry the family academically, helping to keep the children going when the parents couldn't. I've talked to moms who don't realize that they're harming their kids by allowing them to play video games and watch TV instead of reading. (I do it too some times, but I know that I'm wrong.) I see my participation as a way to help other families. However, at this current co-op, fewer students actually need that kind of help. The parents at this school are pretty much followers of Charlotte Mason or SWB. They're all on target academically.

 

And yes, I'm harder than the co-op. My children school year round, and do extra work.

This is fantastic, but I don't think it's the norm. or at least not the norm I've seen over time. Again, not trying to say coops should go away. I wish they were all that challenging!

 

I think there are different arguments being put forth here. One that parents placing the responsibility of educating their children on others (co-ops and other avenues of private instruction) might lead to more regulation because the parents are not actually schooling their kids, giving the government an argument for more regulation.

 

The second being that as the number of unprepared homeschooled college applicants grow, the collegiate community will see us all in the same vain, which could lead them to making the application process for all homeschoolers more difficult.

 

I didn't get that the argument was one and the same.

:iagree: The rub in both spots is neither ps or academia are doing a superb job, so I don't expect home schoolers to be any different in reality...people are people...I guess I'm more focused on the home schooling aspect though b/c I'm a home schooler :001_smile:

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I have thought about this a little more and I realize that the co-op examples some of you are referencing are totally different than what I have experienced. The first co-op I had my children in 3 hours per week was for pure enrichment, time with other kids. But at that school, the science labs were taught by engineers and a medical doctor, who left her practice for a couple of hours per week.

 

The next co-op I attended was an offshoot of the first. My kids were a little older, by then, about 5th grade for my oldest. The parents, including myself, gathered together and organized the classes and choose the curriculum.

 

The co-op I'm a part of now has the nurses teaching biology, the engineers teaching the science classes, and the PhD pastor teaching the highschool history classes. This co-op is by far the strictest I have ever been involved with. The standards are rigid and the teaching is intense and the parents work together for the good of the students.

 

In every coop with which I have been involved, the parents that struggle teaching their children are helped and supported by the co-op. Their eyes have been opened as to what children should be capable of. Many of the parents that were participating did not have any idea of the work load that should have been required of children of different ages.

 

For the high school writing class I taught, I know I made in difference to those home schooled kids, preparing them for college. I did my best to shore up their weaknesses. I held timed essays and taught them basic essay writing. Some of them couldn't write a paragraph well, but for those that were graduating, I know I helped to get them more prepared.

 

Eliminating co-ops, eliminates the opportunity for homeschooling parents to help each other. For the 3 co-ops I have experienced, the co-ops raised the bar for the students that for the most part had been set extremely low by the parents. Sure not all co-ops do that, but it can't be an accident that I happened upon three of them that were offering an avenue to help the parents and the kids too.

 

Believe me, after meeting these kids, including one that was a musical genius, teaching himself to play 15 or so instruments by ear, many of these co-ops are helping students and shouldn't all be lumped together. Said musical genius was way behind in other areas.

 

When children have died, I have seen the co-op parents step in and carry the family academically, helping to keep the children going when the parents couldn't. I've talked to moms who don't realize that they're harming their kids by allowing them to play video games and watch TV instead of reading. (I do it too some times, but I know that I'm wrong.) I see my participation as a way to help other families. However, at this current co-op, fewer students actually need that kind of help. The parents at this school are pretty much followers of Charlotte Mason or SWB. They're all on target academically.

 

And yes, I'm harder than the co-op. My children school year round, and do extra work.

 

Kimber,

 

You are blessed to have such an option. That is definitely not the norm. In the past, I did have access to what I would call a cottage school where the classes were all taught by all highly qualified professionals, the work load appropriate, and content focused and quality.

 

That is the only one I have been exposed to that I would ever even use. The rest I have looked into are all mom led and ease of use for teaching in a co-op setting seems to be the number one criteria. I'm sorry, but my bias is going to completely show :tongue_smilie: but when I am around a group of moms that are using said co-op and they are using MUS for high school math and all complaining about just how hard it is and the pace is too fast........I run the other direction.

