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mama27

Oldschool Homeschool S/O of another thread

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Goals and beliefs have certainly changed over the years. I think that is ONE of the reasons I am resorting to oldschooling right now. LOL, I just made up a new term and am sticking it on this thread as tag.

 

The above is a quote from Hunter. Can you explain a little more by what you mean by this? :001_smile:

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Goals and beliefs have certainly changed over the years. I think that is ONE of the reasons I am resorting to oldschooling right now. LOL, I just made up a new term and am sticking it on this thread as tag.

 

The above is a quote from Hunter. Can you explain a little more by what you mean by this? :001_smile:

 

People's mission statements were more well rounded. Not EVERYONE's, but the majority. Academics were CRITICAL, but not the CENTER of HOMEschooling. People had some varied and even eccentric reasons for homeschooling. Many people were NOT homeschooling for the purpose of better academics. People knew WHY they were homeschooling. There was not a one-size-fits-all mentality.

 

Gifted kids were considered gifted, not average. Moms of average kids were not expected to have their children perform at anything other than average levels. Many of us were surprised that our children tested so well, but the EXPECTATIONS and PRESSURE were not there. Moms felt freer to spend more time on their mission statement, whether that was religion, care of the homestead, music, sports, or unschooling. No one shamed them and called them bad moms. The HOME of HOMEschooling was expected. It wasn't homeSCHOOLING. As I write it's getting clearer to me. It was HOMEschooling not homeSCHOOLING.

 

And lower income and less educated moms had it easier back then, than they do now (Not from the school departments, but from their peers). Because my son had tested so high on his 5th grade end of the year tests more pressure was put on me than my peers, so I was slammed right away, but average moms of average kids were spared. I was even spared concerning my older son, despite being harangued about what my younger son "deserved".

 

Maybe other oldschoolers in different parts of the country had different experiences, but this was my perception.

 

Also reference books were sold and used more. Many families spent a big part of their budget on hardcopy encyclopedias and field guides. I'm grasping for what seems important about this, but...something.

 

Before Alpha Omega's Switched on School House blasted onto the scene, kids did a lot more handwriting. Even lots of worksheets were not the norm, except for those using worktexts. Kids wrote on lined paper and just read more. There was a less sterile and less rushed atmosphere, that I'm struggling to label.

 

I'll keep thinking about it.

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People's mission statements were more well rounded. Not EVERYONE's, but the majority. Academics were CRITICAL, but not the CENTER of HOMEschooling. People had some varied and even eccentric reasons for homeschooling. Many people were NOT homeschooling for the purpose of better academics. People knew WHY they were homeschooling. There was not a one-size-fits-all mentality.

 

Gifted kids were considered gifted, not average. Moms of average kids were not expected to have their children perform at anything other than average levels. Many of us were surprised that our children tested so well, but the EXPECTATIONS and PRESSURE were not there. Moms felt freer to spend more time on their mission statement, whether that was religion, care of the homestead, music, sports, or unschooling. No one shamed them and called them bad moms. The HOME of HOMEschooling was expected. It wasn't homeSCHOOLING. As I write it's getting clearer to me. It was HOMEschooling not homeSCHOOLING.

 

And lower income and less educated moms had it easier back then, than they do now (Not from the school departments, but from their peers). Because my son had tested so high on his 5th grade end of the year tests more pressure was put on me than my peers, so I was slammed right away, but average moms of average kids were spared. I was even spared concerning my older son, despite being harangued about what my younger son "deserved".

 

Maybe other oldschoolers in different parts of the country had different experiences, but this was my perception.

 

Also reference books were sold and used more. Many families spent a big part of their budget on hardcopy encyclopedias and field guides. I'm grasping for what seems important about this, but...something.

 

Before Alpha Omega's Switched on School House blasted onto the scene, kids did a lot more handwriting. Even lots of worksheets were not the norm, except for those using worktexts. Kids wrote on lined paper and just read more. There was a less sterile and less rushed atmosphere, that I'm struggling to label.

 

I'll keep thinking about it.

 

 

You may be onto something here. The past few years have been harder on me because I feel more pressure than I used to. Even though I graduated one child already and another is almost done, I feel more insecure than I used to. When I started this 11 years ago I KNEW what I was doing. I never for one second had a doubt.

Now? I struggle weekly, at least. Maybe it's because I'm older. Maybe it's because my oldest child rebelled against everything we"ve ever taught her and doesn't even speak to us. But maybe it's because I have average and/or below average kids and someone decided that I'm supposed to be raising geniuses.

I even feel pressure from most of the people we go to church with because we managed to find a small church with FIVE ps teachers and to hear them their schools are the greatest, the 5 year olds write paragraphs and know how to walk down the hall quietly while my 5 yo still can't tie her shoes.

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I think Hunter is on to something. Her post expresses something that I understand intuitively, but I am with her in that attempting to cogently express it is elusive.:tongue_smilie:

 

Most homeschoolers were teaching their children at home b/c of philosophical rejections toward government education. Emulating them or worrying about their standards was not a goal. Mom being the primary teacher in order to tailor education to meet the needs of the individual child b/c mom knew the needs was a basic premise.

 

Homeschoolers rejected the notion that it wasn't possible to teach subject x,y,z b/c she wasn't an expert or that knowledgeable herself. She searched for resources and worked alongside her kids.

 

But, I think the biggest difference is the concept of the home in homeschooling. Family goals and priorities were the foundational reasons for homeschooling. Kids were at home b/c we were convinced that we had to offer was far superior for our children than anything else out there (regardless of what the "it" was.)

 

I had never heard of homeschooling prior to actually doing it, so we stumbled into homeschooling accidentally. However, once we started, we immediately realized that having our kids at home was about family, academics from our personal goals/view, faith-formation, and protecting childhood as childhood. Not one of those goals has altered.

 

I don't know that anyone who has not experienced the difference can actually appreciate it. But......I am glad that our homeschool was founded "oldschool" and not the pressure to compare modern version.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Maybe other oldschoolers in different parts of the country had different experiences, but this was my perception.

 

I'll keep thinking about it.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

I was homeschooled myself from about 1994 thru 1999 in South Texas. There is a HUGE difference in the homeschooling movement and culture of my youth and today. It wasn't about academics, in fact only at back to school time or used book sales did you maybe talk about what your kid was using. Even if you were a gifted kiddo, others might ask what you were covering subject-wise and consider it, but there was not the "must do more than everyone else" mentalism there is today. You almost never heard about children's special needs either. Children were children, and expected to work to the best of their potential, whatever that level was. It was a lot less diverse, both religiously and ethnically. If you met a home educator, it was most likely a WASP - White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant. You might have exceptions to the rule, but I never met a home school family who wasn't Protestant. Homeschooled kids were better behaved than those of today {IMO}, though I'm not sure if that was due to the higher religious level or merely the times. There was more of a culture of hiding, homeschooling was not something to be mentioned in public or paraded about as it is today. Many families moved when they started home educating, often to a new state. They stayed underground more, staying out of sight of CPS.

 

It was a more peaceful time, with a LOT less activities and more emphasis on being at home. The activities we did have were much less organized - there were no CO-OPS or Day Schools. We had 4H and a few other organized monthly events, but it was much more laid back than those of today. There was more emphasis on mixing the ages and grade levels in activities - we had some activities with everything from pre-k to 12th all presenting to the best of their ability. Activities didn't cost anything or were very low cost, not like the ones of today that charge $50+ per kid. Homeschool groups cost less too - I think we paid $10 a year in our local one. There was only ONE homeschool group, not the huge variety of focused groups of today.

 

There wasn't the huge multitude of options out there to decide from. We had Saxon, Abeka, and BJU if you managed to find a private school willing to buy it for you. Other than that you had the huge all-in-one workbook. I remember my mom made my workbooks because she couldn't find what she wanted. Children were taught to LEARN from base materials like encyclopedias, where today it's handed to them pre-digested in a textbook. Textbooks were written to a higher level than those of today, especially in Language Arts. Unschooling didn't really exist, and outsourcing subjects was unheard of. So was the idea of having your child tutored in a subject you didn't feel ready to teach. The concept of even semi-formal lesson plans was unheard of for the most part. So was the idea of HS kids going back to public school - they either stayed homeschooled or went to private school, but never public.

