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I get so depressed reading some posts on this board....

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I think it is hard not to put your best foot forward to the world.  I love to brag to a safe audience.  But I also think it is easy to lose track that gifted kids who are doing appropriately challenging work feel *challenged.*  Is it the same feeling that average kids feel?  From my experience, the answer is yes.  My older boy just scored a ZERO out of 60 on his most recent math exam.  It might be an invite-only exam, but he still got a 0.  It is humbling and discouraging.  In contrast, my younger boy is struggling to write faster than 10 words a minute at age 12.  He is also struggling.  The struggle is the same. Same effort, frustration, and emotion.  I just wonder if people with superstar students don't talk about their kids' struggles here, so others don't see the whole picture.

 

Ruth in NZ 

 

My experience has been different. I have no idea what others feel. All average kids don't feel the same. All gifted kids don't feel the same. All struggling kids don't feel the same. I can only imagine what I would feel like in another person's situation, with the given genetics and life experiences. I can try to gauge feelings by words and reactions, but I can't actually know enough to compare feelings. Besides - what purpose would that serve? Does the struggle need to be the same for both to be valid?  

 

What I imagine is this:

 

Attending an elite invite-only exam at 14 years old and getting a 0 probably feels different than getting a single digit on the ACT as a junior or senior in high school, especially when that student is trying hard to get to college.

 

It probably also feels different if the former comes from a family with resources and connections and the latter... well, let's just say the latter doesn't...

 

Take two different students and put them in the above situations. Then, yet another two students. Again, feelings and reactions will vary. Different students in the same situations won't always react the same.

 

How each will feel is anyone's guess. Students in either situation could bounce back, regroup, study with a renewed determination, and succeed the second go 'round. Perhaps they both might. On the other hand, either or both could give up on life entirely. 

 

There are differences, however. One student has an extensive safety net of support. That same student also has a past of exuberant successes and triumphs. The other student doesn't. In the dark moments that safety net and those past glories may not matter, but in the days after they might make a big difference. 

 

Which student is guaranteed a life of happiness and success? Neither. Statistically, one sure does seem to have better odds... 

 

A superstar student is by definition one that is overall succeeding at glorious heights, correct? This is not high IQ, low functioning. Or average IQ, average achievements. Or struggling with the basics. Perhaps I've misunderstood, but in my mind a bump in the road or an obstacle in the path of success is quite different than trudging through a vast jungle blindfolded and alone on a path possibly leading right back to the dark starting line.

 

Thus my point up-thread about thinking who the thread is about. What is the context? The feelings of students in all situations are valid. They don't need to be equal to be valid. It is, however, important to remember that the struggle of one won't necessarily comfort the other. 

 

As always, YMMV. 

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The high school board really is skewed toward high achievers, as is our local homeschool group and public school.  (The kids at the top are the ones whose parents talk.  Obviously not all homeschoolers and public school students are superstars).

 

My senior has gotten top automatic merit awards at most schools he has applied to and has been accepted into all the honors programs he has applied to. Not top tier schools but well regarded liberal arts schools and Colleges that Change Lives types.  He always felt very average in all our social circles and he schedule was very light compared to those that post on the high school board.  He has finished high school with no calculus. He attempted 4 AP exams and scored a couple of 3s and a couple of 2s.  No SAT2s. Didn't even bother with the PSAT in 11th because we know he had no shot at National Merit.

 

This kid is a hard worker but not super smart, obviously.  Yet, compared to the general population applying to college he is very strong. That is eye opening to me.  I was the one who posted a couple years ago starting a thread to share very average PSAT scores.  

 

This kid has done some TT to get through geometry, Apologia for Chemistry, a conceptual physics course, and has no demonstrated success on APs or SAT2s.  Yet, he is approaching a million dollars is scholarship money won (too bad we can only pick one school!)

 

My son is not average.  I thought he was average or "struggling" based on what I read here and heard from the achievers in real life around me.  The college application process has been eye opening.  I am much less worried for my next "average but not really" kid!

 

It is a tough balance.  I love all the resource sharing and encouragement for those truly superstar kids.  But, it really can work on the psyche of those that are just trying to find their balance in high school.  

 

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I just wonder if people with superstar students don't talk about their kids' struggles here, so others don't see the whole picture.

 

Ruth in NZ

In real life here, people would reply with the polite version of "what are you complaining about, you are already so lucky or having it so easy".

 

Even my parents has that response from medical professionals about me and I qualified for VT/OT/PT all my life.

 

ETA:

I had plenty of medical/sick leave and plenty of sick bay time in my school life and still have envious classmates. The struggles does not offset the "advantages" to outsiders typically due to human nature.

Edited by Arcadia
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The high school board really is skewed toward high achievers, as is our local homeschool group and public school. (The kids at the top are the ones whose parents talk. Obviously not all homeschoolers and public school students are superstars).

 

My senior has gotten top automatic merit awards at most schools he has applied to and has been accepted into all the honors programs he has applied to. Not top tier schools but well regarded liberal arts schools and Colleges that Change Lives types.

