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I have realized that the longer I'm at homeschooling, the less certain I am that I know it all.

 

This sums up my feelings as well, and I'm very thankful I found this board in order to be able to consider oodles of options rather than thinking there was only one. The first year we homeschooled I more or less followed our school's schedule - even asking for school books for some courses that year. I vividly remember middle son coming up to me upon reading (in the school-provided geograhy book) that the Berlin Wall separated East and West Berlin and was unlikely to ever come down due to political aspects separating the two countries. At 7th grade, he already knew this was no longer true. This would have been in the fall of 2006. I knew there had to be more than following our school. I searched. I came upon this forum at one point or another and my homeschooling life has been the better for it, even if it means I find myself needing to do more research and weighing of options.

 

We all have differing backgrounds and differing expertise. I see that to be a good thing.

 

And now, as I end my homeschooling journey, I've opted to freely relay what we've learned via the college process (and lately, the pre-med college process) in an attempt to share that knowledge with anyone who might be following closely in our footsteps. I never wish to intend that our selected path is the 'only' path, but rather, it is an option.

 

Like a few on here, I might stick around after middle son moves on to college even without homeschooling anyone else, and might find that I can contribute a bit more as I learn how things worked out for him. It's not bragging or anything remotely close. It's more a feeling of offering info to a board where I gleaned so much when I needed it.

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...

 

And now, as I end my homeschooling journey, I've opted to freely relay what we've learned via the college process (and lately, the pre-med college process) in an attempt to share that knowledge with anyone who might be following closely in our footsteps. I never wish to intend that our selected path is the 'only' path, but rather, it is an option.

 

Like a few on here, I might stick around after middle son moves on to college even without homeschooling anyone else, and might find that I can contribute a bit more as I learn how things worked out for him. It's not bragging or anything remotely close. It's more a feeling of offering info to a board where I gleaned so much when I needed it.

 

I hope you stay on the boards and continue to offer your experiences. It is so valuable to those of us navigating the high school years.

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I mentioned the D-K effect in both threads because it was apropos in both threads, and I make no apology for that. I actually went out of my way to point out that the D-K effect applies to everyone, including public school teachers. But thanks for selectively quoting me in order to support your thesis that clearly I must be an NEA Union plant or something.

 

 

 

Again, what I recommended is not what you are saying I recommended. What I recommended, paraphrasing myself more bluntly since you didn't get it the first time, was "Don't let your overweening ὕβρις ruin your kid's education." Public school is certainly one of those options, but is certainly not the only one. I checked the board rules and don't see how enumerating that as one possible education option is in any way inappropriate. I'd love to hear your explanation as to why you think it is.

 

 

 

I'll be happy to discuss such things at the right time with the right person. But frankly, given your tone, that's not you, given how you've mischaracterized my earlier posts. So I won't be playing that game.

 

Kind regards,

 

peterb

 

 

..

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I understand all this, and I would definitely consider this a great education and you a fantastic facilitator. And you are right, this is probably way more than he would get in public school.

I guess we are running into the same semantics problem we encountered before: what is teaching? To me, if I use a TC lecture, that means I am outsourcing in the sense of bringing the expert into my home via DVD.

That's what we do, too. I have no knowledge about classics, so we listened to 72 lectures by Dr. Vandiver who is an expert, and she was teaching, not I. That is what I mean by "I am not an expert and hence have to let an expert teach". The expert can be the author of a book -or a lecturer on DVD.

 

I guess we are talking about doing the exact same thing and just labeling it in a different way?

 

I do see one issue with this type of self-designed courses that I am wrestling with constantly: the problem of evaluation. I can learn alongside DD, study the lectures and works, but I still do not feel qualified to evaluate an essay on a topic of classical literature.

It may even be more of a problem in math and sciences (since you mention the online tests): how can one evaluate the level of knowledge unless the test is a simple bubble/fill in the blank fact check? Anybody can grade a test if it is multiple choice or if they have a solution key and if the student's work is half-way correct or predictable mistakes have been made. Should that not be the case, however, and the student comes up with an unexpected solution, or makes very strange mistakes, it takes not only a subject expert, but a person with lots of teaching experience to figure out what has been going on, whether the approach is valid, what misconceptions have led to this mistake to evaluate the level of knowledge and to correct the misconceptions.

Just yesterday I have been grading exams, fully worked problems, not multiple choice, and sometimes I spent a long time trying to figure out what happened for a student on a single problem (that I myself wrote!) because the student's solution has no resemblance to mine. Sometimes it is obvious garbage; sometimes it is a valid approach and only a minor arithmetic mistake somewhere led completely astray. This was hard to do at the beginning of my teaching career and has gotten much easier with the experience of ten years.

