Jump to content

Menu

Do you find it odd?


purplejackmama
 Share

Recommended Posts

Lately I've seen a slew of homeschooling "experts" posting on Instagram and periscope but when I dig deeper their children are early elementary age? It's so strange to me.

 

I've been at this gig for a while but still I'm no expert. At all. I would never ever dream of scoping about how to homeschool, I'm still praying I don't screw these kids up!! Yesterday I was intrigued by an Instagram post about "how to plan for success in the new year" so I clicked to her blog and she's a total newbie!

 

Ok vent/rant over. Maybe I'm just grumpy?! Yes?

  • Like 24
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not odd, as in unusual, as it is really par for the course.  As PP said "zeal of the new convert."   So many newbies with very young children mapping it all out, but as you can see from the high school boards, very few stick it out long term for varying reasons. 

 

You also have to remember that most people's blogs are really "wish lists and fairytales" of what they want to do.  It's rarely a reflection of reality or possibility.  FWIW, I stick to these forums because there are so many old-timers still around and that's where I think the real gems are (self excluded).  You can tell who is keeping it real and who is selling a fantasy.  

 

Just my 2-cents.

  • Like 48
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As one of the 'newbies' (with some experience as a homeschooled student) I write for myself. It helps me feel in control of my situation, gives me motivation and a goal, and maybe someone else who's feeling more lost will get something from it. I'm writing this stuff out for myself anyway so why not put it up publicly in case it helps someone else. I happen to be good at organizing, so maybe my organization can be a tool, mums helping mums. 

 

Yes, I plan ahead, I have ideas running through to high school on a nice pretty spreadsheet. It's not because I know it all or think things won't ever change, I know many of those plans will change over the years. But it gives me an idea of where I'm going, it lets me look forward and see the big picture, even if the big picture changes over time. It helps me feel in control of the situation when we have bad/crazy days. It means I can structure my schooling now based on where we want to be later, instead of winging it. 

 

Plus, I can find very few resources written by old-timers which aren't unschooling/free resources/let them just play until they're 8/10/12 based, or from people with older kids which actually talk about kids my age instead of their current high schoolers. I'd love to read some resources from long time homeschoolers about how to teach my early elementary kids without it being a big long 'just let them play' article, but they don't seem to exist. 

Edited by abba12
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do see it but I also have seen that here (and probably elsewhere) there is a very vocal sector of the home education community who don't like new people giving their ideas and experiences. These people don't like the boat rocked and seem to want bloggers and public representatives of home ed to be from their small world and specific approach only so trash new voices. I don't think that's particularly healthy as it makes it stagnate and new voices are a good thing, however, new bloggers do just need to realise they only know what they've actually lived through themselves. Hopefully, they keep blogging over time as we don't have a wealth of easily accessible experiences for educating older kids here at all, half the time when you read them it's from years ago and doesn't represent the world be we inhabit now. I get put off blogging but sometimes feel it would make a good personal record. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that older home educators often become wary of telling others what to do and how to do it. This is partly because memories fade and resources change - I can often not remember any more what was appropriate for my 7yo vs. my 9yo, and those books may not longer be in print. For example, I used a brilliant learn-to-read series with Hobbes, but you can't even find a complete set second hand these days.

 

The other part of this is that the longer I taught, the more cautious I became about laying down 'one true way'. There's only one suggestion that I ever make with force these days (about beginning Chinese with a native speaker) - otherwise I'm pretty tentative. I am an odd duck with odd ducks for children - who am I to tell others how to teach?

So typical in life - the more you learn, the more you realize how little you knew. Then, when you're old and full of wisdom, young folks don't think to ask you. :D

  • Like 49
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It reminds me of a parenting book a friend gave me to read because it has been life-changing for her.  

 

I got the book, eagerly started reading it, and found that the author's OLDEST child (at the time of publication even!) was.....wait for it....9.  Seriously.  If I'm going to take advice from you, you need to have at least one child make it to adulthood not hating you.

 

 

  • Like 30
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This:

 

most people's blogs are really "wish lists and fairytales" of what they want to do.  It's rarely a reflection of reality or possibility. 

 

Having a nice blog doesn't mean they have a nice life/routine/learning schedule/kid. It just means they're good at making a nice blog.

 

 

(If anybody asks me for home educating advice, I think my first suggestion would be to spend less time learning what others do and more time learning about your child/ren. Start with something, see how that goes, and only then start to read more widely, connect with more people and gather more ideas.)

