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20/20 episode last night


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Not when even our state conventions are about lifestyle choices instead of academics. Not when Vision Forum, et al, have so carefully worked to make themselves the face of homeschooling. We're not as removed as I'd like to be. I want separate, inclusive, academic-focused and deliberate organizations, support groups, conventions, and websites. I think we would benefit from improving our publicity as serious, classical home educators.

 

 

Yes! I had someone recommend the documentary Surfwise because they'd thought I'd like it because I am homeschooling my children. That family and their approach to education and childrearing has zero in common with what I am doing at home with my own children. It boggles my mind what some people think we do around here all day. When people learn that I am religious and active in practicing my faith they assume I am homeschooling because we are afraid to mix with secular families and I want to spend all day indoctrinating my children. Some of the casual comments people make in conversation about homeshooling are just plain weird and misinformed. And yet a lot of the current publicity about homeschooling is based on people like Ken Ham speaking at homeschooling conventions, cults who are inflicting educational neglect on their children and children who are being radically unschooled.

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I do try. Sometimes I post before I gather it all, which is something I need to work on if I'm going to keep up with you ladies :closedeyes: , but I do try to gather all the facts. I apologize for that link. It was one-sided. Sometimes I get carried away and sometimes I'm just too tired to be typing and posting links on hotly debated topics. :blushing:

 

My point of the original links were to try to point out that the regulation we could accept (testing for basic reading and writing skills) to catch any kids that might fall through the cracks, could easily become required portfolios, curriculum lists, home visits or outright banning. If you give them an inch of regulation, they will take a mile. I don't want to have to change the way I homeschool because someone that has a degree in education, but has never taught a day in their life, nor homeschooled, decides that homeschoolers need to follow their guidelines.

 

It's very sad that parents can neglect their child's education. That has always happened and it will always happen. No matter how much regulation they put upon us, people who want to be under the radar, will be.

 

 

It's ok, you weren't the only one to post. lol. It was on the state website today. Which is what upsets me.

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The 20-20 original piece took place in a cult. None of what I've seen has taken place in a cult. It's taken place in regular homes - with parents who do not care about their kids. They won't get them to school as they don't want to get up and be bothered with it. They may need the kids to babysit younger siblings. They may be too drug addicted to care. They'll claim they are homeschooling, but aren't. Quite honestly, in our state, many of these do get caught and do get sent to ps (we get the hs dropouts... is a common phrase used). Since that is almost all the ps teachers see (as opposed to many on this board), it solidifies the anti-homeschooling stereotypes I combat there. Do these kids end up being academic superstars? Hardly ever - esp since they lost so much time in their formative years. Do they learn the basics - esp reading? Yes.

 

It's worth it.

 

I also agree that ps needs more vocational options... but that's a whole different subject. This is about ALL kids having the right to learn to read/write vs not because the parents won't be bothered to teach them, but call it homeschooling. The state needs a way to assist those kids.

 

Well, my point is that my local public school system has already demonstrated its failure to help my kids when they were part of their population. (This is the same system that failed my father and my brother as well so it's never - obviously - been that great of one even if their 'numbers' claim otherwise). Why on earth would I think they could help any child? I'm not about to launch into our nightmare story with our three special needs kids again but I've had it verified through DSS and Juvenile probation the school system broke the law with our kids on several occasions. I just was more worried about them getting an education than fighting with the school system any further. My energy only extends so far. Would you want those people overseeing your right to homeschool?

 

I totally agree with a vocational track being offered. However I do not oppose regulation because I don't want to be bothered. I oppose it because the locals have already proven to me they have no earthly idea what they are doing and have no desire to do better. I have no problems with NC's homeschooling laws. I also agree that I am sick and tired of homeschooling conventions really being worldview conventions. It's why I refuse to attend them. They offer me nothing.

 

I still think the problem in the 20/20 piece should be focused on the cult - not homeschooling. They aren't homeschooling. They have a private religious school. If 20/20 does a special focusing specifically on kids like you referenced - fine. But it was irresponsible of them to make it seem like homeschooling was the entire problem and not just a symptom.

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Education is dangerous because it allows, causes, encourages thinking. This lack of edcuation being discussed took place (or rather, didn't take place) in a CULT. Does this have any bearing on the things being said, AT ALL? Of course, if Jeffs can keep his followers dumb sheep instead of criticaly thinking adults, he'll have followers.

 

 

Jeffs is a disgusting human being. He gets to have his sexual fantasies played out even behind bars. Two men must watch a woman having sex with a man Jeffs chooses? I'm sure that poor kid, and many more, have LDs - and other issues we don't see. Abuse and inbreeding is going to have major fallout. All those women and girls, 15 men. Now left without even a midwife.

 

I think they did a very good job of exposing it as a cult, and how families are trying to get out. The program obviously wasn't about hsing. It was about Jeffs idea of an 'education'. They showed children in classrooms, even.

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My question for those who are for regulation; where does it begin and where does it end? If testing is your answer, history proves that testing does absolutely nothing for education. Just read a basic history of education and you will see that the more regulation the worse education gets. Putting children into standardized boxes is something that I am fundamentally against. I believe it destroys the love of and drive to learn. Yes, people do things I am against in all areas of life, but that is what freedom looks like.

