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I guess I was not wrong that this word has what I consider to be a negative connotation in English, or at least, I would not want the majority of these words to be descriptive of my family's homeschooling experience.

 

 

I don't think most people intend that meaning either, but (like you) I have the same feeling about the word.

 

I love the idea of being vigorous. Sounds energetic, like a nice dive into a frozen lake! Ha ha.

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Wow! This is some thread! I can't wait to read it all. I go away for one day and you guys have this great discussion.....:D

Faithe... Who believes rigor is arbitrary. My kids have read Homer for fun, while hanging upside-down on a swing in the yard....yet...we do have such trouble in the Maths dept. Sigh.

 

Off to read....

And oh, my kids are not miserable with hard studies....quite the opposite. If I don't challenge them...they get bored and go off and challenge themselves. I call it stealth studies.

 

Faithe

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I now find that I write responses to threads and then turn around and delete as many as I actually post. I do want to be helpful when I can, but on the other hand, it's so easy to be jumped on for being a classical homeschooler and I end up, some days more than others, with cold feet. I have brave moments; I've recently contributed to a couple of the more dramatic threads on dumbing-down, etc. But, I do find myself editing far more (probably a good thing :001_smile:) and sharing much less of what we did with dd and are doing with ds, then I could.

 

Faith

 

Please don't stop! I love your posts! I will admit that I just now joined, but I have occasionally lurked since I picked up the WTM book about 6-7 years ago. And it does seem a lot more laid-back and unschoolish here than what I expected. We used to unschool so I hoped this would be a safer spot away from that idea. It really crashed and burned for us, so hearing advice about how I should back off or unschool do put me off. But to each their own!

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I try to be careful not to post lists of books that appear in TWTM, but so much else that I post is just a repeat of what is in TWTM that I often feel like I am doing SWB and JW a disservice by trying to help people here.

-Nan

 

Nan -- On the contrary!!! It isn't a disservice but a sales pitch!! I often think you and I are proselytizers in chief for TWEM and like to think that, if anything, we are encouraging people to buy the book. I have many a time also linked the Peach Hill Press page with all the downloadable lectures available for sale.

 

I know I've also talked quite a bit about the rhetoric stage section of the WTM as I personally love the approach for history and literature. I love that in the most recent edition of the WTM, there is a discussion of how to deal with history when you've got a single minded child -- I think the topic described is sports and how you can do a history of ball games. I did something similar with my Aspie and it was wonderful.

 

Definitely keep talking up the books!

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One of the cautionary flags that I would like to raise though concerns closing doors rather than opening them for our children. (Jenny--I am not referring to you here!) I do not buy into the belief that one is a science person or a humanities person.

 

There are compelling reasons for following a child-led education. But I would not sacrifice "well rounded" for the sake of child led. (Not that everyone does--I understand that.)

 

Which brings me back to TWTM. I believe that "The Book" gives a skeletal structure for The Well Rounded Student.

 

Well as the person with the most recent humanities intersecting with science thread I just wanted to comment that you get threads like that precisely BECAUSE WE ARE RELUCTANT to create that dichotomy or give a poor foundation. I totally agree about leaving doors open. If I, or others, didn't agree with that, we wouldn't be posting here trying to figure out how in the WORLD we can make it work. But that said, *we* know our situation and see the kids we're teaching. I actually think the greatest flaw on the boards is that people so easily end up extrapolating that what they see in their dc or dc they've met will carry over to someone else's unique situation.

 

But that's just me. I can imagine a world where a dc would do all the things I'd rigorously like to do. Maybe if others tried imagining a scenario where the parents *want* to do the same things you do and are stymied at every turn, needing to get out of the box, the perspectives would balance out. Clearly I don't hang out enough here. Maybe there have been some people that really don't care about anything but the bare minimum, checking in and out, but then why would they bother to be here? :001_huh:

 

I'll have to think about that WTM as the model of well-rounded. Yes it hits a lot of subjects, but the output is flat compared to the multi-faceted kid I see in my house.

 

To the extent that there's a dichotomy, the split is between the vision of rigor I HAD and what I can really get DONE.

 

Janice -

I have given up assuming that people have read TWTM when I answer a post.

 

Although it does seem odd to me to come to the boards and not want to read WTM *at all*, it doesn't seem strange to me that someone might not have read *all* of it or might benefit from advice to go re-read a section. I know I've usually just read the section I'm in and one grade ahead, just to see where it's going. If you read too far ahead, you get overwhelmed, kwim?

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But that said, *we* know our situation and see the kids we're teaching. I actually think the greatest flaw on the boards is that people so easily end up extrapolating that what they see in their dc or dc they've met will carry over to someone else's unique situation.

 

 

:iagree:

The problem with discussions about "rigor" comes when a person or group of people proclaim that only their particular definition of rigor counts, that the approach they use is the only way to true excellence, and/or that the specific model of education to which they adhere should be used by everybody else because to do anything otherwise is to compromise and shortchange your child.

 

This doesn't mean that "everybody's rigorous in their own way" or that anything goes. But it does mean that an excellent, challenging, rigorous (and even a classical, as Jackie's post elucidates) education can take multiple forms.

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I have only been homeschooling for one year, although as I look back I have been schooling my dc from the beginning. I remember teaching them how to read at 4 years old by spending 15 minutes of indiv. time with each of them before bed. Many at our local ps would say that I am 'over the top' rigorous and why can't I just let them have fun as a child. (As I type this I am listening to their giggles and laughter as they are all racing each other on scooters outside). In fact those same ps teachers asked me why in the world did I teach them how to read already as I was enrolling them in kindergarten.

 

We live on a farm where my children have learned the beauty of working hard (fixing fences, feeding cows, moving cows to a diff. pasture, driving tractor, etc.) and they don't feel like THAT is punishment, in fact they enjoy it, so why in the world would I feel badly about giving them an excellent and rigorous education? I have learned that I will be walking my own path in our community and I am alright with that, and my dc will be better than alright. I have seen amazing changes in them this past year, and although it is a LOT of work and research I appreciate these boards and its members leading me in the direction I want to take my kids. I couldn't have gotten this far without it.

 

Paula (Elegant Lion) can I just say to you that I appreciate so much that you posted your upcoming curriculum, along with challenges (like the weeks of writing you did with Z) I know many of you are reluctant to share what you are doing, but honestly for me... this place is about the only place I can go to FIND information like that. Others have been kind enough to share schedules, insights and resources with me as well, and I have found that invaluable. Please PLEASE please be willing to share what you are doing. I look at something like one of the poster's dc giving their meanings of what 'rigor' is and all I want to know is WHAT ARE YOU USING?!?!? HOW DO YOU DO THAT??? HOW DO I GET MY KIDS THERE?? I just don't know where to find all the resources you are using, and sometimes I don't understand how to get from here to there. I would prefer to learn from those who have gone before me, but if you become unwilling to share the 'specifics' because you are concerned about the reaction of others just remember people like me who are WAITING WAITING WAITING and more than eager to listen.

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Well rounded - specializing

Developing a talent - spending all one's time trying to become barely adequate at an untalent

 

It seems as though much of this depends on time. With an infinate amount of time and the resources and if I were knowledgable and a good teacher, I would take my children through a draconian training everything (well, almost - some things I prefer them to be bad at or unfamiliar with). Unfortunately, there is a limit to our resources, my knowledge, and my ability to teach. That isn't what I want to talk about, though. There isn't much I can do about those things. What I can do is decide where to spend our time. Having decided to homeschool, that is the most agonizing homeschooling decision I have to make. Is it better to spend the large amount of time necessary to make my child barely adequate at something at which he is naturally bad? Or is it better to spend his time making him good at something, something at which he can succeed? Ultimately, he needs to be reasonably good at something. He would be better at that something if in addition he were fairly well rounded, but this is where I might slam up against time constraints. It takes a lot of time to do many things and become well rounded. It takes a lot of time to become adequate at something at which one is not good (like academics). It takes a lot of time to become extra good at something at which one is talented. That is three "a lot of times", probably two more than we actually have. Sigh.

