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A college minor that prepares for home educating?


Joan in GE
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Hi all,

 

Dd and I were at the open house for a local uni today listening to the Science of Education promotion when I thought about how some of the Swiss cantons are requiring parents to have a teaching degree in order to home educate and how it is a waste when a lot of an Education degree is learning how to deal with classroom dynamics, etc. Although I wasn't an education major or minor, I did take some courses such as Educational Psychology, which have helped me in teaching my children...Then I thought:

 

What if there was a set of college courses designed specifically to prepare a potential parent to home educate their child(ren)?????

 

Ok, I can see a negative in that possibly states could start to require such courses...But the positive is that there are courses which could be really useful to a person planning to home educate at some point in the future...

 

I don't really see how such studies would qualify as a minor, since they couldn't be a major, but I wasn't sure how else to even start to think of it...except possibly a degree at an Associate College for example...

 

Just thought I'd drop this idea into the hive think tank,

Joan

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I have an education degree and while I use pretty much none of it to homeschool I think that my Educational Philosophy class has been invaluable to me for homeschooling. We talked about different educational theories (Howard Gardner, Pavlov, etc.) and different learning styles (auditory, visual, etc.) Then we had to design lesson plans that hit on as many of these as possible. It's come in very handy when trying to get something across to my daughter, her not getting it the first time, and then trying a different approach.

 

The other class (not an education class) that I know will be useful when dd gets older was my Advanced Composition class. All freshman had to take Comp. I and Comp. II, but generally the only people who took Advanced Comp. were english/writing majors. The way I wound up in the class as a history major was because I was pre-law at the time (changed over to secondary education later). A friend of mine was in law school and I asked him what class he thought would be most helpful for law school. He told me to take as many writing classes as I could, because he wished he had taken more. I firmly believe that Advanced Composition made me into a 1,000 times better writer than before I took it.

 

Those are my two choices :001_smile:

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Against. :)

 

I am against general education degrees as well, except for elementary school teachers who may not need to specialize the areas they study. For middle school onwards, I believe children need to be taught by a subject matter expert who had an additional set of education-related subjects, but NOT by a vague "education" major. So, I do not see why create a separate course of studies to home educate - honestly, it seems to me like all of those pseudo-degrees of today... I would not support it.

 

I do not think homeschooling parents should be required to undergo a course of studies to be able to home educate, but I DO support educational equivalence exams for homeschooled children for major subjects. That way, parents do not have to deal with jumping through the unnecessary hoops, but it is still proven that children are learning something at home, if there is a national curriculum to abide by.

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I think that people should major in what interests them for home education. Any liberal arts degree should work. For science minded folks, science, for history folks, history, so forth.

 

The biggest thing is to be able to think critically and dynamically after that it's all gravy. Sure it be nice if a student try to "well round" themselves, take a history course or two, lit, some science and math, but there are too many disciplines to get everything well covered so even there they should pick electives that interest them.

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I suppose something about childhood development coupled with an adequate general knowledge (history, lit, science, math).

 

My house has a "bent" based on my interests, just like my cooking does. But I try to expose my kids to other things beyond what I like.

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Not a great idea.

 

I find that what prepared me best for homeschooling my kids is a solid content knowledge in certain subjects, because these are the subjects I can actually teach. I'd go for content over "how to teach" stuff any time.

 

Judging from the posts here on these boards, I would think the most beneficial degree for homeschooling mothers would be a math minor.:tongue_smilie:

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I have an education degree and while I use pretty much none of it to homeschool I think that my Educational Philosophy class has been invaluable to me for homeschooling. We talked about different educational theories (Howard Gardner, Pavlov, etc.) and different learning styles (auditory, visual, etc.) Then we had to design lesson plans that hit on as many of these as possible.

 

snip

 

A friend of mine was in law school and I asked him what class he thought would be most helpful for law school. He told me to take as many writing classes as I could, because he wished he had taken more. I firmly believe that Advanced Composition made me into a 1,000 times better writer than before I took it.

Those are my two choices :001_smile:

 

Yes, I think writing is quite important - the course could give ideas of how to grade your children's writing as well. A thing that always was tough for me...

 

except for elementary school teachers who may not need to specialize the areas they study.

 

Well, since that covers already the first 8 years (or more if you count pre-K) - it might not be so bad even in your mind.:001_smile: (apart from your other comments - but try to see where I'm going here first)

 

I think a starting point could be the courses outined in this paper from Core Knowledge

 

That is a helpful paper!

 

Separately I'm just beginning to try to gather information about how people who have degrees in education adjust to home education, the percent of their education that is useful for home teaching, etc.

 

Since courts here are going to that model, it would be good to show in court how little of that degree is useful at home...

 

 

I'm looking at an online BA for my daughter called Christian Classical Education from Whitefield College in FL.

 

Maybe they could have courses specially for home educating..

