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The New “Calvert”?

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20 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

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.


I think you must have been very busy for the past little while, if you are only just arriving here today. 😞 Or perhaps your neck of the woods still has enough well-functioning families to make one hope for a future...I saw the writing on the wall two years ago, and it did start with local observation. I thought our lack of regulation had led to a breakdown, but hoped that things were better elsewhere. Then I began to watch online and realized I was looking at a genuine, seismic shift.

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I also believe that the posts and people we see asking questions on this forum, FB and elsewhere are a teeny tiny fraction of the real world. There has to be a good chunk of homeschoolers busy living their lives and doing their thing that have never entered this forum. We have a lot of viewers that don't post here. FB is not a true representation of all homeschoolers either. My dh always tells me that FB (or Twitter) is a vocal minority. There are not as many people on there as it seems. Mostly, it's the same people responding every time. It's the same people asking questions. So we're seeing the same thing over and over. 

Edited by Plum
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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

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.

I haven't chimed in yet,  because I feel like everyone else has had more intelligent remarks than I do, but I have to here to address your quote 8. Don't be deflated. Please. People who do things well in ANY thing in life, are usually the smallest percentage, so homeschooling isn't any different. There will always be the ones who cut corners and look for the easy out, or those who flounder or fail. Some will change, some won't. A lot bail in the first year as I've seen, and I haven't even been doing it this long. But that doesn't make the few voices pushing against the grain/the easy way unneeded- although I get it may be tiring on your part.

I know that even back in the day, your type of homeschool was likely exceptional. I'm going to guess there was a lot of half-assing back in the 90's and 00's too by a decent number of homeschoolers- they just weren't on these boards. Their now adult kids made up websites like Homeschoolers Anonymous and things like that to push back on the short end of the stick they received.

I think there just happened to be a very dynamic, exceptional cadre here on the boards at one point- where people pushed each other and dug deep like is being talked about here. A lot of us missed out on some of those amazing discussions, but we still look at those threads and we still come here/hang out here for the encouragement and wisdom. I don't do FB, so not sure what's there, but there are still also outside homeschool boards/groups/podcasts who push in a direction similar to yours. No one's doing at podcast on how to do Time4Learning that I've ever seen. 

I know we aren't supposed to talk about the boards on the boards, but I just wanted to make a couple of observations. 

1- the most useful advice I get here 90% of the time is from the "old-timers" (not to offend anyone), but those who have already graduated a significant portion or all of their kids, were there in the 90's and 00s doing this, and who have chosen to stick around and still field questions here on the Ed boards and not just hang out on Chat. That is invaluable. I would like all of you in that group to know that. The other 10% is from people in the thick like myself and seeing what we all do, how we all mess up, how we get over the mistake and move on without throwing in the towel. I appreciate the honesty we have in our failings, because we all have had them, or we all will at some point. 

2- Some of us do make mistakes at the beginning, but come around by example- being recommended books here that blow our minds and open to new things, reading others mistakes here, seeing how others do it. I know personally, what I was told both by the public school my dd attended, and in the WTM itself when I read it the first time- both stressed a huge amount of independence for middle school aged children. That they should be able to do XYZ on their own.  I took that wholesale and thought that by not making my dd independent in 6th/7th grade, I was dooming her. That attitude was pervasive on both ends and so I did, and I didn't look at the child. I have seen the error in my ways, but it took making a lot of mistakes and it took a lot of reading here and elsewhere that yeah, no it doesn't work on a train schedule, and you have to train a child into independence in most cases.......you can't just jump in at step D if you haven't done A-C.  She's is admittedly my guinea pig. I also had to learn that all of these homeschooling books were someone else's ideal of what it was like and even their homeschool didn't look like it. So maybe there is hope that some of these "all online" Moms will eventually see that too. 

We have an activity group for one of my kids and I am one of the few Moms there who doesn't use BJU DL for every.single.subject. But these Moms love their kids and are clearly devoted to the idea and cause of homeschooling and are interested in learning. They're just going with what everyone else at their church uses, but slowly the conversations are coming out and people are asking questions and maybe seeds are being planted. Idk. I also know I'm too early in this game and haven't launched a successful adult yet so who am I to say my way of doing things is better, or to know if anything I'm doing is going to pay off.....I'm not there yet.  But it's sure nice reading about your kids, and LoriD's kids, and Lang Syne, and Ellie's, Mum2 and ElizabethB's tutoring results and things like that (and many others I'm not listing) and seeing what *can* bear forth if we don't grow weary. 

Anyway, my point is, I do see the changes. I just hate to see despair- please y'all don't. There are a lot of us who are just plugging away at it still with young kids, who aren't having them do things independently. Not all is lost. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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19 minutes ago, Plum said:

I also believe that the posts and people we see asking questions on this forum, FB and elsewhere are a teeny tiny fraction of the real world. There has to be a good chunk of homeschoolers busy living their lives and doing their thing that have never entered this forum. We have a lot of viewers that don't post here. FB is not a true representation of all homeschoolers either. My dh always tells me that FB (or Twitter) is a vocal minority. There are not as many people on there as it seems. Mostly, it's the same people responding every time. It's the same people asking questions. So we're seeing the same thing over and over. 

I think so too. I now know more than one person IRL who reads these boards, but never posts simply because they're intimidated. But they come here for rec's all the time. I lurked here for a good bit before I made a profile and posted. And I'm pretty sure I had a couple of glasses of wine before I did it too, because I was so worried about asking a stupid question and getting jumped on. Maybe y'all preferred me that way, I don't know LOL. "Wow, she was a lot less annoying when she was intimidated!!" 😂

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As my husband frequently reminds me, most kids are not destined (homeschooling or not) to end up in the top 10%. I would have thrived as a homeschooler. My (probably) autistic son who struggles with social stuff, and my super-social DD (who is biologically unrelated) would not. If high standards and effort were enough, both of my kids would be halfway to Rhodes scholarships by now. You have to work with what you’ve got.

I feel fortunate that I was able to inspire a passion for history in DS. I feel blessed that I was able to develop DDs love of math. Neither is a superstar but they are thoughtful, talented, and kind. Do I think academically average students should be taking Algebra I in 10th grade given solid instruction, no. Do I think average kids need to be prepared for English 102 or 201 upon enrollment, no. It’s easy to assume providing exceptional instruction is all it takes to achieve exceptional results if you win the trifecta and have exceptional children, exceptional instruction (which can be B&M or home-based) and exceptional resources tho (whether that’s time or money).

It makes me sad that so many new home schooling parents think they can obtain exceptional results without the above exceptionalities. I think it’s primarily a messaging failure that newbies don’t know what it really takes to get that magazine cover or book deal, let alone a competitive college scholarship. 

I see a lot if ‘2hr a day’ homeschoolers, even with a friend teaching preschool-elementary students. It’s especially prevalent among new, under-resourced honeschoolers. I agreed with my friend...totally appropriate for her little kids. I also told her it’s delusional for a college bound, average intelligence, NT high-school kid in my/her area during MS/HS. 

I got crickets.

Edited by Sneezyone
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I honestly feel astounded that so many people here want to defend the idea of the two hour high school day.

All I can think is that it comes from the same idea that underpins the basic info video and quiz type model. The idea that there is some "basic" body of knowledge that you can learn like a checklist and then just move on. It's the education as a product thinking. Two hours a day means no books other than basic textbooks. Because how do you read more than a couple of full books in a year at most and still do every other subject? Two hours a day means no serious hands on projects because you cannot do a project in 15-20 minutes a day - because that's all that's allotted for a course if you're doing that little. Two hours a day means no science experiments, no lab reports. Two hours a day means very little writing. Two hours a day means Wikipedia level research only. Heck, two hours a day means no movies, only video clips. Two hours a day means foreign language is relegated to less than twenty minutes a day on average. Only the most incredible savants are going to achieve any sort of level of fluency with that sort of time.

I genuinely get that not every kid is college bound. Not every kid is neurotypical. Not every kid has the same life goals. But nearly every kid is going to navigate the world and the news and vote (or they should). Nearly every kid is going to need to learn more things as they go through life. Nearly every kid has the capacity to do good in the world. Every kid is going to have to figure out how to construct meaning in their own lives - whether through meaningful work, through religion, through relationships, through art... These sorts of things require thinking skills. Thinking skills require content and practice. There is no way to get that practice in two hours a day. Maybe in a single subject? Maybe?

When we talk about preschoolers and little kids "doing school" in an hour or two and then having the rest of the day to play, that's because play is how little kids learn and encounter the world. They are doing the business of learning when they run around outside with sticks and splash in puddles and build with Legos and fight with their siblings over cookies and pillows and so forth. That's deep learning for a 6 yo. But it's different for a 16 yo. I'm not saying they can't learn anything from surfing Youtube or playing video games or hanging with friends or putting on makeup or whatever they're into, but it's not the same. And really and truly, education does not have to look the same for all kids. If a student can't read or do science labs or learn research skills or learn a foreign language... okay. Maybe they can learn to do hands on skills. Maybe they can learn life skills. Maybe that big picture stuff can happen through discussions instead of reading. Maybe it happens on a different level. That's okay. But if you can make it happen in a mere two hours a day, then it was probably too easy and they can probably do more.

