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Æthelthryth the Texan

Homeschool trends I missed?

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Yup, even Sonlight has now changed and taken the "Core" designation away to avoid confusion with common core. 

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Oh, I miss the good ole days!  I started homeschooling in the 1980's before the tidal wave of homeschool curriculum and waaay before the internet.  Honestly, it was easier.  We used what was available, we talked to actual, real, live people when we had questions.  And I never owned a denim jumper.

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I still haven't figured out lap booking. Isn't it just cutting up perfectly good paper into smaller sizes, then stapling it to a file folder in strange combinations? I don't understand how that helps retention. It would help fine motor skills, but other than that... I really don't get it. 

 

I am embarrassed to say, but when I went to my first homeschool convention the summer we started homeschooling, I thought lap booking was for kids with developmental problems. There were all of these workshops for "Lapbooking with Special Needs Children" and "Lapbooking for Developmental Delay" and on and on-  I thought it was some sort of curriculum for kids who couldn't sit at a table or hold a book.....like they had to be able to sit the book in their laps. The workshops all seemed to be centered around special needs and coming from public school I was clueless. Y'all got me straightened out, but I still can't see the word lap booking without laughing at myself for how completely befuddled I was that they had SO many workshops on it. Now it makes total sense as the woman who does the workshops specializes in learning delays, but at the time I did not poses that useful nugget of knowledge. See why I need this board??!!  :huh:

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I've also noticed the greater interest in just having a laid out curriculum here.  In the past unschooling was the dominant kind of homeschooling here, and more recenetly evangelical CHristians seem to have taken it up - that trend I suspect may have come up from the US.  Neither of those groups cares much about school standards, and they have ideological reasons for homeschooling.

 

But what seems now to be increasingly common is people whose kids are really just having problems with school, not necessarily academic ones.  They aren't people who ever planned to homeschool.  I think for those people, they haven't really rejected the idea that the public school standards are important or based on some important principle.  They just want to be ahead for their gifted child, or give more individual attention to a child with a problem, or get out of a bad social situation.

 

I've also noticed more interest in classical type homeschooling here, which is nice.  No sign of co-ops so far.

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I still kick myself for throwing away my Elijah Co catalogs a looooong time ago!  Those things were SOOOOOO good.  They read like a book!

 

I have even looked on Ebay for them and haven't stumbled across any yet.  

 

I was lamenting getting rid of my last Sonlight Catalog-with-book-descriptions.....but I heard those are coming back.

Did you know that Elijah Co.'s founders wrote two books? They are really more of a compilation of the catalogs. "I Saw the Angel in the Marble" and "I Carved the Angel in the Marble." Chris and Ellyn Davis are the authors.

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I remember when Saxon Primary was the newest, hottest, coolest thing, when the first Veritas catalogue showed up in out mailbox and all the unschoolers at Park day were laughing at it and mocking it but I secretly thought it looked fun, and pre-ordering the first edition of WTM at the book store, reading it cover to cover the day I got the telephone call that it was in, and how much more sense it made.

 

I remember Wild Goose Newton's Apple science kits (never watched the show, just bought the kits), Prairie Primer, longing for but not being able to afford Shurley English, Martha Wilson's Latin Primer, Doug Wilson's Introductory Logic, when HWT was new, experimental, and not commercialized.

 

I remember subscribing to GWS and HEM and when people said "All you need is a library card and love" full stop and nobody corrected them and said, "You left out the part about the internet". For that matter, I remember homeschooling without the internet: we didn't get it until Xmas 2001 so my kids would have been 9 and 12.

 

I remember when Veritas American history finally went on sale enough for me to afford it and how excited I was every time I checked my mailbox and how disgusted I was by the chapter on the Transcontinental railroad and how I ran to the library to check out a copy of Zinn's People's History instead.

 

I remember how excited I was about getting a chance to do it all over again with the Caboose Baby and how I imagined myself becoming as cool as Anne Zeiss, Lillian Jones from MDC, Heart, Shay, Pat, or Helen.