 

I live in a much bigger city now than when we used the cottage school and I find the academics here much lower. I have found a few wonderful moms and I am blessed by their presence in my life. But, over all, I would say that the vast number of homeschoolers I meet now are far different than the ones I met when I first started homeschooling.

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I do not advocate greater gov't control at all, but I completely disagree with your post. When the quality of education among homeschoolers is sub-standard, then we will be impacted by those "decisions of others."

 

No, we won't. The whole point of INDIVIDUAL freedom is that you are not responsible for the actions of others. This is what HSLDA is for and they do an EXCELLENT job of reminding the government of that every single day.

 

It is already starting to happen. At one pt in time, homeschoolers went off to college and out performed traditionally schooled children. Those students are the ones that had to jump through hoops in order to be admitted. As those #s increased, universities started to lessen the regulations they had previously placed on homeschoolers and the admission process became much less complicated.
It is not my desire to represent ALL homeschoolers. It is my desire to represent MY ability as a homeschool teacher. You cannot rely on the work of others to either propel you forward or set you back.

 

As more homeschoolers graduate under-prepared for academic rigor, it will reflect again upon homeschoolers at large. Universities do not know how to deal with homeschoolers b/c we are not a group of equals, but individuals; yet, they logistically set up systems that treat us as a collective.
Homeschoolers who apply for college wil leach follow their own path - there is no set rule and that is a good thing. Every homeschooler is seen as an individual - as it should be. And in my experience they are far more accepting than they are rejecting. I fundementally reject the idea that my children represent homeschoolers. My children represent our journey as a family.

 

FWIW.....I have known far more homeschoolers with lower academic standards for high schoolers than ones with average or above average standards. It does concern me. I also know far too many that completely farm out their homeschools to co-ops. I see that approach as the most threatening to homeschool freedoms b/c it is not actual homeschooling and does "invite" more gov't regulation to define what homeschooling actually is.
I have never heard of "farming out" to co-ops in my nine years of homeschooling but if it is happening then there is nothing you can do about it. Nor should you.

 

Each family is free to determine their child's best route to success, regardless of what you think about it. You cannot control other families other than your own. Please don't try. It is not your place to establish "standards" for homeschool. That's pretty much the counter-idea of the homeschool movement in my opinion.

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I have never heard of "farming out" to co-ops in my nine years of homeschooling ....

 

I haven't heard of it or seen this either? Unless this is referring to the govt. school programs that I don't consider homeschooling, I suppose some of this occurs there. The majority of families I know in govt. programs (alternative ed here in WA State) I know are still working hard at home with their students and using public schooling for support, money, extra-curriculars, tutors, piano lessons, gymnastics, swim team, etc.

 

Btw, the reason I don't consider those enrolled in govt. school programs as homeschoolers solely because their legal status is not home-schooling but (in this state and most others), their legal status is Public School Alternative Education.

 

That does not mean that these parents who use these govt. programs are not working hard, not being good parents and teachers or not "anything". It just means that the govt. and all the appropriate laws classify their children as enrolled in the public school. It is what it is.

 

Lisaj

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No, we won't. The whole point of INDIVIDUAL freedom is that you are not responsible for the actions of others. This is what HSLDA is for and they do an EXCELLENT job of reminding the government of that every single day.

 

It is not my desire to represent ALL homeschoolers. It is my desire to represent MY ability as a homeschool teacher. You cannot rely on the work of others to either propel you forward or set you back.

 

Homeschoolers who apply for college wil leach follow their own path - there is no set rule and that is a good thing. Every homeschooler is seen as an individual - as it should be. And in my experience they are far more accepting than they are rejecting. I fundementally reject the idea that my children represent homeschoolers. My children represent our journey as a family.

 

I have never heard of "farming out" to co-ops in my nine years of homeschooling but if it is happening then there is nothing you can do about it. Nor should you.

