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purplejackmama
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But is it any different than taking medical advice from a doctor who is healthy?  Or taking psychology advice from someone mentally well? 

 

Some people have done an incredible amount of research on homeschooling.  I was one of those people.  Granted, my word have a lot more weight now that I have a kiddo out of high school that has launched successfully, *however* my theories were correct.  And I took those from other experts - SWB, Jessie Wise, Educating the Wholehearted Child, Bluedorns, and added my tweaks.

 

I *do* think there is so much value in BTDT, but I also believe that not have kids in high school does not necessarily devalue their thoughts and opinions.  Honestly it's just like anything... If you find their words valuable and you bring what they say to bear against truth, imo, scripture, then application is good.  There were a lot of fairly young parents that hadn't launched their families yet that added great value to my parenting/homeschooling/marriage choices.  Did they have it all figured out?  No, but listening to their thoughts aloud, then bringing it against scripture, for me, helped me sort through choices re: homeschooling, parenting, marriage.  Just because someone is young doesn't discredit their voice.

 

Ya'all have hit a sore spot with me.  Currently, with two young adults in my home, I watch their opinions, their thoughts, their beliefs, be automatically discredited by adults and society in general because their life experience hasn't born out their beliefs YET, however, that thought pattern automatically dismisses them rather than listen to each belief on its own merit, weigh it, and then decide the value.

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I still feel like a homeschool newbie & I've been doing it 10 years now and finally added my fifth kid this year. (I think I finally got Kindergarten figured out - although it would probably be different with #6 if there was a #6 since that kid would probably be completely different than #1-5!)

 

I've ventured onto the high school boards with trepidation because I'm merely in the thick of the first year of it. I have no great advice other than what I'm already experiencing with my absolutely-average, struggling-with-the-workload-and-expectations DD who nonetheless wants to add more classes to her load. So, I have no clue on outcomes, but am in the thick of it. I wonder if that's what the newbies want to share?

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But is it any different than taking medical advice from a doctor who is healthy? Or taking psychology advice from someone mentally well?

 

Some people have done an incredible amount of research on homeschooling. I was one of those people. Granted, my word have a lot more weight now that I have a kiddo out of high school that has launched successfully, *however* my theories were correct. And I took those from other experts - SWB, Jessie Wise, Educating the Wholehearted Child, Bluedorns, and added my tweaks.

 

I *do* think there is so much value in BTDT, but I also believe that not have kids in high school does not necessarily devalue their thoughts and opinions. Honestly it's just like anything... If you find their words valuable and you bring what they say to bear against truth, imo, scripture, then application is good. There were a lot of fairly young parents that hadn't launched their families yet that added great value to my parenting/homeschooling/marriage choices. Did they have it all figured out? No, but listening to their thoughts aloud, then bringing it against scripture, for me, helped me sort through choices re: homeschooling, parenting, marriage. Just because someone is young doesn't discredit their voice.

 

Ya'all have hit a sore spot with me. Currently, with two young adults in my home, I watch their opinions, their thoughts, their beliefs, be automatically discredited by adults and society in general because their life experience hasn't born out their beliefs YET, however, that thought pattern automatically dismisses them rather than listen to each belief on its own merit, weigh it, and then decide the value.

I like what you've said here and agree with it. If I'm talking to a new homeschooler I do my best not to be dismissive or condescending. And if I give out advice, I like to temper it with, "This worked for us..." and why it worked for us. I will tell them, "This worked for my ADHD son, but it might not work for your quiet bookworm." I tell them what I know, but never make it out to be that it's the only way.

 

And I do listen to them. They are usually intelligent adults who may have read something or experienced something I haven't. There are so many scenarios where they may have gleaned some useful information that I would be happy to have. Just because they haven't yet lived it for themselves doesn't mean they don't have information that can be helpful to me. My son recently learned that it's a logical fallacy to dismiss someone's words just because they're younger or seem more inexperienced. Consider what they say and measure the actual advice, and not the messenger who gave the advice.

 

I think what the OP was referring to was someone new who doesn't know what she doesn't know and puts out information as if it's gospel when it's not. And then leads other people along a path that might not be good for them.

 

And, like you, I also can't stand it when adults treat kids or young adults like they're idiots. My son asked the orthodontist very politely, "When do you think these braces will come off?" And he got a condescending laugh and a, "What!? You've only been in them a few months. It'll be a loooong time, buddy." What a stupid answer. If an adult asked that the orthodontist would have said, "About 9 more months." Simple. Done. But people like to treat anyone younger than themselves or less experienced like they're idiots.

 

If you are new to something, be enthusiastic, but don't pretend you're an expert. If someone is behind you on the path, don't discredit them as if they're a moron.

 

It's all a balance and it goes both ways.

Edited by Garga
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My initial reaction was - yes, I know what you mean!! - but, upon reflection, I think there is something else going on.

 

I do know the kinds of people you mean, and while I don't really read blogs they tend to be web content, though I can think of exceptions.  So - a person giving homeschooling advice, or say a mom of one telling us how to maintain an organized household.

 

However - I can think of examples from similar kinds of people that I found really insightful and helpful, in both of those areas, and other instances as well.

 

So I tend to think that there is some difference in the quality of the sharing or information.

 

I suspect that the main issue is that with online content in particular, there is just so much of it, and there isn't really a vetting process.  Many people are willing to try writing online, either in hopes of generating income, or in order to connect with people.  Stay at home parents may be more inclined that way than most.  But in the end, many people, while they may be nice and intelligent, don't have much of an original voice or particularly insightful ideas.

