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Indigo Blue

As a home school parent, do you find yourself wishing you had been schooled at home?

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Maybe if my dad was in charge. He went to Reed College and was very well read. He had a copy of Cicero in Latin that he reread on an ongoing basis. Mom was a wreck. No way.

 

I went to public school, but many of my teachers had been classically educated. I studied classical rhetoric and read all kinds of hard books. I took a philosophy class my senior year where we read twenty book and wrote papers. Some were chosen by the teacher, and some we chose individually from a list. An incredible class. Ironically no Latin there, but I took German through AP.

 

I was completely prepared for the liberal arts college I attended first.

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I absolutely loved homeschooling my boys and wish I was homeschooled.  But honestly with my parents it would of been abuse (lots of mental illness)  I did want private school but that was daydreaming cause we were so poor.  Public school gave me the education to get out of poverty but the highschool bulling  gave me issues.  I still withdrawal from gossipy mean women.  It amazes me that adult women still act like highschool mean girls gossip b*tches.

 

I learned so much along with my sons.  My sons both want to homeschool their children.  

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Growing up I really didn’t need more time with my mom. (Nights and weekends was plenty.) Could I have sat by myself in the school library and done my own workbooks at my own pace? That would have been cool.

 

This! I could've been left at a public library every day from ages 8-16, with an hour a week each of math, music and foreign language tutoring, and done much better. I suppose I also needed someone to make sure I got a bit of exercise. My #1 complaint about going to school was insufficient time to read books. (We were not a library-going family but a cable TV family.)

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Yes. My life would have turned out so differently. But I might not have my son, so,there is that. But overall I think I would have benefited from being homed at school.

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Okay. You have a great hypothetical home school setting, too....close your eyes and imagine. Don't  you think you would enjoy Saxon math and home school orchestra? Home school chess club? What about Math-U-Didn't-See?

 

Oh I would have LOVED better math instruction.  That was one of my biggest goals in our homeschool.  I slayed that with my first kid.  My second...welllll...he HATES math.  So if he gets out of this with some math skills despite that fact, I'm like a math goddess.  Haha...no not really, but that'll be as good as it gets I think.

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Nope. After about 4th grade, I loved school. (Fourth has a bad memory, but it wasn't all a bad year. It was the year I realized I wasn't stupid because I switched schools & had a great teacher.) I loved the friends I made & the times we had at recess through the end of 6th grade. I loved middle school (7th & 8th) for the teachers & the freedom. I loved high school for the teachers & the different types of classes and the campus freedom. My personality is the type where you have to push me to get results because I'm not self-driving. I would have not done well as a kid at home without someone to direct me & push me to do better & learn more.

 

I'm another that didn't have the family (mom, at least) to have a good homeschool environment. I was always so glad to get to school & get away from home. Homeschooling would have been a terrible fit for me.

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Not in my particular family.

Maybe in another one.

 

Exactly my thoughts.

 

In the right (wrong?) mood, I can work up a lot of . . . I can't come up with an appropriate word. "Resentment" is the best I can do, but that sounds too strong and active. Anyway, I can work up a lot of something about how lackluster my education was and how lackadaisical my parents were about the whole situation. I was, not to toot my own horn, a very bright kid, with documentation to back that up. It's not like my parents were unaware. But I was allowed to just kind of float along through public school without anyone really paying much attention until I got bored enough that I 1) basically quit going, 2) got into enough trouble that I wasn't going to graduate with my class so that 3) my parents agreed to let me take the state proficiency exam and "drop out" at 16.

 

I did get through college, but, again, no one really seemed to care a whole lot about encouraging me to reach for anything beyond the closest, easiest, least expensive option. 

 

I think, with parents who would have invested in the idea -- even in an unschooling but highly enriched environment -- I would likely have thrived. 

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I have absolutely wonderful parents. And I had a really mediocre education. I would have loved being home with my parents and brother and sister. Mom and Dad were so hands-off with my education that I have a hard time picturing them homeschooling us. And they wouldn't have had much money at all for resources. They are conscientious people, though, so I'm sure they would have done a good job. 

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Ugh, no! But I think thats because I had a pleasant school experince, got a fairly good education and because I don't really enjoy homeschooling my kids now very much.