 

I think that people should major in what interests them for home education. Any liberal arts degree should work. For science minded folks, science, for history folks, history, so forth.

 

The biggest thing is to be able to think critically and dynamically after that it's all gravy. Sure it be nice if a student try to "well round" themselves, take a history course or two, lit, some science and math, but there are too many disciplines to get everything well covered so even there they should pick electives that interest them.

 

I agree for the "major"...but you'll see my points later on..

 

I suppose something about childhood development coupled with an adequate general knowledge (history, lit, science, math).

 

Yes, child development would be very useful I think.

 

I'd go for content over "how to teach" stuff any time.

 

I'm not objecting to content for the major, but here I'll get to my points...

 

It seems to have taken me years to get good systems for organization, time management, teaching multiple grades at once, teaching penmanship, and I feel like I'm finally getting better at just some areas, just as my last one is in her last years!!!

 

And I think I did a great injustice to my oldest when he was at home in his first years. And even my second...

 

I realize that so far this is somewhat nebulous (which came first "nebula" or "nebulous"?)..So I'm just brainstorming with you all here to see what would really be useful....

 

I mean how many years did it take you (any of you) to feel like you were coming into your own with home education? not continually lost and behind? I know for me it has been years and years......Or is that just life?

 

regentrude - since you are a professor, you have all this teaching experience, but I'm not talking about just that. Were you home educating your children when they were little? If not, how old were they when you started? (if not too personal sorry)

 

Joan

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Not a great idea.

 

I find that what prepared me best for homeschooling my kids is a solid content knowledge in certain subjects, because these are the subjects I can actually teach. I'd go for content over "how to teach" stuff any time.

 

Judging from the posts here on these boards, I would think the most beneficial degree for homeschooling mothers would be a math minor.:tongue_smilie:

 

LOL....w/an English major.

 

I used to think my degrees didn't influence my homeschool, but after yrs reading this forum, I realize that they actually do. My child psy courses have significantly impacted my educational approach. But, mostly, I agree w/Regentrude that simply a solid exposure to certain subjects actually help more.

 

FWIW, I don't believe the education courses I took in college have been valuable at home. However, my research into educational philosophies/approaches since homeschooling have been. (I had no clue about Jesuit educational philosophies until my oldest was in elementary school! (sad since I am Catholic!!)) So, I absolutely do believe that philosophy of education classes can impact home education. The difference is that I don't believe you will find them at most typical universities.

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FWIW, I don't believe the education courses I took in college have been valuable at home. However, my research into educational philosophies/approaches since homeschooling have been.

 

I quite agree about educational philosophy being useful - though there is probably some difference with educational psychology which is what I had and found useful...

 

I'm curious what was the content of "education courses" (not the minutia obviously:))- what do you do all those years that then is not helpful? I saw in the "Core knowledge" paper linked earlier, that lots of teachers don't feel that their education was helpful even in the classroom!

 

Joan

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I quite agree about educational philosophy being useful - though there is probably some difference with educational psychology which is what I had and found useful...

 

I'm curious what was the content of "education courses" (not the minutia obviously:))- what do you do all those years that then is not helpful? I saw in the "Core knowledge" paper linked earlier, that lots of teachers don't feel that their education was helpful even in the classroom!

 

Joan

 

Yes, there is a huge difference between educational psy and educational philosophy.

 

My education classes were more about forming lesson plans, class management, various methodologies for presenting topics (like teaching reading whole lang vs. phonics, vs eclectic, etc) My art in elementary school was a joke. However, my music class was pretty darn impressive (so, I guess like all things, it is relative to individual prof and experience :tongue_smilie:)

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Well, since that covers already the first 8 years (or more if you count pre-K) - it might not be so bad even in your mind.:001_smile: (apart from your other comments - but try to see where I'm going here first)

:confused:

I had in mind the first 5 years or so (okay, the length of "elementary school" differs, but I definitely did not intend to include middle years, because at that point already I think an expertise is needed).

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regentrude - since you are a professor, you have all this teaching experience, but I'm not talking about just that. Were you home educating your children when they were little? If not, how old were they when you started? (if not too personal sorry)

 

I was home with my kids when they were very little. They went to public elementary school and we afterschooled. I have been homeschooling them since 5th grade.

 

I find that NOTHING of my teaching experience in college does translate into homeschooling. It is a completely different situation. The only thing that transfers is my subject expertise. Nothing about teaching a large classroom full of young adults bears any similarity to working with two children one-on-one at home.

 

ETA: Just wanted to add: I had absolutely no preparation for teaching college other than subject knowledge. There are no education classes or educational philosophies or anything - you get your graduate degree, work in research for some years, then you are put into a classroom and you have to figure it out on the job. Everything I learned about teaching I learned from observing other professors or through trial and error.

Edited by regentrude
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Not a great idea.