Teaching my boys to write merely adequately has taken a lot of time.

Teaching my boys a foreign language (to say nothing of several) has taken a lot of time and we haven't succeeded very well.

Math takes a ton of time.

They seem to read well naturally (once they learned how) but that doesn't mean that it hasn't taken quite a lot of time to teach them how to digest something more complicated (in other words - study).

None of those things is optional.

Where does that leave us?

With very little time to develop talents or become well-rounded. I haven't been willing to give up the dream of having them well-rounded, especially since they are specializing in college, not only specializing but going (or planning on going) through a course of study there that has precious little room for anything but classes for their future career.

So we skimp.

And I wind up feeling like we are doing everything badly rather than anything well.

Sigh.

 

-Nan

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Amen Nan. And the trouble is, for some kids those things WON'T be an issue. For some kids, that list will get hit and *not* take a lot of time. Or just the mom-sucking effort. Or if the time is there, how about the KID-draining effort? I mean at some point our kids notice that we've become imbalanced and that the advantages of homeschooling are gone and that they're just checking off lists again. Not like they're dumb, unreflective, or oblivious to this.

 

Now if we could make things *easy* and still do a good job AND shorten the time, now wouldn't that be amazing? LOL I just haven't figured out a way to take something that is not naturally easy or fast and make it faster and still do a good job.

 

They even get their own misperceptions. Like last night she said to me that the math is HARD. Well chickadee, it's supposed to make you stretch like that. I do think though that would be the opposite of rigor (hmmm, maybe that's easier to define?), if our kids were to get the sense that everything should depend on their whims and motivation, nothing should be hard or require getting over yourself, etc.

 

But yes, if someone looks at another person's curriculum list and concludes they aren't "rigorous" enough, without even having the CONTEXT to know what it took to get to that point (mentally, time-wise, mother-burn-out-wise, etc.), then that really stinks.

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Well rounded - specializing

Developing a talent - spending all one's time trying to become barely adequate at an untalent

 

It seems as though much of this depends on time. . Is it better to spend the large amount of time necessary to make my child barely adequate at something at which he is naturally bad? Or is it better to spend his time making him good at something, something at which he can succeed? Ultimately, he needs to be reasonably good at something. He would be better at that something if in addition he were fairly well rounded, but this is where I might slam up against time constraints. It takes a lot of time to do many things and become well rounded. It takes a lot of time to become adequate at something at which one is not good (like academics). It takes a lot of time to become extra good at something at which one is talented. That is three "a lot of times", probably two more than we actually have. Sigh.

 

With very little time to develop talents or become well-rounded. I haven't been willing to give up the dream of having them well-rounded, especially since they are specializing in college, not only specializing but going (or planning on going) through a course of study there that has precious little room for anything but classes for their future career.

So we skimp.

And I wind up feeling like we are doing everything badly rather than anything well.

Sigh.

 

-Nan

 

My guideline has always been that, up to high school, it's all about working on these weaknesses. Once they are in high school, though, it has to be mainly about building up their strengths. It's the strengths that will get them into college, and most likely they will choose their career from the strengths. If in high school, you keep concentrating on remediating their weaknesses, they may not end up good enough in anything. That was my focus with my oldest and a good friend of mine did the same with the 2 she has graduated so far.

 

With my next oldest, though, it is even harder because she has pretty severe dyslexia and dysgraphia, but knows so much about other areas and loves other areas. Now that she's in high school, do we spend hours each week continuing tutoring, struggling to get her to learn how to write without it taking forever, or do we just compensate for those areas with software and technology and make her strengths as impressive as they can be? And with my next after her, that child is about as unbalanced as she can be - she's written several novels, has no problem with rhetoric-level logic, is learning Swedish, but still struggles with elementary math! Should we spend tons of time on math to get her up to par, when she is not likely to ever do math voluntarily again in her life?? It's these kinds of dilemmas that keep me up at night, and also because I have 4 other dc I am trying to educate.

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Joan - I go to the post under which I want to appear and click on one of the reply buttons.

 

I don't see that button in the linear mode except at the end of the thread and at the bottom of every page....so it seems it's impossible to put a new post in the right place unless one happens to be responding to the previous post, in linear mode...

 

 

I will try to remember to address my posts, not that I realize how confusing it must be to some people. I now understand why some people aren't posting in the "proper" place, also. Not that it bothered me - I just wondered why.

Does that help?

-Nan

 

It helps enormously when you put the name of the person you are addressing...thanks!

 

Joan

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I tend to stay out of these types of threads and I certainly have not read every post. Something about this thread is really bothering me though.

 

I think it is important for you all to know that there are many of us who don't post that much but read, re-read, take notes on and sometimes print your posts. We aren't so busy posting or answering questions because we are busy learning from all of you.

 

Yes, I have read TWTM. I own books 1 and 2. When my oldest was in middle school, I bought TWEM and began studying it based on the recommendations of many of you here.

 

When I first began, only TWTM 1 was out. I followed it to a t with my then first grader. We had problems. I re-read the book and found the JW says not to follow every bit of the program as written but to tweak and modify it to fit individual needs. That's where I turned to this board. My oldest had sensory issues, ADD and dyslexia. He's also gifted. I didn't know how to adapt the program to work for him until I began to read the boards.

 

JennW - if you only knew how many times I've re-read your posts on teaching literature. Your ideas on grouping the literature in different ways, not just chronological, have really helped us. I have some of the posts printed out and in a folder that I refer to often.

 

Nan - In another thread that you began, I just said that I had saved a post from you regarding chemistry. It's one of many of your posts that I have saved.

 

Joan in Geneva- I've saved many of your posts for future reference too. And that goes for many other people on this board whose experience and ideas help all of us tweak and mold this classical model to fit our children.

 

All of this is to say that I don't want you all to despair, thinking that most of us have traveled away from a rigorous, classical homeschool model. I know people in real life who read these boards but don't post. Like I said, I don't post that much because I am busy reading and learning from you all.

 

Also, I feel a little intimidated about posting on this board. While I am considered a well-educated person by my level of schooling, I know I can't speak intelligently enough for most of the conversations on this board. So, I read, take notes and learn. Please, don't stop posting about what you are doing. If you need me to come out in support of you all more often, I will. I didn't realize that was an issue. I admire all of you and hope you will continue to post your thoughts, ideas and experiences here.

 

Now I have to go an comb my 4-year old's wet hair before she tangles it more. Maybe this is why my brain is mush!

Take care and know that you a blessing to many of us.

Denise

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Although it does seem odd to me to come to the boards and not want to read WTM *at all*, it doesn't seem strange to me that someone might not have read *all* of it or might benefit from advice to go re-read a section. I know I've usually just read the section I'm in and one grade ahead, just to see where it's going. If you read too far ahead, you get overwhelmed, kwim?

 

Disagreeing.

Now, I can qualify that in one of two ways.

 

I might launch into 1000+ words discussing why it has been helpful for me to read the book cover-to-cover in a short span of time more than once! Yes, it was overwhelming. Oh well. Time to get over myself. Personal progress will make it less overwhelming the next time. And that is ultimately a good thing in so many ways.

 

It might actually be a very encouraging post.

 

At the risk of making this post even MORE confusing, but for the sake of clarity, I am going to add this extra info here while I still have the edit function available to me... this has been added the next day.... PLEASE keep in mind while you read this, I am NOT advocating that home schoolers need to read TWTM in order to demonstrate fortitude or in order to home educate well. Nor am I saying that I think hsers should read TWTM in order to participate on these forums - not that my opinion matters that much; I'm not in charge here. I wrote the following paragraph as a "thought experiment": a way to rethink our connections here on these boards.

