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Paradox5

The New “Calvert”?

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The new Calvert School stuff is NOTHING like what I used with my older our first year! What did they do to it?? K-2 looks like secular LifePacs or CLE LightUnits. 3rd on up do not even have books! And so inexpensive? I remember Calvert being stupid-head expensive with price increases every year. What happened? It really looks weird. 

https://www.calverthomeschool.com

Edited by Paradox5
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They've jumped on the "I'm looking for something online that my kid can work on independently" bandwagon.  From a business perspective, they're keeping up with what consumers want.  Honestly, it kinda looks like Time 4 Learning.

There is so much junky homeschooling out there now, it bothers me.  My son has several friends who homeschooled up to high school and then the parents put them in public school.  They were educated with the "just teach yourself online independently so your parents can do other stuff" technique and they were complaining so much to my son about it.  They felt like they didn't get a very good education and they're a little resentful.  

And I think it's one of the reasons this forum has a fraction of the traffic it used to have.  Classical education is something the parents have to put together and be interactive with.  

I'm not changing the way we homeschool.  😞  I have one starting college in January and one starting Kindergarten in January.  So, I get to start all over.  It just seems lonely, now, because no one homeschools like we do anymore.   

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@Evanthe oh my, yes. So many low quality superficial educational materials marketed for successful independent learning. I don't consider myself a classical homeschooler, but just the interactive part seems a huge difference in general.

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I completely agree with both of you. I just don’t have kids that do. I have always battled between my desire to be involved and their desire (once they could read) to self-teach. The best compromise I can find is to choose high quality independent materials (Saxon, Hake, etc.) and let them go at it.

I’m going to try again with Captain in a few years. 

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1 hour ago, Paradox5 said:

I completely agree with both of you. I just don’t have kids that do. I have always battled between my desire to be involved and their desire (once they could read) to self-teach. The best compromise I can find is to choose high quality independent materials (Saxon, Hake, etc.) and let them go at it.

I’m going to try again with Captain in a few years. 

Said in a non-judgmental way, just one of complete lack of ability to imagine.......I can't fathom this scenario. Truly. I allow my kids a huge amt of influence over what they study, way more than anyone I have ever met in all my homeschooling yrs (other than true unschoolers, not no schoolers). But, as a non-unschooler,  I cannot imagine allowing them to decide assignments, what we will or will not do together, or on how material will be presented and mastered. I see that as my role as teacher.  I guess maybe I am way more a dictator than I ever imagined. 😉 

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5 hours ago, Paradox5 said:

I completely agree with both of you. I just don’t have kids that do. I have always battled between my desire to be involved and their desire (once they could read) to self-teach. The best compromise I can find is to choose high quality independent materials (Saxon, Hake, etc.) and let them go at it.

 

Mine absolutely hate independent work.  That's why I'm back to doing unit studies and my teens are combined - they like working in a group.

I would do something independent (like the link) in an emergency for a season....like with a difficult pregnancy/baby, etc.

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If I could find something affordable for history we could both stand I would do it so we could learn together.  We looked at time4learning which was very try and I watched some free trials for the animated history one whose name I can't remember - the characters narrating would have driven me mad.  If they have a trial I might try just the middle school history bits.  I can't imagine just sticking my kid in front of a computer doing it or time4learning all day though.

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I think there are ages and stages.  Youngest ds, at 9yo, is moving toward a model where I assign, we go over the material each day, but he works independently at his own pace.  And he likes it when he has a long term overview.  Yesterday we sat down and paced out reading, language arts, and French so he would know the stopping points by December vacation.  He and I will continue to go over the work each day, but he is pacing himself.  Some things are turning into a hybrid.  I found science on Khan Academy for him.  He's using the videos/quizzes there, doing an interactive notebook and projects with me, and reading on his own time.

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I see a huge difference between completing assignments independently and independent learning. Kids should be moving toward completing written assignments independently. We don't need to sit there and watch them read or write once they hit a certain level of proficiency and comprehension. But, that is different than being involved in teaching concepts, discussing ideas, and challenging their understanding beyond their simple level of comprehension of what they listened to or read.  It is something that cannot be evaluated by worksheets or computer input answers. It requires engaging with them, listening to their responses, and asking questions based on their responses. It is interactive and isn't predefined.

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My son (who is an aspie if that matters) wants to work independently.   I do assign work and I check it over but he does not want me to teach him.   Quite a bit of the stuff my kids do can be done fairly independently but math was one of the main things I expected to continue full hands-on.  And for my daughter, that is true.  But my son wants to read the book and try it himself first.  IF he can't figure it out or he gets it wrong, then I'm allowed to help him and show him how to do it.  Since he also happens to be gifted in math, often he doesn't need my help.

We are not classical but fairly rigorous and far from unschoolers.  We've had different stages where due to life we had to do different things.  When they were much younger, we did Time4Learning for about 6 months.   Dd took huge jumps in reading doing it and both were able to move back into their previous math program (Math Mammoth) with the appropriate jump forward.   If it became necessary, I would do it again.  It worked for us.  It wasn't perfect but they learned.

We use Great Courses Plus for things like history, art history, and a few other things.

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On 10/30/2019 at 6:40 AM, Evanthe said:

They've jumped on the "I'm looking for something online that my kid can work on independently" bandwagon.  From a business perspective, they're keeping up with what consumers want.  Honestly, it kinda looks like Time 4 Learning.

 

 

Thank you for naming this.  I'm also bewildered by the new generation of homeschoolers who it seems have been oversold on online learning.  And now they are complaining on some forums about how their kids will distract themselves by moving to a different browser tab and play a game or something.  And these kids are in elementary, no wonder they can't keep focused!  

Maybe it's because my kids grew up before MOOCs and other online learning was marketed to younger kids, but we did all our learning from books and hands on activities.  We only started to transition (starting with one class) in 8th grade, and I was still right by their side.  Even her freshman year of high school, my older dd still had only one online high school class, and she has strong EF skills and could manage the distractions of online learning.  

Not only is IRL teaching and learning superior, but it's also fun for both student and teacher.  

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The Calvert curriculum is a tool for the teacher just like any other curriculum.  There is no rule against discussing the material with the child.  True, some parents will expect the child to be independent with it, but they may me between a rock and a hard place...parents work and kiddo has life-threatening allergies, a bullying situation, chronic illness, etc.  I'm glad there are options, especially secular options in a market that is primarily evangelical.  It makes it a lot easier for a parent to pull a kid out of a bad situation without having read a decades worth of teaching books or having reviewed thousands of curricula.  It's not my ideal, but I am filing it away in the back of my mind in case it becomes necessary for a season.  I'm positive it would produce more real learning than my local public schools.

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32 minutes ago, Syllieann said:

The Calvert curriculum is a tool for the teacher just like any other curriculum.  There is no rule against discussing the material with the child.  True, some parents will expect the child to be independent with it, but they may me between a rock and a hard place...parents work and kiddo has life-threatening allergies, a bullying situation, chronic illness, etc.  I'm glad there are options, especially secular options in a market that is primarily evangelical.  It makes it a lot easier for a parent to pull a kid out of a bad situation without having read a decades worth of teaching books or having reviewed thousands of curricula.  It's not my ideal, but I am filing it away in the back of my mind in case it becomes necessary for a season.  I'm positive it would produce more real learning than my local public schools.