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Yes, I do.  But it's ok; no bitterness or regrets; I don't know what it would have been like--I can't assume it'd be like what we do here.  :)

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It would have been bliss. I was the sort of kid in school who was there to learn and I used to get so frustrated when the other kids would get the teacher off track. I loved listening to the teachers lecture about things. I was painfully shy and introverted so the social side of school was a minefield for me. Stressful is not a strong enough word to describe it.

 

I’d have been a great homeschooled student. I don’t know if my mom would have been confident enough to homeschool me. Then again, if she found a packaged thing (like Calvert), then I think she’d have been fine. We had a great relationship and school was misery for me.

 

My whole life trajectory would have changed for the better, I think. Hard to tell since we can never know, but I was a shy kid who was crushed in school. At home, I could have flown.

Edited by Garga
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I was! At least for middle school.

 

I give my mom such kudos for being really brave about my education in general. She got divorced and moved us just weeks before I went to kindergarten. She was all set to enroll me at the local PS - the one she had attended - and when she went to visit she realized how mediocre it was. I was five and reading The Secret Garden; who knows what I would have done in a typical PS classroom. Instead she found this small, Marva Collins inspired private school, where I had an awesome elementary education.

 

After fifth grade, when that school ended, we basically founded a mini co-op with two other families for three years. We had a tutor come in two mornings a week for math and science and literature, and the moms took turns with whatever else. It was fantastic.

 

We moved again right before high school, and I had another awesome experience at a private high school that I wouldn’t change for anything. Mom worked really hard as a single parent to find/pay for educational opportunities for my brother and I that were way outside anything she had experienced. I appreciate it now even more than I did at the time.

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My elementary years in a Catholic school were especially horrible.   My public high school experience was ok.  I did enjoy some extra curriculars and connected with some other geeky people.  But I don't think my parents were at all equipped or motivated to homeschool either.  So in a nut shell, my upbringing was far from perfect and I had some things to work through in my head when I got to be an adult. 

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This is such a bittersweet topic for me right now because both my kids are seriously considering school next year and most of me is saying "Why?  Why?"  Grades 7-12 are the years when being homeschooled would have been awesome!

 

Seriously, I enjoyed and sometimes loved school for grades K-6 - small school, very close knit group of kids, challenging program because we were in French Immersion but even that was sometimes not challenging enough depending on the teacher.  My parents did a lot of afterschooling (think: completed grade 6 math by mid-grade 3 at home), we did a lot of travelling and I actually missed large chunks of school (a month here, a month there) so in a way I got a sense of what it would be like to be homeschooled.  I do think I might have been lonely because the homeschooling community was pretty much nonexistent at the time.

 

But when it came to grades 7-12 - I think homeschooling would have been ideal.  I think I could have maintained my close friendships and I was pretty self-driven when it came to learning about my passions, and I was passionate about almost everything.  Physics might have been my downfall.  I loved languages and reading and writing and exploring and history and math and geometry and chemistry and music and dance and some sports.  I didn't get a chance to focus on some of my areas of interest/passions and that is still a bit of a sore spot some 30 years later.  I think I would have done better had I been able to direct my own opportunities.

 

I also suspect it would have set me up for university better because by the time that rolled around I was tired of having been told what to for 13 years and took a lot of courses just because they would be horrifying to my parents.  It wasn't until my second degree that I started taking courses about which I was passionate.

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For HS only, maybe. My elementary and middle school experiences and teachers were amazing and pushed me in the best ways. I had access to an all-city draw, self-contained GT program tho. HS felt like being dumped into gen pop, AP notwithstanding.

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Yes, I do. I went to private schools and got what was considered a great education, but school itself was miserable.

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There were some very difficult things about my elementary and jr high experiences and I think it would have been good for me to have avoided that. But my mom worked full time as a teacher so it never would have happened.

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Sometimes.

 

Although my town would have been pretty dull for extras and I don't know if I could have played sports as a homeschooler there. Along with others, maybe another teacher than my parents would have been best... I butted heads with mine. Like, my dad used to teach math but I hated asking him for math help. I knew my mom used to be a teacher a long time ago, but I only recently found out she'd been a second grade teacher. It's crazy to me how they hardly ever talk about their past in teaching.

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Not particularly.

 

I did have some rough patches in school but, overall, I have many more fond memories.  I assume I'd say the same if I had been homeschooled.

