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What it a "good" education?


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I read threads like the one going on right now, and wonder if I'm doing enough?  

 

I'd love a list that I could check off.  An "if your kid can knows x stuff, and has y skills you are good to go" sort of list.  As it is, I feel like I just have to put my faith in a curriculum, or wing it, and hope I know what I'm doing.  Is the IOWA a good measure?  

 

What other measures are there?

 

 

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This is a very loaded question.  It would be easier if there were a check list. 

 

I don't like the standardized tests.  My kids do excellent on them, but I don't put much stock into them and only do them because I'm required to.  They don't make me feel like oh yay we are on track.  I feel oh yay the school won't be on my back, but that is about it.

 

 

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One that enables the child to lead a productive life and be an informed consumer and citizen.

Different paths can lead to the same goal.

 

I am not sure what you are asking. Is this a general, philosophical question, or a "what does my x-grader need to know" thing?

Edited by regentrude
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Good is so subjective so my husband and I based what we want for our kids based on our own "elite" public school education. So far none of the standardized tests my kids took were useful for giving us information but the test results were useful at keeping grandparents satisfied that we are doing a decent job homeschooling.

 

My kids did the Stanford 10 online which is untimed because my younger boy does better in untimed tests. Last year they did the ACT and SAT because they want to go back to brick and mortar for high school.

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One that enables the child to lead a productive life and be an informed consumer and citizen.

Different paths can lead to the same goal.

 

I am not sure what you are asking. Is this a general, philosophical question, or a "what does my x-grader need to know" thing?

 

Both.

 

There has to be some measure of "good enough," if we can say that certain people aren't doing it.  So what is "enough?"  And what does it mean to do well?

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And, regentrude, what does that mean?  

 

You mean "to lead a productive life and be an informed consumer and citizen"?

 

To have skills that enable the person to earn a living and support a family. 

 

Aside from the skills pertaining to a given job, an informed consumer and citizen should:

 

Have the math skills to understand budget, percentages, taxes, mortgage interest etc, interpret graphs and statistics presented in media etc

Have the literacy skills to understand newspapers, official letters, the paper that describes medication side effects, etc

Have enough knowledge about science to be able to evaluate dubious claims online, have an understanding how the own body functions, evaluate medical information phrased to be accessible to the general public, be able to look for more information, understand the basics of how the world functions and the things surrounding the person

Have enough knowledge about history, geography, and current events to follow the world news, put political developments into a global and historical context, know how to check news for veracity, detect BS

 

Things like that. The above is not an exhaustive list of goals I have for an "educated" person. A "good" education should also enable the person to participate in the worldwide and ageless conversation about the human condition that is carried out in literature, film, art.

Edited by regentrude
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Tibbie, I have read quite a bit, but I still don't feel the measure is clear.  I know what I would like for my children, but that doesn't answer the question of what is really enough?  And sometimes I wonder if I am missing something?

 

Regentrude thank you for that.  That is still a fairly subjective list, based more upon the norms of the local culture than something concrete.  Math standards, sure, but not the interpretation of data.

 

Unfortunately, I have to step away from my laptop for a bit.  Thanks for discussing!

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The other thread is stressing me out. I am pretty confident many of you would disapprove of our level of homeschool efforts. I struggle because I feel I don't have what it takes to give the kids what they need and I live in a public school district that no one I know and respect locally would ever send their child to. And for the record I'm not comfortable at all with it either, but can't afford private and got berated by the local charter school administrator when I tried to apply there (there's a thread on here when it happened).

 

Feeling pretty hopeless right now.

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There has to be some measure of "good enough," if we can say that certain people aren't doing it. So what is "enough?"

I would expect a 12 year old child with no learning disabilities to be able to read and understand the local newspapers, as well as be proficient at math up to order of operations and be able to tally a simple grocery receipt mentally.

 

My late granduncle owns and runs a cafe. Whatever he needs in terms of academics he has learned in 1st-6th at a village school. It was sufficient for him to be able to understand and do his business taxes and bookkeeping. He did pay for an annual audit. He had an education up to 12th grade and was a self taught carpenter. He made furniture such as baby cradles and rocking chairs to give away.

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Regentrude thank you for that.  That is still a fairly subjective list, based more upon the norms of the local culture than something concrete.  Math standards, sure, but not the interpretation of data.

 

I assure you that my list is very far from "norms of the local culture", LOL.

 

These are just some of the skills without which a person cannot make informed decisions about their personal lives, nor about issues on which they have to vote as a citizen.

