Jump to content

Menu

Is anyone else baffled by self educating homeschoolers?


...................
 Share

Recommended Posts

I consider myself a fairly strict parent. I have trained my children to obey, from early on. I certainly am not and was not as consistent as I could wish, but my children are usually obedient, and they understand what is expected, in general.

 

But they don't stay on task too well. As I type, it's Cleaning Day and they are taking turns sucking up objects, hair, animals, and skin with the the mini vacuum. They are rolling on the floor, my Aspie son is drooling and there is much silliness in general.

 

(Pause while I go deal with this.)

 

Lately JOanne Calderwood's articles have been on my mind, since she's a HOmeschool Enrichment columnist. EVERY.SINGLE.ARTICLE. champions her wonderful success of self education. I've even read her book "I'm the Mom, I don't Have to KNow Calculus" and I've even tried her Homeschool STUDENT Planner (as in, each child plans his own work starting from 3rd grade.)

 

I even tried this for about 4 months. All it did was make me very mad all the time. Her kids don't have a schedule, they check their own work, they don't even have to do school at a certain time or in a certain place. They generally have a quiet schoolwork time each day but as the kids get older they have the freedom to fit their schooling in when they desire.

 

??? I mean, my kids would spend their whole lives talking and giggling to each other. They have no concept of worrying about the future. Even my son who is very diligent, and focused, would not choose to start school on his own. If given the choice, each of them have missed out on clubs and activities because things aren't done.

 

I'm pretty baffled about this.

 

First of all, I think it's important for me to spend some time with my kids. I am always finding gaps in their education that need remediating or life questions that need discussing. And I like spending a little time with them each day.

 

But I wonder....is it really better for kids to take ownership of their entire education at 3rd grade? Am I holding my kids back from having true initiative and personal drive?

 

Or should there be a balance?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well...my kids would be laughing & giggling & playing all day. They are just silly like that. My dd11 would be talking about One Direction the whole time, while my ds9 would be talking about video games. My dd4 has special needs, so I'm probably always going to have to do work with her. I am hoping that my children will mature in time, but right now I still have to be present for them to complete work.:tongue_smilie:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really think there are different kinds of kids, kwim? I read one article once which I LOVED about why the author is not an unschooler. I struggled for a while because i am very liberal and i believe in trusting kids, but the idea of unschooling baffled me (and yes, i know thats not what you are talking about exactly)

 

But her points which resonated with me were 1. if i had no schedule, i would find my own things to do and ignore my kids all day. I am an introvert and I NEED to be forced to interact with my kids, so I have to schedule it. 2. The kinds of families who do really well with unschooling are very entrepreneurial. They are the kind of adults and kids who have wide-ranging ideas and a lot of motivation and enthusiasm and just want to get things done without waiting for someone to show them how.

 

I am homeschooling 2 kids. My older one is autistic/bipolar/etc . . . he is 16. he has a checklist and has for 3 years. Generally, still, he will say "What am I supposed to do next" and i say "Look at your checklist" and he'll say, "I still have X, Y, and Z. Which one should I do first?" and I"ll say "Thats up to you". We've been doing this for years. Honestly, this year he only asks once or twice instead of 4-5 times.

 

My younger one is much more independent minded. He will say "what do i have to do before I'm done". When i am organized enough to also have a checklist for him, he takes some breaks, but also will go through the list and get it all done. Of course, half of his stuff requires me, so the list I give him is kinda short.

 

Both know that in order to be back on electronics, they have to have their work done AND it has to be (last year was 2:30 this year is 4 . . . ). So that helps make sure they are motivated to do the work BUT not rushing through it too much.

 

i never trust people who say "this works for all kids"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had never heard of this so I'll be off to research it more later....:auto:

 

But seriously? That would never fly in my house! I would die without some structure even if our schedule is flexible. My kids would not choose to "educate themselves" without some direction from me. And if I didn't keep them busy with planned activities I can only imagine the fighting, whining, and complaining that would go on! :tongue_smilie: I would hate living in my own house!

 

I do think it's good for kids to learn some responsibility. I assign my daughter independent work (draw an illustration about what we read in history or color a lapbook component) that is something fairly simple and I make her a daily checklist with a couple items. It is her responsibility to have those done by the next day. So, I like to think I'm teaching her a little independence but she by no means could plan it out and execute it-and I'm not sure I ever see that happening.

