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jld

Low expectations?

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While I agree about the validity of many different destinations, I'm not so sure that all paths leading to those destinations are valid.

 

The diff I see between academics in American and what I'm reading about regarding top tier ed in India and China is that the kids are expected to reach a certain bar regardless of their strengths or weaknesses in China and India. There is a lot of pressure- it's not a perfect system. I don't want my kids to off themselves over math homework, so take it all with a grain. But my point is this: My kids are really bright in the area of words. Really bright. They have to work their tails off in the area of math. Science is a passion in our home but once you hit science with a large math component (chem, etc) we are back to working our tails off. My kids will most likely NOT go into a math related career. Yet we still do math. We've spent a small fortune trying to figure out how to do it successfully.

The reason is this: People who are required to work and think beyond their "natural" abilities grow in so many, many ways.

Our country is sliding. Not only are we sliding in the obvious areas like math and science, but our creativity is on a low ebb, too. (Newsweek, one of the summer issues).

With a nod to Leigh Bortiens, we encourage my kids in their natural abilites. But we also encourage them in areas that they struggle in, with the goal to shore up those areas.

Folks are always talking about the validity of their chosen "method." Great. The reality is that the whole word approach to teaching reading produces, overall, tentative readers and phonics delivers. ETC.

To each their own. It's the American way. Which just might be subsumed at some point soon by those who have a way that produces results.

Just saying.

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At the same time, once again, I do find myself surprised at what can sometimes seem like a low bar in some areas.

 

Have you noticed this, too? Why do you think this is?

 

 

We have bars all over the place in my locale.

Why?

I think it's just parenting preference, lifestyle choice.

 

:seeya:

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Lisa, I like this bit of what you said: " People who are required to work and think beyond their "natural" abilities grow in so many, many ways." Food for thought... I think many of us were never required to do much of this in public school and that contributes to our reasons for homeschooling.

 

-Nan

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Well, I'm not so sure the United States of America did such a great job as emperor GRIN. It may not be so bad to let someone else lead for a change, especially if their leadership borrows the best of the USA ideas (which of course were borrowed in their turn) and leaves the unworkable ones behind. Ideally, I think nobody would be leading way out ahead. Ideally, I would like to see all the countries exchanging the best of their ideas and helping each other through hard times and providing enough diversity that humanity as a whole survives the huge disasters. You know, I don't really care who stops global warming or brings us world peace or stops epidemics like aids or feeds all the hungry GRIN, as long as it doesn't result in something equally awful. Rather than looking at this as us losing, perhaps you can look at this as not just us winning, as other people picking up some of the burden and solve some of the problems. They've been doing a lot of that all the way along, anyway, haven't they? That is how I've been looking at it, anyway. I am not convinced that this generation is really any worse, anyway. I think we haven't yet seen the results. Perhaps they will be more like the hive, connected as closely as they all are. If I add up all the teens I know, they come out about where I feel my generation did. I may be way off, though. I don't have the view that Creekland does, working in the school system, or the more global view that you do.

-Nan

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I don't think that doing the minimum required in a subject for some subjects in some grades is equivalent to tailoring an education according to a child's whims or passing interests; nor does it necessarily do them a disservice. The entire British educational system is structured around specialization as early as fourteen or fifteen. Yet from what I've observed of science people coming out of the PhD end of the academic pipeline in the UK, they tend to be MORE well-rounded rather than less so. My husband and his British expat colleagues tend to be more familiar with the classics (perhaps this is the British literary heritage factor at work to some extent, but I don't see science PHDs here equally as conversant with Faulkner or Emerson).

 

I tend to agree with other posters who have noted that people trained to think and given a basic grounding in subjects, which I think all of us are striving to do with our children, can learn what they need to at many points in their adult lives. There is great work being done in the slums of Rio in which adult illiterates are taught to read; similar programs go on in the jail system here. Everyone over the age of around forty has probably figured out how to use the computer, internet, etc. rather than being taught formally. My best friend became an adult volunteer in the British version of the Peace Corps at age 38 and has managed to teach herself (aided by a tutor) Khmer, a really really difficult language for Westerners to grasp. The man (from the UK) who produced 27 volumes of Chinese history and technology studies in middle age didn't know a thing about China, or speak Chinese, until he was in his upper twenties and fell in love with a visiting scholar from China. This is a spectacular range of people, abilities, ages, and topics.

 

Furthermore, if you study the educational histories of people who basically invented the whole dot.com industry, you'll find one of the things many of them have in common is a very narrow focus indeed in high school. Some of them went through typical high school programs while busy investigating computers on their own during all of their spare time, but a surprising number did not; there are an amazing number of high school drop-outs who head big corporations (more than one would be amazing to me, at any rate, and there are certainly more than that). Each individual path seems to have worked for that particular person. Yes, these are the big success stories. But my brother, who had to attend continuation school to wrap up the most pathetic version of high school, was also a computer nerd, and he's head of the computer section of a nation-wide organization today without any kind of formal qualifications.

 

By the by, there's an article in the NYT online this morning about a documentary film discussing the effects of tremendous pressures on high school kids to build the perfect resume and showcase the perfect education. Interesting to read in conjunction with this thread.

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But it is honest. Some children are not capable of doing high school level academics in high school (and maybe never will). But if they are challenged and accomplish what they are capable of doing while in high school, I see nothing wrong in saying they earned the high school credit for that course.

 

Public schools do this all the time. They list on the transcripts the level of academics (if it is resource, regular, honors, or AP). If the high school student who struggles with math, spent the amount of time and effort on learning math to the level he/she is capable of... that is still math credit for high school. They can call it Math A, Math B, and so on. But it is still math credit when completed in high school.

 

 

This quite true - and it brings to mind families whose children have learning (or other) disabilities. Does a child not graduate because they aren't able to do a *specific level* of work? Does the 17 year old with [down syndrome, autism, whatever] remain in grade four? Of course not. They continue on and they graduate, after accomplishing the goals set for/with them.

 

(Even without disabilities factored in, there are various "levels" with high school courses - and then there are all the variations from place to place, system to system, country to country, etc.)

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Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

 

This verse is a reminder to me to work with my children to help them become what they can and should become. Not what somebody else should become or what what somebody else thinks they should become.

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Lol, bar and club people!

 

KarenAnne, thanks for sharing your perspective. Thought-provoking.:)

 

Nan, we've benefitted so much from being in the empire. It definitely has its problems, but it won't help the world for China to assume our role, if that's what happens. That seems to have India worried. I'd take India as the next world power over China any day. At least it's a democracy (an unruly democracy, lol, but a democracy).