 

I find that what prepared me best for homeschooling my kids is a solid content knowledge in certain subjects, because these are the subjects I can actually teach. I'd go for content over "how to teach" stuff any time.

 

Judging from the posts here on these boards, I would think the most beneficial degree for homeschooling mothers would be a math minor.:tongue_smilie:

 

:iagree:

 

I have a masters in education. But what has served me far better are all of the math, science and core classes that I took while I was earning a B.S. in English. I think a wide ranging degree with lots of exposure to reading, writing, math, science and hard thinking is key.

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I have a degree in nothing. I worked until ds was born, varying places from an animal hospital to insurance underwriting. I was a great employee, good work ethic, I consider myself fairly intelligent, just no degree.

 

I bring a lot of my work ethics and organization skills to homeschooling, no doubt my years of working have made me a better homeschooling parent.

 

Do I think a homeschooling minor is a good idea? Probably not. For one I think if it was offered, states would jump on it to be required or recommended into order to homeschool.

 

What do I think I could have benefited from in the early years of schooling:

 

More knowledge of educational philosophies. We chose what the private school was using because we intended to re-enroll him at some point. After the first year of schooling, I should have read more on ways to homeschool. I didn't. It took me 3 1/2 years to break away from the box. We missed some of the discovery we could have been doing at that age.

 

Teaching to read instruction. I don't remember learning to read, I just always have. When ds started having trouble moving ahead, I panicked. I scrambled to read everything I could on reading delays and teaching phonics. Probably some wisdom I could have used earlier.

 

Math education, my own. I should have started brushing up on my algebra about a year earlier than I did. Same with many areas of self-education. I found that I remember a lot, but my terminology was rusty. I've been studying math books, and science reference books to help me. I have nightmares about my ds getting to college and being asked to do something, then saying he doesn't know how, then realizing he does, but he simply didn't know what it was called. :lol:

 

I'd like to see more preparing to homeschool books that address the parents own education and how to solidify their knowledge. I'd like to see more secular options, ones that assume post high school education is in the picture. I'd really like to see more self-education awareness in the elementary levels, when it can be easier to get ahead.

 

I do think there could be a market for an individual to create a package like this. I know the areas where I feel rusty are the ones that put me into a panic. I feel confident in myself as a teacher (of my child), but I lose that edge when I feel I don't know a subject well.

 

Interesting question. I do think more parents should look long term at their knowledge and start early to address their own gaps. I've learned so much from this board. 8 linked a report of Jesuit teaching last year, I read through it and incorporated some of the style into our classroom. It's the little bits here and there that I find so valuable, but what works well in our classroom may not work well in another.

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Ok, I see all your points. Also for the link to PHC that shows they are thinking of this... Thank you for answering with all the real life perspectives that you have...

 

I think now I'll do a poll, for the purpose of laws anywhere (any country) which are trying to insist that people have a degree in education, asking how much it has helped in home education...

 

Since I don't have a degree in education, maybe there are better ways of asking than what comes to mind...could you give advice on how to word the question or the options?

 

Or has this poll been done already?

 

Poll:Those with a degree in education - how helpful has it been? (Please help design this anyone)

 

Very helpful (worth the money) - I frequently use ideas from my general education classes

 

Generally helpful (partly worth the money) - I often use ideas """

 

Hardly helpful (not worth the money) - I hardly ever use those ideas.

 

I use the knowledge gained in subject courses often

 

I don't use the knowledge gained in subject courses often

 

Any other options or changes?

 

Thanks,

Joan

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Ok, I see all your points. Also for the link to PHC that shows they are thinking of this... Thank you for answering with all the real life perspectives that you have...

 

I think now I'll do a poll, for the purpose of laws anywhere (any country) which are trying to insist that people have a degree in education, asking how much it has helped in home education...

 

Since I don't have a degree in education, maybe there are better ways of asking than what comes to mind...could you give advice on how to word the question or the options?

 

Or has this poll been done already?

 

Poll:Those with a degree in education - how helpful has it been? (Please help design this anyone)

 

Very helpful (worth the money) - I frequently use ideas from my general education classes

 

Generally helpful (partly worth the money) - I often use ideas """

 

Hardly helpful (not worth the money) - I hardly ever use those ideas.

 

I use the knowledge gained in subject courses often

 

I don't use the knowledge gained in subject courses often

 

Any other options or changes?

 

Thanks,

Joan

 

You can create the poll, but I think the answer is going to be a resounding "education degrees are not helpful for homeschooling."

 

I sort of hedged my answer in my other responses to your OP, but I do want to post right now to affirm Paula. I completely disagree w/the contention that degrees are necessary for home-educating. I realize that you are posting from a European perspective and that that is your reality, but that is strictly a legal perspective. From a logistical perspective, I do not believe that one is necessary.