 

This kid is a hard worker but not super smart, obviously. Yet, compared to the general population applying to college he is very strong. That is eye opening to me. I was the one who posted a couple years ago starting a thread to share very average PSAT scores.

 

This kid has done some TT to get through geometry, Apologia for Chemistry, a conceptual physics course, and has no demonstrated success on APs or SAT2s. Yet, he is approaching a million dollars is scholarship money won (too bad we can only pick one school!)

 

My son is not average. I

 

It is a tough balance. I love all the resource sharing and encouragement for those truly superstar kids. But, it really can work on the psyche of those that are just trying to find their balance in high school.

I love this. I think the board may be skewed towards more high achieving posts but we can remedy that by posting more about our average kids. I am not sure why more parents don't do that.

 

I have learnt and still learning from all points of view and try to remember when reading a post that this is just one facet of the story and not usually all.

Thanks for starting this post. Quite insightful

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I love this. I think the board may be skewed towards more high achieving posts but we can remedy that by posting more about our average kids. I am not sure why more parents don't do that.

 

I have learnt and still learning from all points of view and try to remember when reading a post that this is just one facet of the story and not usually all.

Thanks for starting this post. Quite insightful

 

But see... I go to post about my average kids to make people feel more comfortable but in reality they are NOT average.  They feel average in relation to this board and among the high achievers.  But  when I say "I have an average kid.  He only has a 31 ACT" that makes the people with kids that truly fall at a statistical average feel awful.  

 

But I know some people here would be terribly disappointed with such a score.  So round and round we go....

 

I don't know what the answer is except that we really can't compare.  Good luck with that!

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I'd just like to point out that the national averages for SAT/ACT are 1000/20.

 

I know many people here would be appalled at such scores, but the reality is that if your child was around those scores, you're fine. Probably not Ivy League or full-ride scholarship, but your child will still be able to get into a decent college and become a productive member of society.

 

Let's keep things real.

 

ETA: And keep in mind that it's only college-bound students who bother taking the SAT/ACT exams. There are a lot of students who don't.

Edited by Kinsa
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I'd just like to point out that the national averages for SAT/ACT are 1000/20.

 

I know many people here would be appalled at such scores, but the reality is that if your child was around those scores, you're fine. Probably not Ivy League or full-ride scholarship, but your child will still be able to get into a decent college and become a productive member of society.

 

Let's keep things real.

 

ETA: And keep in mind that it's only college-bound students who bother taking the SAT/ACT exams. There are a lot of students who don't.

 

Yes! This score would gain admittance at all of our state universities except the flagship. But one could easily start somewhere else and transfer to our flagship with that score.  Really.

 

My dh has a PhD and started with a similar score out of high school.  

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ETA: And keep in mind that it's only college-bound students who bother taking the SAT/ACT exams. There are a lot of students who don't.

My district makes it compulsory for all the high school kids to take it once, typically in 11th. I forgot whether it is free for all or free for most. It is a useful score for the kids anyway so better to have the scores for free.

 

Not that it would skew the average scores much unless most districts in the states make it compulsory.

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I have done this for certain posts, and I will continue to do so. It all depends on the context of the discussion. If someone has a student struggling with high school math, I will recommend MUS. But if someone is asking for a math program for a student who wants to be an engineer, yep, I am going to chime in and discourage the use of MUS bc it is light. I'll equally assure parents whose kids are struggling with AoPS that while AoPS is the best math curriculum I have seen, kids do not have to complete math at that level to be successful in engineering.

 

Different curricula cover content at different levels. That is information.

But even this isn't supportive. I know a kid who used to be in my homeschool group who now attends the same STEM college as my son (on a full-ride scholarship, no less) majoring in engineering, whose entire high school math education consisted of MUS. MUS isn't just for struggling students, nor is it not college-prep. It's not "inferior", and it might be that it resonates with some kids more than other curriculum does.

 

Btw, I've never used MUS nor AoPS, so I have no dog in this fight.

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But even this isn't supportive. I know a kid who used to be in my homeschool group who now attends the same STEM college as my son (on a full-ride scholarship, no less) majoring in engineering, whose entire high school math education consisted of MUS. MUS isn't just for struggling students, nor is it not college-prep. It's not "inferior", and it might be that it resonates with some kids more than other curriculum does.

 

Btw, I've never used MUS nor AoPS, so I have no dog in this fight.

 

And just for reference - our state engineering schools offer acceptance for very average ACT scores.  I believe you need a 25 math ACT for automatic admittance and there are other ways to get accepted instead of that score. The other well regarded state engineering school has an even lower threshold. Both of these public universities turn out successful engineers.

 

 Now, not all those students will be successful I know.  But clearly a basic math education is not a barrier that cannot be overcome.  

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But see... I go to post about my average kids to make people feel more comfortable but in reality they are NOT average. They feel average in relation to this board and among the high achievers. But when I say "I have an average kid. He only has a 31 ACT" that makes the people with kids that truly fall at a statistical average feel awful.

 

But I know some people here would be terribly disappointed with such a score. So round and round we go....

 

I don't know what the answer is except that we really can't compare. Good luck with that!

