Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Susan Wise Bauer

Anyone want to help me out with a thought experiment??

Recommended Posts

Aha, the dramatic reveal--that's the trick, right?  :001_unsure:

 

I wanted to answer this, but I don't want to derail the current discussion, so please keep talking...

 

I don't think you all realize how outside-the-box you're all already thinking. I am so often asked--on airplanes, at publishing sales conference, at the library, in line at the grocery store, for crying out loud--"What do I do with my unhappy/failing/underachieving/bored/gifted/etc. child?" And as I try to answer the question I realize that the parent has NO comprehension that there is any way to do school except in twelve years, divided into grades, with SATs and college at the end. Seriously, it's like trying to describe a sound using only color words to get them to understand that it doesn't have to be that way. 

 

And many home educators are stuck in the same set of dividers. I think the longer you do it and the more comfortable you become, the more you realize that the molds are an illusion, but it's still so difficult to shape the education to the kid rather than the other way around.

 

I would say that my parents did a pretty good job of this, actually, but looking back, I'm seeing the ways in which my most out-of-the-box learner could have been much better supported and served by me. (Of my four, I have two "propositional thinkers" and two "procedural thinkers." I really did struggle with my older "procedural" kid. I think I'm doing a much better, more honest job with Procedural Thinker #2. Yes, older children, you ARE the practice kids. Sorry about that.)  

 

(In case you're now wondering, none of this is a repudiation of TWTM in ANY way. I feel like I've spent the last fifteen years say, "Guys, it's a PATTERN. You adapt it as necessary.")

 

So, I told Norton I wanted to do a companion volume to TWTM that helped parents take insights from home schooling and apply them to take charge of their kids' education, whether or not they were full time "home educators." It incorporates much of the teaching material I've developed in my live workshops over the last decade and a half, but also tries to offer a more comprehensive vision for what education is supposed to develop in our kids -- as human beings, not just as students.

 

Whether this is going to fly or not, I have no idea. It's just something I've been wanting to do for a very long time.

 

By the way, my editor at Norton said, "Fine, but I want this book to be ridiculously anecdotal." (Meaning that he didn't want another 250K word academic tome.  :bored:) I've been collecting parent stories for a long time, but I'll probably be messaging some of you who've posted on this thread for permission to quote, because I think the experiences and wisdom shared here are truly extraordinary.

 

SWB

 

P.S. "Molds" is Sam Sherratt's vocabulary

 

Lots of thoughts, but not quite sure how to summarize them into a post.

 

I think one thing you are observing is the convergence of a standardized testing mentality meeting college-ranking obsession intersecting with a weaker economy.

 

Parents want "the best" for their kids.  Best, unfortunately, is often interpreted as being encapsulated by testing assessments, creating the perfect "applicant" for college (grooming from a young age), and everything pursued academically and "extracurricularly" is pursued with a glance toward checking off those college admission boxes.  Whenever "elite" admissions comes up, the mantra is APs are superior to DE, developing leadership skills, prepping for high test scores. etc, b/c that is what it takes..  The sense you get is that your child will less desirable, suffer the consequences, or  be doomed to be "less than" if they don't have that perfect resume designed with yrs of intent that hones in on those desired, recruited traits and attend a tippy top university.

 

Those admission's checklists are very "standardized" and conform around what classes have AP exams, SAT subject tests, GPA weighting, etc. In school, class rank and the impact of every single class on GPA is scrutinized. 

 

It is such a dominating mentality that if you wade into sites like College Confidential without confidence in your educational objectives/philosophy, you will be overwhelmed into thinking that the avg student is doomed to failure and the only colleges that will admit them have diplomas worthy of only a cracker jack box prize.

 

 The undercurrent for  "elite" bound admissions is that APs are required and that not conforming means zero chances of admissions.  I agree that if you want the proved path, you should follow the one everyone else takes.  It is the one that is expected.

 

 But, my dd was willing to take a risk and be 100% true to herself; her POV is that she can't know if she doesn't try.  But....it is the path unknown.  It is the path most people can't (in a school system with classes being controlled, few options do exist) or won't take b/c it is unknown.  My dd is willing to forge her own way no matter where it means she ends up b/c she wanted to do it this way.  It was a deliberate decision. If it limits her options, she is content with the fact that she limited them herself by her choices. So far every encounter she has had with admissions has been positive.  She found out her own ways of validating her accomplishments that matter to her and admissions so far has been receptive. (And, yes, her goals are encapsulated in "attending college."  Her goals require advanced degrees, so yes, it is the beaten path at the end of homeschooling.)