 

Each family is free to determine their child's best route to success, regardless of what you think about it. You cannot control other families other than your own. Please don't try. It is not your place to establish "standards" for homeschool. That's pretty much the counter-idea of the homeschool movement in my opinion.

 

First, I do not believe I ever advocated controlling other people's homeschools nor imposing "my" standards on others.

 

However, every homeschooler in this country has the freedoms they enjoy b/c of the fighting for those rights by homeschoolers that were willing to risk trials and sacrificing of huge amts of time to convince state legislators that this was a right. I have also been homeschooling long enough to have witnessed a dramatic change in the make-up of homeschoolers.

 

Anyone that hasn't been homeschooling for more than 20+ yrs is riding on the freedoms fought and won by those who were the foundation for the movement. I have reaped the benefits of those who worked hard for them. Yet, I have been homeschooling long enough to have seen major changes in how homeschoolers are viewed and treated and know that regardless of the fact that homeschooling families are individual families, we are judged by society (including universities) in a lump. (I was 1 of maybe 5 homeschoolers in an entire county when I started homeschooling. I was viewed as a fringe lunatic. Anyone that thinks they have to explain or defend homeschooling today has no idea how mainstream it is viewed. I cannot imagine what it was like 25-30 yrs ago when it was illegal in many parts of the country)

 

Today, universities may not view homeschooers as a lump on individual applications, but on the rules and hoops that they create specifically addressing homeschoolers for admissions policies.......absolutely, they do. They create rules specifically that regard homeschoolers as a subset of applicants. Regardless of whether you want to be consider part of a group, you are.

 

I have spoken to college officials that have stated that over the last 5+ yrs or so they have seen a decline in the performance of homeschooled students. I believe we are witnessing a cycle: colleges viewing homeschoolers with suspicion and only allow admissions after extremely high standards of proof of education is given.........homeschoolers proving themselves as out-performing expectations which leads to much easier admission procedures.........to homeschoolers meeting expectations..........to homeschoolers not meeting expectations--which may start to lead to more difficult admission procedures.

 

While you address homeschooling as a right, it hasn't always been. While it is right now, it isn't even close to being equal across the country. I wouldn't want to live in PA! If hostile to homeschooling legislatures believe that they can justify tightening legislative controls over homeschoolers, I do not doubt for a second that they would try.

 

So.....no......while what I think of homeschooling outside of my own family does not impact what I do inside my house and what others are doing in theirs.......I am not naive enough to believe that the actions of others don't reflect on our homeschool and impact decisions that will affect us.

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No, we won't. The whole point of INDIVIDUAL freedom is that you are not responsible for the actions of others. This is what HSLDA is for and they do an EXCELLENT job of reminding the government of that every single day.

 

It is not my desire to represent ALL homeschoolers. It is my desire to represent MY ability as a homeschool teacher. You cannot rely on the work of others to either propel you forward or set you back.

 

Homeschoolers who apply for college wil leach follow their own path - there is no set rule and that is a good thing. Every homeschooler is seen as an individual - as it should be. And in my experience they are far more accepting than they are rejecting. I fundementally reject the idea that my children represent homeschoolers. My children represent our journey as a family.

 

I have never heard of "farming out" to co-ops in my nine years of homeschooling but if it is happening then there is nothing you can do about it. Nor should you.

 

Each family is free to determine their child's best route to success, regardless of what you think about it. You cannot control other families other than your own. Please don't try. It is not your place to establish "standards" for homeschool. That's pretty much the counter-idea of the homeschool movement in my opinion.

The government, however, does not view your family as an individual entity under the law, as they have not created laws just for you (not trying to be snarky); however, they have created laws for home schoolers, which puts us all in the same filing cabinet. In the same way one teacher in public school may be a great teacher, that teacher is lumped under the same legal obligations as the teacher down the hall who cannot manage her classroom and produces Johnnys who can't read. Legislation is for the masses.

