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Nan in Mass

Just curious - Are homeschool curriculums dumbing down like ps ones?...

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:iagree:

The trend seems to be in creating materials that are easy and fun. That can be good sometimes, but realistically, muscle building does require hard work, whether it's for the brain or body.

 

I agree. Some things are just meant to be learned. None of my teachers ever cared if I was having "fun" learning in school. It isn't really a goal of mine to make school "fun" for my kids either.

A Classical education is rigorous and that is dd 15. A Charlotte Mason education is rigorous and that suits dd 10 better. If parts of it are fun, grand!

I have always tried to find the right "fit" in materials for my kids but I have never considered whether it was "fun" or not in my decision making process.

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Yep...this gets me crazy. I know this is an offensive topic around here...and I am all for educational choices...but call things what they are....

 

I homeschool for academic pursuits and well as relational pursuit. When I started homeschooling...it meant being home, coming along side your children and teaching and discipling them. The "resources" were not as important as the goals.

Just to put this in perspective...when I started homeschooling, no one had a computer in their home and when my first graduated, there were NO online, real time courses. By the time my next dd graduated 3 years later, you could do your entire high school in front of a monitor...in a co-op....by message board...by curricula written directly to the student....no parent involvement. :confused::confused:

 

It is almost like we need to apologize for simply homeschooling without all the bells and whistles, AP classes, CC classes, co- ops, online courses, etc...and the sooner the better....sigh. I do not want to hang my head and explain that we stay home to home school. That I am my kids primary, and only teacher and no, I am not worried about them going to college, because I am preparing them well for that endeavor.

 

And yes, homeschool curricula has been dumbed down. Much of it has been written to make it "easy" to teach and learn from, easy to box check, easy to fulfill a state requirement, easy to say you did it, when in fact you didn't. Some homeschool only curricula is just basically " here is what I did with my kid and he turned out ok, $100.00 bucks please.".

 

What turned me off to Sonlight, was Sarita Holzman's daughter went to Public High School...so here she is writing high school homeschool curriculum, but didn't trust herself enough to use it herself:confused::confused: I will probably get bombed for that one, but that was my feeling about Sonlight high school courses for a really long time.

 

I love that small classical schools will now share their curricula with us mere homeschoolers...and continue to because of the dollars and cents involved...but they (Veritas Press) will tell you flat out that there is no way you can give your own kid a rigorous education unless you send them to a Classical School, but since you don't live near one, or you would( their assumption, not mine). We will let you use ours...and now, let us get fancy and offer online classes (which were sub par in my opinion) and online interactive lessons (haven't tried these.). Face it...we are a great market...we have $$$ and if made to feel particularly inept, we will buy pretty much anything , especially where our little scholars are involved.

 

The onslaught of homeschool curricula is fed by fear...fear that we won't measure up to Public and private schools, fear of failing our kids, fear of not keeping up with the Joneses, and the curricula marketers feed this fear, produce more and more inferior products that we can't possibly produce a well educated child without, or makes homeschooling so easy, anyone can do it and produce excellent results, without breaking a sweat.

 

Then, we have on the other hand.....leave'em alone, let them do what they want, as long as they are home, they are doing more than the public school nonsense. It Johnny doesn't want to do math today, or tomorrow, someday he will. Maybe, but not probably.

 

I am rambling....but to answer the op....yes, I think homeschool curricula is being dumbed down...and it really bugs me.

 

Faithe

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

This is a major hot button for me.

Yes, in answer to the Op. Curriculum has become dumbed down. This statement comes from over 20 years of research I have done looking at curriculum. Not all, there are some tried and true curriculum companies that still maintain their standards and some new ones who believe in homeschooling. But because this is a fast growing market, most see it as a cash cow.

Now, throw in state involvement and their hoops one has to jump through, fear mongers, the dreaded socialization problem, and those who see it as trendy and hip and you get a recipe for fast, easy to use, get the boxes checked curriculum or better yet...drop your child off at the homeschool equivalent centers and they will do the job for you.

Is it no wonder the huge gap in scores between homeschool students and their public school peers is getting more narrow each year.

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I won't go on a rant :tongue_smilie: but I easily could. This "drop-off" at co-op education mentality drives me bonkers. I'm not quite sure how it is homeschooling???:confused: Sounds like school simply with a different twist. It is not homeschooling. It is co-op schooling. And, no, they really aren't the same thing.

 

Ok....I tried really hard. I promise. At least I kept it short!! :tongue_smilie: :lol:

 

:auto:

 

:iagree::iagree: This is the main reason we pulled out of co-op. I was teaching 2 of the 3 classes my sons took, but the moms of my other students were simply NOT following through with teaching at home. They had the idea that one day a week at co-op was sufficient for their dc to learn the subject. I could totally rant right with you! I think I just did :D

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I have to venture into these sorts of threads lightly. But I might as well not ignore it, because this is just one of these areas that I'm going to have to come to terms with as I begin the high school years with a special needs child who I want to educate classically as best I can. I'd love to know your opinions on this question I've been asking of myself as I plan for this coming year:

 

Would you rather educate your child (and I'm coming from a special needs/LD perspective here) using the more rigorous materials, and have them not go as far with the materials? Or would you rather use a less-rigorous "high school level" material so it can be done?

 

For example, I remember reading somewhere that SWB says that with a child who has LDs you just stay in the lower stages longer, maybe not ever getting to rhetoric stage. Can you still issue a high school diploma for this? Or is that an example of dumbed-down education?

 

This coming year I have been planning to use Key to Algebra and, after a few months, start Lial's Introductory Algebra. The two of those together would be our Algebra 1 credit. But chances are that it would take longer to complete Algebra 1, so we might not make it past Algebra 2 before graduation. I could call Key to Algebra "Algebra 1" by itself but I want him to be able to continue with math as far as he is able to, and I don't think that Key to... alone is enough. Perhaps it would be better to use the less-rigorous MUS and get through maths that way?

 

Math struggles are going to require us to approach science from a different perspective as well, because of the upper level maths required for upper level sciences. But this leaves me to decide how to develop my own high school science that is "high school level" without being overwhelming to my son.

 

Just curious for other POV as I ponder these realities for my own situation.

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I won't go on a rant :tongue_smilie: but I easily could. This "drop-off" at co-op education mentality drives me bonkers. I'm not quite sure how it is homeschooling???:confused: Sounds like school simply with a different twist. It is not homeschooling. It is co-op schooling. And, no, they really aren't the same thing.

 

Ok....I tried really hard. I promise. At least I kept it short!!

 

:auto:

 

I quietly say....:iagree::iagree::iagree:

:auto:

Faithe

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I have to venture into these sorts of threads lightly. But I might as well not ignore it, because this is just one of these areas that I'm going to have to come to terms with as I begin the high school years with a special needs child who I want to educate classically as best I can. I'd love to know your opinions on this question I've been asking of myself as I plan for this coming year:

 

Would you rather educate your child (and I'm coming from a special needs/LD perspective here) using the more rigorous materials, and have them not go as far with the materials? Or would you rather use a less-rigorous "high school level" material so it can be done?

 

For example, I remember reading somewhere that SWB says that with a child who has LDs you just stay in the lower stages longer, maybe not ever getting to rhetoric stage. Can you still issue a high school diploma for this? Or is that an example of dumbed-down education?