 

So, I guess that while my homeschool experience is very limited and my kids are still very young, I vote for balance. I've already learned to not put myself solely in one educational camp or allow myself to think that I fall into one category only. I've learned that with homeschooling comes flexibility and it will look different for each person and will probably even look different every year for you. I love to read homeschool books and read about methods and philosophies but I don't think I've read one with which I've agreed 100%.

 

I can't forsee that method ever working around here-for my kids or for me. I like planning and I like interacting with them and being fully involved. I do hope that as they get older they can do some simple planning with me and I do intend to let them have some say in what we study. But at our house-I'm in charge of schooling and I get to choose and also enforce the rules. School is not going to be optional because if it was, my kids would vote to play with legos all day long!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My oldest is only in 3rd grade, and he is showing some signs of independence. However, he can be a tad on the lazy side when left to his own devices. I'm often reminding him to write out his work or include units during math. He knows these things, but they take up his precious time. He just isn't mature enough to care more about school than playtime. If I gave him control of his schedule, he'd get around to school around midnight.

 

I'm hoping that he'll become more self-motivated and independent with each passing year, but I always plan on teaching him material. That's fun for me and we enjoy being together. I like reading aloud to him and don't plan to stop just because he can read it himself (though he does often read ahead).

 

I wonder if my perspective will change when my youngest is in 3rd grade...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have exactly one child right now for whom that system would work. I have hopes that my oldest DS will be there sometime in high school, but I anticipate my younger son may not be there until he's ready for college. My two youngest daughters...who are 6 and 3... to early to tell, but I won't hold my breath either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:iagree: I think very few 3rd grade children have the maturity to take ownership of their education and honestly, I am not sure I would want mine to. Do I want them to be more independent? Sure, but that is different than self-educating. I do understand that sometimes circumstances may require some families to need this, but I also think it could be detrimental in some instances to. Parents need to be involved in their children's education for the same reasons that parents need to supervise their children's activities, chores, friends etc. because they are children and these things do not come naturally to them.

 

My oldest is in 9th grade and while she has been relatively independent since 5th grade, only now am I allowing her to set her own schedule and take ownership of her education and even that on a small scale. It will gradually increase each year in preparation for her being a responsible adult, but children are not adults and most are not responsible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's parenting style coupled with the personality of different children. My oldest was largely responsible for teaching herself from age 10 or so. She took the books from me and asked me if she could do it herself. My homeschooling style is less top-down than I suspect most people do it. Each of the kids have a say in what they study and how. So for instance, while I research and choose the curriculum, they have veto power. If there is something I really want them to do and there really is no other option, I'll put my foot down on occasion, but it really is more of a negotiation. I want them fully invested in their studies, and I find that the best way to do that is to have them help me decide what they will use. For want of a better way to describe it, they own their educations.

 

That said, my second child did a great job of motivating herself but she went to a classical school for two years of high school and then community college full time for the last two years. The third child really needs a lot more face to face interaction, so I find myself doing a lot more active teaching, mostly in Math and Lit. She is still studying Bio independently. My 4th is teaching herself Math and some other things and the 5th one really likes me to teach. Each one has a varying level of independence.

 

When it comes to cleanup day, they can fool around with the vacuum cleaner and goof off like anyone else, but they take their studies pretty seriously.

 

ETA: 3rd grade is a little early to transition them off, however, IMO

Edited by Barb F. PA in AZ
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's my 2c worth:

 

1. You can't go from mom managed everything in second grade to kids manage themselves in third grade overnight. You'd need to work up to it gradually.

 

2. As we all know, kids very enormously in temperament and maturity. Not all kids are capable of organizing themselves from a young age, even if you do train them to do it. I'd think that many kids would need to be older than grade 3.

 

3. Parents have to keep things within, or close to, their own comfort zone. It may be that the OPs kids could learn everything they need to while giggling and mucking around most of the day, but it's still not going to work out if the OP isn't able to be reasonably comfortable with how the day goes. And kids who are given more freedom than they're used to will often go a bit feral at first, before they settle down to the self management part of it.

