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I've got an 11th grader and a 12th grader. Both have a mix of outsourced classes and 'truly homeschooled' classes.

 

Last year, I let my daughter take the class she wanted to take, using the curriculum she wanted. High school level? Nope. Effective? I think so. Let me explain. I used to read the Famous Men books to them aloud -- way back in elementary school. She loved them, and wanted to do them again. I remember being impressed with certain aspects of them, plus I know that what she loves, she learns. So I gave her a half credit in the 2nd semester of 10th grade for reading Famous Men of Greece and Famous Men of Rome, writing a paper on one of the people in the chapters, and taking two tests.

 

It wasn't impressive, but she learned it and remembers it much more that she would have using some fat textbook with tons of detailed and frankly, not very important, information.

 

So, reason 1: Sometimes a lighter course with less material crammed down their throats will result in significantly more learning.

 

Second case: At the end of his sophomore year, my son decided to take a 2-year, 3.5 credit (each year) class at our local career center in computer networking. I hadn't planned on that, and to all of a sudden have 7 credits 'taken away from me' for his last two years in high school messed with my 4 year plan dramatically. Since he'd only ever taken a couple of online courses before, I added the bare minimum to his 11th grade schedule: Precalc, physics, British lit, and PE.

 

Then, as we were facing 12th grade, he was continuing the class, but had only 2 credits of social studies, no art of any kind, etc. He would take calculus and electronics, but still needed credits in social studies, English, and some kind of art. I spent the summer looking for the easiest courses I could find for those three, knowing that his other classes would be hard and time consuming, and college applications were coming, etc.

 

So reason 2: If a student is taking a heavy load of courses that will matter much more to their future, it might make sense to make the less important courses easier on them.

 

Finally, reason 3: I've seen enough of what the public schools have produced -- even schools with this so called 'excellent' rating, that I don't feel in the slightest bit guilty!

 

Just thought I'd share some thoughts from the practical as opposed to theoretical end of the discussion....

 

Debbie

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Your reason #1 is exactly the reason I continue to use and recommend TT for math. While the problems it includes are not as rigorous and it delays the intro of certain topics, I've found the actual learning (in general - depends on the student, of course) to be superior to other texts and it's the actual learning I care about.

 

Then...I'll admit it... There are certain subjects neither I nor my boys care as much about. Those courses are not as rigorous as they could be and I don't care. I absolutely do care that they know a minimum about pretty much everything from Art to Physics, but within that, I tailor their education to their preferences and think they will do better because of it. So far, it's worked well.

 

And yes, compared to the high school where I work, my boys are light years ahead in most subjects. My high school is essentially average for my state and my state tends to be average or above average for the country. On college entrance tests or national standardized testing my boys do VERY well, so once again, I feel validated.

 

BUT, I still like hearing from people concerning various curricula as sometimes I want to switch due to not liking the results I've seen (as with Rosetta Stone Spanish which we now supplement with a traditional text). I just don't think my boys have to be superstars in everything nor need to use the hardest possible texts for everything.

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I've got an 11th grader and a 12th grader. Both have a mix of outsourced classes and 'truly homeschooled' classes.

 

Last year, I let my daughter take the class she wanted to take, using the curriculum she wanted. High school level? Nope. Effective? I think so. Let me explain. I used to read the Famous Men books to them aloud -- way back in elementary school. She loved them, and wanted to do them again. I remember being impressed with certain aspects of them, plus I know that what she loves, she learns. So I gave her a half credit in the 2nd semester of 10th grade for reading Famous Men of Greece and Famous Men of Rome, writing a paper on one of the people in the chapters, and taking two tests.

 

It wasn't impressive, but she learned it and remembers it much more that she would have using some fat textbook with tons of detailed and frankly, not very important, information.

 

So, reason 1: Sometimes a lighter course with less material crammed down their throats will result in significantly more learning.

 

Second case: At the end of his sophomore year, my son decided to take a 2-year, 3.5 credit (each year) class at our local career center in computer networking. I hadn't planned on that, and to all of a sudden have 7 credits 'taken away from me' for his last two years in high school messed with my 4 year plan dramatically. Since he'd only ever taken a couple of online courses before, I added the bare minimum to his 11th grade schedule: Precalc, physics, British lit, and PE.

 

Then, as we were facing 12th grade, he was continuing the class, but had only 2 credits of social studies, no art of any kind, etc. He would take calculus and electronics, but still needed credits in social studies, English, and some kind of art. I spent the summer looking for the easiest courses I could find for those three, knowing that his other classes would be hard and time consuming, and college applications were coming, etc.

 

So reason 2: If a student is taking a heavy load of courses that will matter much more to their future, it might make sense to make the less important courses easier on them.

 

Finally, reason 3: I've seen enough of what the public schools have produced -- even schools with this so called 'excellent' rating, that I don't feel in the slightest bit guilty!