First of all, from where I sit, the market is now flooded with this low end secular schlock. It isn't all evangelical anymore. T4L, Acelus/Power Homeschool, Connections, Calvert... plus all the things like Thinkwell and all the virtual schools like FLVS and K12... it's everywhere now. Secular, online learning with extremely limited teacher involvement on any end, based around video+multiple choice quiz models either "overseen" by the parent or an outside teacher. I'm sorry, but it's crap. Like, it's such crap. I don't think it's better than the vast majority of public schools. Like, our local zoned school high school is really, really bad... and it would still be better than most of this stuff.

I want to be sympathetic to families who are using it. And it can be good for checking a box in an individual subject. Or it can be good for short periods for families who have instabilities like a chronic illness or a big move. Or who need a stop gap between B&M schools and don't know what to do or have the mental load time to invest in navigating homeschooling. Yes, absolutely.

But these programs don't sell themselves as being a resource or a tool among many or encourage parents to do additional teaching and oversight and enrichment. They sell themselves as being it, all you need, the whole thing, the kit and caboodle. And I really object to that. These are not better than school. Programs that don't demand any thinking outside the box, anything that can't be graded by a computer or in bulk by someone who has no serious contact with your child... I simply refuse to believe these programs are in the best interest of the overwhelming majority of kids.

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11 hours ago, Syllieann said:

The Calvert curriculum is a tool for the teacher just like any other curriculum.  There is no rule against discussing the material with the child.  True, some parents will expect the child to be independent with it, but they may me between a rock and a hard place...parents work and kiddo has life-threatening allergies, a bullying situation, chronic illness, etc.  I'm glad there are options, especially secular options in a market that is primarily evangelical.  It makes it a lot easier for a parent to pull a kid out of a bad situation without having read a decades worth of teaching books or having reviewed thousands of curricula.  It's not my ideal, but I am filing it away in the back of my mind in case it becomes necessary for a season.  I'm positive it would produce more real learning than my local public schools.

 

I think everyone (including me) is frustrated with some disturbing trends in homeschooling that have popped up in maybe the last 5 years or so.  I don't know how much you are around other homeschoolers (and you may be traveling in different circles than me), but I'm seeing this trend:

People withdrawing their kids from school (especially on local Facebook homeschooling groups)  and doing absolutely no research on homeschooling.  They automatically ask what "homeschool program" is free, online and something their kid can do independently.  They emphatically claim that they do not have time to work with their kids or teach the kids themselves.  Most of the time, they're not even familiar with the state laws on homeschooling.  They don't know that there are different methods of teaching, etc.  Why are people withdrawing their kids from school and they're not even willing to "google" homeschooling??!

Also, I don't want to be mean, but I am one of the busiest people out there.  And I am able to sit down and work with my kids.  It has to be a priority in our day!

Sorry to be so harsh.  I have nothing against Calvert.  Lol!

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As someone who has gone the route of online classes for most of my 6th grader's work I still don't get this. My dd takes live online classes which is a good fit for us but I still am very involved. I don't make appointments during school hours and I am within a few feet of dd during her classes if not sitting right beside her. She doesn't need me I guess. She takes notes and participates appropriately. However, she would not be as engaged and learning as well as she is if she did not have my involvement. We extend the discussion after class. We brainstorm ideas for essays. I help proofread and edit. We discuss the books and then follow up with other activities, related books, etc. My dh comes home at night and then dd discusses her work with him and so the extension continues. I also choose the courses I want my dd to take and the teachers I want her to have. I don't just say "give me a program so I don't need to think about anything or make any decisions."  People often ask what classes my dd takes because they are impressed by her but I won't even recommend it because it won't work just to sign up and disengage and that is what I find people looking for.  

I treasure this time with my dd even if we are outsourcing classes. Because it is as though we are a team taking the classes and studying together and it is fun. 

I know there are always exceptions but the vast majority of kids I have been in contact with (even super smart, compliant ones) will cheat and fudge their way through online programs with multiple choice answers like that.  I know mine did every time I tried to fill a gap or supplement with something like that. Totally not worth it. Even if not cheating exactly, just going through the motions and not engaging. I did come to the conclusion on those things that they just weren't worth it. If I didn't have time to engage on something just let them read or build something or create something until I did. 

 

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2 hours ago, Evanthe said:

 

I think everyone (including me) is frustrated with some disturbing trends in homeschooling that have popped up in maybe the last 5 years or so.  I don't know how much you are around other homeschoolers (and you may be traveling in different circles than me), but I'm seeing this trend:

People withdrawing their kids from school (especially on local Facebook homeschooling groups)  and doing absolutely no research on homeschooling.  They automatically ask what "homeschool program" is free, online and something their kid can do independently.  They emphatically claim that they do not have time to work with their kids or teach the kids themselves.  Most of the time, they're not even familiar with the state laws on homeschooling.  They don't know that there are different methods of teaching, etc.  Why are people withdrawing their kids from school and they're not even willing to "google" homeschooling??!

Also, I don't want to be mean, but I am one of the busiest people out there.  And I am able to sit down and work with my kids.  It has to be a priority in our day!

Sorry to be so harsh.  I have nothing against Calvert.  Lol!

This has gotten to be the best case scenario, because it sounds like they might intend to actually be there. I stopped following state and local homeschooling groups when half the people seemed to also want to leave their child home alone for his solitary, plugged-in school day. (I didn't leave because they asked about this, but because the common response was, "Sure, that's fine, you can work with him in the evening. Anything's better than public school!")

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2 hours ago, Evanthe said:

 

I think everyone (including me) is frustrated with some disturbing trends in homeschooling that have popped up in maybe the last 5 years or so.

Disturbing trend is exactly right.

I don't fully know what to make of it. But I do know that I don't like the way that the homeschool community's "anything is better than public school" attitude is egging it on. Video+multiple choice quiz learning can have a place, but that place should never be the center of a child's education long term. Yet that's what is happening.

Just generally speaking, no matter what educational philosophy people were coming to homeschooling with, it used to feel like either religion was at the center (and I won't even go there, but it's true) or that creating more genuine learning experiences was or both. And that desire for deeper, more meaningful, more connected learning was something that homeschoolers were mostly seeking - whether unschoolers or classical or whatever. Yet now, there's been such a shift toward saying, hey, how can I check this box, get this AP exam, sit this kid in front of a computer for a really cheap price. Why are they doing it? I don't even understand, honestly.

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I think the bulk of the people using programs like this or K12 are not interested in homeschooling for any particular philosophical reason.  Most seem to be ones that are homeschooling to avoid a situation and don’t want to or can’t change their lifestyle.  We used to attend a drop off one day a week program that in my estimation was just for enrichment.  The kids in the classes rarely did the assigned homework, etc.   In talking to the supervisor, there were many families that signed their kids up for the whole day at multiple locations because they had to work.  Needless to say, we stopped attending.  My belief is that is where much of the homeschooling growth is coming from and, as a big business, there are many, many companies wanting their share of that pie.

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Things like this make me feel like homeschooling is doing more harm than good at this point.

And I guess I just wish homeschoolers themselves would temper the message when we evangelize it.

