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I think it is challenging your children, whatever that may be. I am a less is more type person. We do one thing for each subject. I want to be able to focus and follow the path in that curriculum and really learn it. If we finish math early, I have supplements, but I don't mix. I want focus and retention. I expect a lot of my 6 year old. I erase work and have him redo it, and I test him over what he has studied, formally and informally. He is smart and I push him, but I know his limits focus and time wise and I don't push that. That will grow in time and we will lengthen our day a bit each year.

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I think it's when your dc's head explodes. That's when you know it's "rigorous."

 

:lol:

 

When I was deciding what to use to teach...whatever...I never used that word. I just wanted to teach my dc as much as they could learn, as soon as they could learn it.

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I think it's when your dc's head explodes. That's when you know it's "rigorous."

 

:lol:

 

When I was deciding what to use to teach...whatever...I never used that word. I just wanted to teach my dc as much as they could learn, as soon as they could learn it.

 

 

That's what I do, I Tues we would not be rigorous by many people's standards because we don't do 5-6 hours a day at 6, and we don't use multiple curricula for one subject. But, I know my son is getting a much better education than he would at any school around us, and we are in a very good district.

 

He picks up fast, but I don't think that men's we should do 2 years of math in one year, it means he does not need as much time. I don't think ability should be rewarded with extra work.

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Curriculum is not the end. It is the means.

 

Rigor is about engaging and connecting with your child and the material. In the early grades, the "rigor" part belongs to the parent. The child is the recipient of Mom's dedication, love, and willingness to use whatever means necessary to get through to him, whether in academics or relational skills. Mom is on the line for the rigor lessons at this stage. Will she study TWTM or CM's original works? Will she work a week ahead of her child, making sure she understands his grammar and math before she turns to teach him? Will she study her child and understand the effect of her budding attempts to transfer knowledge to him? Will she apply all the maturity, humility, and wisdom she may possess to this overwhelming responsibility of raising and teaching her child?

 

As his skills and abilities grow, some of the rigor is transferred to the child. The parent begins expecting him to recall his prior learning while still leading him in the process of adding to his knowledge. In the rigorous homeschool, Mom is teaching character as diligently as she teaches fractions. She cares that her child can understand what he reads, and she also makes sure that his reading material nourishes his soul as well as his brain. She doesn't slack on his math lessons, because she knows that her diligence in helping him grasp the foundation will make all the difference when he gets to higher math. But he has to pay attention and do his assigned work! Both mother and child are working hard during the upper grammar and logic stages.

 

Finally, the time comes when the child has acquired an astounding array of virtue and skill. He now owns a personal understanding of the value of education. Now he is a full partner in his own upbringing. Mom may still direct, supervise, and teach at this point, but it is the child's Well-Trained Mind that answers the challenge of rigor in learning. At this stage, Mom begins to see her child soar beyond her highest expectations or dreams. She's no longer studying a week ahead, because his mind is quicker than hers. He's off and running, she's left behind. (This is why so many of us begin looking for online classes for some high school courses.) The time she used to spend working through his Algebra book, she now spends on her knees in prayer for his happiness, safety, and future. He's got the rigorous approach to study now. Mom is the anchor, and the one with the unfailing love and faith.

 

None of this is about curriculum.

 

Mom can begin this journey armed with TWTM, AAS, FLL, WWE, SOTW, and BFSU (and an iPad) and do either a wonderful or an awful job. The outcome will depend mostly upon herself, and how she weathers the learning curve. SWB did everything a person can do to make that ride smoother, but Mama, it is still going to be a learning curve. Use these tools, but remember they are tools. You are not teaching a curriculum. You are teaching a child.

 

Mom might do a wonderful job with nothing more than a library card, a whiteboard, and the internet for the first three years. The world of classical education is at her fingertips online. She can learn her philosophy from arguably the greatest classical educator who ever taught children: Charlotte Mason. She can learn from CM's own written word at AmblesideOnline, and then she can use online books or library books that make the grade, and apply the philosophy she has internalized. MEP math for free, nature study (the real kind), a book of poetry, and good habits, and this parent-child team is well on their way to greatness.

 

A homeless Dad can get his hands on a bunch of outdated encyclopedias. One Dad did just that.* He never read CM, or SWB, or Climbing Parnassus or anything like it. He just knew his daughter needed to learn something, so he went out and found something and taught her to make the most of it. As a devout Christian, that man was operating on faith. Whatever our religious beliefs, all homeschoolers are operating on some sort of unproven confidence that we can and should do a good job raising children with homeschooling as a huge part of that endeavor. Homeschooling is the road less traveled. It is a matter of faith.

 

So, yes, learn about methods, philosophies, curriculum, and what other families are doing. Just remember that buzzwords like "rigor" and "success" have much more to do with relationship and character than with a booklist. Don't watch the clock. Watch your child. Don't compete with others. The greatest benefit of homeschooling is the freedom to match the educational experience to the child. Do that. He'll grow best if you teach him.

 

Those of us who have been where you are now need to take the time to say this. I've seen abbeyj say it, and 8filltheheart said it, and probably others. I just wanted to say it, too.

 

Love and the best wishes in the world to new homeschoolers in their first, second, or third year with very little ones. It can be such a beautiful and wonderful time with your little ones at home. I cherish the memory of this stage with my older boys, and I'm so thankful to still be going through it one more time with my seven-year-old who is growing too fast.

 

Love,

TD

 

 

*(To learn more about this totally non-ideal situation that amazingly turned out OK for father and daughter, google these keywords: Ruthie Portland Father Forest Encyclopedia. Let me just make it really clear that I don't think anybody should get some old encyclopedias and live in the woods with their child. Not endorsing homelessness as a homeschooling method. Srsly.)

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Curriculum is not the end. It is the means.

 

Rigor is about engaging and connecting with your child and the material. In the early grades, the "rigor" part belongs to the parent. The child is the recipient of Mom's dedication, love, and willingness to use whatever means necessary to get through to him, whether in academics or relational skills. Mom is on the line for the rigor lessons at this stage. Will she study TWTM or CM's original works? Will she work a week ahead of her child, making sure she understands his grammar and math before she turns to teach him? Will she study her child and watch for the effect of her budding attempts to transfer knowledge to him? Will she apply all the maturity, humility, and wisdom she may possess to this overwhelming responsibility of raising and teaching her child?

 

As his skills and abilities grow, some of the rigor is transferred to the child. The parent begins expecting him to recall his prior learning while still leading him in the process of adding to his knowledge. In the rigorous homeschool, Mom is teaching character as diligently as she teaches fractions. She cares that her child can understand what he reads, and she also makes sure that his reading material nourishes his soul as well as his brain. She doesn't slack on his math lessons, because she knows that her diligence in helping him grasp the foundation will make all the difference when he gets to higher math. But he has to pay attention and do his assigned work! Both mother and child are working hard during the upper grammar and logic stages.

 

Finally, the time comes when the child has acquired an astounding array of virtue and skill. He now owns a personal understanding of the value of education. Now he is a full partner in his own upbringing. Mom may still direct, supervise, and teach at this point, but it is the child's Well-Trained Mind that answers the challenge of rigor in learning. At this stage, Mom begins to see her child soar beyond her highest expectations or dreams. She's no longer studying a week ahead, because his mind is quicker than hers. He's off and running, she's left behind. (This is why so many of us begin looking for online classes for some high school courses.) The time she used to spend working through his Algebra book, she now spends on her knees in prayer for his happiness, safety, and future. He's got the rigorous approach to study now. Mom is the anchor, and the one with the unfailing love and faith.