  • Like 15
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm another person who used to give out advice about curric or techniques who has since learned (to my astonishment) that what works for us doesn't necessarily work for anyone else. So, I'm very hesistant to give out too much advice. If I do, I couch it in lots of "but this might not work for you" and "but I'm no expert" phrases.

 

As soon as I see that the writer's kids are younger than mine, I lose interest. I don't feel I can trust what they would have to say so I move along.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple versions ago of our beloved WTM forum (back when things "flipped"), there was a poster who became extremely active on the high school board. Her advice was narrow and adamant.  Several of us then realized that all of her children were under five and that she really had no idea what she was talking about despite her overly confident tone.

 

Any of us who have educated through high school know that there is no one solution for every student--as there is no one post-secondary path.  Anyone who claims otherwise is naive. 

 

That said, I remain extremely grateful to my fellow WTMers who did offer advice and interesting ideas.  Some had BTDT, others are simply brilliant people often with an educational background different from my own. 

 

In the case of bloggers, I wouldn't bother. It seems that some are less about offering real advice and more about generating an income stream from clicks.

  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Plus, I can find very few resources written by old-timers which aren't unschooling/free resources/let them just play until they're 8/10/12 based, or from people with older kids which actually talk about kids my age instead of their current high schoolers. I'd love to read some resources from long time homeschoolers about how to teach my early elementary kids without it being a big long 'just let them play' article, but they don't seem to exist. 

 

I've found many old timers in my real life wish they had let their kids play more, which is why we often find them advocating "let them play".

 

Kelly

  • Like 15
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't read blogs that are homeschooling related.  On a rare occasion that I go looking for one thing in particular and a blog pops up that may address questions I have, etc, then maybe - but it's not likely, because everyone is different.

 

That said, I have a blog. :leaving:  I don't really talk about 'how to' homeschool, though, that's weird.  Why would someone do that?  I do talk about what we do, mostly so that my family (who lives 17 hours away) can get a glimpse into what the kids are learning.  If one does a project or something, yeah, there's a picture, but I figure that if it's a blog post about the entire semester or quarter and there is one picture of a kid doing a project, it's pretty obvious that we don't spend every day making things out of mud.  :lol:  Or whatever.  I try to keep it real that way.  :lol:

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a blog and I do sometimes write how to posts, but I am one of those old timers who advocate letting the kids play!  I think the reason for letting the kids play advice is:

 

1.  Kids really do learn through play - it's true!  Play is child's work!  

2.  Institutional schooling says kids have to work through curriculum every year at the same pace, etc.  Like Ken Robinson says it is all about linearity and conformity and it turns out you don't have to do that stuff to raised a well educated child.   So why go through the grief and all that money when it isn't necessary?  If your kids like it, and you like (there are people with a scholarly bent so they like workbooks, etc) go ahead but know the burn out rate is high if it isn't a good fit!  That's why there are so few old timers!

3.  As other posters have said, it is hard to recommend curriculum because what worked for one family or even one child, totally flopped with another.  So it really is a process of developing your own style for your own family.  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen this trend for the past 6-7 years.  I don't find it so much odd as I do obnoxious.  It's like the 16 year old who thinks they know better than their parents.  I feel a little sorry for them, and I feel sorrier for those who get sucked into it.

 

I'll echo others on this thread. I've homeschooled for 14 years.  I still don't know what is best, except for that it was the best choice we made for our kids' education.  :)

 

I'm thankful to not be in the early stages of homeschooling now.  The internet has exploded, I think many have ulterior, self-promotional reasons for pushing curriculum. There's a lot more pressure to start young, push hard, join groups, schedule activities.  Those things were not the priority when my kids were little.  I am SO glad.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that older home educators often become wary of telling others what to do and how to do it. This is partly because memories fade and resources change - I can often not remember any more what was appropriate for my 7yo vs. my 9yo, and those books may not longer be in print.  For example, I used a brilliant learn-to-read series with Hobbes, but you can't even find a complete set second hand these days.

 

So.... older homeschoolers can't offer advice about homeschooling the elementary years because they are too far gone, things have changed and they don't remember clearly.

But, new homeschoolers or homeschoolers with younger kids can't offer advice to each other about homeschooling the elementary years, even though it's fresh and current and they know what's available right now, because they're not experienced enough and shouldn't give advice on homeschooling until their kids are older.