 

One way to break it down into something concrete is to work backwards from the goals one wants for the young adult and see where one needs to be at age x to get there. 

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The other thread is stressing me out. I am pretty confident many of you would disapprove of our level of homeschool efforts. I struggle because I feel I don't have what it takes to give the kids what they need and I live in a public school district that no one I know and respect locally would ever send their child to. And for the record I'm not comfortable at all with it either, but can't afford private and got berated by the local charter school administrator when I tried to apply there (there's a thread on here when it happened).

 

Feeling pretty hopeless right now.

 

If people are willing to talk in specifics, I am always ready to listen and help.

 

What is your child reading, are you setting aside time to talk about the world, are you trudging through a math curriculum, do you work on grammar, have you been in out in nature...

 

I hope all the up-and-comers will remember the zillion conversations we've had around here, regarding what can be accomplished in 3 hours per day (early elementary) or 5-7 (middle to high school). The question is, what are you doing with your time that you've set aside for home education?

 

I'm not sitting around waiting to judge people who show up and teach their own children every day. Also, a lot of newer hs'ers don't realize how much the subjects overlap; when they don't get to all five of their language arts plans (oh, these signature lines), it's probably fine...

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I think regentrude's posts sum it up pretty nicely imo.

 

No matter what profession your kids sets out for, there are certain things they need to know to be self sufficient in this life, and able to make decisions for themselves, independently of pressures from outside influence. There's going to be some variation of course if one child wants to be a chef, and another an astrophysicist, the path will be different, but there should be a converging general base of knowledge. They both need to balance a check book ,they both (hopefully) vote, and will eventually be responsible (again hopefully) for a family. Life is more than a job, so I am not one for "career readiness" as the be all, end all. I think being a well read, educated person is someone who by default is career ready. If you can think, you can learn just about anything with enough effort.

 

Sometimes jobs don't work out, sometimes life doesn't go the way we want it- I want my children's education to prepare them for those worst case scenarios, because honestly, the likelihood of that happening is not slim in the world as it is now. Teaching them to think and be self sufficient are my two top goals. And I don't mean "critical thinking" BS that is pushed by all the public schools right now. It's so much more than that. I want them to be able to navigate and still be successful if they graduate college and find no job opening for their major. Or what they expected they could be. 

 

I value logic, math, discipline, and a well read kid who looks beyond the surface of things. If I can produce one of those, they can do anything they choose because they have the tools to do so. How I get there might be different than how you get there though, but I think a lot of us just want prepared kids for the world as a whole, rather than a specific situation. 

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The other thread is stressing me out. I am pretty confident many of you would disapprove of our level of homeschool efforts. I struggle because I feel I don't have what it takes to give the kids what they need and I live in a public school district that no one I know and respect locally would ever send their child to. And for the record I'm not comfortable at all with it either, but can't afford private and got berated by the local charter school administrator when I tried to apply there (there's a thread on here when it happened).

 

Feeling pretty hopeless right now.

 

There's probably a Tibbie post somewhere about the unlikelihood of being able to make it from pauper to prince in one generation.

 

From pauper to middle class can be possible, though.

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The other thread is stressing me out. I am pretty confident many of you would disapprove of our level of homeschool efforts. I struggle because I feel I don't have what it takes to give the kids what they need and I live in a public school district that no one I know and respect locally would ever send their child to. And for the record I'm not comfortable at all with it either, but can't afford private and got berated by the local charter school administrator when I tried to apply there (there's a thread on here when it happened).

 

Feeling pretty hopeless right now.

Aren't your kids early primary right now? You have a long way to get to the point regentrude is talking about. Do some math writing and reading each day. Read to your kids, including some non fiction. Then they get older and it gets easier. And you can do more.

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The other thread is stressing me out. I am pretty confident many of you would disapprove of our level of homeschool efforts. I struggle because I feel I don't have what it takes to give the kids what they need and I live in a public school district that no one I know and respect locally would ever send their child to. And for the record I'm not comfortable at all with it either, but can't afford private and got berated by the local charter school administrator when I tried to apply there (there's a thread on here when it happened).

 

Feeling pretty hopeless right now.

 

You need to dig up some of your old threads where we talked about this and assured you, you were on the right track. Don't beat yourself up because we're all waxing philosophical on an unrelated post! 

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Pinkmink, I always have to remind myself that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Just keep plodding o and you will get there. Iamwriting this only to try and give encouragement to you.