 

4. Unschooling, or even giving the kids more responsibility in general, isn't as simple as withdrawing some of your control and seeing how the kids go. It's a huge paradigm shift that, for most people, takes a lot of work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now, I'm talking (typing) through my hat, figuratively speaking, because I haven't researched this, but I suspect that it may be one of those cases where all the column writer is showing is the place her family has "arrived." You know, like the lovely, clean, nicely-scented home that you're welcomed into when you go over a new friend's place for dinner? You have no idea what that house sounded like an hour before you arrived - it may have been total chaos with kids pounding up and down the stairs, puddles in the bathroom, and the mom waving smoke away from the alarm in the kitchen. :D Or, even if things went smoothly in preparing for this night's dinner, has it always been so? In every training/preparation endeavor there are bumps along the way as you figure out how to make it work for you. (But then, being a homeschool mom, you'd know that for sure!!)

 

Were her kids always willing to self-educate? What kind of culture does her home have? How do her kids' temperments interlace with hers? How did she train them to stay focused on their own? Or even pull themselves out of fiction long enough to care? Does she have to fill out timesheets or test for the state? How does all that work?

 

She may have gone into this stuff in her columns, in which case you'd be able to answer all these questions. (And you can probably totally disregard this post! :D)

 

Basically, does she tell you about blood, sweat, and tears she put into figuring all this out? About how to deal with situations where it isn't working for one reason or another? It's highly likely that it hasn't all been moonbeams and roses, and an authentic look may either have you saying, "Nope, I'm not that committed" or else "So that's how you do it! If I tweak this and that . . ."

 

Just my 2 cents. I always have to remind myself of such things because my envy threshold is so low. :D

 

Mama Anna

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

But I wonder....is it really better for kids to take ownership of their entire education at 3rd grade? Am I holding my kids back from having true initiative and personal drive?

 

Or should there be a balance?

 

I take seriously *Train up a child in the way he should go...) because they have not yet *....put away childish things."

 

I don't believe you are holding your children back. God gave them you for a reason. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Suz - ((hugs))

 

As to the points Mama Anna brought up...in her book and article she shares the sweat and tears that resulted from other methods of homeschooling, and some of how they got started into self education. They started out using Robinson but soon found it was far easier to just use textbooks for history and Science rather than old Gutenberg books. ...so the Robinson morphed into a self educating textbook at home thing using almost all Abeka. The kids are definitely having the benefit of watching older brothers and sisters self educating, which provides a family atmosphere that values and respects self educating from big kids down. And the parents are very entrepreneurial, which certainly speaks to their genetic temperament. And as far as I know, none of the kids are special needs.

 

I don't recall all the details but basically the parents hand their kids a stack of textbooks and workbooks and the kids look at the pages, divide them up and write their own page numbers in the planner for each quarter. Instead of tests, they summarize history and Science which is jive becSuse the kids get more interested in the material, to share what they learned rather than spit out facts for a test. In math they check and then correct their own work each day until it is 100% correct, so they are reaching for daily mastery. Basically that's the gust of it. I forget how they handle writing, and I know Vocab for high SAt scores is a big focus in high school. ...It's explained in her book. (which is like an ADD mom on meth in its writing style! But very fun to read.)

 

The point is Im glad I'm not alone in not feeling like this is God's calling for me. As Susie said, my children need training... That includes teaching and daily oversight. And that's ok.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm on a board break, but I had someone send me a message pointing out this thread. I am quite obnoxious about the topic. ;) I think you are wise to question the appropriateness of reducing education to a child's level of understanding. If a 3rd grader is "self-teaching" and "self-grading" than their education has just been reduced to whatever level of comprehension they managed to absorb from the material they were given w/o anyone challenging their understanding, assisting them to understand other perspectives, questioning why/how, etc.....

 

I really need to stick to my board break, but this is a topic that is near to my heart and one which has been discussed in many other threads over the yrs. Here are a few links to some other conversations if you are interested:

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/showthread.php?t=218231&highlight=independent

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/showthread.php?t=289505&highlight=independent

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/showthread.php?p=1476186&highlight=independent

 

(ETA: I have no idea who the person is that is referenced in the OP. I didn't read anything other than the OP.....so I am simply commenting on the idea of children self-educating vs. children being actively taught. In one of the linked threads I believe there is a great distinction articulated by someone which clarifies the difference between "independent working" vs. "independent learning."

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3rd grade is WAY too early, and even for teens (where I believe independent learning is a huge advantage of homeschooling) there is still something to be said for discourse, especially when studying something like history, or to have writing skills evaluated and developed, etc.

 

That said, we live in the information age, and it is possible to be exposed to a LOT of different ideas and teachers through the internet, virtual resources, etc. I suspect the nature of education (and especially self-education) will continue to evolve due to the internet.