 

This coming year I have been planning to use Key to Algebra and, after a few months, start Lial's Introductory Algebra. The two of those together would be our Algebra 1 credit. But chances are that it would take longer to complete Algebra 1, so we might not make it past Algebra 2 before graduation. I could call Key to Algebra "Algebra 1" by itself but I want him to be able to continue with math as far as he is able to, and I don't think that Key to... alone is enough. Perhaps it would be better to use the less-rigorous MUS and get through maths that way?

 

Math struggles are going to require us to approach science from a different perspective as well, because of the upper level maths required for upper level sciences. But this leaves me to decide how to develop my own high school science that is "high school level" without being overwhelming to my son.

 

Just curious for other POV as I ponder these realities for my own situation.

 

Just one thing....there is no magic number where a child has to graduate. I am not dealing with lds, but my son was very sick all through what should have been his 10 th and 11 th grade years...so sick, school was not a challenge, it was impossible....so we will be beginning 10 th grade again this summer and working through the levels at his speed. If he graduates at 20, or 21, So what? I am not going to send him off into college, or working life uneducated or unprepared for higher learn g. He was ver academically advanced up until the point he got sick.....now, he could probably finish up in 2 years....

 

Anyway, what I wanted to say is....18 years old or 12 years of education may not be the magic nu ber for each child. Homeschooling makes it possible to s

End an extra year or two or three or four if needed to be brought to a level of education that equals a strong high school background and makes it possible to pursue a higher education if that is desired. Don't be rushed by standard ages, they are arbitrary.....your child is not.

 

Faithe

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Just one thing....there is no magic number where a child has to graduate. I am not dealing with lds, but my son was very sick all through what should have been his 10 th and 11 th grade years...so sick, school was not a challenge, it was impossible....so we will be beginning 10 th grade again this summer and working through the levels at his speed. If he graduates at 20, or 21, So what? I am not going to send him off into college, or working life uneducated or unprepared for higher learn g. He was ver academically advanced up until the point he got sick.....now, he could probably finish up in 2 years....

 

Anyway, what I wanted to say is....18 years old or 12 years of education may not be the magic nu ber for each child. Homeschooling makes it possible to s

End an extra year or two or three or four if needed to be brought to a level of education that equals a strong high school background and makes it possible to pursue a higher education if that is desired. Don't be rushed by standard ages, they are arbitrary.....your child is not.

 

Faithe

 

:iagree: That is great advice.

 

Another HSer here (LoriD?) graduated one of her children when he was 19. She had an excellent post as to why, and it inspired me to let our ds start 9th in January 2012, which would let him graduate 1 month before his 19th birthday. I can't find the thread or I'd link it for you.

 

I think some of the points about dumbed down curriculum is that it isn't high school level, but the marketing is sold as such. Obviously for you, Keys To wouldn't be enough for Algebra, so you want to add more. I think the issue is with parents who would give the credit anyway just because it's easier on them and/or their dc.

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I have to venture into these sorts of threads lightly. But I might as well not ignore it, because this is just one of these areas that I'm going to have to come to terms with as I begin the high school years with a special needs child who I want to educate classically as best I can. I'd love to know your opinions on this question I've been asking of myself as I plan for this coming year:

 

Would you rather educate your child (and I'm coming from a special needs/LD perspective here) using the more rigorous materials, and have them not go as far with the materials? Or would you rather use a less-rigorous "high school level" material so it can be done?

 

For example, I remember reading somewhere that SWB says that with a child who has LDs you just stay in the lower stages longer, maybe not ever getting to rhetoric stage. Can you still issue a high school diploma for this? Or is that an example of dumbed-down education?

 

This coming year I have been planning to use Key to Algebra and, after a few months, start Lial's Introductory Algebra. The two of those together would be our Algebra 1 credit. But chances are that it would take longer to complete Algebra 1, so we might not make it past Algebra 2 before graduation. I could call Key to Algebra "Algebra 1" by itself but I want him to be able to continue with math as far as he is able to, and I don't think that Key to... alone is enough. Perhaps it would be better to use the less-rigorous MUS and get through maths that way?

 

Math struggles are going to require us to approach science from a different perspective as well, because of the upper level maths required for upper level sciences. But this leaves me to decide how to develop my own high school science that is "high school level" without being overwhelming to my son.

 

Just curious for other POV as I ponder these realities for my own situation.

 

Obviously the "special needs/LD" label crosses a wide spectrum of abilities and disabilities so there is no one size fits all answer.

 

For example, some dyslexic students are stellar in mathematics. Take my husband, for example, who has a master's degree in Mathematics but was called "stupid" by his first grade teacher because he could not understand the difference between the letter "b" and the letter "d". Classical dyslexia. My husband's mother worked with him to overcome his reading disability but the greatest self discovery he had was realizing that he does not have a "learning disability". He just thinks differently. He has used this to his advantage and is now a problem solver who works on large computer process systems. Thank goodness spell check can tell him whether he should write "ie" or "ei"--he's never figured that one out.

 

What are your student's strengths? What are his interests than can be cultivated?

 

Math is hard for many people. Those who know that they must conquer a certain amount of it in order to pursue their passions have a motivating factor.

 

Of course, motivation is often not enough. So I really do not have an answer to your question but I would encourage you to cultivate passions. Students often surprise us.

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I have been surprised by how many kids that have taken outside classes with my son have just refused to do the work outside of class. And some of these are fairly expensive classes ($150 tuition plus books and fees). Our group offers a wide variety-from the "edutainment" bi-monthly classes to weekly, honor-level high school classes. But no matter which ones we are enrolled in, there are always some kids that are just there and some that are involved and doing the work at home.

 

For those of you that have large families with wide age gaps and do not do any outside classes, how do you keep up? I am discouraged with many of the classes offered for my kids, but don't feel like I have any other option because I can't seem to keep up with all of their work in all of their subjects, plus keep a reasonably clean home and stocked refrigerator (I gave up on cooking dinner every night a while ago;)). My dh travels a lot and will not help with the schooling. Plans right now are for my 15ds to take Chemistry, Spanish III, Lit & Writing, & theater through our homeschool group. Plus he does Key Club and honor society twice a month. Key club has lots of volunteer activities, so it keeps him busy on the weekends. This is pretty much the same schedule he had last year, and it about killed me! My 12dd only did Spanish, theater, & dance, my 10ds took no outside classes (golf-aholic), my 4dd did dance and a twice a month prek class. I was run so ragged that I totally crashed by the end of May and am just starting to get my energy back. I do not want a repeat of this year. Part of the problem was that I was not able to just drop them off for these classes (exception of dance) so I had to drag the toddler out at 8:15 twice a week and stay there until lunch or later, sometimes 4pm. There was supposed to be a schedule for moms to take turns being in charge, but a lot of them just didn't show up! So the few of us who did got drafted to fill in for them. I don't imagine that will be any different this year.

So give me your best advice. How do you keep up with all that reading so that you can discuss with your kids? Mostly history and lit here. And the science experiments.

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I won't go on a rant :tongue_smilie: but I easily could. This "drop-off" at co-op education mentality drives me bonkers. I'm not quite sure how it is homeschooling???:confused: Sounds like school simply with a different twist. It is not homeschooling. It is co-op schooling. And, no, they really aren't the same thing.