 

None of this is about curriculum.

 

Mom can begin this journey armed with TWTM, AAS, FLL, WWE, SOTW, and BFSU (and in iPad) and do either a wonderful or an awful job. The outcome will depend mostly upon herself, and how she weathers the learning curve. SWB did everything a person can do to make that ride smoother, but Mama, it is still going to be a learning curve. Use these tools, but remember they are tools. You are not teaching a curriculum. You are teaching a child.

 

Mom might do a wonderful job with nothing more than a library card, a whiteboard, and the internet for the first three years. The world of classical education is at her fingertips online. She can learn her philosophy from arguably the greatest classical educator who ever taught children: Charlotte Mason. She can learn from CM's own written word at AmblesideOnline, and then she can use online books or library books that make the grade, and apply the philosophy she has internalized. MEP math for free, nature study (the real kind), a book of poetry, and good habits, and this parent-child team is well on their way to greatness.

 

A homeless Dad can get his hands on a bunch of outdated encyclopedias. One Dad did just that.* He never read CM, or SWB, or Climbing Parnassus or anything like it. He just knew his daughter needed to learn something, so he went out and found something and taught her to make the most of it. As a devout Christian, that man was operating on faith. Whatever our religious beliefs, all homeschoolers are operating on some sort of unproven confidence that we can and should do a good job raising children with homeschooling as a huge part of that endeavor. Homeschooling is the road less traveled. It is a matter of faith.So, yes, learn about methods, philosophies, curriculum, and what other families are doing. Just remember that buzzwords like "rigor" and "success" have much more to do with relationship and character than with a booklist. Don't watch the clock. Watch your child. Don't compete with others. The greatest benefit of homeschooling is the freedom to match the educational experience to the child. Do that. He'll grow best if you teach him.

 

Those of us who have been where you are now need to take the time to say this. I've seen abbeyj say it, and 8filltheheart said it, and probably others. I just wanted to say it, too.

 

Love and the best wishes in the world to new homeschoolers in their first, second, or third year with very little ones. It can be such a beautiful and wonderful time with your little ones at home. I cherish the memory of this stage with my older boys, and I'm so thankful to still be going through it one more time with my seven-year-old who is growing too fast.

 

Love,

TD

 

 

*(To learn more about this totally non-ideal situation that amazingly turned out OK for father and daughter, google these keywords: Ruthie Portland Father Forest Encyclopedia. Let me just make it really clear that I don't think anybody should get some old encyclopedias and live in the woods with their child. Not endorsing homelessness as a homeschooling method. Srsly.)

 

I this this is a good explanation, but on most threads of this topic people start listing multitude of curriculum and the hours a day spent pouring over them as wha makes it riforous. I do no agree with that. I do not need three math curriculum, grammar, writing, spelling, two history plus every was aloud listed as supplement. If I tried to make my six uear old do school for six hours a day we wpuld both go nuts. It would be busy work, and busy work is not rigorous, it is just busy work.

 

I think some people get busy work and rigour in school work confused. I know a lot of my teachers did when I was in school. I know some kids need more time to get something, bit there is a balance.

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I type on my phone...not a computer. I try to catch all these little things, but ugh!
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I this this is a god explanation, but on most threads of this topic people start listing multitude of curriculum and the hours a day spent pouring over them as wha makes it riforous. I do no agree with that. I do not need three math curriculum, grammar, writing, spelling, two history plus every was aloud listed as supplement. If I tried to make my six uear old do school for six hours a day we wpuld both go nuts. It would be busy work, and busy work is not rigorous, it is just busy work.

 

I think some people get busy work and rigour in school work confused. I know a lot of my teachers did when I was in school. I know some kids need more time to get something, bit there is a balance.

 

How do you know that a person who schools for 6 hours a day is "just doing busywork". What is wrong with doing busy work anyway if the child enjoys it? Sometimes I get the feeling that the term "busywork" is used to mean any extra work that mum would rather not do because she only wants to do the bare minimum and get school over with.

 

I school my 5 yo for 5-6 hours a day. I do it because I want to provide a varied education -not just the basics and the minimum. There are so many enriching things to add to a child's education - why just settle for "the basics". We have the formal seatwork over and done with in about 2.5 hours. The rest of the time is spent doing the things my DD really enjoys or what others would class as busywork I guess. Last week we did an art project every day - not necessary I suppose but my DD was thrilled.

 

When people use multiple curricula for a subject I doubt they are using them all at once - I have one "spine and then 2 as supplements for a change up. I have to follow State rules that say - Use an Australian curriculum - so I do - but I don't think it is great and so I use another from the USA as our main program and the second Australian one to keep our finger on the pulse so to speak.

 

I HAVE to teach 8 subjects or I don't get permission to homeschool - that is how it works in my State.

 

I also like the idea of my child having a broad education.

 

So schooling 5-6 hours and not just sticking to the 3 R's does not automatically mean "busywork". Sometimes it means an "enriched and varied" education and a lot of the time it is just for fun.

 

To me and my kid - sitting on the couch and reading a chapter from SOTW for history is BOOORRRINNG. So we read about it, dramatise it, do a project or something. Yes it takes more time and prep and is not "necessary and therefore probably busywork" but I think it is worth it to see my DD's joy and excitement in doing it.

 

 

Funnily enough - I don't think what we do is very "rigerous". I have no plans to ever teach Latin or do anything listed in TWTM (which I haven't even read). So I agree that just because you do a lot of schooling hours or use a lot of curriculum doesn't mean your schooling "rigerously" but that is not my main goal anyway. We are after fun and enriching here -normal grade level learning is the standard for us.

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How do you know that a person who schools for 6 hours a day is "just doing busywork". What is wrong with doing busy work anyway if the child enjoys it? Sometimes I get the feeling that the term "busywork" is used to mean any extra work that mum would rather not do because she only wants to do the bare minimum and get school over with....

 

:iagree: A lot of people ask "what curricula are you using?" or "What are you doing?" I don't see problem in giving them an example of what it is you are doing if they are looking for a comparison. They aren't asking for your philosophy behind what you are doing. If they feel they need to be more rigorous, and I use that loosely, then so be it. Maybe they are looking for ideas to make things more challenging for their kids.

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I this this is a god explanation, but on most threads of this topic people start listing multitude of curriculum and the hours a day spent pouring over them as wha makes it riforous. I do no agree with that. I do not need three math curriculum, grammar, writing, spelling, two history plus every was aloud listed as supplement. If I tried to make my six uear old do school for six hours a day we wpuld both go nuts. It would be busy work, and busy work is not rigorous, it is just busy work.

 

I think some people get busy work and rigour in school work confused. I know a lot of my teachers did when I was in school. I know some kids need more time to get something, bit there is a balUance.

 

:iagree:

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How do you know that a person who schools for 6 hours a day is "just doing busywork". What is wrong with doing busy work anyway if the child enjoys it? Sometimes I get the feeling that the term "busywork" is used to mean any extra work that mum would rather not do because she only wants to do the bare minimum and get school over with.

 

I school my 5 yo for 5-6 hours a day. I do it because I want to provide a varied education -not just the basics and the minimum. There are so many enriching things to add to a child's education - why just settle for "the basics". We have the formal seatwork over and done with in about 2.5 hours. The rest of the time is spent doing the things my DD really enjoys or what others would class as busywork I guess. Last week we did an art project every day - not necessary I suppose but my DD was thrilled.

 

When people use multiple curricula for a subject I doubt they are using them all at once - I have one "spine and then 2 as supplements for a change up. I have to follow State rules that say - Use an Australian curriculum - so I do - but I don't think it is great and so I use another from the USA as our main program and the second Australian one to keep our finger on the pulse so to speak.