 

And with people who want to create income, the amount of content they produce has to be really high - they can't spend much time on it.  There is a women who is a writer on a closed Facebook group I'm in for parents of young kids, and she is always writing these articles "10 things never to say to your son" and such, and she'll often ask people for what they think.  What she produces isn't really reflective, or interesting - it just broadcasts back whatever the prevailing parenting wisdom is amongst educated middle class women.  But I guess it is what brings in a few dollars.

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I think that older home educators often become wary of telling others what to do and how to do it.

 

 

That is me.  I don't like to give advice on how-to. There is far more curriculae out there than there used to be.  I don't know what most of it is. It is probably easier to be a curriculae junkie now that it was 15 years ago.  Oh, I will talk about Oak Meadow and my experiences using it because we've used it most of the years, but other than that, I really have only one piece of consistent advice and that is: it isn't about what you want and what you like.  It's about what works for that individual child. 

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I have found so much useful advice and recommendations about homeschooling and curriculum on these boards over the years. I rarely read blogs though I do keep my own...more as a scrapbook than to give advice though I do keep a list of what works for us now and then. There are certain names I see on the boards whose advice I weigh more heavily than others I don't know or who I see have much younger children than mine.

 

I find it helpful to read what works for someone and why they think it works best but get turned off when someone comments like their recommendation is the only thing that works. I generally read the advice here then do my own research.

 

All my 15+ years of homeschooling have taught me is that no one curriculum works best for everyone. 

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But is it any different than taking medical advice from a doctor who is healthy?  Or taking psychology advice from someone mentally well? 

 

Some people have done an incredible amount of research on homeschooling.  

 

I think it's quite different. It doesn't have anything to do with the doctor being healthy, but with the doctor being experienced as well as educated. 

 

Doctors haven't only completed medical school. They don't grab the diploma and set up shop on their own the day after graduation.  

 

Typically, medical students have rotations in hospitals and clinics the final two years of school. Upon graduation, they they begin a full-time residency, working under the supervision of an experienced doctor. They cannot apply for their own license to practice medicine until they have completed one to three years of residency, and the total time in residency can be three to seven years. 

 

That's a rough idea of how it works in the US, and of course it varies a bit state by state, but the point is that practicing medicine (or anything else) is about more than reading and researching. 

 

For your analogy to remotely work, those people would have to do an incredible amount of research about homeschooling (and there's still no way to judge the quality or what they understand), AND spend many years working under the supervision of experienced homeschoolers, of course rotating through various departments before deciding to specialize. 

Edited by katilac
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I think it's quite different. It doesn't have anything to do with the doctor being healthy, but with the doctor being experienced as well as educated. 

 

Doctors haven't only completed medical school. They don't grab the diploma and set up shop on their own the day after graduation.  

 

Typically, medical students have rotations in hospitals and clinics the final two years of school. Upon graduation, they they begin a full-time residency, working under the supervision of an experienced doctor. They cannot apply for their own license to practice medicine until they have completed one to three years of residency, and the total time in residency can be three to seven years. 

 

That's a rough idea of how it works in the US, and of course it varies a bit state by state, but the point is that practicing medicine (or anything else) is about more than reading and researching. 

 

For your analogy to remotely work, those people would have to do an incredible amount of research about homeschooling (and there's still no way to judge the quality or what they understand), AND spend many years working under the supervision of experienced homeschoolers, of course rotating through various departments before deciding to specialize. 

 

 

You know, that's a really valid point.

I also know a few of the women that are on periscope, were, themselves, homeschooled.  So while they have little experience as the mama, they have quite a bit of experience under their belts too.

 

I guess what I'm saying, and maybe it's just me, I've written off others in the past simply because their experience isn't my experience.  And it seems to me it's a bit of cycle - I was ambitious and maybe a little over-excited in my twenties, then I got a little cynical about others giving me advice in a rather unique situation, and now I'm getting a little beyond that particular cycle to where I can see plenty of people have a lot to offer.  Maybe what they offer is enthusiasm, energy, excitement, joy... Maybe they have little practical advice, or they have advice but it needs a little seasoning.  

 

It could be that I'm seeing this post through my own lens, my own eyes.  It's not fun being jaded.  It was an uncomfortable season for me, having homeschooled for many years, having more kids than pretty much everybody, believing that there were not many folks out there who could understand my challenges or offer advice. It makes for dismissing others (if only in your mind) and makes one a bit negative.  It also allows you to excuse yourself from not trying something new sometimes.    I'd just lend a caution:  Don't write someone off because you feel their experience is lacking. This is the same excuse people used for not allowing priests to give marital advice, but many of them gave good solid relationship advice that would be well heeded.   Listen to what the advisor is actually saying and see if it rings true.  Apply it if it is something GOOD and wonderful.  Thank goodness the Bluedorns advised reading for hours on end.  (And that I wasn't so jaded as to think I couldn't or tell myself she didn't have eleven kids so it's not possible.) KWIM?

 

 

The perfect example:

 

 

The Well Trained Mind was originally published in 1999.

Susan's oldest son was how old then?  I think about eight.

 

And yet she had incredible insight to  offer all of us.  And those schedules the editors first insisted they put in the first book?  Useless.  BUT, if you wrote off the book because of those two things you would have missed an incredible message that added great value to your home.