 

Ok....I tried really hard. I promise. At least I kept it short!! :tongue_smilie: :lol:

 

:auto:

 

Oh boy do :iagree::iagree:! Same with CC courses. It's still not homeschooling. Same with dual enrollment at the local high school. It's still not homeschooling. If you really need to outsource, that is your decision, but please----quit calling it homeschooling! Sorry---did I just rant? :tongue_smilie:

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For those of you that have large families with wide age gaps and do not do any outside classes, how do you keep up?

 

Well, I don't qualify to answer, but in my mind, how would it be *less* work to drive each of your kids to different places, keep track of their schedules, payments, required materials, and due dates, plus fit your own classes in between the gaps? It sounds a lot like public school vs. homeschool -- some think homeschool is a lot more work, but to me, homeschool is the same amount of work but just the work I feel is important to me.

 

Julie

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Oh boy do :iagree::iagree:! Same with CC courses. It's still not homeschooling. Same with dual enrollment at the local high school. It's still not homeschooling. If you really need to outsource, that is your decision, but please----quit calling it homeschooling! Sorry---did I just rant? :tongue_smilie:

 

Hmmm...I think I may disagree with your assessment. I reached a point in high school where I no longer had the expertise. After doing my best to hang in through Latin 3, my son needed proper instruction in Latin from someone with greater knowledge. I also felt that I could not teach a solid chemistry class at home so my son took two semesters of chemistry at the CC.

 

Was he homeschooled? YES! Even though we farmed out some courses, even though the mentor for his senior project came from outside our home, we carried on with TWTM reading lists. I taught my son his mathematics courses. I facilitated so that he could explore his interests--finding books and Teaching Company courses, etc.

 

I don't have a problem with parents turning to outside sources once they hit a wall with expertise. But I would never have planted my kid in front of a computer all day for instruction. Not our speed.

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Would you rather educate your child (and I'm coming from a special needs/LD perspective here) using the more rigorous materials, and have them not go as far with the materials? Or would you rather use a less-rigorous "high school level" material so it can be done?

 

Just curious for other POV as I ponder these realities for my own situation.

 

 

Here is how I approached this same conundrum.

 

I decided that I was not homeschooling my child simply to try and stuff him into a classical box defined by Omnibus, TOG or the lovely ladies on this board. I took him out of a brick and mortar school to avoid box-stuffing, so it would have been silly to just substitute another box! The more I chewed over the issues, the more I came to the conclusion that the essential ingredients to a classical education are NOT the materials, but the method used. I focused on the outcome, used whatever materials worked with my ds and used the methods, as I understood them, that are described in the WTM.

 

It took my ds 2 years to get through Algebra I. He loved geometry, but we didn't go any higher in math. He was not aiming for a selective college, but had a specific major in mind that needs no more than Algebra I.

 

We studied some great books and many plays, and he read many plain old good books because they fit his interest and fit into our study of history. I used the Well Educated Mind as a guide for leading discussions and I used the Lively Art of Writing to introduce the essay. I didn't use a writing program, he simply wrote about whatever we were reading, came up with topics through our discussions. He also worked out his arguments through our discussions.

 

He didn't do regular biology or chemistry, but did "Life Sciences" and "Physical Sciences". Again, he was not aiming for a top 4 year college, and his science "lite" hasn't been an issue.

 

He spent most of his time working on his passion -- theatrical lighting design, and slightly less time on voice and acting. He had mentors who taught him and used him as grunt labor in loading in shows. By the time he was 18 he was being hired to light school plays and community theater. He is getting a professional degree in production design and between the degree and his already full resume he will be working steadily.

 

So my advice is to look outside the classical box. The methods for teaching thinking and writing skills work at any level, and those are the most important skills. All the content can come in most any form, and in most any context, and you will find yourself with a well rounded, articulate and interesting young adult who is great company to have around!

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Hmmm...I think I may disagree with your assessment. I reached a point in high school where I no longer had the expertise. After doing my best to hang in through Latin 3, my son needed proper instruction in Latin from someone with greater knowledge. I also felt that I could not teach a solid chemistry class at home so my son took two semesters of chemistry at the CC.

 

Was he homeschooled? YES! Even though we farmed out some courses, even though the mentor for his senior project came from outside our home, we carried on with TWTM reading lists. I taught my son his mathematics courses. I facilitated so that he could explore his interests--finding books and Teaching Company courses, etc.

 

I don't have a problem with parents turning to outside sources once they hit a wall with expertise. But I would never have planted my kid in front of a computer all day for instruction. Not our speed.

 

I'm just saying that IF you need to outsource a class, that is your personal decision. But that particular class ceases to be homeschooling, so I have a problem with it all being called homeschooling. It sounds like you homeschooled for all subjects you felt qualified for, and then outsourced what you felt needed something more. ;) Not everyone has such enriching outside sources to facilitate for their children, which it sounds like you and others have a plethora of(SO lucky!). So if a parent has outside sources with real live people, or a computer to provide that---what is the difference as far as 'facilitating'?

 

I have no problems with parents doing what they need to do to educate their children---it's not my business what methods work for some families ;) I just do have a problem with calling it ALL homeschooling when parts of it are not at all. How about Creative Schooling or Individualized Learning?

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I know. I am done homeschooling science and math this year, since my youngest is switching to taking those at CC. We expect to have to help but somebody else is doing the bulk of the teaching. I keep thinking that while we are doing all that driving, he might as well take a few more classes and eyeing the humanities classes, but then I catch myself up and remember that we have a good way of doing humanities. (Well, I don't know if it is good, exactly, but it suits us.) And that if he does them at school, he won't be doing them at home, and the homeschooling advantages like getting to pick one's own books will be lost. I have to remember that there were reasons we didn't send them to school in the first place. He'll be 17 and he has definately outgrown my ability to teach math and science, and outgrown doing all his subjects on the sofa with me. I don't mind declaring him done with homeschooling in those subjects. He isn't done with studying those subjects yet, though, so off to school he must go. Unfortunately. Or maybe fortunately. I don't know. At any rate, we now have a number of years of experience with the community college and although it avoids some of the problems associated with public high school and school in general, it definately doesn't avoid all of them. There are textbooks and teachers and plenty of apathetic students who would really rather be doing something else but whose parents have said "work or go to school" and school is pleasanter than any sort of work they can get, or at least less time consuming. We thought about having my son do the whole last two years of high school at the cc, but that would be two years less of homeschooling. At least half-and-halfing it, he gets some of the advantages of both.

 

What would you call the situation where the student is only doing half his subjects at home? I've been telling people he is going to the community college but he will still be doing some of his subjects at home with me, since I have found it advantageous to emphasize to my boys that they are college students now, but I could probably just as accurately say he was homeschooling and taking some of his classes at the cc. There isn't really a good word for what we are doing.

 

-Nan

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So if a parent has outside sources with real live people, or a computer to provide that---what is the difference as far as 'facilitating'?

I have no problems with parents doing what they need to do to educate their children---it's not my business what methods work for some families ;) I just do have a problem with calling it ALL homeschooling when parts of it are not at all.