 

My state is considered "high-regulation", but it's really not onerous at all. We have a choice of three methods of assessment:

 

1. standardized testing

2. portfolio/work samples

3. progress report

 

I always have chosen progress report. I just summarize what we've done for the year, and I also have to submit an "education plan" which is what I plan to cover next year ("I plan" is key - there's no requirement to stick to the plan to follow rabbit trails or huck something that isn't working). My ed plan is usually just a line akin to "we'll do more of the same next year" at the end of the progress report. A progress report only has to show progress, not any particular level, and there's nothing to teach to.

 

I would not want to be limited to just testing as an assessment, but I don't mind having it on the list. I also honestly don't like the trend in some regulated states to have to meet with outside evaluators.

 

In my "high-regulation" state, the case law has specifically stated that home visits cannot be required, and that the state cannot direct our specific curriculum choices, nor act like homeschooling should mimic an institutional setting (though admittedly sometimes ignorant bureaucrats need to be quoted these bits to remind them).

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In early colonial days, there was a very high degree of literacy in their society - all without regulation and oversight - without government schools and without 13 plus years of formal education. The society demanded a literate people in order to participate in society. The articles the common farmer read were at a level that college students today have a hard time grasping. In order to just participate in society at that time would require people to have a decent ability to think and reason. I would argue that our society doesn't require or even desire the majority of it's citizens to be able to be as educated as those early colonist were. You can function quite nicely (although you are very limited in your options) in our society where much of the stuff we read (newspapers/magazines) is written at an 8th grade or lower reading level. And if you can't read? You can still get by. Tweeting and texting don't require decent spelling or grammar, you can get a lot of information through the television. Can't read about the issues or who to vote for? The television will tell you all that you want to know. I would argue until our society demands a people who can reason/read/write at a fairly high level, no amount of oversite by any agency will give us an educated society. You can force someone to be schooled. They can't be forced to learn. The problem is much larger than regulation of education.

 

Beth

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I can see some of the reasoning here. Many, if not most parents in Kenya are not educated themselves.

 

Here in NC, one must have a min. of a high school diploma in order to homeschool.

 

Even in the 90s, Kenya was still trying to implement mandatory schooling. It was not easy. Rural areas are not only hard to regulate, but families don't see the necessity of sending children who can work on the farm, to school to learn things they will never need.

 

School is also expensive. Many cannot afford to send their children.

 

In the 60s, Kenya had a policy that each family must send at least one child to school.

 

So, I think they have come a long way since that time.

 

I am in the middle of doing something else with the kids but will come back later with a few more thoughts.

 

Dawn

 

Sorry about that. I will remove it. It was inflammatory and unnecessary.

 

 

Here is the actual Kenyan bill

The Education Bill Draft 2012

 

 

 

I'm looking for anything about homeschooling options, and I don't see it. If you do please post. I think it's great that they are providing this option. I just think that they are outlawing homeschooling by omission.

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In early colonial days, there was a very high degree of literacy in their society - all without regulation and oversight

 

Really? This is an excerpt from the The Massachusetts School Laws of 1642:

 

 

This court, taking into consideration the great neglect of many parents and masters in training up their children in learning, and labor, and other implyments which may be profitable to the common wealth, do hereupon order and decree, that in euery towne the chosen men appointed for managing the prudentiall affajres of the same shall henceforth stand charged with the care of the redresse of this evill, so as they shalbee sufficiently punished by fines for the neglect thereof, upon presentment of the grand iury, or other information or complaint in any Court within this iurisdiction; and for this end they, or the greater number of them, shall have power to take account from time to time of all parents and masters, and of their children, concerning their calling and implyment of their children, especially of their ability to read and understand the principles of religion and the capitall lawes of this country, and to impose fines upon such as shall refuse to render such accounts to them when they shall be required

 

http://www.quaqua.org/pilgrim.htm

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In early colonial days, there was a very high degree of literacy in their society - all without regulation and oversight - without government schools and without 13 plus years of formal education.

Beth

 

I'd love to see your support for this as it is contrary to everything I've learned. As I was taught both in school and from my relatives (not Colonial days, but late 1800 - early 1900s) it was the wealthy who could read and were highly educated. The "farmers" you talk about were the wealthy land owners. The common man who tended to work under him (slave or otherwise) had very little education and many couldn't read. Having a signature that was some form of an "x" was common. Public schools were invented so the average and poor had a chance to get an education. The rich had it anyway - farmer or otherwise. Prior to my grandmother's 4th grade education, women in her family couldn't read. Most (poor) men couldn't read much either.

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It is always intriguing to me that some people have good experiences with the government and put trust in it, and discount people who have had poor experiences. I, myself, used to be a card carrying liberal, however a very ugly experience with support enforcement changed my whole view of government many years ago. When things started to go south with my oldest's education my husband and I pulled her out when we could see that the same sort of people who knew we did not owe child support but were trying to extort it from us were also trying to get us to educate our child at home when she was tired and hungry and wanted to play, so that they could have fun in school all day and take credit for her education.

 

If you do not have a child who has attended public school you might be surprised at how little school work is actually corrected and returned to students for them to learn from. My oldest dd did not have much school work that was ever corrected until she was home schooled, and boy, did she resent it by the time she was 10 after not having any corrected for years. She had been issued a calculator in 2nd grade and had learned very little math. We did mountains of remedial education with her. She had no LD's that I know of. She was very quiet and flew under the radar so to speak.

 

Many people have good reasons for wanted the government out of their lives. People with good reasons are not paranoid and they are not under educating their kids. FLDS are not people with good reasons, they are subversive. There is a big difference between them and someone like me who has been though a lot with different government agencies and is leery for good reasons.