 

But engaging in information at that level takes a developed mind. To me it sounds like this parent is rationalizing lack of involvement in educating. Her students, even if they have the personality to be self-motivated, will reinforce a lot of their errors and misconceptions if they lack the benefit of a dedicated teacher.

Edited by zenjenn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me it sounds like this parent is rationalizing lack of involvement in educating. Her students, even if they have the personality to be self-motivated, will reinforce a lot of their errors and misconceptions if they lack the benefit of a dedicated teacher.

 

:iagree:

 

My dc do lots of work independently. Two of my children work more independently than any hs'er I know, and more than I would have been able to do, myself. They still come away with Swiss-cheesed understanding of concepts and totally miss some very significant points if I'm not diligent to oversee their work and discuss it with them.

 

Children need teachers. Even if they have different learning styles and some actually enjoy plowing through those assignment sheets on their own, somebody needs to be grading, evaluating, discussing, explaining...teaching.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I wonder....is it really better for kids to take ownership of their entire education at 3rd grade? Am I holding my kids back from having true initiative and personal drive?

 

Or should there be a balance?

 

How is that unlike PS, unless you give yourself high points for picking the curriculum?

 

I mean, later on in age, they should be able to take a lot over because it's part of their responsibility in training them to be an adult.

 

Taking the reigns in third grade? Yeah--not for me. Call me a strict control freak, but I started homeschooling to you know, be my kid's teacher.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't recall all the details but basically the parents hand their kids a stack of textbooks and workbooks and the kids look at the pages, divide them up and write their own page numbers in the planner for each quarter. Instead of tests, they summarize history and Science which is jive becSuse the kids get more interested in the material, to share what they learned rather than spit out facts for a test. In math they check and then correct their own work each day until it is 100% correct, so they are reaching for daily mastery. Basically that's the gust of it. I forget how they handle writing, and I know Vocab for high SAt scores is a big focus in high school. ...It's explained in her book. (which is like an ADD mom on meth in its writing style! But very fun to read.)

 

 

 

Bingo, now you've hit on the important point. Her method works because it fits the curriculum she's using. Your curriculum apparently doesn't fit her type of structure, or you'd be doing it too. And your kids apparently don't fit that curriculum she uses (which yes, when I read her article a while back seemed to be largely Abeka), or you'd be using it. But there *is* a golden nugget there you can learn, if I could suggest. When you do things and make the steps quantifiable, THEN you can create some structure to allow the dc to take ownership of it.

 

I think sometimes our goals are really, really VAGUE. We think: we're gonna learn about the palace of Versailles and Louis XIV and we don't really have CONCRETE goals. You can't put on a checklist something you can't quantify or pin down. And if YOU don't know what you're trying to do and you're changing it ON THE FLY, then how are you supposed to tell your kid ahead of time precisely what the expectation is?? Ask me how I know. :lol:

 

This year that was my biggest goal, not to be so ethereal and to be very, very concrete, to make my expectations so concrete (even if they're open-ended) that it's precisely clear whether she has hit them.

 

But as far as saying you could take what we do and just expect it to be independent, yeah, depending on the kid that's a recipe for a lot of wasted time. And assuming it will turn out good work in any child, well we won't go there. I think we all know our kids reflect the time we put into them and grow in spite of us. It's both.

 

My conclusion was to take the good from her article (quantify your expectations, be more clear) and toss the stuff that wasn't going to fit my situation. :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That would definately not work here. My older 3 are getting pretty independent, but I still check their work regularly, help with certain assignments, and have to "encourage" them to stay on task from time to time. My youngers would just play all day long. I'm all for teaching your kids to be independent, but kids need guidance to some degree, in my opinion. Thats why God gave them parents...to guide and teach them. Not to just hand them a stack of books and expect them to be motvated student and teacher. Just my thoughts...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About a year ago, before I actually started homeschooling (:glare:) I had this vision that Miss P would mostly work independently, and that I'd have no trouble overseeing her work, running my business, being involved in Mo's school, keeping the house together, etc . . .

 

Now, the reality is completely different. By trial and error, figuring out her learning style and my teaching style, and the level of work she needs to be challenged, we have converged on a set of materials and teaching practices that are, well, teacher intensive. This child learns best by being engaged, and she becomes engaged best by reading and having discussions. Together. With me. Her eyes glaze over with workbooks. Oh, she'll do them, she's a very pleasant and compliant child, but she doesn't learn anything - she goes on autopilot and pattern-matches, and none of the material actually enters her brain.