 

None of my boys would have been able to pass a standardised test before the age of 15. 3 could not read before 12 (dyslexia) it wasn't due to lack of me being motivated to teach I had to drag some of them through just about every subject. But you know what. In the end 1 has an aerospace engineering degree, and two have tertiary deploma in conservation and land management. All three are employed.

 

And me personally. When I startedhomeschooling I had to look up in the dictionary what a noun and verb were. (I kid you not) I left school after year 10. I felt so inadequate to teach them. But while I was teaching the older three I realised i can do it , I even studied and got a bachelor.

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The other thread is stressing me out. I am pretty confident many of you would disapprove of our level of homeschool efforts. I struggle because I feel I don't have what it takes to give the kids what they need and I live in a public school district that no one I know and respect locally would ever send their child to. And for the record I'm not comfortable at all with it either, but can't afford private and got berated by the local charter school administrator when I tried to apply there (there's a thread on here when it happened).

 

Feeling pretty hopeless right now.

 

I do remember you talking about this.  Being that I don't follow you around, I can't tell if this is a matter of you really aren't doing enough or you lack confidence and are too hard on yourself.  I also recall you struggle with depression (is that right?).  That could definitely cloud how you see the situation.

 

If you are highly concerned, maybe you should consider taking some sort of action to remedy the situation.  Do you have anyone locally who might be able to help you?  Maybe implementing a more step by step goal oriented plan would help you. 

 

I think if it's not as good as it could be your kids are young enough where you can correct this no problem. 

 

I will often say I'd never send my kids to school here, but honestly, if I could not manage homeschooling, I would send them.  I'd send them and I'd console myself a little by being a really big pain in the arse at the school to make sure my kids get what they need and maximize on every resource.  It would kill me for a variety of reasons.  No double about it, but at the end of the day I want what is best for them.  But don't take this to mean I think you should do this!  Just that it's ok if you have to.

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Which thread are you referring to?

  

Probably this one http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/634895-does-anyone-else-see-this-do-you-think-it-is-cause-for-concern/

The other thread is stressing me out. I am pretty confident many of you would disapprove of our level of homeschool efforts.

Take care of yourself first. Your kids are really young.

My kids still can't ride a bike or tie their shoelaces and my youngest is 11. Everybody has an Achilles heel. I can't get my kids to learn their heritage language from me, I had to get a tutor and they learned fast.

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For me, this question is part of why I couldn't handle unschooling. If I'm following a planned, intentional curriculum, which we work on daily, and my child is learning the things in the curriculum, I can be reasonably certain I'm equipping him adequately for future work. I'm not willing to let him follow whatever he likes and not impose work upon him while I just hope it all works out in the end. Also, the level of time investment has to ratchet up the older they get.

 

I do use standardized tests to give me a good idea of how well the kid is doing. It's not the be-all, and I'm sure it skews some with kids who are unaccustomed to bubble sheets, but that is also a skill they will need in order to follow a traditional college-bound path. (And yes, I do want my kids to progress towards a traditional college-bound path. I am not one to romanticize alternatives to direct college, as I lived that life and Don't prefer it.)

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I feel standardized testing (except that done by psychologists for testing), is mostly useless for most students. It can give you a general feel for where your student is from year to year, but the tests are too random.

 

As for what is a good education... that's hard for me to answer. I think a student should be challenged and continue to improve. Beyond that, it's very variable. Educational ideals and standards vary based on the person or specialist you ask. You can use guidelines like state or county recommendations, federal common core, educator (what your X grader needs to know). For some students these guidelines are inappropriate (above or below ability).

 

Is that a non answer enough? :)

 

I think if you have concerns or wonder about your curriculum, at least compare it to What your X grader needs to know.

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Don't want to hijack the thread. I'll just say yes, the signature lines are intimidating. Lol. 

 

Yes, I need to find some of the old threads where I detailed what our homeschool is like and you all encouraged me. Yes, I have been more than moderately depressed and anxious most of my life, am currently medicated, though it's not perfect and it bothers me to think my kids education will have to suffer because of my shortcomings. Anyway, I am the wrong person to ask as to whether I'm too hard on myself. I don't think I am. Other people think I am but I think they're just trying to appease me. 

 

Off to dig up the old threads of encouragement. 

 

And some of Hunter's stuff. That usually leaves me pretty encouraged. 

Edited by pinkmint
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That's a tough question! I believe a fundamentally good education is one that produces a literate, numerate child/young adult who is capable of acquiring whatever additional skills or knowledge they desire. Essentially, educated enough to pursue education and knowledge themselves. An autodidact.