 

Philosophically, there are homeschooling "movements" that do encapsulate some of your ideas.  Maybe reading through some of their different POV might help you pull out the parts you identify with while rejecting the parts that veer from the direction you are thinking.

 

FWIW, I think homeschooling becoming a commercialized industry with the focus on curriculum has steered contemporary homeschooling more toward conforming to school at home standards.  It is the part of me that rebels against the elite or bust mentality b/c I don't homeschool to replicate what happens in schools. I homeschool to create something different for my kids.  I am 100% geared toward academic excellence for my kids and challenging them to reach their highest potential.  This isn't about opting for less academics or lower standards.  Where I diverge is how what we do needs to be defined and evaluated in order to "check the required" admissions boxes.  

 

I have run out of time and don't have time to re-read.  I don't know if what I wrote even makes any sense to anyone other than me.  This is a very "in the thick of it" process for me since my dd is a sr, so these thoughts have been whirling through me head quite a bit.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Pirkei Avos (a part of our Oral Law) says that children of five learns Chumash (the Torah), in those days orally; a child of 10 learns Mishnah (our Oral Law); at 13 he becomes an adult, held accountable for all the laws of Judaism, at 15 he learns Talmud (the Oral Law redacted through generations of rabbis).  This roughly parallels the three levels in Classical education.  So the Torah seems to understand that children go through changes in understanding and our teaching should follow those.

 

Islam has a similar idea. Highly paraphrased: Be your child's parent for the first 7 years, teacher for the next 7 years, and friend for the next 7 (and presumably after that.) It could be translated into play/parenting/character for the first 7 years of a child's life, education/logic for the ages 8-14, and mentorship/apprenticeship until ~21.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one thing you are observing is the convergence of a standardized testing mentality meeting college-ranking obsession intersecting with a weaker economy...

 

I posted in a thread about my dd not taking APs or DEing.  The undercurrent from "elite" bound was that APs are required and that not conforming means zero chances of admissions.  I agree that if you want the proved path, you should follow the one everyone else takes.  It is the one that is expected.

 

 

I think that if we had coffee we'd be kindred spirits, but let me just react to these TWO things you said in this excellent post:

 

1) I wish I'd said that.

 

2) None of my older three children took any AP, SATII, or other advanced standardized tests. This was not from want of my encouragement; it was from their reluctance to do so, and my (also reluctant) decision to abide by their wishes. While I'd still assert, as I've often said, that these tests tend to validate an otherwise unconventional home education in the eyes of college admissions officers (particularly in traditional schools), those older three children are flourishing, finding their own paths, and doing absolutely fine without them.

 

SWB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that if we had coffee we'd be kindred spirits, but let me just react to these TWO things you said in this excellent post:

 

1) I wish I'd said that.

 

2) None of my older three children took any AP, SATII, or other advanced standardized tests. This was not from want of my encouragement; it was from their reluctance to do so, and my (also reluctant) decision to abide by their wishes. While I'd still assert, as I've often said, that these tests tend to validate an otherwise unconventional home education in the eyes of college admissions officers (particularly in traditional schools), those older three children are flourishing, finding their own paths, and doing absolutely fine without them.

 

SWB

I agree. Chatting over coffee would be nice. :)

 

In terms of testing, I know you know, but for clarifies sake I should specify that there is no way of avoiding some of it. Homeschoolers are going to have to submit some standardized test scores for admission into 4 yr universities. Some schools want more than others. Not validating everything with test scores can limit options. My current sr hates standardized testing. She only took the SAT once (and the PSAT once.) She took the math 2 and the Latin subject tests.

 

At one point she was planning to apply to URichmond, but then she found out that they wanted additional subject tests in science and history, and she said no. Her choices have meant closing certain doors. But at another school she applied before she realized that they require the GED from homeschoolers. I contacted them as her GC and told them that if they were going to require her to submit a GED to please withdraw her application. They contacted us a few days later and told her she was not required to submit a GED. So there may be more flexibility than what is published on their websites, but I wouldn't take it for granted. This Dd has numerous regional, national, and international awards, so she outside validation of her accomplishments, they just aren't through College Board tests.