 

I remember how disconcerting it was to find out that I was more like Rip Van Winkle.

 

I remember opening an account at WTM to find out what you guys were saying about Dayna Martin and being surprised to discover that we actually had a lot more in common than our political, religious, and socioeconomic differences had originally led me to believe. I remember planning to present myself as a starry eyed late-life mother of one with no previous homeschooling experience and no previous baggage and the whole hour or two that lasted.

 

I remember the embarrassment of finding out that so many of the trends I had bought into were trends. I remember the embarrassment of trying to politely explain that I wasn't interested in spending money on revamped trends that were essentially identical to the trends I'd already spent money on and discarded the last time they were trends.

 

I remember when I finally became comfortable with the concept of being a permanent outsider and enjoying your company without trying to be the know-it-all who thought she could keep you from making the same mistakes I made because I didn't listen to the wise old elders who wanted to keep me from making the same mistakes they made.

 

ETA: I remember the first time I talked to The Goat Milk Soap Lady at the farmer's market and thinking that she fit "the profile" even though she wasn't wearing a denim jumper and delicately approaching the subject with, "I homeschooled my kids. They aren't Grant Colfax, but..." and how she interupted me with a flurry of words that started with, "Oh, you know Micki too? That Grant sure made her hair turn gray overnight! She never thought that boy would live to grow up! Do you remember the time he....and then he....and so David....but then Micki....and Grant, oh that Grant...." and how I couldn't get a word in edgewise until it was embarrassing to have to admit that no, I'd just read their books and "Colfax Corner" in The Link and hero worshipped them the way normals hero worship rock stars or television actors or politicians.

 

But you know what? When she put it that way, I guess my kids are a lot more like Grant Colfax than I realized. ;)

This is maybe the sweetest thing I have read in a long time. Thank you to all of you who were the homeschooling pioneers who paved the way and made it so much easier and socially acceptable for those of us who are homeschooling nowadays. Yes, we are going to make our own mistakes, but I know I have gained far more from all of the advice and expertise of those who have btdt than I could ever have learned on my own.

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I'll bet many of you remember Ray's Arithmetic and Ruth Beechick's The Three R's. :D

 

 

When I started homeschooling in 2000 I listened to people at conventions and read books by people who homeschooled before it was legal or when it was a legal grey area.  Many didn't know any other homeschooling family within a 30 mile radius.  Curriculum options were limited to whichever publisher would break up their packages that they sold to private schools.  These were the people who fought the legal battles to make homeschooling legal for all of us.  Those of us listening had more options than they did but nearly as many as today.  We answered questions about if homeschooling was legal every now and then because in the late 1990s not everyone even knew it was a legal option in their state. 

With that going on we had a higher percentage of homeschoolers who expected  to do some DIY along the way.  DIY was normal.  It was unrealistic to expect that the fewer options available would meet the needs of all your kids K-12.  Workshops covered how to DIY and how to adapt materials. 

Now we have a much higher percentage of homeschoolers who expect to find something that fits and they expect to do very little or not adapting at all.  My personal experience has been that a sizeable portion of younger homeschoolers get irritable when the older homeschoolers answer their plea for help with, "Come up with your own..." or "Adapt materials..." Not all of them of course, but enough that some veterans are sometimes not inclined to answer questions from newbies or even hang around newbies much.  The difference in DIY expectations is something I've heard other veterans bring up.

With the increase in classes that are now labeled co-ops you see it too.  Co-ops started out as groups that assumed all parents would equally participate and they would come up with plans that worked for the focus of the co-op.  Now there's a significant percentage of newer homeschoolers (certainly not all) looking to pay a fee and drop off their children for a co-op.
 

.

 

I think your observations are accurate. I'm still on some homeschool facebook groups though I don't know why. At one point, veterans were asked to stay and help answer questions, but no one really asked us questions and some of us just never left the groups.