 

 

I'll keep thinking on it too, but I think Oldschooling is a good term :001_smile: It is hard to express the difference, but it is definitely there.

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Well, we started homeschooling in 94 and we are most definitely, completely, thoroughly, and immoveably :lol: Catholic. Most likely your perception that most homeschoolers were WASP is b/c that is who you actually encountered.

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It's weird and I sometimes think I am nuts, lol, but I feel it too. I totally had a different experience with WHO homeschooled, but much the same about the focus, pressure, etc. Is it just that my perception is skewed?? Rose colored glasses?? I'm losing it??

 

We started afterschooling in in New England in 1995 (who knew there was a word for it, lol) and homeschooling by redoing 1st grade in '96. :glare:

There was a very large group of Catholic homeschoolers near us along with many, many unschoolers in every state in the area, and a large group of Protestant Abeka-ish school-at-homers. We knew families who were Classical, eclectic, relaxed, Waldorf (large Waldorf boarding school near us), unschoolers and everything in between.

 

We had friends who started homeschooling in the late 80's who mainstreamed their kids (all 9 of them) into the PS at 7th grade. We had an unschooled friend who, at 9, was beginning college level work. There were plenty of homeschooling families even in our tiny village, though we were the only minorities.

 

BUT, people, except for some unschoolers, usually did not immediately self-identify as Charlotte Mason, Classical, etc. It was years before I knew how some of our friends mentally "labeled" their homeschools. We used & tweaked Sonlight for a few years, then we unschooled/did our own thing then moved towards TWTM. Curriculum was not a big deal. Living, learning and (unless you were an unschooler:D) teaching was. No one asked for your lesson plans, even if you were so inclined to do them, lol.

 

If they were interested at all, then they were interested in the things you did, the places you went and the books you read. These were the experiences we shared. The focus was personal growth?? (for lack of a better word), not completing curriculum. I NEVER remember having a curriculum conversation about anything much except for math and high school stuff. High school work was dependent on which type of college/trade/life goal you were aiming for and was almost completely individualized. We NEVER discussed or compared ourselves to what the PS was doing for any grade level. Never bashed it either.

 

Very often people would help others if there was some area where one mom felt lacking. I felt very supported by my unschool and school-at-home friends alike. And not just the pat-on-the-head kind of support, the get-up-of-your-behind-and-do-something kind, lol. But it didn't feel like pressure to be.the.best, only support to help you help your kids do their best.

 

We did talk about learning and even about teaching. Things like how to get a kid interested in reading, math games, exciting chapter books, using specific tools like copywork & dictation, ways to work on motor skills, using manipulatives, using projects, coping with learning problems and differences, finding and utilizing community resources, including people. Getting the best use out of the library was a huge topic. (no free internet books!)

 

Now around here it's pretty much ONLY.EVER curriculum talk. (Here it is mostly about which one is the least amount of work for the mom.:tongue_smilie:)

 

So is oldschool real? I either miss it or am drowning in unwarranted nostalgia, lol.

Georgia

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This is just the food for thought that I needed. Thanks for starting the thread mama27 and thanks to all those contributing their thoughts and experience.

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I find this interesting to read. The climate of "oldschooling" is very much alive in my local rural area. I see positives and negatives in that. I do see for some there is an idea that hs'ing is the only choice. I see for some that there is sometimes so much focus on home that there is little left for actual schooling. It is nice that there isn't a ton of curriculum specific talk at times, but it would be also nice to be able to discuss more things in person with rl people rather than just online as a good many around here use the old school pre-packaged curriculum. I don't see a lot of pressure in our local hs community for success, sometimes to a fault really. However, if I had to choose I'd rather there be too little stress than too much as I'm a perfectionist and that would fry my nerves.

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Now around here it's pretty much ONLY.EVER curriculum talk. (Here it is mostly about which one is the least amount of work for the mom.:tongue_smilie:)

 

Georgia

 

Well, it is the k-8 curriculum board you are posting on, there is less curriculum on the general board:tongue_smilie: (I do realize you are talking about around where you are living, I am teasing in I hope a funny way)

 

This is an interesting thread. We are starting our third year of homeschooling. I think all the styles and everything have come up to make it easier to navigate all the curriculum choices out there now. If I didn't first fell some resonance with Classical Education it would have been much scarier starting to pick.

 

I fell that I am getting to a similar place going the opposite way:D I started off Highly structured and following TWTM plan. This year I feel that I understand more of the philosophy. I am not looking so much at the curriculum as what I want my kids to learn, and how. It was nice having 2-5 different curriculum's narrowed down when I was starting. I learnt a lot from them, of what worked, AND what didn't.

 

Also, the dreaded socialization, we joined the classes and activities as I was not confident. If my dc were with kids there own age everyday I had something to say to MY peers, who really can be quite judgy!:boxing_smiley:

 

This year, we are breaking out on our own. I am using the library now and just focusing on a lot of free reading time for Language Arts (and telling me about some of the books that they are reading). We do not have activities scheduled everyday. In fact we have 2 activity days and 3 days where we are just chillin at home. We are going to spend more time on cooking, and I am teaching them to knit this year. Now that I have 2 years under my belt (and they are still at level with their peers) I am relaxing. Thanks for this thread, it relaxes me more about relaxing:D

 

Maybe the pendulum is swinging toward old school? I am just going to hold on and enjoy the ride.

Edited by Northwest_Mama
wasn't clear

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I think the newfound pressure is not just in homeschooling. It is in the culture at large and has seeped into homeschooling. It's the Tiger Mother effect, maybe more child-centeredness and maybe the US trying in some way to catch up with the rest of the world academically.

 

I also think there are fewer families, even religiously conservative ones, homeschooling for reasons of protection or religion---thus, they are likely homeschooling for academic purposes, at least in their top 5 reasons for homeschooling. Some of them might have options, as we do, of having access to or being able to afford a good, Christian, classical private school for their kids, but choose homeschooling anyway. DH honestly thinks I can give the kids a deeper, broader elementary education at home than at said school. (God bless him for his confidence in me!:001_huh:) So, a lot of what we do comes down to academics.

 

DH was homeschooled from the early 80s to high school graduation in the mid-90s. His (large) family of mostly boys played soccer, had some music lessons, and participated in some high school classes in the local private Christian school which accepted homeschoolers for band/music and some classes. They did, however, use a lot of workbooks and I think pretty much all that was available back then was BJU, Abeka and maybe Rod and Staff. There just weren't other options. Maybe a little Charlotte Mason got in, but DH spent the bulk of his elementary years doing workbooks from what he says.

 

The thing I find interesting is that while DH and his siblings have received a great education from his Mom (DH was a NMS, second-to-last born has very high test scores and others have all tested well, good writers, etc.), there is a surprising lack of ambition among them. Maybe they are just content, and I know the homeschooling was initially chosen for protection, religious, and character-forming purposes, but I find it a little sad that so much was invested in them, they have abilities, but no drive. A teen who wants to be history professor or in politics someday, but refuses to take the speech/debate club offered. A teen who is a talented pianist and one of the top teachers in town wants him as a student and parents will/can pay for lessons, but the kid won't do it. This is, I'm sure, distinct to their family, not oldschooling per se, but if this is where oldschooling gets you (and I know that is not what everyone is saying), I hope there's something better out there. It was certainly old, though. ;)

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It's weird and I sometimes think I am nuts, lol, but I feel it too. I totally had a different experience with WHO homeschooled, but much the same about the focus, pressure, etc. Is it just that my perception is skewed?? Rose colored glasses?? I'm losing it??

 

We started afterschooling in in New England in 1995 (who knew there was a word for it, lol) and homeschooling by redoing 1st grade in '96. :glare:

There was a very large group of Catholic homeschoolers near us along with many, many unschoolers in every state in the area, and a large group of Protestant Abeka-ish school-at-homers. We knew families who were Classical, eclectic, relaxed, Waldorf (large Waldorf boarding school near us), unschoolers and everything in between.