 

This varies depending on the kid and native ability, as well as interests, but I don't want a child who depends on me or another teacher to guide them in their pursuits. Utilizing educational services is one thing, but I don't want them unable to approach their textbook and assimilate the content on their own with minimal hand holding, if know what I mean?

 

If my kid can exceed me in knowledge and skill and isn't handicapped to pursue their own interests and goals I've succeeded, I think.

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Don't want to hijack the thread. I'll just say yes, the signature lines are intimidating. Lol. 

 

Yes, I need to find some of the old threads where I detailed what our homeschool is like and you all encouraged me. Yes, I have been more than moderately depressed and anxious most of my life, am currently medicated, though it's not perfect and it bothers me to think my kids education will have to suffer because of my shortcomings. Anyway, I am the wrong person to ask as to whether I'm too hard on myself. I don't think I am. Other people think I am but I think they're just trying to appease me. 

 

Off to dig up the old threads of encouragement. 

 

And some of Hunter's stuff. That usually leaves me pretty encouraged. 

 

Feel free to start a new thread. :) We would encourage you there too. Sweetheart, you're in a rough situation and I think many of us applaud you for what you do and battle through- if you don't get encouragement on the outside (which I don't think you do besides your dh) we are happy to help you out here. 

 

Like Sadie said, Hugs and Hope. :grouphug:  

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Both.

 

There has to be some measure of "good enough," if we can say that certain people aren't doing it.  So what is "enough?"  And what does it mean to do well?

 

At this point in my homeschool career ( :coolgleamA: ), I feel that, pre-high school, there is no genuine way to measure (and high school is debatable, but I have more firm expectations than in the earlier years,) but it is sometimes a "you'll know it when you see it" thing.

 

My kids are tested in 3rd, 5th, and 8th, and sometimes request I test them in off years.  Most of them bombed their 3rd grade math sections, and for different reasons.  But (until my youngest,) they always did formal math from K or 1st.  And they ACE science and social studies every year, despite never working on the science concepts presented by 3rd or 5th, or ever doing "social studies".  

 

I absolutely believe in following a child's individual development vs. grade level standards.  But, to me, that means actually following them, not just blowing off academics until "someday".  My two youngest are doing more "hands on math" or "game math" than formal math right now, one because he's struggling, and the other because he's already mastered age-based concepts, but the next steps were frustrating him. We're not just not doing math because it's hard, or because our kids don't line up "right".  And grocery store math and cooking math ARE parts of that for us, but not the entirety, or else how will they ever move on?

 

My daughters were brought up with a lot more formal curriculum.  Frankly, they're not especially terrific students.  They have some true academic strengths, but they're very specific, not general.  (Example: they can parse the youknowwhat out of a sentence, but don't check their punctuation!) That said, I'm 100% confident that, given reliable transportation (too young to drive,) I could drop dead and they could handle basic employment (once the other turns 14,) continue volunteering, and run the household and their social lives without a struggle.  They understand current events, engage with a wide range of people, read for fun, can make a grocery budget and cook it up from scratch WITH balanced nutrition, are empathetic, physically active, and take no baloney from anyone.  Their math level and science course progression is, imo, gravy in the big picture at this point.

 

So, really, the only thing *I'm* concerned with, as far as "standards" go, is that my kids will have transcripts that can get them into college if that's the route they choose.  I don't believe anyone should have to go to college, but (barring disabilities) I'll be damned if I shut that door on them.  But it takes TWELVE years to get there.  No individual snapshots over those 12 years are going to reflect whether or not a student is going to be prepared for college or life at the end.

 

(For the record, my 18yo legit genius, who was mostly public schooled with some very rigorous homeschooling years, all with excellent grades, is almost completely unprepared for life. His As will not help him if I do drop dead.  His sisters might!)

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A good education allows people to

 

Not be soul-crushingly boring (or chronically, fatally bored, for that matter)

 

Communicate how not-boring they are

 

Do whatever kind of math life demands of them

 

Make thoughtful choices

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That thread stressed me out a bit too. My questions:

 

What do you do if your kid doesn't do well on tests of any kind?

What do you do if it doesn't matter how much/how hard you've worked with your kid they still can't get past elementary school math (basic operations, decimals and fractions)?

What do you do if you've gotten your child to read but the comprehension levels aren't there?

What do you do if you realize your kid is not college material?