 

My dh worked in a CC math lab for a year and was shocked at how many people with high school diplomas need to learn fractions and other very simple math. When America was more industrial that was not such a disaster. Now that we are service oriented it is an issue.

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Here is a page that includes ELL and LD information in the statistics. Subtracting those out still leaves millions illiterate, and not just "functionally" illiterate.

 

http://www.ncsu.edu/csleps/service/Resource_Sheets_Service/Facts%20on%20Literacy.pdf

 

And just for fun, the BBC has a story today about the latest comparisons of countries and education results. The US is 17th...

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Regulation in my state doesn't bother me, though it gets on my nerves once in a while just because of the tediousness of handling it. We have required testing in certain grade levels. Although a pain, I think this is fine because I think a parent should know how their kid is doing. So many HS parents think they are doing a great job. IMO the test can provide a needed wake-up call to well-meaning parents. We also have to submit a portfolio. It's a nice keepsake and helps me to re-evaluate what we're doing, reflect on where we've been, and on where we're going. Again, it can be a stressful, time-consuming undertaking but I'm OK with it. Nobody EVER questions what we are doing.

 

Brownie

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Thanks, Ladies! I knew if I posted this here it would generate thoughtful discussion. I don't agree with everything posted, of course, but it has helped to clarify my own thoughts about this topic. Still don't have all of the answers but at least my opinions are better formed. You all are truly awesome!

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Not completely on topic, but depending upon where in NJ you are, consider Delaware. You file a registration in September/October that lists your students with basic demographics, and in July you report days attended. That's it.

 

There is no actual attendance requirement, testing, etc.

 

Pretty easy state, and we try to keep it that way. We don't want the same people who have bungled public education screwing things up by trying to tell us what we should do. When we find parents not getting it done (DE is a small state) usually someone tries to mentor the parents or gently nudge them back towards school. In cases of true educational neglect, there are sully other forms of neglect happening at the same time.

Thanks, Jen, for posting this information. We just got back from a week in VA, and I've been crying ever since. You see, we really loved it there -- sigh -- and so now we are wondering how and IF we can leave my elderly parents, so we can (selfishly?) go make a better life for ourselves in a lower-tax, prettier, friendlier, rural, and peaceful part of Virginia.

 

Delaware is lovely, we have friends there and visit a few times a year. But I think my husband is in love with the Shenandoah Valley now, LOL.

 

[back to our regularly scheduled broadcast.....]

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Regulation in my state doesn't bother me, though it gets on my nerves once in a while just because of the tediousness of handling it. We have required testing in certain grade levels. Although a pain, I think this is fine because I think a parent should know how their kid is doing. So many HS parents think they are doing a great job. IMO the test can provide a needed wake-up call to well-meaning parents. We also have to submit a portfolio. It's a nice keepsake and helps me to re-evaluate what we're doing, reflect on where we've been, and on where we're going. Again, it can be a stressful, time-consuming undertaking but I'm OK with it. Nobody EVER questions what we are doing.

 

Brownie

 

Testing does very little to tell parents how their children are doing. What about those using a mastery curriculum like MUS? Most using that math will have low test scores until upper elementary or even into jr high. What happens when those students don't do well? Will the government assume they aren't learning? If there is a standardized test, there has to be a standardized curriculum. That is the only way to get "accurate" results. I homeschool because I am against standardizing education.

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Testing does very little to tell parents how their children are doing. What about those using a mastery curriculum like MUS? Most using that math will have low test scores until upper elementary or even into jr high. What happens when those students don't do well? Will the government assume they aren't learning? If there is a standardized test, there has to be a standardized curriculum. That is the only way to get "accurate" results. I homeschool because I am against standardizing education.

 

WSS. Though I will clarify. I personally have a standard for the curricula I use and I'm against the the govt telling me what the standard should be.

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Testing does very little to tell parents how their children are doing. What about those using a mastery curriculum like MUS? Most using that math will have low test scores until upper elementary or even into jr high. What happens when those students don't do well? Will the government assume they aren't learning? If there is a standardized test, there has to be a standardized curriculum. That is the only way to get "accurate" results. I homeschool because I am against standardizing education.

 

PA requires testing in 3rd, 5th, and 8th. It doesn't seem like it would conflict with what you say happens.

 

I also disagree that testing isn't useful. It was very useful for me. I pulled my guys out after 8th, 6th, and 4th respectively. With my middle son testing showed me he didn't know how to do fractions. I had assumed he did, but he had only learned to do them with a calculator at school and somehow I had missed that in the two years he'd been home. Two days later he was right on track.

 

Youngest was 2 years behind in math when he came home. Testing showed me he was catching up nicely and by 8th grade he was testing at the 85% nationally (higher within our local school).

 

I agree that there's no need to test the very early grades, but after a bit of learning has gone on, it becomes quite useful.

 

I've never seen anyone who has actively been homeschooling "fail" the tests. I've seen some where gaps were found out (and filled), but unless you consider learning basic math and reading to be "teaching to the test," we never had to do it for my guys to do well. They did absolutely no test prep for these tests.

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What I would like to see is an overall better public school to homeschool relationship. I wish we could work together to improve education, rather than bringing the other down. I love talking to the teacher friends that I do have to ask questions, get ideas, and listen to what they have trouble with. It would be nice to be able to go into the schools for help for say my dyslexic son. However, in some homeschooling circles the mentioning of public schools will be greeted with scorn and contempt. Public schooled children are heathens and inferrior, their parents must hate them, etc. I have heard it all! If we could work together to improve education for every child we would be able to see those that are slipping through the cracks for whatever reason.