 

I HAVE to teach 8 subjects or I don't get permission to homeschool - that is how it works in my State.

 

I also like the idea of my child having a broad education.

 

So schooling 5-6 hours and not just sticking to the 3 R's does not automatically mean "busywork". Sometimes it means an "enriched and varied" education and a lot of the time it is just for fun.

 

To me and my kid - sitting on the couch and reading a chapter from SOTW for history is BOOORRRINNG. So we read about it, dramatise it, do a project or something. Yes it takes more time and prep and is not "necessary and therefore probably busywork" but I think it is worth it to see my DD's joy and excitement in doing it.

 

 

Funnily enough - I don't think what we do is very "rigerous". I have no plans to ever teach Latin or do anything listed in TWTM (which I haven't even read). So I agree that just because you do a lot of schooling hours or use a lot of curriculum doesn't mean your schooling "rigerously" but that is not my main goal anyway. We are after fun and enriching here -normal grade level learning is the standard for us.

 

I understand that, our school day does not end with seatwork, we do many outside activites. I just think that when the topic comes up, there are some who have the idea that more is better. Every thread on rigorous homeschooling is list after list of multiple curriculaa, 2-3 languages at 5,6,7 and long hours of schooling. I just wanted to point out that it is not necessarily the only thing that makes education rigorous.

 

I keep our school day short so that my son is not exhausted for his many other activities. At thos point, I don't make him pick. He does dance, gymnastics, musical theatre, co-op for extra lit craft time and PE. Our house is full of crayons, markers, colored pencils, paints, construction paper, and glue. I am not an artist person, he and his sister do art freely.

 

We do fun stuff for history. He loves the lapbook we are doing. It is his favorite part of school.

 

I think his creative play and time hanging out with his sister are equally important at this time. I just wanted to point out that quantity does not always equal quality. He gets a quality education, that is pushing him, bit he is quick with his work and I see no need to work all day if he gets it.

 

Does he stop learning when we are done? No, but I don't have it all planned. Some days I have to work, so he plays computer games - most of which have some eduicational content. Some days we bake, some days we clean, and some days we are lazy.

 

Is our Homeschool rigorous? I don't know. But I know I push him mentally, and he is pushes physically outside of the house. He is also a six year old boy.

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Curriculum is not the end. It is the means.

 

Rigor is about engaging and connecting with your child and the material.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree: (to the whole post, not just this snippet)

 

I really don't think what curriculum you use matters at all in terms of rigor. I also don't think a K/1st/2nd grader needs a lot of "rigor" in terms of "lots of curriculum", etc. The pace at which you go matters not. We do more than one grade level per year in some subjects, but that has nothing to do with rigor - it's all about what pace my son is going (and it's the biggest reason I homeschool him now). He doesn't have to do "extra work" compared to a kid going regular pace... we skip some things here and there to keep his output age appropriate. The kid going regular pace may be getting a more rigorous education even. Again, it's all about how the parent engages with the child and the material, as TD mentions above.

 

Really, I think applying the term "rigor" to the lower elementary grades doesn't even make sense. I don't want my 1st grader working 8 hours a day on a million subjects. I'd rather him spend that 8 hours a day playing with his siblings. Now in high school, "rigor" will really come into play, and that's where it counts toward college application. Colleges don't care if your 1st grader was working 8 hours a day or 30 minutes a day. Colleges care about what that child did in high school. Working 8 hours a day in 1st grade isn't a prerequisite to working hard on a rigorous education in high school.

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Curriculum is not the end. It is the means.

 

Rigor is about engaging and connecting with your child and the material. In the early grades, the "rigor" part belongs to the parent. The child is the recipient of Mom's dedication, love, and willingness to use whatever means necessary to get through to him, whether in academics or relational skills. Mom is on the line for the rigor lessons at this stage. Will she study TWTM or CM's original works? Will she work a week ahead of her child, making sure she understands his grammar and math before she turns to teach him? Will she study her child and understand the effect of her budding attempts to transfer knowledge to him? Will she apply all the maturity, humility, and wisdom she may possess to this overwhelming responsibility of raising and teaching her child?

 

As his skills and abilities grow, some of the rigor is transferred to the child. The parent begins expecting him to recall his prior learning while still leading him in the process of adding to his knowledge. In the rigorous homeschool, Mom is teaching character as diligently as she teaches fractions. She cares that her child can understand what he reads, and she also makes sure that his reading material nourishes his soul as well as his brain. She doesn't slack on his math lessons, because she knows that her diligence in helping him grasp the foundation will make all the difference when he gets to higher math. But he has to pay attention and do his assigned work! Both mother and child are working hard during the upper grammar and logic stages.

 

Finally, the time comes when the child has acquired an astounding array of virtue and skill. He now owns a personal understanding of the value of education. Now he is a full partner in his own upbringing. Mom may still direct, supervise, and teach at this point, but it is the child's Well-Trained Mind that answers the challenge of rigor in learning. At this stage, Mom begins to see her child soar beyond her highest expectations or dreams. She's no longer studying a week ahead, because his mind is quicker than hers. He's off and running, she's left behind. (This is why so many of us begin looking for online classes for some high school courses.) The time she used to spend working through his Algebra book, she now spends on her knees in prayer for his happiness, safety, and future. He's got the rigorous approach to study now. Mom is the anchor, and the one with the unfailing love and faith.

 

None of this is about curriculum.

 

Mom can begin this journey armed with TWTM, AAS, FLL, WWE, SOTW, and BFSU (and an iPad) and do either a wonderful or an awful job. The outcome will depend mostly upon herself, and how she weathers the learning curve. SWB did everything a person can do to make that ride smoother, but Mama, it is still going to be a learning curve. Use these tools, but remember they are tools. You are not teaching a curriculum. You are teaching a child.

 

Mom might do a wonderful job with nothing more than a library card, a whiteboard, and the internet for the first three years. The world of classical education is at her fingertips online. She can learn her philosophy from arguably the greatest classical educator who ever taught children: Charlotte Mason. She can learn from CM's own written word at AmblesideOnline, and then she can use online books or library books that make the grade, and apply the philosophy she has internalized. MEP math for free, nature study (the real kind), a book of poetry, and good habits, and this parent-child team is well on their way to greatness.

 

A homeless Dad can get his hands on a bunch of outdated encyclopedias. One Dad did just that.* He never read CM, or SWB, or Climbing Parnassus or anything like it. He just knew his daughter needed to learn something, so he went out and found something and taught her to make the most of it. As a devout Christian, that man was operating on faith. Whatever our religious beliefs, all homeschoolers are operating on some sort of unproven confidence that we can and should do a good job raising children with homeschooling as a huge part of that endeavor. Homeschooling is the road less traveled. It is a matter of faith.

 

So, yes, learn about methods, philosophies, curriculum, and what other families are doing. Just remember that buzzwords like "rigor" and "success" have much more to do with relationship and character than with a booklist. Don't watch the clock. Watch your child. Don't compete with others. The greatest benefit of homeschooling is the freedom to match the educational experience to the child. Do that. He'll grow best if you teach him.

 

Those of us who have been where you are now need to take the time to say this. I've seen abbeyj say it, and 8filltheheart said it, and probably others. I just wanted to say it, too.

 

Love and the best wishes in the world to new homeschoolers in their first, second, or third year with very little ones. It can be such a beautiful and wonderful time with your little ones at home. I cherish the memory of this stage with my older boys, and I'm so thankful to still be going through it one more time with my seven-year-old who is growing too fast.