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On 11/1/2019 at 6:23 PM, Elizabeth86 said:

  Just keep encouraging us newbies, don't hate us.  

I love to encourage the newbies. 🙂 But I cannot do that by telling them what they want to hear. I have to do it by telling them things they might not want to hear, such as the fact that even though you think your little 8yo learns better from a video on her handheld device, it's better to do things with her yourself, because not only can a screen *not* compete with the whole wide world, but your child needs *you.* If she doesn't think she does, what does she know? She's just eight.

Anyway, the newbies don't always want to hear it, no matter how gently and diplomatically we say it.

Edited by Ellie
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I'd love to add something to this thread, but really am just agreeing with everyone. 

I'm meeting on Sunday with two parents of 9th graders who have physical illness who are considering homeschooling, and I really don't know what to say. If they expect me to say, 'oh, it's easy to educate teens,' then they are going to be mistaken. I know these kids have physical illness, but it is still hard to educate anyone at a high school level. I don't plan to pull any punches as they need to know what they are getting into if they choose to leave school and try to educate their own. Homeschooling highschool is HARD.  For me, REALLY REALLY HARD because my kids are crazy high level, and I am not. I do think I have high standards, but I also am not willing to just have my kids go it alone. So I learn all the subjects they learn, which has been a hard, some-times lonely journey, but it has allowed me to ensure that they are learning to be deep and insightful thinkers. I'm not ok with just punching a ticket. I homeschool because I think I can do *better* than the local school, and the local school that my kids are zoned for is the TOP school in the country, as in number 1 public or private. I can do better because I can tailor an education to their interests, and I can run interference with the bazillion national assessments kids are required to take here. And I feel vindicated by the experience my older boy has had at university in America. 

But unfortunately, I am surrounded by unschoolers here who tell me I am 'amazing' but basically don't have the energy, motivation, or intellect to do high school *with* their kids. People seem to want easy solutions to difficult problems. The most dedicated parents who are the most interesting to talk to are the parents with kids with learning disabilities. They seem to work way way way harder than the parents with neuro-typical kids. I'm not sure why exactly, but definitely true in my experience with many many families. 

Ruth in NZ

Edited by lewelma
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4 hours ago, Farrar said:

I honestly feel astounded that so many people here want to defend the idea of the two hour high school day.

All I can think is that it comes from the same idea that underpins the basic info video and quiz type model. The idea that there is some "basic" body of knowledge that you can learn like a checklist and then just move on. It's the education as a product thinking. Two hours a day means no books other than basic textbooks. Because how do you read more than a couple of full books in a year at most and still do every other subject? Two hours a day means no serious hands on projects because you cannot do a project in 15-20 minutes a day - because that's all that's allotted for a course if you're doing that little. Two hours a day means no science experiments, no lab reports. Two hours a day means very little writing. Two hours a day means Wikipedia level research only. Heck, two hours a day means no movies, only video clips. Two hours a day means foreign language is relegated to less than twenty minutes a day on average. Only the most incredible savants are going to achieve any sort of level of fluency with that sort of time.

I genuinely get that not every kid is college bound. Not every kid is neurotypical. Not every kid has the same life goals. But nearly every kid is going to navigate the world and the news and vote (or they should). Nearly every kid is going to need to learn more things as they go through life. Nearly every kid has the capacity to do good in the world. Every kid is going to have to figure out how to construct meaning in their own lives - whether through meaningful work, through religion, through relationships, through art... These sorts of things require thinking skills. Thinking skills require content and practice. There is no way to get that practice in two hours a day. Maybe in a single subject? Maybe?

When we talk about preschoolers and little kids "doing school" in an hour or two and then having the rest of the day to play, that's because play is how little kids learn and encounter the world. They are doing the business of learning when they run around outside with sticks and splash in puddles and build with Legos and fight with their siblings over cookies and pillows and so forth. That's deep learning for a 6 yo. But it's different for a 16 yo. I'm not saying they can't learn anything from surfing Youtube or playing video games or hanging with friends or putting on makeup or whatever they're into, but it's not the same. And really and truly, education does not have to look the same for all kids. If a student can't read or do science labs or learn research skills or learn a foreign language... okay. Maybe they can learn to do hands on skills. Maybe they can learn life skills. Maybe that big picture stuff can happen through discussions instead of reading. Maybe it happens on a different level. That's okay. But if you can make it happen in a mere two hours a day, then it was probably too easy and they can probably do more.

I don't see a bunch of people defending a two hour day.

I'm one of only a couple who have said something about limited academic time for our specific kids.

My kids aren't graduated yet, I'm not even half way through high school with my oldest, and I only know what we have done so far. 

When my kids were young and I read all the books I envisioned a very academic homeschool. As time has gone on, I have adjusted every year to the kids that I have, not the imaginary kids in my head. 

And the kids I have are not neurotypical. They don't have the gene set to be neurotypical. Education, to me, is the development of the complete person, not just the intellectual person. For many of my kids the intellectual stuff comes fairly easily. For all of my kids there are serious struggles to achieve success in the social and emotional domains. 

Guys, all the academic success in the world isn't going to help a person succeed in life if they are paralyzed by anxiety. Chemistry and physics and Shakespeare aren't going to prevent depression. Calculus isn't going to teach them to talk to people.

If I limit the time we focus on academics I do so very intentionally in favor of time spent on music and theater and dance and martial arts because these things have proven to have significant benefits to my kids.

Not to mention juggling stuff like speech therapy for four of them.

There is only so much time in a day, our energy can't go everywhere. And kids need downtime as much as they need anything else.

I focus the majority of our time where I see the greatest need and the most benefit to my children. They have a lifetime to continue gaining academic skills and knowledge. The brain building that goes on during adolescence though will establish long term patterns; if I have the ability to influence healthier development through physical activity and social engagement I need to take advantage of that.

There is unfortunately very little research on a pro-active approach to establishing mental and emotional health. I'm moving forward with what research I can find and with my personal observations of what seems to be working or not working. I can give a more informed report in twenty years, but for now I am comfortable with an educational focus not centered on academics.

As far as academics go, math has always been the one subject I try not to shortchange because it builds so much on itself and needs to be learned incrementally over time. Foreign language I started when my kids were young, they have extra time. They tend to be bookworms so I do not have to encourage reading; my dyslexic child spent years listening to audiobooks before her reading skills finally caught up. Dysgraphia has been a harder challenge, we're still working on that. Science at a college level and beyond is largely dependent on math skills, high school for most kids is more about exposure and I am comfortable primarily focusing on math. I'm fine with social studies being primarily exposure level.

I have no idea how I am going to teach my fourteen year old how to write essays and research papers, I'm hoping an online or in person class will do because he shuts down if I try to teach him but does sometimes respond well to external teachers. I have a co-op in mind for next year that focuses on reading and writing and discussion.

Do I think all this somehow adds up to an ideal education? No. Would it be a good education for an average child, whatever that means? Probably not.

Is it an education that will benefit my specific children? I absolutely hope so!

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11 hours ago, Plum said:

I also believe that the posts and people we see asking questions on this forum, FB and elsewhere are a teeny tiny fraction of the real world. There has to be a good chunk of homeschoolers busy living their lives and doing their thing that have never entered this forum. We have a lot of viewers that don't post here. FB is not a true representation of all homeschoolers either. My dh always tells me that FB (or Twitter) is a vocal minority. There are not as many people on there as it seems. Mostly, it's the same people responding every time. It's the same people asking questions. So we're seeing the same thing over and over. 

I'm one of those people who almost never posts, but I have been reading for years, and I keep coming back here because the wisdom and advice from those who have traveled the path before me makes me feel like I am not crazy. In my community, which is filled with vehement unschoolers, CCers, and you-must-sign-a-statement-of-faith-before-we'll-let-you-talk-to-our-kids types, it is worth so much to me to see that I am not alone in my approach. I hope things are not as grim as they seem here. This post has made me, too, feel a bit low. I left a tenture-track job in English about a decade ago and have been working (slowly) on a literature, writing, and language curriculum that is really good and very different from anything out there, but it is not on-line, requires parents to interact with their kids, and is nothing like you would find in school. Five years ago, I was confident that there was a solid market for it, but I am not sure that is still the case. I am not going to give up because I love the project and have to see it though, but I hope it is worth it. If nothing else, my kids are learning to read and write very well, so that's worth something.

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6 hours ago, Farrar said:

I honestly feel astounded that so many people here want to defend the idea of the two hour high school day.

All I can think is that it comes from the same idea that underpins the basic info video and quiz type model. The idea that there is some "basic" body of knowledge that you can learn like a checklist and then just move on. It's the education as a product thinking. Two hours a day means no books other than basic textbooks. Because how do you read more than a couple of full books in a year at most and still do every other subject? Two hours a day means no serious hands on projects because you cannot do a project in 15-20 minutes a day - because that's all that's allotted for a course if you're doing that little. Two hours a day means no science experiments, no lab reports. Two hours a day means very little writing. Two hours a day means Wikipedia level research only. Heck, two hours a day means no movies, only video clips. Two hours a day means foreign language is relegated to less than twenty minutes a day on average. Only the most incredible savants are going to achieve any sort of level of fluency with that sort of time.

