Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

poppy

"What can I use for homeschooling that is free and all online and requires no parent interaction and reads outloud becaus the child can't read"

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, maize said:

Easy Peasy and Khan are both decent resources. And we all know that it is entirely possible to use mainly free resources (including the library!) and educate a child well.

What isn't going to work for almost any child--even fairly motivated teenagers--is just to show them a resource and expect them to do the rest on their own.

Absolutely! We are using EP for one of dd's electives this year.

It's the attitude of "how can I put in the least possible time/effort/expense and still call my kid educated" that is really getting to me. 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

The thing is, a lot of those online public schools just have kids watching labs online now.  Or at least doing these virtual labs where you use a mouse to change a variable and then see the result.  I looked this up to make sure, and it is also happening in brick and mortar schools as well.  I'm not saying that it is good teaching but it isn't just homeschoolers. 

A lot of regular brick and mortar schools too. DD didnt do a single lab last year.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I'm a little uncomfortable at some assumptions being made in the latter turns of this thread.

From my local observations, it seems pretty clear that part of a significant increase in homeschoolers is a cohort whose children are being failed by school. Parents quite often do NOT want to remove their children from the schools; they are pushed into it as a 'last and best option'. Some of these parents have financial and other resources; some of them don't. Both sets find themselves homeschooling, often suddenly, and without support. 

Yes, the better resourced parents can buy what they can't provide themselves....tutors, expensive curriculum, classes.

The parents who can't ? It is totally appropriate, imo, even at high school level, to share the best of the free or low cost resources. Khan Academy is actually a pretty decent resource; Crash Course and Big History are others. These parents are not 'failing' their children - imo their children have already been failed by the education system. From that point on, any resource the parents offer the child in an atmosphere of safety and a desire to meet at least some fo the child's needs is an improvement. 

Caveat - of course not all 'I won't/can't pay for that!' parents fall into the above group. That would be a ludicrous claim, and I'm not making it. Enough do that it is worth our while always seeking out and recommending the best of the free/low cost stuff in addition to our other recommendations.

Re labs - my ds is enrolled in a science class purely to do labs. He's the first one of mine to access chemistry properly as a subject. Dd2 was in school 7-10 and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of labs she did. Dd1 focused on biology and physics, both of which were relatively easy to teach at home. Accessing high quality science instruction is a problem, but for me it's been a problem at home and at school. 

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Chelli said:

Here's another one just posted today on Facebook:

Good afternoon! I have a 10th grader and was wondering if y’all had any suggestions for cheap online curriculum that will only take around 3 hours a day to complete?

?

To be fair there are two comments of people saying that three hours is not enough time for high school. They were immediately berated  and told that "it depended upon the child." ?

Three hours a day is how much classroom, academic instruction vocational education students do. Usually morning. 

Afternoon is for the vocational part...automotive, electric, plumbing, beautician, health care, etc

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, my ds has a lot of vocational hours - in the kitchen, cooking, experimenting, learning. It's part of his Food Technology subject; I don't view it as less important than the literary essay he works on in the morning, or the chemistry class, or the daily maths (full disclosure - we're using Khan right now! Horror!)

It's simply untrue that for us, ds needs to be working on academic lessons for 6+ hours a day. Not his goal, not our system. Is he being educated ? Yes. Appropriately ? imo, yes. Are his future pathways being impacted ? Possibly - that's the nature of CHOICE. Every choice to focus on one thing forecloses an opportunity to use that same time to focus on another. Will he have a viable range of meaningful and dignified pathways to choose from as an adult ? Yes. Can he continue to learn as an adult ? Yes. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, StellaM said:

So, I'm a little uncomfortable at some assumptions being made in the latter turns of this thread.

From my local observations, it seems pretty clear that part of a significant increase in homeschoolers is a cohort whose children are being failed by school. Parents quite often do NOT want to remove their children from the schools; they are pushed into it as a 'last and best option'. Some of these parents have financial and other resources; some of them don't. Both sets find themselves homeschooling, often suddenly, and without support. 

Yes, the better resourced parents can buy what they can't provide themselves....tutors, expensive curriculum, classes.

The parents who can't ? It is totally appropriate, imo, even at high school level, to share the best of the free or low cost resources. Khan Academy is actually a pretty decent resource; Crash Course and Big History are others. These parents are not 'failing' their children - imo their children have already been failed by the education system. From that point on, any resource the parents offer the child in an atmosphere of safety and a desire to meet at least some fo the child's needs is an improvement. 

Caveat - of course not all 'I won't/can't pay for that!' parents fall into the above group. That would be a ludicrous claim, and I'm not making it. Enough do that it is worth our while always seeking out and recommending the best of the free/low cost stuff in addition to our other recommendations.

Re labs - my ds is enrolled in a science class purely to do labs. He's the first one of mine to access chemistry properly as a subject. Dd2 was in school 7-10 and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of labs she did. Dd1 focused on biology and physics, both of which were relatively easy to teach at home. Accessing high quality science instruction is a problem, but for me it's been a problem at home and at school. 