 

Just thought I'd share some thoughts from the practical as opposed to theoretical end of the discussion....

 

Debbie

:iagree::iagree:

 

Exactly why we are sticking with MUS, Ace Biology for dd and Getting Started with Latin!!! The retention I am seeing this year is amazing. How about we now rename the 'Low Expectations' to 'Realistic Expectations'? ;)

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:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

I like Realistic Expectations...

 

You know, it's okay to be "regular".

 

Unless you live in Lake Wobegone where every child is above average, then it's pretty likely that your (general your) child is "average". A little above average or a little below average represents a huge chunk of the ability curve. While I think it's important it give every child an excellent education regardless of their ability, "excellent" and "ability" have a wide margin.

 

All this to say, I'm not beating myself up over what some might call the mediocrity of the education I'm providing my dss.

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It's the quality of the education that your dc needs and learns from that it important. If you think that only rigourous methods provide that, then I think you limit yourself. Even with dc who are above average in academics don't necessarily thrive with a fully rigourous course load. Some have a need for more down time than that to process things and/or to focus on the things they are passionate about, which may or may not be one or more of their subjects.

 

Life consists of a great deal more than academics, and not all great jobs require what is considered a rigourous education. We combine approaches, and our mix of things varies with which dc it is, how old they are, what their needs are at the time.

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It's the quality of the education that your dc needs and learns from that it important. If you think that only rigourous methods provide that, then I think you limit yourself. Even with dc who are above average in academics don't necessarily thrive with a fully rigourous course load. Some have a need for more down time than that to process things and/or to focus on the things they are passionate about, which may or may not be one or more of their subjects.

 

Life consists of a great deal more than academics, and not all great jobs require what is considered a rigourous education. We combine approaches, and our mix of things varies with which dc it is, how old they are, what their needs are at the time.

 

Wonderfully said. Raising a child with Asperger's has made me realize the profound limitations, as well as the usefulness, of my academic higher education. I'd like to think I would have come to this realization with a typical child; but certainly raising an Aspie has been a gift that pushed me toward this realization, and I'm grateful.

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I've got an 11th grader and a 12th grader. Both have a mix of outsourced classes and 'truly homeschooled' classes.

 

Last year, I let my daughter take the class she wanted to take, using the curriculum she wanted. High school level? Nope. Effective? I think so. Let me explain. I used to read the Famous Men books to them aloud -- way back in elementary school. She loved them, and wanted to do them again. I remember being impressed with certain aspects of them, plus I know that what she loves, she learns. So I gave her a half credit in the 2nd semester of 10th grade for reading Famous Men of Greece and Famous Men of Rome, writing a paper on one of the people in the chapters, and taking two tests.

 

It wasn't impressive, but she learned it and remembers it much more that she would have using some fat textbook with tons of detailed and frankly, not very important, information.

 

So, reason 1: Sometimes a lighter course with less material crammed down their throats will result in significantly more learning.

 

Second case: At the end of his sophomore year, my son decided to take a 2-year, 3.5 credit (each year) class at our local career center in computer networking. I hadn't planned on that, and to all of a sudden have 7 credits 'taken away from me' for his last two years in high school messed with my 4 year plan dramatically. Since he'd only ever taken a couple of online courses before, I added the bare minimum to his 11th grade schedule: Precalc, physics, British lit, and PE.

 

Then, as we were facing 12th grade, he was continuing the class, but had only 2 credits of social studies, no art of any kind, etc. He would take calculus and electronics, but still needed credits in social studies, English, and some kind of art. I spent the summer looking for the easiest courses I could find for those three, knowing that his other classes would be hard and time consuming, and college applications were coming, etc.

 

So reason 2: If a student is taking a heavy load of courses that will matter much more to their future, it might make sense to make the less important courses easier on them.

 

Finally, reason 3: I've seen enough of what the public schools have produced -- even schools with this so called 'excellent' rating, that I don't feel in the slightest bit guilty!

 

Just thought I'd share some thoughts from the practical as opposed to theoretical end of the discussion....

 

Debbie

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

Ds#1 needed to have 12 credits each in English, Maths, & Science at year 11 level for the navy. (credits in NZ are different from credits in the States. To gain the NCEA 1 certificate for year 11 a student needs 80 credits, in the typical year long course you can earn up to 24 credits, if you pass all your assessments) As ds#1 would get 65 credits from his level 4 engineering course, we chose the level 1 "trade" courses for the English, Maths, & Science. He did assessments / booklets through correspondence school to earn enough credits to "tick the box" on his enlistment papers for the navy next year. As he did not want to waste time proving what he knew in English / Maths / Science, we took the "easy" route. His main focus was / is on his engineering courses. His level 4 (tertiary) certificate in Engineering will surpass any level 1-3 (highschool) NCEA certificates for ds#1's career goals. Everyone takes a "lighter" route in some area. Those students who have a highly rigourous load academically will take the easiest PE courses they can. At highschool age students need to be able to prioritize where they put their time & effort.