 

It really comes down to long-term objectives and how willing your student is to being open to the consequences of their choices. I would certainly not stand on my soap box and tell my child they can't take APs or DE bc I want them to experience a different education. But, when you have a student like my Dd who clearly articulated her arguments for using high school as an opportunity to explore areas of intense interests in depth, I am absolutely willing to support that decision as long as it is an informed one. She knows. Her choice.

 

Right now she really wants to be accepted into a program that only accepts 20 students per yr. She is more than qualified for the program, but whether or not they will recognize her non-traditional path, no telling until they make decisions. In the meantime, she has several options that are perfectly fine and affordable and she can make work if her other options don't come through.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. Chatting over coffee would be nice. :)

 

In terms of testing, I know you know, but for clarifies sake I should specify that there is no way of avoiding some of it. Homeschoolers are going to have to submit some standardized test scores for admission into 4 yr universities. Some schools want more than others. Not validating everything with test scores can limit options. My current sr hates standardized testing. She only took the SAT once (and the PSAT once.) She took the math 2 and the Latin subject tests.

 

At one point she was planning to apply to URichmond, but then she found out that they wanted additional subject tests in science and history, and she said no. Her choices have meant closing certain doors. But at another school she applied before she realized that they require the GED from homeschoolers. I contacted them as her GC and told them that if they were going to require her to submit a GED to please withdraw her application. They contacted us a few days later and told her she was not required to submit a GED. So there may be more flexibility than what is published on their websites, but I wouldn't take it for granted. This Dd has numerous regional, national, and international awards, so she outside validation of her accomplishments, they just aren't through College Board tests.

 

It really comes down to long-term objectives and how willing your student is to being open to the consequences of their choices. I would certainly not stand on my soap box and tell my child they can't take APs or DE bc I want them to experience a different education. But, when you have a student like my Dd who clearly articulated her arguments for using high school as an opportunity to explore areas of intense interests in depth, I am absolutely willing to support that decision as long as it is an informed one. She knows. Her choice.

 

Right now she really wants to be accepted into a program that only accepts 20 students per yr. She is more than qualified for the program, but whether or not they will recognize her non-traditional path, no telling until they make decisions. In the meantime, she has several options that are perfectly fine and affordable and she can make work if her other options don't come through.

In her case, her achievement with languages is clearly validated. I think making it to the language Olympiad team is worth a lot more than AP.

I think for those of us who don't have kids who can achieve such honors, APs seem to be the fallback to demonstrate achievement. Trust me, if my kid was ever capable of making a math Olympiad squad, I would never consider APs.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In her case, her achievement with languages is clearly validated. I think making it to the language Olympiad team is worth a lot more than AP.

I think for those of us who don't have kids who can achieve such honors, APs seem to be the fallback to demonstrate achievement. Trust me, if my kid was ever capable of making a math Olympiad squad, I would never consider APs.

But making the international team didn't happen until this yr. She chose this path in 10th. She wouldn't have changed it even if she didn't have the awards that she does. Her decision was based on wanting to have the freedom to study subjects like fairy tales for literature, Russian history and communism in the 20th century for history, etc.

 

Her course descriptions describe her studies in depth. Her awards are very lopsided and language focused. Ironically, French, her strongest language by far, has no awards.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AP's have been mentioned, and I think it might be beneficial to take another look at them in the light of this thread.

(I know many, most likely all, of us on this thread have examined and discussed AP's thoroughly in our own minds, with our teens, and on the boards. These comments are more for those who haven't quite crossed that bridge yet.)

 

After reading many threads here and elsewhere, I had determined AP's would NOT be a path worth traveling. It seemed the current AP classes were bad news in so many ways. There were just too many cons.

 

Guess who just sent emails to register a student for AP tests for the second year in a row? Me.

 

What changed?

 

There came a time when looking at all the possibilities and despite having so many excellent opportunities available, the paths that kept looking the brightest and most open were ones that included AP's. Deciding to take some AP classes and tests came about as a result of our thought experiment – not as a result of not undertaking one.

 

I don't think anyone is advocating throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but sometimes when a parent just wants (needs) guidelines and some sort way to add structure to the madness, it can be tempting to make a rash decision to not investigate AP's because of other students' bad fits, philosophical objections, or negative experiences. So although AP's shouldn't necessarily be the default, not doing them probably shouldn't be the default either. Again, I'm not saying anyone is saying this. That doesn't mean no one is interpreting it that way. In the spirit of the thread, ideally there is no default.