 

We do make a lot of assumptions when we only get a snippet on FB. But we *have* to make some to fill in the gaps of missing information, and it isn’t a far leap to add in other things.  That is not to say it is a fair or correct assumption, but that I don’t think people are trying to judge any particular person - I think what we are trying to say is there’s a problem in homeschooling, and whether it is parent attitudes and misconceptions, school problems, student problems, or a combination of all, it seems to be that more and more kids are being undereducated (or at minimum under-taught) in the name of homeschooling, which is problematic for the individuals and for the perception of homeschoolers as a whole.  In cases like these - parents feeling the school has failed the child and homeschool is the only option - is throwing free curriculum without instruction or mentoring in how to use the materials really a step up? Whether it’s the best a parent can do or not, is seems to be less than enough.  We can’t tease out what the situation is if it is not presented, but I think few would argue that quick, easy, no-parent-involved, is not a recipe for success, except in the most driven individuals.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, unsinkable said:

Three hours a day is how much classroom, academic instruction vocational education students do. Usually morning. 

Afternoon is for the vocational part...automotive, electric, plumbing, beautician, health care, etc

 

Yes, but still it's more than three hours total. I don't care what courses, academic, vocational, or a combination of both, your child is taking, but to honestly say that a child earned all credits necessary for their high school diploma when they are doing less daily work than my sixth grader and only an hour more than my second grader seems disingenuous at best and lying (about credit hours) at worst.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In response to StellaM, I can only offer my personal observation from local groups, but you can typically tell the lazy or misinformed homeschoolers from those who are on their last option. I would say at least 9 times out of 10 it is very easy to tell them apart. 

A dear friend is one who has been having issues making time for actual schooling, and she is looking for super cheap and low parental involvement options for her young kids. And she's trying out something that I very much hope works for her, but public school is a viable option for her and she's just...not. I see that quite a bit. 

Edited by Sk8ermaiden
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/30/2018 at 12:20 PM, dmmetler said:

I had a mom offer me $5/kid/week to teach a preschool/K co-op class from 9:00-12:00 so the parents wouldn't have to do it (I have no child in the co-op at this point).  She felt she was being generous because "we have 5 kids, so that's $25/week!". Uh, $25 for three hours is barely over minimum wage-and does not account for set up, clean up, any materials needed, or my prep time. Not worth it-and kind of insulting when you're making that offer to someone who has taught child development and early childhood education at the university level and has the degrees and certifications required to do so!

 

At first, I misread that as $5k/week, and I was thinking, I'd take that gig! $25/hour is probably my minimum for tutoring one kid if I have no other connection... (We aren't quite enough in need of money for me to put up with the "just do my kid's algebra homework" jobs, or to sift those out from the ones who really want to learn, especially when I can spend my time teaching dd arithmetic, which is fun...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Free stuff isn’t the problem. Lack of teaching is. I used Khan for elementary and middle school with no problems and a child who went into high school math with A’s. But I was there sitting next to her supervising the process, teaching anything that she didn’t get directly from Khan, making sure that she had the concepts and enough practice.

I had tons of people on this forum look down their nose at me but their dire predictions didn’t come true. (I started out with Singapore and other programs but as you know,  not all programs work for all students). 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Chelli said:

Yes, but still it's more than three hours total. I don't care what courses, academic, vocational, or a combination of both, your child is taking, but to honestly say that a child earned all credits necessary for their high school diploma when they are doing less daily work than my sixth grader and only an hour more than my second grader seems disingenuous at best and lying (about credit hours) at worst.

I did less than three hours a day of actual academic learning/work in high school.

Oh, my rear end was in a chair for longer than that, but the percentage of time-in-chair that involved any learning on my part was maybe 10%. That's a generous estimate.

Edited by maize
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, maize said:

I did less than three hours a day of actual academic learning/work in high school.

Oh, my rear end was in a chair for longer than that, but the percentage of time-in-chair that involved any learning on my part was maybe 10%. That's a generous estimate.

 

Yep. 

 

Even my very academic, very bright eldest who was actively taught, one on one -  around 4 hours of academic work most school days up till she went to university, where I am happy to report she gets HD's when well and D's when unwell. 

Expectations of what homeschooling SHOULD look like are culturally influenced.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, unsinkable said:

 

This isn't even close to being true for me. And my educated children are now educated adults.

How did you arrive at this ratio?

Editing to add: 30 minutes for reading a nd 30 minutes for Math is the about the limits for 1 on 1 direct instruction for me. 

That would include...

A fun warm-up that serves as a review

A more formal review

Intro of New material

Practice

 

Good for you. Maybe you're just better than other people.

Or maybe you got lucky with kids whose learning styles were close enough to yours not to have to research brain development to teach numeracy.