 

Self-education carries a lot of mileage. ;) A determined parent can take their students much farther than a could-careless qualified teacher.

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My dd is still pretty young and at almost 2 we aren't doing anything formal.

 

I am an older mother with a STEM degree and about 10 years of work experience. I consider myself pretty well educated because of college, life experience and because of the amount of reading I do.

 

I have a pretty good idea of how I want to homeschool and the things I want to cover. Maybe a class in learning techniques would be helpful, but I could probably pick up anything I needed from books or talking to other homeschoolers. For me personally I wouldn't get a minor in homeschooling.

 

The only thing that I wish that I had that I don't is a 2nd language. Dh and I have talked about going to a foreign country and doing a total language immersion program, probably when dd is another year or 2 older.

 

Do I think some classes would help some people, yes. Do I want to see it become a requirement to hs, no way.

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I sort of hedged my answer in my other responses to your OP, but I do want to post right now to affirm Paula. I completely disagree w/the contention that degrees are necessary for home-educating. I realize that you are posting from a European perspective and that that is your reality, but that is strictly a legal perspective. From a logistical perspective, I do not believe that one is necessary.

 

Self-education carries a lot of mileage. ;) A determined parent can take their students much farther than a could-careless qualified teacher.

 

:D Thank you.

 

 

I will also add that this degree option might have a limited interest group. Although homeschooling is rising in popularity, I don't think a large enough percentage of people PLAN on homeschooling after college. For one, if you attend right out of high school most people are single and without children. Maybe people decide to homeschool AFTER they have children. Being home with younger children is probably more important than a degree/certification to most who chose to homeschool. So when would they earn this degree?

 

Also, as a parent, I would not encourage my child to earn this type of degree. What would happen if they find they are unable to have children? I know many people don't use degrees they earn, but a minor in homeschooling assumes that you plan on having children.

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I completely disagree w/the contention that degrees are necessary for home-educating. I realize that you are posting from a European perspective and that that is your reality, but that is strictly a legal perspective. From a logistical perspective, I do not believe that one is necessary.

 

Oh, but I completely agree with you!!!

 

I would just show the poll to some judge to try to prove my point (though I would try to find Europeans who say the same thing).

 

I think it should become a well-known fact that it is not helpful. It is just that the cantons in Switzerland have been moving in that direction and it suddenly occurred to me that I've heard so many people say just such a thing, that it should be easy to get votes that support that, and therefore negate this government insistence that it is necessary.

 

I probably should not have tried to deal with the subject in this thread since I'd been discussing a college minor and that is a completely separate idea which was more looking for helpful things to learn before one starts home educating to make it easier once one started. I don't know how many late nights I spent educating myself over the years, then waking up so tired and short tempered that I was just trying to think of some way of helping others avoid such a situation in the future....

 

I have to run and finish 'hiding' books (storing them really) under my son's desk before he gets back as his room is in chaos, but I wanted to clear up this point and will answer others tomorrow.

 

Thanks all,

Joan

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I think it should become a well-known fact that it is not helpful. It is just that the cantons in Switzerland have been moving in that direction and it suddenly occurred to me that I've heard so many people say just such a thing, that it should be easy to get votes that support that, and therefore negate this government insistence that it is necessary.

 

You would need a comparison of teaching degree in the US vs in Switzerland (or whatever European country). I know that, compared to the US, a teacher in Germany has to study a lot more subject content and will be much more qualified in the subject she is teaching - and this subject expertise of course will be very helpful when homeschooling. I would guess Swiss teachers have similarly strict education requirements in their subjects. The low level of required subject expertise of US teachers is something that never ceases to amaze me. So, in a sense the sentiment that a US teaching degree is meaningless when it comes to homeschooling will not directly translate to countries that require teachers to study their subjects in depth.

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:confused:

I had in mind the first 5 years or so (okay, the length of "elementary school" differs.

 

In Geneva, and when I was growing up in the US, primary school went through '6th' grade (12 yo approx). Now in Geneva, they are calling kindergarten 1st and 2nd which means that 6th has now become 8th. I understand they do this in the Netherlands as well. Other cantons in Switzerland will do the same or are.

 

So let's see, when you say the first 5 years, you mean until 11 yo? or were you counting kindergarten as well?

 

Anyway, you can see from the Geneva system where I was getting 8 years.:)

 

I bring a lot of my work ethics and organization skills to homeschooling, no doubt my years of working have made me a better homeschooling parent.

 

the importance of real life work experience - and a good head on your shoulders :-)

 

Poll:Those with a degree in education - how helpful has it been? (Please help design this anyone)

 

Very helpful (worth the money) - I frequently use ideas from my general education classes

 

Generally helpful (partly worth the money) - I often use ideas """

 

Hardly helpful (not worth the money) - I hardly ever use those ideas.

 

I use the knowledge gained in subject courses often

 

I don't use the knowledge gained in subject courses often

 

Any other options or changes?