 

that is where I am still unsure. I can help my kids learn a lot of things in which I am not an expert by using expert resources, but I do not feel competent about evaluating their work myself - unless I use formulaic tests from an expert source that come with an answer key and are designed to avoid open ended questions. But I do not feel I can give a context rich exam and really judge my student's level.

Does that make any sense?

 

I use the term "outsource" to mean that I have essentially abrogated my responsibilities in teaching that subject to another individual (whether in the form of a tutor, online course, dual enrollment, etc).

 

By your definition of outsourcing, I would essentially have to say I have "outsourced" everything and not "taught" anything. I use a phonics curriculum that teaches children how to read. I use math books to teach math. Books to teach history/science. :confused: Isn't using resources, whether they be books, videos, or lectures to guide our teaching basic to any level of instruction? I don't see this confined to high school level material. :confused:

 

There are very rare instances of where I teach w/o a curriculum. I honestly do not distinguish in my own mind between the 2 b/c the vast majority of my teaching is built around resources, not excluding them. Even those subjects where I don't necessarily require a text, I most often still use a mish-mash of multiple sources to teach from (writing and grammar for example.)

 

So, perhaps in one way we are simply talking past each other.

 

As far as evaluation, for content that I do not feel qualified to assess with complete accuracy (French and art history, for example), I have given grades in terms of P/F on their transcripts. In their course descriptions I have explained the resources used, etc. For French, I list Tell Me More, Breaking the Barrier, and French in Action. I state that they have mastered grammar (which we can grade from answer keys or the odd email to my sister who is fluent in French), but that I feel unqualified to accurately assess their spoken French. So far, we have not had any school not accept their coursework. (ETA: But, for most subjects, solutions manuals and other sources have provided me w/enough information to form an accurate assessment of my kids' abilities at the high school level. My personal POV is that I explain in our course descriptions how the courses were evaluated, schools will have accurate information on how to assess how and what my kids were learning.)

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Again, what I recommended is not what you are saying I recommended. What I recommended, paraphrasing myself more bluntly since you didn't get it the first time, was "Don't let your overweening ὕβρις ruin your kid's education."

Then perhaps your efforts would be more effective on a board where "overweening ὕβρις" is actually a problem? Because I haven't seen much of that on WTM. (Well, not until a week ago anyway.)

 

I'll be happy to discuss such things at the right time with the right person. But frankly, given your tone, that's not you, given how you've mischaracterized my earlier posts. So I won't be playing that game.

Anyone want to ask him nicely? ;)

 

Jackie

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Then perhaps your efforts would be more effective on a board where "overweening ὕβρις" is actually a problem?

 

 

Thanks for your thoughtful invitation to leave. As soon as someone tells me that my posting here requires Corraleno's approval, perhaps I'll take you up on that. I must have missed that line in the board rules.

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I think what's problematic is simply the way you stated it. kfamily said she's discouraged, but you told her that in her case she should pick the least bad option - the lesser of two evils. It sounds disheartening to a discouraged person - as if she has no good options at all, no hope.

I simply took at a face value what she shared. She asked what she was to in cases in which she cannot provide for something (her own wording, not mine - which in my mind, taking it at a face value, translates to one bad thing), nor can he surroundings provide for it (another bad thing). I was not going all "awww, honey, I am sure you will do an awesome job nonetheless", because while it may be superficially supportive, it would be insincere as I have no clue whether she would do an awesome job or no, nor what are her own parameters of an awesome job, as I do not know her that well and we were not discussing the specifics (if we were, my answer might have been different). Both are up to her discretion. I was not assuming she would not to a good job, nor that she would, which is why I stated that in a situation in which one is faced with what one considers to be bad options, one simply chooses the best, i.e. the least bad one.

 

FWIW, I did that too and I have no emotional nor ethical problems calling it the lesser of two evils principle, because in our case it was exactly that. I felt I was not a good resource to teach our children religion (and infect them with my own heresies along the way, stemming from my own inadequacies), but DH was too busy to do it on a regular basis, and we did not have any nearby community support which we would click with. We were faced with several options, but none of them amounted to good in our eyes. So we went with the least of all evils - me. I think I did a pretty remarkable job within what I was capable of doing, but my own remarkable still did not amount to really good in a more absolute sense. So what - that is the point at which I sigh, say "c'est la vie" and decide that I can still feel fairly content about some of our accomplishments within that "less than good" scheme.

