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Had my meeting with the school system representative


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In my state, we have a yearly meeting with a rep. from the school district.  My district is awesome about homeschooling and the reps are very supportive and encouraging.  I sit down, show them my materials, and show them a recent sample of work in a few subjects.  Easy peasy, no pressure, I'm not complaining!  But....they do make suggestions and offer helps.  This year's "suggestions" were interesting to say the least.  

 

Suggestion #1.  Writing - "Don't mess with formal writing and don't make them use paper and pencil.  Offer creative writing options and let them keyboard.  Good creative writing supports all the further writing they will do in life."

 

Suggestion #2.  Math - "If you feel they know the concepts, just give them a calculator.  Doing computations on a calculator will help them solidify their math facts."

 

Suggestion #3. Spelling, grammar, punctuation - "Don't worry with curriculums, just let the computer correct their work." (Since it's all on the computer now that they don't have any paper or pencils.)

 

I'm so thankful that their role is simply supportive.  They have no say in what we do or how we do it.  I'm pretty sure we would disagree on a few things!  :001_smile:

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Yes, the calculator suggestion came in reference to memorizing multiplication facts.  The best part was that the reasoning for calculator use was that "all 9th graders are given calculators".  :huh:

 

Anyway, I thanked her for her time and went home to drill my kids on their maths facts. :laugh:

 

 

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Wow.  Just, wow.  I think we now have the mystery of why so many public schools are failing.

 

#1 - Not everything is creative writing.  My husband does technical writing *a lot* in his job.

#2 - It might help some kids learn their math facts, but it'll just get most dependant on them.  They won't always have access to a calculator (well, maybe they will on a phone... but it sure is a waste of time to do a basic math problem on a calculator when most can do it in their head in less than a second).  It is true they give all 9th graders calculators, at least they do here as well.  My daughter - who never used a calculator at home - has pretty much regressed this year as far as basic math facts go and uses the calculator for super simple problems.  That annoys me and is certainly not something that I think is a good thing but her school/math teacher have no problem with it.

#3 - And this would help them learn... how?  My husband's spelling is so bad that often spell check has no clue what he means (this is due to a learning disability, but just an example of why the computer isn't always able to correct their work).

 

Preaching to the choir, I know.  Wow.

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At the big national science expo, we did a thing at one booth where you had to do some math - nothing major, but it was calculations that would have taken a couple of minutes.  They handed my kids a calculator.  Ds was so confused.  And that, in turn, confused the woman at the booth, who was clearly surprised that there might be a kid with no ability to use a calculator.

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Wow. I have an education rep come see me once a year too. We just had our visit and the rep actually took notes on my curriculum to share with other homeschoolers and was delighted to see I was using such high quality resources with my kids. ( all recommendations from here).

 

I don't know what I would have said if mine suggested the creative writing route....my kids are useless at it but they are good with formal writing that has guidelines.

 

My DD is terrible at memorising math facts but it has never crossed my mind once to just give her a calculator. I mean...I'm useless at math facts too but I find it annoying to drag out a calculator every time I want to add something up. I can still figure out what I need using my brain only.

 

Gosh.. I started working in a store when they had tills that calculated for you but I still needed to know how to make change ...especially when EFTPOS was introduced and people would say ...Can you make the total up to $50 and give me the extra in change. I would have to figure out how much extra to add onto the total to make it up to $50 to type in the correct amount.

 

I can't tell you how many times I've gone to the store and asked the younger ones a similar thing and I've had to do the math myself and tell the cashier because they have no idea how to make change and my math skills are very basic.

 

Seriously if you are going to work in a store....learn to add and subtract people. (Off topic Rant over LOL )

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Did they have any suggestions for what to do instead of the instruction you were doing? Their suggestions don't seem like real instruction.  I mean, if we give calculators, math should take much less time- what do they want you to do with your free time instead? Just curious...

 

I am sadly not surprised. My daughter loved her K at PS last year but they use calculators in 1st grade and I told her there was no way I could send her to school to do that in good conscience. 

 

As for the writing, my not so popular opinion is that people can't be excellent creative writers until they learn to be at least proficient academic writers. I don't want to suffer through a story until someone can at least put together a proper sentence and paragraph. Learn the rules before you break them! 

 

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I don't think the suggestions were aligned with any standards.  I think it's more dangerous than that if the rep, a 30 year veteran teacher, gets to give ridiculous advice to a potentially unknowing homeschool audience.  I know the regulations in my state and can take the suggestions and walk away in confidence that I don't have to listen to a thing she said.  I hope other homeschoolers are equally informed!

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My mom is a reading teacher for seventh grade at a public school. She was told not to correct the students' grammar. She also told me that grammar isn't even taught in seventh grade at her school. Crazy! She said that my children already know more about grammar than her students. It's scary and sad.

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