So please try to stick with me. This is a thought experiment.

 

Going back to the top - IF I disagree with Elizabeth and I think she is wrong about something and I really want to offer her a leg-up, I have two options. Door #1 or Door #2. Door #2 is harsh. It is. But I think sometimes folks are blunt/harsh because they are really trying to help without candy-coating the solution. Sometimes folks just respond with Door#2. I know I have. Now in the following paragraph, I use very blunt words in order to make my point. But remember, this is a thought experiment so the extremes make the point clearer for the sake of discussion. (I would never SAY it to someone for real.) I am not trying to generate division on these forums. These forums are inclusive. I like that about this place. Continuing with the original post....

 

Or door #2. The book is only a bit over 700 pages. If you don't have the time or persistence to read 700 pages, than I would suggest that you don't have the time or fortitude to homeschool. If you lack the ability to read the book and understand it, then just put on your big girl pants and read it anyway! Yes, it's overwhelming. Yes, it makes you feel like a dolt. So what? Do it anyway. (As if feeling like an idiot or having no idea what I was doing has allowed me to get out of doing what I have been required to do every day for the last twelve years. :confused: You do. You learn. You master sixth grade writing and BAM! Viola! seventh grade is here; chin down, buck up; start the faithful plod - you approach the next thing you aren't qualified for. The nature of the game.) So just read the book; it's not really that big of a deal. Drag yourself forward if you have to; the process will grow you. Just keep your big girl pants handy.... If you're planning to homeschool for very long, you're going to need 'em. (How's that for being hard-nosed! Yikes!)

 

Of course I tend to try to post more along the lines of door #1. I give folks the benefit of the doubt. But I know in my own personal life, I'm better off if I treat myself with a door #2 perspective.

 

OK. So trying that here. I respect you, Elizabeth. Really I do. But I read your post about science for a history lover. And I didn't post because I doubt you want to hear what I'm going to tell you. ;) If you want to study the history of science, I say, "Go for it." But I wouldn't recommend it as a replacement for rigorous (Did I just say "rigorous!: snicker) high school science courses. Period. Wrong tool for the job at the wrong time. Eighth grade? Fine. Not for high school for a bright student though.

 

And no, sorry. I don't have the time to explain myself. I would just caution that you shouldn't do it unless you have advanced knowledge of the sciences yourself. (Which means you have read all the way to the end of something.....)

 

How's that for being blunt and discouraging?!!!? Antagonistic? Plain ole MEAN! :confused:

 

....not the door I generally choose. It's just seems so heartless.

 

So here lies the problem. If I assume you know what you are doing, my advice is going to be closer to standing next to you and examining the problem with you. I assume that you know at least as much as I know so I am only offering you my perspective. BUT if you don't know at least as much as I do, I am going to have to locate your perspective before I offer advice. And if you know more than me, I should keep my mouth shut and listen.

 

We all come from such diverse backgrounds. We need some shared experience in order to communicate. I'm not saying that it has to be TWTM. But it's important for me to remember that in many, many cases not only have folks not read the book several times - using it as a springboard to frame some aspect of their philosophy - in many cases, folks haven't (can't? won't?) read the book at all.

 

And I think that adds to the confusion and hurt feelings - on both sides of the discussion.

 

Peace,

Janice

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I really think we would have far fewer misunderstandings and hurt feelings if more people read the book.

 

When I find myself answering a question on these boards and I discover that the person who asked the question hasn't cracked the covers of TWTM, I am always shocked. :confused: The book lays the foundation for what I'm going to say. No, I don't follow it exactly, but its philosophy has been woven into the fiber of our education around here. (I always giggle when folks think Susan faithfully follows "the book." Really? You need to read the book! ;))

 

And I always assume that folks have read the book more than once. So I answer questions and make comments that assume we are all wandering around in the same field, which means I assume that you have explored the terrain a bit on your own. Now you are drawing conclusions, and you would like to bat those around with another human being. Ah - a framed discussion.

 

So that's the part I don't understand. How can I answer a targeted question when I assume that someone has already navigated that process of reading, reflecting, and embracing/disregarding the ideas in that book? If you haven't even struggled with the ideas in the book, my answers are likely to miss their mark. (Even if you HAVE read the book, my ramblings are likely to arc off into left field.....)

 

I don't know why folks don't read the book. :confused:

It makes me wonder if, rather than seeking answers, folks really just want to talk.

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Hesitantly coming back into this conversation. Again, I don't know that these boards are specifically reserved for folks who are using WTM or who have read the book. I have read the book. Parts of it more than once, but I haven't read it cover to cover more than once. I also wouldn't say that my homeschooling approach is in line with WTM.

 

But even if we all had read the book, everyone will take something different away from it.

 

When we come here are we only looking for answers? I'm not. As Susan said in the interview that was linked (which I really appreciated reading!), homeschoolers often need reassurance. IMO we are often also looking for the perspective of others. I don't know that I'm coming here expecting to find an answer that will solve whatever... I want your ideas, thoughts, guidance. I hope getting the perspective of others will help me in my journey with my kids. I don't think you have all the answers for me. I don't think I have all the answers for anyone else, either. I hope to encourage others and offer my perspective on things.

 

So, yep, I do think people just want to talk. And I think that's a wonderful reason to come here. The more people here, the better. Variety makes life interesting.

 

SWB said a lot of great things in that interview. What I take away from it is that it isn't always good to push kids too much. There's something to be said for taking one's time, allowing a child to take his time and develop at his pace. As SWB says, "What's the rush?" Children are only children for so long.

 

In regard to your more recent post, Janice, do you really believe that a person who chooses not to read WTM doesn't have the fortitude to homeschool? Homeschooling doesn't have to be THAT hard. There are all kinds of approaches to homeschooling, WTM being only one. We can order a stack of books from Oak Meadow (or where ever) and get through probably way more than okay. I remember my favorite book that I read initially was For the Children's Sake. Homeschooling is about so much more than academics.

 

I'm not sure how to multi-quote, but as far as some of the posts on how kids should leave high school well rounded, I guess that's one thing to aspire to, especially if your kid hasn't yet expressed a real area of interest. By exposing kids to a lot of things, perhaps something will interest them that they can then focus on more at some point. But some kids do express real areas of interest, and it would be a shame to not allow a child to pursue those interests deeply because of the worry that all areas of study must be equally rigorous (whatever that means). It takes a lot of time and devotion (usually) to get very good at something. So, there's something to be said for a kid at the high school level being as well-rounded as possible, but there's also something to be said for a kid who's a whole lot better at one thing than whatever other stuff he's studying. I don't think there's anything wrong with either scenario. It depends on the child.

 

In regard to the belief that some forum participants feel that parents are foisting rigor on their kids: I certainly don't believe that every time a kid has a heavy load, the child is an unwilling participant. But I do recall posts from parents who are asking for advice regarding kids who are resisting the heavy "rigorous" schedules the parents are implementing. On occasion, I've suggested cutting back on these forums, said that it looked to me like it simply was too much. Just my perspective, which I think I'm free to offer. I believe a child doesn't necessarily have to be doing a heavy workload to finish high school well. I also recall threads where parents ask about stepping out of the box to do things differently and posters will say, no, it's not okay. Varying perspectives.

 

In all areas of parenting, including homeschooling, one of my favorite Bible verses to keep in mind is Colossians 3:21, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart."