 

I have also taught my children the English language and letters, without a fixed curriculum even, with my own improvization and continuous research and questioning my options. For many years. Because I judged that the other options available were worse than that and that I could do a better job. Not a good job, though - but a better one, in a relative sense, compared to other options that I have researched. And I still do not consider myself an ideal person to teach that area, being a non-native speaker (for the language part) and having grown up in a different literary and philosophical tradition (for the letters part). Yet, at one particular point in our lives, I decided that whatever I could offer would do, becuase I was dissatisfied with the other options. And again... it is not that I did a bad job, in absolute. On the contrary, my daughters have turned out very literate and proficient speakers of what had become their de facto second native language - to the point that now they correct me, not the other way round. However, I still could not do what I could not do - I could not go past some of my certain limitations, and the inability to do so meant that the quality would be lower than ideal. But the ideal was not available, or if it was available, all things considered, we calculated it was not worth it (e.g. if it was available in the form of sending children to a school with maybe better English instruction, but inferior instruction in other areas). So I did the best I could do, with what I had, where I was, continuously trying to improve at that. And in my eyes, it was still not "good", especially because I had an equivalent subject in another language where I really could do an awesome job... and compare and realize what a less than awesome job I was doing in English. But it was okay, and it was also okay to recognize some of my own limitations.

 

I really do not have emotional problems with these things, Colleen. I like to think I am past the stage of personal growth in which I cannot cope with not being able to do an A-level job in everything. An A-level job is still something I will strive towards, but I will neither break at the constatation that I am not reaching it, nor will I end up dissatisfied and discouraged in general because there are such areas. I will still be pleased with myself doing the best I could do and pat myself on the back for that... and intellectualy recognize that it was only a B-level or a C-level job. However, if the alternative for my children is a D-level job, then I am doing my best, as inferior as it is to the ideal situation... just calling things their real names. And in that case, it is not excellence, because even my personal excellence does not reach the standards of excellence elsewhere by which I may wish to measure things. And I always look up to the better, not the worse, and measure myself against those standards, because that is the only way I will ever improve and reach my personal best - as insufficient as that may still be.

 

We do some healthy, self-disparaging (half-)humor around here in those cases. It is a good reality check, but it also helps us not take ourselves - or life in general ;) - too seriously. In the grand scheme of things in life, much of this is less than crucial and less than really important, and we can still feel relaxed and pleased with what we are doing, while recognizing that in some cases it is still not excellence.

 

I am simply not of the "you can do whatever you set your mind to" opinion.

 

And I am still pleased with my efforts. :tongue_smilie:

I'll be happy to discuss such things at the right time with the right person.

FWIW, I have no idea who you are since you are new around here, but I agree with your posts and I do consider them relevant to the discussion. However, I also tend to think most people around here have more issues with insecurity than with genuine hubris.

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Thanks for your thoughtful invitation to leave. As soon as someone tells me that my posting here requires Corraleno's approval, perhaps I'll take you up on that. I must have missed that line in the board rules.

I'm not suggesting that you leave the board, or that you need anyone's approval to post here. Just pointing out that if you're truly concerned with rescuing children from the "overweening hubris" of ignorant & incompetent parents, your efforts might be more effective on a forum where that's actually a problem.

 

Jackie

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I guess we are running into the same semantics problem we encountered before: what is teaching? To me, if I use a TC lecture, that means I am outsourcing in the sense of bringing the expert into my home via DVD.

That's what we do, too. I have no knowledge about classics, so we listened to 72 lectures by Dr. Vandiver who is an expert, and she was teaching, not I. That is what I mean by "I am not an expert and hence have to let an expert teach". The expert can be the author of a book -or a lecturer on DVD.

 

I guess we are talking about doing the exact same thing and just labeling it in a different way?

I use the term "outsource" to mean that I have essentially abrogated my responsibilities in teaching that subject to another individual (whether in the form of a tutor, online course, dual enrollment, etc).

 

By your definition of outsourcing, I would essentially have to say I have "outsourced" everything and not "taught" anything. I use a phonics curriculum that teaches children how to read. I use math books to teach math. Books to teach history/science. Isn't using resources, whether they be books, videos, or lectures to guide our teaching basic to any level of instruction?