JMHO,

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Ahhhh, the learning matters more than the curriculum.....;)

 

What a revolutionary idea, maybe we could tell the public schools this......

:lol::iagree: Although there are times when I have equated the right book with the best learning...

Maybe rigorous means the top end of realistic? Maybe "low expectations" means the bottom end of realistic?

 

 

Semantics seems to be the main cause of tension in these threads...

 

Rosie

:iagree: We have to use what works for us, even if someone else disdains what we're using and thinks we're too low or high (there are people who disdain both ends!) Right now, what's working best for my eldest is ps, and I have a strong aversion to ps (based in part on my many years there.) There, I said it. She is doing all of her assignments and is getting good grades, staying out of troublesome friend relationships. Not that things are perfect, but what a difference. Yes, in 3 classes the standards are not only lower than some of what she was doing here, but lower than what she's capable of, but she's learning and not arguing with me all day about doing the work. She doesn't want to do all honours because she wants to keep up her grades without doing more work; she says she needs time to rest. Every dc is different (plus, she has swim practice.)

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:iagree: My oldest did well with more rigorous math, Bible, History and the grammar part of "English." He is a very slow reader, so the Lit. parts, and science that required a lot of reading overwhelmed him. So, I lightened those areas up a little.

 

 

Middle child didn't get grammar at all, though he did very well with history, Lit. and science. So, I found Rod & Staff, and he did the levels 2 grades behind the actual grade he was in. He got it though, and really learned where he was, so it was certainly worth it for him and for me!

 

Youngest child was way ahead in math, then hit a wall. She hit that wall 3 years ago, and we've struggled through with "lighter" maths trying to help her have a strong base. She is just now starting Algebra 1, after all this time (she did Saxon 76 right before she hit the wall). She's been doing math, just not as I THOUGHT she would be! But it's okay, she will now be much more confident and understand things more clearly because I lightened up and allowed her the "struggle time".

 

I'm glad to see this thread, since I honestly don't feel I'm doing my children a disservice by not using the most rigorous materials available! I'm MORE than thankful I've been allowed to lighten up in certain areas so they can do well there, and shine in the areas they're good in, and not be overwhelmed or burnt out!

 

The boys have both gone to a Christian Boarding school, and both transitioned very well. All three have always done well on the standardized tests, and are caring, concerned citizens and confident young people. I have no doubt in my mind that they will be great adults and succeed in what they do! I'm happy! My kids are happy! :D

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It's the quality of the education that your dc needs and learns from that it important. If you think that only rigourous methods provide that, then I think you limit yourself. Even with dc who are above average in academics don't necessarily thrive with a fully rigourous course load. Some have a need for more down time than that to process things and/or to focus on the things they are passionate about, which may or may not be one or more of their subjects.

 

Life consists of a great deal more than academics, and not all great jobs require what is considered a rigourous education. We combine approaches, and our mix of things varies with which dc it is, how old they are, what their needs are at the time.

 

 

:iagree:Thank you so much for this. My oldest dd is the kid you describe in the last sentence of your third paragraph. This is a very hard concept to explain to some people, homeschoolers and non, but it requires a very different kind of education than what many would call "rigorous." If it challenges the intellect and grows the heart, it's rigorous in its own way, no matter what it looks like from the outside. At least that's what I've been learning....

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This is a very hard concept to explain to some people, homeschoolers and non, but it requires a very different kind of education than what many would call "rigorous." If it challenges the intellect and grows the heart, it's rigorous in its own way, no matter what it looks like from the outside. At least that's what I've been learning....

 

Absolutely.

 

Dd has powerful interests and motivations in areas or topics that don't fit tidily inside the conventional definition of subject disciplines, so it might look as though she is doing something best defined as leisure or entertainment (in particular, I'm thinking of her passionate interest in musical theater). These interests take a central role in her education. From my vantage point, I see exactly what you described: challenge to the intellect and growth in the heart.

 

Sometimes the view from the "outside" can just be what anyone sees who doesn't have experience with your particular child.

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. She is doing all of her assignments and is getting good grades, staying out of troublesome friend relationships. Not that things are perfect, but what a difference.

I just learned that dd has not been doing her composition homework regularly lately:glare:. Just her math homework. Aaargh!

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I started this in Elementary School. I'm a firm believer in "not everything has to be rigorous and tough." I try to look at the big picture.