 

 

 

YES! I'm an Afterschooling mom and former ps teacher. I believe that teachers have a lot to learn from Homeschool parents and vice versa.

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I'd love to see your support for this as it is contrary to everything I've learned. As I was taught both in school and from my relatives (not Colonial days, but late 1800 - early 1900s) it was the wealthy who could read and were highly educated. The "farmers" you talk about were the wealthy land owners. The common man who tended to work under him (slave or otherwise) had very little education and many couldn't read. Having a signature that was some form of an "x" was common. Public schools were invented so the average and poor had a chance to get an education. The rich had it anyway - farmer or otherwise. Prior to my grandmother's 4th grade education, women in her family couldn't read. Most (poor) men couldn't read much either.

 

 

Yes! This isn't a colonial example, but even Abraham Lincoln's own mother couldn't read.

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, on 25 November 2012 - 06:08 PM, said:

What I would like to see is an overall better public school to homeschool relationship. I wish we could work together to improve education, rather than bringing the other down. I love talking to the teacher friends that I do have to ask questions, get ideas, and listen to what they have trouble with. It would be nice to be able to go into the schools for help for say my dyslexic son. However, in some homeschooling circles the mentioning of public schools will be greeted with scorn and contempt. Public schooled children are heathens and inferrior, their parents must hate them, etc. I have heard it all! If we could work together to improve education for every child we would be able to see those that are slipping through the cracks for whatever reason.

 

I want absolutely zero relationship with public primary schools. In fact, I'm radical in that I don't even think they should exist. Or more accurately, I don't think they should be mandatory. I think our nation's children would be better served with community schools, charity schools, and so forth.

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I'm glad that changed... education is a right for all.

 

Any chance you have a reputable link for the literacy rate at the time? I'm curious. I might have time to google later today. Time will tell.

 

IIRC, the literacy rate among those who count was higher in the US colonies than in England (and higher in the northern colonies than the south), perhaps approaching 90% by 1700. But I think the main variable was the use of signature vs "x." For the purpose of the study, I don't know how "literate" was defined.

 

Hopefully someone will post some good links. I'm utterly unconvinced by the Freakonomics guys on this one.

 

 

 

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Lisbeth - you hit the nail on the head.

 

That is always the analogy I make. Now, if there is evidence that a parent is starving a child or feeding in a way that is making the child ill, then of course CPS should come in and investigate, provide counseling, and in the worst cases, charges of neglect should be on the table. Yes, there are people who feed their child a diet of McDonald's and doughnuts. Yet just about *anyone* would find it totally an intrusion of freedom for the government to come in and monitor family meals.

 

I think the same policy should exist for education. If there is evidence of educational neglect - if children are not provided with the opportunity to learn and are being kept at home, then I do think it is appropriate for the government to be involved - but otherwise, no.

 

Our state has virtually no regulation (in fact, even the minimal regulation that does exist, I do not think is monitored or enforced at all.) That's fine with me. By the same token, if I lived in a state with more regulations, I think I'd roll with it - but I do find something intrusive about the government telling you you MUST show up with your child at this time and place - like you need to meet with your parole officer or something.

 

I'm not sure where you draw the line precisely, but I do think if you want to preserve freedom (in this or any other area), you have to accept that it is going to come at a cost.

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I am more interested in this link, which is mildly off topic.

 

http://thriceholy.net/literacy.html

 

I went to it searching for info on whether the slaves were at all literate before they became slaves. Basicly, I suspect the colonist would have viewed literacy as knowing a European language. But the slaves were not plucked from the air. They came from societies and those societies had a culture and those societies had to have some method of communication, however primitive it might have seemed to white men.

 

"Literacy" is a very nebulous term.

 

Is literacy reading on what we currently call a 3rd grade or 6th grade level? (nm that what we require of a 6th grader is far easier than what I suspect Aristotle required of young Alexander the Great or that George Washington endured from his tutors.)

Is literacy the ability to recognize and write one's own name?

Is literacy being able to figure out how to purchase needed items with some level of reliability?

Is literacy knowing the basic laws of the land and ones basic religious doctrines?

 

 

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I found this rather quickly and interesting.

 

http://www.history.o...11/literacy.cfm

 

That link was very interesting! Thanks for sharing it.

 

I'm definitely not seeing where everyone (meaning men) were superbly educated back in the older days... If anything, it seems more common to now (with less xs needed for signatures today), but I personally think (based upon my observations at our average ps) that there are less 18 year olds who are functionally illiterate now than before (functionally defined by being able to read what they need for daily life - not meaning they could talk about the Federalist papers after having read them). I also think the more highly literate folks (can understand the Federalist papers and similar - whether "due" to a college education or "life" experiences) are also a higher percentage of the population now. To get those thoughts I think of just how many colleges are out there and the professors who teach in them - then add other highly educated folks. These will still not be the majority overall as most simply don't care to know that much, but I don't believe there were nearly the same numbers (percentages) back then. The highly educated class was far more rare vs the common class.

 

However, I'm wondering how that number (now) will decline due to technology (texting, internet, etc) and lowering the document levels to 3rd grade level. There is certainly less of a "need" for knowledge now (for the masses) than ever before - except for reading in general. I've seen more and more of a decline in ability just in my 13 years of teaching at the ps. Kids are more dependent on the technology now.