 

How, exactly, are we supposed to get advice and ideas for elementary then, if older homeschoolers don't remember it and younger homeschoolers aren't 'experienced enough' to be giving advice until they have the evidence of it in older children. Should we just not seek advice at all? There was older homeschoolers mentoring and helping younger ones during the 90s and 2000s. books were written, and those old websites everyone used to have full of information from experienced homeschoolers. But those resources are dated or gone now, and not many people from the current batch of experienced homeschoolers have stepped up to take their turn mentoring now (except those of certain philosophies who go too far the opposite direction) 

 

This is why younger homeschoolers post things on blogs/forums. To help each other. They're a new community, a new generation of homeschooling. You (generalized you, not you specifically Laura) can't simultaneously be shy of offering advice yourselves but also criticize us for offering somewhat inexperienced advice to each other because that's all we can find.

 

There is a large homeschooling community in my area. Very large. And I know a few young women hoping to homeschool. They tried to talk to the older, more experienced homeschoolers and they are either too busy or don't want to give advice because 'what worked for us might not work for you' or they 'don't really remember', even though all these new mums want are some ideas, reassurance, and a place to start, not set in stone commands. They've ended up coming to me as a graduated homeschool student to ask questions, because they aren't finding answers anywhere else. I try to just direct them here to the WTM forums, because I know I'm not experienced enough to be guiding new homeschoolers through their first year when I'm barely off mine, but they need support from somewhere, so I still find myself giving advice and answering questions which the older homeschoolers should be answering. It's not for a lack of desire to find that advice from them! It's just that they wont step up, so all we have are each other to bounce ideas off. 

 

 

I've found many old timers in my real life wish they had let their kids play more, which is why we often find them advocating "let them play".

 

Kelly

 

The term old timers was not an insult, it was referring to another thread currently active, I think on Gen Ed, which used the term. 

 

I understand there are homeschoolers who ended up wishing they did less in the younger years. We've all heard that advice, many times now. I've still chosen to do some early education, so I'd love advice about what they actually did which worked, rather than how I shouldn't do anything, since I'm going to anyway. That doesn't seem to be available. Not everyone came to regret early education, they are just the most vocal ones and the current popular opinion. But, my mum started early and I'm extremely grateful for it. My MIL waited till each child was 8 and has come to regret it, and DH resents it. Another long time homeschooling family I know has started all their kids early and they've thrived with it and advise it. 

 

So, forgoing early education is not the only way to do things, and it would be nice if the voices trying to give advice or share ideas for early education weren't constantly pushed down by people who ended up regretting it for their families for whatever reason. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Year 9 over here.

I don't really read blogs, but plenty of FB groups.  I delete way more than I post b/c I usually realize most people want a black and white answer, not a discussion.  Listing curricula gets boring and is mostly pointless.

 

I don't want to hear or say "do this", I want to explore various ideas.  Much like my kids.  ;)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm thankful to not be in the early stages of homeschooling now.  The internet has exploded, I think many have ulterior, self-promotional reasons for pushing curriculum. There's a lot more pressure to start young, push hard, join groups, schedule activities.  Those things were not the priority when my kids were little.  I am SO glad.

 

It's funny how perception works. Because I feel immense pressure to NOT start early. I want to do early education for many reasons, some unique to my family, and my kids LOVE school (and 30 minutes or an hour at the table is not stopping them from playing the rest of the day) but I feel constantly bombarded with 'let them play' and 'don't start too early' and 'do as little as you can during these years' and 'you'll burn them out' and everything else, that I feel guilty and anxious about early education sometimes, even though I know we enjoy it and my reasons are valid and sound. 

 

And I feel like the pressure to push harder is much less. Growing up, in MY area, all homeschooled kids were at least a grade ahead, it was expected. Being 'on grade' was percieved as behind in homeschooling, because we 'should' be ahead because of the one-on-one tutoring and superiority of homeschooling methods. I don't agree with that idea either, for the record. But, things have definitely lightened up a LOT. I remember I was suprised when I first came on the WTM forums and saw so many kids in signatures working at GRADE level, and people were ok with that! It was foreign to me lol. Being here is what made me feel like it was ok to perhaps only expect grade level work of my kids lol. That was just the area I grew up in and the style of homeschooling which was common around me at the time. So, it's definitely not my perception that there is pressure to push hard, at all. 