 

Love,

TD

 

 

 

*(To learn more about this totally non-ideal situation that amazingly turned out OK for father and daughter, google these keywords: Ruthie Portland Father Forest Encyclopedia. Let me just make it really clear that I don't think anybody should get some old encyclopedias and live in the woods with their child. Not endorsing homelessness as a homeschooling method. Srsly.)

 

Lovely post! (And one worth saving.) Thank you for taking the time to write it.

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I think it's when your dc's head explodes. That's when you know it's "rigorous."

 

:lol:

 

When I was deciding what to use to teach...whatever...I never used that word. I just wanted to teach my dc as much as they could learn, as soon as they could learn it.

 

:iagree: Arrrrgh... Don't get me started. Homeschooling is a marathon, Peeps. Like I mentioned in another thread, this is our 4th year homeschooling and I'm starting to see friends burn out and put their kids back in ps.

 

Kids need to be challenged, for sure. But, you also need to be realistic, take in consideration the needs of the individual student AND there are going to be some seasons where academics are not going to be the be-all-end-all of our existence. You can always pick up the pace later.

 

Also, notice how the discussions are never "How do I make 9th grade rigorous?" It's "How do I make Kindergarten rigorous?" You have to see the big picture.

 

For me (because we use TWTM as a guide), if I'm wondering "Are we doing enough?"...I flip through TWTM and see what SWB put out there for each grade level. It's a good guide!

 

sewingmama: What you're describing is not busywork. :001_smile:

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Really, I think applying the term "rigor" to the lower elementary grades doesn't even make sense. I don't want my 1st grader working 8 hours a day on a million subjects. I'd rather him spend that 8 hours a day playing with his siblings. Now in high school, "rigor" will really come into play, and that's where it counts toward college application. Colleges don't care if your 1st grader was working 8 hours a day or 30 minutes a day. Colleges care about what that child did in high school. Working 8 hours a day in 1st grade isn't a prerequisite to working hard on a rigorous education in high school.

 

As usual, :iagree: with you.

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Really, I think applying the term "rigor" to the lower elementary grades doesn't even make sense. I don't want my 1st grader working 8 hours a day on a million subjects.

 

I this this is a good explanation, but on most threads of this topic people start listing multitude of curriculum and the hours a day spent pouring over them as wha makes it riforous.

 

Hmmm, I've read most of the threads about rigor over the years here, and I haven't really seen this. :confused: Generally younger parents start talking about long hours and such, but you end with a thread full of more experienced homeschoolers talking about looking at the end goal and pacing yourself rather than burning out with your 5yo 3rd grader. ;)

 

It's true that it's what you do with a curriculum that makes it rigorous, but it's also true that you are limited and affected by the raw materials. It's not popular to say, but yes, some homeschool materials are more challenging than others. Imagine if they weren't and everyone had to choose the exact same level for all of their dc? :001_huh: That doesn't mean no one should ever choose the less challenging materials, but when someone specifically wants to challenge their dc more, there are better choices than others.

 

I think the problem is in mixing two concepts: (1.) rigorous as compared to other curriculum/materials and (2.) a rigorous education for an individual child. They sometimes overlap but not always. What is challenging for a specific child in a specific family will differ, but what materials are in general more challenging doesn't.

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Hmm, I think a lot of newer homeschoolers like myself just really enjoying trying out various curricula to see what works for them. Better to try and figure out your style and preferences early on when there is more leeway and time to make adjustments than later on when a lot of hopping around can be detrimental.

 

I think looking at lists of curriculum can be misleading. If a parent is making the child exhausted and crying from overload that is a bad thing. If a parent is regularly demanding that their child do more school work than they are capable of doing due to readiness/maturity then that is a bad thing. If a parent is offering challenging material and interesting experiences that both parent and child are enjoying I think that is what it is all about. I want daily work that is appropriate and I want to see progress. I'm very aware that what is appropriate in terms of workload and adequate progress depends entirely on the child and isn't a "one size fits all" situation.

 

I think what can be frustrating for new homeschoolers is the push/pull of being asked what we are using and then another thread pops up and subtle (or not so subtle) criticism is heaped on to those who are energetic, excited and making strong efforts in their homeschooling of their young children. I'm guessing as the years go by and the homeschooling parent well and truly gets their feet dirty in the trenches that adjustments are made to suit the entire family's needs.

 

I think a lot of the early grade "rigor" posts are just a plea for lists that are not "better late than early" which seems to be the attitude that permeates the homeschooling community currently. Sometimes late isn't better than on time/early.

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I think a lot of the early grade "rigor" posts are just a plea for lists that are not "better late than early" which seems to be the attitude that permeates the homeschooling community currently. Sometimes late isn't better than on time/early.

 

I just want to tell you how much I love this.

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.

 

I think what can be frustrating for new homeschoolers is the push/pull of being asked what we are using and then another thread pops up and subtle (or not so subtle) criticism is heaped on to those who are energetic, excited and making strong efforts in their homeschooling of their young children. I'm guessing as the years go by and the homeschooling parent well and truly gets their feet dirty in the trenches that adjustments are made to suit the entire family's needs.

 

I think a lot of the early grade "rigor" posts are just a plea for lists that are not "better late than early" which seems to be the attitude that permeates the homeschooling community currently. Sometimes late isn't better than on time/early.

 

:iagree: So true!

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Hmm, I think a lot of newer homeschoolers like myself just really enjoying trying out various curricula to see what works for them. Better to try and figure out your style and preferences early on when there is more leeway and time to make adjustments than later on when a lot of hopping around can be detrimental.

 

I think looking at lists of curriculum can be misleading. If a parent is making the child exhausted and crying from overload that is a bad thing. If a parent is regularly demanding that their child do more school work than they are capable of doing due to readiness/maturity then that is a bad thing. If a parent is offering challenging material and interesting experiences that both parent and child are enjoying I think that is what it is all about. I want daily work that is appropriate and I want to see progress. I'm very aware that what is appropriate in terms of workload and adequate progress depends entirely on the child and isn't a "one size fits all" situation.

 

I think what can be frustrating for new homeschoolers is the push/pull of being asked what we are using and then another thread pops up and subtle (or not so subtle) criticism is heaped on to those who are energetic, excited and making strong efforts in their homeschooling of their young children. I'm guessing as the years go by and the homeschooling parent well and truly gets their feet dirty in the trenches that adjustments are made to suit the entire family's needs.

 

I think a lot of the early grade "rigor" posts are just a plea for lists that are not "better late than early" which seems to be the attitude that permeates the homeschooling community currently. Sometimes late isn't better than on time/early.

 

 

I really agree with this. I understand that people have different circumstances that the been there done that moms might look at new homeschooling moms and chuckle. I know that I won't be able to do this much with a kindergartener when I have several kids in my homeschool, but I also know that right now the kindergartener is the oldest. Later on, my younger kids will be exposed to whatever my older kids are doing and will gain a lot from that. We usually do school for 2-3 hours a day and I have gotten a lot of criticism for that. However, less than an hour of that is seat time. The rest is what the kids call fun school (science, history, art, music, circle time, etc).

 

I think the great thing about homeschooling is that we all have the freedom to do what is best for our family. I often feel judged by nonhomeschooler who think we aren't doing enough since we start school at 9 am and are always finished by 1 or 2 with LOTS of outdoor playtime. I also feel judged by homeschoolers who act like I am crazy for subjecting my kids to long hours of school. I do agree with Drexel that the later rather than early side of homeschooling seems to pervade the community right now. I am not saying that those homeschoolers aren't valid in their choices, but my family may be different. My son is very bright and loves the "extras." He would be miserable just focusing on the three R's. He lives for the other stuff.