 

Most of our literature work has been done with extensive use of Reading Texbooks. We do focused study on 4 books a year. The children have a reading list (which includes history, fiction, non-fiction and science-related books at varying lexile levels), and then they can also choose any other books of interest. Just because my DD has picked up and begun to read Eragon at 8, doesn't mean *every* book she picks up needs to be at that level or intensity. It's perfectly fine for her to sit with the American Girl Books and read 3 a day... But, overall all of my children will experience more challenging work, and easier work throughout the year. Overall they will be growing and stretching.

 

My oldest son is NOT an artist. However, he still takes art -- but at a level and ability that is suited to him. I don't grade his attempts at sketches or paintings... I just look to see if he worked to the objective, or attempted the technique -- or that he read and narrated about the piece he was asked to study. My DD has a passion for art, so this course should be more challenging for her.

 

Same with Math. My boys both seem to have inclinations toward technical fields... those courses must be solid. My dd, who is no slouch at math doesn't LOVE it. I will push her the amount necessary, and she will still take 4 yrs. of high school math, but the coursework may look different... she'll take AP-level Statistics, and DS will take college-level spherical trig and linear equations.

 

They aren't being given poor educations, they are being given educations suited to their particular bent and drive.

 

My oldest son likes geology and physics... he'll probably take both conceptual physics and calculus-based physics...although still take bio and Chem, probably AP-level Chem, and get into some MIT open courseware. My oldest DD likes Biology... she'll probably take AP Bio, Chem, Conceptual Physics and then probably Marine Biology or Zoology...unless she changes her focus in the next 8 years (she has time :D)

 

It's all about balance. Giving our kids the space they need to grow... not pigeon-holing them into a scope & sequence that is simply checking off boxes of "this is what the typcial college-bound student takes."

 

I feel like that is a much better path to college, and their future :D

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Insofar as your daughter's case, I thought that the Famous Men series was originally written for high school, is that incorrect? I agree that the engaging narratives in those books really help children remember history. I used some of those stories from the end of the Roman period and the book on FM of the Middle Ages as part of an early medievel history class last year and the kids learned a tremendous amount from it.

 

I think the style of the story matters. Too many texts are so dry and boring, attempting to cram in way too much detail, that they lose their readers interest.

 

Insofar as your son's case, isn't what you did precisely what SWB suggested as best for children? Namely, to allow them to specialize and marginalize other areas of study to give them time to do that. I think it's wonderful that you allowed him to do that.

 

In middle school with my second child, I'm already cutting into his literature reading time to allow more time for language study, more time for him to take some computer literacy classes (something I didn't manage to do with the older one), and trying to give more attention to art/music, as well.... There are only so many hours in a day and we can't make them do school all of those! (Can we, LOL?)

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I just learned that dd has not been doing her composition homework regularly lately:glare:. Just her math homework. Aaargh!

 

I spend all day - every day - with my son, and I can't tell you how many times I've discovered that something had been falling through the cracks (or, rather, pushed through the cracks and covered up) without my noticing. By age 15 you would think he would have learned that it won't stay hidden forever, but no. Why do today what you can put off until you are caught! ;)

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Debbie, thank you so much for posting this. I have been popping over here from the other board in an attempt to wrap my brain around my oldest moving toward high school. When I started reading the "low expectations" thread I started to panic. My dc aren't academically minded. They have definite interests and passions in their lives and they are gifted in those areas but they are not academic interests or passions. Trying to figure out how to obtain the type of education some of the participants of that thread were talking about made my head spin.

 

I want what is best for my dc as we all do and I am working my bum off trying to customize each of my dc's educations, but I don't think that their success and happiness in life hinges on academic rigor. I can't imagine being happier or feeling more fulfilled in my life and I only received a mediocre high school education.

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I thought that the Famous Men series was originally written for high school, is that incorrect?

 

 

Yes, that is incorrect. They are intended for elementary and middle school. The original 1904 preface states explicitly "...to tell these stories in a style so simple that pupils in the lower grades will read them with pleasure"

 

The new edition says it is recommended for 2nd grade through Jr High.

The description on Amazon recommends it to 4th and 5th graders for independent reading.

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I totally agree with you.

Some kids have so much schoolwork to do that they "burn-out" before they have the opportunity to go to college. Everyone needs some variety and some down time, IMO. I think kids can be over scheduled and over schooled to their detriment. I love the fact that hs'ing allows for study to be tailored to the individual student.

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Absolutely.

 

Dd has powerful interests and motivations in areas or topics that don't fit tidily inside the conventional definition of subject disciplines, so it might look as though she is doing something best defined as leisure or entertainment (in particular, I'm thinking of her passionate interest in musical theater). These interests take a central role in her education. From my vantage point, I see exactly what you described: challenge to the intellect and growth in the heart.

 

Sometimes the view from the "outside" can just be what anyone sees who doesn't have experience with your particular child.