 

I kind of wonder if this is one of those things where, there was pressure, once, but there isn't actively or commonly anymore. But, everyone feels like there's still pressure because everyone talks about the pressure and everyone acknowledges the pressure, even though many people haven't actually experiences the comments or views that cause the pressure, but they know it must be there because everyone else says it's still there, and the group talks themselves into this almost-non-existent prejudice.  (not saying it's completely non-existent, it's certainly still there to a point, but in my personal experience, the take-it-at-your-childs-pace, and better-late-than-early ideas seem a lot louder to me these days)

 

I guess I'm speaking from a weird position since I'm the mum of young children, but I've been part of the homeschooling community for 2 decades as a student, and as a teenager who knew they would homeschool too someday so set about learning a lot from the families around me. I've seen all sorts of changes in the past 20 years, but at the same time I'm still talking a lot of theory without so much practical. 

Edited by abba12
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So.... older homeschoolers can't offer advice about homeschooling the elementary years because they are too far gone, things have changed and they don't remember clearly.

But, new homeschoolers or homeschoolers with younger kids can't offer advice to each other about homeschooling the elementary years, even though it's fresh and current and they know what's available right now, because they're not experienced enough and shouldn't give advice on homeschooling until their kids are older.

 

How, exactly, are we supposed to get advice and ideas for elementary then, if older homeschoolers don't remember it and younger homeschoolers aren't 'experienced enough' to be giving advice until they have the evidence of it in older children. Should we just not seek advice at all? There was older homeschoolers mentoring and helping younger ones during the 90s and 2000s. books were written, and those old websites everyone used to have full of information from experienced homeschoolers. But those resources are dated or gone now, and not many people from the current batch of experienced homeschoolers have stepped up to take their turn mentoring now (except those of certain philosophies who go too far the opposite direction) 

 

This is why younger homeschoolers post things on blogs/forums. To help each other. They're a new community, a new generation of homeschooling. You (generalized you, not you specifically Laura) can't simultaneously be shy of offering advice yourselves but also criticize us for offering somewhat inexperienced advice to each other because that's all we can find.

 

 

 

I don't know about what others think, but personally I think it's great if those teaching young children offer information about what has worked for them.  I used to do that, for sure.  The only problem comes, for me, when young home educators speak as though they are omniscient about a) what works for everyone and b) what will work for older children.

  • Like 36
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So.... older homeschoolers can't offer advice about homeschooling the elementary years because they are too far gone, things have changed and they don't remember clearly.

But, new homeschoolers or homeschoolers with younger kids can't offer advice to each other about homeschooling the elementary years, even though it's fresh and current and they know what's available right now, because they're not experienced enough and shouldn't give advice on homeschooling until their kids are older.

 

How, exactly, are we supposed to get advice and ideas for elementary then, if older homeschoolers don't remember it and younger homeschoolers aren't 'experienced enough' to be giving advice until they have the evidence of it in older children. Should we just not seek advice at all? There was older homeschoolers mentoring and helping younger ones during the 90s and 2000s. books were written, and those old websites everyone used to have full of information from experienced homeschoolers. But those resources are dated or gone now, and not many people from the current batch of experienced homeschoolers have stepped up to take their turn mentoring now (except those of certain philosophies who go too far the opposite direction)

 

This is why younger homeschoolers post things on blogs/forums. To help each other. They're a new community, a new generation of homeschooling. You (generalized you, not you specifically Laura) can't simultaneously be shy of offering advice yourselves but also criticize us for offering somewhat inexperienced advice to each other because that's all we can find.

 

There is a large homeschooling community in my area. Very large. And I know a few young women hoping to homeschool. They tried to talk to the older, more experienced homeschoolers and they are either too busy or don't want to give advice because 'what worked for us might not work for you' or they 'don't really remember', even though all these new mums want are some ideas, reassurance, and a place to start, not set in stone commands. They've ended up coming to me as a graduated homeschool student to ask questions, because they aren't finding answers anywhere else. I try to just direct them here to the WTM forums, because I know I'm not experienced enough to be guiding new homeschoolers through their first year when I'm barely off mine, but they need support from somewhere, so I still find myself giving advice and answering questions which the older homeschoolers should be answering. It's not for a lack of desire to find that advice from them! It's just that they wont step up, so all we have are each other to bounce ideas off.

 

 

 

The term old timers was not an insult, it was referring to another thread currently active, I think on Gen Ed, which used the term.