 

I wish your fundamental rejection were legally true, and while I hear what you're saying so far as my home school and your home school and 8's home school, the law will call us all home schoolers, so I hope we're all doing well and our children accomplish whatever req't our states put forward so we can represent each other well. Unfortunately, the longer I home school, the less I see this happening.

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Guest Dulcimeramy
First, I do not believe I ever advocated controlling other people's homeschools nor imposing "my" standards on others.

 

However, every homeschooler in this country has the freedoms they enjoy b/c of the fighting for those rights by homeschoolers that were willing to risk trials and sacrificing of huge amts of time to convince state legislators that this was a right. I have also been homeschooling long enough to have witnessed a dramatic change in the make-up of homeschoolers.

 

Anyone that hasn't been homeschooling for more than 20+ yrs is riding on the freedoms fought and won by those who were the foundation for the movement. I have reaped the benefits of those who worked hard for them. Yet, I have been homeschooling long enough to have seen major changes in how homeschoolers are viewed and treated and know that regardless of the fact that homeschooling families are individual families, we are judged by society (including universities) in a lump. (I was 1 of maybe 5 homeschoolers in an entire county when I started homeschooling. I was viewed as a fringe lunatic. Anyone that thinks they have to explain or defend homeschooling today has no idea how mainstream it is viewed. I cannot imagine what it was like 25-30 yrs ago when it was illegal in many parts of the country)

Today, universities may not view homeschooers as a lump on individual applications, but on the rules and hoops that they create specifically addressing homeschoolers for admissions policies.......absolutely, they do. They create rules specifically that regard homeschoolers as a subset of applicants. Regardless of whether you want to be consider part of a group, you are.

 

I have spoken to college officials that have stated that over the last 5+ yrs or so they have seen a decline in the performance of homeschooled students. I believe we are witnessing a cycle: colleges viewing homeschoolers with suspicion and only allow admissions after extremely high standards of proof of education is given.........homeschoolers proving themselves as out-performing expectations which leads to much easier admission procedures.........to homeschoolers meeting expectations..........to homeschoolers not meeting expectations-- which may start to lead to more difficult admission procedures.

 

While you address homeschooling as a right, it hasn't always been. While it is right now, it isn't even close to being equal across the country. I wouldn't want to live in PA! If hostile to homeschooling legislatures believe that they can justify tightening legislative controls over homeschoolers, I do not doubt for a second that they would try.

 

So.....no......while what I think of homeschooling outside of my own family does not impact what I do inside my house and what others are doing in theirs.......I am not naive enough to believe that the actions of others don't reflect on our homeschool and impact decisions that will affect us.

 

The non-schoolers really, really need to stop co-opting our label. They are not homeschoolers! Calling it homeschooling does not make it so.

 

I'm done beating about the bush and playing nice. In the absence of learning disabilities, failing to teach a child to read is neglect. In the absence of real physical, emotional, or mental problems, failing to teach a child basic arithmetic is neglect. Children who never read books and are unable to express their thoughts in writing? Unschooling, my eye.

 

When a homeschooling mother chooses to refuse to teach her child to read, or fails to manage the myriad other responsibilities of educating her children, she begins to be a threat to my child's future options. Not only does he need to compete with the best public and private schools, but now he has to rise above this deplorable new reputation.

 

That really stinks.

 

Any solutions? How can real homeschoolers deal with this? Is there a way that we can address this issue proactively instead of waiting for the government to intervene?

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Guest Dulcimeramy

We discussed this topic over dinner :001_smile: In rambling, think-as-I-type fashion, here is what we came up with.

 

My husband suggested that classical homeschoolers have a good option if we want to create it:

 

Instead of behaving punitively toward non-schoolers, we could ignore them and certify our own. Develop a sort of "Good Housekeeping seal of approval" for Classical Homeschoolers.

 

Create a small certification board, perhaps even made up of experienced homeschoolers here on the WTM boards!

 

Have several levels of high school diplomas. It would not take too much effort to determine the standards for each level.

 

Top tier might include students who complete the rhetoric level of WTM, TOG, Amblesideonline or all of SL's high school cores. These students should also do some AP Science courses, achieve decent levels in Latin and Greek...