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However, I'm wondering how that number (now) will decline due to technology (texting, internet, etc) and lowering the document levels to 3rd grade level. There is certainly less of a "need" for knowledge now (for the masses) than ever before - except for reading in general. I've seen more and more of a decline in ability just in my 13 years of teaching at the ps. Kids are more dependent on the technology now.

 

 

I'm terrified by the idea of a post-literate culture, but whenever I start to despair about the state of the Internet, I go hang out on reddit for awhile. There's something reassuring about huge walls of text.

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If you go to my thread linked above for the literacy links, studies that use spelling as a proxy for literacy show higher literacy rates in the late 1800's and early 1900's than now for students who were In school. However, black literacy rates were very low at the time. There are some interesting methods with various marked prints used to educate illiterate black adults.

 

For example, Burnz used her pronouncing print with black adults with great success:

http://www.donpotter.net/pdf/burnz-step-by-step-primer.pdf

 

And Leigh's Pronouncing Print made it easy for ELL students in the late 1800's:

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/leighprint.html

 

 

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However, I'm wondering how that number (now) will decline due to technology (texting, internet, etc) and lowering the document levels to 3rd grade level. There is certainly less of a "need" for knowledge now (for the masses) than ever before - except for reading in general. I've seen more and more of a decline in ability just in my 13 years of teaching at the ps. Kids are more dependent on the technology now.

 

I have a little bit of a different take on this as a parent (what you see in your classroom is valid, and I am not debating your observations). My dyslexic child was highly motived to become 'more literate' when DC started role playing (many years ago) on an art website. DC has an amazing imagination, is a good thinker, and was frequently asked to participate. However, early on, DC was kicked out of one group of older kids with a harsh "Learn to spell! Learn to puncturate!" DC cried about it, but was determined to be better. That note was more powerful in moving DC forward than any curricula, my edits. Even DC's tutor saw the change. DC started daily on writing on Word, self-correcting, running spell and grammar check etc. The change was profound.

 

Even I find myself wanting to be a more careful writer; nobody wants to look like a total idiot.

 

I think most of us who have been on the internet for a long time want to sound literate. I do not see young people being immune to that pressure.

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If you go to my thread linked above for the literacy links, studies that use spelling as a proxy for literacy show higher literacy rates in the late 1800's and early 1900's than now for students who were In school. However, black literacy rates were very low at the time. There are some interesting methods with various marked prints used to educate illiterate black adults. For example, Burnz used her pronouncing print with black adults with great success: http://www.donpotter.net/pdf/burnz-step-by-step-primer.pdf And Leigh's Pronouncing Print made it easy for ELL students in the late 1800's: http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/leighprint.html

 

It wouldn't surprise me at all for spelling to have been better back then. It's rare to find a good speller now. Kids are taught to use spellcheck and trust it from elementary school on. That works a bit, but not all the time. Today I had seniors who didn't realize census was supposed to start with a c... These kids can easily read higher than a 3rd grade level, but it doesn't mean they know how to spell when writing.

 

I have a little bit of a different take on this as a parent (what you see in your classroom is valid, and I am not debating your observations). My dyslexic child was highly motived to be come 'more literate' when DC started role playing (many years ago) on an art website. DC has an amazing imagination and was frequently asked to participate. However, early on, DC was kicked out of one group with a harsh "Learn to spell! Learn to puncturate!" DC cried about it, but was determined to be better. That note was more powerful in moving DC forward than any curricula, my edits. Even DC's tutor saw the change. DC started daily on writing on Word, self-correcting, running spell and grammar check etc. The change was profound. Even I find myself wanting to be a more careful writer; nobody wants to look like a total idiot. I think most of us who have been on the internet for a long time want to sound literate. I do not see young people being immune to that pressure.

 

Actually, I think "the masses" (majority?) will stay with a basic level of literacy and will utilize spell-check, grammar-check, and anything else at their disposal. I expect the literacy rate overall to increase as long as we can reach every child (the original intent of my posts - wanting someone to be certain every child is reached). I just think there will be fewer wanting to delve deeper - just as it is in math now. Many know how to do calculations on their calculator. Few know why they push the buttons they do. Most will trust their calculator over their brain when they get answers even if the answers are horribly off. I doubt that would have happened in the 1800's or early 1900's if we could magically transport a calculator back.

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It wouldn't surprise me at all for spelling to have been better back then. It's rare to find a good speller now. Kids are taught to use spellcheck and trust it from elementary school on. That works a bit, but not all the time. Today I had seniors who didn't realize census was supposed to start with a c... These kids can easily read higher than a 3rd grade level, but it doesn't mean they know how to spell when writing.

 

 

 

Actually, I think "the masses" (majority?) will stay with a basic level of literacy and will utilize spell-check, grammar-check, and anything else at their disposal. I expect the literacy rate overall to increase as long as we can reach every child (the original intent of my posts - wanting someone to be certain every child is reached). I just think there will be fewer wanting to delve deeper - just as it is in math now. Many know how to do calculations on their calculator. Few know why they push the buttons they do. Most will trust their calculator over their brain when they get answers even if the answers are horribly off. I doubt that would have happened in the 1800's or early 1900's if we could magically transport a calculator back.

 

 

There will always be people who struggle with math (or anything, really), no matter. Yet the number of tech savvy young students using math, but are not are not math or engineering majors, is staggering. I'm talking about art /design majors. You can not do anything in that world without math. Good drawing skills only get you so far. My artist child is forever measuring, calculating etc in her university art classes. If you don't know basic math, you can't sculpt, you can't design games etc.