What do you do if you realize that your kid isn't even CC material?

What do you do if you realize that your kid may be suited for working at a cash register all their life?

What do you do if your kid is not interested in book studies? What if they are more driven toward art, working with their hands, food?

What if your kid has no drive?

What if? What if? What if?

 

There are a lot of people out there who struggle so much in homeschooling. We do our best, we try our hardest. We're juggling kids, homeschooling, part or full-time work and making sure our kids can at least get a job one day if not go to college. A lot of us have given up the college dream for one or more of our children because we know, it's not happening. There are those out there who are doing a lot too. And if you have that kid who can do it, that's great. But a lot of us drew different cards in life. And we have to work with what we're given and some times it's not a lot. 

 

And I know there is educational neglect that happens. And drugs and alcohol or abuse aren't always the reason behind. Some people are lazy. But I think the majority of us on here and the majority of people who are out there trying to homeschool their kids are really trying.  They may fail or their kids may fall short. But we're trying.  And that should really be worth something.

 

So if you feel bad about that thread or any other---Don't. You're doing the best you can.

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Posted Today, 04:52 PM

That thread stressed me out a bit too. My questions:

 

What do you do if your kid doesn't do well on tests of any kind?

What do you do if it doesn't matter how much/how hard you've worked with your kid they still can't get past elementary school math (basic operations, decimals and fractions)?

What do you do if you've gotten your child to read but the comprehension levels aren't there?

What do you do if you realize your kid is not college material?

What do you do if you realize that your kid isn't even CC material?

What do you do if you realize that your kid may be suited for working at a cash register all their life?

What do you do if your kid is not interested in book studies? What if they are more driven toward art, working with their hands, food?

What if your kid has no drive?

What if? What if? What if?

 

 

If these were my questions, I would want the child assessed by (at minimum) an educational assessment service, but better would be a neurologist or something along those lines. If a child is intellectually disabled then that requires a different direction. But that is a different thing that a child who reaches 18 without having any idea how to solve a simple equation because they have had no exposure to such a thing.

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A lot of what is considered 'good' in homeschooling circles reflects solidly middle class options and choices. But a working class or less well off mom has plenty to offer her kids as well, especially in elementary and middle, but not excluding high school.

 

Yeah you know, I follow a homeschool mom on instagram. Read her blog for a long time. One day recently she casually mentioned that she has a (I assume) paid homeschool assistant. This assistant just so happens to have appeared in zero of the many posted photos of homeschool days.

 

Nothing wrong with it. Sure wish I had the means to do something like that but it's a good reality check. Here I was comparing myself to her thinking our circumstances were similar. And they're definitely not.

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If these were my questions, I would want the child assessed by (at minimum) an educational assessment service, but better would be a neurologist or something along those lines. If a child is intellectually disabled then that requires a different direction. But that is a different thing that a child who reaches 18 without having any idea how to solve a simple equation because they have had no exposure to such a thing.

I wasn't thinking of one specific child with all these questions but questions that different families might have about one child or another. You may have one child who even though they've been exposed to algebra is really still struggling with the basics of math.  You may have another family where they got the child reading but they have problems comprehending long passages and larger words in print.

 

I was pretty much throwing in all the questions I see out there from all the families that struggle and put them in one place.  I didn't mean it as what if you are struggling with all of it at the same time. 

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Yeah you know, I follow a homeschool mom on instagram. Read her blog for a long time. One day recently she casually mentioned that she has a (I assume) paid homeschool assistant. This assistant just so happens to have appeared in zero of the many posted photos of homeschool days.

 

Nothing wrong with it. Sure wish I had the means to do something like that but it's a good reality check. Here I was comparing myself to her thinking our circumstances were similar. And they're definitely not.

That's not even middle class - that's elite. But I feel the same way about people who can pay housekeepers or even mothers helper. Around here those options simply aren't financially feasible for the bulk of the homeschooling families, including my own. Thus school looks more chaotic and messy just because only one person is managing it all.

 

That's okay - it's normal! And I feel a little bad because my kids are doing no school right now and I can barely get dishes clean or food set out. But this also isn't a typical season for me, and over the course of our homeschooling we have been diligent and consistent. Aim for that long term consistency - and realize most of us don't have assistance (or assistants!), have bad days, and rarely achieve our entire list for the day. If the school gets done but the laundry doesn't? That's still a pretty darn good day in my book :)

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Pinkmint,  you said:   Here I was comparing myself to her thinking our circumstances were similar. 