 

We had friends who started homeschooling in the late 80's who mainstreamed their kids (all 9 of them) into the PS at 7th grade. We had an unschooled friend who, at 9, was beginning college level work. There were plenty of homeschooling families even in our tiny village, though we were the only minorities.

 

BUT, people, except for some unschoolers, usually did not immediately self-identify as Charlotte Mason, Classical, etc. It was years before I knew how some of our friends mentally "labeled" their homeschools. We used & tweaked Sonlight for a few years, then we unschooled/did our own thing then moved towards TWTM. Curriculum was not a big deal. Living, learning and (unless you were an unschooler:D) teaching was. No one asked for your lesson plans, even if you were so inclined to do them, lol.

 

If they were interested at all, then they were interested in the things you did, the places you went and the books you read. These were the experiences we shared. The focus was personal growth?? (for lack of a better word), not completing curriculum. I NEVER remember having a curriculum conversation about anything much except for math and high school stuff. High school work was dependent on which type of college/trade/life goal you were aiming for and was almost completely individualized. We NEVER discussed or compared ourselves to what the PS was doing for any grade level. Never bashed it either.

 

Very often people would help others if there was some area where one mom felt lacking. I felt very supported by my unschool and school-at-home friends alike. And not just the pat-on-the-head kind of support, the get-up-of-your-behind-and-do-something kind, lol. But it didn't feel like pressure to be.the.best, only support to help you help your kids do their best.

 

We did talk about learning and even about teaching. Things like how to get a kid interested in reading, math games, exciting chapter books, using specific tools like copywork & dictation, ways to work on motor skills, using manipulatives, using projects, coping with learning problems and differences, finding and utilizing community resources, including people. Getting the best use out of the library was a huge topic. (no free internet books!)

 

Now around here it's pretty much ONLY.EVER curriculum talk. (Here it is mostly about which one is the least amount of work for the mom.:tongue_smilie:)

 

So is oldschool real? I either miss it or am drowning in unwarranted nostalgia, lol.

Georgia

 

THis is very similar to our experience except that I had never met another homeschooler or even heard of homeschooling before we started. However, once I met homeschoolers they were all very unique families and I wouldn't be able to say what anyone used w/the exception of the families I knew that used Seton in a very strict manner.

 

I agree w/the bolded as well. Definitely the case here.

 

I find this interesting to read. The climate of "oldschooling" is very much alive in my local rural area. I see positives and negatives in that. I do see for some there is an idea that hs'ing is the only choice. I see for some that there is sometimes so much focus on home that there is little left for actual schooling. It is nice that there isn't a ton of curriculum specific talk at times, but it would be also nice to be able to discuss more things in person with rl people rather than just online as a good many around here use the old school pre-packaged curriculum. I don't see a lot of pressure in our local hs community for success, sometimes to a fault really. However, if I had to choose I'd rather there be too little stress than too much as I'm a perfectionist and that would fry my nerves.

 

I think perhaps I was to vague in my description. On the one hand, i think the stress level is higher amg new homeschoolers. They want to have the "best" curriculum or they want the "best" co-op (the latter is a contradiction of terms in my experience!! ;) ) There is stress from constantly comparing what they do to other people or in comparison to public schools.

 

That said, I do NOT have the perception that today's homeschoolers are more academically successful or even oriented. The opposite is actually closer to reality. But, I think it goes hand-in-hand w/Georgia's post. Curriculum was not the focus. Just the little people in front of you. Teaching w/whatever.....not expecting curriculum to teach.

 

I think today's mentality is actually very similar to public school.....use currlculum x to teach subject y. That is fundamentally 180 to how I think about things and how we used to talk about things. It was more about the hows vs. the whats.

 

I have strong feeling that makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever. :tongue_smilie::tongue_smilie:

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:iagree::iagree::iagree: with everything that has been said all around. We've only been HSing since 2002 and I can see the difference. Definitely more pressure and more competition among the moms. So many different camps to be in too--unschooler, carschooler, virtual schooler, co-oper, non-co-oper, classical, charlotte mason, text booker, etc. In some ways it's no wonder some families don't really know why they are homeschooling.

 

I can even remember a semester at our local Hs group when all the moms felt burnt out and the leaders just said, "okay we aren't going to have any co-ops this semester b/c no one wants to facilitate anything." And it was not a threat, it was just a statement of fact. I left that group a while back b/c the pressure to volunteer to teach other children was so great I couldn't take it. Now, Co-ops happen there every single semester no matter how many people are burned out or how many moms have to be pressured into volunteering. Recently they held a moms retreat. You'd think it would be something relaxing and time out for the moms. No, it was basically a day of classes for the moms. What kind of a retreat is that? The groups I see locally offer very little in the way of actual support for moms. They are all about providing classes and volunteering to run activities--oh, yes, and comparing curriculum! They add to the pressure.

 

Sometimes I think all the seminars and classes for parents just contribute to the idea that we aren't truly capable of doing it. Just like another poster said, in the past parents just did whatever they had to do and taught.

 

I don't know, maybe the focus is off of family and what suits your unique situation and more on 'homeschooling' as something like a profession? Like there is some magic way to 'do it right'. Whereas, in the past, you were just happy to be doing it, and it was easier to enjoy. (Maybe I'm talking out of my hat and the past always seems better. There is that possibility too.)

 

Anyway, I do think I see the difference and I also have a hard time putting my finger on exactly how things have changed.

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I

The thing I find interesting is that while DH and his siblings have received a great education from his Mom (DH was a NMS, second-to-last born has very high test scores and others have all tested well, good writers, etc.), there is a surprising lack of ambition among them. Maybe they are just content, and I know the homeschooling was initially chosen for protection, religious, and character-forming purposes, but I find it a little sad that so much was invested in them, they have abilities, but no drive. A teen who wants to be history professor or in politics someday, but refuses to take the speech/debate club offered. A teen who is a talented pianist and one of the top teachers in town wants him as a student and parents will/can pay for lessons, but the kid won't do it. This is, I'm sure, distinct to their family, not oldschooling per se, but if this is where oldschooling gets you (and I know that is not what everyone is saying), I hope there's something better out there. It was certainly old, though. ;)

i think drive has very little to do w/education and very much to do w/personality. I have mostly "driven" children. However, I have a couple that aren't.

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i think drive has very little to do w/education and very much to do w/personality. I have mostly "driven" children. However, I have a couple that aren't.

 

:iagree: I have one who is driven and one who needs to be driven (with whatever happens to be handy)! I do think that my Ds (who is not usually driven) will eventually realize that he's going to have to motivate himself or he won't accomplish his very ambitious goals.

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Both of my boys have been highly driven, when they had a goal they thought worthy of pushing themselves for. Other times they both slacked off, saying they were not going to run in circles for the sake of running in circles.

 

I think many oldschooled adults are discriminating about what they invest in, and less likely to follow the crowd. That might appear less driven, but I don't agree with that as a generalization. When necessary, I think they are uniquely capable of efficiently and competently accomplishing large and difficult tasks, that THEY consider important. They are certainly less affected by peer pressure and keeping up with the Jonses :lol:

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Curriculum was not the focus. Just the little people in front of you.

 

We started homeschooling in 1995. Just for comparison: we were unschooly and Charlotte Mason-ish, though we didn't know it, and we were white and not religious at all.

 

I think you almost have it above, 8FillTheHeart. It was parents and kids going at learning with no assumptions about what was needed or how to do it except that what they had been doing in the school building wasn't working. Families were going to get to know themselves and the world better and figure out what to do as they went along.

 

Now you have this whole Homeschool System thing that comes between the parents and the kids-- coops, styles, curricula, books and websites, all get in the way of the parental focus on what a kid needs and the parental creativity in providing that. All the mechanisms are in place to just suck parents into the pre-designed machinery when they decide to homeschool. Philosophies come canned and labeled. There's a top-down sort of feeling, like we little parents can come in and get instructions on how to do it and have supplies for doing it dropped out of the sky for us. That didn't exist back then. It was all individuals making it up as they went along, so no philosophy, book, or pre-designed anything got in the way of parents looking at their kids and the world and deciding how to better connect the two.