(BTW, if you have ever taught formally you will find that the typical course load is set up to give you a 2:1 prep to teach ratio: 3 classes = 12 hours or 1/3rd of a full time course load of 36 hours with 10% for admin and office hours. Public school is reversed because didn't you know, teachers are millionaires with huge retirment funds and therefore don't need prep time lol j/k that's why public schools struggle to retain new teachers, you get what you pay for folks, they prep for free and grade for free, you're welcome!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Chelli said:

Yes, but still it's more than three hours total. I don't care what courses, academic, vocational, or a combination of both, your child is taking, but to honestly say that a child earned all credits necessary for their high school diploma when they are doing less daily work than my sixth grader and only an hour more than my second grader seems disingenuous at best and lying (about credit hours) at worst.

 

Well, I was technically in school for 7 hours a day and did about an hour of homework outside of school, but the input/output required for me to get that same education, if I weren't spending time waiting for my peers to be taught, would have taken much less than 3 hours a day.  And I got an IB Diploma.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Targhee said:

We do make a lot of assumptions when we only get a snippet on FB. But we *have* to make some to fill in the gaps of missing information, and it isn’t a far leap to add in other things.  That is not to say it is a fair or correct assumption, but that I don’t think people are trying to judge any particular person - I think what we are trying to say is there’s a problem in homeschooling, and whether it is parent attitudes and misconceptions, school problems, student problems, or a combination of all, it seems to be that more and more kids are being undereducated (or at minimum under-taught) in the name of homeschooling, which is problematic for the individuals and for the perception of homeschoolers as a whole.  In cases like these - parents feeling the school has failed the child and homeschool is the only option - is throwing free curriculum without instruction or mentoring in how to use the materials really a step up? Whether it’s the best a parent can do or not, is seems to be less than enough.  We can’t tease out what the situation is if it is not presented, but I think few would argue that quick, easy, no-parent-involved, is not a recipe for success, except in the most driven individuals.

Yes.  It isn't one specific thing.  Free/cheap isn't necessarily bad.  Short days aren't necessarily bad. Squeaking through to graduation isn't necessarily bad for some students. (<--- worried about high school with #4)  Sometimes different is just different.  
It's more the rise in overall... I'm going to call it disinterest, which isn't quite on the nose, but it's close to the sense I pick up in online groups.  Not just one difference, but more and more questionable combinations of almost INdifference. I remember having discussions about the work/money/dedication involved in unschooling not so many years ago.  The cultivating of an environment, the spontaneous shifts/rabbit holes necessitating new research, the resources to feed an interest to the Nth degree.  The "most different" group in homeschooling was devoted to their beliefs about education.
Which isn't to say that non-schoolers didn't already exist. And I don't equate this thing that seems to be a new trend with non-schoolers, but it feels like they're skating dangerously close without realizing it.  By now, most people realize that not-going-to-school has worked out well for a lot of people.  Instead of finding out what was actually done to reach that success, I suspect they're mostly focused on the not-going-to-school part. 

Going out to eat all of the time isn't usually great for your health, but that doesn't mean that staying home with a frozen pizza every night is the solution.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Tsuga said:

 

Good for you. Maybe you're just better than other people.

Or maybe you got lucky with kids whose learning styles were close enough to yours not to have to research brain development to teach numeracy.

(BTW, if you have ever taught formally you will find that the typical course load is set up to give you a 2:1 prep to teach ratio: 3 classes = 12 hours or 1/3rd of a full time course load of 36 hours with 10% for admin and office hours. Public school is reversed because didn't you know, teachers are millionaires with huge retirment funds and therefore don't need prep time lol j/k that's why public schools struggle to retain new teachers, you get what you pay for folks, they prep for free and grade for free, you're welcome!)

 

You're wrong. I didn't "get lucky." My child with learning issues* due to her epilepsy certainly didn't "get lucky." My other kids with their learning issues didn't "get lucky, either." We all worked and worked and worked.

But your ratios are still way off, according to my personal experience ( and professional, too, for that matter) especially for kindergarten (your example) and lower elementary for homeschooling. As for your BTW, it is ridiculous to compare prep time for college classes to homeschooling kindergarten.

* I was going to add more but the details don't matter. Anyone who has read my threads thru the years knows my DD especially didn't get lucky.

Edited by unsinkable
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Free stuff isn’t the problem. Lack of teaching is. I used Khan for elementary and middle school with no problems and a child who went into high school math with A’s. But I was there sitting next to her supervising the process, teaching anything that she didn’t get directly from Khan, making sure that she had the concepts and enough practice.

I had tons of people on this forum look down their nose at me but their dire predictions didn’t come true. (I started out with Singapore and other programs but as you know,  not all programs work for all students). 

Tons of people looked down their nose at you for what? Using Khan? And what were their dire predictions?

Edited by unsinkable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three hours a day?  For 6 classes?   Just 30 minutes a day per class? 

Precalc this year:  3 hours a week for the live online class. Plus 4 hours a week on doing the work.  

Physics:  Same set up

ASL: I’m learning this with the boys and counting the video time and all the required reading and practice, there’s no way we get done in less than an hour a day.