 

Anyway, from what I see posted in those groups there are still some co-ops but even with that the parents aren't necessarily creating their own lessons. There's a Hogwarts co-op for younger kids that takes Hogwarts courses and relates them to real classes. The parent's each have a job as a certain Hogwarts teacher.  However, they find the lessons, experiments, and crafts online. There's one other co-op with a nature study focus and they get their materials from local, state, and national parks in our area. For the most part though, classes have taken over. There are two homeschool "schools" that offer a variety of classes for homeschoolers. I also don't see the kinds of field trips we took back in the day either.

 

Like you, I'm not making any judgments about how homeschoolers today choose to teach, but it is certainly very different than it was just 10-12 years ago.

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I'll bet many of you remember Ray's Arithmetic and Ruth Beechick's The Three R's. :D

 

 

 

Not only do I remember, I still recommend Homestart in Reading (part of The Three Rs) that can be purchased for $4 separately at amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Home-Start-Reading-Grades-K-3/dp/0940319004/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459278387&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Homestart+in+reading+beechickI taught my older two (one a very early reader and one a very late reader) to read using real books as recommended in it rather than a curriculum.   Back in the day homeschoolers considered whether or not they needed a phonics curriculum and then if they did decide to use one, they chose how many bells ans whistles they wanted.   Now few are willing to even entertain the idea that there's an option other than a curriculum.  That idea used to generate discussion, now it's inconceivable to many new homeschoolers who are convinced a curriculum and series of readers are the only possible way and won't entertain the possibility. I used Phonics Pathways when my youngest started reading because it better suited my situation at the time, so I'm not saying using Beechick's method is the only valid approach, I'm just pointing out that there are more options than some people are willing to acknowledge.

 

As stated upthread, I think there's an increase in what we called "school at homers" who are people choosing to mimic the materials and methods of institutional schools at home compared to what we called homeschoolers who are people who have abandoned or significantly modified the materials and methods of institutional schools. Again, people can do whatever they want, I'm just pointing out the differences as they have evolved over time.

 

It used to also be much more commonly accepted that there was such a thing as late readers who don't have learning challenges.  The accepted norm of learning to read was 4-8ish or even 9.  Now it seems the panic button goes off for many homeschoolers if a child isn't maintaining steady phonics progress at 4, 5, 6, and 7. (We've seen plenty of those posts here.)  It used to be people kept an eye out for any learning challenges but now the norm is to assume it's a problem for more people. I think that's a general shift in American culture where more parents want immediate and all out intervention when possible medical issues pop up rather than taking a wait and see kind of approach and starting with minimal intervention if intervention is required. So not all of these trends and changes are necessarily unique to the homeschooling community.

 

Back then (late 1990s and very early 2000s) I think more homeschoolers, particularly many very religious and/or philosophical homeschoolers, were of the "Homeschooling is the best option for every family whose parents aren't criminals" mindset. Those were people who said things like, "Any day in any home is better than any day in any public school." Um, no.  Now philosophical homeschoolers are by far the minority but I think we, as whole, have eased up.  It's possible to believe that an individualized education is best for children in general and at the same time recognize that homeschooling isn't for everyone-even people who aren't criminals. Most of us have accepted that there are children in institutional schools getting a solid education.  That doesn't negate the fact than plenty of US schools are crap, but they're not all crap.  My older daughters are dating men who attended different magnet schools with a STEM emphasis and those schools were quality.

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ

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For you veterans, do any of you remember the math curriculum from Timberdoodle that included short sections on when in real life people use the math in the section about to be studied?  I saw it when my older two were preschoolers and wanted to have a look at it but then didn't see it again when it was time for formal academics with them. Just curious.