 

So...I guess when I read rigorous, I read that to mean that someone isn't looking for a really gentle education and a later is more type of curriculum. I don't read rigorous to mean 3 grammar programs. Although I do have three math programs. :lol: SM is our main program, but I do supplement with MEP and Miquon.

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I really agree with this. I understand that people have different circumstances that the been there done that moms might look at new homeschooling moms and chuckle. I know that I won't be able to do this much with a kindergartener when I have several kids in my homeschool, but I also know that right now the kindergartener is the oldest. Later on, my younger kids will be exposed to whatever my older kids are doing and will gain a lot from that. We usually do school for 2-3 hours a day and I have gotten a lot of criticism for that. However, less than an hour of that is seat time. The rest is what the kids call fun school (science, history, art, music, circle time, etc).

 

I think the great thing about homeschooling is that we all have the freedom to do what is best for our family. I often feel judged by nonhomeschooler who think we aren't doing enough since we start school at 9 am and are always finished by 1 or 2 with LOTS of outdoor playtime. I also feel judged by homeschoolers who act like I am crazy for subjecting my kids to long hours of school. I do agree with Drexel that the later rather than early side of homeschooling seems to pervade the community right now. I am not saying that those homeschoolers aren't valid in their choices, but my family may be different. My son is very bright and loves the "extras." He would be miserable just focusing on the three R's. He lives for the other stuff.

 

So...I guess when I read rigorous, I read that to mean that someone isn't looking for a really gentle education and a later is more type of curriculum. I don't read rigorous to mean 3 grammar programs. Although I do have three math programs. :lol: SM is our main program, but I do supplement with MEP and Miquon.

 

I agree as well. It is odd to have public schoolers thinking you must not do enough and homeschoolers thinking you do too much. I'm also not a fan of rigid age-restrictions that seem to be popular now as to when to start. I think you should start when your child is ready, whether that happens at four or at seven. And I think you should push your child to do work they're capable of, whether that's "below grade level" or the opposite. Many people would say we do too much, but DS loves it all (with the exception of memorizing math facts...). He gets upset when we take breaks. Although I taught him to read at age four, I waited until he asked.

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Curriculum is not the end. It is the means.

 

Rigor is about engaging and connecting with your child and the material. In the early grades, the "rigor" part belongs to the parent. The child is the recipient of Mom's dedication, love, and willingness to use whatever means necessary to get through to him, whether in academics or relational skills. Mom is on the line for the rigor lessons at this stage. Will she study TWTM or CM's original works? Will she work a week ahead of her child, making sure she understands his grammar and math before she turns to teach him? Will she study her child and understand the effect of her budding attempts to transfer knowledge to him? Will she apply all the maturity, humility, and wisdom she may possess to this overwhelming responsibility of raising and teaching her child?

 

As his skills and abilities grow, some of the rigor is transferred to the child. The parent begins expecting him to recall his prior learning while still leading him in the process of adding to his knowledge. In the rigorous homeschool, Mom is teaching character as diligently as she teaches fractions. She cares that her child can understand what he reads, and she also makes sure that his reading material nourishes his soul as well as his brain. She doesn't slack on his math lessons, because she knows that her diligence in helping him grasp the foundation will make all the difference when he gets to higher math. But he has to pay attention and do his assigned work! Both mother and child are working hard during the upper grammar and logic stages.

 

Finally, the time comes when the child has acquired an astounding array of virtue and skill. He now owns a personal understanding of the value of education. Now he is a full partner in his own upbringing. Mom may still direct, supervise, and teach at this point, but it is the child's Well-Trained Mind that answers the challenge of rigor in learning. At this stage, Mom begins to see her child soar beyond her highest expectations or dreams. She's no longer studying a week ahead, because his mind is quicker than hers. He's off and running, she's left behind. (This is why so many of us begin looking for online classes for some high school courses.) The time she used to spend working through his Algebra book, she now spends on her knees in prayer for his happiness, safety, and future. He's got the rigorous approach to study now. Mom is the anchor, and the one with the unfailing love and faith.

 

None of this is about curriculum.

 

Mom can begin this journey armed with TWTM, AAS, FLL, WWE, SOTW, and BFSU (and an iPad) and do either a wonderful or an awful job. The outcome will depend mostly upon herself, and how she weathers the learning curve. SWB did everything a person can do to make that ride smoother, but Mama, it is still going to be a learning curve. Use these tools, but remember they are tools. You are not teaching a curriculum. You are teaching a child.

 

Mom might do a wonderful job with nothing more than a library card, a whiteboard, and the internet for the first three years. The world of classical education is at her fingertips online. She can learn her philosophy from arguably the greatest classical educator who ever taught children: Charlotte Mason. She can learn from CM's own written word at AmblesideOnline, and then she can use online books or library books that make the grade, and apply the philosophy she has internalized. MEP math for free, nature study (the real kind), a book of poetry, and good habits, and this parent-child team is well on their way to greatness.

 

A homeless Dad can get his hands on a bunch of outdated encyclopedias. One Dad did just that.* He never read CM, or SWB, or Climbing Parnassus or anything like it. He just knew his daughter needed to learn something, so he went out and found something and taught her to make the most of it. As a devout Christian, that man was operating on faith. Whatever our religious beliefs, all homeschoolers are operating on some sort of unproven confidence that we can and should do a good job raising children with homeschooling as a huge part of that endeavor. Homeschooling is the road less traveled. It is a matter of faith.

 

So, yes, learn about methods, philosophies, curriculum, and what other families are doing. Just remember that buzzwords like "rigor" and "success" have much more to do with relationship and character than with a booklist. Don't watch the clock. Watch your child. Don't compete with others. The greatest benefit of homeschooling is the freedom to match the educational experience to the child. Do that. He'll grow best if you teach him.

 

 

 

This was a beautiful, and very helpful, post. Thank you!!

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I think the problem is in mixing two concepts: (1.) rigorous as compared to other curriculum/materials and (2.) a rigorous education for an individual child. They sometimes overlap but not always. What is challenging for a specific child in a specific family will differ, but what materials are in general more challenging doesn't.

 

:iagree:

The logic in this thread is dizzying. Thanks for chiming in, Angela. :)

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It's funny though...

 

When I hear someone talk about "rigor" with a 5, 6, or 7 year old, I just don't get it. I mean, why would you want "rigor" for such a young child? I am very academic and take academics pretty seriously. I also take a Learning Lifestyle seriously and try to always be learning, reading, discussing, and keeping my mind open (and in order to do so, avoiding junk TV, most entertainment, silly magazines, etc. etc.)...But I just don't get the idea of a 6-7 year old being academically "rigorous" with multiple curricula for several subjects, hours of formal schooling every day, etc.

 

But that's the freedom of homeschooling, and I certainly wouldn't put anyone down for doing that either.

 

As the children mature, and formal schooling makes more sense, and is more productive, I sort of understand the term "rigor" because I think as a PP said, many here are reacting to and responding to the current trend of homeschoolers avoiding and looking down upon formal learning.

 

But there are so many other things in life to be "rigorous" about...

Character Building

Every Day Skills

Serving the poor, needy, sick, lonely, etc.

 

And much, much more. There are people I know IRL who were not very rigorous compared to some standards here at WTM (using all ACE paces, or all SOS, for example) but whose overall lifestyle was rigorously striving for the goal of Godly, skilled, compassionate, useful young people.