It can be easy... but it takes time and effort.

It can help make your family life easier and more relaxed... or not, you just have to try it to find out.

Anyone can do it... but you have to want to engage with your kid and plan it.

You don't have to do the teaching... but you do have to be hands on with the planning and organizing if you don't teach directly.

It's legal in every state... but there are legal requirements and you should be meeting them.

It's better than public school... if you put in that effort and make it work.

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I can relate as I feel pretty new at this.  My oldest is only in 3rd grade. I am only now at the point I am feeling more confident in my choice.  I guess I felt so brainwashed that he public school system was really top notch.  I felt I wasn't good enough to teach my son.  I searched and searched for some magic bullet, some distance learning program, but you all kept saying don't do distance learning and I mostly listened.  I am doing bju math dl with my 3rd grader and they both doing vp self paced history.  I know it would be ideal if I taught everything, but I need to know at least 1 thing will get checked off every single day.  My baby girls need so much attention too.  I looked at things like time 4 learning and such but conclude d it didn't look very rigorous.  IDK where I'm going with this.  I guess I totally understand where us new homeschool moms are coming from, BUT I found out the truth too so I guess they might.  I mean, after I have started homeschooling I realize my education was kind of sub par.  I've learned things already and my oldest is only in 3rd.  Coming from subpar public education, I know many like me just don't feel smart enough and are scared of getting their kids behind.  I totally get it, but I'm coming around.  Just keep encouraging us newbies, don't hate us.  

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21 minutes ago, lots of little ducklings said:

 

Love love love this.  Thanks for sharing. 

Thanks.  I can never quite get my thoughts written out, I was hoping it would make sense.  Another thing I meant to say was, I don't want to choose distance options to NOT spend time with my kids, I am pleased to spend every day with my kids.  I was (still am a bit) terrified of ruining my kids.  If I didn't have my dh each fall saying "you got this, you want this, don't give up on them" I would have already sent them to school.  It's just hard to convince myself I am capable of being an adequate teacher.

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5 hours ago, Mom2mthj said:

I think the bulk of the people using programs like this or K12 are not interested in homeschooling for any particular philosophical reason.  Most seem to be ones that are homeschooling to avoid a situation and don’t want to or can’t change their lifestyle.

This is my experience. I don't know anyone else irl that doesn't use an online public charter. Everyone wants easy, quick, and not to disrupt their lives.

I don't think it's new, though. It was also my experience with homeschooling years ago. I knew a lot of people who used those correspondence type schools. They would hand their kids a packet and the kids were on their own. My husband was "homeschooled" that way and it was horrible. I do think in some ways the online video/multiple choice stuff is a step above that, at least.

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I guess I am seeing a small uptick, but I feel like most of the people I know are still homeschooling in a way that is parent-led and parent-responsible even with the use of online classes. Or maybe I just feel like I am established enough now that I am not hanging around as many homeschool Facebook groups. I see the posts. I just don't think it's the majority of them. It does seem to be the mindset of most people withdrawing or thinking about withdrawing from public school though - they will ask what you use and be so confused that you can't just answer that. I do warn people off online, all-in-one programs whenever I can. 

If this becomes a thing that the majority of the rising number of homeschoolers are doing...there is going to be backlash in several years. Possibly legally/politically. Because if a parent isn't overseeing and checking in to make sure that learning is really happening, then the whole "homeschoolers fare better than public schoolers on average" thing that helps us keep our rights is going cease to exist. I don't usually buy into the "they're going to strip our rights" stuff that various entities put out there, but a rising tide of poorly-educated homeschoolers would do it and it makes me nervous. 

Does anyone know many people who use these programs for a whole school career or the bulk of one? I feel like when people go all-online it lasts for like - a year or two before they dive into parent-led homeschool or re-enroll in public school. 

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I'm seeing it on local groups. People ask for newbie advice and now there's a wave of "pros" who have been at it for years and all they do is Power Homeschool and they "love it." They discuss things like how to give grades and print out the work samples for their reviews (at least on the Maryland groups I'm on) and talk about Acelus vs. Calvert vs. T4L and stuff like that. Lately, if someone comes on and asks a question and someone says a resource that's not one of these canned programs, it's almost met with confusion or hostility. To them, Khan Academy is an outside the box program. I know there are people on these groups (like, I personally know some people who are) who are much more eclectic, old school homeschoolers. But it's quiet from that corner lately. It's all "how can I park my kid in front of a computer quiz" stuff. And also a little bit of where can we find an extracurricular group for ___ or a social group for my kid and the occasional field trip type thing.

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1 minute ago, Farrar said:

I'm seeing it on local groups. People ask for newbie advice and now there's a wave of "pros" who have been at it for years and all they do is Power Homeschool and they "love it." They discuss things like how to give grades and print out the work samples for their reviews (at least on the Maryland groups I'm on) and talk about Acelus vs. Calvert vs. T4L and stuff like that. Lately, if someone comes on and asks a question and someone says a resource that's not one of these canned programs, it's almost met with confusion or hostility. To them, Khan Academy is an outside the box program. I know there are people on these groups (like, I personally know some people who are) who are much more eclectic, old school homeschoolers. But it's quiet from that corner lately. It's all "how can I park my kid in front of a computer quiz" stuff. And also a little bit of where can we find an extracurricular group for ___ or a social group for my kid and the occasional field trip type thing.

 

The hostility is what made the old school hs'ers go quiet...I have seen veteran hs'ers reprimanded for "shaming" new homeschool moms by suggesting that they research anything at all, or for "putting too many burdens on them" by sharing personal experience about studying grammar books for the purpose of learning to teach grammar.

"You can't expect young moms with little kids at home to do that. It's not realistic or necessary. Stop burdening people by telling them to recreate school." (As you might imagine, the following is what our veteran homeschool mom replied, but was again put in her place: "That's literally what I did - not recreating school, but studying subjects until I could teach them - even with babies at home, even without hiring a housekeeper. I thought that was my job.")

When you've told people what you personally, literally do (or have done), and people keep telling you that your methods and possibly your very existence are *shaming* and *burdening* new hs'ers, you stop trying to help. You don't feel safe sharing anymore. Or, if you are too old to feel intimidated, you still quit posting or otherwise contributing to local groups. A lot of us miss the generational sharing but nobody enjoys wasting their time or hearing that their experience is useless or wrong.

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1 minute ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

 

The hostility is what made the old school hs'ers go quiet...I have seen veteran hs'ers reprimanded for "shaming" new homeschool moms by suggesting that they research anything at all, or for "putting too many burdens on them" by sharing personal experience about studying grammar books for the purpose of learning to teach grammar.

"You can't expect young moms with little kids at home to do that. It's not realistic or necessary. Stop burdening people by telling them to recreate school." (As you might imagine, the following is what our veteran homeschool mom replied, but was again put in her place: "That's literally what I did - not recreating school, but studying subjects until I could teach them - even with babies at home, even without hiring a housekeeper. I thought that was my job.")

When you've told people what you personally, literally do (or have done), and people keep telling you that your methods and possibly your very existence are *shaming* and *burdening* new hs'ers, you stop trying to help. You don't feel safe sharing anymore. Or, if you are too old to feel intimidated, you still quit posting or otherwise contributing to local groups. A lot of us miss the generational sharing but nobody enjoys wasting their time or hearing that their experience is useless or wrong.