 

Regarding the comparing - just say No.  Really.  You are almost always comparing your worst thing to their best thing and you cannot help but come out on the short end!   

 

Many years ago, there was a homeschooling magazine that used to arrive in my mailbox.  There was a always Perfect Family on the cover - there were always many children who were apparently graduating from high school at 10 or 11 and beginning college, while wearing hand-made clothing woven from the cotton or the sheep the family raised on their farm, etc., ad nauseum.  

 

It was terrible for me - these families always appeared to be everything I was not and made me question everything that I was!   Finally, I wised up and cancelled my subscription - All that Comparing was destroying my ability to do what I could do!

 

Anne

 

 

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I wasn't thinking of one specific child with all these questions but questions that different families might have about one child or another. You may have one child who even though they've been exposed to algebra is really still struggling with the basics of math. You may have another family where they got the child reading but they have problems comprehending long passages and larger words in print.

 

I was pretty much throwing in all the questions I see out there from all the families that struggle and put them in one place. I didn't mean it as what if you are struggling with all of it at the same time.

I see. I still think that certain things you said in here would be red flags that the child has an LD or an intellectual disability, even if it were only one item on your list. Every person who is neuro-typical and has some exposure can learn all basic math handily before their teens, for example. If someone were teaching them and teaching them but the child is simply not comprehending or learning it at all, there's something wrong. It is normal to learn skills with daily exposure. If learning is not happening despite exposure, I would adsume this child needs assessment o find out why.

 

For other things you mentioned: child is really into art or good at building - I know a thing or two about this. I have no problem with my kid becoming an auto mechanic or a carpenter or a chef. My husband works in a blue collar field. However! I am still aiming my kids high; if they have the ability, there's no reason they can't be an auto mechanic or a chef with a bachelor's degree. Studies also indicate that the people who possess a bachelor's are more likely to be financially stable, even if they are "just" in a field they could have had without a bachelor's. It also tends to be better on other measures such as the kinds of friends you make and who you choose as a mate.

 

So, basically, I don't care about the what ifs. I'm aiming high for my kids. If they don't make it as high as I was aiming, at least it won't be because I sold them out at 12 and conceeded that they "only need to be a chef anyway" or (God forbit, for daughters) "just need her to be a good wife and at-home mom." Nothing wrong with being an AHM, but I DON'T want it to be because they had no other options because I failed to equip them.

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Probably this one http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/634895-does-anyone-else-see-this-do-you-think-it-is-cause-for-concern/

Take care of yourself first. Your kids are really young.

My kids still can't ride a bike or tie their shoelaces and my youngest is 11. Everybody has an Achilles heel. I can't get my kids to learn their heritage language from me, I had to get a tutor and they learned fast.

 

 

Ah, I didn't see this when I scrolled through.  Thanks. 

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Pinkmint, you said: Here I was comparing myself to her thinking our circumstances were similar.

 

Regarding the comparing - just say No. Really. You are almost always comparing your worst thing to their best thing and you cannot help but come out on the short end!

 

Many years ago, there was a homeschooling magazine that used to arrive in my mailbox. There was a always Perfect Family on the cover - there were always many children who were apparently graduating from high school at 10 or 11 and beginning college, while wearing hand-made clothing woven from the cotton or the sheep the family raised on their farm, etc., ad nauseum.

 

It was terrible for me - these families always appeared to be everything I was not and made me question everything that I was! Finally, I wised up and cancelled my subscription - All that Comparing was destroying my ability to do what I could do!

 

Anne

This is definitely a good point. It reminds me of my life versus the Sonlight catalog with the perfectly dressed children, in a pasture, holding a chicken while reading aloud. I have kids. I have a pasture. I have chickens. I even have books. However were i ever to combine them all, in all likelihood the chicken would poop on one of the children, causing them to run screaming through the muddy pasture, tripping and falling, destroying their perfect clothes while the other child laughed aloud rather than reading aloud, leaving the book to be destroyed by the wandering chickens.

 

Anything online is basically a photo op in my book. It's too easy to craft, censor, and selectively present that it's really all a commercial and we should only see it at such. Very few people air their air they dirty laundry online, and if they do there is still usually an angle. Says the suspicious Gen X-ER. :)

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The concrete ones are easiest, I think:

 

Be able to support oneself and contribute to the community.

 

To function as a citizen and member of a family, and as an individual.