Well, you were really making me feel hopeful for my son until you said that ACT score, lol. Doesn't the ACT only go up to 32? Or is it 35? Still.

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Well, you were really making me feel hopeful for my son until you said that ACT score, lol. Doesn't the ACT only go up to 32? Or is it 35? Still.

 

Sorry :(  I did't mean to do that.  The point I was making was that based on reading here I had in the past categorized him as "struggling" and "average".  When sharing his ACT score in our social circle it is in the context of "he only got a 31". And people go..."oh that is ok.  Not everyone is a good test taker".  It wasn't until we got deep into the college thing that I realized that what those high achievers are a small percentage and he really had done very well.

 

FYI- the ACT goes up to 36.  Our state lottery scholarship kicks in at 21 and a 17-18 can get you into most colleges in our state.   

 

I really am sorry I made you feel bad and I am sure others who are lurking.  My point was just how skewed the high school board is.  Did you see above where I said my dh who has a PhD started out with a score in the 1000s on the SAT coming out of high school? 

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Well, you were really making me feel hopeful for my son until you said that ACT score,

 

lol. Doesn't the ACT only go up to 32? Or is it 35? Still.

36 is the top.

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I love Woodland Mist's idea (post 151) about responding based on who the thread is about. I think if we took a moment to remember that, it will solve so much of the worry others have expressed.

 

Perhaps if we could all think of all individuals, both posters and the DC they are posting about AS WELL AS responders as works in progress we could achieve less worry about being judged? I think online social skills develop the same way playground social skills or B&M class social skills develop. Through trial and error. Some people are just judge-y. Some may come off as judge-y but if we pause for a minute and think about why they would respond in the first place, and if we realize the person took time to offer an example or an experience, we can re-think our own judgement about their judginess no? And sometimes people need to learn that what they posted just should not be condoned (but realizing that takes time/ ego analysis etc).

 

And then there are some who will just respond to show superiority. After a while, doesn't that become obvious? Why not ignore that response (as superiority/ bad day whatever) and focus instead on posters who bring a friendly energy to the conversation? Or if you are lurking and have a few minutes to spare, why not TURN the conversation's energy to a more positive bent. Or as readers who feel put in a spot, perhaps examine why we feel so judged in the first place? Is it our own insecurity?

 

I've felt insecure on these boards many times. Although my kid is mathy, I have felt he cannot be THAT mathy if he doesn't willingly always choose to use AoPS and/ or doesn't like to compete in math contests. I feel judged when I ask about non traditional materials (I have this mental conversation where I think someone must be wondering, "why would they want to do that? Must be that something more challenging is not working, hmm?"). I have felt that people judge me as a tiger parent who rushes the kid. And I have felt judged for the poor English I sometimes use when I express myself or when someone responds with a Huh? to a question I ask I want to go hide and not come back to post ever again. Sometimes I laugh at myself for taking myself so seriously.

 

I am not saying I know the solution to this issue. But we are all here for common reasons and many of us feel pulled to this community...there must be a reason why we continue to hang around, even if we are only lurking. Maybe we can focus on those reasons, and then follow the path of the wise and wonderfully compassionate posters (we all know who they are) and wait for the ones still learning to figure out why they might need to rephrase the words they use?

 

:leaving:

Edited by quark
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But even this isn't supportive. I know a kid who used to be in my homeschool group who now attends the same STEM college as my son (on a full-ride scholarship, no less) majoring in engineering, whose entire high school math education consisted of MUS. MUS isn't just for struggling students, nor is it not college-prep. It's not "inferior", and it might be that it resonates with some kids more than other curriculum does.

 

Btw, I've never used MUS nor AoPS, so I have no dog in this fight.

I have taught MUS alg and geometry 6 times to 6 different children. Your example does not change the content in side the covers of MUS. The content is not as challenging as other texts.

 

Some students can transfer what they know to concepts not explicitly taught. I have one of those kids. He can take information, see a much bigger picture, and fill in all the concepts in between. Other kids can't. They need to go through problems applying the concepts in unique ways in order to understand exactly how things work.

 

MUS is weak in challenging students to apply concepts to unique, non-replicated problems.

 

Presenting that fact and stating that other texts do contain problem sets which require students to apply what know to unique problems means you are making a comparison. One text is weaker than the other in comparison of what is expected from the student. (And AoPS takes it to a completely different level. And, yes, that makes other programs lighter than it.).

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Thank you all for all these thoughts. It's something I'm struggling with here. My poor #5 kid is following an entire set of superstar siblings and it's really come out as the application season has begun. Everything she does, someone else has already done and done better. We need to focus on the fact that having 38 university credits at the end of junior year is amazing. The problem is, so did everyone else. I can pay lip service to: "Look at all the cool stuff you've done!" But sometimes it rings hollow. We press on. 

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My experience has been different. I have no idea what others feel. All average kids don't feel the same. All gifted kids don't feel the same. All struggling kids don't feel the same. I can only imagine what I would feel like in another person's situation, with the given genetics and life experiences. I can try to gauge feelings by words and reactions, but I can't actually know enough to compare feelings. Besides - what purpose would that serve? Does the struggle need to be the same for both to be valid?