 

Also, there should be certificates to recognize the specialists in math, science, languages, music, or whatever.

 

I do think all students should hit some rigorous but achievable standards for high school in order to qualify for a Classical Homeschool diploma. Four years of math, four years of science, proficiency in Latin, and a minimum number of Great Books tackled, for starters. (I'm just beginning the high school years, so I am no judge of what would be ideal.)

 

Grammar and logic stage would be much easier to evaluate. I would feel qualified to be involved with the grammar stage certification board.

 

This would all be totally voluntary, something that homeschool parents would want to do in order to have their child's efforts rubber-stamped by someone that they respect. I know that some states have public school evaluators, but I do not really care about that. When you've gone so far beyond public school requirements, it just doesn't feel that special to have satisfied the public school people.

 

If Ester Maria thought my child was doing well with Latin, that would mean something to me! LOL If Jean thought my child really understood astronomy...I could go on all day naming WTM boardies whose good opinion would mean something.

 

Portfolios could be shared online. Between google docs and blogging, everything could be shared with the certification board.

 

I would love to be involved in something like this. It is so easy to feel isolated as a mother of classically homeschooled teens! If I thought some of the moms here would be reading my child's essay or watching a video of his science experiment, I would find it easier to believe in myself and in what we're doing. I would find it easier to feel motivated to excel.

 

For the younger children, I think it would just be fun. :tongue_smilie: The show-and-tell delight of sharing really neat stuff, like Latin work or history presentations, would be enough of a sell. Nobody IRL cares that my child has learned his first conjugation. Nobody cares that he can explain the history of Korea. But he cares!

 

Diplomas, certification, recognition, standards, approval of peers.

 

We have already added some weight to our child's educational experience. We could add some weight to our reputation as classical homeschoolers if we work together.

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Any solutions? How can real homeschoolers deal with this? Is there a way that we can address this issue proactively instead of waiting for the government to intervene?

 

My solution is less of an undertaking than your dinner results, but here's what I do. I share locally as much as I can. I talk up this forum. I talk up TOG and The Phonics Road and Write Shop -- all programs that are outstanding in content and teacher training. Teacher training is as important, imho, as learning styles, yet I find very few that invest time or money for resources. I admit, it took me a long time to figure this out, but now that I know it, I am compelled to share.

 

To promote the little parts of classical education, I encourage math manipulatives, practice, dictation, copywork, etc. I blog results of Latin. All in order to show people they can do this and there are some outstanding options to get it done!

 

I also squash the myth that public schools are so bad, blah, blah, blah....true in Many Aspects; but also a bit of fallacy as IB and magnet programs are producing some well rounded students and they are growing quite common.

 

I'm holding a TOG get together this year, sometime soon. I can't wait!

 

I'm thinking of doing the same for The Phonics Road. Ya'll know I can't wait for that :D I LOVE PR!

 

If I can get local, young moms looking towards an academic future, perhaps I can make a difference. You'd be surprised at the bliss of home schooling ignorance. So many people haven't even heard of TWTM :confused:

 

I'm also conscience of representing home schooling well, so I insist my dc do remarkable work in co-op, scouts, church, any outside area. Remarkable.

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The non-schoolers really, really need to stop co-opting our label. They are not homeschoolers! Calling it homeschooling does not make it so.

 

I'm done beating about the bush and playing nice. In the absence of learning disabilities, failing to teach a child to read is neglect. In the absence of real physical, emotional, or mental problems, failing to teach a child basic arithmetic is neglect. Children who never read books and are unable to express their thoughts in writing? Unschooling, my eye.

 

When a homeschooling mother chooses to refuse to teach her child to read, or fails to manage the myriad other responsibilities of educating her children, she begins to be a threat to my child's future options. Not only does he need to compete with the best public and private schools, but now he has to rise above this deplorable new reputation.

 

That really stinks.

 

 

:D I love it! :iagree:It does stink.