 

I guess I really do not see much of a difference between using a curriculum that is written towards the student and guides him step by step through the material and having the same thing achieved by a real person in a different building. In both cases, the parent does not actually TEACH the material, but facilitates the learning.

I do not think one can teach material one does not have an expertise in. A parent who uses homeschool curriculum designed to be used by a non-expert is not , IMO, actually teaching either - she facilitates learning.

So, I do not see how it should be considered superior if a person outsources subjects to a book over outsourcing it to a person who is competent to teach it. In both cases, I as the parent assume responsibility for my student's learning. I can, however, not teach French if I am not proficient - so whether I use a book with CDs, or an online class, or a French tutor is in the end all the same. I, as a mother who is not proficient in French, can not TEACH it - I can only make sure my student learns.

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I know. I am done homeschooling science and math this year, since my youngest is switching to taking those at CC. We expect to have to help but somebody else is doing the bulk of the teaching. I keep thinking that while we are doing all that driving, he might as well take a few more classes and eyeing the humanities classes, but then I catch myself up and remember that we have a good way of doing humanities. (Well, I don't know if it is good, exactly, but it suits us.) And that if he does them at school, he won't be doing them at home, and the homeschooling advantages like getting to pick one's own books will be lost. I have to remember that there were reasons we didn't send them to school in the first place. He'll be 17 and he has definately outgrown my ability to teach math and science, and outgrown doing all his subjects on the sofa with me. I don't mind declaring him done with homeschooling in those subjects. He isn't done with studying those subjects yet, though, so off to school he must go. Unfortunately. Or maybe fortunately. I don't know. At any rate, we now have a number of years of experience with the community college and although it avoids some of the problems associated with public high school and school in general, it definately doesn't avoid all of them. There are textbooks and teachers and plenty of apathetic students who would really rather be doing something else but whose parents have said "work or go to school" and school is pleasanter than any sort of work they can get, or at least less time consuming. We thought about having my son do the whole last two years of high school at the cc, but that would be two years less of homeschooling. At least half-and-halfing it, he gets some of the advantages of both.

 

What would you call the situation where the student is only doing half his subjects at home? I've been telling people he is going to the community college but he will still be doing some of his subjects at home with me, since I have found it advantageous to emphasize to my boys that they are college students now, but I could probably just as accurately say he was homeschooling and taking some of his classes at the cc. There isn't really a good word for what we are doing.

 

-Nan

 

Half Time Homeschooling? I think I would really even call it that! For good or bad, we are FAR removed from any CC course availability, but I know that even when my kids get to real college, they will be in that textbook/classroom/teacher/apathetic student atmosphere at some point too, but I figure the later in their schooling career the better. I think it's totally unavoidable in today's Forced Education world. Sorry---I am just a total PITA with semantics :tongue_smilie:

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Anyway, what I wanted to say is....18 years old or 12 years of education may not be the magic nu ber for each child. Homeschooling makes it possible to s

End an extra year or two or three or four if needed to be brought to a level of education that equals a strong high school background and makes it possible to pursue a higher education if that is desired. Don't be rushed by standard ages, they are arbitrary.....your child is not.

 

Faithe

 

The problem is he will not accept that. He is already a year behind his age-mates because we 'held him back' and so will graduate after his friends. And he would not want to graduate with or after his younger sister, either.

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I guess I really do not see much of a difference between using a curriculum that is written towards the student and guides him step by step through the material and having the same thing achieved by a real person in a different building. In both cases, the parent does not actually TEACH the material, but facilitates the learning.

I do not think one can teach material one does not have an expertise in. A parent who uses homeschool curriculum designed to be used by a non-expert is not , IMO, actually teaching either - she facilitates learning.

So, I do not see how it should be considered superior if a person outsources subjects to a book over outsourcing it to a person who is competent to teach it. In both cases, I as the parent assume responsibility for my student's learning. I can, however, not teach French if I am not proficient - so whether I use a book with CDs, or an online class, or a French tutor is in the end all the same. I, as a mother who is not proficient in French, can not TEACH it - I can only make sure my student learns.

 

I guess my point is that Homeschooling occurs AT home and Classroom learning occurs OUT of the home. And yes, even though I do use curriculum that I could hand my kids to learn from, I read through the materials and attempt to teach them as best I can, even though I hold no teaching degrees and have no expertise in any particular subjects. I guess in the ideal world of education, every student would be taught only by experts in the field being studied, but in the real world this is the exception no matter at home or at school. So, my kids are 'taught' by me at home---they are Homeschooled ;)

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Homeschool does NOT mean more rigorous than PS. Classical does NOT mean more rigorous than PS.

 

Some students have LDs. Some students are more interested in worthy activities/studies not covered in the typical high school college prep scope and sequence. Some parents were poorly educated, living in poverty, have many children, etc. Children get sick. Parents get sick. Life happens.

 

I don't think we have enough materials available for families not wanting/able to complete the typical college prep scope and sequence.

 

Niffercoo, you sound like you are doing a great job, and good luck finding the right materials! :-)

 

Each family needs to write an educational mission statement and then pick materials that will help them meet THEIR goals. It doesn't matter what others are doing or thinking. All that matters is that each family walks their path at a comfortable pace, and has enough time and sense to smell the flowers along the way.

 

I think some of the Christians here need to reread Ecclesiastes :-0 Wow! :-(

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I do not think one can teach material one does not have an expertise in.

 

I disagree. Were you an expert in phonics when your child needed to learn to read? What about linguistics when you taught your child to talk? What about Botany, Biology, cooking, gardening, and so on? One can teach and not be an expert.

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Several oldtimers that I know who made enough in the curriculum world to truly contribute to their family's bottom line five or ten years ago are either out of the business or in the process of pulling out. And that experience and wisdom is being lost to the next generation who are buying the latest and greatest. Sometimes new is good, but sometimes not.

 

And I am one that is very thankful for the options. I doubt that we could have continued this far without them. I'd agree though that they are very confusing to those who are new to homeschooling.

 

It is also dangerous to make homeschooling too "easy" on the parent IMHO. Even though we use outside classes, I still read the majority of the novels, proof their writing, and require them to practice their presentations for me. And I've found that to be unusual. Most of the parents drop their kids off and let them do whatever during the week. IMHO you can't expect excellence from an outside class without parental involvement, but there's a lot who don't see the need.

 

But even "back in the day" some of the venerable homeschool products were about how to schedule or utilize some other book. I'm thinking for example of the Greenleaf Press guides to the Famous Men series.

 

I loved the Greenleaf catalog. I'm sure I wasn't the only homeschooler back then who thought that getting the entire set of history resources (what was it about $1800?) would have been like being given the key to the candy store.

 

But I recently gave away my last remaining Greenleaf guide on Paperback Swap. Because while I love the Famous Men series, I don't really need anyone to pull out vocab or comprehension questions for me.

 

I owe a lot of my desire for classical education to the Greenleaf Catalog. But in the end, the books offered weren't any better deal than Amazon and I just didn't need the guidebooks to hold my hand.

 

I don't think the percentage of families I know who are using curriculum that is school in a boxish or hand holding or outside scheduled or highly scripted (or however you want to phrase it) is that different now than when we started almost a decade ago. But knowing many more homeschoolers now than then, I know more who are using all material all across the spectrum from video classes for elementary students (my personal pet peeve) to reading great books.