Of course you are right that not all people feel the same. Struggle takes different forms, but in my experience all kids struggle if they are appropriately challenged. To think that superstar students have it easy is just false.

 

I tutor/mentor kids with dyslexia, dygraphia, ADD, mental illness, and physical illness. Kids who have been bullied and kids who are the bullies. I work with kids 2 hours per week for multiple years, and I have one kid who saw me last year 15 hours a week for two months. I know these kids. I know their struggles. And struggle is as same as it is different.

 

(I will add that clearly all bets are off if a kid does not have a safe or supportive home. But I don't that that is what we are talking about.)

 

What I am trying to convey is that people with superstar student perhaps don't discuss their kids struggles on the high school board as much as people with average kids. This is not true on the accelerated board, where you definitely hear how hard it is for very advanced kids. Perhaps splitting up the board into silos has reduced our exposure to the struggles of all types of kids, as most of us only frequent certain sections of the boards. 

 

The feelings of students in all situations are valid. They don't need to be equal to be valid. It is, however, important to remember that the struggle of one won't necessarily comfort the other.

Well, here is my question. Is the trouble with us as parents comparing our children? Or is it with the children comparing themselves? I think it is more the former. Sure, students compare grades, but their internal struggle is more bound up with that hard self-fight that most teens experience. If you give them appropriate level work, then the struggle is at an appropriate level, this is true for all children regardless of ability. But when parents come here and see what some kids are doing, they have self-doubt. I think it is so very easy to talk about successes without ever discussing the failures. So no, I don't think that the struggles of one kid would comfort another, but it might comfort the parents. Sometimes with my younger when there is a hint of jealousy, I ask "do you really want to be your brother? You will get not only his best traits but also his worst. You don't get to keep your best traits and gain his best traits. That is not how it would work." This he can understand. He only wants the good stuff, and when confronted with having to take on the less desirable traits of his brother, he would rather not.

 

Ruth in NZ

 

Edited by lewelma
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I will also add, that as an outsider, I see the process of applying to universities to be a very unfortunate cultural aspect of America that those of us in NZ don't share.  So clearly, I cannot understand the kind of pressure kids feel with the rat race they are facing. Here the bar is set pretty low to get into university but once you are there the standards are high.  You sink or swim on your own merits. A huge percentage fail and drop out in the first year.

 

Ruth in NZ

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Of course you are right that not all people feel the same. Struggle takes different forms, but in my experience all kids struggle if they are appropriately challenged. To think that superstar students have it easy is just false.

 

 
I don't think anyone is saying that superstar students have it easy. I envision it as being on a continuum. I do think that overall superstar students have it easier. They often choose to go above and beyond. To be challenged. If they wanted to, they could kick back, relax, and float through school and much of life. They might not get as far if they did that, but they would get by. Compare that to the child that has to fight tooth and nail just to scrape by. These students may well face a lifetime of fighting tooth and nail just to survive. The idea of kicking back and floating would result in sinking and drowning - guaranteed.
 
Not every parent of a superstar student feels the same way or has the same perspective. Not all superstar students perceive their lives as a challenge and a struggle comparable to those of truly struggling students.
 
There is the struggle of appropriate challenge and there is the struggle of academic survival.  It's a swim meet compared to swimming to save your life. 
 

Well, here is my question. Is the trouble with us as parents comparing our children? Or is it with the children comparing themselves? I think it is more the former. Sure, students compare grades, but their internal struggle is more bound up with that hard self-fight that most teens experience. If you give them appropriate level work, then the struggle is at an appropriate level, this is true for all children regardless of ability. But when parents come here and see what some kids are doing, they have self-doubt. I think it is so very easy to talk about successes without ever discussing the failures. So no, I don't think that the struggles of one kid would comfort another, but it might comfort the parents.

 

 

I can only speak for myself, but I have serious doubts about that. I can only say it would be of little comfort to me.

 

As always, YMMV.

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I will also add, that as an outsider, I see the process of applying to universities to be a very unfortunate cultural aspect of America that those of us in NZ don't share.  So clearly, I cannot understand the kind of pressure kids feel with the rat race they are facing. Here the bar is set pretty low to get into university but once you are there the standards are high.  You sink or swim on your own merits. A huge percentage fail and drop out in the first year.

 

Ruth in NZ

 

Ah ha! Common ground! I wrote my response before I read this post. We both used a swimming analogy.   :cheers2:

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Sorry :( I did't mean to do that. The point I was making was that based on reading here I had in the past categorized him as "struggling" and "average". When sharing his ACT score in our social circle it is in the context of "he only got a 31". And people go..."oh that is ok. Not everyone is a good test taker". It wasn't until we got deep into the college thing that I realized that what those high achievers are a small percentage and he really had done very well.

 

FYI- the ACT goes up to 36. Our state lottery scholarship kicks in at 21 and a 17-18 can get you into most colleges in our state.