 

Who knows the future, really. People can speculate, but we can't really know now. Maybe several nations will indeed share world power status, as some have predicted.

 

Did anyone see Paul Farrell's piece on Marketwatch about getting out of the stock market "until the banks crash"? How is that realistic? Isn't everyone's 401k in there? I feel so at the mercy of events over which I have no control.

 

Nice to see the emotion has gone out of this thread.:)

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I think equating a large number of school hours and a rigorous education is a fallacy. One can waste a lot of time and come out with mediocre results after a long school day ( just look at public schools), or one can work effectively and accomplish a lot in a few hours. So, comparing time spent is not really a good measure for academic rigor.

Case in point: when my DD attended a (college preparatory) secondary school in Germany last year, she had a total of 22 hours instructional time per week at school in 6th grade. That included rigorous (compared to US schools) math and science and TWO foreign languages. If I take into account that in any school setting with large classes some of this time will be wasted on management, I should be able to accomplish the same results in a homeschool setting with far fewer hours.

 

My 8th grader for instance is required to do 5 hours of school per day only. In that time, however, she is doing challenging work far above grade level. So I definitely consider her education rigorous - even though she does not spend a full day on school work. Does that make sense?

 

I'm currently teaching a German class. In the spring this same class basically had 4 students. This fall the class has 11. It takes SO MUCH LONGER to cover the material and to let everyone have a turn for everything we do. The last class is tonight and we have covered 2 chapters less than we did in the spring, plus we spent a whole lot more time just on conversation in the spring. So when you talk about a homeschool class of 1 compared to a class of 30, you can definitely cover the same material in less time. Now maybe what we should do is cover MORE material in the same amount of time as the schools, but some homeschoolers have philosophical difficulties with having children working many hours a day.

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I think it does vary...maybe by region, maybe by income? I am not sure.

 

I live in a working to middle class town, with a large second -generation immigrant population. These folks are teachers, mid -tier university professors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, homemakers, salespeople etc. There is a also fair-sized population of wealthier families comprised of business owners, lawyers, doctors etc. Many of these families send their children to private schools or boarding schools, although many utlilize the town schools. Most families are very interested in education.

 

My oldest attended the local public high school, and in his small-ish (300 students) graduating class, the top students are currently attending Yale, Brown, MIT, Dartmouth, Wellesley, Bowdoin, Duke, and several other top and middle tier colleges and universities. A sizeable portion are attending in-state unis and colleges. I wouldn't put any of these kids in the super-wealthy category, and I can't think of any legacies. One student is at Wellesly, but her father went to Princeton. (Where she was not accepted).

 

These kids are thoughtful and serious students. Their parents care deeply.

 

The homeschooled kids are also doing well on paper. I don't know any who are at an Ivy, but I know one who is atttending University of Chicago, and another who is at Boston University. I know a couple who decided to attend the local state uni, and a couple who are attending cc.

 

I don't know any I would think of as 'underachievers', even if they are not at uni, or have come home after trying uni. I think there are kids who were exposed to a lot, but who didn't, perhaps, retain everything they were exposed to. I can't see where anyone could possibly be interested in everything, and I don't have any issues with students who attend remedial or 101 classes at cc. Sometimes that's exactly where they will come to undersatnd their own interests, or find new ones.

 

If we look at India, or China, we are not seeing a population where everyone is allowed even a terrible education, so right there the stats are skewed. A lot of kids never see school. They are making Disney toys or Old Navy T shirts in factories, and that's all they will ever be allowed to do.

 

 

 

I have lived in 3 states now where no testing of any sort was required of homeschoolers K-12 or to graduate. We have been "proud" of our homeschool freedoms that allow this. We are free to low achievement if we want that. I have known too many non-testing, non-achieving, minimum-wage earning "graduates" of home school.

 

Your claim that "every single standardized test shows that homeschoolers, as a group, outperform public schoolers" assumes that homeschoolers as a whole take these tests, and I would not say that is generally true. I realize in Wisconsin and Maine we may have lived in backwards areas, as these are backward states and Maine is barely on the map and all, but I have also lived in majorly populated central California.

 

In my experience of 15+ years homeschooling, I have seen maybe 1 out of 10 students even attempt a college entrance exam. So to compare homeschoolers taking tests with public schoolers taking tests, is irrelevant to the low expectations I have seen. Testers vs. testers are easily compared. I know too many non-testers.

 

I still say I have seen many -- too many -- mothers with too many children give up the effort in say, middle school, and never quite their act back together for the ones following. Low expectations -- call them graduated. But most of these kids I have known have low expectations of themselves as well, and I call that a shame. "Too many children" can even be 2 or 3. Homeschooling is a long-term effort. My youngest (I have 6) does NOT deserve the short end of the stick. Because of the freedom from testing, many homeschoolers I have known just give up trying to even keep their kids on a path of achievement, whatever that path may be. We are free to just be, and some believe that just being is good enough.

 

But again, I live in the woods of Maine -- maybe I am just among the backwards people. Your experience with homeschool scholars may be different. I come here to meet with achievers around the world. I do not know many in my real life.

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This option says that for some children (like Corraleno's husband), it is better to pick one or two subjects in which you teach intensive thinking (like your husband's rabbinical corpus law), to teach the rest to a basic-but-requires-thinking (like athletic cross-training) and to leave the student with extra time to pursue his own interests.

But wait, my husband learned Talmud outside of the formal school context (except for the time he lived in Israel). That's part of my point, actually - at the school he attended, even if it was a school for science-bent teens, he still had Latin (five years, standard program) and Art History and high-level Italian literature with world literature readings, etc. Just like I, in a classical lycee, still had math and physics, only with less hours weekly and a more superficial treatment of several topics they covered thoroughly - but to compensate, he didn't have Greek, for example, and his foreign language classes focused less on advanced literacy and literature and more on functional fluency, language in a scientific context, and he maybe had to read a few books less. See my point? The tailoring in our educations didn't follow the logic of cutting out entire areas of study, except for the most "extra" ones (such as Greek for him or Technical Drawing for me) - it followed the logic of providing students with more or less the same breadth, but with a somewhat different intensity of those studies, but we still had largely the same subjects all years. So it wasn't, "you don't need Latin as a scientist" logic - the logic was, "you get a somewhat modified Latin program - you get greater focus on scientific readings and history of science and neo-Latin, we cut unnecessary cantos of Aeneid for you, but you still cover the periodization of Roman literature and the basics of all required works". Same for me, it wasn't, "you don't need math as a classicist" - it was "you don't need five hours of math weekly, you'll be fine with two to three, we'll cut practical and technical applications out of your program and we'll maybe remove the most advanced parts of the standard curriculum, but you still get to go through your trigonometry or basic calculus, because as a young intellectual you can't be unfamiliar with these things on a basic level".