 

Is this rocking my world? Well, yeah. It's more exciting, amazing, humbling, and wonderful than I ever imagined. It's also completely impossible to go on with "life as usual" and just add on homeschooling. I'm coming to realize how all encompassing this is - how it is, really and truly, a *profession* that I have taken on. So that's daunting, because now I have to figure out how to make the rest of my life work. Daunting, and exhilarating. No regrets, but I am far from having it all figured out, too.

 

Now, could I load her up with workbooks so that she could work completely independently? Well, sure, but how would that be different from what she'd be doing in ps? What would be the point?? What would I be missing out on, in terms of our relationship and her intellectual, personal, social, and spiritual development?

 

So no, my kid doesn't work independently. And we're both really happy with that fact. Figuring out how to incorporate her interests, and involve her in the planning of her education, and working toward the goal of her becoming a self-educating, lifelong-learning adult? Yes, this is a constant challlenge. But having my 9 year old self-educate is not even on the radar screen of my goals. For all the great reasons others have mentioned, but also because I really, really dig being a part of this part of her life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use a lot of Joanne's ideas with my five kids, but we could never pull off the whole self-teaching thing. I know as a classical educator I really focus on history, language and difficult books. Her curriculum is a lot more simple. Good, just more simple. She also sits next to her young and/or distractable kids while they work, since she can do her own work online, but I want them independent so that I can do something elsewhere. Also, because my kids have more subjects than hers do, they just don't have the time to figure everything out on their own.

 

Many of her ideas have been helpful to me, though. I have all my children write their basic lesson plans in their planner and mark off their assignments when they are done, and my older kids correct their own math and spelling. And we sometimes have "self-teaching days" where they just do the core subjects on their own, so I can catch up on other areas of life.

 

One the side: I love Joanne's focus on heart training, and on how she looks at at academics as a natural outgrowth of parenting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My fourth grader could do this now. I've often wondered how much I'm holding him back by working at my scheduled pace. However, I don't think my 2nd grader will ever be capable of independent work unless that work consisted solely of "read fantasy novels."

 

Wow. This is exactly what I was going to write. My 4th grader will pick up her books over the weekend and work on her stuff without me telling her to do it. But she also won't ask for help when she needs it, and instead will skip those problems until what she calls "later" (I call it "never"). She has good intentions, but she's like me. She'll forget about it. LOL She's so close to being ready to be on her own and do her own thing, but I think there's something to be said about having a "mentor" to ask questions of and bounce ideas off of.

 

I keep some of her stuff set up so that she has to do it with me. I thought we'd do her LA together since I got MCT's Island for her to do, but she doesn't want to do it with me. I told her that as long as she's comprehending (and I constantly ask her questions about what she's going over -- I'm doing it with my DS7, so I know what she should know), and so far, so good.

 

Anyway...My DS7--my 2nd grader--is a different story. I don't think he'll ever get to a place where he'll be independent enough to sit down and do his work without me having to tell him to transition to the next thing, etc. He HATES school (his words, not mine). He hates all school. And he hates his teacher. :001_huh: Oh well, such is life. I gave him the option to go to public school, and he said he hated public school more than home school, so we'll see...

 

Oh, and my Kindergartener, well, he's a manipulator. I don't think I'll ever want him to work on his schooling alone. LOL I wish I knew how to handle him. I need to find a book on how to raise a manipulator into a fine, young man...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just letting go and let the child guide him self...no, not the average 3rd grader. Slowly over the years training a child to take control of his studies and then in the HS years let go, it could work if the child is mature enough or motivated enough. If he sees the big picture then it could work. Letting them work on independent studies with scheduled talks along the way so you can discuss what is being done, where it is going, and offer some advise or help put them back on a track...I can see it working.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How is that unlike PS, unless you give yourself high points for picking the curriculum?

 

I mean, later on in age, they should be able to take a lot over because it's part of their responsibility in training them to be an adult.

 

Taking the reigns in third grade? Yeah--not for me. Call me a strict control freak, but I started homeschooling to you know, be my kid's teacher.

 

Yep :001_smile:

 

Heck, most of my kiddos *could* do this from an early age, but I still wouldn't do it.