:iagree:

 

We use Teaching Co courses for many subjects, but IMHO that doesn't make Professors Vandiver, Hale, Harl, Renton, etc., my son's "teachers." They're not the ones who pull all the resources together, correlate readings with the lectures, hold discussions, and assess what he's learned. To me, Teaching Co courses are more like video textbooks than outside classes. If DS is doing a subject at home, with materials sourced/correlated/assessed by me, then IMHO that is not an "outsourced" course.

 

OTOH, he is taking an online Greek course with Lukeion, and I consider that completely outsourced — Regan Barr does all the teaching, assigns and grades the homework, grades the tests, answers questions, etc.

 

Jackie

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We use Teaching Co courses for many subjects, but IMHO that doesn't make Professors Vandiver, Hale, Harl, Renton, etc., my son's "teachers." They're not the ones who pull all the resources together, correlate readings with the lectures, hold discussions, and assess what he's learned. To me, Teaching Co courses are more like video textbooks than outside classes.

 

So I guess we do just have a semantics issue.

I consider myself the teacher if I am the one who has the knowledge to explain the material, not if I am the one who pulls resources together.

So, for our studies of Ancients, I definitely consider Dr. Vandiver our teacher.

If I just supervise my student's studies of a textbook, give assignments and evaluations, I do not consider myself a teacher either - that is what I consider to be a facilitator of education. (And I never said that parents can not do a fabulous job of facilitating a high school education). If my DD's main resource for chemistry is a textbook through which she works, I consider this to be facilitated, or guided, self-study. (I would certainly be less the teacher than Dr. Chang, the textbook author.)

To me the work "teacher" directly implies the superior subject knowledge, the ability to present the material myself without relying on a textbook, the ability to address any question, identify and discuss any misconception, explain the significance of the material - go beyond what a mere textbook has to offer.

 

I do teach for a living. If in this job I just pulled resources together and evaluated, what I did would not be considered teaching and I would not be seen as doing my job.

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:iagree:

 

We use Teaching Co courses for many subjects, but IMHO that doesn't make Professors Vandiver, Hale, Harl, Renton, etc., my son's "teachers." They're not the ones who pull all the resources together, correlate readings with the lectures, hold discussions, and assess what he's learned. To me, Teaching Co courses are more like video textbooks than outside classes. If DS is doing a subject at home, with materials sourced/correlated/assessed by me, then IMHO that is not an "outsourced" course.

 

OTOH, he is taking an online Greek course with Lukeion, and I consider that completely outsourced — Regan Barr does all the teaching, assigns and grades the homework, grades the tests, answers questions, etc.

 

Jackie

 

I use TTC also -- but I do consider the lecturer the teacher. When Linwood Thompson puts on his garb and tells dd8 about Sumerian city-states -- he is doing the teaching. I use the accompanying comp questions to evaluate retention of new material -- but I rely on the answer key because I don't know enough about the topic to evaluate/test her knowledge. When dd sits in front of Sal Khan's presentation of slope-intercept, or when Derek Owens explains carbon atoms -- that is outsourcing. When she takes a chem course from tutor, that is outsourcing. Dd8 is learning from someone other than me. I like the term homeschool facilitator. That fits me nicely.

 

I don't think it matters what term you give it. Either way, we look for supplemental teaching aids because we know our limitations.

 

The OP asked how we instill excellence in our homeschool. I instill excellence by presenting top-quality teaching (via me, videos, online classes or hired tutors) and hours and hours of conversation. I have recently decided to aim for Bloom's top levels so my job will get exponentially more difficult.

 

So, for our studies of Ancients, I definitely consider Dr. Vandiver our teacher./QUOTE]

 

I am watching the Vandiver lectures currently -- along w/ KA physics lectures. I thought of you, Regentrude, as I was watching last night. Any videos of you floating around? I'd love to see you in action. :)

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:iagree:

 

We use Teaching Co courses for many subjects, but IMHO that doesn't make Professors Vandiver, Hale, Harl, Renton, etc., my son's "teachers." They're not the ones who pull all the resources together, correlate readings with the lectures, hold discussions, and assess what he's learned. To me, Teaching Co courses are more like video textbooks than outside classes. If DS is doing a subject at home, with materials sourced/correlated/assessed by me, then IMHO that is not an "outsourced" course.

 

OTOH, he is taking an online Greek course with Lukeion, and I consider that completely outsourced — Regan Barr does all the teaching, assigns and grades the homework, grades the tests, answers questions, etc.

 

Jackie

 

:iagree:

We've used these, and I consider them an educational video. There is no interaction, the professors can't answer our questions.

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:iagree:

We've used these, and I consider them an educational video. There is no interaction, the professors can't answer our questions.