 

I understand there are homeschoolers who ended up wishing they did less in the younger years. We've all heard that advice, many times now. I've still chosen to do some early education, so I'd love advice about what they actually did which worked, rather than how I shouldn't do anything, since I'm going to anyway. That doesn't seem to be available. Not everyone came to regret early education, they are just the most vocal ones and the current popular opinion. But, my mum started early and I'm extremely grateful for it. My MIL waited till each child was 8 and has come to regret it, and DH resents it. Another long time homeschooling family I know has started all their kids early and they've thrived with it and advise it.

 

So, forgoing early education is not the only way to do things, and it would be nice if the voices trying to give advice or share ideas for early education weren't constantly pushed down by people who ended up regretting it for their families for whatever reason.

I didn't take old timers as an insult, that's not why I italicized it. I'm not saying let them play as not schooling. I think learning through play is excellent for young kids. There is so much out there to use, also. I loved using all the learning games, puzzles, art supplies, etc... I do wish I would have used that method longer.

 

I don't see any problem with moms of elementary kids banding together to share advice. I thought the original complaint was moms of younger kids giving moms with older kids advice.

 

I'm more than happy to share things that we've used.

 

Kelly

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am always floored when someone asks for my advice because we have been homeschooling for 7 years now. I still feel like I have no idea what I am doing.

As for the bloggers and the newbies I come across in real life it is the passion and zeal that comes with a new journey.

When I blogged it was for my mother. The fact that others followed was nice but I was not doing it for anyone but my mom.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So.... older homeschoolers can't offer advice about homeschooling the elementary years because they are too far gone, things have changed and they don't remember clearly.

But, new homeschoolers or homeschoolers with younger kids can't offer advice to each other about homeschooling the elementary years, even though it's fresh and current and they know what's available right now, because they're not experienced enough and shouldn't give advice on homeschooling until their kids are older.

 

How, exactly, are we supposed to get advice and ideas for elementary then, if older homeschoolers don't remember it and younger homeschoolers aren't 'experienced enough' to be giving advice until they have the evidence of it in older children. Should we just not seek advice at all? There was older homeschoolers mentoring and helping younger ones during the 90s and 2000s. books were written, and those old websites everyone used to have full of information from experienced homeschoolers. But those resources are dated or gone now, and not many people from the current batch of experienced homeschoolers have stepped up to take their turn mentoring now (except those of certain philosophies who go too far the opposite direction) 

 

This is why younger homeschoolers post things on blogs/forums. To help each other. They're a new community, a new generation of homeschooling. You (generalized you, not you specifically Laura) can't simultaneously be shy of offering advice yourselves but also criticize us for offering somewhat inexperienced advice to each other because that's all we can find.

 

There is a large homeschooling community in my area. Very large. And I know a few young women hoping to homeschool. They tried to talk to the older, more experienced homeschoolers and they are either too busy or don't want to give advice because 'what worked for us might not work for you' or they 'don't really remember', even though all these new mums want are some ideas, reassurance, and a place to start, not set in stone commands. They've ended up coming to me as a graduated homeschool student to ask questions, because they aren't finding answers anywhere else. I try to just direct them here to the WTM forums, because I know I'm not experienced enough to be guiding new homeschoolers through their first year when I'm barely off mine, but they need support from somewhere, so I still find myself giving advice and answering questions which the older homeschoolers should be answering. It's not for a lack of desire to find that advice from them! It's just that they wont step up, so all we have are each other to bounce ideas off. 

 

 

 

The term old timers was not an insult, it was referring to another thread currently active, I think on Gen Ed, which used the term. 

 

I understand there are homeschoolers who ended up wishing they did less in the younger years. We've all heard that advice, many times now. I've still chosen to do some early education, so I'd love advice about what they actually did which worked, rather than how I shouldn't do anything, since I'm going to anyway. That doesn't seem to be available. Not everyone came to regret early education, they are just the most vocal ones and the current popular opinion. But, my mum started early and I'm extremely grateful for it. My MIL waited till each child was 8 and has come to regret it, and DH resents it. Another long time homeschooling family I know has started all their kids early and they've thrived with it and advise it. 

 

So, forgoing early education is not the only way to do things, and it would be nice if the voices trying to give advice or share ideas for early education weren't constantly pushed down by people who ended up regretting it for their families for whatever reason. 

 

Your responses here bother me.  I'll try to explain why but I only have a few moments.