 

I don't work outside the home like she does, or have a situation like the Robinsons. In that case, I can see it. But I don't think what worked okay for a few families in a tough spot should be the standard plan for most. For each of them, there are dozens of families who are putting their dc back in PS or trying to remediate them in high school because self-teaching didn't happen. It's a sad fact, and I see it IRL plenty of times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I started the thread, I was musing on my children and their silliness, and learning styles, ....and also wondering how in the world they produce children who will sit and do schoolwork without outside motivation. And, I was truly wondering if I'm short changing my kids or myself in some way. Remember, the articles in HSE come across as that

 

1. Anyone can do this method if they persevere

2. Everyone who feels overwhelmed at times should try this method

3. This method will erase all homeschooling stress.

 

I just can't imagine, under any circumstances, my kids quietly sitting with their schoolwork every day, the way theirs do. That's the part that's baffling, not the idea of self education or the reasons to try it.

 

And if someone publishes books, articles, and a website, and It's in every issue of my favorite homeschool magazine, it's worth thinking about and pondering.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why should it "baffle" you? That's what they do. You do what *you* do. Why spend any brain matter thinking about something you don't have any plans to do?

 

:iagree: I agree with pp that this might work for some families, but not all. I'm a firm believer that homeschool families are like fingerprints; there's some similarities in design, but no too are exactly alike. I haven't heard of the exact book/author the OP is referencing, but IMHO, her kids are not *that* independent. She likely still has to facilitate and set up the whole system that is working for her. Kids likely still come to her with questions or for help. It's okay if something else suits another family better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I started the thread, I was musing on my children and their silliness, and learning styles, ....and also wondering how in the world they produce children who will sit and do schoolwork without outside motivation. And, I was truly wondering if I'm short changing my kids or myself in some way. Remember, the articles in HSE come across as that 1. Anyone can do this method if they persevere 2. Everyone who feels overwhelmed at times should try this method 3. This method will erase all homeschooling stress. I just can't imagine, under any circumstances, my kids quietly sitting with their schoolwork every day, the way theirs do. That's the part that's baffling, not the idea of self education or the reasons to try it. And if someone publishes books, articles, and a website, and It's in every issue of my favorite homeschool magazine, it's worth thinking about and pondering.

 

I understand where you are coming from.

 

I have read a lot of Joanne's material and she doesn't just abandon them to their own devices at 3rd grade. She begins the process of training them in the ability to do that at around that stage. She trains them to be self-motivated in their work and to work towards set goals. It isn't unschooling in any way. She still sets the course requirements for the kids, then they propel themselves towards mastering the work that she has set but breaking it down and setting achievable goals. And that goal setting is something she has taught them to do.

 

FWIW, and maybe this is weird, but i have kids that do sit quietly with their schoolwork every day. My older four are completely self-motivated and my 4th and 2nd graders are on the path to that. Yes, the younger two have times when they have to be brought back to task, but it has got to the stage even with them that I can be tied up with my baby or 2yo and know that the work is still getting done because they follow through what they need to do on their planner. Of course, they come to me if they need help and I check their work, but they don't need me to explain every instruction when they are able to read and understand the information for themselves. We do still do a couple of group things (like SOTW) because we like to do it that way, and we get together for read-alouds each day.

 

I have seen my 2nd grader flourish in just the last couple of weeks as he has realized that he can take hold of his work himself without having to wait for me to start him up. It's great to see. If he's stuck on something, he asks. If he has misunderstood something then I'll see that when I check his work and we'll go over it together to make sure he understands. But there is an interest and self-motivation in him that wasn't there before.

 

Anyway, that's just my view. I just wanted to let you know that I understood your point. :001_smile:

Edited by LindaOz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why should it "baffle" you? That's what they do. You do what *you* do. Why spend any brain matter thinking about something you don't have any plans to do?

 

Reading about things like this often makes me consider my views on public policy regarding homeschooling. I still am not firm regarding what I think. On one hand, I believe in parental freedom, but on the other, there is something to be said for society having a responsibility to assure children are having their needs met - and that includes intellectual needs. I live in a state that offers no oversight. When I think there are parents out there that are having 3rd graders "self-educate", it makes me wonder. There are a lot of situations where the expecting children to "self provide" has a name - child neglect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep :001_smile:

 

Heck, most of my kiddos *could* do this from an early age, but I still wouldn't do it.

 

I don't work outside the home like she does, or have a situation like the Robinsons. In that case, I can see it. But I don't think what worked okay for a few families in a tough spot should be the standard plan for most. For each of them, there are dozens of families who are putting their dc back in PS or trying to remediate them in high school because self-teaching didn't happen. It's a sad fact, and I see it IRL plenty of times.