 

For the more airy-fairy aspects, I think Socrates and Charlotte Mason said what speaks to me - to be educated you need to know yourself - as an individual and a member of the community.  And to be educated is to have real and personal, caring relationships with various people, ideas, natural objects, and the Good.

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I wasn't thinking of one specific child with all these questions but questions that different families might have about one child or another. You may have one child who even though they've been exposed to algebra is really still struggling with the basics of math. You may have another family where they got the child reading but they have problems comprehending long passages and larger words in print.

 

I was pretty much throwing in all the questions I see out there from all the families that struggle and put them in one place. I didn't mean it as what if you are struggling with all of it at the same time.

I'd still agree with quill's first response.

 

Working with neurological differences is one thing. But to take the algebra example...If the kid IS nt and us in the ninth grade, not able to get albra because he's going I to it not understanding multiplication and division...Then yeah man. Blame the teacher, full stop.

 

A lot of things are of limited utility, some times. × and ÷ isn't one of them.

 

And I say this as someone who is perfectly capable of doing algebra, thanks, but in school was written off as bad at math because I didn't get it back then. I should have had better teachers/more involved parents. And sure as ANYTHING, Homeschool kids who are not but struggling to undetstand had better have more involved parents!!

 

Eta--and and nt or not the answer is always the same: keep going. Keep trying. Don't stop til it's over.

Edited by OKBud
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That thread stressed me out a bit too. My questions:

 

What do you do if your kid doesn't do well on tests of any kind?

What do you do if it doesn't matter how much/how hard you've worked with your kid they still can't get past elementary school math (basic operations, decimals and fractions)?

What do you do if you've gotten your child to read but the comprehension levels aren't there?

What do you do if you realize your kid is not college material?

What do you do if you realize that your kid isn't even CC material?

What do you do if you realize that your kid may be suited for working at a cash register all their life?

What do you do if your kid is not interested in book studies? What if they are more driven toward art, working with their hands, food?

What if your kid has no drive?

What if? What if? What if?

I know you clarified that it is not all of the above.

My late cousin has Down syndrome. What my aunt and her husband did was set up a trust fund early, set up guardianship in case anything happen to both of them. Her husband also owned a 7Eleven franchise after he retired so that my cousin could always work for his dad. My aunt is a legal clerk with pension.

 

My brother is not driven at all and he is really slow to the point of failing at languages. He took the long road to get his bachelors in engineering and took jobs that are mostly hands-on.

One of my aunts was a watch repair person repairing those manual Swiss watches. She learned as an apprentice.

One of my cousins thinks education is a scam. He went back to college to get a degree when he realized he can get a much better paycheck with the same employer. So he was willing to check the box when it was worth it as a young adult.

 

I know two friends with childhood leukemia and did plenty of academic work at the hospital. They did not want to be behind their age peers.

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I guess Devil's advocate is not the person to be. 

 

If a person has doubts, coming to these boards is not the place to get reassurance, support, and encouragement. I don't buy into College is the only way theory for all kids. There are many other paths and many other definitions of success other than making big $$ and having lots of stuff.  Was hoping to get that point across.

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I guess Devil's advocate is not the person to be. 

 

If a person has doubts, coming to these boards is not the place to get reassurance, support, and encouragement. I don't buy into College is the only way theory for all kids. There are many other paths and many other definitions of success other than making big $$ and having lots of stuff.  Was hoping to get that point across.

 

I think it was just the number of questions- and they're a broad span of different situations. Having someone with a disability or something is different than a kid who is better suited to trade school than a four year. I don't think that's something looked down upon on these boards. Rather I think it helps that people specify what situation in particular they're concerned about.  Usually if someone is specific of what the end goal is, everyone rallies up to make appropriate suggestions- especially on the high school board. Of course I haven't been around very long, but I've never seen anyone chastised for saying their kid wants to go to culinary school and therefore, what is the most direct route there. I don't think anyone is saying that making a ton of money is where it's at. Sure, some people, and their children have their hearts set on a prestigious four year, but I have never felt like it's the majority. I have my weeks where I can fall into the comparison game, but I think that's more on me than the boards, you know? No one has ever been snarky here about what I do with my kids. I'm sorry if we gave you that impression tonight. 

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The other thread stressed me out too. I was going to post a response but I just decided to close it because I didn't want to think about it anymore.   Life is hard. So are toddlers! 

 

I propose we start an advisory team of down to earth WTM forum moms. We can all sign up for assessment by a mom who has graduated kids with similar age/spacing/goals to our own and get a realistic perspective on how our homeschooling looks :)

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I guess Devil's advocate is not the person to be. 