 

Also, there was more a sense of responsibility and dedication, I think. These parents were serious. Now, a parent can say, "Well, I'll homeschool, but only if it is easy for me, so I'll use a canned curriculum." You never heard that in 1995! Back then you had to be in dire straights or else super convicted in order to homeschool. No one saw it as just another option to try because it could be tricky to explain to the school district where your kids had been these past few years. Everyone doing it was committed to making it work.

 

I'm glad we started then.

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I've wondered about this. Back when I first heard of homeschooling I didn't have any children and my nearest library was small and the collection of homeschooling books was limited to unschooling, a few books on why Christians should homeschool, Rebecca Rupp, Grace Llewellyn, John Holt, TWTM 1st edition, and a day in the life type book.

 

I had a completely different picture of what homeschoolong was and how I wanted to do it before I found the internet homeschool community once I was pregnant and stuck on bedrest.

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When I started I knew very few who homeschooled. The meetings usually consisted of people who would drive 100 plus miles just to gather with others. Even then, it was just a few.

 

I remember going over to a lady's house, probably the only other homeschooler in my town, and sitting over tea to discuss different curriculum. She showed me her Winston Grammar and Daily Grams. After that we all went outside, and her children taught mine how to milk goats.

 

There are so many people and groups now, which is great, and I'm thankful for the opportunities. However, nowadays people are so busy. Too many think that if every moment isn't filled that they are doing something wrong. I suppose the same thing affects public school children too. Many parents fill their schedule from the time they come home from school until they go to bed at night.

 

There is a downside to the "good ol' days" too. A few families that I knew suffered from being reported by their friends, family, and neighbors. They weren't doing anything wrong. These people just didn't know anything about homeschooling and thought it was illegal/abusive. Even though no legal charges were filed (as they were doing nothing wrong), they still had to endure the investigation.

 

Our local school board even harassed homeschoolers. The law stated that homeschoolers simply needed to file a one-time letter of intent and a portfolio evaluation or testing each year. The school board required that in addition to the law homeschoolers needed to report to a school psychologist for an additional portfolio evaluation and interview with the child. Eventually they stopped, probably due to legal intervention, but back then, many complied to avoid further persecution. I went through the school psychologist interview, and one year had to endure the school board coming to my home uninvited to check on the children's progress. It wasn't because we did too little but because the psychologist said we were doing more than average.

 

Anyway, it's nice to look back and think of the good things, but quickly I remember the bad.

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I've been contemplating this also. I've gone here:

http://www.homeschoolmarketplace.com/ and have read the articles and bought the books listed on the side. The Elijah company was started a while ago (I think they closed down the business side of it now) to help homeschoolers educate. They are "oldschool". I'm gleaning a lot from them.

Beth

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I have been homeschooling continuously since 1995 and I see many differences in then vs. now.

 

We did not have PC's. We did not have iphones. We did not have online courses. We did not have the plethora of materials and curricula to choose from.

We could get Sonlight, BJU, A Beka or if we were lucky some public school discards:D I opted back then to make my own....we used our library card, a math program and loads of lined paper and pencils.

 

Our focus was HOME. There were no co-ops, homeschool gym, homeschool library classes etc. We were home-centric. Our days were filled and we did after-school activities such as sports or music and art lessons....but for the most part, my older kids learned by reading and writing....and reading some more and writing some more.

 

As Christians, our goal was to grow closer to the Lord and to have our children learn to love and follow His will for their lives.

 

My kids had many days of down time. They were not so rushed or stressed out as my youngers. They would wander the woods, shoot targets, take care of their rabbits, dogs, cats, etc. They learned to sew, bake, craft, paint, run electric, plumbing, stack wood etc. They stayed physically fit by play and work....not sports teams (at least not until they were older.) They were and are close to eachother.

 

Back then, not everything we did was to prepare them for college or for a greater career....we were more in the present of the time.

 

Somewhere, somehow....these days got muddled and our focus shifted. As my older kids began organized sports, college preparations etc., our stress level and fear of failing our children came into view. Yes, we wanted them to follow their goals and life's purpose....Had we prepared them adequately? Was homeschooling really the magic bullet to produce happy, God-fearing, intelligent, thoughtful adults and citizens? Here was where the rubber hits the road...and of course the result rested upon my shoulders. I could not place blame of the PS, or a bad advisor, or peer pressure or anything or anybody. I only had myself to look at, and to a lesser degree dh, who was supportive, but busy working to allow us the "luxury" of our lifestyle.

 

After 18 years....many things have changed, grown, evolved...

We have moved into a quicker paced life.

We have moved into a more technologically based lifestyle.

We have more programs to choose from than hours to review them.

We have forums, blogs, e-zines, tweets...lol....somehow we are not so cut off from others, their opinions and judgements as we were back then.

Our original goals have morphed a bit too....academics are and always have had a front seat in our homeschool, but I think they are much more forced now. I do not feel the free flowy days as I once did with my older set. Maybe I know the stakes better now.

I think my older kids might have actually had a better education than my younger ones are getting despite the fact that we were much poorer and had many fewer books and supplies.....hmmmmmThat is definitely something to consider.....

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The thing I find interesting is that while DH and his siblings have received a great education from his Mom (DH was a NMS, second-to-last born has very high test scores and others have all tested well, good writers, etc.), there is a surprising lack of ambition among them. Maybe they are just content, and I know the homeschooling was initially chosen for protection, religious, and character-forming purposes, but I find it a little sad that so much was invested in them, they have abilities, but no drive. A teen who wants to be history professor or in politics someday, but refuses to take the speech/debate club offered. A teen who is a talented pianist and one of the top teachers in town wants him as a student and parents will/can pay for lessons, but the kid won't do it. This is, I'm sure, distinct to their family, not oldschooling per se, but if this is where oldschooling gets you (and I know that is not what everyone is saying), I hope there's something better out there. It was certainly old, though. ;)

 

 

 

I did not find this with my dds, but definitely with my dss...to my utter horror and frustration. If anyone has any idea why this may be amonst the boys of us "oldschoolers" (Or if it is just mine...sigh)...please let me know! I have already told dh I will NOT homeschool my little boys past 8th grade unless we figure this one out....I have 3 years....:confused:

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My experience is somewhat different, as I live in Australia and the homeschool culture was quite different here, but I was homeschooled in the 90s, my mother in law began homeschooling her first in the late 80s.

 

The number one difference I see is a lack of confidence. Homeschooling mums today are constantly questioning their methods, their curriculums, their routines, their focuses. Australia doesn't have the same extreme religious culture, so while many homeschoolers were Christians, academics and bullying were generally the two most commonly cited reasons for homeschooling, at least among families I knew. And yet, I couldn't tell you what other families used except for the ACE families. We didn't have access to curriculums like today, for math your choice was Saxon, MUS, or the textbooks from the newsagency that the schools used. For science and history, most families did their own thing simply because they had no choice, except for the lucky few who imported ABeka from America. And they were confident in it. Oh, little johnny wants to know how the body works? Can't find a good curriculum? No biggie, lets just read and see what we can put together. Now I see homeschooling mums not only desperate for the books and guides, but also questioning whether to even study it in x grade because it's 'supposed' to be in y grade according to some chart.

 

I still struggle with all these terms, charlotte mason, classical, wardolf, whatever. I have no idea what I am, I just am.Who cares if I'm a delayed starter, early starter, intensive or relaxed. I am whatever works for my family and our goals and priorities, just like you should be.

 

Homeschooling activities, the few there were, were just for fun, and cheap! It was for making friends and chatting, getting out of the house once in awhile. I remember the first time I ever saw a 'Co-op'. It was so weird! I wondered why you would homeschool, just to send your child to a mini school instead.

 

Homeschooling here has been on the verge of illegal for much longer than in America, and as such, anyone who did it knew why they were doing it, they had strong convictions and a lot of dedication, and they knew everyone else did too. So they figured out what was best for their family and got on with it. There is nowhere near as much conviction surrounding it now.