 

And that's what I'm talking about: exactly how Italian lycees do it. There is differentiation of materials used in various types of lycees, but there is no narrow specialization outside of your chosen field. And because of that, students who change their minds in 12th grade about their future can still go into science after classical lycees and into humanities after scientific lycees, because they did receive the basic preparation and with little making up for some things they missed, they're on part with the others. That's what's meant by not closing opportunities for yourself by narrow specialization so young.

 

And yet, we had more than enough time to pursue other interests outside school. I read a lot, considered studying dramaturgy in those years, used university libraries and sneaked into lectures of what I was interested in; my husband learned Jewish law several hours daily and did additional math, and our educations at schools still haven't prevented us to grow in our directions. It was only that formal aspect of the whole story, and everybody was aware - professors included - that schools aren't alpha and omega of all learning.

I don't know anyone who was "crippled" in ANY way because of their school experience, no matter how much we complained about it during those years - we all got to appreciate it later, and take a rather positive view of it looking back. But I do know many, in the US, who wished their school experiences resembled ours because they see the effects of the lack of a rigid framework in their formative years.

 

With regards to incapable of going far in some subjects, honestly, if you don't care about your GPA, that's not a problem at all. The minimum required to get a passing grade can be pulled by everybody, and if it can't be pulled by somebody, they're obviously not for lycee in the first place. I assure you that the minimum is really low enough for everybody.

Now, if you care about grades, then you might wish to think twice because there is no grouping by abilities (everyone is assumed to be of a high ability), switching to easier classes, etc. Everyone studies the exact same things in the program. You need to be aware of all of that before you enter the school - and kids are aware of that. Most of the parents don't put pressure on grades, actually, and perfect GPAs are pretty much impossible. What would be a B or even a C in an American system is considered quite good for an Italian school (there are 5 failing and 5 passing grades, and it sometimes happens that nobody gets the highest passing grade in a class for some subject). Add to that a different way of getting into university (just by maturita' and no numerus clausus usually), the lack of stress regarding dubious criteria such as extracurriculars or volunteering and similar nonsense of the process of getting into college in America, and you get a rather relaxed, but quality school experience - where grades mean something, kids aren't so stressed over them anyway, classes function much better as a unity because everybody shares the same subjects (so actual meaningful relationships occur on the level of the class, you all become really really tied together, travel together, etc.), etc. It's far from extremely stressful schools the Eastern way.

 

Kids who refuse to deal with things other than their interest areas get failing grades, of course. Then they get a good lesson in "life isn't all about milk and honey and doing only what you like to do, so suck it up and learn that subject". I think most of us have been there at least once - and GOOD that we've been. :D We learned a thing or two outside of our comfort zone that way.

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What about a new high school sub-forum:

 

Rigorous/classical education

 

and the College Board could move to its own forum?

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And one can have a longer day with stellar results too.

Isn't it funny how nearly useless anecdotal information can be. ;)

 

Yes, some days we "waste" massive amounts of time. :001_smile:

It keeps us sane.

 

That's why I think it's important for each family to find plateaus of peace where the balance points are comfortable. For us those points were difficult to find in the beginning; I did a lot of second-guessing. And I spent a lot of time wondering if I was doing it right, and I spent way too much time trying to get affirmation about my choices.

 

Sometimes I still need affirmation. Love the gals here for that. What a terrific bunch. But in the end, I realize that while affirmation can feel good, it doesn't really help me find that plateau. Wrong methods: it's really a solo experience. I don't need it to feel crowded in order for it to feel right.

 

And that's been good for us.

 

Peace to you and yours!

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the regular yearly standardized tests, test different things than the SATs and APs, don't you think?

 

As a low income, poorly educated homeschool mom, I had no trouble at all helping my children ace the yearly standardized tests where my children were being compared to ALL students in the town, on BASIC skills. In fact as a middle schoolers, my younger son had the highest scores in the entire town, and was the ONLY student who qualified to take the John Hopkins SATs that year and needed to take them in a neighboring town.

 

But by the end of high school, as my health and our finances slipped even more, it became impossible for me to help my son prepare for the large assortment of highly specialized, and higher order thinking skills tests where he was being compared to a small SUBSET of students who had access to a LOT of resources we didn't have.

 

At that point no one was giving him yearly standardised tests anymore because I was begging them to take him back into the school system (long story and no money to hire a lawyer) but I have no doubt he would have aced those, because he got very high marks on the GED and had the highest scores of the week on the entrace exams at the junior college, even though he was the youngest to take them, and we showed up there with holes in our clothes and me trying desperately not to faint. I was filled with shame about what a horrible job I was currently doing, but the dean of the college was just shaking his head and mumbling a lot, and trying to reassure me that things were going to be fine.

 

From the sound of it, you did an excellent job with your kid, Hunter.

 

I hope you are having a blast and enjoying your own studies.

 

 

asta

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Guest Barb B

I haven't read all the posts but. . .I would agree with the op. I also think that it is the case in public schools too. My ds knows kids in public school and in high school literature that just read the book and maybe have a 10 question multiple chooice quiz (thats it - no essay, essay test, discussion questions to have typed out befor the class discussion. . .)! So, I am not sure if we can point fingures at just homeschoolers. But my son is the only homeschool kid we know (and we live in texas with LOTS of homeschoolers) that is going to a 4 year college. Most don't even know if they are going to a community college.

 

On the other hand - there are lots of reasons some folks homeschool. Some kids need the one to one because the have difficulties in some area and are challanged. So, for them the bar isn't lowered but tailored right to their needs.

 

Barb

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Ideally, I think nobody would be leading way out ahead. Ideally, I would like to see all the countries exchanging the best of their ideas and helping each other through hard times and providing enough diversity that humanity as a whole survives the huge disasters. You know, I don't really care who stops global warming or brings us world peace or stops epidemics like aids or feeds all the hungry GRIN, as long as it doesn't result in something equally awful.

 

This is my ideal too.

 

I am not convinced that this generation is really any worse, anyway. I think we haven't yet seen the results. Perhaps they will be more like the hive, connected as closely as they all are. If I add up all the teens I know, they come out about where I feel my generation did.

