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The New “Calvert”?

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8 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Recently I read about a trend in healthcare, where people enrolled in Medicaid plans had access to some kind of AI. I'm not techie enough to explain it well. Basically a lonely person who was homebound establishes a relationship with this AI 'entity' who is monitoring the person at the same time, looking for potential expensive medical conditions. It was contrasted with someone who had enough means to have access to a live person. 

It made me think of the trends we see in education. People with means are choosing options for their children where there is human interaction and disadvantaged children are stuck with technological replacements instead of human interaction. 

I see the discussion of K12 and other similar programs on the local FB group and it does not seem like these are parents with means. Perhaps I'm wrong about that but it does seem that way. 

My local HS FB group thinks K12 is just fine but my neighborhood FB group thinks the local public school with 30 kids in kindergarten is just fine too. All of us have been sold a bill of goods - that we don't need to invest in education. That our kids can get a great education on the cheap. And I can't help but think that HSing fits into that narrative. HSing is 'cheap' because the work of SATM is never valued. The idea that an untrained mother is able to teach is a kind of vindication of the attack on public education. 

How were the outcomes for the AI vs. the human interaction in health care? I could imagine that AI as a first line interaction could be fine. Just like AI/computer learning can have a place in an overall educational approach.

I agree with this... and I think it's a danger. And I think we have to recognize our privilege as well. But then my gut says that we shouldn't fight to allow people to have cheaper, worse solutions - those just reinforce gaps in access. We should fight for everyone to have access to better education.

And I'm not talking about legally per se... if giving people money for education does help them access better options, I'm probably for it. It's more that I'd like to see the culture support the human interaction side. 

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16 hours ago, Plum said:

Yeah I don’t think anyone wants Amazon to go into education. His example is more about higher education’s inability to become more nimble and being so slow to address the needs of students in the future. 

Higher education is (and has been) suffering from an identity crisis.  It looks more like (and I hear lots of demand for) a career prep program, a glorified vocational training.  It used to be about liberal arts building rational and capable thinkers able to tackle most any career (given some internship or job-specific training at the job site).  Now there’s a huge demand for a la carte learning.  Combine that with definite anti-intellectualism in the country and you get autodidacts edu-hacking.  Is that bad? No. But, Amazon-like delivery of educational services, although serving  a purpose, will probably be the nail in classical education’s coffin.

ETA With this shift we also move much of our academic standards from high school to colleges. “College for all” did not help those from outside the academic/financial elites, it just brought the bar down for everyone.

Edited by Targhee
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30 minutes ago, Targhee said:

Higher education is (and has been) suffering from an identity crisis.  It looks more like (and I hear lots of demand for) a career prep program, a glorified vocational training.  It used to be about liberal arts building rational and capable thinkers able to tackle most any career (given some internship or job-specific training at the job site).  Now there’s a huge demand for a la carte learning.  Combine that with definite anti-intellectualism in the country and you get autodidacts edu-hacking.  Is that bad? No. But, Amazon-like delivery of educational services, although serving  a purpose, will probably be the nail in classical education’s coffin.

ETA With this shift we also move much of our academic standards from high school to colleges. “College for all” did not help those from outside the academic/financial elites, it just brought the bar down for everyone.

I think it is far more reaching than the demise of classical ed. Philosophy, why's vs just what's, deep critical thinking---none of that is fast, simply defined, auto-grading, non-human quantifiable. 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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17 minutes ago, Targhee said:

Higher education is (and has been) suffering from an identity crisis.  It looks more like (and I hear lots of demand for) a career prep program, a glorified vocational training.  It used to be about liberal arts building rational and capable thinkers able to tackle most any career (given some internship or job-specific training at the job site).  Now there’s a huge demand for a la carte learning.  Combine that with definite anti-intellectualism in the country and you get autodidacts edu-hacking.  Is that bad? No. But, Amazon-like delivery of educational services, although serving  a purpose, will probably be the nail in classical education’s coffin.

ETA With this shift we also move much of our academic standards from high school to colleges. “College for all” did not help those from outside the academic/financial elites, it just brought the bar down for everyone.

The truly ironic thing here (since I brought up Amazon) is universities have helped create this situation because they have treated their students more like customers; where the customer is always right. Not in the streamlined Netflix/Amazon-type of way, but instead they seem to be trying to be everything to everyone and have gotten fairly shallow as a result. They seem to have lost their way as purely a place of higher learning. 

I've seen skills and certificates being the next thing. People are looking for something different because very capable young adults are unable to or refuse to pay for college. Competency-based learning is getting bigger. I'm fine with testing out or applying experience toward credit.

I don't know what the answer is, but I do see a lot more free online university level courses than I did a few years ago. Maybe a different type of renaissance is happening. Self-education has never been easier. 

A funny and slightly off-topic side note. We were watching Star Trek TNG Season 3 Episode 1 Evolution - the one where Wesley accidentally releases nanobots. He had been working hard and late on his science project to get into Starfleet Academy. He said he gets credits for his time on the Enterprise, but it's just not the same. We were all thinking....well yeah...I would think experience on the ship is 10x better than Starfleet, but Wesley said it like it wasn't. Gotta disagree there. 

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11 hours ago, Farrar said:

How were the outcomes for the AI vs. the human interaction in health care? I could imagine that AI as a first line interaction could be fine. Just like AI/computer learning can have a place in an overall educational approach.

I agree with this... and I think it's a danger. And I think we have to recognize our privilege as well. But then my gut says that we shouldn't fight to allow people to have cheaper, worse solutions - those just reinforce gaps in access. We should fight for everyone to have access to better education.

And I'm not talking about legally per se... if giving people money for education does help them access better options, I'm probably for it. It's more that I'd like to see the culture support the human interaction side. 