I genuinely get that not every kid is college bound. Not every kid is neurotypical. Not every kid has the same life goals. But nearly every kid is going to navigate the world and the news and vote (or they should). Nearly every kid is going to need to learn more things as they go through life. Nearly every kid has the capacity to do good in the world. Every kid is going to have to figure out how to construct meaning in their own lives - whether through meaningful work, through religion, through relationships, through art... These sorts of things require thinking skills. Thinking skills require content and practice. There is no way to get that practice in two hours a day. Maybe in a single subject? Maybe?

When we talk about preschoolers and little kids "doing school" in an hour or two and then having the rest of the day to play, that's because play is how little kids learn and encounter the world. They are doing the business of learning when they run around outside with sticks and splash in puddles and build with Legos and fight with their siblings over cookies and pillows and so forth. That's deep learning for a 6 yo. But it's different for a 16 yo. I'm not saying they can't learn anything from surfing Youtube or playing video games or hanging with friends or putting on makeup or whatever they're into, but it's not the same. And really and truly, education does not have to look the same for all kids. If a student can't read or do science labs or learn research skills or learn a foreign language... okay. Maybe they can learn to do hands on skills. Maybe they can learn life skills. Maybe that big picture stuff can happen through discussions instead of reading. Maybe it happens on a different level. That's okay. But if you can make it happen in a mere two hours a day, then it was probably too easy and they can probably do more.

Your post reminded me of Asimov’s Cult of Ignorance essay. He was railing against some of the same things we see today. People not trusting the experts (anti-vax), and not reading enough to be knowledgeable and participate in democracy. I linked the whole essay after the quote. 
 

“It’s hard to quarrel with that ancient justification of the free press: “America’s right to know.” It seems almost cruel to ask, ingenuously, ”America’s right to know what, please? Science? Mathematics? Economics? Foreign languages?”

None of those things, of course. In fact, one might well suppose that the popular feeling is that Americans are a lot better off without any of that tripe.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

I believe that any human being with a physically normal brain can learn a great deal and can be surprisingly intellectual. I believe that what we badly need is social approval for learning and social rewards for learning.”  

https://aphelis.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/ASIMOV_1980_Cult_of_Ignorance.pdf

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11 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I'm going to guess there was a lot of half-assing back in the 90's and 00's too by a decent number of homeschoolers- they just weren't on these boards

There were pockets, but it was different.  They were not the majority. They did not control the "platform". Today it is not just a handful of homeschoolers. It is the homeschool market advertising and profiting, social media platforms, co-ops, etc all spewing the same. Workshops on how to be a better teacher were the norm at conventions.....not which curriculum is the easiest to teach or park your kid in front of and let it do the teaching for you. 

11 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I think there just happened to be a very dynamic, exceptional cadre here on the boards at one point- where people pushed each other and dug deep like is being talked about here

It didn't "just happen." Posters were here bc this was the gathering place for those with high academic standards. We didn't use the same curriculum or even teach the same courses, but we shared the same objective of being the best teachers we could be in order to help our children reach their maximum potential.  Academics was the focus. Pushing and encouraging each other to be better teachers with clearly formed objectives was the norm. We held each other to a higher standard which was outside of ps definitions or outcomes. We were homeschooling bc we wanted something better/deeper intellectually for our children. Goodness, "draconian homeschoolers united" was an actual motto amg the majority of the high school posters.

In more recent yrs, this was my refuge against the wave of mediocrity that surrounded me IRL.  Your sentiment of staying to encourage on newbies is nice, but let's face it, everyone wants to talk to others who share their values and goals and are on on a similar intellectual level.  I am still homeschooling. Yes, I currently only have three at home, two next yr. But that is equivalent to most avg families and I still have 8 more yrs to go. I can encourage others, but the philosophical academic support for me to stretch myself to be the best teacher I can be on a daily basis is gone. Farming out to co-ops, outsourced classes, etc has become the norm.  Even though I absolutely refuse to go down that path, they were conversations I had gotten used.  But, defending a 2 hr high school day is an academic low so low that it is obvious that any "refuge" is simply an illusion, or more accurately a delusion.

5 hours ago, Farrar said:

I honestly feel astounded that so many people here want to defend the idea of the two hour high school day.

Me, too, but astounded does not begin to capture my thoughts.

5 hours ago, Ellie said:

I love to encourage the newbies. 🙂 But I cannot do that by telling them what they want to hear. I have to do it by telling them things they might not want to hear, such as the fact that even though you think your little 8yo learns better from a video on her handheld device, it's better to do things with her yourself, because not only can a screen compete with the whole wide world, but your child needs *you.* If she doesn't think she does, what does she know? She's just eight.

Anyway, the newbies don't always want to hear it, no matter how gently and diplomatically we say it.

Unfortunately, it isn't just the newbies. It is the dominant voice, the marketing, the acceptance that parents don't want or need to teach bc "this"  or "we" will do it for you (whatever it even is.) Philosophy, methodology......vocabulary words, not goals.

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Blue Collar Homeschool Group on FB currently has a post asking what the typical day is for your 8th grader. The answers so far range from 3.5  to 7 hours. A few of the lower range are only counting book time (or time on easy-peasy) and then they go off to do some entrepreneurial work. It is interesting to see the priorities. 

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53 minutes ago, Florimell said:

I left a tenture-track job in English about a decade ago and have been working (slowly) on a literature, writing, and language curriculum that is really good and very different from anything out there, but it is not on-line, requires parents to interact with their kids, and is nothing like you would find in school. Five years ago, I was confident that there was a solid market for it, but I am not sure that is still the case. 

 

Yeah, I had plans to create a series of literature guides...but, I'm worried there isn't much of a market for things like that anymore.  I don't know.

Don't give up on your project!

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34 minutes ago, Plum said:

Your post reminded me of Asimov’s Cult of Ignorance essay. He was railing against some of the same things we see today. People not trusting the experts (anti-vax), and not reading enough to be knowledgeable and participate in democracy. I linked the whole essay after the quote. 
 

“It’s hard to quarrel with that ancient justification of the free press: “America’s right to know.” It seems almost cruel to ask, ingenuously, ”America’s right to know what, please? Science? Mathematics? Economics? Foreign languages?”

None of those things, of course. In fact, one might well suppose that the popular feeling is that Americans are a lot better off without any of that tripe.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

I believe that any human being with a physically normal brain can learn a great deal and can be surprisingly intellectual. I believe that what we badly need is social approval for learning and social rewards for learning.”  

https://aphelis.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/ASIMOV_1980_Cult_of_Ignorance.pdf

This goes to the heart of my thoughts. Younposted earlier that homeschoolers weren't "schooling" but "educating." I didn't respond bc really it isn't that simple.  It is more complicated bc the question is what does it mean to be educated? 

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6 hours ago, Farrar said:

I honestly feel astounded that so many people here want to defend the idea of the two hour high school day.

All I can think is that it comes from the same idea that underpins the basic info video and quiz type model. The idea that there is some "basic" body of knowledge that you can learn like a checklist and then just move on. It's the education as a product thinking. Two hours a day means no books other than basic textbooks. Because how do you read more than a couple of full books in a year at most and still do every other subject? Two hours a day means no serious hands on projects because you cannot do a project in 15-20 minutes a day - because that's all that's allotted for a course if you're doing that little. Two hours a day means no science experiments, no lab reports. Two hours a day means very little writing. Two hours a day means Wikipedia level research only. Heck, two hours a day means no movies, only video clips. Two hours a day means foreign language is relegated to less than twenty minutes a day on average. Only the most incredible savants are going to achieve any sort of level of fluency with that sort of time.

I genuinely get that not every kid is college bound. Not every kid is neurotypical. Not every kid has the same life goals. But nearly every kid is going to navigate the world and the news and vote (or they should). Nearly every kid is going to need to learn more things as they go through life. Nearly every kid has the capacity to do good in the world. Every kid is going to have to figure out how to construct meaning in their own lives - whether through meaningful work, through religion, through relationships, through art... These sorts of things require thinking skills. Thinking skills require content and practice. There is no way to get that practice in two hours a day. Maybe in a single subject? Maybe?

When we talk about preschoolers and little kids "doing school" in an hour or two and then having the rest of the day to play, that's because play is how little kids learn and encounter the world. They are doing the business of learning when they run around outside with sticks and splash in puddles and build with Legos and fight with their siblings over cookies and pillows and so forth. That's deep learning for a 6 yo. But it's different for a 16 yo. I'm not saying they can't learn anything from surfing Youtube or playing video games or hanging with friends or putting on makeup or whatever they're into, but it's not the same. And really and truly, education does not have to look the same for all kids. If a student can't read or do science labs or learn research skills or learn a foreign language... okay. Maybe they can learn to do hands on skills. Maybe they can learn life skills. Maybe that big picture stuff can happen through discussions instead of reading. Maybe it happens on a different level. That's okay. But if you can make it happen in a mere two hours a day, then it was probably too easy and they can probably do more.