 

I'm still pondering this one. I know this particular school that I teach in is lower in educational quality than the one I went to growing up, but there are still really good schools out there (or at least the kids on college confidential go somewhere!).

 

I don't have the view that Creekland does...

-Nan

 

Working in this school has opened my eyes up to a huge section of the population that I just didn't realize existed. Of course, they were on TV or in the news, but they just weren't in "my" circle of acquaintances I guess - and out of sight, out of mind.

 

There are many stories I can relate and I add new ones almost daily. Telling those stories to hubby made him want to homeschool ours long before my oldest hit high school. Now my 9th grade son adds stories to mine, but still doesn't want to return home (sigh). He has, however, started to take much more interest in learning outside of school on his own though. He sees the difference and instead of falling to the common denominator, he wants to fly higher. I wish more would be that way.

 

I had a talk with our Chinese exchange student a little bit recently. If I have time, I'll post that on its own thread. I doubt what he told me will surprise anyone, but hearing some things in person drove home a bit of what we're thinking about both now and in the other thread comparing educations.

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I had a talk with our Chinese exchange student a little bit recently. If I have time, I'll post that on its own thread. I doubt what he told me will surprise anyone, but hearing some things in person drove home a bit of what we're thinking about both now and in the other thread comparing educations.

 

:bigear: I would really love to hear this!

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I was scratching my head at the recent thread that asked about the number of hours high schoolers were spending on academics or school.

 

My 8th grader spends between 4-5 hours daily and then another 2-3 on the weekends. Those weekend hours are usually spent on stuff like lab reports, research projects, compositions assignments, and science tests. This equals about 22-28 hours per week. I just can't see jumping up that expectation to around 8 hours per day as some of the posters indicated they were doing/had done for their high school students. Now, obviously, perhaps they were doing more hours in the lower grades as well.

 

But, but, but, my ds is able to complete an algebra assignment in Foerster's (new lesson with 20-30 worked problems) in about an hour. A grammar assignment takes 15 minutes (AG). Reading and answering questions in his science text (Apologia Physical)? 30 minutes, add another 30 minutes if there's an experiment. Granted, perhaps Apologia, AG, and Foerster's aren't the MOST rigorous texts, but they're not chicken feed either. We do only one language (Spanish), aren't doing a formal Logic program, and music and art are purely electives for enjoyment.

 

Lower expectations? Maybe, but I also know that I have a not terribly enthusiastic 13 year old boy going through a bit of teenage rebellion trying to figure out who he is. I'm pretty comfortable with my lower expectations at this point.

 

 

I think equating a large number of school hours and a rigorous education is a fallacy. One can waste a lot of time and come out with mediocre results after a long school day ( just look at public schools), or one can work effectively and accomplish a lot in a few hours. So, comparing time spent is not really a good measure for academic rigor.

Case in point: when my DD attended a (college preparatory) secondary school in Germany last year, she had a total of 22 hours instructional time per week at school in 6th grade. That included rigorous (compared to US schools) math and science and TWO foreign languages. If I take into account that in any school setting with large classes some of this time will be wasted on management, I should be able to accomplish the same results in a homeschool setting with far fewer hours.

 

My 8th grader for instance is required to do 5 hours of school per day only. In that time, however, she is doing challenging work far above grade level. So I definitely consider her education rigorous - even though she does not spend a full day on school work. Does that make sense?

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I think HIGH expectations can sometimes be self-defeating, exactly as you've outlined below (and above). We see this especially on the K-8 board - mom's beating up on themselves because they aren't able to measure up to the standards they expect of themselves and their children. What we all need to shoot for are high standards BASED UPON OUR ABILITY TO TEACH AND OUR CHILDREN'S ABILITY TO LEARN. Not being in touch with those two realities can be sooooo damaging to parent and child.

 

 

There is something far sadder than low expectations! Many homeschoolers set their sights higher than they are capable of achieving, with the resources/abilities available to THEM and then flounder, and don't FINISH anything MEASURABLE and feel like failures. Many of us have/had some amazing obstacles to overcome.

 

And then...many homeschoolers have DIFFERENT goals than those easily measured by SATs and APs.

 

Sometimes a coop really would serve its students best by FINISHING a course on scientific literacy, focusing on how to research and follow the scientific method and MASTERING a middle school level research paper, instead of wallowing around in a bunch of half understood and unfinished projects, that cannot be used as a stepping stone to the next level.

 

Proper goal setting is an important skill that has NOTHING to do with comparisons to what others are doing, or fear.

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I do think it matters what level something is when issuing high school credits. If a child is not able to earn and absorb high school level material, it is certainly better to teach a level they can absorb and learn, but it is not honest to issue high school credits for middle school level work.

 

 

 

High schools across the country issue credits for materials not on hs level all the time. Not all students graducate with AP, honors, or even "on level" courses. They frequently teach from texts "on high school" level but their students fail to learn the material, although they may pass the class.

 

Grades are always subjective. Standardized tests tell the real tale and colleges know this.

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Ds#1 is only 16yo. To many here it would look like the english, maths, & science courses he is taking through NZ Correspondence are the "easy way out" rather than challenging him. As we are only doing these courses to gain the credits on paper for the military, we did choose the easy way. Ds#1 has spent 25+ hours a week in his mechanical engineering course (gaining tertiary qualifications) & 12+ hours in gymnastics training. He has done so well in engineering that his tutors have accepted him into the next course even before his exam results have come. Ds#1 is dyslexic & struggles a lot with writing. He is an avid reader, but reads s-l-o-w-l-y. If I demanded a full rhetoric-level curriculum he would just give up & think himself stupid. By allowing him to move onto his career path, we've kept alive his desire for further education. A heavy load of "school work" would have killed his desire to learn. He knows "how to learn" & has developed the necessary habits to work hard, even when things get difficult or boring. Not everyone will be a white collar worker. Many, many people will be in blue collar jobs. In today's economy people need to be prepared to think outside the box for jobs. Practical skills & the ability to work hard cheerfully will be some of the best preparation we can give our children. My ds has covered Latin, history, literature, etc. in the past 9 years in HS/ing. These things are covered by only a tiny number of students at PS, even the best PS here in NZ. Demanding that he continue his "highschool" studies & not let him move onto his "real education" would have done him a huge disservice as he was ready for more adult-style learning. Yes, he will never be academically prepared to go to medical school, but if he wants to pursue an engineering degree later, he'll have the practical knowledge to back up the theory that will make him an exceptional engineer. If he's happy working with his hands for his whole working life, that's fine as well. There is no shame in getting your hands dirty with honest work.