 

But here, in general, the recent threads have been referring mostly to academic rigor, and using more than one curricula for several subjects, and including almost every subject possible. I think that IS academically rigorous. But it's not necessarily better.

 

Some have defined themselves as rigorous, but preferring to go deep into one subject, at one angle. THat is another form of academic rigor. But I doubt it would impress the recent "rigorous" crowd here.

 

By that definition, I am not "rigorous" and never will be.

 

But my homeschooling certainly is more rigorous than others, comparatively. It's all relative.

Edited by Calming Tea
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Here is my point of confusion on this topic - I'm still having trouble understanding what "rigor" is supposed to be in elementary years but it is put up against "better late than early" and in the comparison appears to be put forth as equaling "higher educational goals".

 

But really? Here is an example of why this isn't making sense at all. This article (thank-you Ellie for the original referral) shows how an informal approach to mathematics in the early years (which apparently does not equal "hide children away from numbers so they won't be distracted from dancing with fairies until they are 10"), giving heavier attention instead to language, reasoning and a lot of reading, resulted in the "better late than early" children being far advanced in comparison to their peers by the end up fifth or sixth grade after a few months of "catch up" (to cover what their peers had been learning over the past 5 years). This was despite the fact that the "better later than early" children were from lower income, non-English speaking homes (the only people that could apparently convince to allow their children to be "deprived" of early formal mathematics).

 

So if this is how we are defining "rigor" then it would appear that - although there are certainly some out there with low educational goals - many of the "better late than early" folks are actually making a decision against this "rigor" because they have higher educational goals and don't want to short change their children.

 

Some of the most experienced homeschoolers on here, with older children who have excelled at high-school and have even been accelerated happen to also be those with a "better late than early" approach to elementary years. It's from reading their posts and threads over the past months that have caused me to evaluate my own perceptions and philosophy. I used to dread those ladies responding to my questions - now I'm beyond thankful that they were kind and patient enough to do so.

 

What I've learned recently is that a "better late than early" approach does not remotely mean that children aren't learning, and learning widely, and learning deeply. Here's a big revelation to me - it doesn't intrinsically equal "unschooling" either. It's about a reordering of what and when so as to maximize education and reach an even higher end goal.

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It's funny though...

 

When I hear someone talk about "rigor" with a 5, 6, or 7 year old, I just don't get it. I mean, why would you want "rigor" for such a young child? I am very academic and take academics pretty seriously. I also take a Learning Lifestyle seriously and try to always be learning, reading, discussing, and keeping my mind open (and in order to do so, avoiding junk TV, most entertainment, silly magazines, etc. etc.)...But I just don't get the idea of a 6-7 year old being academically "rigorous" with multiple curricula for several subjects, hours of formal schooling every day, etc.

 

But that's the freedom of homeschooling, and I certainly wouldn't put anyone down for doing that either.

 

As the children mature, and formal schooling makes more sense, and is more productive, I sort of understand the term "rigor" because I think as a PP said, many here are reacting to and responding to the current trend of homeschoolers avoiding and looking down upon formal learning.

 

But there are so many other things in life to be "rigorous" about...

Character Building

Every Day Skills

Serving the poor, needy, sick, lonely, etc.

 

And much, much more. There are people I know IRL who were not very rigorous compared to some standards here at WTM (using all ACE paces, or all SOS, for example) but whose overall lifestyle was rigorously striving for the goal of Godly, skilled, compassionate, useful young people.

 

But here, in general, the recent threads have been referring mostly to academic rigor, and using more than one curricula for several subjects, and including almost every subject possible. I think that IS academically rigorous. But it's not necessarily better.

 

Some have defined themselves as rigorous, but preferring to go deep into one subject, at one angle. THat is another form of academic rigor. But I doubt it would impress the recent "rigorous" crowd here.

 

By that definition, I am not "rigorous" and never will be.

 

But my homeschooling certainly is more rigorous than others, comparatively. It's all relative.

 

 

Yeah .. that too. That's my second point of confusion.

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But there are so many other things in life to be "rigorous" about...

Character Building

Every Day Skills

Serving the poor, needy, sick, lonely, etc.

 

And much, much more. There are people I know IRL who were not very rigorous compared to some standards here at WTM (using all ACE paces, or all SOS, for example) but whose overall lifestyle was rigorously striving for the goal of Godly, skilled, compassionate, useful young people.

 

This is a common false dichotomy. These things are not mutually exclusive, and to me that is just another way to put down others making different choices.

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This is a common false dichotomy. These things are not mutually exclusive, and to me that is just another way to put down others making different choices.

 

I completely understand that anyone inclined to do a "rigorous" first grade isn't choosing to do so instead of these kinds of things but I took the point to be that there truly are only so many hours in a day and days in a week and weeks in a year and we all are going to make individual choices about where the weight of the time and effort falls. Perhaps I read it wrong though but I wasn't taking it that simply.

 

 

eta: actually my secondary confusion about the definition of "rigor" was more specifically this: If someone does not do formal English grammar but only addresses it in daily speech and through copywork it seems they would be considered not rigorous. What if that same person has their child memorizing Latin grammar? It seems that plenty of the same people who would consider themselves more rigorous would now say this is an inappropriate use of time and they will not being doing any such thing with their child until they are older, if they do it at all.

 

I know this is consistent with some portion of the forum population even if it isn't for all.

Edited by SCGS
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I am the queen of avoiding a false dichotomy as I am married to a computer programmer who studies philosophy in his spare time. :tongue_smilie:

 

I am definitely NOT saying that you can EITHER, A: have academic rigor or B: serve the community, be Godly, etc.

 

But I am making the point that there are only so many hours in the day, and only so many things a mother can do VERY well. I have seen others IRL take the rigor of service VERY seriously and go far above and beyond what most homeschoolers do. And I have seen homeschoolers take the academics and go far and above and beyond-rigorously striving for high academic goals.

 

But I doubt very many moms could do BOTH A and B, "rigorously." (by the previous definition of rigor I had been reading the past two weeks here.)

 

It's more likely that most homeschool moms strive to do both A and B "well."

 

And again, it's all relative.

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:iagree: Arrrrgh... Don't get me started. Homeschooling is a marathon, Peeps. Like I mentioned in another thread, this is our 4th year homeschooling and I'm starting to see friends burn out and put their kids back in ps.

 

Kids need to be challenged, for sure. But, you also need to be realistic, take in consideration the needs of the individual student AND there are going to be some seasons where academics are not going to be the be-all-end-all of our existence. You can always pick up the pace later.

 

Also, notice how the discussions are never "How do I make 9th grade rigorous?" It's "How do I make Kindergarten rigorous?" You have to see the big picture.

 

For me (because we use TWTM as a guide), if I'm wondering "Are we doing enough?"...I flip through TWTM and see what SWB put out there for each grade level. It's a good guide!

 

 

:iagree:

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THis is well said. Though I never decided to hold off on academics until 9 or 10 with my kids, I saw the fruit of holding off much longer with my dd than I did with my son. And it paid off for me in less frustration, and a lot more fun and ease.

 

Unfortunately we'll never get a perfect definition of "rigor" on this thread...and that's OK. It has still been a very worthwhile discussion.

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I am the queen of avoiding a false dichotomy as I am married to a computer programmer who studies philosophy in his spare time. :tongue_smilie:

 

I am definitely NOT saying that you can EITHER, A: have academic rigor or B: serve the community, be Godly, etc.

 

But I am making the point that there are only so many hours in the day, and only so many things a mother can do VERY well. I have seen others IRL take the rigor of service VERY seriously and go far above and beyond what most homeschoolers do. And I have seen homeschoolers take the academics and go far and above and beyond-rigorously striving for high academic goals.