Actually I don't remember if the article discussed outcomes. If I recall correctly, the article discussed the lack of human interaction for some disadvantaged homebound elderly disabled people. 

I'd like to see the culture support greater funding for public education wherever it's provided. All of the local school districts have various funding measures on the ballot in tomorrow's election. One of my coworkers today told me that she voted no because her school district wanted money for more buildings and the schools were good enough. I looked up what her school district plans to do with the money if the measure passes; extra teachers to have smaller class sizes in the early elementary years, fund music teachers, fund afterschool intervention programs, among other things. That's the culture - the schools are good enough and don't need more money and who cares about smaller classes and music teachers? 

 

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Thought of this thread as I just saw an ad on Facebook for some website that would teach me to teach my whole family of homeschoolers in one hour a day and they would get into selective colleges for sure!

I rolled my eyes so hard I may have sprained something. 

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Local group thread today made me think of this thread. Someone planning to pull a middle and a high schooler for the first time asked what should she do. The first FOUR responses were all people who said very little other than you should do Power Homeschool or Time 4 Learning. She asked how long does homeschooling take. The most common answer - and keep in mind that she has a high schooler - was two hours a day. I know I'm being judgy, but I just want to weep for these kids.

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On 10/31/2019 at 1:13 PM, daijobu said:

 

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.  

On a daily basis, the admin team of my FB page answers "What online program can I use with my 6yo?" multiple times; we continually say "nothing," but they keep coming at us. The one that bothers us the most is, "My 6yo learns better from a screen than from me." We, the experienced homeschooling parents, apparently don't know as much as the newbies. ::face palm::

Edited by Ellie
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6 hours ago, Farrar said:

Local group thread today made me think of this thread. Someone planning to pull a middle and a high schooler for the first time asked what should she do. The first FOUR responses were all people who said very little other than you should do Power Homeschool or Time 4 Learning. She asked how long does homeschooling take. The most common answer - and keep in mind that she has a high schooler - was two hours a day. I know I'm being judgy, but I just want to weep for these kids.

It befuddles me that anyone accepts the premise that 2 hrs a day is enough for covering high school level academics or even thinks that it is appropriate for young people transitioning to adulthood.  If these students are college-bound, how do parents think they will adjust to a minimum of 12 cr hrs of classes plus homework? Do the people listening to the advice ever wonder about the long-term outcomes of students who have followed it? (If it sounds too good to be true......)

 

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

It befuddles me that anyone accepts the premise that 2 hrs a day is enough for covering high school level academics or even thinks that it is appropriate for young people transitioning to adulthood.  If these students are college-bound, how do parents think they will adjust to a minimum of 12 cr hrs of classes plus homework? Do the people listening to the advice ever wonder about the long-term outcomes of students who have followed it? (If it sounds too good to be true......)

 


IMO, this is an offshoot of the "there's so much wasted time in school!" thoughts that populate the homeschool community.  They tell themselves over and over and convince themselves that academics can be done in a small fraction of the time, when in reality that 'wasted' time isn't nearly as much as they want to believe, especially when it comes to high school and homework loads.

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24 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:


IMO, this is an offshoot of the "there's so much wasted time in school!" thoughts that populate the homeschool community.  They tell themselves over and over and convince themselves that academics can be done in a small fraction of the time, when in reality that 'wasted' time isn't nearly as much as they want to believe, especially when it comes to high school and homework loads.

If a high school diploma requires on avg 20 crs (5 classes per yr),  without any time for transitioning between subjects or mentally shifting gears, that allows 24 mins per subject for all instruction and completing all assignments.  Thinking logically (insert eye roll emoji) that would avg approx 12 mins each (instruction and assignments). Files under....which flavor Kool-aid is your favorite?

(Eta: I hope you know that is not directed at you! Just venting.)

 

 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart

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7 hours ago, Farrar said:

Local group thread today made me think of this thread. Someone planning to pull a middle and a high schooler for the first time asked what should she do. The first FOUR responses were all people who said very little other than you should do Power Homeschool or Time 4 Learning. She asked how long does homeschooling take. The most common answer - and keep in mind that she has a high schooler - was two hours a day. I know I'm being judgy, but I just want to weep for these kids.

This is why I fear the day this forum closes.
FB really isn’t the format for answering newbies questions. TLDR is not the way to approach learning how to homeschool. I hope newbies hear 2 hours for high school and ignore those people’s opinions, because that just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. 

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16 minutes ago, Plum said:

This is why I fear the day this forum closes.
FB really isn’t the format for answering newbies questions. TLDR is not the way to approach learning how to homeschool. I hope newbies hear 2 hours for high school and ignore those people’s opinions, because that just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. 

 

Yeah, I'm worried about that, too.  I've been on here for about 10 years and I've noticed a huge decrease in posts/threads.  Also, there used to be so many conversations about different ways to teach kids, using living books, different things you can do for science, educational philosophies, etc  😞

And it's not just this forum.  The Sonlight forums shut down this year.  I don't think MFW has an active forum anymore.

But, it's not really about the forums.  I think people aren't having discussions about homeschooling like they used to.  I almost think the newer homeschoolers don't want to talk about it or bounce ideas off anyone else.  I've offered so many times now to bring curriculum or resources to newer homeschoolers so they could flip through it/look at it - but they are never interested.  If you try to chat with them about what curriculum they use, they look at you like you're nuts.  (I probably sound like a maniac chasing people around waiting rooms with my Teacher's Guide...)

And FB is not a good substitute for these forums.  Also, the FB groups (like the SL one) controlling what people post (like you can only post positive things about THEIR curriculum) aren't going to create good conversations.

Not sure if that made any sense.  I took NyQuil...so um...I probably sounds crazy.