 

I really am sorry I made you feel bad and I am sure others who are lurking. My point was just how skewed the high school board is. Did you see above where I said my dh who has a PhD started out with a score in the 1000s on the SAT coming out of high school?

Don't worry about it. He will be fine. I doubt he'll get a 32, but that's okay with me. I was kind of ribbing you.

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I don't have time for a lengthy response but I think, as others have mentioned, that if we consider our audience in our responses, it would be more unifying. If we are talking about struggles, there are several boards to turn to depending on your experiences and needs. The majority of homeschoolers on the high school forum are not superstars or gifted nor are they in general population. I also believe that not one curriculum or one method of teaching is the sole answer to educating a child because we are all diverse. Sharing what has worked is very much appreciated, we learn from each other. Our homeschool journeys are so close to our hearts, I just think we need to tread lightly with one another.

Edited by jewel
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It's much easier to talk about successes here because of the public nature of the forums, and concern for the privacy of our children. Of course, we all read these posts with our own shortcomings everpresent in our minds. it's easy to lose perspective, I think.

 

Also, after some 17-odd years of homeschooling (well, close to 21 if you are of the "homeschooling since birth" mindset ;-) ), I am of the opinion that homeschoolers, especially those that are still homeschooling in high school, do tend to the extreme in various areas. Some exceptionally "gifted", some with learning challenges, some with emotional challenges, some from families with atypical lifestyle choices, etc, etc (some with all of the above), but all with the common issue that the mainstream building-based education system doesn't serve them well. Chatting about dealing with these things makes sense. As I read the forums (and I am much more of a reader than a poster, as one can see from my post count...keeping in mind that I have been following WTM since the late 90s ;-) ), I see people talking about all of these things.

 

Also, keep in mind that people may be talking excessively about perceived successes because they are trying to feel better about other things that aren't going so well.

 

I talk about mental health issues quite a bit IRL, and as a result I get a lot of people coming to me to discuss struggles, their own or their kids' problems. Those "perfect" people? They are hurting too. You'd just never know it.

Edited by Gr8lander
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I do think that overall superstar students have it easier. They often choose to go above and beyond. To be challenged. If they wanted to, they could kick back, relax, and float through school and much of life. They might not get as far if they did that, but they would get by.

 

Many such students simply cannot kick back, relax, and float. They do not choose to go above and beyond, they are compelled to do so... sometimes at the expense of their mental and physical health.

It is too easy to say "if they wanted, they could have it easy". It is part of their nature to be incapable of doing just that. Which creates unique challenges and problems for which outsiders have very little empathy.

 

Edited by regentrude
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ETA: And keep in mind that it's only college-bound students who bother taking the SAT/ACT exams.

 

Just a quick comment:

the above statement is incorrect. Sixteen states require all high school students to take the ACT or the SAT (which lowers the average compared to only college bound students)

Edited by regentrude
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Many such students simply cannot kick back, relax, and float. They do not choose to go above and beyond, they are compelled to do so... sometimes at the expense of their mental and physical health.

It is too easy to say "if they wanted, they could have it easy". It is part of their nature to be incapable of doing just that.

 

 

I get that. I have one of those students. I still think she has it easier than if things were different. So does she. Does she have it easy? No. Does she have it easier than many, many others? Yes. A thousand times yes.

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I have done this for certain posts, and I will continue to do so. It all depends on the context of the discussion. If someone has a student struggling with high school math, I will recommend MUS. But if someone is asking for a math program for a student who wants to be an engineer, yep, I am going to chime in and discourage the use of MUS bc it is light. I'll equally assure parents whose kids are struggling with AoPS that while AoPS is the best math curriculum I have seen, kids do not have to complete math at that level to be successful in engineering.

 

Different curricula cover content at different levels. That is information.

Why not say it that way? It's not necessarily light, it's adequate to cover high school topics, but if STEM field is desired a more rigorous program is necessary, like AoPS.

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What I am trying to convey is that people with superstar student perhaps don't discuss their kids struggles on the high school board as much as people with average kids. This is not true on the accelerated board, where you definitely hear how hard it is for very advanced kids. Perhaps splitting up the board into silos has reduced our exposure to the struggles of all types of kids, as most of us only frequent certain sections of the boards. 

Not at all. I think the Accelerated Board allows people to work through the legitimate problems of a five year-old doing Algebra, or whatever, with less fear of hurting others. The point of this thread is that people with average kids are NOT sharing their struggles on the high school board. I believe the high school board would benefit from more options, such as an accelerated or learning challenges sub forum.

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I agree, we need an accelerated high school board. There is already a high school forum for kids who have challenges.

Okay, I don't know where that is, but I agree with you.

 

ETA: And having been here once before on this forum, I will say posters may be more likely to move their posts over to an accelerated forum. Inferring average kids have learning challenges if not they're not academic enough is problematic.

Edited by KathyBC
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Which creates unique challenges and problems for which outsiders have very little empathy.

 

This was added after I quoted, so I want to reiterate that I am not saying superstars have no challenges or problems. All students deserve empathy.

 

Again, context.

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Isn't SWB starting up a whole support system for high schoolers? I seem to remember her asking for name suggestions. Sounds like that's exactly what is needed. Can't wait to see what she does.