 

JMHO

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A heavy load of "school work" would have killed his desire to learn.

 

I have been thinking a lot about that in terms of science this year. My son has a natural interest in science, but after 8th grade declared he "hated" science, everyone he knew (in ps) hated science, and he didn't care what grade he got in it.

 

After a lot of soul-searching, I decided I cannot risk squelching his natural interest and set out to find another path.

 

Most importantly, I became convicted that NONE of the truly gifted scientists we had read about throughout history had succeeded due to textbooks. Now, I realize my ds is not an Edison or Einstein, but even recent scientists we have seen on video have almost always said that they didn't even like science until college. And my eldest son is an engineer who develops methods for retreiving natural gas in difficult settings, yet he only had 3 years of high school science at a mediocre high school.

 

So for my youngest, why not spend these years developing a curiosity, a love, and a willingness for exploring science, rather than demanding page numbers, quizzes, and worksheets? Why not take advantage of our opportunity to homeschool and explore these things in our own ways? I'm absolutely not an unschooler by nature, but I've been thinking a lot about what true "learning" is. There are some who say that our current educational system of textbooks and desks was developed to train assembly line workers...

 

At least some of the "dumbing down" around the boards here is probably more of an effort to find a new way?

Julie

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There is no shame in getting your hands dirty with honest work.

 

JMHO

:iagree:

 

I once talked with the head of an alternative school who felt that all his graduates should not only have fulfilled college entrance requirements as quickly and painlessly as possible, but they should all have done two other things: pursued one passionate interest as far as they could take it; and acquired one manual skill or job training type of thing. The best story he had was about a kid who desperately wanted to (and did) become a certified scuba diver, and then went on to a college where he specialized in underwater repairs of machinery and ships.

 

I don't know why that story appeals to me so much; perhaps because I have an offbeat child myself. But I have encouraged her to acquire her own set of manual skills (which revolve around the care and training of horses), and I would so love for both of us to learn basic plumbing together (I seem to attract plumbing disasters wherever i go).

 

What is more, I think it can be not only arrogant, but downright dangerous for academics, politicians, and others to become so far removed from the world of manual labor that they have no understanding of how people outside their rarified bubble work and live.

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I have been thinking a lot about that in terms of science this year. My son has a natural interest in science, but after 8th grade declared he "hated" science, everyone he knew (in ps) hated science, and he didn't care what grade he got in it.

 

After a lot of soul-searching, I decided I cannot risk squelching his natural interest and set out to find another path.

 

Most importantly, I became convicted that NONE of the truly gifted scientists we had read about throughout history had succeeded due to textbooks. Now, I realize my ds is not an Edison or Einstein, but even recent scientists we have seen on video have almost always said that they didn't even like science until college. And my eldest son is an engineer who develops methods for retreiving natural gas in difficult settings, yet he only had 3 years of high school science at a mediocre high school.

 

So for my youngest, why not spend these years developing a curiosity, a love, and a willingness for exploring science, rather than demanding page numbers, quizzes, and worksheets? Why not take advantage of our opportunity to homeschool and explore these things in our own ways? I'm absolutely not an unschooler by nature, but I've been thinking a lot about what true "learning" is. There are some who say that our current educational system of textbooks and desks was developed to train assembly line workers...

 

At least some of the "dumbing down" around the boards here is probably more of an effort to find a new way?

Julie

 

This is what I think.

 

Julie- I ran into this curric the other day, something mentioned on another loop and I had an Aha! moment. Here's the link to the article that most resonated with me

 

http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p1015.htm

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I think HIGH expectations can sometimes be self-defeating... What we all need to shoot for are high standards BASED UPON OUR ABILITY TO TEACH AND OUR CHILDREN'S ABILITY TO LEARN. Not being in touch with those two realities can be sooooo damaging to parent and child.

 

I would agree with basing it on children's abilities - but I do not agree that we should set the standards based on our ability to teach. If I can't teach to the level that is appropriate for my child, I need to go find a resource so my kids is not limited by the limits to my teaching abilities.

For example, the fact that I don't speak French and hence can't teach it should not prevent my child from studying French, and I see it as my duty to make sure that some curriculum or person is found which can do what I can't.

I think if we decide to homeschool we need to make sure that subjects beyond our teaching abilities are covered. More important than French may be higher math. I do not expect every homeschooling parent to be able to teach upper level math - but I sure think that should not be an excuse to limit the kid to the low level of math mom may have mastered. If you can't teach it yourself, find a curriculum designed for self study.

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High schools across the country issue credits for materials not on hs level all the time.

 

Several states have textbook adoption for core classes. Unless a course is transcripted as some version of Special Ed, it must use a state adopted textbook. I am not aware of any adopted textbooks that are not on level. This may occur in states without textbook adoptions, but not in as sweeping a fashion as you seem to imply due to the adoptions in many large states. Only English classes are frequently non textbook in adoption states. It is true that students may not learn, as that is more difficult to force and measure. NY has Regents end of course exams, which I thought were ridiculously easy when I had to take a few after moving to the state in 11th grade, but which do set a passing floor for many high school courses independent of school district. I believe some other states have similar end of course exams. Many states also have exit exams that must be passed to graduate, though these are generally billed as 10th grade level and often lack rigor.

 

Granted that there are many terrible schools failing there students, and this is often decried in the media. That fact has been the driving force behind legislating testing. While I think that testing has been badly conceived in many cases, the principle of making a high school diploma mean something is not necessarily a bad thing. On the other hand, perhaps we should return to multiple kinds of diploma rather than trying to make everyone college prep. But even so, each kind of diploma should mean something. Otherwise high school diplomas are meaningless (and, logically, thus pointless) other than as recognition of years warming chairs.

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This is what I think.

 

Julie- I ran into this curric the other day, something mentioned on another loop and I had an Aha! moment. Here's the link to the article that most resonated with me

 

http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p1015.htm

 

The article makes some very good points.

 

I'd be curious how he accomplished the "real science" he speaks of, outside of using higher-level textbooks. I had and sold Robinson Curriculum once upon a time. And my experience is that it's just CDs full of books that have been in the public domain and copied onto CD.