 

Could anyone tweak this? I would actually like to get some real numbers to quote - even if they are primarily from the US. It would be good to start with something.

 

Though not touted towards hsing, a Classics degree from Hillsdale would be useful:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/academics/majors/classics.aspI notice a LOT of women that graduated with degrees from Hillsdale, often in Classics, (we get the alum magazine) are hsing their children.

 

Interesting! From what everyone is saying so far, it seems like the real coursework is the most important. Followed by working IRL.

 

 

To answer your earlier question: I find my degree useful in several areas--in laminating things! I can throw contact paper on anything! I have a neighbor that claims I'm not going to be embalmed, but rather, laminated. And I find it useful to get folks (including family) off my back. Just the other day, someone commented, "Oh, it's okay for YOU to hs, as you have a teaching degree."

 

It is useful when filling out pesky college app forms about how my children are educated. I did find it useful for years because I could teach off the top of my head--I didn't have to look up ways to present fractions, etc. And I was familiar with many different ways to teach reading. However, it was a hindrance because it locked me into thinking that worksheets were a good thing... :D Years ago, I'd made a little game, complete with lamination! with flower fairies to teach blends. It's a work of art (still have it). And I dragged dd through it and she was kind and patient, but then asked, "Couldn't we just read a book?"

 

Good point and you made me laugh about laminating....the things I ended up laminated, I ended up not using much...

 

 

This is a shame considering that the future of the nation is largely resting on their shoulders in one sense....

 

The only thing that I wish that I had that I don't is a 2nd language. Dh and I have talked about going to a foreign country and doing a total language immersion program, probably when dd is another year or 2 older.

 

You know, I'm realizing that this is one of the things that makes a huge difference between the European continent and the US (and partly the UK)....

 

If people are only taking a couple of years to learn a foreign language in high school, do you realize how much more time people in the US have? Here with typically two other languages (even if people aren't becoming really fluent) to fit in the school week, frequently starting one in 3rd grade and the second in 5th grade, do you realize how much more time over all that ends up taking in one's school life.

 

Ok that was one of my recent insights (just from another angle as I used to compare science/ math vs language) and a rabbit trail from your post. BUT since you were expressing desire for immersion situations, it shows a desire to go a different route and I just thought I'd throw that in there.:)

 

You would need a comparison of teaching degree in the US vs in Switzerland (or whatever European country). I know that, compared to the US, a teacher in Germany has to study a lot more subject content and will be much more qualified in the subject she is teaching - and this subject expertise of course will be very helpful when homeschooling. I would guess Swiss teachers have similarly strict education requirements in their subjects. The low level of required subject expertise of US teachers is something that never ceases to amaze me. So, in a sense the sentiment that a US teaching degree is meaningless when it comes to homeschooling will not directly translate to countries that require teachers to study their subjects in depth.

 

regentrude you are quite right.

 

I do have two anecdotes (I know, way too small to count:)), but I have to say them and in the future I will search for more...

 

A friend's daughter recently became a certified teacher here. She says that her daughter was not taught much in relation to subject matter, that she had to go and research herself....I haven't looked at the specific coursework yet at uni but plan to.

 

And here in Geneva, there are so few qualified math teachers for the middle/upper schools that they are having to take biology or other science majors and convert them to being math teachers ( a math prof friend at uni was giving them a course for it)....So they are not automatically majoring in that subject. And then for English, they aren't even using native speakers here. I still can't figure out why as there is an abundance of English speakers....Don't you find that a bit "lame"?

 

Additionally, there is a serious teacher shortage in Switzerland, so I'm not sure what they will do about that. (seems like a good reason to let us home educate:001_smile:)

 

I knew a lot of homeschool moms with a Elementary Teacher Degree. As far as I can see, their degree is more ballast then useful to them (from my pov), the more 'practical' moms, were those with a degree in '.....' (fill in what you want), and worked a while before they homeschooled their children.

 

I need to say that in the Netherlands it is common known that Elementary Teachers have the worst spelling and arithmetic skills :confused:.

Elem.Teach. students have to pass a certain test now before they may teach. The minister of education considers now, (like many other things she considers), that homeschooling parents has to pass these tests too.

It is not sure, if this or when this will be required.

 

So I'm not conviced a Elementary Teacher degree would be helpful to home ed., but I can see what Joan is looking for.

 

In Belgium most parents homeschool K-6 or K-8.

9-12 are mostly parents of children who don't fit in the schoolsystem (special needs and gifted) or parents homeschooling for philosopical reasons.