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Okay, I don't know where that is, but I agree with you.

 

ETA: And having been here once before on this forum, I will say posters may be more likely to move their posts over to an accelerated forum. Inferring average kids have learning challenges if not they're not academic enough is problematic.

 

There is a board (invite only) for families homeschooling high school students who have learning challenges.

 

It is really up to parents to choose which forum would best suit their needs, whether that is the general, learning challenges, or accelerated forums. I do believe those using the accelerated forum need more, such an accelerated high school board.  Often accelerated parents go to the high school forum for assistance because their children are doing high school level work.  It is a delicate balance to navigate in order for their needs to get met too.

Edited by jewel

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Why not say it that way? It's not necessarily light, it's adequate to cover high school topics, but if STEM field is desired a more rigorous program is necessary, like AoPS.

 

Because that is simply not accurate. MUS is light, compared to pretty much every other high school math program I have ever seen. Will it disqualify a student from ever getting into a STEM program? Of course not. Is AoPS necessary for STEM majors? Absolutely not! But there is a continuum of mathematical challenge and rigor, with different programs falling in different places along that spectrum. MUS is at one end and AoPS is at the other — and there are many many other programs in between. That is a simple statement of fact, and not a judgement on any particular family's choices. 

 

I will never understand why it is so taboo on this board to admit that not all math programs are equal.  No one has an issue with people discussing the difference between "light" and rigorous programs in history or English or science. People will often specifically ask for a "light" program, for a whole host of reasons — struggling student, student with a heavy course load in other subjects, student with no interest in that topic who just wants to check the box, etc. No one would suggest that Exploring the Way Life Works is equal to Campbell & Reece, or that Lightning Literature = AP English Lit. But God forbid someone refer to MUS or TT as "light" compared to Foerster or Larson or whatever. I honestly don't get it.  :confused1:

 

There's nothing wrong with choosing a program at the "light" end of the spectrum if that's what works for the student! No one thinks that every kid should be doing every subject at AP level and using AoPS for math. Neither of my kids will do a single AP.  DS will have 2-3 years of Latin and 5 years of Greek, but no calculus and his lab sciences are quite light. I'm not sure DD will get further than College Algebra, because she struggles in math and has no interest in a career that would require more than that. She will have lots of art and music classes, though, because that's where her interests and talents lie.

 

Isn't that the point of homeschooling, to be able to tailor our students' education to their unique skills and talents? By definition, that will mean using the curriculum that works best in each subject, which — with the exception of a few extremely gifted students — is likely to be a mix of rigorous and light, depending on each student's needs. That's a good thing, not a bad thing!

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Often accelerated parents go to the high school forum for assistance because their children are doing high school level work. It is a delicate balance to navigate in order for their needs to get met too.

I ended up reading college confidential :lol:

 

However I come from an academic crazy country so college confidential is tame. I won't recommend people reading college confidential because it can be anxiety inducing.

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Sorry :(  I did't mean to do that.  The point I was making was that based on reading here I had in the past categorized him as "struggling" and "average".  When sharing his ACT score in our social circle it is in the context of "he only got a 31". And people go..."oh that is ok.  Not everyone is a good test taker".  It wasn't until we got deep into the college thing that I realized that what those high achievers are a small percentage and he really had done very well.

 

FYI- the ACT goes up to 36.  Our state lottery scholarship kicks in at 21 and a 17-18 can get you into most colleges in our state.   

 

I really am sorry I made you feel bad and I am sure others who are lurking.  My point was just how skewed the high school board is.  Did you see above where I said my dh who has a PhD started out with a score in the 1000s on the SAT coming out of high school? 

I have no idea where you and KINSA are but here (on the 1600 scale), our state engineering schools require closer to a 1400!  You would qualify for only the very worst, overcrowded struggling state U's with a 1000.  Heck even they have an average score of 1100 or so on their website.

 

I am not trying to make OP feel worse, but I think it all comes down to your OWN kid and your OWN situation and even your own state. :o)  Every situation is different.  You can prod, you can push a little, you can make sure your student has EVERY advantage you can give them (including love!)....

 

But you cannot make them someone they aren't and also you shouldn't

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I really am sorry I made you feel bad and I am sure others who are lurking.  My point was just how skewed the high school board is.  Did you see above where I said my dh who has a PhD started out with a score in the 1000s on the SAT coming out of high school? 

 

If your husband graduated in the 80s-90s, an SAT in the 1000s was quite respectable :-) The test only went to 1600, and getting a 1600 was an amazing feat. Scores were re-centered in the 90s, and became higher for that reason. This doesn't invalidate your point, just wanted to make sure you understood that wasn't a particularly low score for the time. ;-)

 

Edited by Gr8lander

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But there is a continuum of mathematical challenge and rigor, with different programs falling in different places along that spectrum. MUS is at one end and AoPS is at the other — and there are many many other programs in between. 

 

Imo, the problem is that it's not usually presented as you described it in this quoted snippet and the rest of your post. It's generally presented that x, y, and z are the good, rigorous programs that will get kids into good colleges and hard majors, and everything else is, well, substandard.