 

But I doubt very many moms could do BOTH A and B, "rigorously." (by the previous definition of rigor I had been reading the past two weeks here.)

 

It's more likely that most homeschool moms strive to do both A and B "well."

 

And again, it's all relative.

 

I disagree. There is plenty of time, if you are willing to sacrifice.

 

Ironically, it has actually been my experience in life that people (moms included) who excel at one thing excel at others (talk about something unpopular and "unfair" to say out loud :lol:,) and that families (homeschoolers and not) who emphasize academics are also those who train character and community service more carefully.

 

ETA: Thought more about this, and I think I can be more clear. Godly character and service are lifestyle/parenting choices. They do not exclude time for rigorous academics, imho. If you say something like sports or music, yes, I think you have to makes some choices there (though again, the future Harvard Med school student was also the youth orchestra concerto winner, so who knows...)

Edited by angela in ohio
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Hmm. That is an interesting observation. It's true that there are many who are just Type A, or hardworking, or Beavers, or wthatever it's called. And they generally do many things very well. I would probably almost fall into that category. And most of use here at WTM would probably mostly fall into that category.

 

I'm going to have to chew on your point for a while.

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OK I read your additional comment, and here are my thoughts.

 

How one defines rigor, is still going to play into our own little mini discussion here, just like it did in the overall thread.

 

If I define "rigor" as covering the 3R's very well, a four year history rotation, doing something fairly meaty and regularly for Science, and adding either Greek or Latin or even Spanish to that, and making sure my children are college ready, with high SAT's then I agree with you. That can be done alongside service, training, and community involvement.

 

But if I ADD to the above musical instruction, plus an extra math program, plus two foreign languages or even three, plus art history and and art studies which take weekly time, plus working knowledge of all technology for today, plus ample read aloud and literature discussion, PLUS logic studies ...then I just don't see how a person can do all of that until 3 or 4 pm every day-

 

AND devote weekly trips to nursing homes, serve the local church, take dinners to the elderly once per week, sign up for the meals on wheels program, volunteer to drive an elderly person to church, take 7 kids to AWANA every week, volunteer in AWANA, have daily exercise, daily prayers, daily devotions, and daily family time together with Dad, and Bible study...

 

There honestly would just not be enough time in the day.

 

Which is why I kind of still think (even though you made a very good point) that most of us more hard working homeschool moms should, strive to do "well" in both areas...rather than be rigorous by the first definition.

 

But again, it's relative. Even my first definition of rigor would be more rigorous than most of the homeschoolers I know IRL.

Edited by Calming Tea
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OK I read your additional comment, and here are my thoughts.

 

How one defines rigor, is still going to play into our own little mini discussion here, just like it did in the overall thread.

 

If I define "rigor" as covering the 3R's very well, a four year history rotation, doing something fairly meaty and regularly for Science, and adding either Greek or Latin or even Spanish to that, and making sure my children are college ready, with high SAT's then I agree with you. That can be done alongside service, training, and community involvement.

 

But if I ADD to the above musical instruction, plus an extra math program, plus two foreign languages or even three, plus art history and and art studies which take weekly time, plus working knowledge of all technology for today, plus ample read aloud and literature discussion, PLUS logic studies ...then I just don't see how a person can do all of that until 3 or 4 pm every day-

 

AND devote weekly trips to nursing homes, serve the local church, take dinners to the elderly once per week, sign up for the meals on wheels program, volunteer to drive an elderly person to church, take 7 kids to AWANA every week, volunteer in AWANA, have daily exercise, daily prayers, daily devotions, and daily family time together with Dad, and Bible study...

 

There honestly would just not be enough time in the day.

 

Which is why I kind of still think (even though you made a very good point) that most of us more hard working homeschool moms should, strive to do "well" in both areas...rather than be rigorous by the first definition.

 

But again, it's relative. Even my first definition of rigor would be more rigorous than most of the homeschoolers I know IRL.

 

We all have to pick and choose what is most important to our children, our family, and our philosophy. No one can do everything well. I think rigor on this board typically refers to a more-than-typical focus on academics. But I believe the general term of rigorous would apply to where you place extra effort whether that is academic or not.

Edited by Wehomeschool
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I don't worry about anybody else's definition of "rigorous". If "rigor" is defined as the volume of written output and/or the length of formal seatwork, then we're not as "rigorous" as some.

 

For me personally, rigor is all about development of higher-level thinking skills and going beyond just rote memorization & regurgitation even with elementary aged kids. This is where I disagree most with TWTM. I don't save the "whys" for grades 5-8. Yes, I have seen greater logical reasoning ability develop as my DD moves towards adolescence, and my expectations have increased as a result. But even with my Kindergarten-aged kids, I start trying to get them to puzzle through things.

 

The curricula I love most are the ones that facilitate the development of these sorts of skills. I also love programs that make high-level content accessible to younger kids like Ellen McHenry's and Mr. Q's science.

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AND devote weekly trips to nursing homes, serve the local church, take dinners to the elderly once per week, sign up for the meals on wheels program, volunteer to drive an elderly person to church, take 7 kids to AWANA every week, volunteer in AWANA, have daily exercise, daily prayers, daily devotions, and daily family time together with Dad, and Bible study...

 

I don't consider many of these things to be the recipe for Godly character and service, though. They are things people check off so that they feel that they are training their dc to be Godly and love other. Two people can go about the day doing the exact same things for education, and one can teach Godly character and the other can not. It's not something you add time on for (though the publishers of all those character materials would disagree :D); it's what you do with the time you already have with them.

 

Same for service. There are more and less effective ways to serve. And I know in our home, service doesn't happen instead of academics. It happens instead of watching TV or gaming or hanging out at the mall.

 

We are probably closer to agreeing than not, because I also don't agree that many of the things in your second list (extra programs, etc.) are part of rigor. I reject the idea that rigor equals time, as I think you do.

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First you have statistical criteria - rigorous would be (well) above what is the *norm*. Many people, when they call themselves rigorous, have this in mind: they do more, and better, than what is the "default standard" of their time, place, and zeitgeist.

 

However, even the educational "norm" is "adjusted for inflation" in very many places, so the education an average child is getting as a "default" one is already subpar very often. Many people are not trying to 'compete' or 'outrigor' others, but believe the norm to be so woefully inflated that what they are doing is essentially a correction of things back to where they should be, but are not. As a result, they appear rigorous, and they may even use that word to speak the common language with others, but in their mind, their children are receiving what should be a perfectly ordinary education.

 

Then there are people for whom even that "correction" is not enough because they have children of particular intellectual dispositions who, even with the "correction", do not benefit from such an education to an extent to which they could - and, arguably, should. Because they still require more, even in a system without an inflation, so a rigorous education is not rigorous for them without further adaptations. And here is where the individualization kicks in, especially for extremely bright children, and where the "rigor" becomes a somewhat fuzzy, subjective category.

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A few random thoughts:

 

Those with older dc don't usually say to relax with little ones because we just don't have the time. :lol: It's because we realize as we get further down the road that we should have been focusing all that energy on a different oldest students: ourselves (and don't think it doesn't apply because you're smart enough already: I was a NM scholarand honeors student, and homeschooling makes me feel downright pathetic many days.)

 

Rigor doesn't equal time, nor does it equal output. Sometimes those things overlap some, though. There is a certain minimum amount of time it takes, depending on the child's ability, to get certain skills in. And there is a certain level of output necessary. But more does not equal better in either case. It's about balance. :D

 

Rigor is different for each child. The end result won't be the same.