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I'm against testing because if you must pass the test you must follow the scope and sequence of the test, which would be an issue for us. I also don't want the government telling what I can or can't do, what curricula I can or can't use, telling me I need their permission, etc. I also don't want government money because it always comes with strings attached. I want my freedom, not the government in my business ;)

 

:iagree:Yes, yes, yes! I don't want funding. I don't even want tax breaks. I don't want anything that turns homeschooling into a regulated institution instead of an individual pursuit.

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My solution is less of an undertaking than your dinner results, but here's what I do. I share locally as much as I can. I talk up this forum. I talk up TOG and The Phonics Road and Write Shop -- all programs that are outstanding in content and teacher training. Teacher training is as important, imho, as learning styles, yet I find very few that invest time or money for resources. I admit, it took me a long time to figure this out, but now that I know it, I am compelled to share.

 

To promote the little parts of classical education, I encourage math manipulatives, practice, dictation, copywork, etc. I blog results of Latin. All in order to show people they can do this and there are some outstanding options to get it done!

 

I also squash the myth that public schools are so bad, blah, blah, blah....true in Many Aspects; but also a bit of fallacy as IB and magnet programs are producing some well rounded students and they are growing quite common.

 

I'm holding a TOG get together this year, sometime soon. I can't wait!

 

I'm thinking of doing the same for The Phonics Road. Ya'll know I can't wait for that :D I LOVE PR!

 

If I can get local, young moms looking towards an academic future, perhaps I can make a difference. You'd be surprised at the bliss of home schooling ignorance. So many people haven't even heard of TWTM :confused:

 

I'm also conscience of representing home schooling well, so I insist my dc do remarkable work in co-op, scouts, church, any outside area. Remarkable.

 

:iagree:

 

However, the reaction I receive from discussions regarding high school education is that my expectations are unrealistic. (they aren't. :tongue_smilie:) I believe that individually these moms would probably realize that high school students should be able to achieve higher levels of academics. However, in the co-op setting the reinforcement of the group think leads to the justification that the lower level work is appropriate.

 

It is reminscient of whoever posted that the one mom left b/c everyone else was perfectly content labeling a physical science course as physics for 11th/12th graders. (It is very common theme in discussions that I have had in regards to appropriate courses. I think the problem stems from not understanding what normal high school courses resemble.)

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8FillstheHeart - Do you think the issue is that many are thinking back to their own education? I recall my high school biology was doing a leaf collection and an insect collection. I laughed when watching 2 Million Minutes documentary which compared US education to that in China, India and Japan. They showed the US students doing blood typing ie pricking their fingers and putting the drop of blood on an indicator, as seniors in high school science! This is I believe, one of the top high schools in the US. Even as poor as my education was, we did that in middle school, perhaps 7-8th grade. My question is, how has the scope and sequence, the content, changed from 25yrs ago. Perhaps some are not making adjustments for time? I do recall having a physics course as a senior in high school. I don't ever recall having Physical Science in high school, that was more middle school I believe.

 

Now that I think more about it. I was on science college track in high school so it's likely there was a physical science course for those not on the science college track.

 

I guess my question would be: what does every student need to be functioning citizens? I think most have very little accurate science knowledge with which to make informed decisions. So what would be the minimum requirements for a high schooler?

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8FillstheHeart - Do you think the issue is that many are thinking back to their own education? I recall my high school biology was doing a leaf collection and an insect collection. I laughed when watching 2 Million Minutes documentary which compared US education to that in China, India and Japan. They showed the US students doing blood typing ie pricking their fingers and putting the drop of blood on an indicator, as seniors in high school science! This is I believe, one of the top high schools in the US. Even as poor as my education was, we did that in middle school, perhaps 7-8th grade. My question is, how has the scope and sequence, the content, changed from 25yrs ago. Perhaps some are not making adjustments for time? I do recall having a physics course as a senior in high school. I don't ever recall having Physical Science in high school, that was more middle school I believe.

 

I am not sure if that is the case or if it is a lack of appropriate constant progression at even lower levels.