 

I think the shared experience on this board is that most of us are homeschoolers and most of us are very interested in doing the best for our kids. Of course, the best for each of our individual kids will vary widely. And that's why when I offer my perspective, I do so knowing that whatever I say may or may not be relevant to that person. It may be helpful to someone else. Or not. Whatever. I've shared what I have to offer in the hopes that I can encourage someone along the way. When I ask questions, I simply hope people will share with me their unique perspective. For me, that's more than enough.

 

ETA: Am I totally missing something? I don't know where all these threads are that are full of hurt feelings and misunderstandings.

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OK. So trying that here. I respect you, Elizabeth. Really I do. But I read your post about science for a history lover. And I didn't post because I doubt you want to hear what I'm going to tell you. ;) If you want to study the history of science, I say, "Go for it." But I wouldn't recommend it as a replacement for rigorous (Did I just say "rigorous!: snicker) high school science courses. Period. Wrong tool for the job at the wrong time. Eighth grade? Fine. Not for high school for a bright student though.

 

And no, sorry. I don't have the time to explain myself. I would just caution that you shouldn't do it unless you have advanced knowledge of the sciences yourself. (Which means you have read all the way to the end of something.....)

 

How's that for being blunt and discouraging?!!!? Antagonistic? Plain ole MEAN! :confused:

 

....not the door I generally choose. It's just seems so heartless.

 

So here lies the problem. If I assume you know what you are doing, my advice is going to be closer to standing next to you and examining the problem with you. I assume that you know at least as much as I know so I am only offering you my perspective. BUT if you don't know at least as much as I do, I am going to have to locate your perspective before I offer advice. And if you know more than me, I should keep my mouth shut and listen.

 

 

Maybe you misunderstood me? Here's the deal. I almost NEVER post on the boards asking for opinions. I talk a lot, and I listen a lot. But I've learned that NO ONE on these boards can sort out my situations for me, walk in my moccasins, or solve my problems. So I refrain, utterly refrain, from turning into some mental lemming who is hoping to imitate someone else and have it work well. I take pieces from here, pieces from there, and then I go away and think and pray till it all gels. I take long hot showers.

 

So I wrote that thread because I'm polite enough to hear lots and lots of opinions, lots and lots of ideas, and then go gel in my mind and do my own thing. No, I don't think *I* would ever want to turn the 4 years of high school into science via history, but I'm really fascinated to hear someone else did. I love hearing lots of perspectives. I even picked up a C.P. Snow book at the library today. How cool is that!

 

But to think that I'm going to do exactly whatever the tenor of the thread was, well that would be a big leap, lol. It got me to thinking and opened a lot of new options to me, but I'm going to do whatever I'm going to do. Actually, this point, just being honest, my thought is either to use the BJU as a spine but use it in fresh ways with the ideas they cited OR copy Regena's plans. Yes, I have just enough background in math and science that (mercifully) I don't fear to teach dd any of those topics. But there's so much more to the mix, with needing to do preschool and speech activities with dc, how she responds, what we can make more independent just to keep things rolling, etc. I even tried to figure out today WHY I've stuck with the BJU science so long, even though for years she has expressed her dislike.

 

Well I'm really glad you were worried about me. I'm really not going to jump off the deep end, honest. I just wanted ideas so I could percolate and see things from new perspectives. That's what I got. And as for reading WTM, well mercy, I thought it was pretty sensible when she was in K5 just to read the first couple hundred pages of the book. I didn't need to be overwhelmed by EVERYTHING, lol. Obviously I'll keep going. But the world hasn't shattered. It was just how I got there. Every year I read a little farther. I think what you're saying though is that now I should just take the plunge and read to the end. Point well taken. I had about concluded that (for some other reasons), but it had slipped to a back burner. I can fiddle around with that.

 

Again, thanks for caring so much. :)

 

So yes, I would have LOVED to hear what you had to say about science in that thread and would still love to if you have time. :)

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I now find that I write responses to threads and then turn around and delete as many as I actually post. I do want to be helpful when I can, but on the other hand, it's so easy to be jumped on for being a classical homeschooler and I end up, some days more than others, with cold feet. I have brave moments; I've recently contributed to a couple of the more dramatic threads on dumbing-down, etc. But, I do find myself editing far more (probably a good thing :001_smile:) and sharing much less of what we did with dd and are doing with ds, then I could.

 

Faith

 

Post. I love your posts.

 

It also baffles me that some posters assume our students are not willing participants in their rigorous educations, as though we are imposing something upon them.

Jane

 

This. So, so this.

 

I can't challenge one of mine enough. Keeping the carrot in front of him has become a herculean task. I need those draconian posts for him, and the others that are steadily following in his wake.

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In regard to your more recent post, Janice, do you really believe that a person who chooses not to read WTM doesn't have the fortitude to homeschool? Homeschooling doesn't have to be THAT hard. There are all kinds of approaches to homeschooling, WTM being only one. We can order a stack of books from Oak Meadow (or where ever) and get through probably way more than okay. I remember my favorite book that I read initially was For the Children's Sake. Homeschooling is about so much more than academics.

 

 

Hi Violet,

 

No! No! And NO! Definitely not. :001_smile: I do not believe that a person who chooses not to read TWTM lacks a thing! Not a thing!

 

And the host of these boards has not - to my knowledge - EVER stated that these boards are anything other than open.

 

There are no restrictions.

 

And I do not want to be misunderstood: I have no desire that there should be. I don't want restrictions. I do not advocate a closed community.

 

I just forget. I just forget that we're not always all on the same page. Literally

And that can lead to hurt feelings on both sides of the discussion.

The person who asks the questions and receives advice isn't the only person in the discussion. There is the person who answers and those who read without chiming in.

 

Imagine if we were trying to play "football" with American rules and European rules. giggle..... Neither party would have a corner on what was right. But both sides would look equally silly. I suspect that remembering that we each come to the game without a different set of rules would make our time on the field more productive. .... at a minimum I could at least take off the ridiculous shoulder pads so I could run faster. :001_smile:

 

Peace,

Janice

 

I will say that if you are serious about offering your child a Great Books education at home, TWTM, even at 700 pages, is worth your time. In light of the obstacles you are going to have to face in order to fulfill what you are starting out to do, reading 700 pages (even if it is really hard) is not that big of a task. It's not. Just do it. Compared to posting questions on a message board, it is a much better way to get a broad understanding of what you are attempting. Answers framed in a lucid context as opposed to sound bites. Maybe that's closer to what I'm trying to say: when I first read the book, I had a lot of questions. I came here to understand. And I came here for support. But I primarily came here to understand. To learn. To get better at my job. Then I read the book again. Rinse. And repeat. Sometimes I spend time answering questions and then I find out that folks have never even read the book. They aren't looking for clarity. If they really wanted clarity, they would read the book. They just want to chat. Which is fine. I just thought they were looking for clarity.

 

Someone who has chosen a Charlotte Mason approach my not ever need to read TWTM. I have often considered myself a non-classical homeschooler. (Psst. We're Latin drop outs.) But I post here. So no, I don't think a closed community is better. It just helps me to remember that the community is OPEN! Things make more sense on my end: The book and the boards are two different things.

 

And I remember that door #1 is almost ALWAYS a better door!

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Just using it as an example, Elizabeth. But I'm sure you get that.

 

And no, I don't think you're going to go off the deep end. You are a sensible, with-it gal. :001_smile: And you don't need me to chime in, because I really don't have anything good to add. You know what's good for your situation which puts you past anything I might be able to add. Really, I know you've got it handled! :001_smile::001_smile:

 

But let's explore the original idea a bit more.... Two ways to comment on something that is said.

 

If you have read the book and benefitted from reading the book cover to cover (more than once), and are trying to offer advice to folks who seem to want to offer their child a classical, Great Book education, it does take you a bit off balance to hear them say that TWTM is too hard to read all the way through. :confused: Really! That's just such an oddly-shaped ball to throw back at the pitcher. How am I supposed to catch that? If I could manage to catch it, then what? What am I supposed to say?