Belgium knows the statute of 'free student'. If you can find a school willing to, it is allowed to follow just a few subjects without being enrolled as official student. This way it is possible to homeschool most of the subjects yourself, and send your child to school for your weaker areas. We consider this for math, other people use it for Latin/Greek or science. As free student you can't do exams in the school, you have to take part to the state exams then ( you have to do that any way if you want to get a diploma, no transcription option here)

 

Oh loesje - thank you so much for giving reports from other European countries....:001_smile:

 

So maybe not all are like Germany....BTW regentrude, I recently learned about how much 'discussion' is valued in school in Germany. That is post WWII and on the side of the West, so I don't know if you experienced that?

 

Joan

Edited by Joan in Geneva
typos
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In Geneva, and when I was growing up in the US, primary school went through '6th' grade (12 yo approx). Now in Geneva, they are calling kindergarten 1st and 2nd which means that 6th has now become 8th. I understand they do this in the Netherlands as well. Other cantons in Switzerland will do the same or are.

 

So let's see, when you say the first 5 years, you mean until 11 yo? or were you counting kindergarten as well?

 

Anyway, you can see from the Geneva system where I was getting 8 years.:)

Ah, got it now. :)

 

Sorry, I thought you were "translating" years, which would make 8th grade ages 13-14, which I do believe is too old to be taught by general education teachers. I think those are suitable for K-4th/5th, but that junior high already should be taught by subject matter experts.

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I have a BS: Elementary Education with minors in English & History. What I learned in English & History have been much more useful in our Home Education journey than all my education courses put together. The main benefit I see of having an ed. degree is that when I filled out my dc's exemption forms for the MOE I used more education lingo than the average HS/ing parent. I never mentioned that I was a teacher, but my dc's exemptions were granted without asking for more info.

 

What I've learned during my decade of HS/ing has made me a much better teacher I found when I returned to the classroom last year. Over the years I have self-educated on a wide variety of education philosophies. This has made me, as a teacher, much more flexible in how I deal with students who don't fit the typical approach.

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Interesting! From what everyone is saying so far, it seems like the real coursework is the most important. Followed by working IRL.

 

 

Yup.

 

I got a MAT (masters of arts in teaching) with secondary certification in math so half of my graduate credits are in math and half are in education. This was after completing an undergrad degree with double majors in math and English.

 

Most of my education classes were a joke. Some were taken in the evening so that people who were working could attend the graduate level courses. We had people working for PhDs in education.

 

We never stayed the full class time and there wasn't any outside work to talk about. The courses were the sort where you paid and you'd get an A, barring something amazingly egregious.

 

From what I've seen in my degree, the education courses were absolutely useless and mostly worthless. There was one on human growth and development (psych) that was taught well and one on math education that was taught well. None of the others were useful in any way, shape or form.

 

I would like to see the education department abolished.

Let students get a major in a content area.

IF there are education courses, have them ONLY at the graduate level.

An undergrad degree in education (especially elementary ed) is asking for trouble.

 

My undergrad degrees are what have helped me most in teaching my son.

 

I have heard from some people that they had a different experience with their education degrees (although none from my school). So it may be possible that there are some education degrees that aren't not worth the paper they're printed on. I want someone teaching a subject to KNOW that subject.

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Ah, got it now. :)

 

Sorry, I thought you were "translating" years, which would make 8th grade ages 13-14, which I do believe is too old to be taught by general education teachers. I think those are suitable for K-4th/5th, but that junior high already should be taught by subject matter experts.

 

There are successful adults that were homeschooled by un-expert teachers through high school graduation that disprove this contention. (Our oldest ds being one of them. ;))

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There are successful adults that were homeschooled by un-expert teachers through high school graduation that disprove this contention. (Our oldest ds being one of them. ;))

We are talking apples and oranges, homeschooling is a different altogether modality of schooling... and I am actually against requiring parents to hold more than a high school diploma to homeschool. ;)

Homeschool parents are more of facilitators in many / most cases. Not the same situation as teaching a subject in the institutional context, which is what my comments were about originally.

 

Although I am pro annual equivalence exams in the core areas, but we have danced that dance already some years ago, LOL, and ultimately agreed not to agree about the need for testing / oversight.

I am PRO some level of oversight of homeschooling in terms of testing *children* and what they are learning and CONTRA any requirements for *parents* who homeschool in terms of possessing this or that formal degree.

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From what I've seen in my degree, the education courses were absolutely useless and mostly worthless. There was one on human growth and development (psych) that was taught well and one on math education that was taught well. None of the others were useful in any way, shape or form.

 

I would like to see the education department abolished.

Let students get a major in a content area.

IF there are education courses, have them ONLY at the graduate level.

An undergrad degree in education (especially elementary ed) is asking for trouble.

 

Thanks for your comments...could you help tweek the poll I would like to post (scroll back a few pages)?

 

Homeschool parents mostly need love, patience, kindness, self-control......I don't think these are taught at any college! :D

 

Certainly need those - and I'd add - a 'good work ethic'...

 

Joan

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Ok, I see all your points. Also for the link to PHC that shows they are thinking of this... Thank you for answering with all the real life perspectives that you have...