I'd say that there is no expectation they are doing every subject every day. Some days might be a science experiment. Another day to write up the lab. Etc. Projects ? Maybe not "school projects" but outside interest projects would be done, with plenty of time for them. As for reading, I think many talking bout shorter academics don't lump into that time frame all the child's reading. Many read for fun, not as "school". Same with watching documentaries, researching special interests, and I know for my kid he spent hours trapped in a car with me each week listening to NPR - we had amazing discussions about politics, science, economics, etc based on those radio broadcasts. 

And just because a kid isn't doing a ton of academic work doesn't mean they aren't thinking! Thinking skills can come from conversations with parents, debating with friends, etc and the content doesn't have to be from textbooks. 

And as for the bolded - sure they probably can. But sometimes life issues mean they won't. But they are not doomed to live life intellectually stunted. That they will be too uniformed to even be an educated voter? I'm pretty sure a kid could grow up watching PBS and between the kid shows and Nature and Frontline and such ends up more than educated enough to be a thoughtful voter. Is that an ideal education of ocourse not. But it IS an education. 

I agree that academic rigor can be a wonderful thing but isn't part of homeschooling about thinking outside the box? Allowing them to develop special interests? 

I don't mean sit-in gin front of time for learning for 2 hours a day, but living life in general.

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1 hour ago, Florimell said:

I'm one of those people who almost never posts, but I have been reading for years, and I keep coming back here because the wisdom and advice from those who have traveled the path before me makes me feel like I am not crazy. In my community, which is filled with vehement unschoolers, CCers, and you-must-sign-a-statement-of-faith-before-we'll-let-you-talk-to-our-kids types, it is worth so much to me to see that I am not alone in my approach. I hope things are not as grim as they seem here. This post has made me, too, feel a bit low. I left a tenture-track job in English about a decade ago and have been working (slowly) on a literature, writing, and language curriculum that is really good and very different from anything out there, but it is not on-line, requires parents to interact with their kids, and is nothing like you would find in school. Five years ago, I was confident that there was a solid market for it, but I am not sure that is still the case. I am not going to give up because I love the project and have to see it though, but I hope it is worth it. If nothing else, my kids are learning to read and write very well, so that's worth something.

If it can be used in a co-op or independently, there is a large market. If it requires the parent to be actively involved as teacher, the targeted market is very small, especially at the high school level.  Not outsourcing high school level courses is definitely a small percentage.

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

If it can be used in a co-op or independently, there is a large market. If it requires the parent to be actively involved as teacher, the targeted market is very small, especially at the high school level.  Not outsourcing high school level courses is definitely a small percentage.

I know of zero homeschooling families IRL who do not outsource for high school. I am literally the only one in my sphere. My son is in an activity with a huge number of kids, half of whom are homeschoolers, and it's a high-achieving, competitive kind of thing. These are not slacker families, as far as the extracurriculars go. They tend to be mostly on the affluent end of the scale. 100% of the homeschooling parents have told me that they teach practically nothing in high school - it's all online and co-op. 

So I have checked out the co-ops; I've known about them for years. They have nothing to offer gifted students or non-evangelical families. They cost a truckload of money. And why would I use them, anyway, for this youngest son, when I *did the work* (as @lewelma describes) of learning to teach high schoolers, already? (And I've graduated four - three of my own, and a tutored student.) Why in the world would I send him to a de facto school, paying money I don't even have, to take courses that are inferior to my courses, with students who are not academic peers? Also, he has no interest in co-op. Like his siblings, he prefers to do academics at home, in our family's style, and then go out into the world at the end of the day. It's a working formula, and we'd gain nothing by changing it.

Yet I have quickly learned to stop telling anyone that I teach him myself. I seemed to be coming across as a poor hillbilly who can't afford to hire degreed teachers to teach Apologia science and Write Shop (for high school) at co-op, and people seemed to think my son must be backward or anti-social. Biases confirmed: As soon as I shut up about our method, in the homeschool mom chats, my son was perceived to be outgoing, friendly, capable, mature, intelligent...because he is. As soon as I stopped identifying as a homeschooler, I began to find friends among the adults who have similar interests and values (you know, as you do, out in the world, sans labels and cliques).

I usually don't even tell people that I'm a homeschool mom, anymore. And now, even among homeschoolers, I am not going to say anything about HOW we do it, even if I admit to homeschooling. If there's an independent homeschooler out there, who would like to know how to teach classical high school subjects at home, I have no idea how she's going to find me. Which is a loss, for her and for me. If she exists.

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9 hours ago, Farrar said:

I honestly feel astounded that so many people here want to defend the idea of the two hour high school day.

I don't know if my comments put me in this category, but I wanted to clarify that I am not defending a two hour school day.  I'm just saying that I think it's possible to provide a minimalist version of what a public high school provides in their regular classes (with the exception of labs and whole class discussions) in two to three hours (includes math and English homework).  Do I think that this would be a good education?  No.  But do I think that the average high school student in the average high school is getting a good education?  No again.

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2 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

I'd say that there is no expectation they are doing every subject every day. Some days might be a science experiment. Another day to write up the lab. Etc. Projects ? Maybe not "school projects" but outside interest projects would be done, with plenty of time for them. As for reading, I think many talking bout shorter academics don't lump into that time frame all the child's reading. Many read for fun, not as "school". Same with watching documentaries, researching special interests, and I know for my kid he spent hours trapped in a car with me each week listening to NPR - we had amazing discussions about politics, science, economics, etc based on those radio broadcasts. 

And just because a kid isn't doing a ton of academic work doesn't mean they aren't thinking! Thinking skills can come from conversations with parents, debating with friends, etc and the content doesn't have to be from textbooks. 

And as for the bolded - sure they probably can. But sometimes life issues mean they won't. But they are not doomed to live life intellectually stunted. That they will be too uniformed to even be an educated voter? I'm pretty sure a kid could grow up watching PBS and between the kid shows and Nature and Frontline and such ends up more than educated enough to be a thoughtful voter. Is that an ideal education of ocourse not. But it IS an education. 

I agree that academic rigor can be a wonderful thing but isn't part of homeschooling about thinking outside the box? Allowing them to develop special interests? 

I don't mean sit-in gin front of time for learning for 2 hours a day, but living life in general.

First, this isn't about rigor. Education, in my view, is always about meeting a child where they are, moving the needle forward, challenging that individual child in ways that make sense for them. I do believe that more kids can have a more "rigorous" education than are given one, but some kids genuinely can't. That's fine. But saying, my kid can't access a high level education therefore education will take no time is not a logical argument to me. The goal should still be to push forward learning at whatever level a student is capable of.

I'm all about outside the box credits for high school. If you have a student who cannot realistically tackle a traditional academic schedule, then doing credits in woodshop, in auto repair, in starting a lawn mowing business, in learning consumer math, in home ec or cooking, in movie discussion, in video game design, in DM'ing role playing games, in learning babysitting skills, in whatever the heck makes sense  in expanding that kid's horizons and skills is great. That's school. And if all of this is over an inability to understand that, then I'm also dismayed because we're homeschoolers and we understand that school and textbooks are not synonymous, or at least, I would hope.

Doing a schedule where you don't do all courses each day would help a little... but I just want to break down the two hours a day myth for high school a little here. Yes, you determine your graduation requirements, but in general, kids need at minimum 6 credits a year for a total of 24 minimum credits to be called graduated. And let's assume that we're not talking about kids who are legally exempted from those requirements and allowed legally to get an alternative diploma, but rather kids who just "aren't academic" or who have learning challenges that don't rise to the level where they would exempt from those very basic requirements in a school.

Colleges and high schools still expect that most people are using some general version of a Carnegie Credits approach (as in, time spent) or that a credit represents some sense of complete information (for example, "Algebra I" while it has some variations, has a relatively agreed upon definition). This throws that out the window unless a kid is super fast in acquiring information. Except, we're not talking about kids who are super fast at acquiring information, right? So let's just assume that we're saying we're not following that. I personally feel that undermines all of us. It reinforces the idea that homeschoolers are just making up our transcripts and they don't represent anything real. Each credit should mean something - either time spent or body of knowledge acquired. But, okay, that's gone in this scenario.

With your 120 minutes a day, you could do all subjects for 20 minutes a day. Of course, with transitions, that cuts into your 20 minutes. I do not know of any high school level science labs that are seriously going to get accomplished in that frame. Watching a mini-video of one, maybe. Not the same. I don't know any kids who can realistically write a half decent paper in that time frame. I do think meaningful work on longer term projects is a good part of high school - whether these are academic like research papers or long term science projects or whether they're creative like art projects or practical like cooking or woodshop or film or coding software or maker projects. 20 minutes isn't going to give you time to make a quick lunch, much less learn a new cooking skill. And let's not even go there for academic research. So that's out. Even for something like math or foreign language, it gives you enough time to learn the new incremental thing or practice it and usually not both. So then it keeps getting chopped up and potentially not enough practice time.