 

My mother took my decision to homeschool as a criticism of her "decision" not to.  (Decision in quotes because it wasn't even an on the radar for our family back then.) Nothing could be further from the truth. That would be like saying my decision to live in PA was a criticism of her decision to live in NJ, which is extra funny because life's surprises had her moving out of NJ in her late 40s.  She didn't suddenly hate NJ, a new opportunity just presented itself, and she took it!

 

I do often wonder what life would be like today if I had gone with the norm and all my kids went to school.  I don't wish I had, though.

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No.  My mother was/is very anxious and I think that schooling outside the home allowed me to spread my wings.  My father, whilst loving, was quite a distant presence.  It was good to have a quiet home to come back to, but I am glad of the stimulation and the ability to rub along with other people that I gained from school.  My brothers are five years and seven years older than me, so I would have been quite solitary.

 

We home educated our boys because of a combination of learning disabilities/giftedness and living overseas where the schooling options were ropey.  Once we moved to Scotland, we carried on with HE until the boys wanted to go to school, then they finished their education (from age 13 and 10 respectively) in private school.

Edited by Laura Corin

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Yes I would have loved it with my parents but different life situation. I had an awful school experience with constant bullying and unacknowledged learning difficulties. I knew lots of home educated kids growing up so it was in our radar but never an option for us because my dad was ill through my teens and died when I was 18 and my mum worked and cared for him. Without that burden I think they'd have enjoyed home educating, particularly my dad.

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No. I went to wonderful schools with amazing teachers, and very little social drama.

 

It's funny how both a terrible school experience (which we would like our kids to avoid) and an excellent school experience (which we see will not be matched by the local schools) can serve as motivation to homeschool.

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I dreamed of going to boarding school as a kid. Without other students. Or teachers.

 

I did go to boarding school, from the age of 8.  With students and teachers.  I loved it.  My best friends in the entire world are from my boarding school.  We have a bond that is deeper than many sibling relationships.  

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No. I went to wonderful schools with amazing teachers, and very little social drama.

 

It's funny how both a terrible school experience (which we would like our kids to avoid) and an excellent school experience (which we see will not be matched by the local schools) can serve as motivation to homeschool.

 

Neither of those prompted me to homeschool.  I homeschooled because I had a special needs child who needs were not being met in any school setting we could find.  

 

I had no intention of homeschooling and I wouldn't have had I not had my oldest son.

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I wanted to homeschool.

 

The reality, though....  My parents were very much into not pushing me (in fact the opposite).  They didn't allow me to dual enroll at the local university my senior year, for instance, and they encouraged me to take a class schedule of 4 electives that year.  I think if I had homeschooled, they would have discouraged pushing myself to a level that would not have been good.

Edited by Zinnia

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No, I loved school.  Although if homeschooling was necessary for some kind of adventurous life, then yes.

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I actually asked my mom if I could homeschool when I was in high school, I even wrote out a plan to do so.

 

They said no.  I think they've wondered if they should have said yes at times.

 

Anyway - my mom was mostly home by then, and I love her dearly, but I am not sure she'd have found it a great fit for her personality.  If I had been very self-directed it might have bene ok, but I suspect she'd have had to really get on me about subjects I didn't like (math) and it would have cause so much friction.  

 

I hated high school, but it may be that it would have put a lot of strain on our relationship.  And I was very inclined to isolate myself which also might have been a negative.

 

I think what I really would have enjoyed is an academic program that was really challenging.  I used to participate every year in hs at a model UN at a school that was in another town.  It was an IB school, and I was always really interested in the classes the kids at that school did - they sounded so much more interesting even than my honours classes.  Including their humanities/arts offerings - a lot of those at my school were crap courses designed to push a particular political agenda.

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This.

 

Grade school was ok, but middle grades were not great and high school was terrible. I would have thrived with a tutoring approach and freedom to pursue my interests.

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No.    I was a military brat and had good public or on base schools thru eighth grade...leveled groups for reading and math, host nation class class, music & art for most years, plenty of enrichment. The AF 'aim high' was in full effect and no one sat around idling, one was always learning.  Recess twice daily at all schools, on base on or off for thru 8th grade.  The students back then weren't violent and there was no bullying in my classrooms as we had community.  Staying home would just mean more servitude..I'd be the field hand in the garden after cleaning the house again.