 

I think now I'll do a poll, for the purpose of laws anywhere (any country) which are trying to insist that people have a degree in education, asking how much it has helped in home education...

 

Since I don't have a degree in education, maybe there are better ways of asking than what comes to mind...could you give advice on how to word the question or the options?

 

Or has this poll been done already?

 

Poll:Those with a degree in education - how helpful has it been? (Please help design this anyone)

 

Very helpful (worth the money) - I frequently use ideas from my general education classes

 

Generally helpful (partly worth the money) - I often use ideas """

 

Hardly helpful (not worth the money) - I hardly ever use those ideas.

 

I use the knowledge gained in subject courses often

 

I don't use the knowledge gained in subject courses often

 

Any other options or changes?

 

Thanks,

Joan

 

Are you trying to distinguish between ed theory classes (behavior management, classroom management, psychology, history of ed) and content courses (special ed, reading in the content areas, math methods, reading methods, etc)? One issue that I have is that there is so much to cover and honestly I don't think you have that much time in ed courses.

 

My experience is getting an MS Ed for non-traditional students. Psychology classes were waived as part of the credit for work experience. That left about 33 credits. I think 5 or so classes were in what I would call content areas or nitty gritty how to teach courses. The rest were theory of classroom management, topics in education, practicum, history of education, etc.

 

And while the methods classes explored ways of using manipulatives and classroom tools to teach, it did not teach content. For example, we had a night of using algebra tiles, but that did not mean the prospective teachers knew how to do algebra. My teaching composition class was one of the tougher classes (because the instructor expected a lot of reading and response writing). But while we had a session of exploring how essays were graded for AP exams, that did not mean that the prospective teachers could write essays of their own and definitely did not imply they could teach others to write them.

 

If your intent is to discuss with authorities the need for homeschool "teachers" to have credentials, it might be worth looking at some of the studies NHERI has done comparing student achievement based on the education levels of the parents. To my knowledge, there isn't a strong or consistent correlation between having a teaching degree and having high performing homeschool kids.

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Thanks for your comments...could you help tweek the poll I would like to post (scroll back a few pages)?

 

 

I don't know that the poll would get you the information you're looking for... In terms of convincing anyone, a self-reporting anonymous poll doesn't lend itself towards policy.

 

If you do continue, I think you might want a distinction between courses in educational theory and content courses. There's also a discussion on the high school board about lying to kids that's apt to this idea.

 

I also know there have been relatively recent threads about education degrees on the general board recently... here are some I pulled up... I think the one I was thinking of I've listed first...

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=342917&highlight=education+major

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=305216&highlight=education+degree

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=292941&highlight=education+degree

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=326394&highlight=education+degree

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=287651&highlight=education+degree

 

Hope that helps some...

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Are you trying to distinguish between ed theory classes (behavior management, classroom management, psychology, history of ed) and content courses (special ed, reading in the content areas, math methods, reading methods, etc)? One issue that I have is that there is so much to cover and honestly I don't think you have that much time in ed courses.

 

My experience is getting an MS Ed for non-traditional students. Psychology classes were waived as part of the credit for work experience. That left about 33 credits. I think 5 or so classes were in what I would call content areas or nitty gritty how to teach courses. The rest were theory of classroom management, topics in education, practicum, history of education, etc.

 

And while the methods classes explored ways of using manipulatives and classroom tools to teach, it did not teach content. For example, we had a night of using algebra tiles, but that did not mean the prospective teachers knew how to do algebra. My teaching composition class was one of the tougher classes (because the instructor expected a lot of reading and response writing). But while we had a session of exploring how essays were graded for AP exams, that did not mean that the prospective teachers could write essays of their own and definitely did not imply they could teach others to write them.

 

I see that I'm going to have to think about this more. But I thank you for this type of nitty-gritty information that helps me understand what is involved in the degree....

 

If your intent is to discuss with authorities the need for homeschool "teachers" to have credentials, it might be worth looking at some of the studies NHERI has done comparing student achievement based on the education levels of the parents. To my knowledge, there isn't a strong or consistent correlation between having a teaching degree and having high performing homeschool kids.

 

To clarify - I want to discuss the need to NOT have credentials...that home educators don't need a degree in education to be successful...

 

I do know about NHERI's research...but there is great suspicion of US home ed research over here. (So that probably won't help my poll being accepted but I thought that if there is first a correlation between not finding it useful in the US, then there is possibly more likely to be something similar here)....

 

Since there are so few home ed graduates in Switzerland, for example, it would be very hard to get a study like NHERI. But I imagine that there are already more teachers here that are now home educating, so I don't have to wait for the kids to grow up much....plus there is no standardized testing across all the cantons (they're working on it -but so far you can't just look at Iowa Test results for example)...Plus there are language differences and standards differences between the Swiss German and Swiss French (if we were even to start at the very basics)....So it is actually easier to look at the "teachers" experiences generally speaking...