Now, what if we do only one subject a day. Okay, two hours, hey, that's long enough to get a little more momentum at least. Except... now you're doing each credit less than once a week. Less. So for things like math and foreign language, there's zero continuity of practice. By the time you get around to your block of time again, it's been eight days. You've half forgotten it all, unless you've got an amazing memory... except, I think we've established that the student we're talking about isn't an academic superstar, so probably not with an amazing memory. You do now have time to write a paper for English. But then that's all you do... no reading... for more than two weeks. Same with science. Now you can easily get a real lab done and probably do the write up if you're efficient. Great. But then there's zero new content in your science course covered for more than two weeks. And if you need to seriously follow up and get feedback on your lab or your paper, that will also wait. That, or it will eat into the time of the next block the next day. Same thing with less academic credits - you get momentum with learning only to have it curtailed.

I believe kids should have free time, but what are these kids doing with all this time? Seriously? I can't in good conscience give credits for chores or a job or sitting playing video games. But I can for pleasure reading for a kid who is struggling with various issues. Read a pile of mutually agreed upon books? Look, if that's what we need, then okay. I can give credit for life skills for writing a resume and a cover letter and practicing interviews if that's what's needed. I can give credit for PE or dance or art. I can give credit for a lot of things - I'm not saying education has to be textbooks and that's it. But the idea that only two hours of credit-worthy school pursuits is happening in a teen's day? That's concerning to me! Education is the work of youth. Free time is key, yes. But free time should not be more than 12 hours a day! I don't think that's wild to say either. I don't have that much time free. I have obligations and work. Life requires things from us.

 

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I just wanted to encourage the moms like 8FilltheHeart and Lang Syne Boardie to stay here. I need you. We need you.  Sometimes I need to hear from someone that I can do this thing. I know we are pursuing a level of rigor here that most of the people I "know" in homeschooling are not.  That's okay with me, as long as I have a community which I can come to and ask questions. I have used texts and pursued studies with my kids that I never would have known about without this forum. We have been blessed by it.  I truly need your encouragement.

 

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One thing that gets lost or overlooked in the old school/new philosophies discussions is this:

We old-timers actually do know about out-of-the-box learners and special needs.

I know that I, and many other older homeschooling parents here, did not start homeschooling *just* because of religious or political bias. Did I take the opportunity to share my beliefs and opinions with my children, of course. But a common realization amongst those of my ilk is that we could have had (and sometimes did have) political reversals and religious conversions over the decades, and still kept homeschooling. We would homeschool, and we would homeschool *these* children, no matter what ideology we were operating under.

Which means we had reasons for thinking our children needed to learn outside of school. You have to understand that those reasons address all ends of all spectrums. We have profoundly gifted children, 2E children, children with dyslexia, ADHD, autism...this cadre of vintage hs'ers is not about buying the most rigorous, most official, most advanced curriculum and marching all the children through it, a grade level at a time! 

We know the standard classical curriculum. And we know how to adapt it or ditch it, as our children require. We learned how to calculate hours spent on out-of-the-box obsessions (for purposes of adding a credit to the transcript), and how to write course descriptions for courses not found in any school. More importantly, we learned how to recognize the learning process, and give our children credit (school credit AND respect) for their hard work that has advanced their own potential, whether they struggled over Latin or over life skills. The aforementioned book that somebody wanted to write, should definitely have a chapter or two about that! We did it. We are still doing it. We are classical home educators not brick and mortar school administrators. This is the homeschool difference, and we're not going to lose that, just because the conversations about education and learning have somewhat devolved recently.

@8FillTheHeart, @Farrar and others are saying that the learning goes on, for a full school day, *whatever the learning entails.* This business of 2 hours of bookwork followed by 12 hours of video games, we are NOT buying it. I'm not calling out any one poster. I haven't closely perused every post in this thread. But I have seen that description, on the WTM forums and elsewhere, usually when someone is worried about their kid's lack of ambition and his social deficits. As the conversation progresses, we learn that he does two hours of something academic, and then he plays video games because he doesn't really have interests, hobbies, or friends. I am really not going to apologize for disagreeing with that approach to raising and educating a child. 

 

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46 minutes ago, Farrar said:

First, this isn't about rigor. Education, in my view, is always about meeting a child where they are, moving the needle forward, challenging that individual child in ways that make sense for them. I do believe that more kids can have a more "rigorous" education than are given one, but some kids genuinely can't. That's fine. But saying, my kid can't access a high level education therefore education will take no time is not a logical argument to me. The goal should still be to push forward learning at whatever level a student is capable of.

I'm all about outside the box credits for high school. If you have a student who cannot realistically tackle a traditional academic schedule, then doing credits in woodshop, in auto repair, in starting a lawn mowing business, in learning consumer math, in home ec or cooking, in movie discussion, in video game design, in DM'ing role playing games, in learning babysitting skills, in whatever the heck makes sense  in expanding that kid's horizons and skills is great. That's school. And if all of this is over an inability to understand that, then I'm also dismayed because we're homeschoolers and we understand that school and textbooks are not synonymous, or at least, I would hope.

Doing a schedule where you don't do all courses each day would help a little... but I just want to break down the two hours a day myth for high school a little here. Yes, you determine your graduation requirements, but in general, kids need at minimum 6 credits a year for a total of 24 minimum credits to be called graduated. And let's assume that we're not talking about kids who are legally exempted from those requirements and allowed legally to get an alternative diploma, but rather kids who just "aren't academic" or who have learning challenges that don't rise to the level where they would exempt from those very basic requirements in a school.

Colleges and high schools still expect that most people are using some general version of a Carnegie Credits approach (as in, time spent) or that a credit represents some sense of complete information (for example, "Algebra I" while it has some variations, has a relatively agreed upon definition). This throws that out the window unless a kid is super fast in acquiring information. Except, we're not talking about kids who are super fast at acquiring information, right? So let's just assume that we're saying we're not following that. I personally feel that undermines all of us. It reinforces the idea that homeschoolers are just making up our transcripts and they don't represent anything real. Each credit should mean something - either time spent or body of knowledge acquired. But, okay, that's gone in this scenario.

With your 120 minutes a day, you could do all subjects for 20 minutes a day. Of course, with transitions, that cuts into your 20 minutes. I do not know of any high school level science labs that are seriously going to get accomplished in that frame. Watching a mini-video of one, maybe. Not the same. I don't know any kids who can realistically write a half decent paper in that time frame. I do think meaningful work on longer term projects is a good part of high school - whether these are academic like research papers or long term science projects or whether they're creative like art projects or practical like cooking or woodshop or film or coding software or maker projects. 20 minutes isn't going to give you time to make a quick lunch, much less learn a new cooking skill. And let's not even go there for academic research. So that's out. Even for something like math or foreign language, it gives you enough time to learn the new incremental thing or practice it and usually not both. So then it keeps getting chopped up and potentially not enough practice time.

Now, what if we do only one subject a day. Okay, two hours, hey, that's long enough to get a little more momentum at least. Except... now you're doing each credit less than once a week. Less. So for things like math and foreign language, there's zero continuity of practice. By the time you get around to your block of time again, it's been eight days. You've half forgotten it all, unless you've got an amazing memory... except, I think we've established that the student we're talking about isn't an academic superstar, so probably not with an amazing memory. You do now have time to write a paper for English. But then that's all you do... no reading... for more than two weeks. Same with science. Now you can easily get a real lab done and probably do the write up if you're efficient. Great. But then there's zero new content in your science course covered for more than two weeks. And if you need to seriously follow up and get feedback on your lab or your paper, that will also wait. That, or it will eat into the time of the next block the next day. Same thing with less academic credits - you get momentum with learning only to have it curtailed.

I believe kids should have free time, but what are these kids doing with all this time? Seriously? I can't in good conscience give credits for chores or a job or sitting playing video games. But I can for pleasure reading for a kid who is struggling with various issues. Read a pile of mutually agreed upon books? Look, if that's what we need, then okay. I can give credit for life skills for writing a resume and a cover letter and practicing interviews if that's what's needed. I can give credit for PE or dance or art. I can give credit for a lot of things - I'm not saying education has to be textbooks and that's it. But the idea that only two hours of credit-worthy school pursuits is happening in a teen's day? That's concerning to me! Education is the work of youth. Free time is key, yes. But free time should not be more than 12 hours a day! I don't think that's wild to say either. I don't have that much time free. I have obligations and work. Life requires things from us.

 

I don't think anyone here is recommending no more than two hours of educational activities.

My 8th and 10th graders both do math most days. Other subjects we do something of a loop schedule; I don't really count time but let's say we are going with two hours and math takes a half hour. If we do science next it could get anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half, depending on what we are doing. If it's just reading a chapter and taking notes that might be another half hour so we have an hour left. Maybe we spend that hour on foreign language. Next day start with math again, then do history. Then English. Next day is math then back to science. 

I'm not counting in transition time because that's not academic time and I don't actually schedule out a two hour block.