 

Not taking AP's doesn't doom a student to failure. Taking AP's doesn't mean a student is a mindless cog in a machine.

 

Not taking AP's can be brave. Taking them can also be brave. (Many will go so far as to say that finding a place to take the exam is, in and of itself, an act of bravery.)

 

Much like liquid courage and education, bravery and authenticity can take many forms.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, WMA. For my kids my goal is to not have an automatic answer one way or the other but to make decisions based on their thought through choices. For my current college student, APs and DE were the right choice.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thought experiment and fun to read everyone's ideas!

 

With TWTM and Charlotte Mason, the ideal is to build our learning around great books. I want my kids to be able to think about what they're reading-- with the level/depth of thinking guided by their developmental stage. This sounds easy, but it's hard, especially since homeschoolers are continually challenged to provide something that they are still trying to attain for themselves.

 

So... along those lines... my ideal would also include the parents. Training and equipping them in the big ideas, methods, and lines of questioning that make learning deep and rich.

 

Along with this, my ideal homeschool would include an outside 'academy' of sorts that offered book discussions for each stage of the trivium, and for each historical period within these stages. So logic stage students would have a book discussion class for Ancients, Middle Ages, Early Modern, then Modern. Same for elementary (with maybe light discussion and the projects) and then High School. 

 

In fact, I'd love to see a homeschool academy of some kind that has all sorts of classes for the things that are hard to do solo, or just more fun to do in a group. I'm thinking nature study and art projects at the elementary stage. Science at the logic and rhetoric stages-- those experiments! Many parents need to outsource math or foreign language. Public speaking, drama. All those things that we piece together and spend hours driving to, but located in one place. I'd love to see a private school of sorts that you can tap in or out of, to the extent you need, but still have a rich school at home.

 

I wish there were more meaningful social opportunities for kids. It's all so kid-centric and seems focused on keeping kids entertained.

 

I think travel would definitely be a part of our ideal. We're studying the Vikings and Norse Myths and I'm longing to kayak the fjords and visit Iceland.

 

Service. I'd love to find ways for us to be serving in unique ways. My daughter isn't old enough yet to be a 'homework buddy' at the library. I'd like to have us involved with something where we're working directly with kids who struggle to learn. I want my kids to meet and work with kids that are different from us. We are privileged and I see how much compassion and gratitude is created when kids see a bigger world. This has been one benefit I've appreciated from my son's public High School experience. 

 

Also, I wish we lived on a small farm. The suburbs are convenient but uninspiring, and often noisy. I think kids need important work to do. Laundry and dishes, dusting and vacuuming, mowing and weeding are all worthy and necessary, but having a few chickens, a garden... some quiet and beauty around us... I long for that.

 

I'd love to see easier access to mentoring and apprenticeship opportunities. My son really needed some direction and outside work that wasn't a class, but I never had any idea how to make it happen.

 

Hmmm.... I'll be thinking more about this....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4

 

(i think)

 

We did gymnastics for physical training. I wanted my children to learn that intense physical control. It cost a huge amount of money, down time, and family time. It has saved my children's lives upon occasion. We would do it again.

 

My ideal education would include gymnastics team at a good gym with no commute starting at about 2 and going through about 15. (The commute was part of what made it hard.) i need to get the sit-down part of school out of the way first thing in the morning,, but what would have worked best for my children, I think, would have been to do gym first and then, when their bodies were worn out enough to sit still, do seat work.

 

Music - we would do it every day, a combination of Orff and Kodally, in a class (so lots of harmony), working towards complete musical literacy, not just being able to sing. They would also study an instrument. Ensemble work outside music class would be optional. Nobody would be forced to be creative. The focus would be on skills. But everyone would be encouraged to play around with music and have fun.

 

Art - Ditto about the creating. The little ones would just draw and play with art stuff. Then I would watch carefully, and when they showed signs of being dissatisfied with their drawing, which happened at about 8 or 9 for my children, I would teach the cartooning/drafting type drawing taught in Draw Squad, drawing from the imagination. Later, I would do a more grownup version of drawing class and teach drawing something you are looking at. Learning to draw would not be optional. It would be considered a communication form like writing, and assignments for other classes would include a mix of drawing and writing. We would do painting and sculpting also, but only the basics. The Klutz painting book was great for this, I think. Anything further would be optional. This would be taught at home, unlike music and gymnastics.