 

PS My oldest has a new phone with technology that the guys who walked on the moon didn't have. He thought the learning curve was a bit of a challenge. lol Seriously, even my iPhone challenges me daily. ;) I learn something new about it very frequently. There really is a lot going on in the brain when you've got that teen-y tiny computer in your hands. I think using technology can help us become more intelligent, not less.

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It wouldn't surprise me at all for spelling to have been better back then. It's rare to find a good speller now. Kids are taught to use spellcheck and trust it from elementary school on. That works a bit, but not all the time. Today I had seniors who didn't realize census was supposed to start with a c... These kids can easily read higher than a 3rd grade level, but it doesn't mean they know how to spell when writing.

 

 

 

Actually, I think "the masses" (majority?) will stay with a basic level of literacy and will utilize spell-check, grammar-check, and anything else at their disposal. I expect the literacy rate overall to increase as long as we can reach every child (the original intent of my posts - wanting someone to be certain every child is reached). I just think there will be fewer wanting to delve deeper - just as it is in math now. Many know how to do calculations on their calculator. Few know why they push the buttons they do. Most will trust their calculator over their brain when they get answers even if the answers are horribly off. I doubt that would have happened in the 1800's or early 1900's if we could magically transport a calculator back.

 

 

My dh is always shocked at the emails he receives on a daily basis from directors of a hospital chain that go out to everyone in the network and are full of spelling and grammar errors. He says he gets embarrassed when he reads them. They apparently don't know how to use spellcheck or Word to check for errors. :blushing:

 

There are many people who may graduate fairly literate then never pick up a book again leading to a slow decline in literacy and spelling over their lifetime. The informality of emails and texting don't help them at all either.

 

When it comes to math did you see that TedTalk with Wolfram who said we should skip the computation part of math and leave that to computer programming? His reasoning is that computers are a part of our daily life and we can move onto much more advanced equations. He suggests we should skip writing out math problems by hand. :eek:

 

Conrad Wolfram says the part of math we teach -- calculation by hand -- isn't just tedious, it's mostly irrelevant to real mathematics and the real world. He presents his radical idea: teaching kids math through computer programming.

 

 

 

I really don't like the idea of not learning the why in math. I do like the idea of being able to see it and play around with it more. Somewhere inbetween using his technology and teaching the why behind it would give those who may not be mathy, but more artistic the ability to grasp it better.

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I want absolutely zero relationship with public primary schools. In fact, I'm radical in that I don't even think they should exist. Or more accurately, I don't think they should be mandatory. I think our nation's children would be better served with community schools, charity schools, and so forth.

 

A woman after my own heart.

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There will always be people who struggle with math (or anything, really), no matter. Yet the number of tech savvy young students using math, but are not are not math or engineering majors, is staggering. I'm talking about art /design majors. You can not do anything in that world without math. Good drawing skills only get you so far. My artist child is forever measuring, calculating etc in her university art classes. If you don't know basic math, you can't sculpt, you can't design games etc.

 

This has not changed through the years. Math has always been necessary for many, many things. It's not just abstract. It's seldom meant to be just abstract no more than the letters of the alphabet are (vs words). The difference is that more people now use technology and have forgotten how to do the actual math. A contractor called hubby less than a month ago because he couldn't figure out the diagonal of a rectangle he was building (house foundation). He didn't have his equipment with him to do it and didn't know how to find it out without it... That would likely not have happened in the earlier days when more people knew the math they were working with. Now many are only knowledgable with the equipment (many, not necessarily all). I have had students (regularly) who can do no multiplication at all (not even 2 x 4) without a calculator. If/when they push buttons wrong or have no buttons to push, they are sunk.

 

 

When it comes to math did you see that TedTalk with Wolfram who said we should skip the computation part of math and leave that to computer programming? His reasoning is that computers are a part of our daily life and we can move onto much more advanced equations. He suggests we should skip writing out math problems by hand. :eek:
I really don't like the idea of not learning the why in math. I do like the idea of being able to see it and play around with it more. Somewhere inbetween using his technology and teaching the why behind it would give those who may not be mathy, but more artistic the ability to grasp it better.

 

Obviously I strongly disagree with him - for practical reasons.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Children have a fundamental right to a sufficient enough education to get them to a point where THEY can choose how far they wish to go educationally. Anything less IMO exits the territory of "neglect" and enters the territory of abuse. Parents do not own their children and should not proscribe where their adult children can go educationally. I have the right to teach my child at home. I don't misconstrue that as a right to teach them diddly squat or that, say, Lucy Stone or a blue unicorn was the first president of the US.

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Yes! This isn't a colonial example, but even Abraham Lincoln's own mother couldn't read.

 

 

Nor could his father. However his step-mother could and did encourage him a bit and showed pride in his inclination for the written word. If left up to his dad, Abraham Lincoln would have died a subsistence farmer who cared little to nothing for the written word rather than President of the United States.

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But your children are, in some ways, fed, clothed, and educated by the state, albeit indirectly. The government subsidizes certain crops, like cotton and corn, which means that it's paying for part of your food and clothing. The big states, like Texas and California, have a huge say in what goes into public school textbooks, and some of those changes eventually trickle down to the hsing industry whether we want to admit it or not. Unless you live completely off the grid, grow every crumb of your own food, and weave your own fabric, the government is helping to care for your children, and you are part of the system. So that's really not an effective argument against hsing regulation.

 

It is if you are against subsidies. Just because they are forced on you doesn't mean you have to agree with them.