English: I  don’t see reading and discussing Jane Eyre in only 30 minutes a day.  I don’t see us writing solid papers (as well as the reading and discussing) in 30 minutes a day.  So yeah, an hour.

Computer class:  maybe half an hour a day for a fast student, but mine takes 50 minutes a day

Government: same as computer—at least half an hour a day.

So, if you’re fast, let’s knock off 2 hours for precalc and physics and here are the numbers for a fast student to complete the 6 classes:

At least 5 hours a day.  

For my particular student to take precalc, physics, ASL, English, computer class, and government, it takes him 7 hours a day.  Not counting the SAT prep he does every day and the driver’s ed permit test he’s studying for.  That’s another hour of work.  Sometimes on Friday, he’s caught up on the work that’s expected for him in physcis or the ocmputer class, so he might only work on his classes for 6 hours on a Friday.

Three hours a day for high school.  That just seems too low.  I know people are saying they’ve done it, but how?  Did you retain things well?  How many classic novels did you read a year?  How many papers did you write?  How many experiments?  How many math practice problems, and if they were wrong, did you rework them?  These things just take time.

I believe you did it...but I don’t think you’re a usual student.

 

Edited by Garga
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not really about the time. Or not exactly. Although I'm pretty adamant that MOST high-schoolers with an appropriately challenging load for their ability are not going to complete high school-level work in three hours per day.

But if you have a well thought-out curriculum that appropriately challenges your student and is covering all the things necessary for that student to learn, given your educational goals for them and their own interests and future plans, and your student is completing that work in three hours per day -- THAT'S GREAT!! 

What I'm seeing, though, is a trend towards making the minimal work load/time spent THE goal. That's a different thing altogether.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Chelli said:

Yes, but still it's more than three hours total. I don't care what courses, academic, vocational, or a combination of both, your child is taking, but to honestly say that a child earned all credits necessary for their high school diploma when they are doing less daily work than my sixth grader and only an hour more than my second grader seems disingenuous at best and lying (about credit hours) at worst.

Right. Three hours of academics plus a vocational program would be more than 3 hours a day.

I don't know WHY that post wanted school that could be completed in 3 hours a day. I offered a possible reason why 3 hours might be needed or wanted. 

Other reasons could be:

physical or mental health issues the student is experiencing (illness, disease, depression)

stamina issues (kid doesn't have the mental and/or physical stamina to work more than 3 hours at academics)

processing issues or other LDs 

motivation issues (kid won't work longer than 3 hours and parent wants to at least do that)

I also don't know how long the student will be working for 3 hours a day. Will he work year round? Will this only be for 10th grade? How many credits has he already earned?

I have no way of knowing how this one question relates to this person's high school diploma process.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Garga said:

Three hours a day?  For 6 classes?   Just 30 minutes a day per class? 

Precalc this year:  3 hours a week for the live online class. Plus 4 hours a week on doing the work.  

Physics:  Same set up

ASL: I’m learning this with the boys and counting the video time and all the required reading and practice, there’s no way we get done in less than an hour a day.

English: I  don’t see reading and discussing Jane Eyre in only 30 minutes a day.  I don’t see us writing solid papers (as well as the reading and discussing) in 30 minutes a day.  So yeah, an hour.

Computer class:  maybe half an hour a day for a fast student, but mine takes 50 minutes a day

Government: same as computer—at least half an hour a day.

So, if you’re fast, let’s knock off 2 hours for precalc and physics and here are the numbers for a fast student to complete the 6 classes:

At least 5 hours a day.  

For my particular student to take precalc, physics, ASL, English, computer class, and government, it takes him 7 hours a day.  Not counting the SAT prep he does every day and the driver’s ed permit test he’s studying for.  That’s another hour of work.  Sometimes on Friday, he’s caught up on the work that’s expected for him in physcis or the ocmputer class, so he might only work on his classes for 6 hours on a Friday.

Three hours a day for high school.  That just seems too low.  I know people are saying they’ve done it, but how?  Did you retain things well?  How many classic novels did you read a year?  How many papers did you write?  How many experiments?  How many math practice problems, and if they were wrong, did you rework them?  These things just take time.

I believe you did it...but I don’t think you’re a usual student.

 

 

For us (say 4 hours rather than 3) we worked in subject blocks rather than hitting everything daily....we didn't do test prep, and we didn't include things like drivers ed as a subject. I don't include 'reading books from your self chosen book list' or 'working on your passions in your own time' as 'school'. That's life ?

 In 10th grade, dd1 read about 50 classic novels and other works. We discussed them in daily life. She wrote a few papers over the year, but she could already write a good literary essay, so churning out more and more made no sense.

She wrote a  thesis on female artists. A lot of her time was spent on art history and writing. I figured anyone who could sit down and write a thesis was pretty much graduated in Language Arts. Would I include all of that in the 4 hours ? Hmm...probably writing time, but not so much the research, which she was doing on her own for fun anyway. 

Maths ? She completed Yr 12 maths with daily practice and a weekly tutoring session. She reworked during the tutoring. She's retained enough to pass every maths exam she's had to take in college, so...