 

And maybe it's because we've only recently moved to an area where there was any option of large scale coops verging on cottage schools. I just haven't seen that as the norm. Most of the families I know are at least directing their upper level kids, if not directly teaching them themselves. (But again, that could be a quirk of our being military and moving around outside the mainland for most of our homeschooling time.)

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Ok, I feel compelled to be the devil's advocate here. And, I'm not a long-timer, so I guess that colors my opinion as well.

 

I think that we're just getting more curricula. More rigorous, more watered down materials. I am grateful for a lot of the curricula that has hit the market in the last five years that has enabled me to be more rigorous in our homeschooling.

 

Some examples:

Math Mammoth. I really wanted to like Singapore, but couldn't. Math Mammoth has helped me a lot.

 

LCC. Not exactly a curriculum, but this has helped me as well lead my kids to a more rigorous and classical aproach to homeschooling.

 

TC dvd's. I haven't used these much, but I suspect I will as my kids get older. I love that there are so many to choose from.

 

Art Reed's Saxon dvds. I know many of you will not view Saxon as rigorous, but it has been around a long time, and the dvd's help ME teach my kids.

 

AoPs. Again, we haven't used this program yet, but I'm looking into it for next year. Maybe it was around 10-15 years ago. I don't know.

 

Elementary Greek. Rigorous. Maybe not. But, it has immensely helped my kids learn a rigorous subject. I know they wouldn't be learning Greek if we had to weed through an old Greek textbook. Is there something 'wrong' with this?

 

MP and MODG sylbi for Henle Latin. Again, guides to help me teach a rigorous subject.

 

And where would WWE and WWS and CW fall?

 

I"m sure there are plenty more...

 

And we go to a co-op. AAAACK. My kids are social animals. If we homeschool 4 days a week, 8 hours a day (we don't), but then spend our 5th day at a co-op, we're not homeschoolers??? My kids love gym. They love putting on plays. Would playing dodgeball by ourselves make us more likely to be considered homeschoolers? Does it matter if our plays are Homeric or Shakespearean?

 

I love that I have a ton of options to homeschool my kids. EAch year, I see more fluff, but also more rigor.

 

Laura

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I'm just saying that IF you need to outsource a class, that is your personal decision. But that particular class ceases to be homeschooling, so I have a problem with it all being called homeschooling. It sounds like you homeschooled for all subjects you felt qualified for, and then outsourced what you felt needed something more. ;) Not everyone has such enriching outside sources to facilitate for their children, which it sounds like you and others have a plethora of(SO lucky!). So if a parent has outside sources with real live people, or a computer to provide that---what is the difference as far as 'facilitating'?

 

I have no problems with parents doing what they need to do to educate their children---it's not my business what methods work for some families ;) I just do have a problem with calling it ALL homeschooling when parts of it are not at all. How about Creative Schooling or Individualized Learning?

 

I think that a couple of things are being forgotten in your attempt for Semantic Purity.

 

Some students need more than what a parent or teacher can provide. This is true in homeschools and in brick and mortar schools. So if a student at a brick and mortar takes a college class or seeks creative learning opportunities outside of the system, is he no longer a public school student?

 

Secondly, you are unusual if you can teach it all. I realized my limitations when my son was in 10th grade and doing a home cooked AP Biology class. If you can challenge your children with rigorous science and keep up with them, that is wonderful.

 

My son finished high school with four years of Latin and two and a half years of French on his transcript. I kept my head above water in Latin for several years but I knew that I could not read The Aeneid in Latin with my son and answer his questions. So do I let my limitations direct the curriculum or do I seek outside help? I chose the latter.

 

With French, I had other problems. I learned with him but unfortunately I cannot process the nuance of French vowel pronunciation. Not having an ear presented conversational issues. We had no choice but to go outside the home to give him opportunities to speak French.

 

Hats off to you for doing it all! Some of us are simply not able.

 

Jane

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I wasn't an expert in phonics, but I did know phonics. I'm not an expert in math, but I do know algebra (or at any rate, I did after I reminded myself by reading the textbook aloud). I was able to successfully teach those things. I think Regentrude is right. There are some places where I have found my knowledge wasn't enough. Genetics is a good example. It is not something I had in school and no matter how hard I tried, I could not figure out the nice little explanation of genetics in the Miller and Levine bio book. I finally asked my mother, who was a biologist. Despite not having seen the material for years and years, she was able to explain it to me. It turned out that the bio book, in an effort not to make things too complicated, glossed over some rather important steps in the process. No wonder I wasn't understanding it! At some point, my knowledge is no longer adequate. I think there is great value in learning something on one's own, with having to read and reread and ponder and puzzle and finally "get" it. In the end, nobody really can teach anybody anything - people have to teach themselves. This process can be made much easier and shorter, though, with a good teacher. I found that no matter how good the self-teaching materials, my children still could make hash of them. Self-teaching materials work nicely for us because they have enough information in them that I can learn them and reteach them, but as I said, this only goes but so far with my children. Eventually we hit the point where a good live teacher was needed.

-Nan

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The problem is he will not accept that. He is already a year behind his age-mates because we 'held him back' and so will graduate after his friends. And he would not want to graduate with or after his younger sister, either.

 

Well, that is a tough one...then again, he is 15....so there is time. Not every kid does intense mathematics in high school. Not every person needs to do much mathematics in college. I was an accounting major...on the business track in high school. I did not need to go past Algebra 1 in high school, but took business and accounting courses. I took many accounting courses in college and took my degree in accounting...again, not needing to take higher level el mathematics. I needed to be able to read really well, make decisions, understand law books etc.

 

Anyway, maybe your son just needs a different high school track. Does he know what he loves and do you see a way to turn that into a business or career? My oldest loves art...she became a graphic designer, my next loves anything physical or sports related, she is studying sports nutrition and is in a program to become a registered dietician, my next loves kids...he is studying education with a focus on math and science...my next one needs his hands on things...he loves to work....hard. He is apprenticing to become a HVAC/licensed plumber with my dh, who is both. He will pursue business and trade related classes all through his next 2 years at home and then through college.

 

My next one down will certainly follow in oldest sisters footsteps...but will probably be geared more towards publishing.

 

Anyway, it sounds as if you still have a few years to gett where you are going. I am always surprised that where my kids were when we start high school, and where they are when we finish...is an amazing transformation. I never thing they will be ready...and then somehow, they are.

 

Faithe

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Absolutely you can teach something you are not an expert in. Many teachers in many settings do exactly that. They develop knowledge in preparation, and add to that as they teach, but many, many, many teachers will tell you that even in upper level classes, they have to learn to teach something they aren't expert in. Certainly the same holds at the elementary level, especially in schools where the teachers are covering all subjects; those teachers aren't 'experts' in all of those fields. Additionally, being an expert does not always equate to being a good instructor. A diploma/degree/certificate and time spent on a subject/topic/course of study do NOT equate to an ability to communicate your knowledge to other people.

 

I'm not trying to say anyone can teach anything. But the 'expert' status is not a requirement for teaching. When it comes to teaching, a key component is modeling the basics, even modeling a global type of intelligence reflected in learning to find solutions to problems at hand. In some ways, it is beneficial to have a knowledge of a subject without a complete mastery of it, because it forces you to model learning, and to pay attention to what you are studying/teaching instead of droning on with a prepared lecture (Buehler, Buehler...).