 

If a person has doubts, coming to these boards is not the place to get reassurance, support, and encouragement. I don't buy into College is the only way theory for all kids. There are many other paths and many other definitions of success other than making big $$ and having lots of stuff.  Was hoping to get that point across.

I agree wholeheartedly that college is not the be all and end all of existence and EVERYONE should shoot for college.  I absolutely agree.  And I think a lot of others would agree that some people are very suited for vocational training, would do well and be happy following that path and it should not be looked on as a "lesser" choice in any way, shape or form.  In fact, I know a couple of highly gifted people for whom Vocational training was a gift.  It put them working in an area they have amazing strengths and they have done very well and are quite happy with that path.  Honestly, I think that society has been kind of brain washed into believing that college is the only "successful" way to go.  Unfortunately, because of the shift there are now a lot of jobs that once did NOT require a college education that now do.  And a lot of jobs that only required a Bachelor's now require a Masters and so on.  Academic inflation.   And I think it is harmful to try pushing everyone into this one fairly narrow view.

 

Have you seen this?  I think you might find it interesting because I believe at some point he does address what I mentioned above.  

 

On the flip side of that coin, with the questions you asked originally, those things frequently indicate a learning challenge that can often be remediated.  If their struggles could be addressed, I would hope that parents would pursue options for helping their child (although I acknowledge that often this is far easier said than done).

 

My daughter, in 5th grade, was still unable to read more than Clifford books and even those were hard for her.  She also struggled horrifically in even basic math.  Her teachers cared about her but thought of her as a bit "slow" in many respects.  She is quite bright but academics were so hard for her.  She was very demoralized and so was I.  Once we FINALLY had evaluations (everyone kept telling me to avoid them) we found out she has dyslexia and dyscalculia and low processing speed and developmental vision issues but is perfectly intelligent and capable and has gifts in several areas.  The evals weren't for a label.  They helped me to figure out where her strengths and weaknesses actually were, and what to do to address the areas we could address and how to work around the areas that we couldn't.  We were able to start her on a reading/spelling program designed specifically for dyslexics and she made more progress in a year and a half of targeted instruction than she had in 7 years of brick and mortar classes.  We also started her over from the very beginning with basic math skills and again she made great progress (although not as far as with reading).  Without evaluations I would not have known how to help her and would have felt forced to take college off the table as an option.

 

Will she go on to college?  Depends on what she ends up wanting to pursue as a career.  There are several vocational options that might work well for her as careers.  She thrives with hands on activities and is a great outside the box thinker/problem solver so whatever path she ends up taking she feels she can make it work.  She also wants to pursue graphic arts among other things.  She has lots of ideas and we are looking at options.  But it isn't a default choice because she can't do anything else.  It is one option that might work very well for her areas of interest and her areas of strength.

 

Will she ever get to even Algebra I?  I have no idea.  She is moving forward and doing her best but she may never reach that level of math.  But she will know how to pay her bills and be a functioning member of society.  And if she determines that college is needed to achieve her goals this isn't an unachievable goal because it isn't.  There are ways to work around the math issues by attending CC or other options.  

 

In other words, if a child is struggling I don't think that automatically means they should chuck college out the window.  Nor do I think that college HAS to be the only path to be a happy, successful person because it isn't.  I think if a child has an interest in vocational training they should pursue it and feel good about that choice if it suits their areas of interest.  If a child is interested in a career path that requires college they should feel free to pursue that course of action as well.  And if they have areas of struggle then evaluations to determine the cause of the struggles and possible options for remediating or working around those struggles should be pursued instead of automatically assuming that college is off the table.  In other words, kids should have choices, not be made to feel that they have no choice, that one path or another is their only option.

 

But again, I agree that college is not necessary for everyone nor the only goal that all kids should pursue, and I also agree that there are "many other definitions of success other than making big $$ and having lots of stuff".

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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There has to be some measure of "good enough," if we can say that certain people aren't doing it.  So what is "enough?"  And what does it mean to do well?

 

I think it's kind of like that thing in Anna Karenina (which I haven't read, fwiw): Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Except the other way around... there are various ways to be successful adults (i.e. have an education that's good enough), but one way that's obviously not good enough (if you can't read, write, do arithmetic, cook dinner, etc, then that's obviously not good enough - and by that I mean not being able to do any of those things... there might be ways to do fine without one of those things, though honestly I want my kids to master all of those and more).

Edited by luuknam
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