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:


IMO, this is an offshoot of the "there's so much wasted time in school!" thoughts that populate the homeschool community.  They tell themselves over and over and convince themselves that academics can be done in a small fraction of the time, when in reality that 'wasted' time isn't nearly as much as they want to believe, especially when it comes to high school and homework loads.

*raises hand sheepishly*

Does anyone else here feel like the actual learning they experienced in high school was less than two hours per day?

There was a lot more than that of time spent sitting in class, but those classes... For me at least my brain was a fuzzy blur most of the time.

I did learn stuff in high school, I was at a very academic school in an IB program. But it was so much overload for my ADHD brain. If I had been able to actually focus and follow along things would have probably have been different, but I remember many times standing up at the end of class and realizing I had no idea at all what the lecture had been about.

This may have something to do with my motivation to homeschool 😄

My oldest took a couple of classes at a local high school last year, she was horrified by the amount of time wasted.

I can't say I have figured out how to "do" high school yet, I imagine each of my kids is going to be different. But in terms of actual focused academic work I'm not sure we will average more than two hours per day. There is still a significant unschooling component where a lot of learning is happening outside of that sit-down-and-do-assigned-work box. I only have one in high school right now, in tenth grade, and I feel comfortable with her progress academically and, more importantly, in the realms of social and mental health that are my primary focus. My next child approaching high school represents a much more complex challenge but academics are the least of my concerns for him.

Which I guess is a way of saying--if you consider only academics, we're probably going to average not more than two hours a day with several of my kids. When looking at overall educational efforts, the building of the whole person, it's more like all the hours of the day.

Edited by maize
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8 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

 

Yeah, I'm worried about that, too.  I've been on here for about 10 years and I've noticed a huge decrease in posts/threads.  Also, there used to be so many conversations about different ways to teach kids, using living books, different things you can do for science, educational philosophies, etc  😞

And it's not just this forum.  The Sonlight forums shut down this year.  I don't think MFW has an active forum anymore.

But, it's not really about the forums.  I think people aren't having discussions about homeschooling like they used to.  I almost think the newer homeschoolers don't want to talk about it or bounce ideas off anyone else.  I've offered so many times now to bring curriculum or resources to newer homeschoolers so they could flip through it/look at it - but they are never interested.  If you try to chat with them about what curriculum they use, they look at you like you're nuts.  (I probably sound like a maniac chasing people around waiting rooms with my Teacher's Guide...)

And FB is not a good substitute for these forums.  Also, the FB groups (like the SL one) controlling what people post (like you can only post positive things about THEIR curriculum) aren't going to create good conversations.

Not sure if that made any sense.  I took NyQuil...so um...I probably sounds crazy.

I agree that Facebook is not a good platform for in depth discussion. I'm glad this forum is still around.

We live in a world where the most commentary many people read on complex issues happens on Twitter...

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5 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

 

Yeah, I'm worried about that, too.  I've been on here for about 10 years and I've noticed a huge decrease in posts/threads.  Also, there used to be so many conversations about different ways to teach kids, using living books, different things you can do for science, educational philosophies, etc  😞

And it's not just this forum.  The Sonlight forums shut down this year.  I don't think MFW has an active forum anymore.

But, it's not really about the forums.  I think people aren't having discussions about homeschooling like they used to.  I almost think the newer homeschoolers don't want to talk about it or bounce ideas off anyone else.  I've offered so many times now to bring curriculum or resources to newer homeschoolers so they could flip through it/look at it - but they are never interested.  If you try to chat with them about what curriculum they use, they look at you like you're nuts.  (I probably sound like a maniac chasing people around waiting rooms with my Teacher's Guide...)

And FB is not a good substitute for these forums.  Also, the FB groups (like the SL one) controlling what people post (like you can only post positive things about THEIR curriculum) aren't going to create good conversations.

Not sure if that made any sense.  I took NyQuil...so um...I probably sounds crazy.

You dont sound crazy to me.  I have been posting on these forums since my 30 yr old ds was in 6th grade. The type of discussion has radically altered over time and in the past few yrs equally declined in volume.  Teaching methodologies and philosophies and how they impacted educational choices/outcomes used to be frequent conversations. (Ester Maria, Myrtle, and others were posters who really challenged you to think about decisions).  

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4 minutes ago, maize said:

*raises hand sheepishly*

Does anyone else here feel like the actually learning they experienced in high school was less than two hours per day?

There was a lot more than that of time spent sitting in class, but those classes... For me at least my brain was a fuzzy blur most of the time.

I did learn stuff in high school, I was at a very academic school in an IB program. But it was so much overload for my ADHD brain. If I had been able to actually focus and follow along things would have probably have been different, but I remember many times standing up at the end of class and realizing I had no idea at all what the lecture had been about.

This may have something to do with my motivation to homeschool 😄

My oldest took a couple of classes at a local high school last year, she was horrified by the amount of time wasted.

I can't say I have figured out how to "do" high school yet, I imagine each of my kids is going to be different. But in terms of actual focused academic work I'm not sure we will average more than two hours per day. There is still a significant unschooling component where a lot of learning is happening outside of that sit-down-and-do-assigned-work box. I only have one in high school right now, in tenth grade, and I feel comfortable with her progress academically and, more importantly, in the realms of social and mental health that are my primary focus. My next child approaching high school represents a much more complex challenge but academics are the least of my concerns for him.

Which I guess is a way of saying--if you consider only academics, we're probably going to average not more than two hours a day with several of my kids. When looking at overall educational efforts, the building of the whole person, it's more like all the hours of the day.