We worked on biology together over the year, using a really lovely textbook whose name I can't remember. Very few labs, but again, she had all the background knowledge she needed to cope easily with course work (involving human biology) at college. 

Electives were psychology and anthropology, and that was just a textbook plus booklist plus discussion. A lot of the discussion took part in daily life, because again, learning in new areas is daily life. And talking about what we learn in an interested and drawing out kind of a way is what we do. 

I tutor some of the kids who are working 8+ hours a day or more for the last few years of school. Heck, I had one of those my own up until this year!

 I've seen the stress up close and personal, and its not something I want to replicate in my home if I can help it. I don't think it is needed. I know that an atmosphere of learning and access to good resources and an interested adult(s), and semi free range to design one's own high school years, can have academic outcomes which are just as good (NOT the subject of the thread! But you did ask about how one can manage to graduate a student with tertiary choices in a day shorter than 7 hours).

This year my ds is in the same grade. We've pulled back on a couple of things we really emphasised last year, to give him time to find and use other talents. This is a LA and drama year for him. He's doing a stats class at my instigation, because I can see he's not heading in a mathy direction now, and I think stats is the most useful thing I can teach him this year. We're doing a huge history block next term. Chem class keeps rolling on. He's going to do fine on his avg of 3-4 hours daily!

Part of what keeps me pretty relaxed on the time front is that I know how my own brain and learning works. I can work at a fairly consistent but relaxed speed for many hours. Or I can do some intense mental work for around 3 hours before flagging for the day and needing to recharge creatively, cognitively, in tasks which are not demanding in the same way. It's the way I got my last degree, so I know it works. Stay on task working at a high intensity for a shorter time, or stay on task working at a lower intensity for a longer time. Either way, it comes out pretty even. 

We were NOT under pressure to jump through scholarship or testing hoops, btw. I'm sure this makes a huge difference. And philosophically speaking, I was not aiming to push dd as high as she could go. I was aiming to support her pushing as high as she wanted to go.

 

 

Edited by StellaM
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Free stuff isn’t the problem. Lack of teaching is. I used Khan for elementary and middle school with no problems and a child who went into high school math with A’s. But I was there sitting next to her supervising the process, teaching anything that she didn’t get directly from Khan, making sure that she had the concepts and enough practice.

I had tons of people on this forum look down their nose at me but their dire predictions didn’t come true. (I started out with Singapore and other programs but as you know,  not all programs work for all students). 

 

Eh...we're using Mathusee.  Lol.  Also known as another "lite" math program.  I actually really like it and I think it's appropriate for high school.  Getting ready to buy Precalculus in a couple of months.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, maize said:

I did less than three hours a day of actual academic learning/work in high school.

Oh, my rear end was in a chair for longer than that, but the percentage of time-in-chair that involved any learning on my part was maybe 10%. That's a generous estimate.

Yeah, if I self studied high school I’d have been surprised to have it take more than four hours even with, say, physics homework.  I admit I’m a very fast reader and synthesizer though.  I have a kid like me and a kid who is probably moderately ADD, and it takes the latter almost twice as long and with more mistakes, despite actually having greater comprehension of the material.  So there’s that, I guess ?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

For us (say 4 hours rather than 3) we worked in subject blocks rather than hitting everything daily....we didn't do test prep, and we didn't include things like drivers ed as a subject. I don't include 'reading books from your self chosen book list' or 'working on your passions in your own time' as 'school'. That's life ?

 In 10th grade, dd1 read about 50 classic novels and other works. We discussed them in daily life. She wrote a few papers over the year, but she could already write a good literary essay, so churning out more and more made no sense.

She wrote a  thesis on female artists. A lot of her time was spent on art history and writing. I figured anyone who could sit down and write a thesis was pretty much graduated in Language Arts. Would I include all of that in the 4 hours ? Hmm...probably writing time, but not so much the research, which she was doing on her own for fun anyway. 

Maths ? She completed Yr 12 maths with daily practice and a weekly tutoring session. She reworked during the tutoring. She's retained enough to pass every maths exam she's had to take in college, so...

We worked on biology together over the year, using a really lovely textbook whose name I can't remember. Very few labs, but again, she had all the background knowledge she needed to cope easily with course work (involving human biology) at college. 

Electives were psychology and anthropology, and that was just a textbook plus booklist plus discussion. A lot of the discussion took part in daily life, because again, learning in new areas is daily life. And talking about what we learn in an interested and drawing out kind of a way is what we do. 

I tutor some of the kids who are working 8+ hours a day or more for the last few years of school. Heck, I had one of those my own up until this year!

 I've seen the stress up close and personal, and its not something I want to replicate in my home if I can help it. I don't think it is needed. I know that an atmosphere of learning and access to good resources and an interested adult(s), and semi free range to design one's own high school years, can have academic outcomes which are just as good (NOT the subject of the thread! But you did ask about how one can manage to graduate a student with tertiary choices in a day shorter than 7 hours).