 

That said, we pay FAR more than our "share" of taxes.

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I live in a state that requires testing, but it is really a joke. All my child has to do is score above the 21st % on a multiple choice test and he "passes". Also, I can select any test I want and some can be administered at home. If I wasn't teaching my kids, I guess I'd just take the test myself.

 

And I do not mind the testing. I actually do it through our local school system so my kids get practice testing in a group environment. I just don't see its value as a regulator.

 

I also do not believe the government has any business regulating homeschoolers, when they are doing such a poor job with the public school system. It's not a "the ps sucks, so we can suck too". It's that the government stinks at regulating, so what's the point? Furthermore, they could undermine the quality of my homeschool if they were to implement requirements like following the core standards.

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I completely agree that the thought of a bunch of unknown bureaucrats making decisions that affect what I do in my own home is incredibly uncomfortable. But I'm not sure I agree that government regulation in all circumstances is bad...and I think in some cases it is necessary. For example, I believe stricter gun control laws would reduce gun crime, although obviously there will always be law breakers. I've seen a couple of examples of edcuational neglect through homeschooling in my own community--and in both cases, the children had caring parents who did not intend to deprive their children of education. It just ended up working out that way. I don't know what the answer is, but I have a bad feeling that increased regulation will be heading our way one way or another...

 

 

Um, I live outside Chicago (very strict gun laws and an extremely high murder rate). That logic doesn't play out in real life.

 

ETA

 

Sorry, but I cannot and will not be responsible for a small amount of parents who don't actually educate. I'm too busy teaching my kids to spend one second on meaningless paperwork or any other ridiculous stuff the state manages to dream up, as I told Christopher Koch last year (the IL Superintendent).

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What would reasonable regulation look like?

 

I believe that in Iowa, we have regulation, but it has many roads and choices.

 

Please forgive me or gently correct me if I get some of this wrong. Our oldest is only in K.

 

1) Starting in 1st grade, we must send in a 1-page form to the school system that declares our intent to homeschool. I believe this must be submitted each year.

 

2) By third grade, your child must do one of the following:

 

a) Take the ITBS standardized test. I have never heard of the school caring one way or another if the child does poorly on this test. Perhaps it is the school's way of saying to the parent,"If you thought your kid was doing alright in math, this is a wake-up call! You can't say you didn't know, and don't complain when they flunk out of algebra!"

 

OR

 

b ) Portfolio: I have no idea to whom this is submitted or what is expected

 

OR

 

c) Visiting Teacher (Option 1) : The school system provides one for free. The teacher visits your home a certain number of times throughout the semester, and the teacher communicates you via telephone or email a certain number of times throughout the semester. The best visiting teachers aspire to be a bridge for the families and the public school system.

 

OR

 

d) Visiting Teacher (Option 2) : If you are unhappy with the idea of the school system providing a visiting teacher, you are welcome to hire one privately and pay for it out of your own pocket. With this option, you do not need to meet as often as the teacher in C is required.

 

--This solves the issue of kids who are test phobic.

--This solves the issue of kids who are unschooled. (My unschooling friend just records as portfolio that they worked on math and measurement by making cookies, and they did science by feeding the worm farm).

--This solves the issue of not wanting a representative of the school system in your home and turning you in to DHS because you have the option to hire your own visiting teacher.

 

On top of all this, I believe that we, as homeschoolers, get to deduct a certain amount or percentage of educational costs from our state taxes. The amount went up this year. ???? Or was on the docket at the statehouse to go up this year???? At least that was in the propaganda released by the state homeschooling organization.

 

 

Just putting this out there:

Another poster, on another thread, mentioned that in states that have regulation, the homeschoolers are respected as actual educators, rather than just truants. It is acknowledged that as homeschoolers, we are not just lazing around, but that we are active (even as unschoolers) in giving our kids the best start possible.

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Just putting this out there:

Another poster, on another thread, mentioned that in states that have regulation, the homeschoolers are respected as actual educators, rather than just truants. It is acknowledged that as homeschoolers, we are not just lazing around, but that we are active (even as unschoolers) in giving our kids the best start possible.

 

I don't think homeschoolers in low regulation states are seen like this. In fact, homeschooling is immensely popular in many states with no regulation. The popularity seems to make it more acceptable because everyone has a friend or neighbor homeschooling.

 

The items you list seem like a lot of busywork...

 

Take the time to fill out a paper that is filed away and nothing is done with it.

 

Take a test but no one checks on the scores.

 

Pay a teacher out of pocket for them to agree that what you are doing is okay.

 

If regulations don't actually prevent kids from "failing" at homeschooling, what good do they actually do?

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The items you list seem like a lot of busywork...

 

Yeah, one page of affidavit per year is busywork. :confused1: Compared to many states, I suspect this is NOTHING. We don't have to count days or hours or anything like that. How many pages need to be filled out to register your kids at the local elementary school?

 

This is personal for me. I have children from my past that I love dearly, but were messed up because their mom kept them out of school and "on the run" for over a decade. If even one of the towns/school systems could have caught them for truancy because the paperwork didn't match up, would it have made a difference for those kids?

 

------------------------------------------------------------

 

Take a test but no one checks on the scores.

 

This seems to mostly be a tool for parents, so the parents can't say later, "I didn't know Johnny couldn't do math." If the parents don't know, then they can't help their kids. Giving parents this information (test scores) will keep kids from failing.