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People's mission statements were more well rounded. Not EVERYONE's, but the majority. Academics were CRITICAL, but not the CENTER of HOMEschooling. People had some varied and even eccentric reasons for homeschooling. Many people were NOT homeschooling for the purpose of better academics. People knew WHY they were homeschooling. There was not a one-size-fits-all mentality.

.

 

This development is not at all what I observe with the IRL homeschoolers I know. The vast majority in our area are homeschooling primarily for religious reasons . A smaller group homeschools/unschools because they object to the "institution school". Of all the people I personally know, there is only one other family besides us that homeschools for academic reasons because public school did not meet the needs of our children.

 

So, it may very much depend on the area where you are. We are in rural MO. Academic coops or classes for homeschoolers do not exist. I have not met a single person who was interested in taking about curriculum with me.

Maybe we live in a bubble that is decades behind...or centuries. It certainly feels like it sometimes.

 

 

Also reference books were sold and used more. Many families spent a big part of their budget on hardcopy encyclopedias and field guides. I'm grasping for what seems important about this, but...something.
This is clearly due to the technological development; I would not spend much money on encyclopedias that will soon be outdated when I can access the same information online. I fail to see the deeper significance of that.

 

 

ETA: I believe that one contribution to the trend you observe may be the declining quality of public schools. This forces families into homeschooling whose priorities are different from what you remember and who would never have wanted to homeschool for all the reasons Hunter mentioned, but have to in order to meet their academic goals. I have read stories similar to ours on these boards. My older friends with similar academic goals as ours were able to satisfy these goals for their children by attending ps, decades ago.

Edited by regentrude
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Back then you had to be in dire straights or else super convicted in order to homeschool.

 

Yup, you never had to think about WHY you were homeschooling. The WHY might have morphed over the years, but day 1 you KNEW what your priorities were. We didn't often ask anyone what they were using, because we were too busy asking, "What is available that will do..."

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regentrude, I recently realized just how vast this country is, and how different people are from one area to another. :lol: LOL about where you are. :lol:

 

Academic are actually better now in the town I homeschooled in, than they were in the 90s. The 70s through the early 90s in that town were shocking. It was almost impossible for them to drop further. Parents finally revolted and demanded changes.

 

Regnetrude, you know what a mess I am, and how little I have to offer compared to some parents here. With just $100 of curriculum, my younger son got the highest test scores in the entire town for his grade, after homeschooling from December to August. He had been tested the previous September at the charter school with just slightly above average scores. What does that tell you about THAT school system :lol:

 

As for hardcopy reference books, I'm clutching my heart. :scared: You don't salivate :drool: over reference books? You don't like to just READ them just for the lovely experience of reading them? They are my friends. Outdated? I think you hurt their feelings! :lol:

Edited by Hunter
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We have moved into a quicker paced life.

We have moved into a more technologically based lifestyle.

We have more programs to choose from than hours to review them.

We have forums, blogs, e-zines, tweets...lol....somehow we are not so cut off from others, their opinions and judgements as we were back then.

 

 

For me personally, you have hit the nail on the head. Although my oldest is only 4th grade age, we have always homeschooled. When he was a baby and a toddler and I started researching homeschooling, the only resources I had were the books my little rural local library offered. I read every single one of them. And then I inter library loaned what those books suggested. Some of them have since moved onto my shelves as the library discarded them---Tamra Orr, Linda Dobson, Alison Kees, Patrick Farenga, Hohn Holt, Mary Griffith, the Moores, Mary Colfax, David Guterson etc etc. I like to call them the "classics" of the homeschooling subculture. "Curriculum" never crossed my mind. Curriculum to me meant Calvert or Abeka. And the only thing I was sure of was I didn't want to buy a "boxed" thing. I didn't have internet back then and could care less what others were doing. I wanted to know "why" I was homeschooling. I wanted to read *about* education.

 

The first real purchase I made was Miquon math. Everything I used was from the library or bought from consignment style stores. Those older books made that okay. They encouraged doing it yourself, finding it cheaply or free, making your own. I bought a few other programs as my ds grew always with a mind toward solid program with a history behind it. It had to be cheap and it had to be real work without too many bells and whistles. And it has to be loved enough to pass down to my younger kiddos.

 

But then here comes the the technological world that you mention above. I find way too many homeschoolers to be child-centered. It appears their life is consumed by homeschooling and their children so much that their personalities seem to be lost in the mix. I also find too much comparison. I think online stuff adds to this issue. I refuse to read blogs. I've obviously looked at a few ;) but nine times out of ten it seems to me that the tendency to emulate those bloggers become too much the focus. Please no offense. I mean none. But when people are trying too hard to homeschool exactly like Satori's Smiles or Confessions of a Homeschooler or The Pioneer whoever and etc etc etc., I'm sure there's a ton of them, then they're not homeschooling like *themselves* any longer. And it becomes way too easy to compare when you can see pictures of other's "rooms" (ha homeschool rooms?---the thought there needed to be some special set aside place in my home never crossed my mind. It's just my home---not a mini replica of a preschool), other's "stuff", other's children apparently doing so much more than yours. Whatever.

 

And then there's the stuff to buy online. I just discovered Bravewriter and Harmony Fine Arts. And I really like them, so I'm not innocent here. But I've noticed more and more lay people selling their "curriculum" online. Or even offering it for free. Half the time it's nothing a mom couldn't do herself if she put her mind to it. The other half of the time it's nothing new. Just recycled and available in some form in a ton of other places. This keeps the confusion and pressure high to try everything, not be left out, keep up with what others are doing blah blah. There's also so much available. Think Pinterest. Who can do all of that. There's great ideas. And tools. And lesson plans. But...who has time?

 

I've also noticed the trendy programs. I don't know, maybe eventually they will be "oldschool" but right now I see too much a focus on externals. Games and manipulatives and gimmicks and apps. I taught my oldest to read from the lessons in the back of an old Why Johnny Can't Read book. I broke down and bought OPGTR for my Kinder and guess what? I found it too gimmicky. I pulled out my old yellow falling apart Johnny and I think we'll be just fine. I've been aware at times of an almost "elitist" feel about certain programs. A tendency to think that there's something out there that is "better than"--fill in the blank. A tendency to put down certain programs because of xyz, making those who use it feel a little shy to speak up.

 

Anyway. I like what I like. And try to have blinders on for all the rest. Our family is first and foremost a family and a home...not as Hunter put it so well in another thread, a "school."

Edited by Walking-Iris
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I think the newfound pressure is not just in homeschooling. It is in the culture at large and has seeped into homeschooling. It's the Tiger Mother effect, maybe more child-centeredness and maybe the US trying in some way to catch up with the rest of the world academically.

 

 

:iagree:

 

There is a LOT more competition out there now. Our homeschooled kids are up against the world of Tiger Mothers out there that are doing whatever they need to do to push their kids to excel- Kumon, extra tutoring, kids in many high level activities from a very young age, academic camps, super pricey SAT prep, etc. Parents these days are making SURE their kids are getting the best start possible.

 

This may not be true everywhere, but in my relatively well-off area, it is a HUGE truth.

 

It is a constant stress factor for me-it is all on me to make sure my kids can compete with that.

 

ETA: I love this thread. It is so interesting and encouraging that the oldschoolers outperformed ps kids with just a library, and dictionary and some paper (basically).

Edited by HappyGrace

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Regnetrude, you know what a mess I am, and how little I have to offer compared to some parents here.

 

 

Hunter, I have followed what you shared about your struggles and I admire your tenacity and motivation - you definitely have something to offer!

 

With just $100 of curriculum, my younger son got the highest test scores in the entire town for his grade, after homeschooling from December to August. He had been tested the previous September at the charter school with just slightly above average scores. What does that tell you about THAT school system :lol:

 

 

It tells me that money alone does not solve the problem of education.