 

Just to pick up Angela's thought, check out this post by GVA and the rest of the excellent thread. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/showthread.php?p=4309765#post4309765

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the author's problem is that "self-educating" mostly doesn't mean young children sitting down with textbooks on their own, but the you'd have to read John Holt and Mary Hood for a good understanding of what learning--self-educating--really is.

 

ETA: I don't know who Joanne Calderwood is. I've never read her articles. I've never seen the magazine/website/whatever-it-is that you're referring to. Also, isn't Robinson Curriculum pretty much like that? The children working independently on their own?

Edited by Ellie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are using Abeka, which is pretty reasonable to use this way. If they weren't, it's hard to imagine this being possible. What they are doing is school at home, and they are defining success as learning what is in the books and passing the tests. That is qualitatively different from classical homeschooling, and I can well imagine that it would be much easier on the parent. It would also drive me crazy, and if I had done this with my DD, it would have killed her creativity, no question, hands down. But she would have had a pretty good body of knowledge, but it would not have been customized in any way. If that had been the only way to keep my DD home when I started working, I would have done it--thankfully it was not. (I actually seriously considered something similar.) I think that homeschoolers who use nothing but Abeka all the time are taking an easy road that is not usually the best one but does get the job done, which is pretty much the author's point. But I don't think that that is remotely comparable to what we are doing here, with customized, thoughtful selection of material and teaching that is fine tuned to the child.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It wouldn't work here. DD would be singing and eating candy all day, and DS would be goofing off on the computer all day. SUre they would find SOME productive and useful things to do, but not balanced. And maybe if we had zero electronics or I was super strict about it, and all we had in the house were textbooks.....well still I'd bet they have better things to do.

 

I am not interested in getting rid of our computers or fun things so for now my job is to teach them about balance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is my first year (first few months) of homeschooling so take everything I say with a big grain of salt :001_smile:

 

I have been baffled by any talk of children just doing their school work by themselves! I have a K'er and a 2nd grader. I physically sit at the table with them from 9-2 each weekday and teach them their lessons.

 

I work with my 2nd grader first and we go over one of the day's lessons in math, reading, writing, etc...and then when he is prepared to do his independent work for that subject I move on to his sister.

 

My K'er has a lot to learn and I have been struggling to figure out the best way to teach her. She does handwriting practice on her own and supervised, we read together and practice the basic phonograms. Math lessons are taught and then some work is done independently.

 

FLL, Art, Science & History are done as a family and again I am present teaching for the bulk of the time.

 

They each do independent work (and quite a bit) but I am always working with one of them or checking their completed work and helping them correct any errors.

 

I get 10 minutes here and there to do laundry, load the dish washer or prepare lunch but for the most part I am actively engaging my children throughout the entire school day.

 

I know everyone is different but my children would not learn anything if I just gave them a bunch of books and did not actually teach them anything :glare:

 

Heading out on our first field trip :auto: Have a wonderful Friday!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think for every form of education/parenting/eating ect there is a family it works for. That's part of the frustration. When you read about something that works so well for another family, you can start to wonder if there's just something wrong with your family, or even if that person is just a big, fat liar and it's really not working for them. The truth is that it probably does work beautifully for them, and it would probably never work for you. Stay your course and stop reading her articles. :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is my first year (first few months) of homeschooling so take everything I say with a big grain of salt :001_smile:

 

I have been baffled by any talk of children just doing their school work by themselves! I have a K'er and a 2nd grader. I physically sit at the table with them from 9-2 each weekday and teach them their lessons.

 

I work with my 2nd grader first and we go over one of the day's lessons in math, reading, writing, etc...and then when he is prepared to do his independent work for that subject I move on to his sister.

 

My K'er has a lot to learn and I have been struggling to figure out the best way to teach her. She does handwriting practice on her own and supervised, we read together and practice the basic phonograms. Math lessons are taught and then some work is done independently.

 

FLL, Art, Science & History are done as a family and again I am present teaching for the bulk of the time.

 

They each do independent work (and quite a bit) but I am always working with one of them or checking their completed work and helping them correct any errors.

 

I get 10 minutes here and there to do laundry, load the dish washer or prepare lunch but for the most part I am actively engaging my children throughout the entire school day.

 

I know everyone is different but my children would not learn anything if I just gave them a bunch of books and did not actually teach them anything :glare:

 

Heading out on our first field trip :auto: Have a wonderful Friday!