 

If that's his method, I'm not sure that's far enough out of the box for what I'm seeking. Something tells me that many scientists use advanced textbooks as occasional reference books rather than enticements. Although, my ds is currently enjoying higher-level lectures from the Teaching Company, getting more enthused than he ever did with high school materials, so who knows? It's something to keep in mind -- grown-up books that he might not even fully understand as a draw.

 

Julie

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This is what I think.

 

Julie- I ran into this curric the other day, something mentioned on another loop and I had an Aha! moment. Here's the link to the article that most resonated with me

 

http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p1015.htm

 

Thanks for posting this, justamouse. I'm not clear, though, on why physics should be studied first. Dd is doing Phys I from Apologia, and she said you really have to know math to do it. She's in the second half of Saxon Advanced Math, and she's really glad she's had this much math before starting the physics class.

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You're taking random examples of what doesn't consistute and hasn't consistuted the standard experience of a young intellectual, but rather the points of additional focus... I'm just taking a rough framework of a system which has educated the creme de la creme of the past few generations which are geographically and culturally close or correspondent to my life experience, for whatever reasons the framework is that way, and then comes the individual tailoring, but while maintaining the basic framework.

I take no issue with the idea that the education you are providing for your children is based on the way the "creme de la creme" (as you put it) of Italian society has been educated for several generations. What I disagree with is that this is the ideal educational model to which everyone in the Western world should aspire, and anyone who deviates from this framework is doing their child a huge disservice and limiting their future options. I have absolutely no interest in giving my kids an upper class Italian education; we're not upper class Italians. I don't even have any interest in replicating my husband's upper class British education, because it did not serve him well.

 

There is a big difference between focusing on your child's strengths (don't we all do that, to some extent?) and between writing off entire ways of thinking and relating to the world that are part of that standard experience, but that your child might not be the most successful in. It's not so much about calculus or about literature in a foreign language per se (even if there is an inherent value in learning both of these things) - it's also about the context of the overall experience, and about fostering certain ways of thinking... seeing a world through the lenses of a different language and relating with the symbolic heritage through it; fostering a very clear, organized way of thinking provided by mathematics even if it's not your forte.... Tailoring a high school education only according to one's strengths and interests is a dangerous thing. You're closing the world to your child by doing so.

I could make a very strong case that studying philosophy can foster a very clear, organized way of thinking just as well as calculus, and that studying cultural anthropology provides as useful a lens for viewing the world as reading Moliere in French. Yet you insist that those subjects must be "outside the framework," relegated to a student's free time, and that students should be forced to take calculus and read literature in foreign languages, whether they enjoy those subjects or have any aptitude for them. And the only justification for this is... because that's the "standard package" in European lyceés. Why would I care what the standard package is in European lyceés? :confused: I care about what works best for my kids, and I'm not interested in trying to hammer my little square pegs into round holes, just because someone else thinks round holes are the be-all and end-all of a proper education.

 

It's a sort of giving up on yourself so early. Cementing your future at 15-16. Writing off entire aspects of the world and ways of thinking. Becoming an utilitarian, learning what you "need". Becoming a hedonist, equaling your intellectual development with what you "like". ... It's so sad when a young person is allowed to enclose themselves into this utilitarian-hedonist bubble...

LOL, I certainly never "gave up" on myself, and I did not write off "entire aspects of the world and ways of thinking" just because I skipped calculus. I was actually very good at math (98th% in math on PSAT & SAT); I just found it tedious, and preferred to take an extra writing course instead.

 

It seems absurd to me that a student who graduates high school having passed calculus and having read Les Mis in French (but who knows nothing of anthropology and little of philosophy), qualifies as the creme de la creme of Western intellectuals, whereas a student who skipped calculus but can discuss Heidegger and the history of French Structuralism is a sad, limited, utilitarian-hedonist Fachidiot. Doesn't that seem even a little ethnocentric?

 

Jackie

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High schools across the country issue credits for materials not on hs level all the time.
Several states have textbook adoption for core classes. Unless a course is transcripted as some version of Special Ed, it must use a state adopted textbook.

 

Actually, I agree with Stacy.

 

Minnesota school districts do have standard textbooks. However, when my dd failed 9th grade science (passively refusing to do anything that year, after being an A/B student), she got half credit for just being in the labs, without doing a single assignment. For the other half credit, she was funneled into summer school, where they did worksheets, without teacher or textbook, and she passed.

 

The next step after failing summer school is Thursday school, which I think is the same. Then there is alternative school, where materials are often quite different.

 

Okay, and even amongst the regular classes, there are "trying to get this kid to graduate" classes. We were warned not to place my oldest in "geometry" and yet he had had algebra 1 & 2 in 8th so he needed geometry, not the "core plus" that they were offering for math locally. He came home saying they were coloring that day, and their assignment was to cut shapes out of magazines.

 

Not saying that homeschoolers aspire to these goals, but you might be surprised how right Stacy is.

Julie

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But why do just what the schools do, public or private, saying, hey, the schools are accepting that, so I will, too? Why not strive higher? Yes, for some kids it may not be possible, but that prof mentioned that most of her students do have the ability to do more, but just not the self-discipline. Why not work on the self-discipline? Why not spend 8 or 10 hours a day on studies? I don't think that's unreasonable at all for a higher schooler.

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Thanks for posting this, justamouse. I'm not clear, though, on why physics should be studied first. Dd is doing Phys I from Apologia, and she said you really have to know math to do it. She's in the second half of Saxon Advanced Math, and she's really glad she's had this much math before starting the physics class.

 

I think the idea of physics first is starting smallest to largest, and building a foundation of understanding that way. Hewitt Conceptual Physics is used in the more advanced school district next to us. Rainbow Science (7-8th grade) also does Physics first, followed by Chemistry as applied physics.

 

The math-heavy advanced Physics is often also taken by college prep students, after the first rotation thru phys/bio/chem.

 

Julie

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Working in this school has opened my eyes up to a huge section of the population that I just didn't realize existed. Of course, they were on TV or in the news, but they just weren't in "my" circle of acquaintances I guess - and out of sight, out of mind.

 

 

 

I think this is true for a lot of us, creekland. I forget that people live in debt, or don't recycle, or lie to their husbands, or whatever is common. As a homeschooler, I tend to just live in my little world with my family and a few acquaintances.

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I think the idea of physics first is starting smallest to largest, and building a foundation of understanding that way. Hewitt Conceptual Physics is used in the more advanced school district next to us. Rainbow Science (7-8th grade) also does Physics first, followed by Chemistry as applied physics.

 

The math-heavy advanced Physics is often also taken by college prep students, after the first rotation thru phys/bio/chem.