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The Well Trained Mind was originally published in 1999.

Susan's oldest son was how old then?  I think about eight.

 

 

Her mom co-wrote that book! 

 

I get what you're saying, though. I think it's fun and potentially helpful to read tips from a wide variety of people, including the inexperienced, but I do get quite annoyed in certain circumstances. 

 

One, when they are dogmatic, which is annoying under any circumstance but particularly when they haven't even reached the age/stage they are being so loudly right about, lol. 

 

Two, when they seem to be rather deceptive about it. People who post repeatedly and at great length on the high school board but never mentioning the ages of their children or that they've never used the curriculum under discussion. Bloggers who imply that they are experts but make it hard or impossible to figure out the ages of their children or how long they've been homeschooling, that type of thing. 

 

I do honestly find it a bit strange that someone with preschoolers would wade into a discussion for high schoolers without mentioning that, or at least having it in their siggy. My info is in my signature, and when I respond to an early elementary post, I often do say, 'bear in mind, it's been awhile since 4th-grade for us, but I recall...'

 

On the boards, I think it's mostly people who are very convinced they are right and that they will never change their minds or have to adapt their methods, mixed with a bit of vanity. With bloggers, I think the allure of blogging for money comes heavily into play, mixed with a bit of vanity. 

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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. 

 

Why do you think that is? :) Maybe those of us with experience know something? ;)

 

I'm in my 17th year of homeschooling. I have one kid finishing up college and will likely graduate summa cum laude, one who's a sophomore in college, and a 4th grader. I've been around for a while. When newer homeschoolers find out that I have experience and ask my advice, they very frequently dismiss it. 

 

I continue to encourage those who ask for my advice and watch them forge their own path.

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I completely agree with the OP.  Best to "know your source."  At this point, I weigh advice given (books, blogs, etc.) with info on the author's experience and proven record.  I agree with much previously posted.

 

That said, I have found what abba12 wrote to be my exact experience in our community.  I experienced it when trying to make the initial decision for our family to homeschool and see it with brand-newbies entering in:

 

...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. 

 

3 years in, I'm not in the position to give advice of much value, but have had several peers ask for / request / look for any info or direction I can provide--just to get started, hear a bit of, "Yes--you can do it!" (and I don't say this to everyone), a place to start, a listening ear as they air their thoughts, hopes, plans.  Homeschooling has been a daunting road for me to start down.  The stakes are so high because it's a decision that involves the most important, precious people in our lives.  Fear of failure can be overwhelming and I see that some newbies don't have the confidence to talk at length to someone who's hs'd all the way through high school. 

 

There have been some times when experienced local homeschoolers have been willing to share their wisdom: 

 

- a homeschooling forum set up for the public with all available charter schools, co-op organizers, and independent filers (one who started in the 80's) as part of the panel and available for questions afterwards.  it was a broad panel and represented many facets of homeschooling.

 

- a free workshop on planning open to all and hosted by a mom who homeschooled through high school/college acceptance. 

 

These events were invaluable for many involved, helped connect people to resources, and provided a space to network and for parents to meet each other.  If you are an experienced homeschooler who is willing to sacrifice some time and energy, you could provide valuable ministry by passing on your hard-earned wisdom to others.  It doesn't have to be a formal "ministry", a book, speaking at a conference...in some ways, just connecting with local people who've BTDT is so much richer and fresher than those canned, common ways of passing on info.  

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*I haven't read all the replies*

 

Do you notice other people referring to these blogs as experts, or the blogs themselves claiming to be?

 

I think part of it may be that blogs about elementary age homeschoolers are just going to be more flashy than those from people with high schoolers so therefore get a lot of attention. Elementary kids have all sorts of fun hands-on things to do and the kids like posing for the pics with their projects. Not to mention that the parents have more time for elaborate picture-laden posts. High schoolers are getting down to business and hitting the books hard, not a lot of pics to take there. A wealth of info and knowledge to share, yes. But it's not going to appeal to all the new homeschoolers because it's just not relevant to them. The homeschooler with young elementary kids who has a messy house and a bunch of manipulatives and some ideas on ways to organize the chaos is.

 

Personally, I reference both types of blogs. There are veteran homeschoolers who post here and have a blog and I've visited them often and looked through many of their posts to learn from their experience. But I also visit the blogs of people who have an oldest child younger than my own. Because their day is going to look more like mine than a veteran homeschooler with kids age 15 and up. It just depends on what info I'm interested in at the time. I do agree that they are in no way "homeschooling experts", but that doesn't mean they don't have something to share that could help someone.

 

(Disclaimer - I do have a homeschooling blog, and have since my oldest was 4. But I don't even attempt to recruit readers let alone claim any sort of expertise. It's more of a diary of what we've done. And a horrible one at that, I've posted a grand total of about 15 times in the last 3 years.)

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Why do you think that is? :) Maybe those of us with experience know something? ;)

 

I'm in my 17th year of homeschooling. I have one kid finishing up college and will likely graduate summa cum laude, one who's a sophomore in college, and a 4th grader. I've been around for a while. When newer homeschoolers find out that I have experience and ask my advice, they very frequently dismiss it. 

 

I continue to encourage those who ask for my advice and watch them forge their own path.

 

Hesitantly, I'd have to agree with this as well.

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*I haven't read all the replies*

 

Do you notice other people referring to these blogs as experts, or the blogs themselves claiming to be?