Yes, I’ve seen a smidge of that. It’s not that open, but it does seem to be the undertone. I get that times and methods change. And I don’t believe we should be doing everything to the nth degree. It’s okay to step back and take the easiest course for some things! But not for everything all the time.

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4 hours ago, Elizabeth86 said:

I can relate as I feel pretty new at this.  My oldest is only in 3rd grade. I am only now at the point I am feeling more confident in my choice.  I guess I felt so brainwashed that he public school system was really top notch.  I felt I wasn't good enough to teach my son.  I searched and searched for some magic bullet, some distance learning program, but you all kept saying don't do distance learning and I mostly listened.  I am doing bju math dl with my 3rd grader and they both doing vp self paced history.  I know it would be ideal if I taught everything, but I need to know at least 1 thing will get checked off every single day.  My baby girls need so much attention too.  I looked at things like time 4 learning and such but conclude d it didn't look very rigorous.  IDK where I'm going with this.  I guess I totally understand where us new homeschool moms are coming from, BUT I found out the truth too so I guess they might.  I mean, after I have started homeschooling I realize my education was kind of sub par.  I've learned things already and my oldest is only in 3rd.  Coming from subpar public education, I know many like me just don't feel smart enough and are scared of getting their kids behind.  I totally get it, but I'm coming around.  Just keep encouraging us newbies, don't hate us.  

 

3 hours ago, Elizabeth86 said:

Thanks.  I can never quite get my thoughts written out, I was hoping it would make sense.  Another thing I meant to say was, I don't want to choose distance options to NOT spend time with my kids, I am pleased to spend every day with my kids.  I was (still am a bit) terrified of ruining my kids.  If I didn't have my dh each fall saying "you got this, you want this, don't give up on them" I would have already sent them to school.  It's just hard to convince myself I am capable of being an adequate teacher.

OK, so this is also how the veteran homeschoolers often felt, when we first started out! The plug-and-chug programs did not exist, so we learned from each other (and from books) how to tackle each subject. We didn't hit the ground running with a full, classical schedule and all philosophies sorted. Not at all. We might have had math workbooks from Walmart and a library card for a few months, until we received our Elijah Company and Rainbow Resource catalogs in the mail, or attended a homeschool convention with a curriculum vendors' hall!

We tried a lot of things as we found our groove, too. The main thing was always the 3Rs plus a lot of reading. If you could manage that, you had time to figure out the rest, in the early elementary years. In my opinion, that is STILL true, no matter how complicated public school curriculum has become. (It's complicated because it's developmentally inappropriate.)

It's fine to ease in. What you are doing - finding solid materials that you feel comfortable using for a few core subjects, with a plan to learn more as you go - is fine. It is exactly what many of us did at the beginning, even if our kids were destined for rigorous Latin, Greek, Shakespeare, Calculus in just a few more years!

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I am not on Facebook so I can’t speak to that, but in real life I am not acquainted with anyone who uses those sorts of programs.  However, Connections Academy (I think) advertises heavily at certain times of the year.  Technically, they aren’t homeschooling in Michigan as they are enrolled in a charter school.  My good friend did use one of the online charter schools for a year when they first moved from Ohio to placate her husband that they were legal, but she supplemented heavily and by the next year she dropped it.  What is popular around here the last few years are homeschool partnerships where a few local districts are trying to get some of the student allotment from the state by giving a pittance to homeschoolers for enrichment (non-core classes), but these are coming under heavy scrutiny by the state board of education so I don’t believe they will be around 5 years from now.

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1 hour ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

 

The hostility is what made the old school hs'ers go quiet...I have seen veteran hs'ers reprimanded for "shaming" new homeschool moms by suggesting that they research anything at all, or for "putting too many burdens on them" by sharing personal experience about studying grammar books for the purpose of learning to teach grammar.

"You can't expect young moms with little kids at home to do that. It's not realistic or necessary. Stop burdening people by telling them to recreate school." (As you might imagine, the following is what our veteran homeschool mom replied, but was again put in her place: "That's literally what I did - not recreating school, but studying subjects until I could teach them - even with babies at home, even without hiring a housekeeper. I thought that was my job.")

When you've told people what you personally, literally do (or have done), and people keep telling you that your methods and possibly your very existence are *shaming* and *burdening* new hs'ers, you stop trying to help. You don't feel safe sharing anymore. Or, if you are too old to feel intimidated, you still quit posting or otherwise contributing to local groups. A lot of us miss the generational sharing but nobody enjoys wasting their time or hearing that their experience is useless or wrong.

Your post made me burst out laughing. We did it without homeschool-marketed curriculum, without the internet, without computers, and without home printers. And we did it without a large homeschooling community and with a pretty hostile general public. (Homeschool support? We were a few scattered families with a landline phone required to connect if we ever even found each other!  Eta: gosh, that brings back nightmare phone tree memories!!)

I keep on being vocal, mainly bc I still have a young child and I do worry about what the legal landscape might be in the future.  (When I write our school profile for my kids' college applications, let's just say I am very clear about our decisions behind homeschooling, our educational philosophy, and our kids' academic outcomes. I distance our homeschool from any current homeschool stereotype.)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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10 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Your post made me burst out laughing. We did it without homeschool-marketed curriculum, without the internet, without computers, and without home printers. And we did it without a large homeschooling community and with a pretty hostile general public. (Homeschool support? We were a few scattered families with a landline phone required to connect if we ever even found each other!)

I keep on being vocal, mainly bc I still have a young child and I do worry about what the legal landscape might be in the future.  (When I write our school profile for my kids' college applications, let's just say I am very clear about our decisions behind homeschooling, our educational philosophy, and our kids' academic outcomes. I distance our homeschool from any current homeschool stereotype.)

 

I do the same, for college applications. I am happy to say that my children defy the stereotypes on their own; so far, it's been a non-issue. But I also have one more child at home and I worry about how he might be prejudged in ways that his older brothers were not.

When I started homeschooling 22 years ago, I wasn't even really online much, for any reason. I started out with library books about homeschooling - mainly John Holt's! I had a subscription to Growing Without Schooling. Talk about the good old days!

Edit: LOL about the phone trees! 😜I remember! 

Edited by Lang Syne Boardie
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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

I'm seeing it on local groups. People ask for newbie advice and now there's a wave of "pros" who have been at it for years and all they do is Power Homeschool and they "love it." They discuss things like how to give grades and print out the work samples for their reviews (at least on the Maryland groups I'm on) and talk about Acelus vs. Calvert vs. T4L and stuff like that. Lately, if someone comes on and asks a question and someone says a resource that's not one of these canned programs, it's almost met with confusion or hostility. To them, Khan Academy is an outside the box program. I know there are people on these groups (like, I personally know some people who are) who are much more eclectic, old school homeschoolers. But it's quiet from that corner lately. It's all "how can I park my kid in front of a computer quiz" stuff. And also a little bit of where can we find an extracurricular group for ___ or a social group for my kid and the occasional field trip type thing.

I don't keep up with the local homeschool FB group so might be missing a lot of the discussion there but I've noticed that they rarely discuss any curricula that is discussed on this forum. I see lots of discussion about online options. The one curriculum that I see discussed there that is also discussed here is the Good and the Beautiful. 