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Not only do I remember, I still recommend Homestart in Reading (part of The Three Rs) that can be purchased for $4 separately at amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Home-Start-Reading-Grades-K-3/dp/0940319004/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459278387&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Homestart+in+reading+beechickI taught my older two (one a very early reader and one a very late reader) to read using real books as recommended in it rather than a curriculum.   Back in the day homeschoolers considered whether or not they needed a phonics curriculum and then if they did decide to use one, they chose how many bells ans whistles they wanted.   Now few are willing to even entertain the idea that there's an option other than a curriculum.  That idea used to generate discussion, now it's inconceivable to many new homeschoolers who are convinced a curriculum and series of readers are the only possible way and won't entertain the possibility. I used Phonics Pathways when my youngest started reading because it better suited my situation at the time, so I'm not saying using Beechick's method is the only valid approach, I'm just pointing out that there are more options than some people are willing to acknowledge.

 

As stated upthread, I think there's an increase in what we called "school at homers" who are people choosing to mimic the materials and methods of institutional schools at home compared to what we called homeschoolers who are people who have abandoned or significantly modified the materials and methods of institutional schools. Again, people can do whatever they want, I'm just pointing out the differences as they have evolved over time.

 

It used to also be much more commonly accepted that there was such a thing as late readers who don't have learning challenges.  The accepted norm of learning to read was 4-8ish or even 9.  Now it seems the panic button goes off for many homeschoolers if a child isn't maintaining steady phonics progress at 4, 5, 6, and 7. (We've seen plenty of those posts here.)  It used to be people kept an eye out for any learning challenges but now the norm is to assume it's a problem for more people. I think that's a general shift in American culture where more parents want immediate and all out intervention when possible medical issues pop up rather than taking a wait and see kind of approach and starting with minimal intervention if intervention is required. So not all of these trends and changes are necessarily unique to the homeschooling community.

 

Back then (late 1990s and very early 2000s) I think more homeschoolers, particularly many very religious and/or philosophical homeschoolers, were of the "Homeschooling is the best option for every family whose parents aren't criminals" mindset. Those were people who said things like, "Any day in any home is better than any day in any public school." Um, no.  Now philosophical homeschoolers are by far the minority but I think we, as whole, have eased up.  It's possible to believe that an individualized education is best for children in general and at the same time recognize that homeschooling isn't for everyone-even people who aren't criminals. Most of us have accepted that there are children in institutional schools getting a solid education.  That doesn't negate the fact than plenty of US schools are crap, but they're not all crap.  My older daughters are dating men who attended different magnet schools with a STEM emphasis and those schools were quality.

 

I think wider social trends are a big part of the homeschooling trends.  The increasing tendency to have kids in programs, the worry that they will fall behind and so fail to get ahead in university, increased emphasis on tests, increased emphasis on starting kids earlier.

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Oh, I still have my Ruth Beechick books! She lived in CO and was SUCH a lovely lady--really nice to listen to. I remember the excitement of You CAN Teach Your Child Successfully. I've bought that book several times as it's been lent out so much. Alas, I never got many of my Dr. Moore books back. 

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The whole Vision Forum/patriarchal thing comes to mind.  For a few years there, VF & their ilk were everywhere at conventions.  

 

Wheat mills.  Not homeschooling, per say, but everyone had to have one.  

 

Classical Conversations is a trend happening now that I can't wait to see die.  I know many who love CC, and all of my best friends do CC, but it annoys me to death.  Mostly because it has become everyone's homeschool group, so it has made it hard to find a homeschool group that is active.  We've lived in two states, and in both places we had these issues.  Everyone who wants a homeschool group joins CC.  So many people are joining just FOR THE GROUP and could care less about the curriculum, or even worse, isn't a fan of the curriculum, but they want the community.  Plus, I can't say that I find it classical in the true sense of classical education.  

 

And these hybrid schools where students are in a B&M a day or two a week, then at home the other days.

 

CC & these hybrid models annoy me because they send the message to homeschooling parents that they aren't good enough and can't do it without some company lifting them up.  Blech.

 

(I really don't mean to offend.  I'm having a bit of a snippy night and it's coming through my writing.  I have a sister-in-law that rocks the Classical Conversations model.  For her, it's great.  But as a whole, I don't like the message it sends to homeschoolers.)

 

 

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