 

 My high school was small rural public, with no satellite classes available...wrong high school for me, as they didn't have higher level textbooks to hand out in any subject other than math....no gifted peer group, but plenty that had gone thru Catholic school for K-8. Education was valued in the community, but there werent enough interested in honors level to have honors classes in any subject but math.  I had a darkroom room, though, and kept busy there via yearbook activity. The school board offered to send me to the nearest good high school for 12th grade, but it was city and so violent I refused.  I basically read that year, and learned calc and good study skills as my math teacher - a normal school grad - was up to it. What I missed out on was AP English, and AP sciences as well as a peer group.  However, English back then was close to AP level...great books served as curriculum..just didn't have the writing or literary term discussion that AP does now.  Had the state had a math/science boarding high school then, I would have wanted to attend.  I ended up well prepared, but had some skill gaps to make up for in college, since writing and science were neglected - but that was common for rural kids and I made up the deficit quickly since I knew how to study and read and the profs were used to our kind.  The only college peers who were happy with high school lived in the big city and did math at the local college or they had taken work release. Really, we needed college at 16.

Edited by Heigh Ho

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I longed for a private tutor as a kid and teen - I detested public school with every fiber of my being. I was the odd, smart kid who got teased, and sounds irritated the heck out of me (now I know it is misophonia) to I spent a lot of time hunched over at my desk with my fingers jammed in  my ears.  But my mom was not fond of kids, and would have irritated the heck out of me (and vice versa) so she would not have been a good match as teacher!!!

Edited by JFSinIL

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Yes, with different parents. I was bored, gifted, socially anxious all the time, bullied in elementary and middle. I was told by one teacher that I was going to end up in jail (instead I'm a librarian!) and was put in the corner all day for talking by another (school moved soooo slow).

 

All three schools were pretty sub par, with the exception of the gifted class in middle and the pull out gifted once a week in elementary. I had five wonderful teachers out of 28 in high school, but they were really outstanding, and I met my husband in high school so there was a silver lining to high school. Otherwise it was a very low performing school and It felt like we were caged there, with very little autonomy over our choices.

 

I think one of the reasons I homeschool was this deep seated resentment at being treated as "lesser" because of being under 18. I think I had a very strong need for autonomy and choice in my life that I wasn't getting. Ironically my oldest daughter must have felt the same way. She wrote a manifesto in fourth grade demanding more rights for children after one particularly bad day with homework. ("We are people too! Not some wild animals") She was the only one who went to public school. My younger kids are begging not to have to grow up!

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No.  Before my husband brought up the idea of homeschooling our kids, I had never heard of it, so it wouldn't have occurred to me.  

 

But when I told my mother I was homeschooling my kids, and explained it to her a bit, she got a little wistful and said she wondered if my brother would have done better in school if she'd homeschooled him. He was a troublemaker and while bright and interested in a lot of things, struggled mightily in school.  Of course there's no telling.  I was painfully shy as a kid so it's possible that if I'd been homeschooled I'd never have grown out of that.  Of course the converse is also possible; maybe I would have blossomed. 

 

If I really want to look back, I think I might have benefited from a smaller high school with more mentoring.  Even with teachers and guidance counselors encouraging me to go to college, I never looked beyond the State U that was in my town. My parents had never gone to college, and were happy for me to go, but didn't know how to encourage or guide me. 

 

 

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No. My mom is a great person, but not a teacher and we would have hated each other. Plus, I grew up in a rural area where the local schools are EVERYTHING, so to choose to not be part of that would have been social suicide.  We would have been ostracized, and I was extremely social and extra-curriculars were my life.  The extra activities that my kids currently do as homeschoolers wouldn't have been an option for me since homeschooling was unheard of then.

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I loved school.of course, it was the dark ages of the 1970's so no testing, plenty of times for recess and reading. I had great friends. Now might be a different story.

 

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My husband definitely wishes he had been homeschooled. He's very intelligent and doesn't remember ever being challenged in school. Even AP science classes were easy to the point of boring. At the same time he was bullied quite a bit for being the smart nerdy type.

 

I was homeschooled and it was a mixed experience. I definitely had freedom, but socially it was very isolating. My mother really lost interest when I was in high school, so that wasn't good for me.

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I can remember thinking as a kid that I wished the bus would drop me off at the library every day instead of school. I was irritated at teachers for wasting my time and holding me back in my learning. My mother thought we kids learned more in the summer than the school year.