This makes me sad and realize what a great education I got.  I only had 2 lecture classes, and both were from older teachers who had been there for decades.  The rest of my high school classes were very interactive: we had a farm at our school for science, language arts had a lot of drama and debate..our school expanded language offerings my sophomore year but the new teacher realized the only books available were from the basement, and had been there since our class was born. 😄 So there were a lot of made up lessons using the textbooks as a base.
It was because of how my elementary and high school approached education that I wanted the same for my kids and was dismayed by what was given to my oldest in his public elementary school.  He went back in high school and while he wasn't a fan of first-day announcements in every class, his classes were small and focused (8-15 kids) with quite a bit accomplished in each one.

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1 minute ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

You dont sound crazy to me.  I have been posting on these forums since my 30 yr old ds was in 6th grade. The type of discussion has radically altered over time and in the past few yrs equally declined in volume.  Teaching methodologies and philosophies and how they impacted educational choices/outcomes used to be frequent conversations. (Ester Maria, Myrtle, and others were posters who really challenged you to think about decisions).  

I didn't start reading these forums regularly until 2011 but I read a lot of those long discussions that had happened before I came along. Really good, deep exchanges of thoughts and ideas used to happen.

When my kids were young I read everything I could about homeschooling and education in general; I figured I would have less time to read as they got older and I needed to prepare ahead. I was right--these days I feel like I barely have time to think past what I need to do in the next ten minutes.

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1 minute ago, HomeAgain said:


This makes me sad and realize what a great education I got.  I only had 2 lecture classes, and both were from older teachers who had been there for decades.  The rest of my high school classes were very interactive: we had a farm at our school for science, language arts had a lot of drama and debate..our school expanded language offerings my sophomore year but the new teacher realized the only books available were from the basement, and had been there since our class was born. 😄 So there were a lot of made up lessons using the textbooks as a base.
It was because of how my elementary and high school approached education that I wanted the same for my kids and was dismayed by what was given to my oldest in his public elementary school.  He went back in high school and while he wasn't a fan of first-day announcements in every class, his classes were small and focused (8-15 kids) with quite a bit accomplished in each one.

Me, too. I received an excellent education at a rural school in the middle of tobacco country.  I want my kids to have at minimum an equivalent education to what I received.

I can't fathom covering more than math and English in 2 hrs at a high school level ( and there are many days where those 2 take even longer than 2 hrs.) But then again, that is why we homeschool....so I get to control their educations. 🙂

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I have a feeling the changes in curriculum conversation are about why people are choosing to homeschool. It’s not nearly the brave unusual choice it once was. Now it’s a more of a mainstream option that has proven success.
I’d like to see a book about successful homeschooled adults where the author picks apart what their homeschool looked like. It would showcase the various styles and give a serious look at the academics. We have some incredibly interesting families out there that have mixed it up and some that go purely schoolish that have been successful. Reading about their experiences, digging up their schedules and seeing how they turned out might help some newbies (and homeschoolers like me) think about more than what is easiest and cheapest.

If there’s already a book like that, please let me know! 

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16 minutes ago, maize said:

*raises hand sheepishly*

Does anyone else here feel like the actual learning they experienced in high school was less than two hours per day?

There was a lot more than that of time spent sitting in class, but those classes... For me at least my brain was a fuzzy blur most of the time.

I did learn stuff in high school, I was at a very academic school in an IB program. But it was so much overload for my ADHD brain. If I had been able to actually focus and follow along things would have probably have been different, but I remember many times standing up at the end of class and realizing I had no idea at all what the lecture had been about.

This may have something to do with my motivation to homeschool 😄

My oldest took a couple of classes at a local high school last year, she was horrified by the amount of time wasted.

I can't say I have figured out how to "do" high school yet, I imagine each of my kids is going to be different. But in terms of actual focused academic work I'm not sure we will average more than two hours per day. There is still a significant unschooling component where a lot of learning is happening outside of that sit-down-and-do-assigned-work box. I only have one in high school right now, in tenth grade, and I feel comfortable with her progress academically and, more importantly, in the realms of social and mental health that are my primary focus. My next child approaching high school represents a much more complex challenge but academics are the least of my concerns for him.

Which I guess is a way of saying--if you consider only academics, we're probably going to average not more than two hours a day with several of my kids. When looking at overall educational efforts, the building of the whole person, it's more like all the hours of the day.

I'm with you, Maize. I had an excellent 9th grade English class and an excellent 11th grade AP English class. The first taught me how to read and pick up on symbolism, metaphor, etc and the second taught me to write - both the logistics of a research paper and how to use concise prose. I also learned a lot in 9th grade and 11th grade Biology. Not sure any other class taught me much of anything. I read some amazing books during Algebra II - does that count? LOL - that poor teacher was overwhelmed and we were all failing so he graded on a curve and we passed. Geometry we had a string of substitutes, one of whom left crying and quit teaching and has told everyone in the community it was due to my class and how bad it was 😞  Basically it was full of gifted but bored kids at the end of the day, with the classroom shoved so full of desks they were literall touching each other - the boys were so done by that point in the day and in such close quarters they were wild. 

I don't even REMEMBER my history classes! I had to ask someone recently what class i took in 10th grade. I do know I took World History in 9th, because I had this young hot teacher, lol. He had a Boston accent and I'd never known anyone from New England so it was very exotic to me, lol. And he was the baseball coach, so very athletic. The way he said "Charles Martel" gave me goosebumps. Mind you, I am not sure I know who that was (nickname the Hammer, something to do with the Crusades?) but I remember the teacher! I think of him every time I hear the Police Song "Don't Stand So Close To Me"...I had SUCH a crush on him! And he was very nice to me and hated the school dress code rules like I did - I was sure we were soul mates who would reunite after I graduated and fall in love. He'd take his tie off in last period -totally against the rules - such a rebel! And when I got "busted" for having on a non-collared blouse instead of actually sending me to the office for a demerit he gave me a hall pass and whispered to just wander the halls for a minute and come back and no one would ever know. Swoon!