 

I have written before about my brief sojourns into homeschool group teaching. I faced opposition from parents on everything from reading and writing assignments. The reading amts were too much. I expected too much from their writing. I was informed that verb tense shifts and POV changes were NORMAL at the high school level and I should NOT mark them as errors in their papers!! :tongue_smilie:) I had students that quoted entire pages in their essays. I had students that simply re-worded entire articles w/o one single original thought and was told that was NOT plagiarism.

 

I tried my best to help the students. Most of them really wanted to learn and were open to instruction. The opposition actually came from the moms. I am extremely reluctant to become involved in groups anymore.

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I am not sure if that is the case or if it is a lack of appropriate constant progression at even lower levels.

 

I have written before about my brief sojourns into homeschool group teaching. I faced opposition from parents on everything from reading and writing assignments. The reading amts were too much. I expected too much from their writing. I was informed that verb tense shifts and POV changes were NORMAL at the high school level and I should NOT mark them as errors in their papers!! :tongue_smilie:) I had students that quoted entire pages in their essays. I had students that simply re-worded entire articles w/o one single original thought and was told that was NOT plagiarism.

 

I tried my best to help the students. Most of them really wanted to learn and were open to instruction. The opposition actually came from the moms. I am extremely reluctant to become involved in groups anymore.

 

:svengo:

 

This does not surprise me. Heaven forbid if school work is challenging:( Of course, I do not believe every parent or school subscribes to this notion, but it does seem a bit pervasive IMHO. I do believe that many schools and colleges have "dumbed" down their education.

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8FIllstheHeart - All I can say is WOW! Really? I'd be first one in line to sign up my kids for one of your classes! And you wouldn't hear a peep from me. I'd say "Bring it!" Oh wait, that's from my P90X videos. :lol:

 

This has been a great thread and has given me lots to think about.

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I am not sure if that is the case or if it is a lack of appropriate constant progression at even lower levels.

 

I have written before about my brief sojourns into homeschool group teaching. I faced opposition from parents on everything from reading and writing assignments. The reading amts were too much. I expected too much from their writing. I was informed that verb tense shifts and POV changes were NORMAL at the high school level and I should NOT mark them as errors in their papers!! :tongue_smilie:) I had students that quoted entire pages in their essays. I had students that simply re-worded entire articles w/o one single original thought and was told that was NOT plagiarism.

 

I tried my best to help the students. Most of them really wanted to learn and were open to instruction. The opposition actually came from the moms. I am extremely reluctant to become involved in groups anymore.

:svengo:I know this is true and I expect the "many levels of learning" for elementary school, but by high school...come on! Verb tense shifts are too much for high school level writing :banghead: We start remodeling in 4th or 5th grade around here, I would hope Not to see it in high school :001_huh:

 

I remember my last year in leadership, as one of 3 families with older children, I was told I as expecting too much for middle school classes. I pushed then, that the older grades offered electives instead of academics. I flat out told them, there isn't a single academic class that will be treated seriously enough by the majority that will be usable academically in my home. On other woman, who also classically educates, agreed with me. The other ladies in leadership, with all grammar aged children thought we were ugly. Those same women are now contacting me for remediation suggestions and making serious changes to their elementary school choices.

 

I started emailing a lot of local high school articles to give people a grip. It has worked with a few. Others, I expect, sadly their children will be in substandard collegiate remedial courses. That's fine if a parent has placed opportunity and their dc need extra help (which they really won't get in college remedial courses locally), but what I don't get is why not prepare them to avoid these remedial classes. When a parent talks about sending their kids to college, but allows verb tense shifts in high school....oy vey!

 

I'm a little hormonal today, so I'm feeling a bit grumpy about education. Sorry if I sound extra mean, I don't mean to be, I'm just irritated about the topic in general. I'm getting a little tired of all the excuses for subpar results and great spending that is coupled with great regulation. I want all that money for each of my students. Not that I really do, b/c of the oversight it would bring, but if I got our state allotments for each of my children, we'd be bringing in more than dh makes a year. Then we'd be getting some of the extras we can't afford now AND we produce far better results.