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No, I actually enjoyed school. It was easy for me and when I finished my work early I read books or wrote stories. I wasn’t super popular, but I enjoyed seeing my friends every day. But, then again, I grew up in a small town in the 70’s. Kindergarten was mostly playing, though we did learn our letters and how to count (once again, too easy. I was reading before I started kindergarten, but they didn’t spend a lot of time on that). School was enjoyable, no pressure, nice teachers....

Edited by KrissiK

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Even as a kid, I wished I could work at my own pace.  I was given a chance to do so in 5th grade in school and just flew through the work.

 

I do not think it would have worked in our particular family and I got a better education in school with my parents' monitoring than I would have gotten at home. I was given the chance to do a lot of extra activities that I would not have attempted/had the chance to attempt from home -- Lit Mag, Marching Band, Debate, Speech, etc.

 

I'm also not sure I would have found my love for chemistry if just taught at home, given that my mom didn't really do much in teaching me to cook. I don't think we'd have done more in experiments either.

 

 

Edited by vonfirmath

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I’m not actually homeschooling anymore, but No. I’m way too much of an extrovert, was part of several after-school clubs plus sports teams, had lots of friends, and school was easy for me. I DO wish I was challenged more IN school, but there is no such thing as gifted/accelerated programs around here.

 

I’m glad I homeschooled my kids when I did, but I’m also glad they’re back in school and flourishing. My DD who fought me every.step.of.the.way for the last couple years at home and put no effort into any assignments and wouldn’t read - now in high school thanks me for her strong “thinking math†background, is taking AP English (the only AP offered), willingly does her homework every night for all her classes, and is on the honor roll. She would not work that hard for me. I probably wouldn’t have worked that hard for my mom, either, truth be told - at least not as a teenager!

Edited by fraidycat

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All these responses are so different, but each is so valid. It's so interesting to read them. Please consider all your posts liked. :)

 

Some of you talked about how you would have felt alone, especially if you had home schooled as an only child. My son, in contrast, flourished at home while schooling alone. He is introverted but has a great personality and will even get up in front of a crowd and speak. He actually does an amazing job at that! I worried about his being at home schooling by himself, but it worked for us! We never did any classes with other home schoolers, but ds did do several fun "electives" outside the home, such as orchestra and art. He got enough "socialization" (the bad S word) in, but he got to enjoy being mostly at home. He did make a few good friends while home schooling. :)

 

It's amazing how we are all so different. What works for one would be awful for another.

 

 

Edited by Indigo Blue

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All these responses are so different, but each is so valid. It's so interesting to read them. Please consider all your posts liked. :)

 

Some of you talked about how you would have felt alone, especially if you had home schooled as an only child. My son, in contrast, flourished at home while schooling alone. He is introverted but has a great personality and will even get up in front of a crowd and speak. He actually does an amazing job at that! I worried about his being at home schooling by himself, but it worked for us! We never did any classes with other home schoolers, but ds did do several fun "electives" outside the home, such as orchestra and art. He got enough "socialization" (the bad S word) in, but he got to enjoy being mostly at home. He did make a few good friends while home schooling. :)

 

It's amazing how we are all so different. What works for one would be awful for another.

 

I think you have to realize that in my day, we didn't socialize in academic classes at school. We worked, we read, and we learned, it was very quiet.  Coming from rural areas, classmates enjoyed socializing at lunch, in band, in the halls etc. as the public school drew from three towns so you didn't always see your friends/cousins from other towns in outside of school activities.....outside of school there was a rich social life with rec league sports and church activities as well as friend groups.  Those activities weren't stratified by income, people weren't hiring private coaches for their children etc.  in the time and place I went to high school.

 

For my dc, its very different.  School changed to be one size fits all. There is tremendous amount of idle time if you aren't a remedial student and the acheivement level is two grades below what I was offered.  Some students spend that down time learning on their own or with a teacher lead ec group, but most socialize. Very difficult to do the ecs as they are so costly now or they don't exist for individual participants. Even running shoes are out of the price range for many families, as well as the gas to pick their dc up from school after a meet/game/meeting. Only Title 1 and wealthy have the money to provide instruments, so the music has suffered greatly in nontitle 1, nonwealthy schools.  My kids liked school before the change, it was as it was in my day, a place of learning things you weren't exposed to at home, good discussions. They moved to scouts and youth orchestra to get that. 

Edited by Heigh Ho
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