As for the rest of their time... They take tumbling classes. And dance classes. And martial arts. And theater. And choir. And music lessons. We're not short on credits nor on time spent learning. My sixteen year old now teaches at the martial arts dojo, I'm hoping to get the fourteen year old to a point where he can teach there to; he has to get a bunch of assistant teaching hours to earn his black belt so there is motivation--motivation that should help him practice the communication and interaction skills he desperately needs. 

They both read for pleasure every day.

Your post seems to assume that a kid who needs a less academic focus in high school is probably not a kid who can learn academics quickly. That is not the case here--my kids do mostly learn academic stuff fairly quickly. It is emotional regulation and social skills--important life stuff--that they do not learn quickly. They are healthier and happier with lots of physical activity and they need social involvement.

If I could provide all of that AND give them deep and rich academics I would. Maybe you could do so. 

I can't. I have to focus my time and resources where I see the most benefit. 

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20 minutes ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

One thing that gets lost or overlooked in the old school/new philosophies discussions is this:

We old-timers actually do know about out-of-the-box learners and special needs.

I know that I, and many other older homeschooling parents here, did not start homeschooling *just* because of religious or political bias. Did I take the opportunity to share my beliefs and opinions with my children, of course. But a common realization amongst those of my ilk is that we could have had (and sometimes did have) political reversals and religious conversions over the decades, and still kept homeschooling. We would homeschool, and we would homeschool *these* children, no matter what ideology we were operating under.

Which means we had reasons for thinking our children needed to learn outside of school. You have to understand that those reasons address all ends of all spectrums. We have profoundly gifted children, 2E children, children with dyslexia, ADHD, autism...this cadre of vintage hs'ers is not about buying the most rigorous, most official, most advanced curriculum and marching all the children through it, a grade level at a time! 

We know the standard classical curriculum. And we know how to adapt it or ditch it, as our children require. We learned how to calculate hours spent on out-of-the-box obsessions (for purposes of adding a credit to the transcript), and how to write course descriptions for courses not found in any school. More importantly, we learned how to recognize the learning process, and give our children credit (school credit AND respect) for their hard work that has advanced their own potential, whether they struggled over Latin or over life skills. The aforementioned book that somebody wanted to write, should definitely have a chapter or two about that! We did it. We are still doing it. We are classical home educators not brick and mortar school administrators. This is the homeschool difference, and we're not going to lose that, just because the conversations about education and learning have somewhat devolved recently.

@8FillTheHeart, @Farrar and others are saying that the learning goes on, for a full school day, *whatever the learning entails.* This business of 2 hours of bookwork followed by 12 hours of video games, we are NOT buying it. I'm not calling out any one poster. I haven't closely perused every post in this thread. But I have seen that description, on the WTM forums and elsewhere, usually when someone is worried about their kid's lack of ambition and his social deficits. As the conversation progresses, we learn that he does two hours of something academic, and then he plays video games because he doesn't really have interests, hobbies, or friends. I am really not going to apologize for disagreeing with that approach to raising and educating a child. 

 

But no one on this thread has recommended two hours of academics followed by video games.

 

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I have been following this thread and I don’t know that I have much to add, but I will tack on my two cents.  I joined this forum four years ago, but did not post until this fall because I needed help with the AP registration process for my daughter.  I started homeschooling around 2007 so I am not a new homeschooler, nor an old homeschooler...just middle aged in every way.  My oldest dd is a junior, my second is in 8th, then I have a 6th grader, and a 1st grader.  I joke that I started homeschooling my daughter to avoid the cesspool of middle school and my boys so we could snuggle on the couch to learn to read instead of forcing them to sit at a desk.  Really, I was pregnant with number three (due on the day of kindergarten round up) and I had a hormonal tear fest back at work after touring the school that I couldn’t send her away.  My husband said ok and the rest is history.  I feel we homeschool for academics, but we are religious as well.  I watched my sibling’s children get caught up in the incredible stress of sitting in school and then coming home and working until midnight to get all of their homework done.  I didn’t want that for my kids.  The WTM was my first homeschool book, but I quickly realized that I couldn’t do it all with multiple kids.  The Latin Centered Curriculum resonated much more with me and eventually I ended settling on Memoria Press as our basis to work from.  I love teaching myself as much as I can, but I guess I haven’t felt the need to reinvent the wheel.  I have come here for reviewing curriculum, but there is so much knowledge in past posts that I never felt the need to post new questions.  In many ways I had to avoid the forum to not become obsessed with the discussion about all the new curriculum choices...It can be easy to think the grass is always greener somewhere else.  With the onslaught of new curriculum choices on the market I guess I made the decision to hunker down and stick with something.  I have friends who homeschool at AHG and Trail Life, but none live very close to me.  Not all of them are overly academic, but no one uses any of the programs being spoken about here.  I am not on Facebook so I guess maybe I just don’t see some of these things.  Personally, I have found my people in the Memoria Press world.  They have a lovely homeschool conference each summer that is so encouraging and refreshing and thought provoking.  I don’t use their materials exclusively, but I wouldn’t miss that three day period if I can help it.

I do outsource some for high school.  My daughter loves classical languages (she studies both Latin and Greek) and I was quickly left in the dust. Also, since my children have no local academic peers I have used some online options to allow them to discuss literature with others. I aspire to do more myself and am making it further along before I have to call out for help.  At least I have more opportunities to improve coming down the pike!  I believe parents are capable of teaching high school, but I do think it is wise to know your limitations.  Personally, I have two elderly parents in town that I have needed to help in addition to homeschooling since my daughter started high school.  My goal is the best possible education for my children, and I need to make sure I am not letting the desire or perceived need to do it all get in the way of the real goal.

I know this was rambling, but I hope you know that there are many of us out there who have been lurking on these forums even if we don’t post a lot.  I greatly appreciate the wisdom from the veterans here, and it makes me sad that several of you are depressed about the state of homeschooling.

oh, and for what it’s worth, my daughter had to get a work permit last week for her new job at the library.  I had to write a statement on hours of homeschooling.  Her response,..”do we ever stop?”

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1 minute ago, maize said:

But no one on this thread has recommended two hours of academics followed by video games.

 

People have defended the idea that two hours of "school" with no follow up to that, no caveats, is plenty for a high schooler.

The schedule you describe is very light on traditional academics, but heavier on other aspects of engaged learning. School is obviously taking you significantly more than two hours. When I say that people are telling people that you can do it all in 2 hours, there's no extra explanation that, oh, that's "only" these couple of subjects and then you have to make sure your kids have an involved learning life outside of that. They're saying, don't worry, that's enough time for all of "school." If folks were on these groups saying, we do Power Homeschool and it only takes us a couple of hours most days, but then my kids are deeply involved in theater/art/sport/coding/running a business/trying to become a chef/etc. And by the way, you need to be sure you have your ducks in a row for a semi-traditional looking (if not actually very traditional) diploma and transcript and if your kid is planning on college you'll need to think about that... then that would be FINE. But they're not. They're saying, hey, don't worry, be happy, you can spend two hours on school and then worry about nothing else.

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7 minutes ago, Farrar said:

 

People have defended the idea that two hours of "school" with no follow up to that, no caveats, is plenty for a high schooler.

 

Which posts?

A few of us mentioned feeling like we didn't spend much of our own time in school actually learning. Some have discussed or own kids for whom other needs took priority over academic rigor.

I feel like there has been some projection in this thread.

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A lot of the discussion is general and about things people are seeing in person or on Facebook.  

I have two circumstances I think of involving family members who did some real borderline-negligent "homeschooling."    

This is what I would be thinking of, not anyone on this board.  

If people pop in to say "I do a lower amount of seatwork and there are extenuating circumstances," I think that is definitely a good perspective, but it is also not what people are saying they are frustrated with.  It is a side track from the main conversation.  But I think it is a good perspective and I am glad it was brought up, but it's also not what people are meaning when they say they see people recommending a minimal amount of commitment as all that is needed to homeschool.  

 

Edited by Lecka
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I feel like we have multiple discussions going on too and am getting confused. 

I think it's one thing to be against plunking a 2nd grader in front a DL program all day. It's another thing to outsource a high school class to someone like Connie who has designed a fantastic Chemistry course I couldn't make on my best day and group that in with the former. I don't think that means I am contributing to the downfall of homeschooling because I'm not teaching my high schooler ever single class myself. So this whole "real" vs ??? -- I'm not quite sure how to take that vibe that is coming through in some posts.

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I am so far from thinking about anyone on this thread....... one of the two situations I am thinking of, where someone had, in this instance, a virtual charter done online while the mom would be at work, as such an advantage and good way to do things -------- her daughter managed to hide from her for almost a year that she was not doing any work, and was in fact leaving with her boyfriend most of the day, and also hiding that from her mom.  

The mom this happened with is such a nice person, too, she did not deserve anything like this to happen to her.  But to some extent she did go along with knowing other kids' parents were doing it and thinking it must be a good idea.  

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7 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I feel like we have multiple discussions going on too and am getting confused. 