 

I think you're missing the point, that many old-timers have wisdom about letting kids be kids (which doesn't mean unschooling or doing nothing) while you can ... but it's coming across as you don't want to hear it or don't like that wisdom so you create your own.  I don't have any problem with newbies-helping-newbies (my oldest is only 12 so I'm not saying that to be snarky) or getting/giving specific advice.  But do you really think that is hard to find these days?  I find that incedibly hard to believe, that if you actively go looking for advice from experienced homeschoolers about homeschooling elementary you can't find it.  

 

I think one of the things about HS that does make it difficult, if not impossible, to have step-by-step how-to's that are realistic & produce results is that to be a HS parent, you have to work at it.  I'm not saying people are lazy or not willing to put in the work - I'm saying many people don't realize it when they begin.  They think they can simply buy the best curric, get together a plan using one of the many scheduling forms, & voila!  Homeschooling success.  Like an infomercial.  But it doesn't work that way.  You have to try things, see what works, just be a parent & get to know your kids & figure it out as you go.  The internet is not lacking in ideas to find to try but who knows how many you'll need to try before you find the one that works.

  • Like 15
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Abba12, I think it's fine for parents to talk about what's *currently* working for their kids or *recently* worked for their kids. I think it's fine to say that a particular program, book, etc worked well even if that particular resource is OOP or difficult to find. It's obnoxious for parents who only have young kids to make pronouncements about how parents should teach/parent older kids AND to make those pronouncements definitive, as in there is only one true way and it is the Way of the Parent with Only Young Children.

 

I don't visit the pre-K/K subforum even though I still have and teach 2 in that age range and have successfully taught their 4 older sibs because I've noticed through the years that many parents don't want to hear, for example, that it's OK if their 5 year old doesn't want to sit still for lessons for several hours (or even 10s of minutes). They want to hear about the latest full curriculum for K'er's. That's fine, of course, but they then shouldn't bemoan the fact that more experienced parents won't post advice. We may have given up.

 

As for curriculum written by old timers, we're probably still in the trenches teaching our MS & HS students as well as teaching/wrangling any younger kids. I hang out on the HS board a lot because my eldest is doing high school level work in a couple of subjects and will start a full HS course load in the fall. My posts there are of the "someone help me, pleeeaaassse" variety.

 

Just for the record, I don't think newbies should never say anything or give any advice. I believe and practice the philosphy that any advice I may give is of the what did or did not work for me/my kid(s) with a particular set of circumstances which another family may/may not have and is also leavened with plenty of caveats (your mileage may vary, teach your kids, this may not work for you, et al).

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, no. It doesn't strike me as odd at all.  

Here's the thing, though. I look at everything I can when I'm reading advice that gives me information about the person writing it. There are viewpoints that I simply lack the ability or desire to wade through. It doesn't discount that advice at all. But it means that I am going to have to do some serious mind-stretching to take it in. In short, it isn't a open and go kind of advice. I have to think about it. The older and more set in my ways I become, the more advice I find that requires me to sit back and chew on it awhile before I toss it.

 

Most of the think-about advice comes from the more experienced homeschooling parents around here. It's worth thinking about, even if it turns out to be bad advice, good advice or indifferent. 

In contrast, many younger homeschooling parents give you a confident assessment of what they love or what is working for them. It's much more specific. To me, that makes it easier to apply to a certain situation. It can also be bad advice, good advice or indifferent. It has a different application.

 

Out of the two kinds of advice, I tend to find the former (experienced) advice more useful to me, because it allows me to wrestle with ideas. It doesn't mean I'm not going to tackle them, tie them up and throw them out the window, but the very act of thinking through something allows me to get a better understanding of what is important to me and why. 

But I don't expect any blog, post, article or book to tell me up front what kind of advice is going to be given. I'll just read it and look for myself.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ehhh. Maybe I'm looking at different blogs(I don't do it much) but Sarah Mackenzie at the read aloud revival has younger kids then I, but herself and her work has had an significant influence on my life and homeschool this year.

 

I keep considering starting a blog because I am asked at least multiple times a month by interested families how to get started. They know me and my kids personally and while I do direct them to others they want advice from *me* and I would like to be able to direct them to a blog post since I'm essentially saying the same things to everyone, it's often in writing and I would like to save myself some time ;) but alas, I am too busy in the trenches to find the time to start a blog.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thinking about this more: You don't have to be an expert to start homeschooling, nor do you have to be an expert to blog or give helpful advice. I don't see anything odd about a new homeschooler sharing what she learned while doing her own research and tips for others who are getting started.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thinking about this more: You don't have to be an expert to start homeschooling, nor do you have to be an expert to blog or give helpful advice. I don't see anything odd about a new homeschooler sharing what she learned while doing her own research and tips for others who are getting started.