 

I think part of it may be that blogs about elementary age homeschoolers are just going to be more flashy than those from people with high schoolers so therefore get a lot of attention. Elementary kids have all sorts of fun hands-on things to do and the kids like posing for the pics with their projects. Not to mention that the parents have more time for elaborate picture-laden posts. High schoolers are getting down to business and hitting the books hard, not a lot of pics to take there. A wealth of info and knowledge to share, yes. But it's not going to appeal to all the new homeschoolers because it's just not relevant to them. The homeschooler with young elementary kids who has a messy house and a bunch of manipulatives and some ideas on ways to organize the chaos is.

 

 

 

You know this is true and brings up another good point - those with high school students and late middle school students are in the deep discussion and buckling down application of homeschooling.  The truth is they are so busy DOING it, they simply don't have the time to wax philosophical.

 

When my kids were younger I read a ton on different methods, comparing, contrasting, discussing.  Now that they are older and I've found what works for our family, I am more in the application stage rather than the research and development.  

 

:)  

 

But i just want to encourage young mothers - not all of us olders are dismissive of your thoughts and enthusiasm.  Truly, it has value.  I can't tell you how much I deeply enjoy listening to Sarah Mackenzie.  Young mom, filled to the brim with joy and enthusiasm, she has helped me rejuvenate some of my waning enthusiasm about homeschooling.  Doing something for 15+ years, you do eventually tire a bit over teaching addition facts AGAIN. ;)  As a matter of fact, I went out just last week and bought a fun little picture book she recommended and I can't tell you how fun it was to read it with my little people.   

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At least they studied medical diseases or mental health problems. 

 

That's incredibly judgemental and unfair. Do you really believe some of these homeschooling moms haven't devoted hours upon hours to the study of educational methods and homeschooling?  By the time my own daughter was eight I deserved at least a BA in Homeschooling, if not my Masters.  They are being discredited because of their age and for limited experience - not for their lack of knowledge.  

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Her mom co-wrote that book!

 

I get what you're saying, though. I think it's fun and potentially helpful to read tips from a wide variety of people, including the inexperienced, but I do get quite annoyed in certain circumstances.

 

One, when they are dogmatic, which is annoying under any circumstance but particularly when they haven't even reached the age/stage they are being so loudly right about, lol.

 

Two, when they seem to be rather deceptive about it. People who post repeatedly and at great length on the high school board but never mentioning the ages of their children or that they've never used the curriculum under discussion. Bloggers who imply that they are experts but make it hard or impossible to figure out the ages of their children or how long they've been homeschooling, that type of thing.

 

I do honestly find it a bit strange that someone with preschoolers would wade into a discussion for high schoolers without mentioning that, or at least having it in their siggy. My info is in my signature, and when I respond to an early elementary post, I often do say, 'bear in mind, it's been awhile since 4th-grade for us, but I recall...'

 

On the boards, I think it's mostly people who are very convinced they are right and that they will never change their minds or have to adapt their methods, mixed with a bit of vanity. With bloggers, I think the allure of blogging for money comes heavily into play, mixed with a bit of vanity.

I've been on plenty of high school discussions over the years, with younger students myself. A) I wasn't in high school particularly long ago and B) I have multiple relatives homeschooled through high school and then high level degrees. Oftentimes I'm either relating my own experience as a student or how they achieved their needs.

 

Judging just based on the age of the speaker's students is an ad hominem, when you get down to it. Some of the best advice I've been given in my life has been from those who *haven't* walked the exact same path, but are thoughtful and insightful regardless.

 

Sanctimoniousness in the delivery drives me batty, I think that's the main issue - people who are self righteous jerks in their advice dispensing. I can think of more than one BTDT mom like that and they were the WORST for actually building confidence or trust in their advice. Grr. Humility and thoughtfulness goes such a long way, doesn't it?

 

That's my .02.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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You know this is true and brings up another good point - those with high school students and late middle school students are in the deep discussion and buckling down application of homeschooling. The truth is they are so busy DOING it, they simply don't have the time to wax philosophical.

 

When my kids were younger I read a ton on different methods, comparing, contrasting, discussing. Now that they are older and I've found what works for our family, I am more in the application stage rather than the research and development.

 

:) in

 

But i just want to encourage young mothers - not all of us olders are dismissive of your thoughts and enthusiasm. Truly, it has value. I can't tell you how much I deeply enjoy listening to Sarah Mackenzie. Young mom, filled to the brim with joy and enthusiasm, she has helped me rejuvenate some of my waning enthusiasm about homeschooling. Doing something for 15+ years, you do eventually tire a bit over teaching addition facts AGAIN. ;) As a matter of fact, I went out just last week and bought a fun little picture book she recommended and I can't tell you how fun it was to read it with my little people.

I honestly wonder how useful my advice will be down the road - it seems I switch some things up with each kid! They're all so different. My basic homeschooling philosophy and structure has remained unchanged in the last five years, when I began this crazy ride. But the nuts and bolts have definitely been tweaked for each learner. In ten years I'll have more kids and more experience, but I'm not sure doing this dance five or eight times over makes me know homeschooling much better. Each student is still their own puzzle.