I think it's one thing to be against plunking a 2nd grader in front a DL program all day. It's another thing to outsource a high school class to someone like Connie who has designed a fantastic Chemistry course I couldn't make on my best day and group that in with the former. I don't think that means I am contributing to the downfall of homeschooling because I'm not teaching my high schooler ever single class myself. So this whole "real" vs ??? -- I'm not quite sure how to take that vibe that is coming through in some posts.

 

1. Nobody defined real homeschooling as entirely DIY.

2. Nobody said that anyone who outsources a high school chem class is contributing to the downfall of homeschooling. That's a rather hysterical straw man at which to start swinging.

I made the point that part of the seismic shift that I thought we were discussing (one topic, many aspects) is that the homeschoolers who DO teach high school at home are now freaks. Practically outcasts. That's a heckuva change. Literally nobody thinks that it's bad to outsource. Since the 1980s we have been co-op'ing and hiring people for high school courses. John Holt was the first to recommend it, if I'm going to prove this by a date. Literally the 1980s. But for people to treat you like a leper if you think you are capable of teaching Biology and Algebra (even though you've proved it multiple times, or a lot of homeschool parents do have degrees in various subjects), that is a giant shift. Which is the topic of this thread.

I also said that I've graduated a tutored student, so obviously I am not against outsourcing, when I have been the one to whom the teaching has been outsourced.

@maize, I specifically said that I was not calling out any particular poster here, regarding the two hours for high school followed by a life of video games, but that I had seen it on these forums aplenty, and in other homeschool discussions. As @Farrar and @Lecka explained, it's part of addressing the incorrect assumption that two hours of learning time is sufficient for high school. You were not quoted nor addressed, and your situation was not discussed, so there's no need to take it personally.

As far as projecting, we are addressing conversations we've witnessed and been involved in, our own personal experiences, and our personal witness as to the changes in homeschooling over the literal decades that we have homeschooled. We are combining and extrapolating, and using shorthand phrases, to make points about the topic at hand. That is not projection.

 

Edited by Lang Syne Boardie
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We outsource several things. My boys are both in Connie's chemistry class right now, for example. One of them is going to do French DE next semester because it's the cheapest option. Nothing wrong with outsourcing. My complaint is definitely not about outsourcing, but about lowest common denominator learning - which is often online, but certainly does not have to be. I also say there's nothing inherently wrong with using a pre-fab lecture+quiz model course - either for a few subjects you just need to check off and/or as a part of a larger course with added readings or experiences. Like, I'm not trying to demonize everyone who's ever used a few Thinkwell or FLVS or Acellus courses or everyone who outsources. I think there are issues with outsourcing and homeschooling that are complex, but I'm not against it by any means.

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13 minutes ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

 

1. Nobody defined real homeschooling as entirely DIY.

2. Nobody said that anyone who outsources a high school chem class is contributing to the downfall of homeschooling. That's a rather hysterical straw man at which to start swinging.

I made the point that part of the seismic shift that I thought we were discussing (one topic, many aspects) is that the homeschoolers who DO teach high school at home are now freaks. Practically outcasts. That's a heckuva change. Literally nobody thinks that it's bad to outsource. Since the 1980s we have been co-op'ing and hiring people for high school courses. John Holt was the first to recommend it, if I'm going to prove this by a date. Literally the 1980s. But for people to treat you like a leper if you think you are capable of teaching Biology and Algebra (even though you've proved it multiple times, or a lot of homeschool parents do have degrees in various subjects), that is a giant shift. Which is the topic of this thread.

 

 

Maybe it's just a difference of experiences here, because if you are talking about the boards here, then that would indicate we are the ones making other people feel like freaks who teach their high schoolers and don't outsource and I haven't seen that be the case here ever. By admission, you've been here about 5x longer than I have, so maybe it's happened at one point, but I'm not seeing where anyone it outcasting anyone on the HS boards over how things are taught. If anything there is a higher percentage of people with kids at higher/extremely high levels and who are going for highly competitive colleges scholarships etc. than regular/run of the mill kids. 

I'm not going to argue with you about it and get in a huff, I don't get the need for the tone, but whatever. It just seems like this thread has gone into some weird pitting of sides and I don't even understand who is where at this point. 

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7 minutes ago, Farrar said:

We outsource several things. My boys are both in Connie's chemistry class right now, for example. One of them is going to do French DE next semester because it's the cheapest option. Nothing wrong with outsourcing. My complaint is definitely not about outsourcing, but about lowest common denominator learning - which is often online, but certainly does not have to be. I also say there's nothing inherently wrong with using a pre-fab lecture+quiz model course - either for a few subjects you just need to check off and/or as a part of a larger course with added readings or experiences. Like, I'm not trying to demonize everyone who's ever used a few Thinkwell or FLVS or Acellus courses or everyone who outsources. I think there are issues with outsourcing and homeschooling that are complex, but I'm not against it by any means.

Fwiw, I wasn't taking anything you said to be anti-outsourcing. I originally saw this as a K-8 thread and thought that the conversation was rotating around those grades levels, but it shifted. 

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4 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Fwiw, I wasn't taking anything you said to be anti-outsourcing. I originally saw this as a K-8 thread and thought that the conversation was rotating around those grades levels, but it shifted. 

I've come around a little on the elementary outsourcing. I was worried about it, but I'm seeing more and more positives, just like for the upper grades. But I see almost no positives in the people who park their kids in front of T4L or whatever and call it kindergarten and think they did their job as a homeschooler. And I feel much the same about parking a high schooler there too, honestly.

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1 hour ago, maize said:

Which posts?

A few of us mentioned feeling like we didn't spend much of our own time in school actually learning. Some have discussed or own kids for whom other needs took priority over academic rigor.

I feel like there has been some projection in this thread.

Yeah, I went back and read through the posts and found a few posts by one member that sees how it's possible depending on goals and kids. 

Most of the posters supporting 2 hour high school were on FB and I've already said my opinion about that.

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53 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I feel like we have multiple discussions going on too and am getting confused. 

I think it's one thing to be against plunking a 2nd grader in front a DL program all day. It's another thing to outsource a high school class to someone like Connie who has designed a fantastic Chemistry course I couldn't make on my best day and group that in with the former. I don't think that means I am contributing to the downfall of homeschooling because I'm not teaching my high schooler ever single class myself. So this whole "real" vs ??? -- I'm not quite sure how to take that vibe that is coming through in some posts.

 

31 minutes ago, Farrar said:

We outsource several things. My boys are both in Connie's chemistry class right now, for example. One of them is going to do French DE next semester because it's the cheapest option. Nothing wrong with outsourcing. My complaint is definitely not about outsourcing, but about lowest common denominator learning - which is often online, but certainly does not have to be. I also say there's nothing inherently wrong with using a pre-fab lecture+quiz model course - either for a few subjects you just need to check off and/or as a part of a larger course with added readings or experiences. Like, I'm not trying to demonize everyone who's ever used a few Thinkwell or FLVS or Acellus courses or everyone who outsources. I think there are issues with outsourcing and homeschooling that are complex, but I'm not against it by any means.

I had to look up this awesome chem class since mine will be starting high school soon. $650 is way out of my price range. 😭 That's probably how this whole cheap online outsource thing starts. I'd end up using Thinkwell or some other less expensive curriculum and then supplement. I don't use anything as-is though. I'm always adding way too much to my plan so we have plenty of resources to choose from.

Edited by Plum
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1 minute ago, Plum said:

 

I had to look up this awesome chem class since mine will be starting high school soon. $650 is way out of my price range. 😭 That's probably how this whole cheap online outsource thing starts. I'd probably use Thinkwell or some other less expensive curriculum and then supplement. I don't use anything as-is though. I'm always adding way too much to my plan so we have plenty of resources to choose from.

I think interaction comes at a price. Sometimes we can get it for cheap (like in places were DE is heavily subsidized or free). But usually I think it's true that you can spend money or time and that's the message that newbies don't want to hear and increasingly old school folks don't want to accept.

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4 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I think interaction comes at a price. Sometimes we can get it for cheap (like in places were DE is heavily subsidized or free). But usually I think it's true that you can spend money or time and that's the message that newbies don't want to hear and increasingly old school folks don't want to accept.

Yes. I see many hours spent researching and going outside the box because the box is too expensive! I have no stipends or discounted options. DE is only free if I go through a charter in which case they would need accredited classes to transfer. It all snowballs so quickly and there's no going back. 

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18 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I think interaction comes at a price. Sometimes we can get it for cheap (like in places were DE is heavily subsidized or free). But usually I think it's true that you can spend money or time and that's the message that newbies don't want to hear and increasingly old school folks don't want to accept.

