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What do you say to raise expectations?

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Well, I tried to delete the thread, but couldn't figure that out. Maybe I'm just feeling a little bit a member of my non-achieving community and you guys are out of my league.


Your arguments are so well-versed. I wish my kids would have the chance to listen to some of you on this board. Maybe that should be my plan. That they hang out here to find out that they really are NOT the overachievers that my homeschool community thinks they are.

Edited by Jonibee
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I think you should put your post back. It was a good question, a nice concrete, helpful one. I, for one, was interested in the answers. I have resorted too often this fall to say, "Look, at 16 years old, you should be able to do blank." That is not a good strategy, but 16 sounds very grownup to both of us so it works moderately well for the really stupid things. For harder things, I say, "You will need to be able to do this in college." For the more obscure hard things, I sometimes resort to saying, "This is something that I want to teach you. I am teaching you lots of things that you picked. I get to pick some, too." This is an extremely weak arguement that only works when my son is in a good mood sigh. He himself has been exposed to enough people to want, at least most of the time, at least to appear educated and knowledgable. He can see that it gives him an advantage. I would rather he had less manipulative reasons, but at this point I will take what I can get. He also has goals. I don't have any trouble at all motivating him to go far in math because he wants to go to engineering school. I have huge problems teaching him something like musical literacy, a thing that I just plain want anyone associated with my teaching to be able to do. I find that it is easier to teach him things like sightsinging if I let him choose some things, too.



Just editing to add that I thought your contributions to the mega thread about expectations were good ones. : )

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Believe me, I feel like the least of the moms here. There are some heavyweights on these boards.


I try to be honest with my kids, without scaring them half to death (though I probably do!). Dd15 is in France right now, and I guess the results of that international competition in math, science, and reading are all France is talking about. They want to do big educational reforms now, especially in math.


Apparently most of the European nations didn't do much better than America, except Finland, but they only have five million people, and probably not many immigrants. It's probably easier to direct a group of people of fairly similar backgrounds.


But back to being honest . . . I show them articles I read, to help them understand why I want them to study hard and make wise choices. Ds11 seems to be getting more mature. I've been bearing down a little harder on math since we got back from America, and he said it's not so hard now that he's gotten into it, and is feeling more successful at it. He's starting Latin, too, and he wanted to do it, so that feels like a breakthrough.:)


It really helps that here in India, the kids just do not have a lot else to do besides study and play with the other kids, who are often also studying.;) To be honest, it's kind of strange when Indian kids aren't pretty seriously into schoolwork, or at least basically responsible about it. And they're always with their families, which is a nice background. Now, the family probably has the parents shouting at each other, and the kids fighting with each other, and all kinds of family dysfunction:D, but it's still kind of a nice, family culture.


I'm also talking pretty openly about mistakes I've made in life, like giving up on math and science when I was a teen, or spending too much money eating out up until about 4 years ago :D, or not starting to save for retirement until I was 27. Kids really listen when their parents are humble and open about their own mistakes.


One thing I've often told the kids is that they're growing up in better circumstances than their parents did, and they can do better than we have. I'm not (just) talking financially, but in lots of other ways, too.:)

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It takes a lot of work on the part of the homeschooling parent to find a good fit curriculum/material/philosophy wise. What one family does well with, another may think it isn't enough. The important thing is to be connected with your kids, what they are doing, and what they need to get where they are going. Another thing I don't think we all realize is that teen brains are NOT finished developing yet. Something that looks easy to us is NOT easy to them. We have seen the material before, they haven't. We know the material that comes after what they are doing. We have years of exposure that they don't. And, if you don't kill their love of learning, they will continue to learn things throughout their lives.


I read WTM before my youngest's 10th grade year. Yes, it does cover more challenging material. Some of it we cannot do because we haven't been doing school this way from the beginning. But I didn't come away with the impression that you had to do school ten hours a day to do it. The schedules don't say that. It seems balanced, proportioned and varied to me. It seems to put math and science (our time hogs) into a nice box, science by studying self teaching guides (and WTM even suggests RS4K Chemistry in RHETORIC stage!!), and doing the math program that is right at your level. And breaking history down to four year cycles (one fourth of a history text per year). I even saw Power Glide and Rosetta Stone suggested for foreign language (horrors!). Some of these would not be rigorous enough to some.


The wealth of information on this board is incredible. We have experts in every subject, and they can help you take your kids as far as you dream to go (but only as far as they can go). I enjoy reading their threads. But to think you can do every subject like that is not reasonable. I don't think anyone does every subject in a comprehensive rigorous manner. There isn't enough day! And, you don't want your kids only waking time to be swallowed up with bookwork. They do need to interact with others, work, and move around (some form of exercise). Balance!

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I'm not sure what you mean by, "What do you say to raise expectations?" What do I say to whom? My children?


I think the way I'm raising them every day and my expression of my expectations for them from the time they're little, and my explanations of why I have those expectations give them direction as they grow.


Or, what do I say to others in my community? I don't say a thing as it's not my business. If someone asks me what we do, I'll gladly tell them. If they ask me how, I'd gladly try to explain that, too (but I never get asked that, because I don't think folks really want to do what we do).


I'm not sure what you mean....

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I'm not sure what you mean by, "What do you say to raise expectations?" What do I say to whom? My children?


I think the way I'm raising them every day and my expression of my expectations for them from the time they're little, and my explanations of why I have those expectations give them direction as they grow.