 

That is precisely why I outsource to tutors and online classes. I am keenly aware that I don't have the answers to some questions. And my dd8 has many questions. A video won't cut it in many cases. Her chem tutor can explain the content beautifully. I would be thumbing through the text trying to find the answers.:tongue_smilie:

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So I guess we do just have a semantics issue.

 

To me the work "teacher" directly implies the superior subject knowledge, the ability to present the material myself without relying on a textbook, the ability to address any question, identify and discuss any misconception, explain the significance of the material - go beyond what a mere textbook has to offer.

 

I do teach for a living. If in this job I just pulled resources together and evaluated, what I did would not be considered teaching and I would not be seen as doing my job.

I see what you're saying, and I would certainly agree that the definition of "teacher" you present applies at the college level. But, in my experience, if those criteria were applied to PS teachers, a large percentage would not qualify to use the term either.

 

I think it is just a semantics issue. In the context of homeschooling, I consider the terms "teacher" and "facilitator" to be nearly interchangeable, whereas "outsourcing" to me connotes handing over all responsibility for a subject to an outside teacher.

 

Jackie

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I simply took at a face value what she shared.

 

FWIW, I did that too and I have no emotional nor ethical problems calling it the lesser of two evils principle, because in our case it was exactly that.

 

I really do not have emotional problems with these things, Colleen. I like to think I am past the stage of personal growth in which I cannot cope with not being able to do an A-level job in everything.

 

We do some healthy, self-disparaging (half-)humor around here in those cases. It is a good reality check, but it also helps us not take ourselves - or life in general ;) - too seriously.

 

Ester, I think kfamily meant all of those questions as rhetorical questions. Look at the context of her post. She's discouraged. She even said it again in a later post. It's great that you don't have emotional problems with these things, and most days, when I'm right into the grammar/Latin/writing lessons or the read-alouds with my kids, I don't either. But some days, I do, and so do others here, and that's why we come here - to get support from each other.

 

I think we all understand the message that we shouldn't say to a mother, "Oh, it's OK, just wait, he'll come around" when she's complaining that her 12 year old can't read because the Mom "wanted to wait til he wanted to learn." All I'm saying is, many of us may have our fragile days, but we can toughen up again with a little encouragement. I think kfamily needed a little encouragement, not to be told to pick the lesser of two evils. Just simple reading in context and simple word changes, that's all.

 

If you don't understand the topic you are teaching, then you should not be teaching it. Period.

 

If "teaching" = taking the material I've already thoroughly learned out of my own brain and transferring that info. to my student's mind myself, then what you told us we shouldn't be doing is technically impossible. So, it's actually insulting to be told this, because it's so obvious.

 

OTOH, you've never once mentioned how you're educating your own children, or whether you even have children. So I have to ask... are you a parent? A homechooler? A public school teacher? How have you become such an expert on education?

 

:iagree: Telling us how to do our job without even telling us anything about your own self warrants these questions being asked.

 

Thank you, Colleen, for your big list.

 

You're welcome. :D It was a good exercise for *me* to write that out - I encouraged myself.

 

Colleen, that was a fantastic list. I think my years as an unschooler (though there were many great benefits) left me with a misleading sense that if I relax and let the kids take the lead, it will all work out. Even now I struggle with that attitude when I know darn well I have to buckle down, divr much deeper ijto the curriculum, and plan things out more. I'm always left a little awed by your commitment and hope to learn from you in that area. With my daughter going into 9th grade next year I can't afford my old attitude anymore.

 

I know you mentioned that there are people here who inspire you - always keep in mind you do that for others, me for instance.:D

 

Aw, Dawn, thank you. And BTW, congrats on your son's reading success!!!! I don't think all is lost with you, so take heart. I can't wait to meet and chat with you again, oh, about just about everything under the sun - but also know that if you want, I'll help you however I can. That's why I started the support group - to form a local network. You have no idea how much it helps ME, too, after all these years of being jealous of people here talking about their classical ed. support groups!

 

Brenda in MA, thank you for the reminder to listen to you who have actually graduated kids and sent them off to college successfully. Sometimes it's fun for me to read the idealistic rhetoric, but the reality of "what has actually worked" in other families is why I came to the boards in the first place.

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FWIW, by "outsourcing," I meant a whole different teacher as we used with our cc classes. We've used videos from many sources and I mainly consider those akin to selecting a textbook - just slightly different.