 

Family time - well, my preference would be for a wild, free summer of time spent stuck someplace like on a small boat or camping, with lots of this weekends, too. Making music together, reading aloud, playing games, ... All important stuff.

 

I think as the child grows, the child needs a bigger world. We did this by letting our children travel for months at a time with the Nipponzan Myohoji monks. In my opinion, this was ideal and covered many subjects in an applied way, but I certainly would not recommend it for all families or children. I would have something like this in my ideal education. I also would include classes and non-family teachers in my ideal education, for some subjects, so my children had a learning community to challenge them and inspire them, more for the social learners. I think mentors are important as well. I think ideally, the child would have mentors for their particular passions.

 

Foreign language - at least one ancient and one modern. Ideally, the modern would be taught immersion style from birth and then used in school, not taught as a foreign language. You would do dictation in English one day and French the next, great books would be both, history in English one year and in French the next, or something like that. Immersion, travel, and a use for the language would be important.The ancient language would be taught in a more conventional way, but much more like in Europe, where they move to using the language in a real way more quickly.

 

Nan

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking a lot about this topic.

I'm not sure there is an ideal education, or even an ideal educational philosophy. When I read something like the Well Trained Mind that lays out a coherent philosophy and reasonable suggested course of study for 12 years or so, I can see that a path like that could result in an adult prepared for life.

But it's almost a polar opposite of my own educational/developmental experience, a rich but extremely fragmented path that also produced adults very much prepared for life.

Which makes me think--there is no best box, and boxes of any sort aren't necessarily required.

Here's my story:

My mom was an educator by training who felt that children should not be cooped up in classrooms at a young age. During my early years, we lived on a small family farm. I didn't go to school, neither did my mom provide any structured education at home. I had violin lessons and practicing was a daily ritual. We had lots of books in the house and both my parents read aloud to us regularly. We had family chores and as we were able helped with the farm. And I spent countless hours in imaginative play with my siblings. We waded in irrigation ditches, built cities in the sandbox, climbed trees, played on the coal pile in the shed, made dolls out of immature corn cobs and brushed their cornsilk hair with brushes made of spruce tree twigs, played with kittens, rode our bikes, ran barefoot through the fields. We didn't have a TV in the house, but did have a large collection of classical music on vinyl records.

When I was 8 my mom figured I was old enough for school and enrolled me in the third grade at the local elementary school. I'd learned to read just that summer, though my mom had been trying to teach me off and on for several years. Once I started reading I took off, going from barely sounding out words to reading David Copperfield in a single year. I hadn't had much exposure to spelling or writing or written math before I started school but I caught up quickly. The next summer, our family's life changed dramatically as my dad took a job that had us moving first across the country, then just a few months later leaving the US entirely. I spent the next nine years living in five different countries on three different continents, attending seven different schools with three different primary languages of instruction.

Fragmentation indeed. In terms of academic content, whole years at a time went over my head as I struggled to learn a new language. And then, there was no continuity of instruction from one school to the next. On the flip side of the coin, life was immensely rich with experience--living in and traveling through a significant portion of the world, learning languages, interacting with people from a wide variety of cultures and circumstances. At home, we still had lots of books and magazines, and that was where I did a lot of my learning. I'd just pick something that seemed interesting, whether it was Lord of the Rings or War and Peace or the Gaelic Wars in a Latin/English edition or The Economist or one of my mother's many science and math book of the month club acquisitions. Reading was my way of staying grounded in a constantly shifting world, of having something that was under my control.

My last two years of high school were spent in an International Baccalaureate program at a private school in Europe. Those were challenging years as my 9th and 10th grade years in an entirely differently and much less rigorous educational system (on a different continent) had not at all prepared me for the rigor of the IB. I survived though, passed my exams, graduated, and moved back to the US on my own to attend college. I can't say my academic course up to that point was in any way ideal, certainly there were all kinds of gaps, but the transition to college wasn't any more of a challenge than any of the other numerous transitions I had been through.

I'm not sure I can call what I experienced an education--certainly not in any traditional sense of a teacher passing a specified body of knowledge on to a student. But I grew and learned and experienced and was seemingly better prepared than many to make my way as an adult.

With my own kids? I've never had any particular set educational path in mind. I try every year to give them what seems best to meet their mental, physical, social, and emotional needs at the time. I do keep basic skills in mind--they need to be able to read, to write, and to understand and manipulate numbers and mathematical relations. I'd like them to speak at least one foreign language. I'd like them to have the joy of artistic and physical pursuits in their lives, I'd like to cultivate curiosity and inquisitiveness and a sense of self in a large and fascinating world. I'd like them to develop compassion and a willingness to seek to understand the lives and experiences of others.