 

I generally respond by offering anecdotes about how the book and the methods have helped me. Because I have received encouragement on these boards for the past twelve years, I try to offer encouragement. (Door #1)

 

But I suspect some of the frustration that these kinds of threads generate comes when folks respond with the curtness of door #2. Sometimes a response generates a "Huh? Wha?" from the person who is trying to help - which can lead to threads like this one.

 

....Back to the point I was trying to make in my original post.

 

I said, "I really think we would have far fewer misunderstandings and hurt feelings if more people read the book."

Sometimes I forget that we haven't all read the book (meaning... we don't all want to offer our child a Great Books education or we don't think we need to read the book in order to do the job or ________)

 

So I probably should have said, "I really think we would have far fewer misunderstandings and hurt feeling if MORE people read the book and MORE people who have read the book would just realize that there are fewer people reading the book than they think... there are... reading the book." :D (This is starting to look like the warm up to a Monte Python sketch. :001_smile:)

 

 

In any case, we aren't all on the same page. It helps - on both sides of this discussion - to just remember that. That's all. That's the whole point of my original post. :grouphug:

 

The book and the boards are two different things. They always have been. And I think that's a good thing.

 

Folks who get frustrated about the "direction" that the boards are "going in" need to remember that this is an inclusive community. It's meant to be that way. It's always been a good thing. I suspect it will continue to be a good thing.

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Oh - and psst.... if these boards every become exclusive, I'll be one of the first to get booted. (We don't do Latin. I sold all of the Latin books. We're not classical homeschoolers. *grin*) That's why I vote "No!" for exclusive. I only vote for inclusive when I'm included. It makes things simpler.:tongue_smilie:

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I joined this forum way back in the dark ages of the last century ;) (I believe that would be 1999). I had just read TWTM and was beginning to think I might homeschool full-time when we moved back to the USA a few months later.I already had 9 years of part-time/afterschooling under my belt. The driving force behind my interest in TWTM was my oldest child who was an academically gifted student. She was dragging me along on her merry skip through learning and I was hanging on for dear life. I was constantly researching, looking for something that would help me get at least a half-step ahead of her instead of trailing behind. TWTM book and these forums helped me get my feet on the ground. I was already committed to strong academics in our children's schooling; TWTM added a new dimension with regard to curriculum choice.

 

Enter children #2 & #3. I still held to the ideals of TWTM and many of the methods I learned from the book. But both of these students are twice exceptional. I had to adapt. There was no surviving the educational process if I didn't. I've used curriculum that many on these forums diss (Teaching Textbooks comes to mind). I've used far more computer & video based learning than would be recommended for a philosophy that places such a strong emphasis on reading, writing, and language. I've had to adapt to output strategies that downplay the use of essay writing for my student who is dyslexic & dysgraphic.

 

OTOH, I still have my ultimate goals in mind- goals that while they've morphed over the years are still influenced by what I read in TWTM. I keep coming back to the forums and getting the encouragement (even if mostly by osmosis) to keep plugging away at the academics. It was invaluable for #2. True, she didn't study Latin and she didn't reach Calculus in math. But she did learn to write well, and she is a good reader. She graduated from college this year with an excellent GPA, but most importantly she has crossed the threshold to lifelong learning. She already picks up classic literature and other good reading for her own satisfaction. I hope my son eventually reaches the stage where he reads solid literature & other good works without being prompted by school lessons. We're not really there yet, but the expectation has been set.

 

I believe that homeschooling affords us the opportunity to craft our children's educational experience with their particular gifts & challenges in mind. I like that these forums are a constant source of information about curriculum that is complimentary to TWTM methods, as well as curriculum that may not be "classical" but supports solid academics with high achievement in mind.

 

The beauty of homeschooling, however, will be maintained when:

 

a) we allow others to set the bar for their own children's achievement in line with what they know about their children's academic potential- all children should be encouraged to go as far as they can, however, most children do not have the potential to be candidates for Harvard & Princeton.

 

b) we recognize that there are multiple ways to accomplish the real goals SWB and her mother had in mind when they wrote TWTM: that, at the end of formal education, a student has a solid grasp of language & its use, an appreciation for the flow of man's story and how that story informs our understanding of human nature, understanding of the natural world arounds us, and the ability to manage the mathmatics they need for life and their chosen professions. Most importantly, the hope is that a student internalizes the tools of learning such that they have the ability and the willingness to continue being learners throughout their entire lives. If that happens, we can say they have a Well-Trained Mind, even if they never read Virgil in the original language or master differential equations.

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Or door #2. The book is only a bit over 700 pages. If you don't have the time or persistence to read 700 pages, than I would suggest that you don't have the time or fortitude to homeschool. If you lack the ability to read the book and understand it, then just put on your big girl pants and read it anyway! Yes, it's overwhelming. Yes, it makes you feel like a dolt. So what? Do it anyway. (As if feeling like an idiot or having no idea what I was doing has allowed me to get out of doing what I have been required to do every day for the last twelve years. :confused: You do. You learn. You master sixth grade writing and BAM! Viola! seventh grade is here; chin down, buck up; start the faithful plod - you approach the next thing you aren't qualified for. The nature of the game.) So just read the book; it's not really that big of a deal. Drag yourself forward if you have to; the process will grow you. Just keep your big girl pants handy.... If you're planning to homeschool for very long, you're going to need 'em. (How's that for being hard-nosed! Yikes!)

 

 

Wow :-(

 

I read every word of the 1st edition years ago. It didn't make me feel like a dolt. I just didn't think the book's priorities matched my own. I started an LCC education with my son before there was a book called LCC. A tattered and heavily marked up copy of "Climbing Parnassus" was my guidebook. I've skimmed library copies of the newer books, but haven't purchased them. There always seems to be something else that is more of a priority at the time.

 

TWTM has been a HUGE asset to the homeschooling community, but it's not the ONLY way to do things. It's ridiculous to think someone who doesn't choose to read the entire book shouldn't be homeschooling! There are a lot of very tired moms of aspie boys who have a LONG list of books that will be more helpful to them than reading every word of TWTM.

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Hunter,

 

That's not what I'm saying. Really! I am NOT SAYING THAT! I DO NOT THINK THAT! I would NEVER write that in a post! I DO NOT THINK THAT PEOPLE NEED TO READ TWTM IN ORDER TO HOME EDUCATE WELL!!! :001_smile:

 

I am trying to give an example of why these kinds of posts - that bemoan the "condition of the boards" - keep appearing! Very often folks think it is the WTM purists who are acting up. I'm trying to explore the notion that the non-WTM-book-readers might be supplying more of the agitation than they think.

 

Please here me.

 

There are all kinds of ways to respond to posts.

I tried to offer up two.

Elizabeth commented that "...if you read too far ahead, you get overwhelmed."

 

If I HAVE read TWTM and I disagree with her, I have two choices.

Door #1 and Door #2.

And I DO try to respond with a heart toward door #1.

I do.

But if you have read TWTM all the way through and you have been helped by it, it might be hard not to think, "Huh? Why not just read the book? It will probably do a much better job of beginning to address your questions in 700 pages than I can here with 1000 characters." Which certainly leans more in the direction of #2 - even though I would never say that in those terms to someone here. That's just mean.

 

But sometimes, I suspect the folks who have read the book and are trying to adhere to the principles outlined in the book feel that folks who haven't read the book but bash them for being to "hard on their kids" or "pushing their kids" start to wonder when/if the love is going to flow back in the other direction.

 

TWTM is not designed to generate elitism in children. It would be a shame if we twisted its message until elitism sprouted in the adults.