I have never found that spending a lot of money on curriculum causes the kid to get a better education. I am in a more comfortable financial situation, but you'd be surprised how dirt cheap I cover almost everything (except for the recent addition of tuition for DD... if we did not homeschool, she'd attend a residential early college program because this is what she needs)

 

As for hardcopy reference books, I'm clutching my heart. :scared: You don't salivate :drool: over reference books? You don't like to just READ them just for the lovely experience of reading them? They are my friends. Outdated? I think you hurt their feelings! :lol:

 

No, not really. I drool over literature, eschew the e-reader and still buy books (they are my friends) - but not reference ones. OK, when I was little, I did love my parents' 20 volume leather bound 100 year old encyclopedia set with protective transparent paper between pages that had illustrations.... alas, for actual current information, not a very suitable resource.

Plus, I like possessing as little stuff as possible. Anything that works in electronic form and does not take up room in the house, I prefer.

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My kids had many days of down time. They were not so rushed or stressed out as my youngers. They would wander the woods, shoot targets, take care of their rabbits, dogs, cats, etc. They learned to sew, bake, craft, paint, run electric, plumbing, stack wood etc. They stayed physically fit by play and work....not sports teams (at least not until they were older.) They were and are close to eachother.

 

Back then, not everything we did was to prepare them for college or for a greater career....we were more in the present of the time.

 

Somewhere, somehow....these days got muddled and our focus shifted. As my older kids began organized sports, college preparations etc., our stress level and fear of failing our children came into view. Yes, we wanted them to follow their goals and life's purpose....Had we prepared them adequately? Was homeschooling really the magic bullet to produce happy, God-fearing, intelligent, thoughtful adults and citizens? Here was where the rubber hits the road...and of course the result rested upon my shoulders. I could not place blame of the PS, or a bad advisor, or peer pressure or anything or anybody. I only had myself to look at, and to a lesser degree dh, who was supportive, but busy working to allow us the "luxury" of our lifestyle.

 

After 18 years....many things have changed, grown, evolved...

We have moved into a quicker paced life.

We have moved into a more technologically based lifestyle.

We have more programs to choose from than hours to review them.

We have forums, blogs, e-zines, tweets...lol....somehow we are not so cut off from others, their opinions and judgements as we were back then.

Our original goals have morphed a bit too....academics are and always have had a front seat in our homeschool, but I think they are much more forced now. I do not feel the free flowy days as I once did with my older set. Maybe I know the stakes better now.

I think my older kids might have actually had a better education than my younger ones are getting despite the fact that we were much poorer and had many fewer books and supplies.....hmmmmmThat is definitely something to consider.....

We have only been hsing 6 years so I can't comment on what it was like "back then." However, much of what Faithe writes here resonates with me. The bolded part really reflects the changes in our hsing and I am amazed (almost) that this is so.

 

However, the hsers that I meet IRL around here have rarely discussed curriculum. I would say other than one or two meetings I have been to, I have discussed curriculum maybe....once with another hser irl.

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There is a LOT more competition out there now. Our homeschooled kids are up against the world of Tiger Mothers out there that are doing whatever they need to do to push their kids to excel- Kumon, extra tutoring, kids in many high level activities from a very young age, academic camps, super pricey SAT prep, etc. Parents these days are making SURE their kids are getting the best start possible.

 

This may not be true everywhere, but in my relatively well-off area, it is a HUGE truth.

 

It is a constant stress factor for me-it is all on me to make sure my kids can compete with that.

 

:iagree:But this I think is just a factor of globalization and technology. It is a different world now that is far more competitive than the one I grew up in - particularly in well-educated, affluent, urban areas. It has nothing to do with how I would like to school or how I wish life could be. It just isn't that way anymore, not for dh in his job and certainly not for our kids. We don't know anyone who works a 40 hr work week, and I don't expect our kids will either.

Edited by FairProspects
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For me personally, you have hit the nail on the head. Although my oldest is only 4th grade age, we have always homeschooled. When he was a baby and a toddler and I started researching homeschooling, the only resources I had were the books my little rural local library offered. I read every single one of them. And then I inter library loaned what those books suggested. Some of them have since moved onto my shelves as the library discarded them---Tamra Orr, Linda Dobson, Alison Kees, Patrick Farenga, Hohn Holt, Mary Griffith, the Moores, Mary Colfax, David Guterson etc etc. I like to call them the "classics" of the homeschooling subculture. "Curriculum" never crossed my mind. Curriculum to me meant Calvert or Abeka. And the only thing I was sure of was I didn't want to buy a "boxed" thing. I didn't have internet back then and could care less what others were doing. I wanted to know "why" I was homeschooling. I wanted to read *about* education.

 

The first real purchase I made was Miquon math. Everything I used was from the library or bought from consignment style stores. Those older books made that okay. They encouraged doing it yourself, finding it cheaply or free, making your own. I bought a few other programs as my ds grew always with a mind toward solid program with a history behind it. It had to be cheap and it had to be real work without too many bells and whistles. And it has to be loved enough to pass down to my younger kiddos.

 

But then here comes the the technological world that you mention above. I find way too many homeschoolers to be child-centered. It appears their life is consumed by homeschooling and their children so much that their personalities seem to be lost in the mix. I also find too much comparison. I think online stuff adds to this issue. I refuse to read blogs. I've obviously looked at a few ;) but nine times out of ten it seems to me that the tendency to emulate those bloggers become too much the focus. Please no offense. I mean none. But when people are trying too hard to homeschool exactly like Satori's Smiles or Confessions of a Homeschooler or The Pioneer whoever and etc etc etc., I'm sure there's a ton of them, then they're not homeschooling like *themselves* any longer. And it becomes way too easy to compare when you can see pictures of other's "rooms" (ha homeschool rooms?---the thought there needed to be some special set aside place in my home never crossed my mind. It's just my home---not a mini replica of a preschool), other's "stuff", other's children apparently doing so much more than yours. Whatever.

 

And then there's the stuff to buy online. I just discovered Bravewriter and Harmony Fine Arts. And I really like them, so I'm not innocent here. But I've noticed more and more lay people selling their "curriculum" online. Or even offering it for free. Half the time it's nothing a mom couldn't do herself if she put her mind to it. The other half of the time it's nothing new. Just recycled and available in some form in a ton of other places. This keeps the confusion and pressure high to try everything, not be left out, keep up with what others are doing blah blah. There's also so much available. Think Pinterest. Who can do all of that. There's great ideas. And tools. And lesson plans. But...who has time?

 

I've also noticed the trendy programs. I don't know, maybe eventually they will be "oldschool" but right now I see too much a focus on externals. Games and manipulatives and gimmicks and apps. I taught my oldest to read from the lessons in the back of an old Why Johnny Can't Read book. I broke down and bought OPGTR for my Kinder and guess what? I found it too gimmicky. I pulled out my old yellow falling apart Johnny and I think we'll be just fine. I've been aware at times of an almost "elitist" feel about certain programs. A tendency to think that there's something out there that is "better than"--fill in the blank. A tendency to put down certain programs because of xyz, making those who use it feel a little shy to speak up.

 

Anyway. I like what I like. And try to have blinders on for all the rest. Our family is first and foremost a family and a home...not as Hunter put it so well in another thread, a "school."

 

 

I could have written most of this post. Right down to the age of my oldest and starting off finding Miquon on a used shelf... I differ in that I wish the ole' Spalding that I started off with (quickly bought into the $$$ SWR that didn't work:tongue_smilie:) would have worked. I think some of the newer/different curricula do fill a need, especially for kids with special needs. (Praise GOD for Dancing Bears reading...)

 

 

That said, I am :bigear: to this thread. The homeschoolers who inspired me to try this myself were "oldschool" HOMEschoolers. The farther we get into HSing (and the more time my dc need from me:tongue_smilie:), the more I need to know what *it* is and discard the rest from my life...I want simple, fruitful days. I need a daily reminder to look at the children who call me "Mom," instead of at the countless HSing blogs, for my inspiration. :iagree:

 

 

Great thread!

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I think a lot of the folks around me are still somewhat "oldschooling". In my homeschool group, curriculum isn't really discussed that much, and when it is, it seems to mostly be us young whippersnappers discussing it. :lol:

 

I definitely see a lot of, "What can I use so *I* don't have to teach?" type stuff. Moms are getting overextended and don't have time to homeschool. A lot of factors probably contribute to that.