 

So I wanted to fashion a simple 'poll' about how useful a teaching degree is for home education and I'm thinking that people could put comments on their posts about what specifically was helpful (since that would be hard to itemize on the poll)..

 

But since I don't have enough experience myself, I was hoping that a person with a teaching degree could look at the poll (scroll back a few pages) and see how to make it better....

 

Thanks anyone who can help!

Joan

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I don't know that the poll would get you the information you're looking for... In terms of convincing anyone, a self-reporting anonymous poll doesn't lend itself towards policy.

 

If you do continue, I think you might want a distinction between courses in educational theory and content courses. There's also a discussion on the high school board about lying to kids that's apt to this idea.

 

I also know there have been relatively recent threads about education degrees on the general board recently... here are some I pulled up... I think the one I was thinking of I've listed first...

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=342917&highlight=education+major

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=305216&highlight=education+degree

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=292941&highlight=education+degree

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=326394&highlight=education+degree

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=287651&highlight=education+degree

 

Hope that helps some...

 

Thanks Dana! I think I must have been writing while you were posting...

 

Ok, I'll try to separate the ed theory from content type courses...Agree about anonymous polls not counting as much, but it is better than nothing...and it might stimulate people here to think and vote...

 

Joan

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Maybe then you might want it very simple...

 

I have an education degree and

(. ). I find it useful for my homeschool and think it should be a requirement for homeschooling parents

( ) find useful... Should not be rent

( ) don't find useful... Should be reqt

( ) don't find useful... Should not be reqt

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Maybe then you might want it very simple...

 

I have an education degree and

(. ). I find it useful for my homeschool and think it should be a requirement for homeschooling parents

( ) find useful... Should not be rent

( ) don't find useful... Should be reqt

( ) don't find useful... Should not be reqt

 

Dana - Thank you for your ideas!

 

I have since started discussing with some Europeans about starting a poll there too. Then we thought we should develop the poll more seriously to really go out to home educators all over Europe. Then we realized that we don't have time to work on it too much at the moment.:)

 

So my thinking now is that once we all have more time, we'll work on it over here together. Then I'll post on the WTM with a better developed poll, then carry the results over here....

 

Also, over here we have to work out how to be able to have people vote who are definitely home educators because they won't all be part of one forum like here...

 

So I'm postponing posting the poll but will come back and reference this one.

 

Joan

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One other thought for you...

I don't know if you'd want to break it down between undergrad and grad degrees and between elementary and secondary certification.

 

For example, I have undergrad subject majors in math and English (I'm odd... couldn't overlap a single course other than general ed). I got my graduate degree that was half education courses and half math courses (secondary certification and a MAT degree).

 

I think you might want to keep polling simple... but also think about what exactly you're trying to figure out. I think there are other sites where you can set up polls (multiple questions) and you could then post here and ask people to go there and do the poll for you...

 

Then you could break things down more...

 

My education credits are (undergrad/graduate)

I am (or was) credentialed for (elementary/secondary)

and have a space for comments... but that also may be more than you would want or need.

 

Personally, I tend to think that some college does help with homeschooling. I'm regularly grateful for my double major. I believe I wouldn't be able to do as good a job if I didn't have the undergrad degrees. I also am grateful for the graduate experience and the years I've taught at the cc. I'd still love to see education departments at colleges abolished and all undergrad degrees in education eliminated - but that's my experience.

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One other thought for you...

I don't know if you'd want to break it down between undergrad and grad degrees and between elementary and secondary certification.

 

For example, I have undergrad subject majors in math and English (I'm odd... couldn't overlap a single course other than general ed). I got my graduate degree that was half education courses and half math courses (secondary certification and a MAT degree).

 

I think you might want to keep polling simple... but also think about what exactly you're trying to figure out. I think there are other sites where you can set up polls (multiple questions) and you could then post here and ask people to go there and do the poll for you...

 

Then you could break things down more...

 

My education credits are (undergrad/graduate)

I am (or was) credentialed for (elementary/secondary)

and have a space for comments... but that also may be more than you would want or need.

 

Personally, I tend to think that some college does help with homeschooling. I'm regularly grateful for my double major. I believe I wouldn't be able to do as good a job if I didn't have the undergrad degrees. I also am grateful for the graduate experience and the years I've taught at the cc. I'd still love to see education departments at colleges abolished and all undergrad degrees in education eliminated - but that's my experience.

 

Thanks for those points! I hadn't thought about breaking it down - but it is true that over here (GE in CH), they tend to do a Masters....though for Elementary it is only one more year and I'm not sure if it is called a Masters...anyway, it's true that there are more points....

 

I do want it to be more than a simple poll as personal testimonies can be very helpful and enlightening...

 

Thanks!

Joan

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