 

Semantics aside, we just returned from taking oldest to the airport for his flight back to college. I chose to ask him again if he felt homeschooling, in general, prepared him for college. "Definitely yes!" was his reply. When I asked him about other homeschoolers there and how they were doing he said, "I've yet to see a homeschooler, whose parents actively homeschooled them, who wasn't academically prepared. I've seen quite a few public schooled students expect to do the same 'work' as they did in public school and get an F on their first test. They need to realize they have to work in college. Homeschooling prepared me well for getting the work done that was needed, so it's no different in college."

 

Then I asked him if he saw anything he'd consider lacking in homeschoolers vs public schooled kids. Stop reading here if you'd prefer... it might offend some.

 

 

 

 

He replied, "Yes, many of them are lacking socialization skills." I asked him to clarify that. Did he mean they didn't know how to act in a classroom setting? Did they not know how to act around other kids? What, exactly, did he mean? He told me, "Many of them have only been around people with similar values to themselves and get offended too easily when someone believes something else. They think that anyone who is 'good' should believe what they do and anyone who isn't is, 'bad.' Then they can become really short tempered or not know how to act in a group. I think since I was in ps for quite a while I did learn that people are different, and that's ok. Some homeschool kids here - and some private school kids too - have a hard time accepting people or know how to get along with them when they are different. It makes it tougher when we all have to live together. I don't see that at all with kids who came from public school."

 

SO, take it for what it's worth if you read this far. That's one kid's - ok, two kids' assessments as his girlfriend was adding to the conversation as well. Remember too, my guy is at a Christian college and is unlikely to have seen the stereotypical "liberal hippie" homeschooler as much as the "conservative Christian" homeschooler.

 

I know I like to hear the good, bad, and ugly so I can improve on any bad or ugly spots while retaining the good. Middle son and I will have a conversation about it all at some point soon. I've raised mine for tolerance at all times, and oldest did NOT feel he had problems in this regard. It's only a problem he tended to see in others - and I doubt it was ALL others who homeschooled or chose a Christian private school. Nonetheless, I'm going to discuss it with middle son.

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So glad I read to the end of this thread. I think my blood pressure is finally starting to return to normal... :tongue_smilie:

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Ester, I think kfamily meant all of those questions as rhetorical questions. Look at the context of her post. She's discouraged. She even said it again in a later post. It's great that you don't have emotional problems with these things, and most days, when I'm right into the grammar/Latin/writing lessons or the read-alouds with my kids, I don't either. But some days, I do, and so do others here, and that's why we come here - to get support from each other.

 

I think we all understand the message that we shouldn't say to a mother, "Oh, it's OK, just wait, he'll come around" when she's complaining that her 12 year old can't read because the Mom "wanted to wait til he wanted to learn." All I'm saying is, many of us may have our fragile days, but we can toughen up again with a little encouragement. I think kfamily needed a little encouragement, not to be told to pick the lesser of two evils. Just simple reading in context and simple word changes, that's all.

Ok.

 

Bowing out. :D

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He told me, "Many of them have only been around people with similar values to themselves and get offended too easily when someone believes something else. They think that anyone who is 'good' should believe what they do and anyone who isn't is, 'bad.' Then they can become really short tempered or not know how to act in a group...."

 

Why, one need not go further than this thread to see the dynamic your son describes at work. *wry grin*

 

A related aside: When my son began attending college, at seventeen, he followed what is well established family pattern: He told no one he had homeschooled. The unfavorable stereotypes abound. Why carry that baggage unnecessarily?

 

Since the need to establish some sort of been there/done that cred has arisen, I'll add here that he graduated from high school with twenty-three college credits. (He audited an upper-level math course first semester or his total would have been twenty-eight.) For a little while there, we worried that our proselytizing about avoiding debt at all costs had encouraged our son to set the bar too low: After receiving the so-called thin envelope from [insert name of service academy], he decided to remain at the local college to complete his associate degree in a program designed to transfer to a four-year institution. A year later, though, he graduated with high honors, earned Category I scores on the ASVAB, and enlisted in the USMC as had been his dream since he was ten.

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One vibe I'm getting from this thread (and I'm willing to have anyone tell me I'm taking the entire thing the wrong way) is that there is somehow a problem with "outsourcing" courses for homeschooled kids. Why does it seem as though the only choices are everything taught by the parent or put your kid into a public/private school.