 

 

Yes! Yes!! I could substitute a few things for "musical theatre" in your post and we might have the same dd. It's been a challenge (and still is) for me to allow her that down time as she's gotten older. It's funny - I had no problem with her dreaminess and deep introspection when she was in preschool, elementary school or even as an early teen, but there seems to be some weird switch that turned on when she turned 15 or so that made me think I should do things differently with her. I think part of the problem is that she is so much like I was at her age (and really, like I still am) and it's a challenge for me to allow her to "find her own road" in a world that wants the roads so clearly laid out. We're still finding our groove, and reading these posts has helped me further define it.

 

Thank you!

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I totally agree with you.

Some kids have so much schoolwork to do that they "burn-out" before they have the opportunity to go to college. Everyone needs some variety and some down time, IMO. I think kids can be over scheduled and over schooled to their detriment. I love the fact that hs'ing allows for study to be tailored to the individual student.

 

DS reads homeschool boards (he never actually writes comments on them). When he reads posts/threads about kids who are doing SATs in middle school, who are already doing college in early high school, who are seemingly doing all AP courses (he has an aunt who teaches a true college-level AP biology class where most kids get a C or below, so he wonders how many kids are actually getting "real" AP classes, but that is a digression...) -- you get the picture -- he says to me "and they're either going to have nervous breakdowns or commit suicide in their 20s. Doesn't anyone read stories about the Japanese?"

 

Someone mentioned Lake Wobegon. I think they're right. It's the internet: anyone can be anything they want to be. Everyone can have a kid who is a genius. Jr. can supposedly be translating the Illiad at four, and no one can prove them wrong. No one goes to a support forum to be told they are wrong - they go there for validation that they have made the right decision. Just look at the general forum!

 

Are there true savants/geniuses in the world? Of course there are. Is the sample probably disproportionally skewed in the homeschool population? Yeah. But IMO, probably not to the degree one sees it on message boards. IRL, people don't usually want to hear about how great a person's kid is. Boastfulness and pridefulness and all that. Oh, and suspicion. IRL, people turn and ask Jr. things or look to see what Jr. is doing. Heck, people look at what DS is doing and I don't say jack about him IRL.

 

For full disclosure, I think DS is a great kid, and talented if not over-talented in many areas. But like any human being, he is absolutely middle of the road in other areas and a complete PITA some days. Being an aspie, he is his own special snowflake. :glare:

 

 

a

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DS reads homeschool boards (he never actually writes comments on them). When he reads posts/threads about kids who are doing SATs in middle school, who are already doing college in early high school, who are seemingly doing all AP courses (he has an aunt who teaches a true college-level AP biology class where most kids get a C or below, so he wonders how many kids are actually getting "real" AP classes, but that is a digression...) -- you get the picture -- he says to me "and they're either going to have nervous breakdowns or commit suicide in their 20s. Doesn't anyone read stories about the Japanese?"

 

a

 

Just make sure he realizes that for a kid who fits the above niche, they aren't going to have nervous breakdowns or commit suicide. Instead, they would have a nervous breakdown if you kept them FROM their passions (which is studying and learning in this case).

 

I have three boys. All three are decent academically and score well on standardized tests.

 

However, the oldest and youngest are what I'd call "normal." Schoolwork is seldom their favorite thing, though they have favorite subjects and "callings" to where they will fit in in life while tolerating the rest.

 

Middle son is from a totally different mold. He had a learning disability when he was young (speech and reading), yet he tested in the gifted range when being diagnosed. We were literally told, "he's really smart, he just can't tell you about it." He worked with help from pros at a young age (4 -> 6) to overcome his disability and has never looked back. To him, pleasure is reading. It might be about the Japanese. It might be AP Stats. He literally reads anything and everything and hungers for knowledge in all subjects. We MAKE him take breaks and do other things, but if it's not something the whole family is doing (travel, board games, movies, etc) he gets bored and wants to go back to the books. My other two play computer games when they can. This kid seldom does - unless it's chess.

 

If I didn't have one of each type, I'd fully say others were doing things "wrong" based on whichever "type" I had. Now I know it's only wrong to push kids from one group into the other. They are each created to fill the niche intended for them - not a niche someone else says is right for a different student. As I tell all my boys, "be yourself. Look inside yourself to see what YOU want to do and head that way. Consider what others say as it might be valid, but when it comes down to it, be yourself."

 

ps We also did not let him take college standardized tests super early (10th grade was his earliest) and we are not letting him go to (4 year) college a year early as has been requested of a few places. I'll fully say I'm not sure if we've made the right decision or not in that aspect, but each of us has to do what we think is best. I want him to enjoy his youth. I know he'll enjoy college, but I don't think it needs to be rushed. Perhaps he'll regret that we held him back. I honestly don't know. I hope he'll enjoy his final year here with us. We'll keep him supplied in books! :)

Edited by creekland
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:iagree:with all your reasons, esp. #3. I have seen what "the village" produces and I'm not impressed.