Or, what do I say to others in my community? I don't say a thing as it's not my business. If someone asks me what we do, I'll gladly tell them. If they ask me how, I'd gladly try to explain that, too (but I never get asked that, because I don't think folks really want to do what we do).


I'm not sure what you mean....


Yes, I meant what to say to my kids. I mean, I do talk to them and often point out the wisdom in achieving academic goals versus giving up and closing doors.


My have graduated 2 from college, have 1 in college and 3 still homeschooling, with my youngest at age 7. We've seen so many examples of kids giving up before they even get started.


I do like to collect quotes and spout them off now and again. I find them incredibly helpful at times to lighten up my seriousness, so that my "encouragement" doesn't cross that line into mom is nagging again, kwim?


So I originally posted my favorites:


Work first, play second.


You know what my grandfather always said? Get back to work! (from the movie, Cool Runnings)


Whenever you decide you can't do it, you are closing a door that is really hard to reopen.


So, if any of you have any more lame but useful quotes I can add to my collection, I'd love to hear them! ;)

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How about books or toilet bowl brush?


LOL...but not really.


My kids HAVE to make it on their own...we can only help them get to a certain stage and then they have to do it on their own...no trust funds...no inheritance...nothing to fall back on but their own behinds.


I show them constantly what happens when people do not have solid educations and USE those educations to make a life for themselves and help others.


I show the the garbage man when he arrives at 4AM and it's freezing and he is hanging off the back of the truck. I show them how dirty daddy is when he comes home because WE had to go to work because we had a baby coming and didn't have any fallback position...so had to do it for ourselves without finishing our own college educations.


I show them what happens to kids who don't know HOW to work hard and can't make it out there in the world.


..and then I show them others who have MADE it. Those friends of ours who are doctors, lawyers, teachers, librarians, judges, engineers, musicians, artists etc. and show them the goals they need to shoot for.


So, it is the books or the brush...I let them decide.



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Well, we, as parents, have high expectations of ourselves. Very high. And we are vociferously cranky when we fail. So they see that. :glare:;) Both Dh and I are type A, driven all the time and want to do the best in everything we do. *shrugs* I don't know how to be any different. The dishes in the sink I can let go of. Life has taught me to let go of that because I will have a nervous breakdown if I stress over that stuff. But the rest? Yeah, we're pretty uptight. :) We both worked very hard to get where we are-it wasn't because of our schooling-it was all hard work.


For the longest time all of that backfired me. My 15 dd was PARALYZED with perfectionism. It took me a long time to get her to the point where she would do something and allow herself to fail and work to get better.


Like the time she freaked out because she couldn't wakeboard the very first time. She tried, fell once and refused to do it again because it "Looked so easy" and she had to learn the hard way that when something "look easy" it may, perhaps, be that the person has worked their entire life on that talent --enough to make it look easy when THEY do it.


So I kind of relaxed a bit--not with myself, but with my expectations of them. And I spent a lot of time challenging them, and teaching myself HOW to teach in a way that teases their pallet not kills their spirit.


:grouphug: I'm sure you're doing fine.

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I don't have cool quotes, but I can tell you want we do in our family to motivate the children. We keep an ongoing conversation about the importance of education and emphasize two aspects:


1. An education opens the way to choices for a later career. The better the education, the more choices. My kids see both parents go to work every day in a job they love - which we consider a wonderful thing, considering the large amount of time spent at work over a lifetime.


2. Beyond these tangible benefits, education enables us to understand the world around us. We feel better if we can understand how the world works, how organisms work, how the gadgets we use function, how the government and legal system are set up, how the economy and finance work, why certain world political situations arise... all these things help us orient ourselves in the world and see it not as a scary place.


We also share from our experiences as college professors, so our kids already know about many of the factors that contribute to students not succeeding. They both have a pretty good understanding of the educational goals we have for them and are motivated to work. Granted, being kids, not every day is the perfect school day - but the overall attitude is there.

They also see us constantly learning new things, so they grow up with the mindset that learning is a lifelong process which does not stop with some graduation.

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If I am anything,which I highly doubt, I have made myself so by hard work.

Sir Isaac Newton


There is no substitute for hard work.

Thomas Edison


You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

Albert Einstein


Success if not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill


Patience and fortitude conquer all things.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.



I cannot do everything, but I can do something. I must not fail to do the something that I can do.

Helen Keller


Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Theodore Roosevelt


People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.

Dale Carnegie


Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.



Genius is seldom recognized for what it is: a great capacity for hard work.

Henry Ford


Do or do not. There is no try.



All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.

Mark Twain


Leap and the net shall appear....

Zen saying


To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.



There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth... not going all the way, and not starting....



There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind.



My older son has always sought the least difficult path to accomplishing anything. He's never been "academic" or a "high achiever". Lots and lots of kids are not going to fit that picture. Out of the top 10 of a graduating class anywhere, not even all of those kids are going to be highly academically oriented, much less the rest of the class. But providing kids with experiences, exposure, opportunity as they grow up may make an impression that will lead them back to further learning later on in life. They don't have to achieve some sort of benchmark by the time they're 24.....

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Here's my two :)


Get 'er done


Just do it


Lol. Similar here:


Doing it gets it done.


No one respects people who don't work hard.


Is that the best thing you could be doing with your time?


Pain in the neck mother here, lol.

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