I recently suggested Bravewriter to another homeschooling mom and she had never heard of it. She had also never heard of the Well Trained Mind. It's so strange to me that some homeschoolers have not heard of something like Bravewriter or the WTM. 

I'll admit that these kinds of discussions make me feel a little uncomfortable. These discussions about clueless new HSing mothers looking for something easy hit a little close to home for me. We're a non-traditional HSing family as I work. I rely on babysitters and a hybrid school that does enrichment but is essentially free babysitting for me. I take what we do very seriously but I know that I'm not doing things in the *right* way. I'm sure there are other HSing moms who look down on what we do. 

I think these moms looking for an easy way to do this feel like they don't have good choices. Many kids struggle in traditional schools for various reasons. The elementary schools here assign way too much homework and don't have enough playtime. In particular, the neighborhood moms with boys seem to talk a lot about how their sons get in trouble all of the time and are struggling with the work. Kids can be held back for not meeting standards. My daughter cried at least once a week when she was in Catholic school last year. We tried Montessori school during the summer and discovered that the teacher was a big yeller. There are not a lot good options out there and our family can afford private school tuition so we had more options than most families. 

RE the claims of "love" for curriculum, I think that's a social media thing. ISTM that every parent who comments on FB about their child's school, "loves" it. I think people without very strong opinions don't comment at all and there is a mother thing to convince yourself that where you send your kids is wonderful. My daughter's former Catholic school recently came up on our local FB group. All of the parents who commented "loved" the school and then they all liked each others' responses. I was the lone dissenter and wrote that the school was okay but had some problems. I admitted there were some good things too. No likes for my comments. Some of those parents who wrote glowing reviews for the school have kids who are friends with my daughter. Their kids complain to my daughter about the school. But the mom "loves" it. Schools are constantly discussed on the local FB group and parents always "love" whatever school is discussed, even if their kid is only in Kinder. 

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I’m so glad I’m not on FB! One thing I have appreciated about these boards over the years is how non-judgmental they generally are. We all recognize that whatever choices we make educationally for our kids, whatever method we ascribe to we are all trying to do our best to teach our individual kids. That never looks the same for every family or kid. It is wonderful that we can support each other no matter what our choices. 

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On 10/28/2019 at 11:37 PM, Paradox5 said:

The new Calvert School stuff is NOTHING like what I used with my older our first year! What did they do to it?? K-2 looks like secular LifePacs or CLE LightUnits. 3rd on up do not even have books! And so inexpensive? I remember Calvert being stupid-head expensive with price increases every year. What happened? It really looks weird. 

https://www.calverthomeschool.com

 

late to this discussion.  But wow.  uhm,  at least for grades 3-12,I was looking at the scope/sequence and saw the copyright info.  It is Glynlyon software which is AOP's Monarch, and the secular Odysseyware.   not really anything to say with that.  just confirming that there's a reason it looks like secular lifepacs and other AOP products and secular counterpart.  It is the same thing.   (eta: oh wow. a little more research and not only was the homeschool division of calvert sold (to glynlyon and whatever company owns glynlyon these days), but the school division was sold to edmentum.  Now  I really feel like a Betamax with my style of homeschooling teaching from lesson plans and books, and crafts at the kitchen table, science labs in the kitchen. didn't do tutorials, etc)

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On 10/31/2019 at 4:18 AM, 8FillTheHeart said:

I see a huge difference between completing assignments independently and independent learning.

This.

In fact, I think that the power of homeschooling lies in the teacher's ability to keep the students in their zones of proximal development.  A lot of times people think that the ZPD simply means "learning at the right level."  But this isn't true.  It's learning at a level where interaction with a more experienced person, who provides appropriate scaffolding, is necessary for the student to move forward.  IMO, learning independently usually means that the student is working well below their ZPD, and learning activities in this range are, by definition, busywork.

Learning is a social act.  IMO, when a homeschooling parent hands their child a textbook and tells them to "go for it," they are abdicating their role in the learning contract.  But the thing is, playing an active role, being that "more experienced person," is hard, and it gets harder as kids get older.  This is why so many of those homeschooling high school move to an independent learning model, and the homeschooling community is there to reinforce the belief that independent learning is the goal, that it is superior to the more interactive approach.  It is not.  

That said, removal of the scaffold is just as important as having a scaffold to begin with, and failure to do so can be just as detrimental as not having it there in the first place.

 

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9 hours ago, Mom2mthj said:

What is popular around here the last few years are homeschool partnerships where a few local districts are trying to get some of the student allotment from the state by giving a pittance to homeschoolers for enrichment (non-core classes), but these are coming under heavy scrutiny by the state board of education so I don’t believe they will be around 5 years from now.

Slightly off topic, but...

My family is part of one of these partnerships, and while it is certainly not perfect, I do think you are underestimating the value it, and similar programs, offers to homeschoolers.

Our partnership gives us $3000 per child per school year for 4 non-core classes.  Right now those funds allow my boys to take a weekly art class at a local studio, a weekly trampoline/parkour class at a kids' gym, two hours of rock climbing a week, and to participate in three hours a week of Spanish immersion.

Since the district is only registering my kids as half-time students, they are only getting half the per student public funding.  In this district it appears that full time funding is about $8111, so half-time would be just over $4000.  A lot of the extra goes toward administrative costs, but I am glad that any surplus goes into their general coffers.  I am grateful to the school district for jumping through all of the funding hoops to offer my kids this opportunity, and I hope that any dollars they "earn" from providing us this service they put toward their brick and mortar programs that need extra funding.

I agree that these programs are coming under heavy scrutiny, but don't necessarily agree they won't be around in 5 years.  Students in our program are officially considered virtual students, and public virtual schooling is on the rise.  It is obviously a fairly new model, and everyone is having to figure out how to follow the letter of the law, but I know it is possible because the program we participate in recently "passed" a 100% audit through the state.

Wendy

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2 hours ago, wendyroo said:

Slightly off topic, but...

My family is part of one of these partnerships, and while it is certainly not perfect, I do think you are underestimating the value it, and similar programs, offers to homeschoolers.

Our partnership gives us $3000 per child per school year for 4 non-core classes.  Right now those funds allow my boys to take a weekly art class at a local studio, a weekly trampoline/parkour class at a kids' gym, two hours of rock climbing a week, and to participate in three hours a week of Spanish immersion.

Since the district is only registering my kids as half-time students, they are only getting half the per student public funding.  In this district it appears that full time funding is about $8111, so half-time would be just over $4000.  A lot of the extra goes toward administrative costs, but I am glad that any surplus goes into their general coffers.  I am grateful to the school district for jumping through all of the funding hoops to offer my kids this opportunity, and I hope that any dollars they "earn" from providing us this service they put toward their brick and mortar programs that need extra funding.

I agree that these programs are coming under heavy scrutiny, but don't necessarily agree they won't be around in 5 years.  Students in our program are officially considered virtual students, and public virtual schooling is on the rise.  It is obviously a fairly new model, and everyone is having to figure out how to follow the letter of the law, but I know it is possible because the program we participate in recently "passed" a 100% audit through the state.