This year my ds is in the same grade. We've pulled back on a couple of things we really emphasised last year, to give him time to find and use other talents. This is a LA and drama year for him. He's doing a stats class at my instigation, because I can see he's not heading in a mathy direction now, and I think stats is the most useful thing I can teach him this year. We're doing a huge history block next term. Chem class keeps rolling on. He's going to do fine on his avg of 3-4 hours daily!

Part of what keeps me pretty relaxed on the time front is that I know how my own brain and learning works. I can work at a fairly consistent but relaxed speed for many hours. Or I can do some intense mental work for around 3 hours before flagging for the day and needing to recharge creatively, cognitively, in tasks which are not demanding in the same way. It's the way I got my last degree, so I know it works. Stay on task working at a high intensity for a shorter time, or stay on task working at a lower intensity for a longer time. Either way, it comes out pretty even. 

We were NOT under pressure to jump through scholarship or testing hoops, btw. I'm sure this makes a huge difference. And philosophically speaking, I was not aiming to push dd as high as she could go. I was aiming to support her pushing as high as she wanted to go.

 

 

 

So, she did way more than 4 hours of work each day.  Just because you didn’t count her research hours doesn’t mean she didn’t do research.  Just because you didn’t count the hours of reading doesn’t mean she didn’t read.  Just because you didn’t count the discussion time doesn’t mean there was no discussion.

So, we’re basically saying the same thing.  It takes more than 4 hours a day to research, read, and discuss.  You just don’t count it as school.  I do.  But it’s the same amount of time spent on educational activities.  I think we’re talking about a rose with another name.  It still smells as sweet.  

(And I don’t’ count test prep as school hours. That’s on top of school.)

ETA:  It must depend upon the student.  Seriously.  My student has never once in 11 years of school chosen to pick up a book and read it for pleasure.  Not once.  He has never researched an issue.  He does not naturally discuss things.  I am a talker and a reader.  It has been a real sadness to me that I cannot get him to read a book without it having to be “for school” and discuss it.  Most of our discussions are me trying to draaaaaag something out of him.  He’s not rebelling against me.  He is just that type of guy who doesn’t have a lot to say about things.  

If I had your student, and our daily life was all about reading and discussing, I’d be writing your post.  But I don’t.  I have to deliberately teach my son to read good books, to be able to find the universal truths in them, and to be able to find something to put on paper about them.  

It really must depend upon the student.  

And I might back out now, because It has been a major disappointment that I can’t school the way you do, which is how I thought it would be.  I have had to adjust how I thought “school” would look.  It’s not what you described, though that was my dearest wish.  I don’t think I can keep talking about it here without getting too upset and wishing for what isn’t.  It’s actually bringing tears to my eyes because I had wanted it so badly and I’m feeling actual jealousy reading your post.

The hard reality for me is that I can’t have what you had with your daughter.  And it just flat out takes my guy 7 hours a day and that’s my reality.  And I can’t in good faith promise another homeschooler that they can give their kid a solid education in 3 or 4 hours a day, unless they’re a special kid.  I love my guy and think the world of him, but it’s just different.  

Edited by Garga
  • Like 9
  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, PeachyDoodle said:

 

What I'm seeing, though, is a trend towards making the minimal work load/time spent THE goal. That's a different thing altogether.

 

I may have contributed to someone's conception of that at times. I have asked for "check the box" or "just the basics" that hopefully involved me very little at times for at least two of my children.  One child already has a passion that requires a lot of time and I'd rather put effort in a narrower scope of core academic classes. The other child needs more therapy for disabilities and has little attention span as it is so we have to use it wisely and not not just pick the most rigorous curriculum out there for every single subject.  So hopefully people weren't being too judgmental or judgemental,depending on where you live, about my pathetic schooling choices. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Garga said:

 

So, she did way more than 4 hours of work each day.  Just because you didn’t count her research hours doesn’t mean she didn’t do research.  Just because you didn’t count the hours of reading doesn’t mean she didn’t read.  Just because you didn’t count the discussion time doesn’t mean there was no discussion.

So, we’re basically saying the same thing.  It takes more than 4 hours a day to research, read, and discuss.  You just don’t count it as school.  I do.  But it’s the same amount of time spent on educational activities.  I think we’re talking about a rose with another name.  It still smells as sweet.  

(And I don’t’ count test prep as school hours. That’s on top of school.)

ETA:  It must depend upon the student.  Seriously.  My student has never once in 11 years of school chosen to pick up a book and read it for pleasure.  Not once.  He has never researched an issue.  He does not naturally discuss things.  I am a talker and a reader.  It has been a real sadness to me that I cannot get him to read a book without it having to be “for school” and discuss it.  Most of our discussions are me trying to draaaaaag something out of him.  He’s not rebelling against me.  He is just that type of guy who doesn’t have a lot to say about things.  