I'm not too worried about a checklist of things to learn. There's way more to the world than could ever fit on a checklist.

Edited by maize
  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still working my way through the posts in this thread (note to self: you left off at post #47) and trying to gather my thoughts coherently on this subject.  It's surprisingly difficult for me to do this right now (gather my thoughts on it), yet I suspect it is a well-timed exercise nonetheless.  It's something of a reality-check, something that can help make sure we are still going in a good direction, working in good ways for us, instead of getting stuck in ruts.

 

Does this make sense?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still working my way through the posts in this thread (note to self: you left off at post #47) and trying to gather my thoughts coherently on this subject.  It's surprisingly difficult for me to do this right now (gather my thoughts on it), yet I suspect it is a well-timed exercise nonetheless.  It's something of a reality-check, something that can help make sure we are still going in a good direction, working in good ways for us, instead of getting stuck in ruts.

 

Does this make sense?

 

Yes, it does. And I agree!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know what I would love? A homeschool tour group. If there was an affordable way to travel and take the kids to educational places with other homeschoolers, I'd be there.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know what I would love? A homeschool tour group. If there was an affordable way to travel and take the kids to educational places with other homeschoolers, I'd be there.

 

 

What a great idea!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am loving this thread.

 

And if 8filltheheart & SWB have coffee I'd move mountains to hear some of that conversation!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know what I would love? A homeschool tour group. If there was an affordable way to travel and take the kids to educational places with other homeschoolers, I'd be there.

 

My experience going on field trips with homeschoolers is that the kids are so excited to see their friends they miss the whole purpose of the field trip.  No more group field trips for me unless they're recreational.   :D

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The interesting thing about the bolded is that autonomy plays a key role in the development of competence, mastery and self discipline, at least according to self determination theory (which has reasonably good evidence for its utility).

 

I actually see a lot of education as actively undermining autonomy - especially that which is undertaken due to having to tick the boxes.

 

I personally struggle with this. I believe I could provide an education more encouraging of both autonomy and competence if I was freed from the legal obligation to tick certain boxes.

 

:iagree: I struggle with this, too. It's hard to find that perfect balance between requiring A, B, and C, on the one hand, and encouraging the student's intrinsic motivation, on the other.

 

Short personal anecdote: We had a library in our public high school, I do not know why. No one ever used it, except for one, brief class -- Library Orientation -- at the beginning of sophomore year. I remember walking past the library doors each morning, thinking, "If they'd only let me in there, if they'd only let me read, I might actually learn something." Honestly, by the time I'd put in my day, shuffling from poorly-taught class to even-more-poorly-taught class, went to band practice or Mock Trial, walked home, did chores, took a shower, did homework, spent time with my parents -- where was there any time for autonomy? Where was there any time for self-study or personal interests or mastery of something that interested me? That kind of daily set-up, year after year, is not at all conducive to becoming a self-directed learner. I remember feeling a sense of loss about that, even in high school.

 

So there is that question for us, as homeschoolers, of how to prevent doing the same thing again to our own kids. On the one hand -- The Requirements, ours and the state's. On the other hand -- Something Else? I remember having this idea in my head, back then, that my preference would have been to meet with tutors every week (for direction, conversation, reading assignments, assessment), and then to spend the rest of my time in a nice, quiet, comfortable, sunny place, surrounded by books, pen and notebook in hand, reading, absorbing, thinking through things.... Alas, it was not to be. 

 

I had this idea that I could have one tutor for Math, Science & Technology. We would meet twice weekly.

 

Another for Humanities -- English Composition (with vocabulary, grammar, etc.), English Literature, History, Geography, Philosophy, etc. We would meet three times per week.

 

Another tutor for French. Three times a week.

 

Another for Music. Twice weekly.