Wendy

My kids are also enrolled in a public virtual school.

I think there is huge potential benefit to children; home educating families often operate on a single income, having funds that are exclusively for the use of the children's education has an impact well beyond simply adding a similar amount to the family budget. 

It bothers that some homeschool organizations oppose public home education options because they come with "strings" attached in the form of oversight and accountability. Accountability third to resources for education kids is a really good thing if it helps kids get an education.

I'm not interested in programs such as k12 that offer little flexibility though I know they work for some people; but those that provide an educational stipend of sorts that can be used flexibly to meet the needs of individual students are great.

Flexible virtual charter schools were already well established in California when my oldest was kindergarten age over a decade ago; a few companies have abused the state funding system and brought them all under scrutiny but I don't think they are going away; I'm glad to see the model spreading to more states.

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I saw this thread when it was just starting and did not have time to comment and just skimmed the result.  Calvert was my almost program back when I was starting.   I think the only thing that really held me back was the need to mail the paperwork.  I had commitment issues😉  What I remember and what I am seeing in the new advertisement are not the same.  Although I do know people did use Calvert to massively accelerate back in the day.

We were old fashioned home ed’ers with our arts and crafts, book lists, the WtM.  I have to say are K through 6 was a blast.  When we decided something wasn’t interesting I normally had something else to try.  I was a curriculum collector.  To my home ed mentor, who had few choices when she started,  I was a disorganized mess.😂. She had one main curriculum (Weaver) and loved it.  I have to say Weaver was good but in those 5 years so much more became available and I sampled most of it.🤣

I thrive on variety and so do my kids.  We even did bed school which was so much fun,  we had art outside,  we moved overseas and used the library for a year.   I look at the pictures and we did so much that I don’t really even remember all of it.  They were fun years.......we did hit the math books hard by most standards every single day.  That was my one requirement,  math had to be solid.

 Fwiw, I did graduate two academically gifted kids.  You don’t have to use the latest curriculums to get results.  I feel the need to put that in here in case someone googles into this one thread, so for the regulars on wtm just ignore this part. 😉 The math was solid and both kids are on a stem PhD track.  According to all the tests that society loves, my kids are both in the upper 10% for verbal and writing. Honestly. I am more proud that my kids are really wonderful kind people than academic stars.

My Dh and I have had several recent conversations regarding the fact that we really had no way of knowing “quantifying” our level of success “for sure” until we were almost done.  I can see how having your dc’s receive outside verification of being on level  would be attractive.  Our first real feed back were math completions. 

So.....Recently I have had a few conversations with a young mom who needs to home school in similar ex pat circumstances.  I fixed her up with copIes of TWTM.  Two different editions I had on my shelves......I kept my first edition.   Her oldest is a very young five so there isn’t a lot she can really accomplish this year except get settled in her new country and read stacks of books.😉  I keep telling her that and reading this has made me understand her panic a bit better.  Her Facebook must be filled with all the programs her friends at home are using.  All the drop offs and bundles.......

 

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2 hours ago, cbollin said:

 

late to this discussion.  But wow.  uhm,  at least for grades 3-12,I was looking at the scope/sequence and saw the copyright info.  It is Glynlyon software which is AOP's Monarch, and the secular Odysseyware.   not really anything to say with that.  just confirming that there's a reason it looks like secular lifepacs and other AOP products and secular counterpart.  It is the same thing.   (eta: oh wow. a little more research and not only was the homeschool division of calvert sold (to glynlyon and whatever company owns glynlyon these days), but the school division was sold to edmentum.  

All that comes to my mind is "$$$ and market share." Stay relevant or go out of business. Unfortunately, from my perspective anyway, the reduction of homeschooling to a commercial market will ultimately be its demise. Homeschooling materials used to be about enabling parents to be better teachers. Now the market is about eliminating the homeschool teacher. 

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1 hour ago, maize said:

My kids are also enrolled in a public virtual school.

I think there is huge potential benefit to children; home educating families often operated on a single income, having finds that are exclusively for the use of the children's education had an impact well beyond simply adding a similar amount to the family budget. 

It bothers that some homeschool organizations oppose public home education options because they come with "strings" attached in the form of oversight and accountability. Accountability third to resources for education kids is a really good thing if it helps kids get an education.

I'm not interested in programs such as k12 that offer little flexibility though I know they work for some people; but those that provide an educational stipend of sorts that can be used flexibly to meet the needs of individual students are great.

Flexible virtual charter schools were already well established in California when my oldest was kindergarten age over a decade ago; a few companies have abused the state finding system and bright them all under scrutiny but o don't think they are going away; I'm glad to see the model spreading to more states.

I don't have time to be a part of any HSing advocacy group but it really bothers me that these groups see so many of us as not real homeschoolers because we use programs available to us through the public schools or the state. When I was exploring our options last year I made the mistake of asking about one of these options on the state homeschooling FB group. I was quickly schooled on how that wasn't real homeschooling according to the state organization and my post was deleted. I understand the legal distinction and why that matters but practically, it is harmful (IMHO) to pit one group against another. 

I've noticed that these *new* homeschoolers like me who use state options don't fit those groups' homeschooling agenda which IMHO explains some of their suspicion of us. We are more likely to be secular or not fundamentalist Christians. I hate to say that it's an us versus them thing but I think explains some of the animosity. 

When talking about our famiy's choice, I always concede that it's not ideal. But in a truly messed up and underfunded system like the American educational system, does the ideal solution exist? IDK. 

Perhaps it's like the debate about whether people should buy be forced to buy airline tickets for infants. We know it's safer if there is an accident or turbulence for an infant to be in a carseat on a plane rather than in a parent's arms. But we also know that driving in a car is much more dangerous than flying. If parents were forced to pay for a seat, some parents would elect to drive which increases the overall risk. So what is the right thing to do? 

I know this is nihilistic but many Americans kids aren't going to receive a good education anyway for all kinds of reasons. Does allowing these families to opt out and park their kids in front of a computer make the kids and families happier? Does happiness matter? So many families are pushed to the wire these days. Parents work all day while their kids are in school and then afterschool. They come home and have to fight with their kids about math homework. Everyone's unhappy. My kid was in afterschool for a few years and it's essentially warehousing kids. It's loud and the kids are shepherded from one activity to another by low paid non-union employees. Kids can't get their homework done in that environment and it wears them out thus making the after dinner math homework fight even more intense. None of these things are good and I don't see how a kid sitting in front of a computer all day is that much worse. 

My daughter met another little girl in summer day camp who does online schooling. Her mom is a single mother who works and the little girl (I think she was 10) stays home all day and does schooling online. It gave me pause. But then I realized that in this state, you can leave children that age home alone. She was African American and this school district only has tiny percentage of African American students. Was there bullying? The schools here are overcrowded. IDK what the mom's reasons were but is that girl actually worse off? If you look at the standardized test results in this district for AA students, maybe not? 

 

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From a legal standpoint, I won't object to this sort of parked in front of the computer learning. Or to "homeschool charters" or public-homeschool half time programs. We don't have them available here and for the cash, I might be willing to accept the hoops too. It would depend. I actually think some of them are just fine.