If I had your student, and our daily life was all about reading and discussing, I’d be writing your post.  But I don’t.  I have to deliberately teach my son to read good books, to be able to find the universal truths in them, and to be able to find something to put on paper about them.  

It really must depend upon the student.  

And I might back out now, because It has been a major disappointment that I can’t school the way you do, which is how I thought it would be.  I have had to adjust how I thought “school” would look.  It’s not what you described, though that was my dearest wish.  I don’t think I can keep talking about it here without getting too upset and wishing for what isn’t.  It’s actually bringing tears to my eyes because I had wanted it so badly and I’m feeling actual jealousy reading your post.

The hard reality for me is that I can’t have what you had with your daughter.  And it just flat out takes my guy 7 hours a day and that’s my reality.  And I can’t in good faith promise another homeschooler that they can give their kid a solid education in 3 or 4 hours a day, unless they’re a special kid.  I love my guy and think the world of him, but it’s just different.  

 

No. 'School' is what we are mandated to do, what I make my kids do. In order to tick the right boxes and jump through the right hoops. That absolutely can be done in fewer than 7 hours where I live.  The rest is life. It's would be silly for me to say 'oh awake - eating - showering - tv- exerecise-socialising' = school. (TV is definitely sometimes 'school' here!)

My ds is NOT academic, though this year for the first time he's started to show some LA talent. Everything you say about your student, I can nod my head to. He went to the library of his own volition with me a few weeks ago for the first time ever in his life. So I had an academic rock star once (and don't be too jealous, she's also the one whose had mental health struggles, so swings and roundabouts) and I've got one academic slug. I can still work with him 3 hrs a day, intensely, and trust that he's learning stuff too in the rest of life - just different stuff.

I didn't share to make you feel bad, but to explain how it is that 'school' can run for 4 hours for some of us and still turn out OK. My middle dd was in the school system and worked on school for 8+ hours a day by the end, and it looked very different to what my homeschooled kids have. I honestly don't see the difference in how she and they are turning out, academically or grit wise speaking. 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Garga said:

I know people are saying they’ve done it, but how?  Did you retain things well?  How many classic novels did you read a year?  How many papers did you write?  How many experiments?  How many math practice problems, and if they were wrong, did you rework them?  These things just take time.

I believe you did it...but I don’t think you’re a usual student.

 

 

In my case, I didn't do the reading (the teachers didn't care and I could bluff through quizzes and tests), I didn't do a lot of homework (see previous note), a lot of class time was taken up by administrative stuff, discipline issues, standardized testing prep or writing the exams. Or in some cases a teacher coming in late because she was hungover (Physical Science). Or a teacher who used the class period to work on her business plan for selling a clothing line that had tiny pockets sewn in to hold condoms (Spanish class). A lot of my time in classes was spent on busywork. A lot of the time the teachers just didn't care if I was engaged and learning or doing the work. I didn't care. So 6 hours in a school day could easily be cut into 3 hours of actually, possibly learning something. I graduated with a high school diploma. And this was a good school district in the same town as a top state college. Doesn't even touch what education is actually like in places where it is considered bad.

I'm willing to admit that in high school kids are old enough to take personal responsibility for their level of effort. HOWEVER, in many cases, as others pointed out, parents taking their kids out of a situation like that in desperation...if they are getting 3 hours of actual work from their student each day, it looks like an improvement to them. Trying to do it for free or on a shoestring might be the only option they have because their second income quit their job to school their teenager. And they might have thought public schools would actually educate their kids, so the idea of researching and planning curricula for hours or weeks prior to starting may not have even been on their radar. They might not have any perspective on a philosophy of education or what education is or what it means to get a good one. They want their kid to have a diploma instead of flunking out of a school that isn't really worried about a personal philosophy of education anyway other than making good, compliant citizens.  The idea of doing higher level maths, great books, teaching a foreign language, classical vs traditional, mastery vs spiral, living books vs textbooks, how to grade an essay, etc. is not something most people have any idea about. And pulling a kid to home school high school has to be completely overwhelming. But I think most parents do want their kids to succeed in some way. And sometimes I see a sense of, I can't do this, but we have to do this at home, so help me find something free and something that I can manage is what people are asking. And saying, "Well, duh, just use the public school," is what they have already tried.

Edited by EmseB
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Evanthe said:

 

Eh...we're using Mathusee.  Lol.  Also known as another "lite" math program.  I actually really like it and I think it's appropriate for high school.  Getting ready to buy Precalculus in a couple of months.

If doing a conceptually based math program makes it lite it is only because it makes difficult mathematics easier to understand?...Mathusee was and sadly still is out of my budget....but I would love to have it as a great way to introduce concepts.  I use Rod and Staff and BJU (was blessed with BJU for free! from a school that closed) as my base and for CMAS in February? I got LOF books a couple of years ago and really love every math book that I touch.  Hugging math books is not foreign to me?.  

I am hoping to be able to invest in either Gattegno/Mortisson or Mathusee blocks/programs as I really believe that they would be a blessing in conceptual understanding with my kids.  