 

Maybe the truest takeaway is that one should not think so highly of themselves and their experience that their either tout themselves as an expert OR dismiss the experiences and intellect of others. Charity and humility in our interactions smooths over so many ills.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I can remember back to pre-k and Kindy when I made great plans. I didn't blog but a friend and I did share our plans. Mostly between us, but with others if asked. I see the blogging as similar. Tentative schedules, curriculum, field trips etc. it was a huge help to us getting started. Now my friend runs a very successful co-op in VA and I'm muddling along with mine down in FL, but writing down our plans, sharing them and discussing was a good part of getting to where we are now. We did this for years actually. And yes, in reality it was a ton of letting the kids play, and visiting nature centers and parks, but it also let us get our feet wet in what curriculum we liked, what our kids liked, following schedules, etc. we're in our sixth year or more of the some of the curriculum. Experimented early and stuck with what worked. So maybe the blogging is directed to others at her same level and they're all looking to share and grow. I love getting ideas from others and mulling them over.

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Seems like the trend in social media - anyone can post whatever they like, whether it's well researched, evidence-based, or just personal opinion. It drives me batty when I hear "media" reports that have been tweeted to the news station and are announced as if they are true. 

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By the time my own daughter was eight I deserved at least a BA in Homeschooling, if not my Masters.  

 

No. Homeschooling kids 5-8 years old is just a tiny, tiny slice of homeschooling. That's like saying you deserved to be an auto mechanic because you changed your own oil.

 

Btw, I have a daughter in college and, while I try to be respectful of her opinions, I also let her know when she's making incorrect assumptions based on limited experience or downright misinformation.

 

I do, actually, know more about life than she does, having lived it longer and experienced it more.

Edited by TaraTheLiberator
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I too have noticed way too many parenting and homeschooling how-to articles by moms of pre-schoolers, in this tone of here listen to me because I have it all figured out. There are some things I'm happy to talk about with peers and some things I want btdt advice from people that have actually homeschooled their own children. I think there are some things it would be entirely appropriate for anyone to step in with- on my local board when people are looking for info I will give some links of things I've heard of if I think it fits- with the qualifier that I haven't used it myself. I don't step in on the conversation about the hows or whys for kids older than mine but I can give lists of various curriculum, state laws and such- so I give what I can and often remark that hopefully someone with experience will chime in. 

 

I have found for myself that my basic thoughts on the how and why have not changed but I'm not nearly as dogmatic as I was, I may have known a lot about some things but that didn't make me near as wise as I thought. There is a lot more to knowing how to do something then just reading about it. The intricacies of homeschooling can't be figured out from a book. At this point although I think there has been plenty of knowledge gleened from books and articles I think a vast amount of figuring it out is getting in the trenches and working it out.

Edited by soror
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That's incredibly judgemental and unfair. Do you really believe some of these homeschooling moms haven't devoted hours upon hours to the study of educational methods and homeschooling?  By the time my own daughter was eight I deserved at least a BA in Homeschooling, if not my Masters.  They are being discredited because of their age and for limited experience - not for their lack of knowledge.  

 

It's not judgmental and unfair.  It's a fact.  I trust a medical doctor to give me medical advice since they don't allow just anyone to be a medical doctor.  How is this comparable to a parent of a three year old telling me how to handle my 14 year old?

 

I believe you when you say you know what you know, but really how much could you know about homeschooling middle school or high school if the oldest child you homeschooled was 8? 

 

I'm fine with them giving advice so long as they are honest about their background.  Many of them are.  But yes I am going to be more impressed by the mother of several kids who have gone through a particular phase than a mother who has never actually experienced that phase.

 

You are taking my comments way too personally.

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But yes I am going to be more impressed by the mother of several kids who have gone through a particular phase than a mother who has never actually experienced that phase.

 

Yep. I know about homeschooling my kids into 7th and 8th grades, as that as what I have done so far (oldest was in school after one year of being homeschooled after adoption at age 11). I have ideas and thoughts on what I want to do during high school, but I haven't done it, so I can't really tell others how to do it. 

 

It's like the threads I see when people with kindergartners are planning their kids' high school curricula. Really, you have no idea. You just have some thoughts that may or may not prove to be useful when the time comes. Everything I believed about homeschooling my son has been tossed on its head in the process of actually homeschooling him, not just reading/thinking/talking about it.

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I expect my kids to be treated respectfully but I don't expect that will get the same credit for their opinions and thoughts as someone older with more experience. Credibility has to be earned by them, just like everyone else, it isn't a right granted just because one believes they deserve it. 

Edited by soror
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Yep. I know about homeschooling my kids into 7th and 8th grades, as that as what I have done so far (oldest was in school after one year of being homeschooled after adoption at age 11). I have ideas and thoughts on what I want to do during high school, but I haven't done it, so I can't really tell others how to do it. 

 

It's like the threads I see when people with kindergartners are planning their kids' high school curricula. Really, you have no idea. You just have some thoughts that may or may not prove to be useful when the time comes. Everything I believed about homeschooling my son has been tossed on its head in the process of actually homeschooling him, not just reading/thinking/talking about it.

 

I've gotten a lot dumber over the years.  LOL  Meaning I've gotten a lot more humble. 

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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?

 

I have several questions. 

 

Are they actually claiming to be experts or are they just posting about what they have going on in their own homeschool?  Those are two different things.

 

Is the "How to Plan for Success" actually about success (being able to expect a certain return on investment by following the blogger's formula) or is it the details of a particular planning method/organizational structure and how it works?  Again, those are different things. 

 

Another issue is that I think many bloggers can be a certain personality type who are prone to thinking themselves experts and they think people want to hear all about what they have to say on a particular topic-whatever they're into at the moment.