So yeah. Oh, and in economics American Government (learned so little I couldn't remember what the subject was!)I had to take a "regular" class instead of honors due to my weird schedule and learned ZERO. I read books, drew, and at one point in total desperation set tiny pieces of paper on fire and watched them burn. No one noticed. I do remember that the same diagram and lecture topic from the first day (spectrum of political something or other) was on the board and still being discussed the last day. 

Oh, and I learned how to draw and paint from my 2D art class. We learned to put a grid over a picture, then draw another on a piece of paper but bigger, and then turn both upside down so we could see the lines as they were not what our brain thought they were. 

So yeah, could have learned most of it in a few hours a week. I have learned way more from PBS, National Geographic, and NPR. Actually, i learned more social studies from historical fiction I think.

Now, I do think a lot of kids DID learn - but I had undiagnosed ADHD, and I have some ASD traits, so if it wasn't interesting or presented in a whole to parts way I was not learning. I would have done SO much better if I'd be homeschooled. Sonlight would have been perfect for me. Breaks my heart none of my kids have been a good fit for that approach...sigh. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Plum said:

I have a feeling the changes in curriculum conversation are about why people are choosing to homeschool. It’s not nearly the brave unusual choice it once was. Now it’s a more of a mainstream option that has proven success.
I’d like to see a book about successful homeschooled adults where the author picks apart what their homeschool looked like. It would showcase the various styles and give a serious look at the academics. We have some incredibly interesting families out there that have mixed it up and some that go purely schoolish that have been successful. Reading about their experiences, digging up their schedules and seeing how they turned out might help some newbies (and homeschoolers like me) think about more than what is easiest and cheapest.

If there’s already a book like that, please let me know! 

That would be brilliant!

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Also - how much time it takes is partly determined by two things. 1. how easily the child learns - a naturally bright kid may pick things up way more quickly than a struggling learner or one with learning disabilities. 2. What the goal of the education is. Someone who wants a "rigorous" course load that prepares them for a high intensity ivy league school and is willing to put in hours a day at that goal is going to have a different workload than one who sees school as a necessary but unimportant step towards their goals in life and is preparing to go to a community college or trade school.

A very bright kid who wants to major in something not very intense at a community college or public university could easily accomplish that with two hours of actual work a day - and then some projects, lots of reading, watching documentaries, etc. Some kids love to learn, but hate school. Myself and my son and a LOT more kids than people realize fit that category. Shoving more work hours of "school" at them doesn't mean more learning. They learn more via special interests and life in general and less work. 

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18 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Me, too. I received an excellent education at a rural school in the middle of tobacco country.  I want my kids to have at minimum an equivalent education to what I received.

I can't fathom covering more than math and English in 2 hrs at a high school level ( and there are many days where those 2 take even longer than 2 hrs.) But then again, that is why we homeschool....so I get to control their educations. 🙂

Again depends on the goal. My son literally did probably about 2 hours a YEAR of Language Arts instruction his last year of homeschooling. He was still able to easily place into ENC1101 at the community college when he did dual enrollment. 

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2 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Also - how much time it takes is partly determined by two things. 1. how easily the child learns - a naturally bright kid may pick things up way more quickly than a struggling learner or one with learning disabilities. 2. What the goal of the education is. Someone who wants a "rigorous" course load that prepares them for a high intensity ivy league school and is willing to put in hours a day at that goal is going to have a different workload than one who sees school as a necessary but unimportant step towards their goals in life and is preparing to go to a community college or trade school.

A very bright kid who wants to major in something not very intense at a community college or public university could easily accomplish that with two hours of actual work a day - and then some projects, lots of reading, watching documentaries, etc. Some kids love to learn, but hate school. Myself and my son and a LOT more kids than people realize fit that category. Shoving more work hours of "school" at them doesn't mean more learning. They learn more via special interests and life in general and less work. 


I want to agree. LOL  But one of the things we intentionally teach in our house is how to struggle and learn how to study.  I have a kid that learns really easily with what is age appropriate, but I don't want him to get to college age, never having had to work hard, and feel like a failure because he doesn't get it the first time.  I wouldn't let him do 2 hours of academics in high school for that reason alone.  I also wouldn't overwhelm him with work, so you have that right.  Balancing time with life and interests is goal, too.

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4 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Again depends on the goal. My son literally did probably about 2 hours a YEAR of Language Arts instruction his last year of homeschooling. He was still able to easily place into ENC1101 at the community college when he did dual enrollment. 

Yes, goals matter. Entry level composition courses are not my goal for high school English. Reading great literature and understanding the cultural influences are a huge part of our homeschool.

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11 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Yes, goals matter. Entry level composition courses are not my goal for high school English. Reading great literature and understanding the cultural influences are a huge part of our homeschool.

And this is probably a big part of why most of us here homeschool: so we can tailor or kids' educations according to our own philosophies and their needs.

I feel like my family's education plans are in constant flux. Discussing great literature isn't even on the horizon for a kid with selective mutism that often doesn't allow him to even answer a question like "how was choir practice?". I'm just happy that he has started reading fiction. Probably the most important thing that kid did last week from an educational standpoint was assist with belt testing at his karate dojo because he had to go out on the floor and talk to and encourage other people.

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22 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:


I want to agree. LOL  But one of the things we intentionally teach in our house is how to struggle and learn how to study.  I have a kid that learns really easily with what is age appropriate, but I don't want him to get to college age, never having had to work hard, and feel like a failure because he doesn't get it the first time.  I wouldn't let him do 2 hours of academics in high school for that reason alone.  I also wouldn't overwhelm him with work, so you have that right.  Balancing time with life and interests is goal, too.

 

Thing is, we can't focus our energy everywhere.

For many kids, the more important struggles are not academic. 