 

I'll stop soapboxing now. :)

 

Shelly

 

 

 

Shelly

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I disagree. Were you an expert in phonics when your child needed to learn to read? What about linguistics when you taught your child to talk? What about Botany, Biology, cooking, gardening, and so on? One can teach and not be an expert.

 

I can read and know phonics. I can cook - so i can teach them to cook as well as i can cook. Not beyond that.

I can NOT teach my child any biology that I do not know myself. For instance, despite my science background, I am not competent to teach cellular respiration - I simply do not know enough biochemistry. So, in order for my child to learn about cellular respiration, we had to use a textbook written by somebody with the expertise. My DD could still LEARN about it - but I could not TEACH her, we needed the help of the textbook author.

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Absolutely you can teach something you are not an expert in. Many teachers in many settings do exactly that. They develop knowledge in preparation, and add to that as they teach, but many, many, many teachers will tell you that even in upper level classes, they have to learn to teach something they aren't expert in.

 

Which explains a lot of the problems plaguing upper level math instruction in schools, for instance. Unless you understand calculus, there is no way you can TEACH it. Unless you can speak French, you can not teach it. Impossible.

Yes, I know in this country there are language teachers who are not fluent in the language - they can not TEACH the language.

 

Would you believe somebody can teach your child to play the violin, if that person can not play the violin himself?

 

Maybe we are having a semantics disagreement. Teaching requires the ability to answer in depth questions, to explain reasons behind the material - I can not fathom teaching without knowing more than the student. Anything else is co-learning, facilitating - whatever you want to call it. But not teaching in my book.

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Which explains a lot of the problems plaguing upper level math instruction in schools, for instance. Unless you understand calculus, there is no way you can TEACH it. Unless you can speak French, you can not teach it. Impossible.

I do see your point, and I think this is some of what Liping Ma's beef is. Not only do elem math teachers not understand calculus, they don't really deeply understand elem math. I know I had a whole new insight into the number system in one of the last math classes I ever took.

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Here are some statistics on "Out-of-Field" teaching: http://nces.ed.gov/ssbr/pages/field.asp. If a teacher has no major and no certification in the course subject area, they are considered an out-of-field teacher.

 

This is a summary of the data from 1999-2000:

 

Subject Middle School/High School

English 58.3/29.8

Foreign language 60.7/47.6

Mathematics 68.5/31.4

Science 57.2/27.3

Biology/life science 64.2/44.7

Physical science 93.2/63.1

Chemistry --/61.1

Geology/earth/space science --/78.6

Physics --/66.5

Social science 51.1/27.9

History 71.0/62.5

ESL/bilingual education 72.9/70.8

Arts and music 15.0/19.6

Physical education 18.9/19.1

 

I'm not posting this to be argumentative. I am posting it because I would hate to see someone who was willing to try to teach something be deterred by their lack of expert status, or deterred because of the pressure to let the 'experts' at another institution teach it instead. Hope that makes sense.

 

Shelly

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I think you are right about the semantics. I have subjects that I colearn with my boys and subjects that I teach. As they have gotten older, colearning has become more difficult if not impossible.

-Nan

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OK, so quite a large percentage of teachers in schools have no knowledge about the subject they are "teaching".

Seeing the outcome of public school education in this country makes me think that this is not a very successful path.

 

I had a student last semester whose high school physics class was "taught" by a biology teacher who openly admitted that they would not cover certain topics because she did not understand them. On paper, these students passed a highschool physics course. In reality, they learned very little.

I don't blame the biology teacher - she should not have been made to teach something she does not know about.

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I think you are right about the semantics. I have subjects that I colearn with my boys and subjects that I teach. As they have gotten older, colearning has become more difficult if not impossible.

-Nan

 

I co-learn a LOT with my kids. Which is something I love about homeschooling - all the things *I* get to learn, too!

We co-learn history (thanks, Dr. Vandiver and Teaching Company!), we co-learn biology (thanks, Campbell and Reece). We co-learn French.

I assign work, I help structure, I find resources to clarify complicated points, I help motivate... I just don't teach.

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I understand your point as well. You're right, we are arguing semantics to a certain extent. I don't mean to be implying that I think anyone can teach any subject or that a person can teach without acquiring their own knowledge base BEFORE teaching a topic/subject. I also feel like I am getting a little off-topic by comparing situations in a flawed school system to the situation in 1000+ homeschools that all look a little bit different from each other and are all flawed in their own ways. :001_unsure: At the core of it all, I actually think, regentrude, that you and I have very similar philosophies on education.

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I'm not posting this to be argumentative. I am posting it because I would hate to see someone who was willing to try to teach something be deterred by their lack of expert status, or deterred because of the pressure to let the 'experts' at another institution teach it instead. Hope that makes sense.

 

Shelly

 

Shelly,

 

Yes but--how many subjects can you co-learn at one time and continue to teach adequately? You may be able to keep up with your WTM reading, learn French, relearn your high school Latin, and master all the new biochemistry that is required of a modern high school student. And have dinner on the table and a clean bathroom. Some of us reach a point where there are not enough hours in the day to prepare all subjects well for our curious and engaged students.

 

In another post, I mentioned the difficulty I had in hearing French vowels. No matter how many hours I put into the subject daily, I was not going to master French conversation.

 

I do think that parents can learn along with their students. Within reason.

 

Jane

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I posted this a minute ago under another of your posts, but it is relevant here, too.

 

I don't mean to be implying that I think anyone can teach any subject or that a person can teach without acquiring their own knowledge base BEFORE teaching a topic/subject. I also feel like I am getting a little off-topic by comparing situations in a flawed school system to the situation in 1000+ homeschools that all look a little bit different from each other and are all flawed in their own ways.

 

What I'm trying to express, I guess, is that a person can acquire an expertise in an area, and can facilitate learning to a large extent, even if they weren't previously an expert. Does that mean that I could become expert "enough" to teach different languages to different children if I weren't fluent? No, because there isn't enough time. But might I be able to facilitate that learning to a certain extent, or even become bilingual in order to teach a language? Yes. In reality, I probably wouldn't have the time or inclination to become fluent in another language. At that point, I'm only expert enough to send my child to an instructor outside my home. But the fact that I'm not fluent today in say, French, does not mean that I couldn't be fluent and capable of teaching the language by the time my 9yo wants to learn it.

 

Now I feel off-topic again. :leaving:

 

Shelly

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:lurk5: Great discussion, and I've enjoyed reading through it.

 

Shelly...Thanks for posting the summary.

 

Here are some statistics on "Out-of-Field" teaching: http://nces.ed.gov/ssbr/pages/field.asp. If a teacher has no major and no certification in the course subject area, they are considered an out-of-field teacher.

 

This is a summary of the data from 1999-2000:

 

Subject Middle School/High School

English 58.3/29.8

Foreign language 60.7/47.6

Mathematics 68.5/31.4

Science 57.2/27.3

Biology/life science 64.2/44.7

Physical science 93.2/63.1

Chemistry --/61.1

Geology/earth/space science --/78.6

Physics --/66.5

Social science 51.1/27.9

History 71.0/62.5

ESL/bilingual education 72.9/70.8

Arts and music 15.0/19.6

Physical education 18.9/19.1

 

I'm not posting this to be argumentative. I am posting it because I would hate to see someone who was willing to try to teach something be deterred by their lack of expert status, or deterred because of the pressure to let the 'experts' at another institution teach it instead. Hope that makes sense.