Every math program has its own strengths.  Ignore the judgers and do what works for your family.

Brenda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Garga said:

Three hours a day?  For 6 classes?   Just 30 minutes a day per class? 

Precalc this year:  3 hours a week for the live online class. Plus 4 hours a week on doing the work.  

Physics:  Same set up

ASL: I’m learning this with the boys and counting the video time and all the required reading and practice, there’s no way we get done in less than an hour a day.

English: I  don’t see reading and discussing Jane Eyre in only 30 minutes a day.  I don’t see us writing solid papers (as well as the reading and discussing) in 30 minutes a day.  So yeah, an hour.

Computer class:  maybe half an hour a day for a fast student, but mine takes 50 minutes a day

Government: same as computer—at least half an hour a day.

So, if you’re fast, let’s knock off 2 hours for precalc and physics and here are the numbers for a fast student to complete the 6 classes:

At least 5 hours a day.  

For my particular student to take precalc, physics, ASL, English, computer class, and government, it takes him 7 hours a day.  Not counting the SAT prep he does every day and the driver’s ed permit test he’s studying for.  That’s another hour of work.  Sometimes on Friday, he’s caught up on the work that’s expected for him in physcis or the ocmputer class, so he might only work on his classes for 6 hours on a Friday.

Three hours a day for high school.  That just seems too low.  I know people are saying they’ve done it, but how?  Did you retain things well?  How many classic novels did you read a year?  How many papers did you write?  How many experiments?  How many math practice problems, and if they were wrong, did you rework them?  These things just take time.

I believe you did it...but I don’t think you’re a usual student.

 

 

I wasn't a usual student.  But not all students are usual students.

I didn't need to do 90% of homework to master the material.  I did it, when it was necessary to do it for the grade (about which I cared very much), surreptitiously during class.  Band class was a good time for doing homework because the band director (and we had an excellent, top-rated band) spent 30% of class time talking about his heyday in the army or his life as a young band director in the 70s or whatever.  

I get that classes take a certain amount of time; what I'm saying is that I didn't need that much time to be taught the material.  So the teacher would present it once; I'd either have already known it or would assimilate it the first time, done.  Then the teacher would have us practice, or discuss (during which time everyone else would ask inane questions or have inane ideas, ime), then she'd teach it again a different way.  I only needed the first 10 minutes of class.

I took IB Psych as an audit.  The way an audit worked at my high school was the opposite of the way you'd think; I did get a grade for the class, but I didn't attend.  I just read someone's notes, usually the day I was going to have to take the unit test, always during gym class (we either bowled or walked around the track - it was a "lifetime activities" class), then took the test after school.  I did read the books (Freud, Skinner, etc.) and write the papers.  I compose at 10 words per minute so a 1200 word paper takes me about 30 minutes to outline and 2 hours to write start to finish.   For a high school level work, I didn't need to revise.

Now there are also kids who have to work much harder for lower level achievements and classes.  I got the IB Diploma; I took the hardest classes offered; I was a NM scholar.  On the other hand, I also played the flute.

I spent an hour a day practicing the flute, and I was still only barely good.  Not the best at my school, and not in the top 15 flutists in the state.  It took a huge amount of effort for what seemed to me second-rate results - but I loved it, and I liked having to work hard at something to be decent at it.  There was a girl 2 years ahead of me who was as good as I was (better, because she was 2 years ahead) without practicing at all.  She just knew how to play the flute.  She got a new piece of music, she sightread it, came out great.  Every time.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I should say that I did learn a few very useful things from people who'd done well in my classes a year or two before me.  One was a way of studying for IB history tests, which were just timed essays.  The way they worked was as a mimic to the actual IB History test; you were given 4 essay topics a week ahead of time.  He would draw 2 out of a hat on the day of the test, and you had to write one of them (you had 50 minutes).  So you only needed to prepare 3 of them, because you could always discard one.  What I would do is during math that day (always a snooze) I would outline the three essays.  Then to memorize them (this is what I learned from a girl a year older than me) I would remember the number of sub-points I had for each essay.

So like if the essay where "homeschool ideologies" (obviously the class was different, it was IB HL History of the Americas and it would be a question like "how did soandso's development of suchandsuch affect suchandsuch situation in the 19th century at [specific place]), I would have say

radical unschooling, 3 subpoints, then wtm, 5 subpoints, then charlotte mason, 4 subpoints,

And I would just remember: essay question 1: 3 5 4.  Essay question 2 (set of 3 numbers or set of 4 numbers).  etc.

Then as soon as he pulled the question out of the hat, I'd write down the number series associated with the question I wanted to answer, spend 30 seconds shorthanding the points and subpoints, then write the essay.

 

Most of the class spent a ridiculous amount of time prepping for these things.  Like, the day before they'd all get together and plan out the points and subpoints.  Then they'd prewrite (!!!!!) all the essays.  Then try to memorize the essays wholesale.  I thought it was kind of insane, and not great training for the end of course IB test anyway, which was the whole point of doing testing this way.

  • 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...