 

(I am so jealous! I felt like a complete idiot the first time I read TWTM. I knew that it's what I wanted for my kids, and so much of it made sense philosophically. But I really lacked the wisdom to execute it. That's where the boards really helped me.)

 

Anyway.... I'm getting tired and am not making myself clear.

 

I would hope the years I have spent on these boards would speak for themselves. I have always tried to answer every question with the same kindness I have received. Everyone here has always given me the benefit of the doubt (I think). I know that's what I have always tried to do too.

 

I suspect most of my comments are just fearful. I have always enjoyed the peace and safety of this board. I felt like the group was "with me." I suspect most folks come here for the same reason. In the end though, I suspect most of you are not really with me, but near me.

 

So I long for something concrete we can share. And sometimes it hurts to realize that we don't share as much as I think we do. It makes me feel lonely. So I long for something we can share.

In the end, I guess we are all parenting sincerely. That's probably enough.

 

Peace,

Janice

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In the end though, I suspect most of you are not really with me, but near me.

 

 

 

Janice,

 

I have not read this thread. During the past week, I have driven approx 3000 miles and I only want to veg. I saw the title and I thought, well, I know where that one went. ;):tongue_smilie:

 

But, as I am sitting here with my glass of wine half asleep, I just clicked on your little arrow and read your post.

 

Just want to tell you that I'm sure that if I'm not with you, I am at least living next door. :D:grouphug:

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Janice,

 

I have not read this thread. During the past week, I have driven approx 3000 miles and I only want to veg. I saw the title and I thought, well, I know where that one went. ;):tongue_smilie:

 

But, as I am sitting here with my glass of wine half asleep, I just clicked on your little arrow and read your post.

 

Just want to tell you that I'm sure that if I'm not with you, I am at least living next door. :D:grouphug:

 

YEP...me too Janice...or at least a travel mate...It has been SOME journey....and I am still enjoying my little ones...and the journey too. It is nice to have such awesome travel companions!

 

Faithe

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Guest Dulcimeramy

Janice, I am certainly also on your street. The shabby apartment with the scraggly yard (but we have an awesome bookshelf inside, and good coffee). :grouphug:

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Thank you Faith and Jane for expressing this sentiment. My son is actually enjoying reading Don Quixote with me. He is attempting parts of it in Spanish; I am not. (I wonder if I can find a recording of the ballet with Nureyev as the lead. I saw it in high school with my sister as an extra. I got to meet Nureyev backstage. Total aside, but I thought someone reading this thread might know the answer.) When we read Madame Bovary, I am going to attempt it in French, as I was required to in high school. He will read it in English. (My son that is, not Nureyev.)

 

I don't know if the Nureyev production is available on DVD, but I thought you might want to know that the ballet has very, very little to do with the book. And, in fact, Don Quixote, himself, isn't in it all that much.

 

My son was in a production with the local ballet company a couple of years ago, so I ended up seeing it a few times.

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Hunter,

 

That's not what I'm saying. Really! I am NOT SAYING THAT! I DO NOT THINK THAT! I would NEVER write that in a post! I DO NOT THINK THAT PEOPLE NEED TO READ TWTM IN ORDER TO HOME EDUCATE WELL!!! :001_smile:

 

 

 

I must be reading things too literally. I'm sorry. I'm told my illness makes me too literal :-0 It where the brain cells start dying off first. And aspie boys...well...they get it from somewhere and their moms often show slight traces of it. I know being too literal is a SERIOUS problem for me. Sorry :-(

 

I'm going to go and contribute to some geography and scientific literacy threads since that is where my love lies right now.

 

I hope we are okay.

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a) we allow others to set the bar for their own children's achievement in line with what they know about their children's academic potential- all children should be encouraged to go as far as they can, however, most children do not have the potential to be candidates for Harvard & Princeton.

 

And indeed, Harvard turns down the vast majority of their applicants, many of which are well qualified, but there's only so much room on campus, so being "rejected" by Harvard should not require a shameful scarlet H on one's breast.

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I don't know if the Nureyev production is available on DVD, but I thought you might want to know that the ballet has very, very little to do with the book. And, in fact, Don Quixote, himself, isn't in it all that much.

 

My son was in a production with the local ballet company a couple of years ago, so I ended up seeing it a few times.

 

Thanks. I didn't read the book until recently, and it has been almost 30 years since I saw the ballet, which I just watched for the incredible dancing. I did find it on YouTube, though.

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And indeed, Harvard turns down the vast majority of their applicants, many of which are well qualified, but there's only so much room on campus, so being "rejected" by Harvard should not require a shameful scarlet H on one's breast.

 

:iagree: The ivies as well as the top-tier LAC's and STEM schools all have such low acceptance rates that the difference between being accepted and NOT can be something as simple as someone from Alaska applied and that person might therefore bring more cultural diversity to the campus than an equally qualified applicant from Iowa! I'm serious...it is absolutely that tight and we've talked to admission's people who have begrudgingly admitted that their decisions can come down to such things.

 

Acceptance or rejection to one of these schools should not be a factor in a parent or child's sense of worth. Don't make a big deal of it.

 

At my top-tier LAC, even in the music department, getting a spot could come down to the tiniest of details. I won my position as a piano performance major over a candidate who actually played more technically perfectly than I did. But, I have an amazing intuition for accompanying. As part of our admission's interview and audition, we had to all sight-read a piece while accompanying the chair of the vocal music division and let me tell you, that woman was a DIVA ++++ and soooooo difficult to follow. I didn't have a problem. Not only can I sight read big time, but apparently I instinctively tune in to the breathing pattern of the vocalist or instrumentalist I am playing with so I can stay with them even though we've never rehearsed. That put me in ahead of this guy who was seriously, definitely, a better "player" than I was. My other two skills were something they apparently needed more of that year on campus. They did not tell him why he didn't make it. Departmental policy was to mail out simple rejection letters with no explanation. I've often wondered how he felt about himself and hope it wouldn't stop him from pursuing his dream. He was an amazing pianist!

 

Faith

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:iagree: The ivies as well as the top-tier LAC's and STEM schools all have such low acceptance rates that the difference between being accepted and NOT can be something as simple as someone from Alaska applied and that person might therefore bring more cultural diversity to the campus than an equally qualified applicant from Iowa!

Or they need a tuba player for the band or whatever. Harvard's acceptance rate is 6.2%. Sure lots of people apply for the sake of applying, but still. Another factor: they want to distribute stated majors to some degree. You can't have a whole class full of physics majors.

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(I am so jealous! I felt like a complete idiot the first time I read TWTM. I knew that it's what I wanted for my kids, and so much of it made sense philosophically. But I really lacked the wisdom to execute it. That's where the boards really helped me.)

 

 

I never feel like an idiot when I read any book. We have all traveled different paths before encountering the book, and even after reading a book, we all have a unique path to travel afterwards.

 

I try to keep my education mission statement in view at all times. When I read a new book, sometimes I alter it a bit. I try to set priorities to help me/us get where we are going. I don't stray from my mission statement.

 

When I was homeschooling my boys, my brain still worked very well. I had a lot of missing education, and I lived in poverty, but there was almost nothing I could not teach myself (and my sons) if I was willing to make it a priority. I could teach ANYTHING, but not EVERYTHING. So...I had to pick wisely. I wanted a big return for what I invested my limited resources in.

 

Now, with the amount of brain damage I have sustained and continue to accumulate, I have to pick more wisely than ever. I have more money to spend and no deadlines, and am not responsible for children, so the pressure is off. Now I need to review like I never reviewed before and I need to organize everything important that I learn, in such a way as to be ready to review, or there is little reason to learn it in the 1st place, unless it was just fun to learn and pleasurable in the moment.