 

Shelly

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Hmmm...I think I may disagree with your assessment. I reached a point in high school where I no longer had the expertise. After doing my best to hang in through Latin 3, my son needed proper instruction in Latin from someone with greater knowledge. I also felt that I could not teach a solid chemistry class at home so my son took two semesters of chemistry at the CC.

 

Was he homeschooled? YES! Even though we farmed out some courses, even though the mentor for his senior project came from outside our home, we carried on with TWTM reading lists. I taught my son his mathematics courses. I facilitated so that he could explore his interests--finding books and Teaching Company courses, etc.

 

I don't have a problem with parents turning to outside sources once they hit a wall with expertise. But I would never have planted my kid in front of a computer all day for instruction. Not our speed.

 

I agree with Jane and Regentrude on most of their points. My older son took some courses at the CC his senior year not so much for learning the subject matter, but for teaching him independence and getting along in a classroom. A couple of years later, he still says that his time at the CC was the most important thing that helped him transition well to a 4-year college. I know kids from some families who did not use any CC courses -- their kids went on to do well at college, too. As someone says, a lot depends upon the particular student and his/her needs.

 

I currently have my younger son taking 1 class at a local hs enrichment center. This coming year, it will be a literature class. Yes, I could do literature with him at home, but this class meets several needs for him. He's the only one home now, and he's a social kids, so going out twice a week to this course will get him into a social circle that he craves. He needs that contact for his well being. My older one did not have similar needs. The other thing that pushed me to have him take this outside course is that the teacher is well-loved and an expert in literature. His enthusiasm for the subject excites his students. Over the years, I've found that having an enthusiastic teacher is often related to how much the student enjoys and learns from the class.

 

I definitely understand that not everyone lives in an area where CC or other outside courses are easy to find (or afford). In those cases, I hope that parents would choose from the best available materials and resources with which to teach their students. Even though my sons take some outside courses, I still consider us to be homeschooling. I teach the majority of their subjects at home, and I choose any outside courses they take.

 

Brenda

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I posted this a minute ago under another of your posts, but it is relevant here, too.

 

I don't mean to be implying that I think anyone can teach any subject or that a person can teach without acquiring their own knowledge base BEFORE teaching a topic/subject. I also feel like I am getting a little off-topic by comparing situations in a flawed school system to the situation in 1000+ homeschools that all look a little bit different from each other and are all flawed in their own ways.

 

What I'm trying to express, I guess, is that a person can acquire an expertise in an area, and can facilitate learning to a large extent, even if they weren't previously an expert. Does that mean that I could become expert "enough" to teach different languages to different children if I weren't fluent? No, because there isn't enough time. But might I be able to facilitate that learning to a certain extent, or even become bilingual in order to teach a language? Yes. In reality, I probably wouldn't have the time or inclination to become fluent in another language. At that point, I'm only expert enough to send my child to an instructor outside my home. But the fact that I'm not fluent today in say, French, does not mean that I couldn't be fluent and capable of teaching the language by the time my 9yo wants to learn it.

 

Now I feel off-topic again. :leaving:

 

Shelly

 

No--don't leave! We have not had such an active and engaging thread on this board for a while. Stay at the table, please!

 

I think that I may have failed in not asking for a sabbatical in France before getting pregnant.

 

Jane

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I agree with you. (see my post just above this one)

 

And, believe me, I have only about half the hours I need in my day; haha! Seriously, I have a high schooler, a middle schooler, and elementary schooler, and a preschooler, a husband who travels extensively for work, and a house in an area of the country where although there are 10,000+ residents, we have not one single drive-through restaurant closer than 15 minutes from me (meaning I have to spend WAY more time cooking than I would like to!).

 

I can't co-learn more than a handful of subjects, I do get dinner on the table most nights (although sometimes it is waffles and frozen sausage), but my bathrooms are only marginally clean at any given moment. ;) I'm on these boards much less than I would like to be, and I'm only here now because we are having an amazingly balmy 76 degree day, so I've thrown most of my children outside! My point is, I absolutely agree with you. There is a limit to what can be done, and I did not mean to suggest that there wasn't.

 

Shelly

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Me, too. If I weren't colearning most of the things, it would be dreadfully boring. I am obviously not cut out to be a teacher LOL.

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I am not for semantic purity...and I hybrid homeschool sometimes, especially in the upper grades, but it is what it is. I think educational choices are wonderful, and when I need to farm out a class, I have no problem doing it, especially if one is available. I could not teach my high schoolers everything they needed...we hybrid home schooled. My 16 year old is apprenticing under his dad right now and taking outside trade related classes. I could NOT teach him how to pass the EPA exams or how to service an oil boiler....

 

I could not teach my oldest how to use in-design or photo shop pro, or how to use oil paints. She took classes for those things.

 

I do not think classes in and of themselves are bad things, on the contrary, I like to have them in my arsenal.

 

I guess my problem lies in parents who do not want to send their kids to public or private school...but somehow try to farm out every dang subject, refuse to teach their own kids anything including plain old manners and discipline, get annoyed when there is homework involved, then claim they are homeschooling....ummmm, no, not so much.

 

It also gets my goat when curriculum developers write materials that us dumb moms can pass off to our kids to make our jobs easy. Homeschooling is not easy, it is hard! It takes precedence over every other interest. It consumes my time and energy. It causes me to ask myself very hard questions and then forces me to answer them. I don't want to purchase junk...and I don't want to hand junk off to my kid doe because the experts say it is "enough".

 

What I love are well written, sequential, clearly written manuals that can be tweaked and supplemented easily to personalize it for my children. That is why I love TWTM. It speaks to me.....I can move my children through the stages of learning without feeling constrained by an badly written curriculum.

 

I am ranting now...sorry.......

Faithe

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This is a GREAT thread, isn't it?!!

 

:iagree:

 

I'm at the point where I'm doing a lot of co-learning. I got stuck on an algebra concept last month. Thankfully I was working ahead of ds, but I had to watch Khan Academy and reference two other sources before it clicked in my 44-year-old brain.

 

I'm already planning and studying for classes for a year or two down the road. I'll never be expert enough to teach some of them, but I hope to be educated enough to understand my weaknesses and when and where to turn for help.

 

We may not eat nice dinners for the next few years though. :tongue_smilie:

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I think that a couple of things are being forgotten in your attempt for Semantic Purity.

 

Some students need more than what a parent or teacher can provide. This is true in homeschools and in brick and mortar schools. So if a student at a brick and mortar takes a college class or seeks creative learning opportunities outside of the system, is he no longer a public school student?

 

Secondly, you are unusual if you can teach it all. I realized my limitations when my son was in 10th grade and doing a home cooked AP Biology class. If you can challenge your children with rigorous science and keep up with them, that is wonderful.

 

My son finished high school with four years of Latin and two and a half years of French on his transcript. I kept my head above water in Latin for several years but I knew that I could not read The Aeneid in Latin with my son and answer his questions. So do I let my limitations direct the curriculum or do I seek outside help? I chose the latter.