Yes that. My neighbor is carrying an A in a class called "agriculture" or something and there are only 2 kids in the class and they run errands for the teacher all block and don't even have a book! Now that's taxpayers money well spent:glare:.

Your kids are getting a lot more from what they do just because you are working with them 1:1.

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Just make sure he realizes that for a kid who fits the above niche, they aren't going to have nervous breakdowns or commit suicide. Instead, they would have a nervous breakdown if you kept them FROM their passions (which is studying and learning in this case).

 

Yep, for every person looking down on those who have "low expectations," there's someone projecting doom and misery for every child who naturally excels. How about we all just assume that parents are doing the best they can for their child, and that they know that child better than we do? :)

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Yep, for every person looking down on those who have "low expectations," there's someone projecting doom and misery for every child who naturally excels. How about we all just assume that parents are doing the best they can for their child, and that they know that child better than we do? :)

 

:iagree: If I had a dime for every time I heard "Let the kid be a kid. Don't push" I'd have money to buy more books for HSing. :001_smile:

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DS reads homeschool boards (he never actually writes comments on them). When he reads posts/threads about kids who are doing SATs in middle school, who are already doing college in early high school, who are seemingly doing all AP courses ..-- he says to me "and they're either going to have nervous breakdowns or commit suicide in their 20s. Doesn't anyone read stories about the Japanese?"

 

 

Ah, but some of those kids do this without pressure and without any extra effort and thrive on it. Excuse me if I write a bout a specific kid, who happens to be my DD - I do not want to be accused of boasting, but the discussion needs a specific example.

DD would be one of the kids your DS refers to. She was very unhappy and depressed when she attended school because she was never challenged. It is the main reason we homeschool. She was thrilled to take the SAT at age 12 (and no, we did not chain her to the table and make her study, she spent a few hours with a test prep book and that was sufficient to get a pretty good score. She thought it was fun to do this.). She also has taken a college physics class this semester at age 13 and easily got an A with just attending class and doing the homework - she did not spend hours studying and cramming and did not find it particularly hard.

Not all high achievers do things because they are pressured, because they have to compete, because the parents expect them to. Some just love doing all those things, they come easily to them, and they would be depressed and suicidal if they were kept marching in step with the average ps student.

Nobody disputes that learning disabilities exist and that those student's special needs must be taken into account. People find it OK that their parents talk about their children's challenged.

I find it sad that the same is not true for gifted students and that it is still considered acceptable to doubt their abilities, to chalk their performance up to parental pressure, and to deny that they have special needs, too. I also find it disturbing that society embraces high performance in sports or music, but talking about a gifted child's academic achievements is considered boasting.

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DS reads homeschool boards (he never actually writes comments on them). When he reads posts/threads about kids who are doing SATs in middle school, who are already doing college in early high school, who are seemingly doing all AP courses (he has an aunt who teaches a true college-level AP biology class where most kids get a C or below, so he wonders how many kids are actually getting "real" AP classes, but that is a digression...) -- you get the picture -- he says to me "and they're either going to have nervous breakdowns or commit suicide in their 20s. Doesn't anyone read stories about the Japanese?"

 

 

Guess it's time to go have my nervous breakdown. Oh ****, I'm out of my 20s, missed the boat.

 

Specific examples: I took the SAT 3 times during middle school. I never studied. I went in and took the test and then we had pizza (which was rare!).

 

I took college classes during middle school/early high school because my mother had run out of things to teach me in math and frankly had run out of patience with my bad attitude. Looking back, I amaze myself with what a jackass I was to her.

 

If anything, I wish she'd started more rigorous classes sooner so that I would have learned to work academically. If this sounds like boasting, sorry.

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:iagree:

 

And will add that for some of us, state graduation requirements, admission prerequisites must be considered. Health is a requirement here along with PE. I really didn't want to pursue the be all end all curriculum in either.

 

My two enjoy learning for the most part, and each have areas they excel in, and others they must muddle through. (Ds has no passion for poetry, he tolerates/can't stand it.:001_huh:, I'll continue to hope exposure will plant a seed of love...Reality is more likely to be that he never will.)

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe rigorous means the top end of realistic? Maybe "low expectations" means the bottom end of realistic?

 

 

Semantics seems to be the main cause of tension in these threads...

 

Rosie

Edited by Tammyla
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Guess it's time to go have my nervous breakdown. Oh ****, I'm out of my 20s, missed the boat.

 

Specific examples: I took the SAT 3 times during middle school. I never studied. I went in and took the test and then we had pizza (which was rare!).

 

I took college classes during middle school/early high school because my mother had run out of things to teach me in math and frankly had run out of patience with my bad attitude. Looking back, I amaze myself with what a jackass I was to her.

 

If anything, I wish she'd started more rigorous classes sooner so that I would have learned to work academically. If this sounds like boasting, sorry.