 

Is it that the outsourcing makes us no longer homeschoolers? How much or what type of outsourcing disqualifies us? Or is it objectionable on some other level? Do I turn in my "educator card" when I become more of a facilitator or director or evaluator? Is there a problem with admitting that my children may hit a point in a given subject where I need to be the secondary teacher and find them a better primary teacher? Why should that imply some sort of failure as a homeschooler on my part? Wouldn't the failure be in holding them back due to my inadequacies? But that point or wall that I hit may not be hit by the parent-teacher in the house next door or across town. There is, in my conception, no universal point at which a parent-teacher needs to hand over responsibility to someone else.

 

I can think of many reasons to use video lectures, dual enrollment, talent search courses, tutors, coops, online programs, and the list goes on. Many of those reasons have nothing to do with my abilities as a teacher and many might acknowledge that in one or more areas my kids have moved beyond my ability to teach alone. But that need not reflect anyone's abilities in a given subject but mine.

 

My plans for high school do include the possibility for some outsourcing, some facilitating, tutors, video lectures, online courses, parent-teacher led instruction, and independent learning, etc.

 

I consider all that homeschooling; I even see that as part of their needed growth as learners becoming independent of me.

 

*Don't misunderstand-I'm not upset or offended. Just confused.

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One vibe I'm getting from this thread (and I'm willing to have anyone tell me I'm taking the entire thing the wrong way) is that there is somehow a problem with "outsourcing" courses for homeschooled kids....

 

*Don't misunderstand-I'm not upset or offended. Just confused.

I don't think anyone is arguing that outsourcing itself is a bad thing. I think the issue was that some people seemed to suggest that homeschooling parents must outsource any subjects in which they are not experts, and that to do otherwise is a great disservice to their kids. I think that's what people were objecting to, not the idea of outsourcing itself.

 

Jackie

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Semantics aside, we just returned from taking oldest to the airport for his flight back to college. I chose to ask him again if he felt homeschooling, in general, prepared him for college. "Definitely yes!" was his reply. When I asked him about other homeschoolers there and how they were doing he said, "I've yet to see a homeschooler, whose parents actively homeschooled them, who wasn't academically prepared. I've seen quite a few public schooled students expect to do the same 'work' as they did in public school and get an F on their first test. They need to realize they have to work in college. Homeschooling prepared me well for getting the work done that was needed, so it's no different in college."

 

Then I asked him if he saw anything he'd consider lacking in homeschoolers vs public schooled kids. Stop reading here if you'd prefer... it might offend some.

 

 

 

 

He replied, "Yes, many of them are lacking socialization skills." I asked him to clarify that. Did he mean they didn't know how to act in a classroom setting? Did they not know how to act around other kids? What, exactly, did he mean? He told me, "Many of them have only been around people with similar values to themselves and get offended too easily when someone believes something else. They think that anyone who is 'good' should believe what they do and anyone who isn't is, 'bad.' Then they can become really short tempered or not know how to act in a group. I think since I was in ps for quite a while I did learn that people are different, and that's ok. Some homeschool kids here - and some private school kids too - have a hard time accepting people or know how to get along with them when they are different. It makes it tougher when we all have to live together. I don't see that at all with kids who came from public school."

 

Thanks for sharing all of that story. It's so helpful to hear the perspective from the end of the home-education journey.

 

I don't think anyone is arguing that outsourcing itself is a bad thing. I think the issue was that some people seemed to suggest that homeschooling parents must outsource any subjects in which they are not experts, and that to do otherwise is a great disservice to their kids. I think that's what people were objecting to, not the idea of outsourcing itself.

 

Jackie

 

This has been my interpretation as well.

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I don't think anyone is arguing that outsourcing itself is a bad thing. I think the issue was that some people seemed to suggest that homeschooling parents must outsource any subjects in which they are not experts, and that to do otherwise is a great disservice to their kids. I think that's what people were objecting to, not the idea of outsourcing itself.

 

Jackie

 

:iagree: at least that is the context under which I have been posting. I also posted w/a thought toward those who don't have the $$ to constantly choose outsourcing as an option. Outsourcing is expensive. That is simple reality. Not all people live in the same "reality." Parents can do it on their own with the right resources and effort. No one is suggesting that parents need to homeschool every subject. I was attempting (though probably ineffectively) to convey that teaching classes ourselves does NOT automatically equate to inferior education.

 

For those feeling discouraged by this thread, today I listened to this lecture Circe Institute lecture, E. Christian KopffHow the Trivium Prepares the Soul for College, and it was encouraging!

http://circeinstitute.com/free-audio/

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I don't think anyone is arguing that outsourcing itself is a bad thing. I think the issue was that some people seemed to suggest that homeschooling parents must outsource any subjects in which they are not experts, and that to do otherwise is a great disservice to their kids. I think that's what people were objecting to, not the idea of outsourcing itself.