 

Julie

 

She's planning to take Physics II from Apologia after she finishes the Physics I class. Isn't the Hewitt class the one without the math? How could this be better than one with the math?

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The article makes some very good points.

 

I'd be curious how he accomplished the "real science" he speaks of, outside of using higher-level textbooks. I had and sold Robinson Curriculum once upon a time. And my experience is that it's just CDs full of books that have been in the public domain and copied onto CD.

 

If that's his method, I'm not sure that's far enough out of the box for what I'm seeking. Something tells me that many scientists use advanced textbooks as occasional reference books rather than enticements. Although, my ds is currently enjoying higher-level lectures from the Teaching Company, getting more enthused than he ever did with high school materials, so who knows? It's something to keep in mind -- grown-up books that he might not even fully understand as a draw.

 

Julie

 

No, not the curric itself but the way of thinking about sciences.

 

Thanks for posting this, justamouse. I'm not clear, though, on why physics should be studied first. Dd is doing Phys I from Apologia, and she said you really have to know math to do it. She's in the second half of Saxon Advanced Math, and she's really glad she's had this much math before starting the physics class.

 

I'm not so sure either, I just was told that Robinson eschewed all science as we've been told to teach, and then not in a formal manner (no Apologia Bio with labs) and that all of his children became scientists. Of course their deceased mother was also a scientist and perhaps it was in their genes? I don't know. I just linked it because I thought the train of thought had a lot to do with what Julie had said.

 

In another article he says

 

k) When each child finishes calculus, continue on with a college level physics text and a college level chemistry text on the same schedule as with the Saxon math. Be sure that these texts include lots of problems and an answer book for self-grading.

 

http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p61.htm

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Looks good, justamouse. But is Robinson against Apologia? Was it around when he was homeschooling?

 

We saw some school math and science textbooks here in India the other day, 11th and 12th grade level. Dd flipped through them and said they looked a lot like her Saxon and Apologia books. I'm really pleased with Saxon and Apologia. They may not be as hard as what some here are using, but dd seems to be learning a lot, and really likes them. We plan to do everything those two companies sell. I just have a hard time believing this is not at least a base in math and science.

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Looks good, justamouse. But is Robinson against Apologia? Was it around when he was homeschooling?

 

We saw some school math and science textbooks here in India the other day, 11th and 12th grade level. Dd flipped through them and said they looked a lot like her Saxon and Apologia books. I'm really pleased with Saxon and Apologia. They may not be as hard as what some here are using, but dd seems to be learning a lot, and really likes them. We plan to do everything those two companies sell. I just have a hard time believing this is not at least a base in math and science.

 

 

Nonono. I'm getting tired and trying to shorthand and forgetting where I'm posting. ;) Not against Apologia per se, but he doesn't support a science curriculum that is structured like those-like public school. By what I'm reading he's more of a Charlotte Mason whole books--even TWTM? (although I would have to go downstairs and grab the book as I've not read all of the science recommendations within TWTM in a long time).

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Several states have textbook adoption for core classes. Unless a course is transcripted as some version of Special Ed, it must use a state adopted textbook. I am not aware of any adopted textbooks that are not on level. This may occur in states without textbook adoptions, but not in as sweeping a fashion as you seem to imply due to the adoptions in many large states. Only English classes are frequently non textbook in adoption states. It is true that students may not learn, as that is more difficult to force and measure. NY has Regents end of course exams, which I thought were ridiculously easy when I had to take a few after moving to the state in 11th grade, but which do set a passing floor for many high school courses independent of school district. I believe some other states have similar end of course exams. Many states also have exit exams that must be passed to graduate, though these are generally billed as 10th grade level and often lack rigor.

 

Granted that there are many terrible schools failing there students, and this is often decried in the media. That fact has been the driving force behind legislating testing. While I think that testing has been badly conceived in many cases, the principle of making a high school diploma mean something is not necessarily a bad thing. On the other hand, perhaps we should return to multiple kinds of diploma rather than trying to make everyone college prep. But even so, each kind of diploma should mean something. Otherwise high school diplomas are meaningless (and, logically, thus pointless) other than as recognition of years warming chairs.

 

While I agree that standardized tests and texts can possibly hold schools and students accountable - and that's a good thing, those standards are currently watered down and not universal. High school degrees/grades vary so significantly in the "value" that they're almost worthless. I understand that may be changing and I'm pleased as punch.

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She's planning to take Physics II from Apologia after she finishes the Physics I class. Isn't the Hewitt class the one without the math? How could this be better than one with the math?

 

I should have said that the "order" of physics first is one that others take, similar to the "order" Robinson is talking about. However, Robinson is talking about waiting until the student is ready for advanced physics before even starting the sequence? On that, he's got a unique viewpoint.

 

No, not the curric itself but the way of thinking about sciences.

 

I'm not so sure either, I just was told that Robinson eschewed all science as we've been told to teach, and then not in a formal manner (no Apologia Bio with labs) and that all of his children became scientists. Of course their deceased mother was also a scientist and perhaps it was in their genes? I don't know. I just linked it because I thought the train of thought had a lot to do with what Julie had said.

 

In another article he says

http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p61.htm

 

Yes, I really appreciate your sharing and am exactly in that train of thought! It's just the method of implementing that we still need -- we'll have to start a science thread about sharing new ways to get the credit, without textbooks alone, but also without the thing that this thread is worried about -- dumbing down :)

 

Julie

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I would agree with basing it on children's abilities - but I do not agree that we should set the standards based on our ability to teach. If I can't teach to the level that is appropriate for my child, I need to go find a resource so my kids is not limited by the limits to my teaching abilities.

For example, the fact that I don't speak French and hence can't teach it should not prevent my child from studying French, and I see it as my duty to make sure that some curriculum or person is found which can do what I can't.

I think if we decide to homeschool we need to make sure that subjects beyond our teaching abilities are covered. More important than French may be higher math. I do not expect every homeschooling parent to be able to teach upper level math - but I sure think that should not be an excuse to limit the kid to the low level of math mom may have mastered. If you can't teach it yourself, find a curriculum designed for self study.

 

I don't disagree. I use outside classes to shore up my own weak areas. I don't think that every parent has access to online classes, tutors, or curriculum that is really self-teaching. Sometimes we do the best we can with what we've got. If that means a less than rigorous study in a particular subject - so be it.

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More important than French may be higher math.

 

Oui -- priorites aux priorites. First things first. Dd does history, lit, and languages, but after math and science every day.