 

So, a high school schedule might be something like:

 

Monday-Wednesday-Friday

AM: Humanities Tutor; French Tutor

PM: Readings/study/exercises in Math/Science & Music

 

Tuesday-Thursday

AM: Math/Science/Tech Tutor; Music Tutor

PM: Readings/study/writings for Humanities & French

 

Anyway, that was my high school dream line-up. The reality was a far cry from that. :rolleyes:

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So, a high school schedule might be something like:

 

Monday-Wednesday-Friday

AM: Humanities Tutor; French Tutor

PM: Readings/study/exercises in Math/Science & Music

 

Tuesday-Thursday

AM: Math/Science/Tech Tutor; Music Tutor

PM: Readings/study/writings for Humanities & French

 

 

 

This is actually quite similar to my daughter's schedule with tutors and on-line classes. It's working out well. Now if we can just replicate it next year.... :glare:

 

Edited to add: Time in the afternoons and evenings is also spent with mentors and in pursuing other interests and goals.

(Thanks for the reminder, maize.)

Edited by Woodland Mist Academy
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The autonomy issue is important to me as well. After writing my post upthread I realized I had left out an important goal I have in educating my own children: that of facilitating the development of their personal interests and pursuit of their individual goals.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience going on field trips with homeschoolers is that the kids are so excited to see their friends they miss the whole purpose of the field trip.  No more group field trips for me unless they're recreational.   :D

 

I'm not talking about field trips though. I'm talking about a whole week touring educational places similar to what schools do with Washington DC or Europe trips. I'd prefer middle school age and up. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not talking about field trips though. I'm talking about a whole week touring educational places similar to what schools do with Washington DC or Europe trips. I'd prefer middle school age and up. 

 

I've seen it happen on these types of trips, too. I'm sure it depends on the individuals involved. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not talking about field trips though. I'm talking about a whole week touring educational places similar to what schools do with Washington DC or Europe trips. I'd prefer middle school age and up.

I think Landry Academy runs trips like that but they're probably only a good option for folks in their target demographic.

 

Do I hear you volunteering to coordinate something? :D

 

It actually would probably not be hard to do--set something up with one of the companies that regularly runs tour groups then advertise on TWTM boards for participants :)

Edited by maize
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not talking about field trips though. I'm talking about a whole week touring educational places similar to what schools do with Washington DC or Europe trips. I'd prefer middle school age and up.

I think this is an example of what would be a great opportunity for one family, would be another family's private hell. I like having options though. (I just wouldn't choose the same option that you chose).

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is an example of what would be a great opportunity for one family, would be another family's private hell. I like having options though. (I just wouldn't choose the same option that you chose).

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

No I get it. Dh would never be on board with something like this. He loathes travel. I'm the one with the wanderlust. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No I get it. Dh would never be on board with something like this. He loathes travel. I'm the one with the wanderlust. 

 

For us it wouldn't be the travel. The issue would be traveling with a group.  There are many reasons I avoid it, including losing a certain degree of spontaneity and freedom.

Edited by Woodland Mist Academy
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For us it wouldn't be the travel. The issue would be traveling with a group. There are many reasons I avoid it, including losing a certain degree of spontaneity and freedom.

Yes. This is it for me. I like to poke around at things at my own pace. Some things I would breeze over and some things would have me stalled as I took it all in. It's similar when it comes to my book learning. In an ideal world, that would be at my pace too.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to say thank you SWB for starting this thread - and huge thanks to everyone who took the time to respond.  I've been reading through the replies and thinking and writing down my own responses to SWB's and others' questions.  Found this thread by accident and it came my way at a really good time for me to really benefit from considering these big picture questions.

 

How awesome is it to have a place to get challenged to think and respond in our homeschool life according to the really important stuff?! Fuel for the days and weeks when it can feel that we're just putting one foot in front of the other.   

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread makes for great reading as I prepare for my new school year in Australia.  Many thanks to those who contributed so thoughtfully.

 

Best wishes

Jen in Oz

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, how I wish I had participated in this thread.  Maybe I will, regardless of how old it is... once I get through my planning for the week, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am finding some of the ideal in a homeschool co-op that employs those who are passionate about the subject their teaching. A former engineer is teaching junior high boys robotics. A woman whose native language is Spanish is teaching Spanish. A high ranking Air Force pilot who loves loves loves history has move his schedule around so that he can teach history. I guess in the upper grades, mentors as teachers is ideal. Also, I wish there were more people who were willing and more laws that made it possible for teens to be apprenticed. I had a friend who owned a remodeling company. He was excellent at his job. He was willing to take on apprentices but there were some laws that made it hard unless it was your own child. I have a son that loves computers and building them. We have a friend who has taught him some things and I have never seen my child so happy. But-our friend just doesn’t have the time. So, a network of people willing to apprentice teens in a variety of skills is my ideal.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by bethben
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...