 

I'm aware there are plenty of people who have blogs to keep distant relatives up to speed, who really are experts or at least knowledgeable on a topic of interest for many people, and things like that.  I'm not lumping all bloggers into one personality category.

 

Yes, 15 years in I have to say that the most commonly disregarded advice about homeschooling is waiting to start formal academics.  Most newbies hate to hear it and feel pressure inside and outside the homeschooling community to start early.

 

It's useful here to distinguish between theoretical knowledge which anyone studying homeschooling methods can learn and experiential knowledge that comes from applying theory in real word situations and learning from that.  Both have value but when someone is listening to or asking for advice, they should be clear on exactly what kind of knowledge they're looking for and what kind the person giving advice actually has.  

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ
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I expect my kids to be treated respectfully but I don't expect that will get the same credit for their opinions and thoughts as someone older with more experience. Credibility has to be earned by them, just like everyone else, it isn't a right granted just because one believes they deserve it. 

 

Yep. This goes along the whole trend of anti-intellectualism that is growing in this country. Experience, knowledge, and expertise are devalued and emotion, conviction, and belief are elevated.

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Would you go to a surgeon who had spent hours and hours studying surgical methods but never actually performed surgery, or would you prefer someone with real experience?

 

I want a surgeon with experience performing surgery.  I do not care if that particular surgeon actually had the surgery performed on himself.

 

Obviously not everything in life is as serious as surgery.  If a mother of a three year old wants to tell me how to put my 10 year old in a time out, fine.  If it sounds ok I'll try it.  Either way, it's not life or death.

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And really in terms of homeschooling, I hesitate often to give advice because I'm not entirely sure what has been the result of dumb luck or effort on my part.  I've always put a lot of effort into it, but I do think I ended up with 2 kids who are fairly easy in that department.  They don't have learning issues.  They learn easily.  Is it me, or is it them?  KWIM?  I have no idea.  I've figured out what works for 2 individual people.  I have no clue how this pertains to other people.

 

 

Edited by SparklyUnicorn
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I do not care if that particular surgeon actually had the surgery performed on himself.

 

Right.

 

I will say this: if I have questions about some particular issue regarding homeschooling my kids, I ask people whose kids are my kids' ages or older. I don't ask my friends or acquaintances whose oldest children are 3, 5, or 7. I suspect the same is true of most people.

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No. Homeschooling kids 5-8 years old is just a tiny, tiny slice of homeschooling. That's like saying you deserved to be an auto mechanic because you changed your own oil.

 

Btw, I have a daughter in college and, while I try to be respectful of her opinions, I also let her know when she's making incorrect assumptions based on limited experience or downright misinformation.

 

I do, actually, know more about life than she does, having lived it longer and experienced it more.

 

I think it's also good to remember that in most areas of education you can be an expert on one specific age/stage. For example, I am genuinely an expert on rhythmic development in children between the ages of 4-7, and could probably make a pretty good case for being an expert on teaching music to that age group in general. I'm also pretty knowledgeable about rhythmic development in kids with special needs, especially reading delays, because I taught at a school which had a special program for such kids, and had to make it work somehow and work with the OTs on a regular basis.

 

But I'm not an expert at teaching rhythm to high school students. I know more about it than the average person, because I was a very, very good high school musician and have had the college classes in it-but I'm not an expert on that stage. Fortunately, no one expects me to be an expert on that stage. When I'm hired by a college, it's specifically to teach classes in the areas where I am an expert. If they really need me to teach a class that fringes on my areas of expertise, but doesn't match them, I know what I don't know and where to start.

 

Homeschooling is perhaps the only area where you need to be an expert-or at least know what you don't know and how to access resources-in everything.

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DD was watching this British series about junior doctors yesterday. These people just started working in NHS hospitals after newly being qualified as doctors. I watched a bit with her, and it was pretty interesting. Yes, these doctors finished medical school. They also found out, one by one, that that didn't necessarily help them insert IV lines in one go, remember all relevant information in a high-pressure setting, or cope when one of their favorite patients died. Because there is a kind of knowledge that comes with experience rather than theory, these junior doctors have much less responsibility on their shoulders than the more senior doctors. The junior doctors were obviously really, really grateful to have the ability to ask their seniors whenever they needed to during day shifts, and were really intimidated when they were the ones in charge during night shifts. 

 

Theoretical knowledge should never be discounted, because it means something, but theoretical knowledge is not the same as practical knowledge. Thankfully, homeschooling isn't as life and death as being a practicing doctor! Also, we all have different lives with different experiences and what one person with 20 years experience recommends may not work for us at all. We figure it out as we go along. Or we don't. In which case, yes, I'd rather take advice from someone who's been there, done that than from someone who has less experience than I do. 

 

Yes...my Dad taught residents for a gazillion years.  He said that he could usually tell who would end up a good physician within a few weeks.  Not by the knowledge they had at that point, but their willingness to learn from others, regardless of who "they" were.  The new doc who was willing to learn from a nurse, from an orderly, and often from a patient often fared far better than the person who dismissed the radiology tech or nurse with 30 years of experience because she was "just a tech or nurse".  He always said (even with his experience) that he could learn from anybody, even a new resident who may have come across a journal article that he hadn't.  