 

I have a disability, but I don't feel dumb. I just am a bit of a swiss cheese brain; strong in some areas and beyond weak in others, with complete holes. And...that is okay :-) I'm walking MY path...and MY path is an okay place to be if I walk ON it and don't try so hard to get to another path, that I'm always walking on the curb NEXT to my path, if you know what I mean.

 

None of us are idiots or dolts that I have met here, and certainly not you Janice. We need to read lots of books and meet lots of people, and then plot the most efficient course from where we are, to where we think we are supposed to travel. We need to be wise and realistic about what our resources are, and what the true payoffs are for studying certain subjects, and what the probable destinations truly are.

 

And then if we are Christians or Jewish. we sometimes need a rereading of Ecclesiates to remind us to put away the endless books and just enjoy our families and God a bit.

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You know Hunter, I think someday I could learn to like you. :)

Mercy, did that sound bad? I meant it nicely, lol. That was hilarious. Anyways, like you, I didn't feel dumb or like an idiot when I read WTM the first time so many years ago. And when I went back to look at it last night, I realized I had read much more than I was letting on. I could tell, because I had pencil marks here and there on booklists. Nothing radical, nothing changed. I still agree with some things and depart on others. What's weird about it is that for some people WTM is this epiphany, and for skills and organization it definitely is for me. But for being what I want to accomplish as GOALS, it falls so far short. Sometimes I can't even put into words my big picture of a BIG GOD view, where study encompasses that and is fleshing that out. For me, WTM is always missing that next step that turns it from what to wow. I suppose the wow is me. Unfortunately, I don't bring much wow in some departments, lol.

 

Well this has been fun. As a result of this thread (and other reading on the boards), I've read through the posts of several people and been challenged to think through a few issues. On a practical level, I wonder if there are posts such that maybe some sort of board division *would* be helpful? A sub-forum, like what we have with the K-8 and LM. Or maybe that would be messy and consume more time? For instance, if straight GB discussion is what you want, maybe you need a GB sub-forum? Or maybe, alternately, there could be an alternative-learners or adapted sub-forum? I've never even counted to see if there's enough traffic on this board to warrant that. The K-8 board certainly had enough to start spawning. And the nice thing is, that new sub-forum developed its own flavor.

 

But maybe that's a rabbit trail, lol. Until then, people just need to get along. :)

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Wow :-(

 

I read every word of the 1st edition years ago. It didn't make me feel like a dolt. I just didn't think the book's priorities matched my own. I started an LCC education with my son before there was a book called LCC. A tattered and heavily marked up copy of "Climbing Parnassus" was my guidebook. I've skimmed library copies of the newer books, but haven't purchased them. There always seems to be something else that is more of a priority at the time.

 

TWTM has been a HUGE asset to the homeschooling community, but it's not the ONLY way to do things. It's ridiculous to think someone who doesn't choose to read the entire book shouldn't be homeschooling! There are a lot of very tired moms of aspie boys who have a LONG list of books that will be more helpful to them than reading every word of TWTM.

 

Thanks for saying that.

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Well this has been fun. As a result of this thread (and other reading on the boards), I've read through the posts of several people and been challenged to think through a few issues. On a practical level, I wonder if there are posts such that maybe some sort of board division *would* be helpful? A sub-forum, like what we have with the K-8 and LM. Or maybe that would be messy and consume more time? For instance, if straight GB discussion is what you want, maybe you need a GB sub-forum? Or maybe, alternately, there could be an alternative-learners or adapted sub-forum? I've never even counted to see if there's enough traffic on this board to warrant that. The K-8 board certainly had enough to start spawning. And the nice thing is, that new sub-forum developed its own flavor.

 

But maybe that's a rabbit trail, lol. Until then, people just need to get along. :)

 

I wonder if we need to be more intentional about prefacing our questions? In a general sense, not in a rigid, you must state these things, type of way.

 

For instance I know certain posters follow a GB study for history, I know some who don't. So if you're asking for help finding a history program or help in selecting books, we could be more specific in saying I want Great Books, I want good books, or I just need a list, please! If you're not sure about what you want it's okay, but ask more questions. I've gotten the most helpful answers when the person replying asks for more information and then gives their suggestion.

 

Those type of replies always force me to be more thoughtful and intentional in my choices. Then instead of taking the blanket suggestions I run them through a list similar to what Nan posted the other day. Our worst curriculum picks have been the ones that I simply picked and didn't run through the filter for our school/needs/abilities.

 

I believe there are plenty of people willing to converse about making choices, but we have to prepared to answer some questions we might not have been expecting. 10th grade English doesn't look like something in particular, it's going to look unique, maybe nothing like you had envisioned. That is one of the beauties of this high school forum in particular. I can get the help to customize.

 

IDK, we're just touching high school level work, maybe I should stay out of this conversation. But I'm looking at certain posters and know that we are going to be part of what molds this forum over the next few years. We're going to be the ones in the trenches, wishing for a encouraging post, or a kick in the pants post, or pulling our hair out playing guidance counselor. I guess I want a say in what that will look like.

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And I wind up feeling like we are doing everything badly rather than anything well.

Sigh.

 

Given ten years, I'll probably feel the same, but since I'm not yet cursed with experience, (:tongue_smilie:) none of what you say sounds bad to me because we specialise so much earlier here. I wonder, does your system that promotes well-roundedness actually result in more well-rounded people?

 

Rosie

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Tangent here...but I just had to wave my hand and say that SWB's audio lectures made the 700 page TWTM clearer for me (especially the writing process). My first two homeschool how to books, ten years ago, were TWTM and For the Sake of the Children They are still my favorites, though I wish I had those audio lectures in the beginning as well. I recommend them to new homeschoolers.

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Tangent here...but I just had to wave my hand and say that SWB's audio lectures made the 700 page TWTM clearer for me (especially the writing process).

 

Yes, her audio lectures have been exceedingly helpful to us as well.

 

Joan

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....Back to the point I was trying to make in my original post.

 

I said, "I really think we would have far fewer misunderstandings and hurt feelings if more people read the book."

Sometimes I forget that we haven't all read the book (meaning... we don't all want to offer our child a Great Books education or we don't think we need to read the book in order to do the job or ________)

 

So I probably should have said, "I really think we would have far fewer misunderstandings and hurt feeling if MORE people read the book and MORE people who have read the book would just realize that there are fewer people reading the book than they think... there are... reading the book." :D (This is starting to look like the warm up to a Monte Python sketch. :001_smile:)

 

 

In any case, we aren't all on the same page. It helps - on both sides of this discussion - to just remember that. That's all. That's the whole point of my original post. :grouphug:

 

The book and the boards are two different things. They always have been. And I think that's a good thing.

 

Folks who get frustrated about the "direction" that the boards are "going in" need to remember that this is an inclusive community. It's meant to be that way. It's always been a good thing. I suspect it will continue to be a good thing.

 

Peace,

Janice

 

 

This reminds me of a post on the K8 board a few months back. Someone was asking about an elementary age history program that followed WTM and used SOTW and was getting all kinds of suggestions. After about a dozen different programs were mentioned, someone pointed out that SOTW (with activity guides laying out possible additional reading, activities, maps and coloring pages) IS a history program.

 

I have to wonder how many people are only tangentally aware of the books that SWB and Jesse Wise have written. Not to say that WTM is the only way to homeschool or the best way for any and all students. Or that we should all be getting drop shipped a case of PHP books each year in order to be "good" homeschoolers or to participate in the boards.

But I have had to teach myself to remember to open up the book and refresh my imperfect memory when I find that I'm struggling to pull off a new level or remember why I thought something was worthwhile in the first place. It sort of reminds me of a fitness site I was on, where veteran posters would try to answer questions, but were also rather ruthless about referring new posters to the stickies containing FAQs. They also recommended on particular book on lifting techniques over and over and over again. Because it was able to describe and show in a sucinct way, what could only be imperfectly described in a post.