I do get why some homeschool advocacy groups can't fully endorse them though - if that's how you school, you have a different set of legal concerns. It doesn't mean I think it's wrong any more than I think b&m public schools are wrong. But public/charter school based homeschoolers just need a different advocacy group because of the different legal issues. In terms of social support and curriculum and resources, that all overlaps and everyone who schools at home, regardless of the legal basis for it, should have equal access. It's not a snobbery thing, but a number of aspects of the nitty gritty stuff is different - the requirements, the hoops to jump through, the process of applying to college - and it all depends on your state and specific program. As this option grows, I don't begrudge it, but it does make it clear to me why "old fashioned" homeschoolers continue to need state level advocacy groups to ensure that lawmakers don't force us into those programs unless we want to use them. And that's been a real danger a few times.

 

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5 minutes ago, Farrar said:

... to ensure that lawmakers don't force us into those programs unless we want to use them. And that's been a real danger a few times.

Around here lawmakers are actively doing the opposite.  Last year the state imposed caps on the number of part-time virtual students a district can enroll.  Our program had over a hundred openings available for this fall, but they all filled within a minute of registration opening.  The program ended up with a waiting list ~500 students long.  Far from forcing homeschoolers into these programs, lawmakers are barring the door for many interested families. 

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

All that comes to my mind is "$$$ and market share." Stay relevant or go out of business. Unfortunately, from my perspective anyway, the reduction of homeschooling to a commercial market will ultimately be its demise. Homeschooling materials used to be about enabling parents to be better teachers. Now the market is about eliminating the homeschool teacher. 

I think that is the really important bit.  These curriculums appear to be automatically eliminate the teacher they are also all about the ease of use.  I have no problems with an occasional get it done and over with workbook or class on the computer.  But K through 6 can be at home which is how I prefer it.

As a homeschool teacher who put my own curriculum together my role was determined by the needs of my two children.  Sometimes we supplemented hugely so I was confident they were rock solid in a skill I felt was fundamental.  Other times we skipped over bits that just didn’t matter to the scope and sequence I was somewhat internally following.   I was responsible for the outcome I was hoping to achieve.......I get that it was a huge responsibility.  For years my kid’s school was my overwhelming focus.  It was hard work and I am now pretty happily retired. 😉

The thing I worry about is for some kids different works the best and the home ed community needs to preserve those rights......My kid’s did their math independent of me (the teacher) from the time they could read somewhat fluently because I considered the ability to read the directions and get the right answers the ultimate test of reading comprehension for MY two kids.   I checked every single problem,  I studied how they got those answer’s.  A couple of times I caught fundamental facts that were missing in both kids thought processes.  They were not apparent when a kid misses at most one or two problems each lesson.  I think that was the homeschool math advantage because small issues were corrected before they moved to higher levels. I taught traditionally where needed. I switched mathbooks out as I needed for the results I wanted.  I would have happily gone back to teaching in a more traditional way but the path I chose worked and my kids liked it.  

I know my kids are hoping their children have the freedom they had to learn.  No idea how future spouses will feel. Job situations etc.  I worry that their freedom to educate will evaporate as these new programs saturate people’s understanding of home education.  I fear it is becoming sort of “cookie cutter” at home as opposed to Individual.  

That said I admire the people who are choosing to home educate in unique situations.  Honestly I applaud the willingness to be different for the sake of the child and programs like K12 are good choices for many ....,. I totally get it.

 

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19 minutes ago, Farrar said:

From a legal standpoint, I won't object to this sort of parked in front of the computer learning. Or to "homeschool charters" or public-homeschool half time programs. We don't have them available here and for the cash, I might be willing to accept the hoops too. It would depend. I actually think some of them are just fine.

I do get why some homeschool advocacy groups can't fully endorse them though - if that's how you school, you have a different set of legal concerns. It doesn't mean I think it's wrong any more than I think b&m public schools are wrong. But public/charter school based homeschoolers just need a different advocacy group because of the different legal issues. In terms of social support and curriculum and resources, that all overlaps and everyone who schools at home, regardless of the legal basis for it, should have equal access. It's not a snobbery thing, but a number of aspects of the nitty gritty stuff is different - the requirements, the hoops to jump through, the process of applying to college - and it all depends on your state and specific program. As this option grows, I don't begrudge it, but it does make it clear to me why "old fashioned" homeschoolers continue to need state level advocacy groups to ensure that lawmakers don't force us into those programs unless we want to use them. And that's been a real danger a few times.

 

The program we use, enrichment classes offered through a local school district, require no hoops. All we are required to do is document that we've sent the required homeschool notice to the county. This is required for all homeschoolers, whether you are in this program or not. Once we're enrolled, the state allocates 1/2 half of its per student funding to this school district. The school does not offer any academic classes and does no grading. It does not require testing although it offers the state standardized tests and most students opt out. But participating in this program is enough to bar us from joining some of these homeschooling groups because there is state funding involved. 

I agree that non-traditional homeschooling families need their own advocacy groups but it's hard for these groups to be formed. We're very diverse. We're less motivated by ideology. Plus, families like mine opt in and out of the public schools. 

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5 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I was quickly schooled on how that wasn't real homeschooling according to the state organization and my post was deleted. I understand the legal distinction and why that matters but practically, it is harmful (IMHO) to pit one group against another. 

I've noticed that these *new* homeschoolers like me who use state options don't fit those groups' homeschooling agenda which IMHO explains some of their suspicion of us. We are more likely to be secular or not fundamentalist Christians. I hate to say that it's an us versus them thing but I think explains some of the animosity. 

 

First, while I can't speak to the posters you encountered,  I can state emphatically that from my perspective it has absolutely nothing to do with being secular. Nor is it animosity. It is very much standing my ground that I do not want what we do in our homeschool in any way, shape, or form to be confused or associated with public virtual/charter students. Legally, what we do is different. I want that distinction very clear bc I don't want any encroachment on my freedom to educate my children in a way that is not remotely similar to public schools.

In terms of socializing, I don't care if virtual public students join. But, insisting on a distinction isnt pitting people against each other. It is a valid distinction with legal ramifications.  I don't want a single ps system or govt entity to be involved in any aspect of my children's lives. Period. (We move a lot and have refused to move to high regulation states.) Definitely a different view on the role of govt, ps, and educational options. 

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My daughter attended private Catholic for 3 years. We were required by state law to submit a form to the County providing notice that she was enrolled in private school. More than half of the students who attend this school have scholarships through a program that is funded by charitable donations that provide the donor with a tax credit. You give to the organization and designate a student and the organization gives 90 something percent to the school which is credited towards the child's tuition. We never participated in the program because we could afford tuition and I felt award about asking our friends to donate towards our child's tuition. 

I'm sure most of the parents think that the government is not involved in their children's education but those tax credits are offset against the state's education budget. It's essentially taxpayer funded Catholic education. They tried to expand the program a few years ago to offer something like vouchers which could used for private school tuition. It was soundly defeated in a public referendum. The Catholic schools organization campaigned hard in favor of the voucher like program. I voted to defeat it for several reasons. One being that I think that they are very naive to assume that there won't be strings attached to that state money at some point. 

I suppose the same argument applies to homeschooling. It's interesting that there are no private schools in this state that do not participate in these tuition programs but the homeschooling groups have held firm. 