Flexibility to meet the needs of the individual kid is for me the primary value of homeschooling.

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1 minute ago, maize said:

And this is probably a big part of why most of us here homeschool: so we can tailor or kids' educations according to our own philosophies and their needs.

I feel like my family's education plans are in constant flux. Discussing great literature isn't even on the horizon for a kid with selective mutism that often doesn't allow him to even answer a question like "how was choir practice?". I'm just happy that he has started reading fiction. Probably the most important thing that kid did last week from an educational standpoint was assist with belt testing at his karate dojo because he had to go out on the floor and talk to and encourage other people.

Most states require a minimum level of expectation.  If a homeschool is awarding the equivalent of a high school diploma, certain courses at minimum should be reflected as having been studied.  Students with disabilities do have different needs and their educations should be modified in order to enable them to be the most successful they can be.  But to swing a conversation about education in general into a conversation about disabled students with individual needs is not really representative of what is being discussed.  No, I do not accept the premise that your avg student is being well-served by receiving 2 hrs of academics as a high school student.

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There was a ton of time wasted both when I was in high school and when I was teaching high school in public school. However, I had to read more than a dozen books and numerous literature excerpts and poems a year, plus prep for graded discussion seminars every couple of weeks, and write essays every other week. Plus daily math homework and science lab reports and so forth. I see no feasible way that could have been done in two hours a day. It's nonsense. I had an excellent high school education. Most kids I know in public schools here are getting decent high school educations. I know that's not everyone's experience... but to me, the problem that I see is not that students are not getting any solid instructional time or good assignments. Rather, it's that students are being penned in by requirements and rigidity and stress that they do not need and that serves no purpose. And while the work isn't worthless, it's also not worth as much as other work could be - work that's tied to their interests, that they chose, for one thing. But also work that is to mastery, work that asks them to do deeper thinking and to know more. In that sense, I do see a lot of wasted time. But - to use a food metaphor - the problem isn't that they're getting no calories at all. The problem is that they're getting a lot of junk calories with their bare minimum (or, often a bit less) veggies and protein. That's not good enough.

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That thread that resparked me to post here is like newbie homeschooler bingo. It's now onto whether programs like Acellus are accredited. Sigh. I know I'm being mean. Newbies are new. So it's not the newbie, it's the responses that really frustrate me.

It scares me when these forums and all the wisdom here are gone too.

You know... we should *ALL* write a book together. Lots of views about how to make it all work. I'm semi-serious. Sort of a peek into a wide variety of homeschools where every family is different but all cares about quality education. There's not one right way, but... yeah.

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9 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Most states require a minimum level of expectation.  If a homeschool is awarding the equivalent of a high school diploma, certain courses at minimum should be reflected as having been studied.  Students with disabilities do have different needs and their educations should be modified in order to enable them to be the most successful they can be.  But to swing a conversation about education in general into a conversation about disabled students with individual needs is not really representative of what is being discussed.  No, I do not accept the premise that your avg student is being well-served by receiving 2 hrs of academics as a high school student.

 

I guess I thought I was discussing my students not anyone's average student? 

Isn't the point of individualized education that we don't have to worry about what is average--average is what you have to teach to when you have 25+ students in a class. 

I was a not-average student in a not-average school; my academic ability was well above average, and I was at a school with well above average academics. The school was nevertheless a horrible fit for me personally. I think I've told this story before: I got terrible grades, mostly because I didn't have the executive function to stay on top of assignments. I literally failed the last quarter of my biology class. During that same period I took the IB high level biology exam and got the highest possible score--the only student in the school to do so. I did that partly by choosing an essay question to answer on a topic our instructor had told us not to choose because we hadn't covered it sufficiently in class. Thing is, my learning had mostly not happened in class--I'd been reading biology textbooks and topic books for years because I was interested in it. 

I might have learned some things from my own experience about how I learned best, but I've found as a mother and teacher that my kids are not me. I'm trying to meet them individually where they are and in the balance between standard expectations and individualization I don't entirely neglect the former but do lean more towards the latter.

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The simple fact that on the WTM forums you have to defend high school requiring more than 2 hrs unfortnately speaks volumes. It is also disheartening and makes me wonder if posting is even worth the effort.

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10 minutes ago, maize said:

 

I guess I thought I was discussing my students not anyone's average student? 

Isn't the point of individualized education that we don't have to worry about what is average--average is what you have to teach to when you have 25+ students in a class. 

I was a not-average student in a not-average school; my academic ability was well above average, and I was at a school with well above average academics. The school was nevertheless a horrible fit for me personally. I think I've told this story before: I got terrible grades, mostly because I didn't have the executive function to stay on top of assignments. I literally failed the last quarter of my biology class. During that same period I took the IB high level biology exam and got the highest possible score--the only student in the school to do so. I did that partly by choosing an essay question to answer on a topic our instructor had told us not to choose because we hadn't covered it sufficiently in class. Thing is, my learning had mostly not happened in class--I'd been reading biology textbooks and topic books for years because I was interested in it. 

I might have learned some things from my own experience about how I learned best, but I've found as a mother and teacher that my kids are not me. I'm trying to meet them individually where they are and in the balance between standard expectations and individualization I don't entirely neglect the former but do lean more towards the latter.

We do have to provide an education. If we give a diploma, it should reflect a minimal standard.  Teaching our children doesn't require similar methodologies as b&m schools, but that is not the same as saying there are no expectations.

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

The simple fact that on the WTM forums you have to defend high school requiring more than 2 hrs unfortnately speaks volumes. It is also disheartening and makes me wonder if posting is even worth the effort.

Don't stop posting! I get more out of your posts than those of almost anyone else on the forum. In many ways the way you school your kids is the way I want to be able to school mine. There are reasons that doesn't and maybe can't happen but I still find a lot of value in your perpectives.