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Given ten years, I'll probably feel the same, but since I'm not yet cursed with experience, (:tongue_smilie:) none of what you say sounds bad to me because we specialise so much earlier here. I wonder, does your system that promotes well-roundedness actually result in more well-rounded people?

 

Rosie

 

Good question. I doubt it.

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Well, it might if it really worked. It is hard to tell, in my family anyway, because we are all so seive-brained that we forget our education pretty fast and are only left with knowledge of the things that we use daily and the some of the skills that we learned. We get to keep the reasoning skills. I have noticed that the Europeans I've met, in general, seem to have more knowledge outside of their field than most of the Americans I know. But that is such a gross generalization that I doubt it really counts.

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I think most posters, classical or not, bring something to the board. We all read everything here through our own filters

:iagree:

I don't think you need to read the book to post/contribute/discuss on this forum. But I recommend it, because it was monumentally influential in the way I taught my two, K-12. I sure didn't follow it precisely, and I got pretty far away from it in high school, but it rocked my world when I read it 10+ years ago. :) I learn a tremendous amount from everybody on this forum -- and I have no idea who has read/considered/discarded what. If you were to look at how I homeschool/ed in high school, I really wouldn't look like a WellTrainedMind-er. But the book shaped the way I teach and taught, because it challenged and empowered me. So for those who are in the early years of homeschooling, IMHO, it's worth reading. ;)

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Well, it might if it really worked. It is hard to tell, in my family anyway, because we are all so seive-brained that we forget our education pretty fast and are only left with knowledge of the things that we use daily and the some of the skills that we learned. We get to keep the reasoning skills. I have noticed that the Europeans I've met, in general, seem to have more knowledge outside of their field than most of the Americans I know. But that is such a gross generalization that I doubt it really counts.

 

I recently read a book called "Why Don't Students Like School?" by Daniel T. Willingham. I recommend it highly! In the book he said that research has shown that we forget much of what we have learned, rapidly. Your family is not unusual.

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I felt that school was a total waste of time and I hated it. That has coloured how I homeschool. I realize now that much of what I thought was stupid and a waste of time was supposed to be building skills and the amount of content review would have been sufficient to cement at least some of it if I were a normal person. Unfortunately, I learned most of the skills before they were taught or very rapidly, so I didn't realize that at the time. Almost nobody linked what I was learning into the big picture so I had no chance at all of retaining any of the content. We weren't taught to write. I can't spell and will never be able to spell. (I don't think anybody will ever be able to teach me my left from my right, either.) Math was the only thing that made sense. I wish to goodness I had figured that all our BEFORE my youngest was 16 and researching photographic memories (which we don't have but involved lots of info on how people learn which he kindly passed along to me). But I didn't. Ug. I have, at various times, tried to figure out how other people learn things, since as far as I could tell other people actually did remember some of what they learned in school. At least teachers seem to think they will and it seemed reasonable to assume that something was being accomplished, even if it wasn't anything I could see, other than math and learning how to read. I figured out relatively early that the big picture had something to do with it but nothing really explained whether that meant we were BAD at putting the pieces together into the big picture and therefore needed the big picture given to us, or whether that meant we were GOOD at putting the pieces together into the big picture. I did figure out (thanks to a disasterous year of Saxon math) that my son was unable to put the pieces of math together and apply it, so I began looking for the most applied stuff I could find. I concentrated on skills because it seemed to be the only thing worth teaching, when they forgot the content so very fast. I had TWTM as a goal, even if it did seem to be aimed at making my children into lawyers or politicians, neither of which any of us wanted anything to do with. Eventually I realized that that might be because a classical education WAS aimed at making politicians. lol. I'm practical and honest and I had a good deal of faith in TWTM so I managed not to do too badly even though I didn't know what I was doing. But... I can't remember where I was going with this. Oh - now I remember. If only somebody had explained to me about the difference between skills and content when I was in elementary school, I might have been able to make sense of what they were trying to teach me. I think more children would like school and would learn there if the teachers made some effort to explain up front what they were trying to do. That would solve the big picture problem, too. Syllabi shouldn't only be for college.

-Nan

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Nan, I think you would really enjoy reading that book I mentioned. I took notes on it and have found much of it useful. He wrote the book because many who become teachers do so because they liked school. Therefore they can't understand why their students DON'T like school!

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I recently read a book called "Why Don't Students Like School?" by Daniel T. Willingham. I recommend it highly! In the book he said that research has shown that we forget much of what we have learned, rapidly. Your family is not unusual.

 

Thanks, I'll look into that as well. I hated school. I graduated a semester early just to get out of there. Dh left school early as well. Now ds is not a big fan of school. He's hasn't been in traditional classroom since kindergarten, he really doesn't see how fortunate he is to have school formatted so differently (he gets reminded from time to time :D). I'm not surprised he has such an outlook by mere genetics. I need continual reminding to not fall into those patterns which caused me to dislike school in the first place.

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I recently read a book called "Why Don't Students Like School?" by Daniel T. Willingham. I recommend it highly! In the book he said that research has shown that we forget much of what we have learned, rapidly. Your family is not unusual.

 

Those of you who find this book interesting might also like John Goodlad's classic A Place Called School. What has stuck with me most is a discussion at one point of how typical middle schools are run, what kids do, how lessons are typically taught, vs. a list by the kids themselves of the things they'd like to do in order to learn or to demonstrate their learning: draw, build, do some kind of field research, make models, interview people, and a whole variety of other options that kids are usually told are not proper for the classroom.

 

Note how many of these options the kids list involve physical work or social relations out in the larger community -- precisely the things that our society shuts away from kids in favor of nearly exclusively reading and writing-based work in all subjects.

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Those of you who find this book interesting might also like John Goodlad's classic A Place Called School. What has stuck with me most is a discussion at one point of how typical middle schools are run, what kids do, how lessons are typically taught, vs. a list by the kids themselves of the things they'd like to do in order to learn or to demonstrate their learning: draw, build, do some kind of field research, make models, interview people, and a whole variety of other options that kids are usually told are not proper for the classroom.

 

Note how many of these options the kids list involve physical work or social relations out in the larger community -- precisely the things that our society shuts away from kids in favor of nearly exclusively reading and writing-based work in all subjects.

 

Thanks! the university library has it so I'll get it later this week!

 

I seriously think I want to do a PhD on alternative forms of education.

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I recently read a book called "Why Don't Students Like School?" by Daniel T. Willingham. I recommend it highly! In the book he said that research has shown that we forget much of what we have learned, rapidly. Your family is not unusual.

 

Thanks for the recommend! It looks interesting! :)

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Those of you who find this book interesting might also like John Goodlad's classic A Place Called School.

 

Ok Karen, I had this one in my laundry basket of books to read and now I've pulled it out to put at the top of the stack (after I finish up the tiny montessori preschool book I'm savoring, hehe!). But this puppy is 400 pages, and, if it takes as much detailed reading as "School of Dreams" did after your recommend, then I'm gonna be at this a while... So thanks. LOL :)

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Thanks! the university library has it so I'll get it later this week!

 

I seriously think I want to do a PhD on alternative forms of education.

 

That sounds absolutely fascinating.

 

If you are that seriously interested, one of my best friends wrote her sociology dissertation on homeschooling, and how difficult it is for most people to move away from conventional ideas about education.

 

Charlene Bredder, "Doing School" and "Having Fun": Tensions Between Family and School Conceptions of Education, UCSD, 2006.

 

I believe all dissertations from the UC system are now electronically filed, so you should be able to read it on-line. I can check that out if you look for it and can't find it.

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