 

The math wars are alive and well on TWTM.

 

I was dissuaded for several years from using the math program I knew in my heart would benefit my son: Teaching Textbooks. I was dissuaded because so many people rag so hard on the program as such a poor curriculum. But now we use it, and my son is making steady progress in math and feels more confident about math. I would much rather that than continue to bang away at a "harder" program that resulted in nothing but lack of understanding and feelings of stupidity.

 

Plus, I know that the things some people on TWTM say about math aren't true, because my oldest child is doing quite well as a bio major/chem minor despite struggling with high school math. Not having super-mega-advanced math courses didn't keep her from doing what she wanted to do.

 

So it's very frustrating to see people continue to make proclamations about what is and isn't necessary for a proper math (or science, or whatever) education in order to get into a college or major, because there are tons of other people whose kids didn't have super-mega-advanced curricula, and they are doing fine. And when we point this stuff out, we are told we can't just pretend that these standards that we somehow didn't meet aren't real and won't hold students back.

 

I think it depends on a) where in the country you are and b) what type of university you feel is acceptable for your student, and, ime, it's the people who feel that State U is unacceptable for their student who make these pronouncements about what other students need to do to be successful.

 

My kid failed both a math and a science class in high school, yet she still managed to get into college and major in science, and she's getting all A's and B's. It's not the most prestigious school in the country, but that really doesn't matter. Most of us won't go on to have prestigious lives.

 

State schools routinely accept average students, and it is discouraging and frustrating to be constantly reminded that doing average work is unacceptable. It's also false. 

 

And I agree with others who have stated that the high school board here is very skewed toward the very high achievers. It's not representative of what most kids are doing, ime.

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I have no idea where you and KINSA are but here (on the 1600 scale), our state engineering schools require closer to a 1400! You would qualify for only the very worst, overcrowded struggling state U's with a 1000. Heck even they have an average score of 1100 or so on their website.

 

I am not trying to make OP feel worse, but I think it all comes down to your OWN kid and your OWN situation and even your own state. :o) Every situation is different. You can prod, you can push a little, you can make sure your student has EVERY advantage you can give them (including love!)....

 

But you cannot make them someone they aren't and also you shouldn't

I'm in Texas. Here is the 2016 requirements for admission into the Texas State University **Honors College**:

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

Entering freshmen from the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class, or

 

Entering freshmen with a composite score of 27 on the ACT, or

 

Entering freshmen with a composite score of 1180 on the SAT (math and critical reading scores combined), or

 

Entering freshmen who have completed the AP Capstone Program.

Edited by Kinsa
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The admission criteria at my son's private engineering school:

 

LETU requires the following minimum test scores:

 

ACT: Composite score of 20 or higher

 

SAT: Combined score of 950 (math and critical reading)

Edited by Kinsa

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Why not say it that way? It's not necessarily light, it's adequate to cover high school topics, but if STEM field is desired a more rigorous program is necessary, like AoPS.

 

Not trying to beat a dead horse but for those of us who have no clue about curriculum etc, someone offering advice on what is light for and engineering or not is very much appreciated.

 

I learnt about aops on this board and I am so very grateful for that. Most people I know IRL don't use it and most only use Saxon which my dd and I detested when i tried it in elementary.

I appreciate people sharing about different curriculum and always try to take it as someone's opinion and not always the gospel.

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I have no idea where you and KINSA are but here (on the 1600 scale), our state engineering schools require closer to a 1400! You would qualify for only the very worst, overcrowded struggling state U's with a 1000. Heck even they have an average score of 1100 or so on their website.

 

I am not trying to make OP feel worse, but I think it all comes down to your OWN kid and your OWN situation and even your own state. :o) Every situation is different. You can prod, you can push a little, you can make sure your student has EVERY advantage you can give them (including love!)....

 

But you cannot make them someone they aren't and also you shouldn't

U of Tennessee at Knoxville- admission to college of engineering requires 25 math ACT. Lots of top students go here. Some types of engineering UTK is supposedly better than Vanderbilt. I am unsure as I do not have engineers.

 

Tennessee Tech- admission to engineering requires 20 composite ACT and 22 math.

 

Sure those looking for top ranked schools will not be impressed by these schools. But, we are talking average kids here and I personally know many successful engineers that have come out of these schools.

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Because that is simply not accurate. MUS is light, compared to pretty much every other high school math program I have ever seen. Will it disqualify a student from ever getting into a STEM program? Of course not. Is AoPS necessary for STEM majors? Absolutely not! But there is a continuum of mathematical challenge and rigor, with different programs falling in different places along that spectrum. MUS is at one end and AoPS is at the other — and there are many many other programs in between. That is a simple statement of fact, and not a judgement on any particular family's choices. 