 

I think seemed is the important word there. Everyone here knows academics are not the only facet of a person or family life to be taken into account. And I'm sure we all agree that if we are to pass up an academic opportunity that really is better than what we can provide at home, we ought to have a really good reason; and that "everything we do at home is best because our house is the centre of the universe" and "it'd interrupt me watching Oprah" isn't ok. We all understand that what constitutes a good reason in one family may not be in another and that we all have different opportunities. Some families can get closer to their ideal than other families can theirs by forethought or the luck of having money/good location/doting relatives etc. That's just life. We all think passing by superior opportunities for no good reason is doing our kids a disservice, don't we? I can't imagine who here would quibble about that.

 

teaching classes ourselves does NOT automatically equate to inferior education.

 

Everyone's education is inferior to someone's, so what you mean is that teaching classes ourselves really can be the best available option? (And if anyone doesn't believe that, lucky them. :tongue_smilie:)

 

Not being snarky. I've just been staring at this for an hour and if I clarify, I can stop overthinking and get on with my afternoon. :p

 

Rosie

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Why, one need not go further than this thread to see the dynamic your son describes at work. *wry grin*

 

 

That was my first thought, too, but then I realized that other boards I have been on in my life (not related at all to homeschooling) have the same, "I'm right, you're wrong, and therefore you're a _____" issues too. I think that's just an impersonal internet deal. Many will be more forceful on the net than they would ever think of being IRL. I'm thinking the socialization skills IRL come from learning not to act the same IRL as one does on the net (or in a family where we are more free to express our deep down opinions). As I've thought about it overnight, I think that's the issue we need to beware of.

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Thank you for saying this. I have been following this thread but choosing to keep quiet. I have been reading it with the thought of, "But what if you just have average kids, like I do???"

 

My children aren't star students, but they'll do fine in life. They will go to an average college someday and earn an average living. There's nothing wrong with that. The fact that I'm able to give them an average education is OKAY!

 

I don't have to be an expert, nor do I have to outsource to experts. They need exposure, not mastery. College is for mastery. High school is for exposure. At least, that's my educational philosophy.

 

I marvel at those of you who have children who are so far above the average, then start to panic that my kids are lagging behind. But the reality is that my kids are fine and will do fine in life. Hopefully by my being bold enough to admit my mediocrity, it will encourage others who have read this thread and panicked. :lol:

 

I've been reading this thread with great interest and am only on page 14. But I wanted to stop and say thank you for this post.

 

I am average. The more I homeschool the more I realize my own education was subpar. It is very disconcerting realizing this. I took Calculus. Yet I don't understand math. I was in AP English. Yet up until recently, the only Shakespeare I had ever read was "Romeo and Juliet" in 9th grade. I never read Dickens or Austen or many many other classics in that so called AP English class. I am realizing that I have been lied to. I am discouraged due to my own dismal education. :(

 

But I compensate now by reading, learning, and growing in my own knowledge so I can help my students. I lurk on these boards, occasionally asking questions, and soaking up much of what those wiser and more experienced have to say. Sometimes what I read discourages me and I panic. But I keep coming back.

 

I, too, am interested in answers to the OP's question. I realize this is subjective and may look different from homeschool to homeschool. But it still helps those of us on the brink of high school to understand what excellence looks like at this level.

---back to lurking and reading---

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That was my first thought, too, but then I realized that other boards I have been on in my life (not related at all to homeschooling) have the same, "I'm right, you're wrong, and therefore you're a _____" issues too. I think that's just an impersonal internet deal. Many will be more forceful on the net than they would ever think of being IRL. I'm thinking the socialization skills IRL come from learning not to act the same IRL as one does on the net (or in a family where we are more free to express our deep down opinions). As I've thought about it overnight, I think that's the issue we need to beware of.

 

I think there is a natural tendency to think that people we like or people we spend a lot of time with in one arena will think as we do in other areas of life too.

 

There might be a question of if some homeschoolers have experience under their belt in disagreeing politely or holding their positions against their peers. But I don't think that homeschoolers are unique in needing to develop this skill.

 

I've seen examples from many educational backgrounds and a wide swath of professions and regions. (One of my favorites was the dentist who would interogate me on my thoughts on upcoming elections as he leaned over me, needle in hand. :D)

 

So while I think it is something to be aware of, I don't think that it is a unique weakness of homeschoolers.

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