 

I sure hope education in this country gets it together, both public and home school, if not, we're in an awful lot of trouble.

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:svengo:

 

This does not surprise me. Heaven forbid if school work is challenging:( Of course, I do not believe every parent or school subscribes to this notion, but it does seem a bit pervasive IMHO. I do believe that many schools and colleges have "dumbed" down their education.

 

do you think this has to do with the sense of entitlement that seems so prevelant in America?

My dd went to college 2 1/2 yrs ago after living in an ex-communist country on and off for a couple of years and on her conservative, inexpensive campus she was clearly in the minority of American kids who did not come with laptop, high end cell phone, hip wardrobe and a car. She is in the minority of Americans who are working to pay for expenses rather than taking out loans and she's had foreigners ask her if she is a refugee (ohmy!) as well as tell her that she doesn't work like an American (she works "hard" like a foreigner). I think there is such a sense of "my kids is accelerated (see, they are reading at the 8th grade level at age 7) that they can't accept the fact that they have normal kids that will have to work hard in life. When you work, you are making choices to not be entertained, or to play or to have liesure. It's a lifestyle/worldview choice. Again, 2 million minutes reality check.

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I think that might be a large part of it.

 

Regarding lower standards:

I received a letter written by a junior in our high school. She was new to the neighborhood and introducing herself as she hoped to get babysitting jobs. The letter was poorly written. It was horrible but I would have been VERY disappointed if my high school junior had written such a letter. And that's not the worst of it. She is HONORS English, HONORS science, and HONORS History! You would think she'd know how to write w/out repeating I, putting in irrelevant info, run on sentences, poor word choice, subject verb disagreement. I don't believe there were any spelling errors though. And we're supposed to be one of the great districts in my state.

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I think that Laughing Lioness may be on to something...that sense of entitlement. We live in a state that is falling apart economically because of the loss of manufacturing jobs. I've met a ton of people who are unemployed and WILL NOT cross train for another field..."I shouldn't have to!" That's the response. They'll ride their unemployment until it ends and then the plan is that a. another job like mine in which I won't have to learn anything new, will magically appear or b. I'll fake a back injury and go on disability - oh yeah, many people are very open about trying to get on the taxpayer dole.

 

I've met a number of homeschooling families that have absolutely know clue what their teens will do for a living and their teens don't have a clue either but they just assume something will pop up and everything will be okay. They really feel like America (i.e. the government) owes their kid a job or that small businesses are too picky (my dad has been accused of this because one thing he requires is literacy high enough for an employee to read company brochures that are provided for customers and explain back what they have read - most can't do it and he's even turned down a bunch of homeschool "graduates" because of this). I can't tell you the number of people I have met that just seem to think that a living is owed their family on a silver platter and that they shouldn't have to work hard to learn a new skill in order to provide that living.

 

I have met a fair number of homeschoolers who really are "planless" and so are their teens. And yes, there will always be menial labor jobs and there is nothing wrong with working these, but the problem is that they will always be minimum wage jobs and minimum wage will not support a family, at least not without taxpayer subsidies and so there have to be a high number of taxpayers making well more than minimum wage in order to feed that system of subsidies.

 

For us, it boils down to this, we want what is best for our kids and we want them to be successful at what ever they choose to do for a living as adults. A rigorous education is never a detraction from that goal, but a lack of good education is certainly a hindrance.

 

Faith

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I didn't get a chance to finish my post above regarding high school and the honors student. I've heard in our district that if your DC isn't in the honors track, they will be invisible. My sense is that HONORS is really the average tier and if you're not HONORS you're in the below avg tier. I think it's a smoke screen to convince parents they are getting a lot for all the taxes we pay. The difference between HONORS and regular track is that you read a few extra books and write an extra paper, otherwise, my understanding is that the course content is the same. I think the dumbing down is rampant and I'm saddened to see that it is also affecting the homeschool community as well.

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