 

I guess you're not average. Which was the point of this thread. Which, as far as I know, was the population my son was referring to (eg: normal, average students being pushed to a breaking point).

 

Why would I have shared that story on a thread about gifted 'super-achievers'? It would have led to my child being attacked for his personal observations and opinions.

 

Oh, wait... that just happened.

 

My bad.

 

I so love "support" forums.

 

 

asta

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One of my children was both very gifted, but also had some significant learning disabilities. He effortlessly did some things very early, and other other things just never fell into line academically, especially in late high school. And as I've stated before, my ability as teacher was strongly affected by the poverty and abuse we were living in and my resulting physical decline.

 

But if I just focus on my son, and his abilities, he was perfectly capable of making steady progress through an Algebra 1 text in the 5th grade, but even if I had been the best teacher, I don't think he would have been able to have completed the writing required to do well on many AP exams.

 

So same kid was "pushed" and "neglected". He was the only child in our town eligible to take the SATs as a middleschooler, but when it came time to take them for real, he didn't bother and decided to take the GED instead and start at the local CC.

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I guess you're not average. Which was the point of this thread. Which, as far as I know, was the population my son was referring to (eg: normal, average students being pushed to a breaking point).

 

Why would I have shared that story on a thread about gifted 'super-achievers'? It would have led to my child being attacked for his personal observations and opinions.

 

Oh, wait... that just happened.

 

My bad.

 

I so love "support" forums.

 

 

asta

 

I don't really thinking anyone was attacking anyone else for their personal observations and opinions. Instead, I think people were pointing out that what might be perceived as a stereotype is not always true in a similar way that so many thing homeschoolers (in general) are _________ that we always hear about from "helpful" others.

 

While there undoubtedly are parents that push too much, I suspect that it isn't the majority.

 

While there undoubtedly are parents that expect too little, I kind of suspect they aren't the majority either.

 

I think the majority of parents are just tuned in to their children and the direction they want to go.

 

Unlike the education in some other countries discussed on other threads, I don't think one type suits all. I like the freedom to tailor an education to the person. Let the high academic students enjoy pushing on deeper and faster. Let those talented in other ways enjoy following their passions - whatever they may be. I'm one that believes there's really no such thing as "normal." If you think about it, everyone is normal, UNTIL you get to know them. ;)

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I guess you're not average. Which was the point of this thread. Which, as far as I know, was the population my son was referring to (eg: normal, average students being pushed to a breaking point).

 

Why would I have shared that story on a thread about gifted 'super-achievers'? It would have led to my child being attacked for his personal observations and opinions.

 

Oh, wait... that just happened.

 

My bad.

 

I so love "support" forums.

 

 

asta

 

I noticed a bit of 'hijacking' by the one's needing to defend their super-achievers....once again. We know, we know...there ARE kids who thrive on challenge and would be upset if held back. But the whole point of this thread was that there are actually MORE average kids than gifted, and it's really nice to be able to go against the 'push, hard and fast academically' grain of WTM and say that your average kid is actually thriving on using let's say Memoria Press Famous Men of Rome and learning SO much----even IF Amazon suggests it's for 4th graders!!! KWIM? Heck...even 'I' have learned a great deal from reading my kids books meant for middle school---and I am almost Over-40 and was considered 'gifted' back then! :tongue_smilie: You can still follow Classical without cramming too much info at too hard of a level down the kid's throats-----lots of our average kids will thrive happily in life without ever taking an AP, or college level in high school---or 'gasp' even reading books at lower levels. I think that's the whole point of this thread.

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I guess you're not average. Which was the point of this thread. Which, as far as I know, was the population my son was referring to (eg: normal, average students being pushed to a breaking point).

 

 

My point is that without intimate knowledge of the student he has no way of knowing whether this is indeed the case. You say he READ about the achievements of those kids - how can he know they were pushed?

 

Why would I have shared that story on a thread about gifted 'super-achievers'? It would have led to my child being attacked for his personal observations and opinions.

Oh, wait... that just happened.

 

 

Nobody attacked your son - people just pointed out that the bolded assumption does not have to be necessarily true. I do not see this as "hijacking", but as a normal flow of conversation- and even on a support forum, different opinions can exist. Not agreeing with somebody's opinion does not constitute an attack.

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I noticed a bit of 'hijacking' by the one's needing to defend their super-achievers....once again. We know, we know...there ARE kids who thrive on challenge and would be upset if held back. But the whole point of this thread was that there are actually MORE average kids than gifted, and it's really nice to be able to go against the 'push, hard and fast academically' grain of WTM and say that your average kid is actually thriving on using let's say Memoria Press Famous Men of Rome and learning SO much----even IF Amazon suggests it's for 4th graders!!! KWIM? .