 

As for homeschooling, I do feel I can learn from anybody, but yes, the BTDT holds more weight.  (Just today I admitted that my 5 year old really does know which reading program he likes best and can learn best from.  Haha.)

Edited by umsami
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Yep. This goes along the whole trend of anti-intellectualism that is growing in this country. Experience, knowledge, and expertise are devalued and emotion, conviction, and belief are elevated.

 

 

It's ironic you say this because I was thinking the exact opposite.  We devalue wisdom, knowledge, and common sense and ONLY weigh value in experience.

 

I hear it constantly, "You can't understand (know/feel/etc) because you've never *experienced* it yourself."  It's a ridiculous notion.

 

I'm not saying experience doesn't have value.  Please don't misunderstand.  Do I think my twenty years of parenting and fifteen years of homeschooling has a huge value?  Does it offer insight?  Have I learned much over the years?  Absolutely!  I don't devalue my own experience.  But, it is threads EXACTLY like this one that makes young homeschooling moms hunker down and not share their $0.02 and it is a shame, an absolute shame, because their voice is quieted. 

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Yes...my Dad taught residents for a gazillion years.  He said that he could usually tell who would end up a good physician within a few weeks.  Not by the knowledge they had at that point, but their willingness to learn from others, regardless of who "they" were.  The new doc who was willing to learn from a nurse, from an orderly, and often from a patient often fared far better than the person who dismissed the radiology tech or nurse with 30 years of experience because she was "just a tech or nurse".  He always said (even with his experience) that he could learn from anybody, even a new resident who may have come across a journal article that he hadn't.  

 

As for homeschooling, I do feel I can learn from anybody, but yes, the BTDT holds more weight.  (Just today I admitted that my 5 year old really does know which reading program he likes best and can learn best from.  Haha.)

 

 

I love this analogy.  This, exactly this.  It isn't that the older, more experienced doctors didn't have a rich base of knowledge and experience.  It is simply that a newbie cannot be written off simply because of youth.  

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I think it's also good to remember that in most areas of education you can be an expert on one specific age/stage. For example, I am genuinely an expert on rhythmic development in children between the ages of 4-7, and could probably make a pretty good case for being an expert on teaching music to that age group in general. I'm also pretty knowledgeable about rhythmic development in kids with special needs, especially reading delays, because I taught at a school which had a special program for such kids, and had to make it work somehow and work with the OTs on a regular basis.

 

 

Homeschooling is perhaps the only area where you need to be an expert-or at least know what you don't know and how to access resources-in everything.

This caught my eye. Could I PM you a few questions?

 

As for the OP, I am a newbie to HS. We don't officially have to register with our state until next year. I think, like many pp, that you need to weigh what's being said with the background of who is saying it. Telling me how to parent my 5 yo when you are pregnant with your first? I'll smile and nod and move on.

 

If you are farther along, your advice/thoughts might be given more weight. (Or not...our values might be vastly different.)

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This caught my eye. Could I PM you a few questions?

 

As for the OP, I am a newbie to HS. We don't officially have to register with our state until next year. I think, like many pp, that you need to weigh what's being said with the background of who is saying it. Telling me how to parent my 5 yo when you are pregnant with your first? I'll smile and nod and move on.

 

If you are farther along, your advice/thoughts might be given more weight. (Or not...our values might be vastly different.)

Sure, PM away. I've also posted quite a bit on IM threads on the Special needs board, so those may be of interest to you.

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It's ironic you say this because I was thinking the exact opposite.  We devalue wisdom, knowledge, and common sense and ONLY weigh value in experience.

 

I hear it constantly, "You can't understand (know/feel/etc) because you've never *experienced* it yourself."  It's a ridiculous notion.

 

I'm not saying experience doesn't have value.  Please don't misunderstand.  Do I think my twenty years of parenting and fifteen years of homeschooling has a huge value?  Does it offer insight?  Have I learned much over the years?  Absolutely!  I don't devalue my own experience.  But, it is threads EXACTLY like this one that makes young homeschooling moms hunker down and not share their $0.02 and it is a shame, an absolute shame, because their voice is quieted. 

 

But how does one gain true wisdom and knowledge?  And what exactly is common sense?  What might be common in one situation could be entirely foreign in another. 

 

Ok now you are mentioning your 20 years of parenting and 15 years of homeschooling.  This is a far cry from claiming expertise in homeschooling by the time your oldest was 8. 

 

And again, I see nothing wrong with offering advice even without having much experience so long as the advice giver is honest.

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DD was watching this British series about junior doctors yesterday. These people just started working in NHS hospitals after newly being qualified as doctors. I watched a bit with her, and it was pretty interesting. Yes, these doctors finished medical school. They also found out, one by one, that that didn't necessarily help them insert IV lines in one go, remember all relevant information in a high-pressure setting, or cope when one of their favorite patients died. Because there is a kind of knowledge that comes with experience rather than theory, these junior doctors have much less responsibility on their shoulders than the more senior doctors. The junior doctors were obviously really, really grateful to have the ability to ask their seniors whenever they needed to during day shifts, and were really intimidated when they were the ones in charge during night shifts. 

 

Theoretical knowledge should never be discounted, because it means something, but theoretical knowledge is not the same as practical knowledge. Thankfully, homeschooling isn't as life and death as being a practicing doctor! Also, we all have different lives with different experiences and what one person with 20 years experience recommends may not work for us at all. We figure it out as we go along. Or we don't. In which case, yes, I'd rather take advice from someone who's been there, done that than from someone who has less experience than I do. 