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Oui -- priorites aux priorites. First things first. Dd does history, lit, and languages, but after math and science every day.

 

Hmmm...it is the opposite around here. I need to rethink this!

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She's planning to take Physics II from Apologia after she finishes the Physics I class. Isn't the Hewitt class the one without the math? How could this be better than one with the math?

 

Aside from the fact I can't stand Apologia...

 

The idea isn't that physics w/o math is better (it isn't, and to most colleges, it isn't even sufficient), it is simply the building block of science. Since most kids start their formal science studies in 9th grade, and do not have the math education necessary to study formal physics, some companies have come up with algebra-only physics courses; kind of a physics-lite, or physics 1. Then the child takes chemistry in grade 10, biology in grade 11, and physics 2 (calculus based physics) in grade 12.

 

The idea behind this is that a person cannot "fully" understand chemistry and biology without a basic grounding in physics.

 

HTH

 

 

a

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The idea isn't that physics w/o math is better (it isn't, and to most colleges, it isn't even sufficient), it is simply the building block of science. Since most kids start their formal science studies in 9th grade, and do not have the math education necessary to study formal physics, some companies have come up with algebra-only physics courses; kind of a physics-lite, or physics 1.

 

... why UK university-aimed pupils study three sciences simultaneously from ages 14 to 16. As the pupils' maths gets better they can move into the more mathematical areas of physics.

 

Laura

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Actually, I agree with Stacy.

 

Minnesota school districts do have standard textbooks. However, when my dd failed 9th grade science (passively refusing to do anything that year, after being an A/B student), she got half credit for just being in the labs, without doing a single assignment. For the other half credit, she was funneled into summer school, where they did worksheets, without teacher or textbook, and she passed.

 

The next step after failing summer school is Thursday school, which I think is the same. Then there is alternative school, where materials are often quite different.

 

Okay, and even amongst the regular classes, there are "trying to get this kid to graduate" classes. We were warned not to place my oldest in "geometry" and yet he had had algebra 1 & 2 in 8th so he needed geometry, not the "core plus" that they were offering for math locally. He came home saying they were coloring that day, and their assignment was to cut shapes out of magazines.

 

Not saying that homeschoolers aspire to these goals, but you might be surprised how right Stacy is.

Julie

 

Our school is similar to yours. However, PA now has state standardized testing and has decreed that ALL students need to pass the tests in order to graduate. There's no way our lower level kids are going to pass the state test in math or bio (I'm not as "up" on the English since it isn't my field). We're not quite sure what's going to happen to them. More drop outs? Some of these kids simply can't do higher level academics (fetal alcohol/other "real" issues and others simply won't do it). We had been dumbing down "basic" courses for them and giving them credit so they can graduate with a degree. VERY soon we won't be able to do that.

 

What happens to those kids? Those that won't do the work probably don't deserve a diploma so they will get their just reward, but what about those that can't do the work? Will society start offering more jobs that don't require a high school degree? Some of these kids are excellent mechanics, artists, or similar, but without a high school diploma they can't even join the military (which some had done before if they can score high enough on the ASVAB) or get into a trade school.

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Our school is similar to yours. However, PA now has state standardized testing and has decreed that ALL students need to pass the tests in order to graduate. There's no way our lower level kids are going to pass the state test in math or bio (I'm not as "up" on the English since it isn't my field). We're not quite sure what's going to happen to them. More drop outs? Some of these kids simply can't do higher level academics (fetal alcohol/other "real" issues and others simply won't do it). We had been dumbing down "basic" courses for them and giving them credit so they can graduate with a degree. VERY soon we won't be able to do that.

 

What happens to those kids? Those that won't do the work probably don't deserve a diploma so they will get their just reward, but what about those that can't do the work? Will society start offering more jobs that don't require a high school degree? Some of these kids are excellent mechanics, artists, or similar, but without a high school diploma they can't even join the military (which some had done before if they can score high enough on the ASVAB) or get into a trade school.

 

Isn't it different if a child is on an IEP? The child would still have to take certain standardized tests with accommodations, however, even if the child does not obtain the scores required to graduate, I believe as long as a child has met the goals of his/her IEP that child would still be eligible for a regular high school diploma in PA. Has that also changed? I would imagine that more kids might end up on IEP's so that they can get regular high school diplomas. I think in some states special needs children are actually only getting certificates of attendance, and I think that is a shame. I think if kids are working to their ability and progressing from where they started (if they have the ability to do so) then those children should all be eligible to receive a regular high school diploma. Gosh, how awful for a child to receive a diploma that basically says they aren't up to par, that they haven't accomplished what other kids have. That child who has less ability/different abilities may have worked twice as hard to complete his education. A transcript will reveal what courses they have taken. Employers/colleges can ask for course descriptions. What we need to get away from is thinking that there is a "standard" that each child must reach with education. Not all children are capable of the same things. We need to respect and honor that. You make an excellent point, creekland, regarding the fact that many of these kids have talents in areas that are not recognized by what PA determines to be part of the standard package necessary to get that regular diploma. Imagine if as adults we had to undergo categorizing and labeling based on how we compare to our peers based on someone else's idea of what's important? Yikes. We should not expect that all children should be doing the same thing at the same time and make THAT the criteria for getting that high school diploma. Education should be tailored to the child. It shouldn't be based on comparisons with other children. Yes, there should be goals but not all kids can accomplish the same things and that should be acceptable. As far as I am concerned, a high school diploma should signify that a particular child has worked to his level of ability and has accomplished goals tailored to meet the needs of that particular child.

 

And isn't that what we are all really saying here anyway? That we should all be expecting the best of our kids and that we should all be doing our best to help them reach their potential? And I guess we all have different opinions on what that means because we all have different ideas of what's most important. But in any case, that's one reason I am homeschooling--to help my children reach their potential. Traditional school is not my idea of how to help my kids reach their potential.

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Ester Maria - I am still thinking about this (in between relearning precalc and trying to figure out how to paint branches filled with snow). I see many facets of education discussed here and sometimes when I read your post I think you mean one thing and then I read it again and think you mean another and then I read it again and get a glimpse of something altogether different that I haven't thought through. Obviously, I need to keep rereading it a few more times, preferably when I have time to sit down and read it properly. : ) I'm driving around quite a lot today, so presumably I will have more thinking time than yesterday. I just didn't want you to think I wasn't appreciating your efforts to explain this. I am not a fast or logical thinker. I have to wait for things to bubble up from the depths. : )

-Nan

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