 

I understand this sentiment, but I do disagree.

 

My daughter just last night came to me wanting to write up a list of what we will do today. We talked about stuff we have and what she wanted. Kids want to learn. We have lots of resources, and they enjoy many of them. Now handwriting, that isn't getting done without me sitting there watching. AND when they are young (mine are K and 1st) they need direction and help reading, etc. BUT, I can totally see how a child that is capable of "reading to learn" can do a lot of self-motivating and self-educating.

 

I don't plan to do it that way, but being pregnant and having a newborn in the midst of my DD's K year (and my first year HSing) showed me that I can teach lots, but it is really down to my children being ready to LEARN, and when they are ready it doesn't take as much teaching and they are self-motivated as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why should it "baffle" you? That's what they do. You do what *you* do. Why spend any brain matter thinking about something you don't have any plans to do?

 

:iagree:

 

Different approaches work for different kids. Isn't that part of the beauty of homeschooling?

 

I'm seeing this firsthand with my own kids. Older DD needs the social connection of me working directly with her on every subject.

 

Younger DD is much more independent and self-motivated. She prefers to chart her own course and I'm totally willing to let her do that (within reason, of course!) I could see something like Joanne Calderon's approach working beautifully with her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading about things like this often makes me consider my views on public policy regarding homeschooling. I still am not firm regarding what I think. On one hand, I believe in parental freedom, but on the other, there is something to be said for society having a responsibility to assure children are having their needs met - and that includes intellectual needs. I live in a state that offers no oversight. When I think there are parents out there that are having 3rd graders "self-educate", it makes me wonder. There are a lot of situations where the expecting children to "self provide" has a name - child neglect.

 

Providing materials and being available to answer questions and offer guidance is a far cry from child neglect or educational neglect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is possible with some kids, but I wouldn't reccomend it. I think a certain level of independence is good, but complete independence can leave some holes and be extremely frustrating on the child at times. I did this when I was homeschooled. My Mom was not able to be very involved in my homeschooling because she was a working single Mom. I LOVED school and LOVED learning. I still do! I started homeschooling in 4th grade and did pretty much everything on my own including correcting my own work. I even ordered my own curriculum as I got older because I enjoyed looking through the catalog, picking everything out, and checking subjects off as I comleted them. She would check things over in the beginning, but as I got older, and she had to work more, I pretty much did everything myself. It was VERY hard and frustrating at times, but mostly, I enjoyed school, so it wasn't too bad. I even gave myself spelling tests at times because I wanted to finish the PACE (A.C.E) I was doing and didn't want to wait. I would record the words and then take the test as I listened to the recording. :) I think working independently taught me some valuable lessons in taking the initiative to get things done on my own, but my writing needed some major help when I attended private in 11th and 12th grade. I also discovered that math could be much more enjoyable and I could actually understand it when I had a teacher. For math, many times I would look at the answer key for a few problems to try and figure it out and then do the rest of them on my own. One major thing I lacked was in learning how to take what I learned and apply it in different situations. Application questions/essays on my tests in college were very difficult for me because I did not learn to do those in elementary/high school. I was able to learn it eventually, but I do still struggle with this concept some.

 

Can it be done? Yes. Should it, probably not completely.

 

For my own children, I will encourage them to become more independent as they get older, but I plan to always be involved in some way to make sure there are no holes, especially in subjects that may be more challenging for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading about things like this often makes me consider my views on public policy regarding homeschooling. I still am not firm regarding what I think. On one hand, I believe in parental freedom, but on the other, there is something to be said for society having a responsibility to assure children are having their needs met - and that includes intellectual needs. I live in a state that offers no oversight. When I think there are parents out there that are having 3rd graders "self-educate", it makes me wonder. There are a lot of situations where the expecting children to "self provide" has a name - child neglect.

 

Neglect in some cases, maybe, but definitely not all. I was self-educated and despite a few holes with my math and writing, I was well prepared. I still got almost all As once I attended a difficult private school for my last two years and later college. But, I am the type of person that loves school and loves learning. My brother, who was dyslexic and did not like school, ended up quitting in high school and getting his GED. Would he have been better off in public school?? No, I don't think so. When she pulled him out in middle school, he was being teased for his learning disabilities and getting nowhere academically. She brought him home and taught him to read with her training as a dyslexic tutor. He is now an electrician and rents houses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...