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33 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

We do have to provide an education. If we give a diploma, it should reflect a minimal standard.  Teaching our children doesn't require similar methodologies as b&m schools, but that is not the same as saying there are no expectations.

 

One of my kids would not receive a regular diploma in our current state, because this state has chosen to have different levels of degrees for students who do not meet a minimal standard.  In (most) other states, he would receive a regular diploma, because they choose to let some students not meet that standard who have special needs of some kind.  

So I think that is a pretty specific category of kids, but it is also a category that is represented on this forum.  

But I honestly do not believe those are the kids whose parents are looking to do the bare minimum and not interact with their kids.  I think these are two really distinct things and shouldn't get confused with each other.  

There is a big difference between taking a different path with a lot of thought and intention and looking at what is best and most realistic ------ and just looking for the bare minimum or whatever will be the least work/involvement (especially when it is involvement!!!!) from the parents.  

 

Edited by Lecka
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7 minutes ago, Lecka said:

 

One of my kids would not receive a regular diploma in our current state, because this state has chosen to have different levels of degrees for students who do not meet a minimal standard.  In (most) other states, he would receive a regular diploma, because they choose to let some students not meet that standard who have special needs of some kind.  

So I think that is a pretty specific category of kids, but it is also a category that is represented on this forum.  

But I honestly do not believe those are the kids whose parents are looking to do the bare minimum and not interact with their kids.  I think these are two really distinct things and shouldn't get confused with each other.  

There is a big difference between taking a different path with a lot of thought and intention and looking at what is best and most realistic ------ and just looking for the bare minimum or whatever will be the least work/involvement (especially when it is involvement!!!!) from the parents.  

 

This is a good point.

What I do with my kids is far from uninvolved and minimal effort. The efforts are just primarily in directions other than academic seatwork. I'm trying to give my kids what I perceive as the opportunities that will best prepare them, specifically, for life--and allow them to live now as well.

The time involved in my kids' education is many times the amount of time that looks like "doing schoolwork".

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15 minutes ago, Lecka said:

 

One of my kids would not receive a regular diploma in our current state, because this state has chosen to have different levels of degrees for students who do not meet a minimal standard.  In (most) other states, he would receive a regular diploma, because they choose to let some students not meet that standard who have special needs of some kind.  

So I think that is a pretty specific category of kids, but it is also a category that is represented on this forum.  

But I honestly do not believe those are the kids whose parents are looking to do the bare minimum and not interact with their kids.  I think these are two really distinct things and shouldn't get confused with each other.  

There is a big difference between taking a different path with a lot of thought and intention and looking at what is best and most realistic ------ and just looking for the bare minimum or whatever will be the least work/involvement (especially when it is involvement!!!!) from the parents.  

 

I think the bolded is key and not what is generally being discussed in terms of staing 2 hrs for high school.

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22 minutes ago, Lecka said:

 

One of my kids would not receive a regular diploma in our current state, because this state has chosen to have different levels of degrees for students who do not meet a minimal standard.  In (most) other states, he would receive a regular diploma, because they choose to let some students not meet that standard who have special needs of some kind.  

So I think that is a pretty specific category of kids, but it is also a category that is represented on this forum.  

But I honestly do not believe those are the kids whose parents are looking to do the bare minimum and not interact with their kids.  I think these are two really distinct things and shouldn't get confused with each other.  

There is a big difference between taking a different path with a lot of thought and intention and looking at what is best and most realistic ------ and just looking for the bare minimum or whatever will be the least work/involvement (especially when it is involvement!!!!) from the parents.  

 

I know there's always going to be a tendency to  recommend the things that worked for us or that we individually like. But I feel like that's what's missing in these discussions. I don't inherently object to a student who needs to - because of mental health or learning disabilities or what have you - do an easier diploma. And parents should decide that and shouldn't have to feel defensive about it. But when the mainstream of homeschooling is recommending doing these too easy paths and spending very little time... that's a different matter and one that concerns me. I think kids are capable of more than what we're asking of them in schools - not more bulk of work, because we ask too much of that - but more quality of work.

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

The simple fact that on the WTM forums you have to defend high school requiring more than 2 hrs unfortnately speaks volumes. It is also disheartening and makes me wonder if posting is even worth the effort.

 

57 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

We do have to provide an education. If we give a diploma, it should reflect a minimal standard.  Teaching our children doesn't require similar methodologies as b&m schools, but that is not the same as saying there are no expectations.

I think I should have clarified that my son did have the knowledge and skills to graduate - just not the butt in seat time. He learned via his own research, picking up bits here and there, and a few very intense sessions where he picked it up instantly. We honestly spent ONE day learning how to write an essay. He grasped it quickly, and got A's in college on his papers. Now, that comes down to does a high school degree = a certain level of basic knowledge or a certain amount of time/study? I would definitely say it would have been BETTER for him to then go beyond the basics he picked up easily and learn more - but for various reasons that wasn't going to happen with him. 

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9 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I know there's always going to be a tendency to  recommend the things that worked for us or that we individually like. But I feel like that's what's missing in these discussions. I don't inherently object to a student who needs to - because of mental health or learning disabilities or what have you - do an easier diploma. And parents should decide that and shouldn't have to feel defensive about it. But when the mainstream of homeschooling is recommending doing these too easy paths and spending very little time... that's a different matter and one that concerns me. I think kids are capable of more than what we're asking of them in schools - not more bulk of work, because we ask too much of that - but more quality of work.

 I get so frustrated when a goal is just to complete some work rather than demonstrate learning.  Not the same thing.

I also have had to let go of being frustrated when I think someone whose child has an average-or-better potential just will not bother, while I am over doing a huge amount for my child who does not have the same potential.  Really, it makes me so angry, but I think it is more sad than anything.  