 

One mom I spoke to said, "She earned a 22%ile on her math ITBS, so that next year, we did a LOT of math! She brought it up to a 67." In that case, regulation DID keep a child from failing in homeschooling. She resented her mom and the math, but she is competent in a subject that requires a certain amount of skill to succeed in life (checkbook, taxes, insurance, interest rate).

 

------------------------------------------------------------

Pay a teacher out of pocket for them to agree that what you are doing is okay.

 

The teachers are still educated and licensed by the state. They are mandatory reporters, and if abuse is occurring in a home, the teacher can lose her license (and her income) for not reporting. However, some homeschoolers are hostile toward anything from the school system. Sometimes this is for good reason; sometimes this is from the fear sold by those who will benefit financially from that fear. The option of choosing one's own visiting teacher is a fair compromise. Many people find someone through their local church.

 

Teachers go to college for 4+ years because they want children to learn. It's not for the money, and it's certainly not for the glory. Do you really think the teacher, ANY TEACHER, would not speak up if a 17yo was reading and writing on a 1st grade level? Who here wants a home visiting teacher that would not try to make a difference for that 17yo? I sure wouldn't.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

 

If regulations don't actually prevent kids from "failing" at homeschooling, what good do they actually do?

 

1) Regulations DO prevent kids from "failing" at homeschooling. Are they 100% in effectiveness? No, but what is?

 

--Most American kids learn to read, write, and do math in the public school system. If the public school system met 100% of kids educational/emotional/developmental needs, none of us would be homeschooling.

--Milk is a nutritious drink, and I'll bet that nearly all of us have a couple of gallons in the fridge, but is not effective for those who are lactose intolerant.

--We drive a Toyota Corolla because it gets great gas mileage and has few breakdowns. For anyone needing to put three carseats in a car, a Corolla is not an effective choice.

 

2) I think some regulation is better than no regulation. I also think that some regulation is better than a lot of regulation. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

 

3) With the specter of regulation, some people opt to not homeschool because they know they couldn't do what was required, no matter how minimal (like filling out a single page affidavit once a year.) If you're not willing to do that tiny amount (ooooo, one page :scared: ), then you shouldn't be homeschooling.

 

4) These regulations also help keep the parents on track. To file with the school system, it says, "I have a plan."

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duckens, the education of my kids is none of the state's business. None. IL is a TRAIN WRECK. No amount of interference, oversight, regulation, legislation will change that. We have plenty of that now and it gets in the way of success. People need FREEDOM. Freedom to succeed and freedom to fail. Over regulation of homeschooling is one small step away from over regulation of parenting. I'm tired of hearing I need to report to anyone other than my own conscience. Personal responsibility brought our country to the top of the heap. Lack of it is tearing it down.

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The OP asked our opinions of what "reasonable regulation" would look like, and I gave it.

 

I'm sorry that IL is a train wreck. It sounds like you have to put up with a lot. If I had to do what is required by IL law, it is possible that I would feel the same way as you, Cdrumm. Please try to consider how your world would be different if there was less regulation (instead of the no regulation that the boy in the story experienced).

 

Over regulation of homeschooling is one small step away from over regulation of parenting.

 

I do agree that OVERregulation of homeschooling is one small step away from overregulation of parenting.

 

I do not agree that reasonable regulation of homeschooling is one small step away from overregulation of parenting; and the things I listed in my former post aren't nearly as draconian as what you have to deal with, I'll bet. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

 

Personal responsibility brought our country to the top of the heap

 

Here, again, we'll have to disagree. Responsibility for our fellow man is one of the best things about America, rather than saying, "You're not my problem."

 

Roads, hospitals, fire stations. police, our court system,and, yes, public education are all things that are done cooperatively because we care for one another in our communities.

 

I care about kids that are not my own. I have seen the results of what happens when kids do not have proper education, and I've seen more of that out of the school system than in it. It sincerely saddens me.

 

***Disclaimer: I know people both in the school system and out of it that have been failed educationally.***

 

Consider the young man in the 20/20 piece. He is 18, and trying to learn what he needs (educationally) to be functional in society. He started at a 1st grade educational level, and it is against the odds that he will even reach a high school equivalency test.

 

This saddens me personally because he will have difficulty supporting himself and any children he has. He will have trouble keeping stable work. He will have trouble saving for any of the normal crises in life (illness, car breaks down, invitation to a wedding or birthday party). It is heartbreaking to live that way.

 

Then the fiscal conservative in me kicks in, and I calculate the amount he will drain from society because he never got the basic education he deserved. Housing, food, medical care, legal needs, and any further education will be subsidized by the taxpayer, no matter how hard he works for most of his life. And any children he has will most likely be in that category, too, because they are almost guaranteed to grow up in poverty.

 

So, yeah, I'm willing to jump through the hoop of filling out ONE sheet of paper a year (per child), and I will send my child once a year for testing, and I will welcome our visiting teacher into our home. To me, this is a small sacrifice to try to save even one kid like the guy in the story. I want kids like him to get the very best education so they can get good jobs, create lots of jobs, add value to our economy, and pay taxes into the system. I want that for ALL of our kids, homeschooling, private schooled, and public schooled.

 

I'm sorry that even the limited amount of regulation we have in Iowa is still too big a price for you to pay.

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I'm with you Duckens. There's no way I can say "I've got mine," or "I'll take care of mine," and "tough luck to those of you who lost the birth lottery and didn't get caring parents."

 

I care that ALL kids have a chance to get a basic education and support reasonable legislation to try to ensure that it happens.

 

A basic education is a right not a privilege.

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