 

At the same time, I do think that easier-to-use curricula can be beneficial, especially for special needs kids (and I'm thankful for Dancing Bears also! :D). Some curricula are probably worshiped more than they need to be. Yes, AAS is good, but *most* kids would probably be fine with any old spelling program. People expect their 6 year olds to be spelling everything perfectly and freak out if they aren't, then they run to AAS to save them. Spelling finally clicks around age 9, and they think it was all because of AAS, when really, it was mostly because spelling and writing come together around age 9 for a lot of kids. :) I don't think that most kids need an O-G program for reading or spelling, but at the same time, it's soooo nice for the kids that truly DO need an O-G program to have something affordable like AAS (compared to Barton and the others).

 

A lot of people I know IRL use A Beka and Saxon, and maybe some BJU occasionally. Their kids are doing fine, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with those, but I personally would rather use other curricula that are more enjoyable for ME to teach and for my son to learn from. I'm not a party fun mom by any stretch of the imagination (projects around here are quite rare), but I also get really bored with made-for-school textbooks. So I do like that there are curricula for homeschoolers that give me some teaching tools, while allowing me to use more real books, cuddle-on-the-couch time, casual discussion, etc.

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for what it's worth I was homeschooled when homeschooling wasn't "hip". My mother is very "oldschool" teaching me to the best of her ability and using what she had to do it. There wasn't comparisons and "curriculum fairs" we literally had Abeka for some things, BJU for others and BOOKS. Real LIVE books, we used encyclopedias and we READ. I entered 7th grade and was ABOVE "average". She did something right. :) I admire her greatly and there were 7 of us and she graduated my oldest brother.

 

I was thrilled to become apart of the homeschooling community and then when I did I was a little overwhelmed and surprised. I was used to a certain way that I grew up watching my mother and then to see a total transformation. It seems there are too many choices and I have to think that if Abraham Lincoln was president, Albert Einstein was a genius and they lived without all of these "frills" can't we?

 

I got caught up in the curriculum so much so that I labeled myself a curriculum junkie. It was bad. Then in talking with my mother and my DH, a light bulb went off. I don't need gimmicks. I need to have a teachable heart to teach and train my children, that's all it takes. The willingness and desire to see LEARNING and EDUCATION occur. It's not rocket science and I was making it so much more complicated than it needed to be.

 

I scratched some things, prayed, and stopped looking at blogs and curriculum. Sold a lot, gave away some and decided to watch my children and learn with them and READ, READ, READ, and we shall learn together. I have only been at this not even a full year and I have learned so much. I have learned that the tried and true books/"methods" are that because they are effective. Vintage books are a thrill for me.

 

Life is short, I think I lost sight of the over arching goal for us as homeschoolers and everyone has different goals.

 

I told my husband that parents wear their "curriculum" as badges of honor. Homeschooling isn't curriculum, it's a lifestyle, I think. It's really a way of life. It's not in one room, it's not in one semester, it's our life. We live our lives with our children and walk this road together learning all the way.

 

I am a total newbie but these are just a few of my observations thus far. I hope to be an "oldschooler" one day because this ROCKS. Don't get me wrong there are days and sometimes a few weeks where I am thinking, "WHAT WAS I THINKING" and then I look in my photos at my albums entitled "Why I homeschool" and I remember. I remember that even on the "bad" days, this is EXACTLY where I want to be and where I want my kids to be.

 

:)

 

Also, thank you for starting this thread for those of us who are new to homeschooling, it is such an encouragement.

 

Thank you.

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I told my husband that parents wear their "curriculum" as badges of honor. Homeschooling isn't curriculum, it's a lifestyle, I think. It's really a way of life. It's not in one room, it's not in one semester, it's our life. We live our lives with our children and walk this road together learning all the way.

 

:iagree: I do have to admit that I don't mind learning about what is out there, what is available. I feel like I'm always learning and one can learn new things. I have never heard about progym in my life, as one example. So it was interesting to research that even though I ultimately rejected it as useful for us at this stage in the game. But at the end of the day a child learning how to spell and write is more important than what or how they learned to spell and write imho.

 

I also don't feel as though a merit or demerit should be passed in judgement on homeschoolers for what they are using or not using. I see too many threads and posts and irl conversations and online posts that give me the feeling that opinions about certain programs are so heated that it might be best in the long run to keep silent about what you're doing. Even though we make signatures to announce it to the world, more or less. :tongue_smilie:

 

I think the best conversations about curriculum are the ones that help teach. I see too many threads where an OP says they're having trouble with math or spelling etc and the reply is usually "Well I use such and such." I think it does little to help the fellow homeschooler tease out the problems they are having with math. It makes it seem that the program they are using is the problem when they may very well experience the same issue with another one. Much better to say "well I use such and such and here is how I addressed learning mult facts or whatever." Because honestly the tools/methods that any curriculum claims can be applied to any of them. I can use c-rods with or without Miquon, an abacus with or without RS, magnetic phonics tiles with or without AAS etc.

 

And now I'm rambling. But just some thoughts.

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I think the best conversations about curriculum are the ones that help teach. I see too many threads where an OP says they're having trouble with math or spelling etc and the reply is usually "Well I use such and such."

 

LOL, often it ends up with a contest of various people talking about why the program they use is the best. Inevitably in such discussions you have people that always post on reading threads or math threads that the only answer is xyz curriculum. Nevermind that people have had success with a variety of programs. Even in the listing of old programs people liked there was no one answer, because there isn't one, yet some people keep on insisting there is only one right path. Certain people can be very loud and persausive though. When I first started coming here I didn't realize this and those loud posters are the ones I tended to follow. Now they are the ones I tend to ignore as their answers are always the same, irrespective of the individual details.

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I think the best conversations about curriculum are the ones that help teach. I see too many threads where an OP says they're having trouble with math or spelling etc and the reply is usually "Well I use such and such." I think it does little to help the fellow homeschooler tease out the problems they are having with math. It makes it seem that the program they are using is the problem when they may very well experience the same issue with another one. Much better to say "well I use such and such and here is how I addressed learning mult facts or whatever." Because honestly the tools/methods that any curriculum claims can be applied to any of them. I can use c-rods with or without Miquon, an abacus with or without RS, magnetic phonics tiles with or without AAS etc.

 

And now I'm rambling. But just some thoughts.

 

:iagree:I think the same can be said in public schools. It matters less what curriculum is used in the schools and matters more about the abilities of the teachers. Same at home!

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I think Hunter is on to something. Her post expresses something that I understand intuitively, but I am with her in that attempting to cogently express it is elusive.:tongue_smilie:

 

Most homeschoolers were teaching their children at home b/c of philosophical rejections toward government education. Emulating them or worrying about their standards was not a goal. Mom being the primary teacher in order to tailor education to meet the needs of the individual child b/c mom knew the needs was a basic premise.

 

Homeschoolers rejected the notion that it wasn't possible to teach subject x,y,z b/c she wasn't an expert or that knowledgeable herself. She searched for resources and worked alongside her kids.

 

But, I think the biggest difference is the concept of the home in homeschooling. Family goals and priorities were the foundational reasons for homeschooling. Kids were at home b/c we were convinced that we had to offer was far superior for our children than anything else out there (regardless of what the "it" was.)

 

I had never heard of homeschooling prior to actually doing it, so we stumbled into homeschooling accidentally. However, once we started, we immediately realized that having our kids at home was about family, academics from our personal goals/view, faith-formation, and protecting childhood as childhood. Not one of those goals has altered.

 

I don't know that anyone who has not experienced the difference can actually appreciate it. But......I am glad that our homeschool was founded "oldschool" and not the pressure to compare modern version.

 

That's exactly how I came into it, fell into it backwards. And, for the first 5 years, though I had a computer, I had no idea places like TWTM were out there, so I had nothing to compare myself to. Looking back, I think that was a green valley to start in.

 

I think what has come onto the scene is commercialism, and with it, like commercialism always brings, is panic.