 

 

The hijacking is somewhat understandable. I'm a fan of specializing in high school anyway, as long as all of the basics are covered in some fashion. There isn't one way to do this, and since all of us have shortcomings in abilities (even profoundly gifted people who are also super jocks aren't good at everything in life.

 

Not only is there a push against being average in our society, which can be detrimental, IRL there is often a great deal of antagonism toward parents of highly and profoundly gifted dc, so you can see why hijackings between this type of thread happens. Then there are sometimes hard feelings that occur between parents of children of the same abilities ( other parents are pushing too hard, not pushing enough, and then there is the whole "a child loses their giftedness if they coast argument.). Sometimes dc of average abilities do something beyond what you'd expect, and, more often, dc who are gifted opt to perfrom at an average level.

 

There is definitely a problem when dc of average ability are pressured into performing in academic situations that cause stress, cheating, health problems, and a number of other issues, and there are books which address this. If this drive comes solely from the dc, regardless of whether they are average or not, then I don't have a problem with it. However, when that push comes from the parents it's not always healthy. The challenge as a parent of an unmotivated and even lazy dc is figuring out how much to push.

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I guess you're not average. Which was the point of this thread. Which, as far as I know, was the population my son was referring to (eg: normal, average students being pushed to a breaking point).

 

Why would I have shared that story on a thread about gifted 'super-achievers'? It would have led to my child being attacked for his personal observations and opinions.

 

Oh, wait... that just happened.

 

My bad.

 

I so love "support" forums.

 

 

asta

 

I certainly did not attack your child. I pointed out that his assumption was grossly unwarranted and his phrasing (that you chose to repeat) rather hurtful.

 

Seriously, can't we all just get along? Can't we look at someone's kid who is using the Famous Men series in high school and say 'Guess it works for her.' and someone else's kid who is using college in middle school and say 'Guess it works for her.'? Do we need to suggest that *either* group is ruining the lives of their children, especially in generalizations of groups?

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I noticed a bit of 'hijacking' by the one's needing to defend their super-achievers....once again. We know, we know...there ARE kids who thrive on challenge and would be upset if held back. But the whole point of this thread was that there are actually MORE average kids than gifted, and it's really nice to be able to go against the 'push, hard and fast academically' grain of WTM and say that your average kid is actually thriving on using let's say Memoria Press Famous Men of Rome and learning SO much----even IF Amazon suggests it's for 4th graders!!! KWIM? Heck...even 'I' have learned a great deal from reading my kids books meant for middle school---and I am almost Over-40 and was considered 'gifted' back then! :tongue_smilie: You can still follow Classical without cramming too much info at too hard of a level down the kid's throats-----lots of our average kids will thrive happily in life without ever taking an AP, or college level in high school---or 'gasp' even reading books at lower levels. I think that's the whole point of this thread.

 

:iagree: It was eye-opening to me how many moms who are giving their children a challenging, thorough education feel that it might be inadequate, based on perceptions gained here.

 

It's fabulous that there is a place on the internet for the gifted, and for those who want to give their children an above-average education. But that same dynamic can be discouraging, since the advice, standards, judgement can be so disproportionate to the "average" student's needs and goals.

 

I appreciate the timely reminder that each child and family is unique and that most will not need to pursue the most rigorous standards in every single area. It reaffirms our goal to have them actually learn the material - not just to use the "best" curricula.

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Shhhh, don't tell anyone else.

 

You (general you again) don't need to be a genius to earn a college degree or be successful in life. And now I could go off on another tangent about what "successful" means, but I won't go there.

 

To enter and be successful in college (not an Ivy League college mind you) you need to be able to write a coherent paper (research paper/lit analysis/essay), read and understand fiction and non-fiction on a college level, and have a good general working knowledge of the world. You also need some organizational skills and a decent work ethic, but that's another tangent.

 

Now if you intend on earning a degree in a more rigorous field (see the STEM's thread) then obviously more is expected. Most people don't earn ST

EM's degrees.

 

 

I noticed a bit of 'hijacking' by the one's needing to defend their super-achievers....once again. We know, we know...there ARE kids who thrive on challenge and would be upset if held back. But the whole point of this thread was that there are actually MORE average kids than gifted, and it's really nice to be able to go against the 'push, hard and fast academically' grain of WTM and say that your average kid is actually thriving on using let's say Memoria Press Famous Men of Rome and learning SO much----even IF Amazon suggests it's for 4th graders!!! KWIM? Heck...even 'I' have learned a great deal from reading my kids books meant for middle school---and I am almost Over-40 and was considered 'gifted' back then! :tongue_smilie: You can still follow Classical without cramming too much info at too hard of a level down the kid's throats-----lots of our average kids will thrive happily in life without ever taking an AP, or college level in high school---or 'gasp' even reading books at lower levels. I think that's the whole point of this thread.
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