Yeah I guess I'm just weird. I just can't imagine giving advice to people so I guess that's where I'm coming from.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think some people get excited about what is working for them and want to share it with the world, whether it is advice about homeschooling, parenting, breastfeeding, dieting, exercise, etc. It used to be that people had to write a book or article or give a speech to a group to get their ideas out to a large number of people, but now blogs and social media have given them a platform. What they may not realize is that, if they have one kindergartener, what works for him/her may not work for the next child. My kids are VERY different from each other. And life happens! So many things can derail the Perfect Plan...a new baby, hyper toddler, chronic illness, learning disability, changing jobs, moving, and on and on. And just wait until the preteen years! Those are...um...fun.

 

There is no Perfect Plan. You just try something and keep making adjustments. You get up in the morning and do it again, and again and again. You try to forge a strong relationship with each child and let them know, deep down, that you love them no matter what. Building relationships is more important than curricula. If you don't have that, it doesn't matter which math book you use.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our last one graduates this year....I still don't feel great giving out any advice to people. I seriously think one must find their own way and what works for each child.

Our youngest will graduate in a couple of years, but I don't give out much advice either, unless I'm specifically asked. Then I will say, "This worked for us."

 

When I first began homeschooling, one friend started the same year, and chose Curriculum XYZ because I was using it! The following year a handful of other families started homeschooling and most of them also used XYZ. I was scratching my head, because they hadn't really read about XYZ. They just though if it was good enough for us, it would work for them. Most of us abandoned XYZ, and some families put their kids in school at some point, but it was an odd beginning. I felt like the blind leading the blind.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At what point does "sharing what works for me" become "giving out advice"?

 

Good question.  It's often a question of phraseology: 'I found that Galore Park Latin Prep was good for me as I didn't have a solid Latin background.  I don't know if you would feel the same about it,' vs. 'Given that you don't have a solid background in Latin, I think that GP Latin Prep would be your best choice of programme.'

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At what point does "sharing what works for me" become "giving out advice"?

I think that's a good question and, admittedly, the line may indeed be a fine one. In my mind, the phrasing is the difference. "Here's what worked for me/my kid" v "You should do X". And, certainly, advice has its place as long as it's tempered with the knowledge that not everything works for every family.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know, I had a lot more confidence as a new homeschooler, and I was far more outspoken.  The "aged" homeschooler is quieter, confident in a very different way if she's walked through the valley of self-doubt and gotten (mostly) safely through it.  She's far more satisfied to keep her eyes on her own paper, steadily working at the job in front of her rather than trying to convince others to do it her way.

 

You don't find a lot of experienced homeschoolers speaking out as much as you find them willing to listen and answer questions quietly.  Just my .02.

 

ETA: And I should add - I don't think I was wrong in my thinking 15 years ago, or misguided.  I think I was quite spot on, however, my lack of experience, I'm sure, probably did take my legs to stand on out from under me to some folks.  Truth is, I love young, passionate homeschooling moms.  I find them very inspiring.  I love their fire.  I love their enthusiasm.  It makes me smile and take a good deal of joy from them!  I think my young self lacked grace (to those struggling at what I found easier) and I think I needed to understand there's more than one way to skin this cat, but that came with time, experience, and it will for those who are incredibly passionate as well.

 

I'm very GRATEFUL that we have a community of young and older mamas here.   There is much to be learned in the sharing.  There are some young homeschooling mamas out there right now that I love listening to on podcast.  Their enthusiasm really inspires me and gives me new energy. :)

Edited by BlsdMama
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes and the parenting expert who has a three year old.

 

Or no kids at all...

 

I LOVE that....

 

We went into school when Calvin was about 16 to talk about the way that one subject was being taught.  The teacher explained (fine) but then tried to get us to take a parenting book that had changed his life.  His children were under five.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've mentioned on here before my irritation at reading a blog post from a father on how to raise daughters when his oldest hasn't even hit puberty. Yet he's going to pat himself on the back that he's got it all figured out?? Yikes. I want advice from someone whose daughters are successfully "launched" and still speaking to you. ;) Not someone who thinks their eight year old is just dandy.

  • Like 8
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...