 I actually agree with you, and  you are corect, theoretical knowledge is very different than practical knowledge.

 

  I simply don't want the young homeschool moms feel as though no one wants to hear their voice or as though others think they have nothing to offer.

 

We all, as women, deal with insecurities in one form or another.  The question is - how do we, as experienced homeschooling moms, help to "raise up" those young homeschooling moms?  I honestly believe it is by listening to their ideas, adding our $0.02, encouraging them.... Building up, not tearing down.  And those young moms eventually become older moms - do we set for them the example of listening, extending grace, encouraging?  Because they will be the older moms who make up a peer community for our daughters who are homeschooling.  And I certainly wouldn't want them to be told, "Hush young one.  You've been homeschooling for all of two minutes.  You have nothing of value to offer here.  Just sit quietly 'til you're 40."

 

Moreover, and I have to admit, I still currently wonder what I'll "know" in twenty more years?  What will I have learned?  In my twenties I was young, enthusiastic, confident.  In my mid thirties, I was more timid, humble, and quiet about what I knew.... Second guessing, perhaps?  I'm about to hit forty and reach the milestone of having a child out of teens.... And I find myself becoming quietly confident, enthusiastic and willing - but reserved about it, humble but able to feel confident in the right thing (in some areas), willing to go out on a limb of things I am sure of, but more limited in the number of things I am sure of, lol. ;)  And does this signal maturity?  Or does it signal a phase and in ten years, twenty years, thirty years, I will have more clarity?

 

These young mamas are certain of what they are teaching/offering.  

 

I remember "discovering" the NEW way of cloth diapering, lol, in '99.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It wasn't the "old fashioned" way and it was so GREEN and I was so excited.  I shared the joys of cloth diapering with the WORLD.  It was my new "discovery" and everyone needed to know.  The same with wearing a baby,  co-sleeping, and things that have been done for 1,000 and more years, lol.  And I have a little cousin whose beautiful wife just discovered cloth diapering.  She's certain this is all new.  It's not, of course.  The materials, but cloth diapering like the current models has been done for at least 15 years.  Hello!  My DS did wear one of the first FuzziBunz.   :party:  But why dampen her enthusiasm?  Why rain on her parade?  She's excited.  And you know what? She'll produce converts.  So will these young mothers who will, eventually, be forces within our homeschool community AND MAKE IT STRONGER.  Why must we poop on their parade?  Think back on who influenced you.  Now go back and do the math on the age of their children.

 

There's a SO thread for you.

 

:w00t: :D

Edited by BlsdMama
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But is it any different than taking medical advice from a doctor who is healthy?  Or taking psychology advice from someone mentally well? 

 

There's a world of difference. Doctors and psychologists are trained in a field of expertise that is founded in research, objective data, deductive reasoning, analysis of facts, and continued experimentation. Homeschooling is free from any training or licensing. Regulation is not consistent across the country, and even then, the regulation focuses on the child's production, not the instructors' knowledge or practice. Personal experience is a great thing, but if it encourages erroneous information or neglects relevant education, it's relatively useless. In any case, the whole point of this thread commiserate with others who have discovered that people without personal experience are giving the impression they have it. And they don't. They can't. That's just silly, and an embarrassment to the rest of us. 

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There's a world of difference. Doctors and psychologists are trained in a field of expertise that is founded in research, objective data, deductive reasoning, analysis of facts, and continued experimentation. Homeschooling is free from any training or licensing. Regulation is not consistent across the country, and even then, the regulation focuses on the child's production, not the instructors' knowledge or practice. Personal experience is a great thing, but if it encourages erroneous information or neglects relevant education, it's relatively useless. In any case, the whole point of this thread commiserate with others who have discovered that people without personal experience are giving the impression they have it. And they don't. They can't. That's just silly, and an embarrassment to the rest of us.

  

I used the medical analogy and perhaps I shouldn't have, but I recognized we aren't talking about life or death.  Maybe the point was missed.  The point was that we take advice or listen to people who are perceived as experts due to their research, though they may have limited real world experience.  Is that worded better?  Even experts are wrong, certainly that is recognized - in psychology, medical fields, and every other field.  Experts often lead others astray with their good intentions.  It isn't their lack of knowledge or their experience, it is just that they offer their LIMITED knowledge and experience and current belief on a topic that then evolves.

 

I wonder if either I have someone in mind that is popular on Periscope and is really doing wonderful things for the homeschooling movement, though she has young children is someone very different than who others have in mind.

 

Are there young mothers out there actually DOING DAMAGE to young children or homeschooling families or is this just supposition that it could happen?  Because this notion that pivots on the idea that experience is the ultimate form of expertise is silly.  I know people who homeschooled, did it poorly by popular measure, but have done it for a long time. Experience most certainly did not transform them into an expert.  And yet I know some young mamas who are so very intentional about their homeschooling that they have certainly earned my respect and admiration.  Others would certainly gain insight and joy from their input.

Edited by BlsdMama
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I will admit, I have a hard time taking anything seriously from a local mom who proclaims to have been homeschooling for 5 years.  Her oldest is 5.

I am very glad for the parents of same-age/abled children to give advice on what they're doing and how it works for them.  I'm glad for the ones who are graduating their children and still helping others walk their own paths.  However, I've seen how like-minded without regard to the future can really hurt kids in the long run, when parents only take advice from parents of same aged kids.

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