 

You don't get to the end result just by doing it now. If you have x goal in mind, the road to it is likely not jsut doing x with your child over and over for years. It's a shame, because that would be easier.

 

And we come back to the fact that teacher quality matters. If you have to rely on a pile of worksheets, it will probably take you longer to reach the same objective. It is simply more effective to know the material yourself and teach it well.

Edited by angela in ohio
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:confused::confused::confused: You don't think Christ wants us to follow in His example and serve others?

 

This type of "it doesn't matter what I do" attitude is what I, as a Catholic Christian, really don't understand about Protestants.

 

 

Edited to remove my comment and question. Taking the high road...

Edited by Tibbie Dunbar
blech
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:confused::confused::confused: You don't think Christ wants us to follow in His example and serve others?

 

This type of "it doesn't matter what I do" attitude is what I, as a Catholic Christian, really don't understand about Protestants.

 

You completely missed my point (I was saying the opposite of what you think, ftr,) and honestly I don't see the point in explaining it any more, because I have no interest in having a conversation with you after that comment.

 

Please, folks, don't let this hijack the thread from our great conversation and turn it into yet another religious thread. Those should stay on the General Board. Let's just carry on...

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I don't consider many of these things to be the recipe for Godly character and service, though. They are things people check off so that they feel that they are training their dc to be Godly and love other. Two people can go about the day doing the exact same things for education, and one can teach Godly character and the other can not. It's not something you add time on for (though the publishers of all those character materials would disagree :D); it's what you do with the time you already have with them.

 

Same for service. There are more and less effective ways to serve. And I know in our home, service doesn't happen instead of academics. It happens instead of watching TV or gaming or hanging out at the mall.

 

We are probably closer to agreeing than not, because I also don't agree that many of the things in your second list (extra programs, etc.) are part of rigor. I reject the idea that rigor equals time, as I think you do.

 

 

I agree with all of this. In fact in my home we do a minimum of most things- we have a tiny house on purpose, one car on purpose, keep outside activities to a minimum, and we serve where we feel God is truly calling us. Piling on service opportunities certainly also doesn't guarantee character.

 

But there are different types of rigor and of course we are taking of academic rigor here.

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I think what can be frustrating for new homeschoolers is the push/pull of being asked what we are using and then another thread pops up and subtle (or not so subtle) criticism is heaped on to those who are energetic, excited and making strong efforts in their homeschooling of their young children. I'm guessing as the years go by and the homeschooling parent well and truly gets their feet dirty in the trenches that adjustments are made to suit the entire family's needs.

 

I think a lot of the early grade "rigor" posts are just a plea for lists that are not "better late than early" which seems to be the attitude that permeates the homeschooling community currently. Sometimes late isn't better than on time/early.

 

:iagree:Thank you for saying this! I think that about 99% of the early-learning resources that I've come across are "better late than early," so these boards are an important source of counter-argument to that theory. When all around me there is the idea that all aspects of the early years should be delight-directed, discovery-based, natural-organic, manipulative-saturated, child-led play time, it's reassuring every now and then to hear from someone who's been there that a low-pressure 5-minute reading lesson three times a week isn't going to obliterate my young child. :001_smile:

 

Most of the rigor (at this point) applies to me, the teacher/parent. That's because there is so much to learn in the beginning, so much to process. Perhaps the parents of young children who inquire about rigor are really only coming to terms with the amount of work they realize THEY will have to do? Perhaps it is a way of thinking through the amount of work they want to take on for themselves, in order to (later) be able to demand it of their children?

 

I remember, too, that when my girls were very young their uncommon abilities unnerved me (still do). People were constantly commenting on how bright they are, which sounds wonderful, until you're the parent who's lying awake at night thinking about how dumb you are! So perhaps some of the questions about rigor in the early years are simply pleas for reassurance from parents who have "scary bright" children?

 

Another thought I had recently: After I posted my tentative line-up for 2nd grade, I was surprised by some of the feedback. More than a few people thought it was "too much," even though I mentioned that we'd only use bits and pieces or parts of certain things. I think some of the variation on what constitutes "rigor" is that we all have our own teaching style, combined with the individual student's learning style, which only the parent knows. When I list X, Y, and Z for my 2nd grader, I know that X is the core, Y is the twice a week, and Z is the every-now-and-then resource. I ALSO know how I like to teach -- drop this, grab that -- to have a better tool in my hand for the concept.

 

It's like getting up on a ladder to unscrew a curtain rod, only to realize that you brought the Philips head screwdriver up with you -- and this screw is a flat head. Back down the ladder, back to the basement, back to the toolbox, get the flat head, back up the stairs, back up the ladder.... For me, it's easier (and more effective) to simply have the tools on hand.

 

I am perfectly content to let up to 60% of my "plan" DROP... just DROP by the wayside, to focus on deep, conceptual learning, which I think is true rigor. BUT, I know myself. :blushing: If I don't at least plan ahead and study ahead, line up the materials, set some target dates, set some target start times and stop times -- then I am not working up to the level of which my children are capable, which means that I am not their best teacher. The rigor (for me) at this point is lining it up, having a plan, having it ready. The other side of that is keeping my heart and mind open to my real children.

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I agree with all of this. In fact in my home we do a minimum of most things- we have a tiny house on purpose, one car on purpose, keep outside activities to a minimum, and we serve where we feel God is truly calling us. Piling on service opportunities certainly also doesn't guarantee character.

 

But there are different types of rigor and of course we are taking of academic rigor here.

 

It did occur to me after I posted that you might be listing the actual things your family does, and then I felt bad. :blush5: I'm glad you agree. I don't necessarily disagree with any of that list, just the idea that some of those things themselves train character and service in some greater way than can happen in daily life.

 

I thought of an example (since my point may be misunderstood by others): Child A, B, and C go to an art museum tour (a fairly acaemic endeavour.) There is another child there, Child D, who has ASD. Child B and C go off in a group of their friends and whisper about Child D, refuse to sit by her, etc. Child A sits next to her, pairs up with her, and chats with her during a break. In the car on the way home, Child A's mom tells her how happy she is with her actions, Child B's parent talks about how disappointed she is in her for the way she acted, and Child C's mom make a phone call to a friend. All three spent the exact same amount of time at the museum and driving home. It didn't take more time for Child A and B's parents to teach a message of love for others. It just took intention. Maybe Child C goes to Bible study that night and the other two don't; a well-placed and timely verse and lesson from Child B's mother in the car means ten times more, imho. I think too many people are dropping their dc off at this and that and counting it as Godly character training, and they miss the point of being intentional and effective. That's where I disagree that it takes much more time.

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Most of the rigor (at this point) applies to me, the teacher/parent. That's because there is so much to learn in the beginning, so much to process. Perhaps the parents of young children who inquire about rigor are really only coming to terms with the amount of work they realize THEY will have to do? Perhaps it is a way of thinking through the amount of work they want to take on for themselves, in order to (later) be able to demand it of their children?

 

That's the kind of rigor thread we used to have around here, and the kind I will gladly join. :D That's much more interesting to me (theory, teacher prep, expectations, etc.) than listing curriculum.

 

I get it, I do. I spent yesterday bemoaning the fact to a woman with graduated dc that the only college admissions books I can find for homeschoolers are about how to give your dd math credit for grocery shopping. ;) (I guess that would be the "better reeeeaaaaalllly late than early" philosophy. :lol:)

 

You won't hear me telling you not to be rigorous, but I will tell you to focus in a different direction than curriculum for every subject at a young age. It's not the rigor I'm disagreeing with; I'm just saying there's a better way to BE rigorous, imho.

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