 

With French, I had other problems. I learned with him but unfortunately I cannot process the nuance of French vowel pronunciation. Not having an ear presented conversational issues. We had no choice but to go outside the home to give him opportunities to speak French.

 

Hats off to you for doing it all! Some of us are simply not able.

 

Jane

 

 

I don't have a choice but to 'do it all'! If my son really wanted to learn to read The Aenid in Latin......he's either on his own or has to wait until college! If, and I say IF, my kids really needed more in terms of a 'real' teacher, more rigor, etc.-----they are out of luck here. We don't have the unlimited $$$ for the rigorous online classes I see talked about here and other places AND we are geographically extremely remote, so they will have to wait until they graduate high school for those extras.

 

I say Hat's Off to all of you ladies who have the extra's at your fingertips! :001_smile:

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GRIN - I recaptured what school French I had and then went on to learn a whole lot more so that I could teach my son, enough so that we can use a French middle school history book and so that I could have conversations and even do some translating for the non-French-speakers when I was with a group in Europe. It took a ton of time and I feel now that I am at the point where in order to progress, I need to be in a situation where I am getting a lot more speaking practice with fluent speakers. I can still fix some of my son's grammar and add to his vocabulary a bit, but other than that, he is level with me. He also needs immersion or very good teaching at this point.

 

I should have outsourced Latin a long time ago. Before the need for heavy science and math for an engineer showed up, when we still had time.

 

Shelley - I had a good time one Thanksgiving discussing teaching with a cousin. He taught middle school science almost his whole career. That year, he had been asked to teach Russian literature!!!! All of a sudden, we had something in common. He spent the summer studying Russian history and reading Russian lit in order to be prepared. Niether of us could believe he had been asked to do such a thing.

 

And you do make a good point. I tried various writing curriculums, but in the end what really worked was learning to write myself and then teaching my children. I did it the same way that I cook - I read every recipe I could get my hands on and then made up my own version. Sigh.

 

-Nan

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And we go to a co-op. AAAACK. My kids are social animals. If we homeschool 4 days a week, 8 hours a day (we don't), but then spend our 5th day at a co-op, we're not homeschoolers??? My kids love gym. They love putting on plays. Would playing dodgeball by ourselves make us more likely to be considered homeschoolers? Does it matter if our plays are Homeric or Shakespearean?

 

I love that I have a ton of options to homeschool my kids. EAch year, I see more fluff, but also more rigor.

 

Laura

 

Of course you guys are homeschoolers!!! 4 days a week :tongue_smilie: Again, I will repeat how lucky ALL of you are who HAVE these options for something other than THE rotten public school in town and ONLY public school BALL sports (baseball, football, basketball, volleyball...) that trump academics no matter what.

 

My kids would probably be a lot more social too if where we lived wasn't almost completely devoid of culture and intellect. They don't play these BALL sports that dominate, and don't attend THE public school for even one rotten class----so we are basically invisible. Homeric and Shakespearean plays----sigh.......I can dream can't I ??:001_huh:

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I guess my problem lies in parents who do not want to send their kids to public or private school...but somehow try to farm out every dang subject, refuse to teach their own kids anything including plain old manners and discipline, get annoyed when there is homework involved, then claim they are homeschooling....ummmm, no, not so much.

 

This is also my big beef. In some of the families I know, there is little if any true schooling happening. They just drop off at a co-op and expect the teacher to do it all for them. There is no checking homework, no seeing to it that the student works through a study guide, nothing! It is so discouraging! But they assume that because they call it homeschooling that they are doing more than the public schools - um..NO!

 

Then I come to this board and see how many of you are handling high school and it sets a new bar for me! I love the options we have whether it be an excellent co-op, concurrent enrollment, online courses, etc. I am still in charge of my students' education - call it whatever you will - and that allows me to tailor it to our special needs and interests.

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Ok, I feel compelled to be the devil's advocate here. And, I'm not a long-timer, so I guess that colors my opinion as well.

 

I think that we're just getting more curricula. More rigorous, more watered down materials. I am grateful for a lot of the curricula that has hit the market in the last five years that has enabled me to be more rigorous in our homeschooling.

 

Some examples:

Math Mammoth. I really wanted to like Singapore, but couldn't. Math Mammoth has helped me a lot.

 

LCC. Not exactly a curriculum, but this has helped me as well lead my kids to a more rigorous and classical aproach to homeschooling.

 

TC dvd's. I haven't used these much, but I suspect I will as my kids get older. I love that there are so many to choose from.

 

Art Reed's Saxon dvds. I know many of you will not view Saxon as rigorous, but it has been around a long time, and the dvd's help ME teach my kids.

 

AoPs. Again, we haven't used this program yet, but I'm looking into it for next year. Maybe it was around 10-15 years ago. I don't know.

 

Elementary Greek. Rigorous. Maybe not. But, it has immensely helped my kids learn a rigorous subject. I know they wouldn't be learning Greek if we had to weed through an old Greek textbook. Is there something 'wrong' with this?

 

MP and MODG sylbi for Henle Latin. Again, guides to help me teach a rigorous subject.

 

And where would WWE and WWS and CW fall?

 

I"m sure there are plenty more...

 

And we go to a co-op. AAAACK. My kids are social animals. If we homeschool 4 days a week, 8 hours a day (we don't), but then spend our 5th day at a co-op, we're not homeschoolers??? My kids love gym. They love putting on plays. Would playing dodgeball by ourselves make us more likely to be considered homeschoolers? Does it matter if our plays are Homeric or Shakespearean?

 

I love that I have a ton of options to homeschool my kids. EAch year, I see more fluff, but also more rigor.

 

Laura

 

I don't think this was really the point of this discussion...who are the "real" homeschoolers, but the influx of crummy materials designed to check a box and say you are finished...even though the material was covered poorly at best.

 

I think as homeschoolers it is wonderful to have an entire arsenal at our fingertips....BUT, we better know the difference between an cap gun and an ouzi!

 

I will use DVDs, outside gym classes, art classes, music lessons, foreign language seminars and what have you....but the crux of our homeschool needs to be home based and mom ( or dad or older sibling) based. The materials we use must conform to our family goals and the individual goals oc each of our children. They must be relevant to the season of life we are in as a family, and the stage of development of our children. There is nothing inherently wrong with using a less" rigorous" program if it fulfills that Childs goals and that families goals...AND will help them into their next academic stage. But to choose a program on the virtue that it is easy and you can check off the box, and trick yourself into believing that you are setting that child up for a top tier school, well, that is not only foolish, but disappointing to both the family and the child.

 

I enjoy a great variety to choose from, but it does take some experience to even figure out what you are looking for. That is the wonderful thing about this board. We can save someone else the torture of flinging a crummy program across the room and the money that it cost. We can point each other into a direction, with caring hearts, to the better of what is out there.

 

A four or five day a week co- op is not homeschooling...nor, at the risk of offending anyone is a full load of k-12.....but so what. Maybe that is what is best for that family at that time....that really wasn't the issue of the op. The issue was are homeschool materials being dumbed down...and I have to say yes....because there is definitely a market for those materials. Do we Ned to buy them?? No. We don't. Sometimes it is great to talk loudly with the purse strings.

 

Faithe

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