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

First, while I can't speak to the posters you encountered,  I can state emphatically that from my perspective it has absolutely nothing to do with being secular. Nor is it animosity. It is very much standing my ground that I do not want what we do in our homeschool in any way, shape, or form to be confused or associated with public virtual/charter students. Legally, what we do is different. I want that distinction very clear bc I don't want any encroachment on my freedom to educate my children in a way that is not remotely similar to public schools.

In terms of socializing, I don't care if virtual public students join. But, insisting on a distinction isnt pitting people against each other. It is a valid distinction with legal ramifications.  I don't want a single ps system or govt entity to be involved in any aspect of my children's lives. Period. (We move a lot and have refused to move to high regulation states.) Definitely a different view on the role of govt, ps, and educational options. 

I think that the legal distinction is important, and that maintaining independent homeschooling rights is important, but the antipathy in some circles goes far beyond that.

I'm curious though--I was not under the impression that you eschew public universities for your children? Surely that is government involvement in your children's educations. 

Then also, your husband is I believe a professional with an income likely well above the national median. It is easier to reject potential government funding if your family can pay for curriculum, music lessons, or tutors without it. The greatest benefit of publicly funded programs is for families who could not afford such things without outside funding. Quite simply, it makes home education a viable option for people for whom it otherwise would not be. 

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8 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

All that comes to my mind is "$$$ and market share." Stay relevant or go out of business. Unfortunately, from my perspective anyway, the reduction of homeschooling to a commercial market will ultimately be its demise. Homeschooling materials used to be about enabling parents to be better teachers. Now the market is about eliminating the homeschool teacher. 

I was thinking about this some more.

This is really the trend in public education as well. Eliminate the teacher. Undermine them. At one point, a lot of companies were trying to make "dummy proof" programs - things that were so scripted that teachers couldn't veer off for more than a few minutes of instructional time each week. In the end, most of those didn't pan out, but they work on upending teachers in other ways - paying them very little, ending their planning time, forcing them to sit through mind-numbing in service and meetings, giving them no materials - they don't even get textbooks half the time anymore, much less enough pencils or paper. Instead, they invest in "systems" - better buildings, fancy technology, higher paid administrators with "visions," new ways of "assessment" that is supposed to fix everything.

I haven't ever connected this to homeschooling, but I think your final statement is dead on. Now this same trend is in the homeschool market. It looks a little different because homeschooling still, even with all the changes, is different from classroom teaching. But it's still about undermining the role of the teacher. They make it preposterous that you might teach your kid. They make technology seem easier and better. They make it seem like this is your only way forward. And it is all about the money.

There are some microtrends against this... Online classes that have substance like Blue Tent and PA Homeschoolers regularly hit full enrollment and waiting lists. Brave Writer continues to grow and this is really the direct opposite of what they're selling. There's also some huge young kid organization - Wild and Free? - that is much more unschool, connect with your kid leaning. And there are some growing new little kid programs that seem to be doing well - Build Your Library's business is booming and it's all piles of books and very CMish in some ways. And Torchlight seems to have a ton of buzz among the young parent set - so that's another book heavy, keep it simple, teach your kids program. Plus all those kits and boxes and so forth that are so popular - yeah, more canned that getting a bunch of science or art gear and DIY'ing it, but it's hands on and connected and they're booming still too. So... not all of that is stuff that I'm personally so into, but it's not sitting in front of a computer with T4L either.

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5 hours ago, maize said:

I think that the legal distinction is important, and that maintaining independent homeschooling rights is important, but the antipathy in some circles goes far beyond that.

I'm curious though--I was not under the impression that you eschew public universities for your children? Surely that is government involvement in your children's educations. 

Then also, your husband is I believe a professional with an income likely well above the national median. It is easier to reject potential government funding if your family can pay for curriculum, music lessons, or tutors without it. The greatest benefit of publicly funded programs is for families who could not afford such things without outside funding. Quite simply, it makes home education a viable option for people for whom it otherwise would not be. 

I make zero apologies for my POV.  I don't have a negative opinion of people who choose public education or charter schools for their kids. Stating they are a different category of education is not a judgment. It is a fact. Stating that I don't want that type of education for my kids is not a reflection on what other people opt for their kids. It is a statement on what I want for mine.  

In terms of college, what adults opt to do or not to do in terms of post K12 education is not comparable to the education of minors. No one has to go to college. K12 is a legal obligation. 

You would be shocked at what I spend on homeschooling. This yr I paid $62.50 each for 2 Thinkwelll courses, $350 for German Online, and something like $50 for Horizons math workbooks. I think that was it for 3 students. Some yrs I spend more, but I don't have to. It falls under want vs need when we spend a significant amt of $$ on our homeschool.

The comments that @Lang Syne Boardie shared about being ridiculed for suggesting learning grammar in order to teach it.....curriculum, when not in a box or designed by someone else, does not have to cost a lot. (A common conversation amg homeschoolers in the past.) Cost and quality are not correlated (in either direction.) Commitment to researching, learning, and planning in order to be a better teacher.....it is a world apart POV.   (And the POV "it is preposterous that you might teach your kids" as Farrar put it.....that sentiment was fiercely fought against by homeschoolers; now it is a common homeschooling belief.)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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7 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I make zero apologies for my POV.  I don't have a negative opinion of people who choose public education or charter schools for their kids. Stating they are a different category of education is not a judgment. It is a fact. Stating that I don't want that type of education for my kids is not a reflection on what other people opt for their kids. It is a statement on what I want for mine.  

In terms of college, what adults opt to do or not to do in terms of post K12 education is not comparable to the education of minors. No one has to go to college. K12 is a legal obligation. 

You would be shocked at what I spend on homeschooling. This yr I paid $62.50 each for 2 Thinkwelll courses, $350 for German Online, and something like $50 for Horizons math workbooks. I think that was it for 3 students. Some yrs I spend more, but I don't have to. It falls under want vs need when we spend a significant amt of $$ on our homeschool.

The comments that @Lang Syne Boardie shared about being ridiculed for suggesting learning grammar in order to teach it.....curriculum, when not in a box or designed by someone else, does not have to cost a lot. (A common conversation amg homeschoolers in the past.) Cost and quality are not correlated (in either direction.) Commitment to researching, learning, and planning in order to be a better teacher.....it is a world apart POV.   (And the POV "it is preposterous that you might teach your kids" as Farrar put it.....that sentiment was fiercely fought against by homeschoolers; now it is a common homeschooling belief.)

 

Whether parents are doing the research and teaching their kids though does not depend on whether or not the kids are enrolled in a program with government funding. An independent homeschooler might sit their kids in front of a computer and let Monarch do the teaching, or enroll them in a bunch of tutorials or online classes. My kids are enrolled in a virtual school but the school has zero impact on what or how I teach aside from making it possible for me to pay for dance classes and foreign language tutoring. I'm still the one doing the research, choosing materials, and teaching my kids. What the school requires in return is a weekly report with two sentences per subject describing what we have done. When we were raising butterflies, our science report was usually an update on the caterpillars. 

Oh, and I get needed services for my kids, including speech therapy.

The world apart POV you describe has nothing to do with whether the child is homeschooled independently or through a flexible virtual charter, you will find a similar range of attitudes among families utilizing either option.

 

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