 

Andrew Kern talked about rest a lot.

 

Knowing why you are doing something brings singular focus. You can rest because you don't have to look at why anyone else is doing something, you only need to be concerned with why YOU Are doing something. Something new comes along and you can analyze if it falls into your priorities, and if not, it's easy to let it go.

 

As far as curric goes, more is good. There are people out there who really NEED different things and esp as the younger moms (I fear) have even less of an education than I did, have more ground to cover. So some of this stuff is good.

 

What I have found for myself, is that the longer I do this, the older the books I use. Harvey's grammar, Rays math, encyclopedias, out of print books. It's become all very simple because I know my reasons for doing this. I can rest.

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Knowing why you are doing something brings singular focus. You can rest because you don't have to look at why anyone else is doing something, you only need to be concerned with why YOU Are doing something. Something new comes along and you can analyze if it falls into your priorities, and if not, it's easy to let it go.

 

 

Yes. I love this!

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What I have found for myself, is that the longer I do this, the older the books I use. Harvey's grammar, Rays math, encyclopedias, out of print books. It's become all very simple because I know my reasons for doing this. I can rest.

 

Me too. Even though I started in the 90's most of my new-to-me favorites are even older than that. I am adoring How to Tutor, and recently REALLY read the 4th edition of Spalding. I love my 1959 Golden Book Encyclopedias. McGuffey's Eclectic Readers I've been using since last Spring. When it comes to teaching Latin and Ancient Greek I've always used really old stuff. I like CGE better than Harvey's but would probably be using Harvey's if I hadn't of found CGE. I play around with the vintage maths, but...keep do moving back to mostly 80s and 90s stuff. I'd never snub the new stuff just because it's newer. Carson-Dellosa Daily Science and Spalding 6th edition handwriting are current favorites.

 

I tend to be very methodical. And people IRL have nicknamed me "no nonsense". The older stuff was mathy even when not teaching math. It was systematic. I don't believe something is better just because it's older. I'm just not as playful as many modern people are, and find peace and rest in the older methods, instead of finding them boring. And I don't find them too narrow. I find the modern curricula to be too wide to master, and I prefer mastery of the essentials before moving up and out.

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I think the best conversations about curriculum are the ones that help teach. I see too many threads where an OP says they're having trouble with math or spelling etc and the reply is usually "Well I use such and such." I think it does little to help the fellow homeschooler tease out the problems they are having with math. It makes it seem that the program they are using is the problem when they may very well experience the same issue with another one. Much better to say "well I use such and such and here is how I addressed learning mult facts or whatever." Because honestly the tools/methods that any curriculum claims can be applied to any of them. I can use c-rods with or without Miquon, an abacus with or without RS, magnetic phonics tiles with or without AAS etc.

 

 

:iagree:

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The focus was personal growth?? (for lack of a better word), not completing curriculum.

 

Thank you! The past couple of years have been a real struggle here in regards to homeschool. You have reminded me that it is about personal growth. :) Now I can start the new school year with a refreshed vision for my girls.

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I find the modern curricula to be too wide to master, and I prefer mastery of the essentials before moving up and out.

 

So, so true. So true.

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This reminds me of that huge Circe thread. I never posted in that thread, but it changed the way we homeschool to something more like what you are describibg here as oldschooling.

 

I think my main take away was that teaching is, at heart, relational and cannot be fully systematized. Therefore, what you use is much less important than how you use it.

 

Not that I know. My oldest is in kindergarten.

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This reminds me of that huge Circe thread. I never posted in that thread, but it changed the way we homeschool to something more like what you are describibg here as oldschooling.

 

I think my main take away was that teaching is, at heart, relational and cannot be fully systematized. Therefore, what you use is much less important than how you use it.

 

Not that I know. My oldest is in kindergarten.

 

You are SO lucky to know this now. Yes, there's a practical aspect of the knowing which only experience can give you, but you'll grow into that.

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Homeschooling activities, the few there were, were just for fun, and cheap! It was for making friends and chatting, getting out of the house once in awhile. I remember the first time I ever saw a 'Co-op'. It was so weird! I wondered why you would homeschool, just to send your child to a mini school insead.

 

This is how I feel but I have looked into the dang things just because my kids have no homeschool friends. All their friends are at church and attend ps. But they are SO expensive here! And there are waiting lists! Thats so weird!

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I remember the first time I ever saw a 'Co-op'. It was so weird! I wondered why you would homeschool, just to send your child to a mini school instead.

 

Because one mom might have a special area of expertise she is willing to share with other mothers' children? Something that could greatly enrich another child's education? Such as speaking another language, or being able to paint?

Because some children prefer to learn in groups?

I am not sure where the negative sentiment comes from - most parents whose kids learn to play instruments use outside teachers who actually play that instrument; most kids who learn to dance do so at a studio and not at home... why does this not have the same stigma?

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Because one mom might have a special area of expertise she is willing to share with other mothers' children? Something that could greatly enrich another child's education? Such as speaking another language, or being able to paint?

Because some children prefer to learn in groups?

I am not sure where the negative sentiment comes from - most parents whose kids learn to play instruments use outside teachers who actually play that instrument; most kids who learn to dance do so at a studio and not at home... why does this not have the same stigma?

 

Regentrude, I am assuming either the co-op you have been a part of has been blessed by teachers like yourself (which is completely not the norm amg co-ops) or that you have never been in a co-op before..

 

I don't think anyone objects or attaches a stimga to hiring outside teachers/tutors/classes. However, the co-ops we have been a part of or have investigated are typically just moms being assigned a subject to teach (and then they use a text like Apologia and teach directly from the text w/ the TM.) Or the parents are not involved in the course any more than dropping their child off at the co-op.. No homework is turned in. No effort is put into the course.. Or the parent gets angry that there is too much homework or the grading it too hard and the entire pace/structure of the class has to be reduced to an inappropriate level. The grades assigned by the co-op teacher are not binding and parents will in turn give credit and grades at their complete discretion. :tongue_smilie:

 

Our oldest ds took a couple of courses through a cottage school that was started by a former AP biology teacher. While it was just a small core group of kids, what was offered was fabulous. However, within a short -time her school was over-run by drop-offs w/no interest in actually doing high academics and the standards/quality plummeted.

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You know, I have been thinking a lot about your question this weekend...and I think what it really came down to was 20 years ago ( and for some yesterday:D)homeschooling or to coin the new phrase, old schooling was a life choice and a lifestyle decision....not just an academic choice for a few months until Johnny could go into the next class without the crummy teacher. It was a choice that was not entered into lightly or easily. It was going against the staus quo and it was even considered threatening by the school systems.

 

Those who did it for religious convictions and those who did it as a political statement were really somewhat in the same boat. When I began, parents were being hauled into court left and right because the school superintendents still did not acknowledge the legal right to homeschool, nor their own regs....and courts were slapping parents with decisions of educational neglect, even when they were complying with the law. You HAD to be convinced that what you were doing was the right thing.....and that you were in it because either your God called you to it or your convictions made it so you really had no other choice....kwim?

 

The social climate around homeschooling has changed radically over the past 20 years....and with the advent of K-12 type virtual academies, even the school system itself has moved toward homeschooling. It is just a different thing for some people now than it was for us back then....and even some of us now.

 

Now, I am not saying that the old ways are better or worse....just that they were different. I happen to like educational choice...and sometimes wish I had some more choice in these parts....and I happen to LOVE the newer technologies and educational tools that have made my homeschooling life easier.

 

I love that I am not so isolated from my peers and like-minded ( and even non-like-minded ) people....

 

Hmmmmmm......I am still pondering.....

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Because one mom might have a special area of expertise she is willing to share with other mothers' children? Something that could greatly enrich another child's education? Such as speaking another language, or being able to paint?

Because some children prefer to learn in groups?

I am not sure where the negative sentiment comes from - most parents whose kids learn to play instruments use outside teachers who actually play that instrument; most kids who learn to dance do so at a studio and not at home... why does this not have the same stigma?

 

That would be nice if there were such a thing around here. OY!

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