Edit:  And I mean actual, not bothering, not taking a different path.

And I especially do not mean ------ doing multiple intentional activities but a smaller amount of seatwork -- I am talking about not bothering.  

Edited by Lecka
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I think that if you are trying to do what the regular classes do at an average public high school in a home setting, it might be possible to get everything done in two hours, maybe three if you include math and English homework.  My son has attended lots of classes at the local high school (which is well regarded), and he would agree with this assessment.  He's always talking about how much more we get done in our homeschool classes compared to his school-based classes. 

He's not just talking about the sheer volume of work; he's talking about the density of the experience.  It's more everything--not just more texts, more discussion, and more writing, but more ideas, more depth, more complexity, more nuance, more connections with other disciplines.  Of course, I should hasten to add that it isn't because we're homeschooling that our homeschool classes are like this; it's because I design them that way, and designing them that way takes time and care and, frankly, a whole lot of knowledge that most people don't have.

Another data point I have is a class my son took last year through a well known, accredited provider of high school courses.  For a one credit academic class, he spent maybe 1-1.5 hours per week and got an A.

 

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4 hours ago, HomeAgain said:


IMO, this is an offshoot of the "there's so much wasted time in school!" thoughts that populate the homeschool community.  They tell themselves over and over and convince themselves that academics can be done in a small fraction of the time, when in reality that 'wasted' time isn't nearly as much as they want to believe, especially when it comes to high school and homework loads.

I agree.

The vast majority of my time spent in my  high school classes was not productive, so I agree when people say that so much time is wasted in school.  However, I usually had hours of homework in every class each night that I had to complete when I arrived home from school.  I don't think these people are remembering to factor in the homework time when they are determining how many hours of homeschooling is equivalent to the hours of  traditional schooling.

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Our state mandates four hours per day for 180 days for K-12. Elementary school parents are always debating what can "count" to get to their four hours and 180 days. Parents of high schoolers are constantly assuring people how easy it is to get 4 hours a day in. No critical thinking about what they actually want their child learning or accomplishing or experiencing. It is what "counts". 

My high school ds, when declining an activity or outing citing schoolwork as his reason is constantly met with some variation of "Well, start at 8:00 and you'll be done at noon" or "This counts as PE" or "Why do you do so much? You only need to do four hours." 

I have never understood the focus on hours for little ones or big kids. These parents that say in one breath that the schools don't do anything and the state doesn't get to dictate how their kids are taught immediately latch on to the arbitrary state requirement of "4 hours". Makes my head hurt. That and the constant questions about why we might take a course that isn't required. "But they don't need that.", "That doesn't count", etc etc. I get so tired of people telling me that my child who is exceeding all standards is studying something that doesn't "count".

I personally think there are all kinds of ways to accomplish the high school education that are perfectly acceptable. I have seen some great outcomes from approaches that I didn't really think were good at the time but were just fine, if not great. I am very open minded to lots of ways to do this and many acceptable outcomes. But it is not easy and it is not something that can be done without thought.

I do tell people that come to me for encouragement that it is doable and there are lots of ways to do it. But you have to be invested and you have to actually DO it. 

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14 minutes ago, alewife said:

I agree.

The vast majority of my time spent in my  high school classes was not productive, so I agree when people say that so much time is wasted in school.  However, I usually had hours of homework in every class each night that I had to complete when I arrived home from school.  I don't think these people are remembering to factor in the homework time when they are determining how many hours of homeschooling is equivalent to the hours of  traditional schooling.

You mean all the homework assignments I didn't do?

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Meanwhile, there is a thread in chat about 10 hours school days. It really doesn't matter what the school system does, they have a completely different set of goals and needs than homeschoolers. They are centered around schooling, but most homeschoolers, at least from what I've seen, are centered around education. Those are two different things that get easily confused when newbies are given schooling answers to education questions.  I hope that makes sense. 

 

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If it makes any of you feel better, I see the same tendencies in my Keto group. Keto is not an easy diet to figure out, it requires a lot of research, some money to get started, a lot of restrictions...oh so many restrictions. The extreme basics of it is replacing sugar and carbs with healthy fats. So no flour, no sugar and nothing starchy. And yet today....I see people hoping their trail mix with sesame sticks is keto. Because liking nuts and snacking negates the actual rules of keto???  I see people hoping those diet cookies (haha) are keto. We're just going to ignore the ingredients for the chocolate chips (unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, dextrose). Just because the cookie says Keto on the front, does not make it so. Just because something advertises as quality homeschool curriculum, does not make it so. Unfortunately, researching and finding out for yourself is hard and no one seems interested in doing that anymore. They'd rather have it handed to them. 

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6 hours ago, maize said:

You mean all the homework assignments I didn't do?

Same. I still remember the feeling of camaraderie when you found out your friend didn't do it either. 

6 hours ago, Plum said:

Meanwhile, there is a thread in chat about 10 hours school days. It really doesn't matter what the school system does, they have a completely different set of goals and needs than homeschoolers. They are centered around schooling, but most homeschoolers, at least from what I've seen, are centered around education. Those are two different things that get easily confused when newbies are given schooling answers to education questions.  I hope that makes sense. 

 

Truth. 

And I should clarify i'm not saying high school SHOULD be only 2 hours a day - I'm just saying for some kids it is, or can be, and they are not less educated than the average high school graduate. Just either with knowledge in different areas, or with a quicker grasp so more efficient at the basics yet also unwilling to go beyond the basics. 

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1 hour ago, Plum said:

If it makes any of you feel better, 

It doesn't. This thread has completely deflated me. It has forced me to recognize that my long time homeschooling companion is ill, most likely terminally. I had seen the symptoms but willingly ignored them. I am realizing that getting my 9 yr old to graduation is going to be very lonely.

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