 

I will never understand why it is so taboo on this board to admit that not all math programs are equal.  No one has an issue with people discussing the difference between "light" and rigorous programs in history or English or science. People will often specifically ask for a "light" program, for a whole host of reasons — struggling student, student with a heavy course load in other subjects, student with no interest in that topic who just wants to check the box, etc. No one would suggest that Exploring the Way Life Works is equal to Campbell & Reece, or that Lightning Literature = AP English Lit. But God forbid someone refer to MUS or TT as "light" compared to Foerster or Larson or whatever. I honestly don't get it.  :confused1:

 

There's nothing wrong with choosing a program at the "light" end of the spectrum if that's what works for the student! No one thinks that every kid should be doing every subject at AP level and using AoPS for math. Neither of my kids will do a single AP.  DS will have 2-3 years of Latin and 5 years of Greek, but no calculus and his lab sciences are quite light. I'm not sure DD will get further than College Algebra, because she struggles in math and has no interest in a career that would require more than that. She will have lots of art and music classes, though, because that's where her interests and talents lie.

 

Isn't that the point of homeschooling, to be able to tailor our students' education to their unique skills and talents? By definition, that will mean using the curriculum that works best in each subject, which — with the exception of a few extremely gifted students — is likely to be a mix of rigorous and light, depending on each student's needs. That's a good thing, not a bad thing!

If you don't get it, you don't get it. The nuance between MUS is light and MUS is lighter than AoPS is obvious to others, though.

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Not trying to beat a dead horse but for those of us who have no clue about curriculum etc, someone offering advice on what is light for and engineering or not is very much appreciated.

 

I learnt about aops on this board and I am so very grateful for that. Most people I know IRL don't use it and most only use Saxon which my dd and I detested when i tried it in elementary.

I appreciate people sharing about different curriculum and always try to take it as someone's opinion and not always the gospel.

OF COURSE people can mention other curricula. And should. It's how you say it.

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If you don't get it, you don't get it. The nuance between MUS is light and MUS is lighter than AoPS is obvious to others, though.

 

Actually I do get it. I own, and have compared, copies of the following Algebra 1 texts: MUS, Life of Fred, Teaching Textbooks, Lial, Larson, Foerster, Dolciani, Discovering Algebra (can't remember the author's name), Angel, K12, Kinetic Books, Thinkwell, and AoPS.

 

MUS is lighter than ALL of those, and in most cases it is much much lighter. Now, if a student looks at MUS and says "wow, I finally understand math — I never understood this before!" then MUS is the perfect program for that kid. 

 

But that doesn't mean it's not "light." Foerster covers the quadratic formula in chapter 6. In MUS it's in chapter 12 — of Algebra 2. There are very few problems in each set, and the problems are very very simple. I saw "Honors Level" problems in MUS Algebra that were comparable to problems we did in Math Mammoth 4. 

 

I have recommended TT to many people for many different reasons, and not just because a student is struggling. Sometimes mom needs a program that will just get done. When a relative pulled her kids out of PS on short notice and was panicking about math, I actually bought several levels of TT for the family, because I thought it was ideal for their situation. And it worked well for them.

 

However, I would not recommend MUS for high school math unless the student really needed that particular approach. And I don't think it serves anyone well to pretend that MUS is just as rigorous as every other math program except AoPS — it misleads both the parent who is looking for a strong math program and the one who is purposely looking for an extra light program for a struggling student.

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You're entitled to your opinion... that it is extra light for the struggling student, that you would never recommend it for high school math except under those circumstances. I could care less about the reputation of MUS. I care because this information has been shown by other participants on this thread to be not always true. To even be misleading, by times.

 

I feel I'm wasting my breath to ask you all to tread more carefully and kindly, considering perhaps yours isn't the sum of all experience.

 

ETA: I value your opinion because other experience is vastly valuable, and mine is extremely limited.

Edited again to tone it down a bit.

Edited by KathyBC
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Random thoughts on engineering:

 

The kids I know who are Engineering majors go to Penn State.  Middle 50% statistics of incoming freshman for Main Campus, not just engineering: GPA 3.55-3.97, SAT 1750-2000.  This is extremely accurate of all students I know who get into Penn State.

 

Engineering is competitive to get into at Penn State.

 

Engineering is even more difficult to stay in at Penn State.  

 

I would imagine that, across the board, Engineering departments have a huge freshman drop-out rate.  

 

Not sure if that has anything to do with math preparation in high school or not.  But if I had a kid interested in engineering (and I do, although she is only 12), I would do my best prepare her with (what I consider) a challenging math program.

 

 

Edited by lisabees
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Random thoughts on engineering:

 

The kids I know who are Engineering majors go to Penn State. Middle 50% statistics of incoming freshman for Main Campus, not just engineering: GPA 3.55-3.97, SAT 1750-2000. This is extremely accurate of all students I know who get into Penn State.

 

Engineering is competitive to get into at Penn State.

 

Engineering is even more difficult to stay in at Penn State.

 

I would imagine that, across the board, Engineering departments have a huge freshman drop-out rate.

 

Not sure if that has anything to do with math preparation in high school or not. But if I had a kid interested in engineering (and I do, although she is only 12), I would do my best prepare her with (what I consider) a challenging math program.

I was not in anyway saying that a good high school math preparation is unnecessary for engineering. My point was that average kids are not doomed.

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