This is very true in my experience, and is a lot of why I have outsourced as much as i have for high school. There are literally no other homeschooled high schoolers where I live except those in Classical Conversations- at least that I've managed to find- and CC is not our forte. My dd very much gets a lot out of the online interaction on these live classes she's taken over her high school years, because otherwise we could go weeks without her "talking" to another teen. She has PS friends, but let's be honest- once the school year gets going those friends are very much wrapped up in another world of their own with school events/band competitions/games etc. etc. and going to public high school and being homeschooled for high school are two vastly different experiences, so it's been really, really nice to have other teens with similar interests and life experiences for her in these classes over the years, whre she doesn't feel like the outsider, and with some of which she's gone from year to year "with" and made friendships- much the same way I feel like I have here on the boards. We don't live in a suburb where she can pop over and see a friend easily, so we made the choice to spend the money to get the interaction. Otherwise I think her high school experience would have been really isolating- the socialization part has been a real concern for me over the years because we are not in a homeschool heavy area by any means, That, combined with not being on FB is probably part of why I don't see some of what y'all are seeing to feel so discouraged about things. I see awesome outsourced classes like those for Connie or Jetta with long waiting lists, and I guess from that improperly generalized that those things were growing in number and that we had more high quality options than ever before. But again- I am talking high school specific at this point. 

Maybe that's why its hard to discuss because I know reasons for outsourcing vary from person to person, as does quality of outsourcing. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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2 hours ago, Farrar said:

People have defended the idea that two hours of "school" with no follow up to that, no caveats, is plenty for a high schooler.

It's possible that I've missed something, but I didn't think anyone was arguing that a two hour school day would to serve as the basis of an excellent high school education.  Speaking for myself, I know that my argument is only that it would be possible to do in 10-15 hours per week at home what is done by average students in regular classes in school (so working to a C level in non-honors classes).  That is not the same as providing a rigorous, college prep experience where the student works to mastery, and it isn't the same as providing the sort of education I think that all students should be entitled to.  But it is how things are.  

Of course, as I write this, I am realizing that I am thinking about how long it would take my son (who is highly gifted) and me (a veteran homeschooler who knows how to be efficient with my students' time) to do these things.  People in different circumstances would likely take much longer.

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On 11/11/2019 at 7:13 AM, 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......)

 

Me too, but I have consistently been berated when I've said as much on Facebook. Usually accompanied by some kind of rant about how I don't know their kid, who is apparently especially gifted. 

If my (gifted, btw) dd14 is getting her work done in two hours per day, I'm going to be looking for some way to better challenge her.

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6 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

It didn't "just happen." Posters were here bc this was the gathering place for those with high academic standards. We didn't use the same curriculum or even teach the same courses, but we shared the same objective of being the best teachers we could be in order to help our children reach their maximum potential.  Academics was the focus. Pushing and encouraging each other to be better teachers with clearly formed objectives was the norm. We held each other to a higher standard which was outside of ps definitions or outcomes. We were homeschooling bc we wanted something better/deeper intellectually for our children. Goodness, "draconian homeschoolers united" was an actual motto amg the majority of the high school posters.

In more recent yrs, this was my refuge against the wave of mediocrity that surrounded me IRL.  ... but let's face it, everyone wants to talk to others who share their values and goals and are on on a similar intellectual level. ...but the philosophical academic support for me to stretch myself to be the best teacher I can be on a daily basis is gone.

8, there are still many of us here that share your vision. I too keep looking for the deep conversations we used to have here.  What I am seeing is that newbies don't ask the right questions -- they just ask about curriculum or outsourcing or time in seat questions.  Where are the big threads like Depth vs Breadth?  So, if the oldtimers need to be pushed and challenged by each other, we need to create these threads ourselves. We cannot rely on the newbies anymore.  But if we start these deep threads, they will come. 

 

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2 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I don't think that means I am contributing to the downfall of homeschooling because I'm not teaching my high schooler ever single class myself. So this whole "real" vs ??? -- I'm not quite sure how to take that vibe that is coming through in some posts.

I will take this one on as my shorter post might have been interpreted that way. 

I think that we as high school educators need to evaluate each of our children as individuals and ask what they need to move to the next level. Sometimes a kid needs external requirements to learn independence, sometimes a kid needs deep time-consuming discussions about literature, sometimes a kid needs detailed careful commentary about their work, and sometimes a kid needs more freedom to find their own path. Each choice we make should be made for a reason, and although occasionally that reason can be easy for parent or get-it-done course for a child, that should NOT be the overriding approach of a rigorous homeschool highschool program.

Some examples: My older boy needed outside math courses as he got to a higher and higher level, so we outsourced with AoPS and then later to the university.  Outsourcing was wonderful for him and for me, because I just could NOT keep up with the speed of his learning. But when we found the courses were WAY too easy, he quit taking them. They taught him time management and meeting external requirements, but they also taught him that outsourcing for his best thing was a waste of time. At that point he needed to do courses on his own, and my role was to find 2 things 1) resources, and 2) people to answer his questions. I also had to do 2 more things to support this independent work 1) set a reasonable but flexible schedule, and 2) check up on his progress on a daily or alternating day basis. The Point of this example: every experience was chosen for a reason and then we adapted as he needed different things. We didn't say, oh well, the university courses are too easy, but that is the best we can do so we will make do.  That might have been ok for something he didn't care so much about, but it was NOT ok for his best thing. 

Example 2: my younger boy has dysgraphia. There was no text-based or online that could have accomplished what I have accomplished through LONG diligent face-to-face work with him.  2 hours per day teaching, mentoring, struggling for years and years. Sure I could have said "oh, my boy has dysgraphia" and just accepted it. But through long persistent work, *together* we have dug him out of a deep hole that was impacting every aspect of his education.  Have I gotten everything right? HELL NO. I have written about all my failures on the learning challenges board.  But the point is that *I* am the educator, *I* make the choices.  But the other thing to know is that because he works so hard on his *worst* thing, I let him take an easy-pass on other subjects.  The goal is balance.  For Literature, he is doing a survey of the different types of fantasy.  Certainly not the War and Peace that my older boy was reading at this age.  But for my younger boy, he needs to do something easy after doing all the hard work on writing. But here is the thing, I am *choosing*. I am not just letting marketing ploys of 'oh we can fix it' or 'oh, homeschooling is easy', or 'just buy this program and your kid can be independent.' What does he need that is NOT taught by me? He needs courses that drive him to succeed in things that don't require writing. Violin so that he can learn to meet other's expectations and know that it is not just his mother with high expectations, and drama because he needs to learn to talk in public, to be a leader, to work in a group. I choose to outsource for this child what he needs outsourced.  He cannot write, so outsourcing courses with a written component would never work, but yet he still needs the experience of outsourcing because he tends to want to slide by.

So for every kid there is a balance. Some stuff should be as challenging as they can handle, which clearly depends on the child. And some stuff should be easy so that a child can build independence and confidence. You use outsourcing to meet specific goals you have for your child. But the entire program must be planned holistically, and carefully adjusted as a child grows and learns. That is how you make a great education.

Ruth in NZ  

Edited by lewelma
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29 minutes ago, lewelma said:

8, there are still many of us here that share your vision. I too keep looking for the deep conversations we used to have here.  What I am seeing is that newbies don't ask the right questions -- they just ask about curriculum or outsourcing or time in seat questions.  Where are the big threads like Depth vs Breadth?  So, if the oldtimers need to be pushed and challenged by each other, we need to create these threads ourselves. We cannot rely on the newbies anymore.  But if we start these deep threads, they will come. 

 

Speaking as one more on the I guess sort of newbie side I can say for myself, I don't ask some of these questions because they've already been discussed so extensively in archived threads that it seems like rehashing old ground. So when I ask them, I ask them on other forums some of the time- especially earlier on- as I will say those other forums seem have a different......temperament on replies- that might be a good way to put it. There is a lot of blunt honesty here, and that can be really good, but it can also be really intimidating, especially to insecure parents who are new to it all. This can be a hard group to wade into at times. So yes, Veterans- start the threads if you have them. Seeing as this one is already 4 pages for a program I'd never even heard of and just clicked on as this week is a travel/off week, it's been quite engaging LOL and people certainly are seeming to participate. 

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I just wanted to thank everyone for this thread.  I needed it today - you can't know how much.  I haven't been on the boards much lately (can someone please, please create a functional time-turner??) but the fact that there exists a place online where people are craving deep philosophical discussions about education (not to mention referencing ZPD and Harlow's monkey casually (which is FANTASTIC, by the way)) makes me so happy.

I don't know if I have much to add or too much to add, if that makes sense. 🙂  I sometimes forget about the K-8 board as I don't have a student in this age range and don't primarily teach this age range but if these types of deeper conversations are going to be happening here, I'm going to need to hang out here more often.

Thank you.  Truly.

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4 hours ago, Farrar said:

 

Colleges and high schools still expect that most people are using some general version of a Carnegie Credits approach (as in, time spent) or that a credit represents some sense of complete information (for example, "Algebra I" while it has some variations, has a relatively agreed upon definition). This throws that out the window unless a kid is super fast in acquiring information. Except, we're not talking about kids who are super fast at acquiring information, right?

 

I believe kids should have free time, but what are these kids doing with all this time? Seriously? I can't in good conscience give credits for chores or a job or sitting playing video games. But I can for pleasure reading for a kid who is struggling with various issues. Read a pile of mutually agreed upon books? Look, if that's what we need, then okay. I can give credit for life skills for writing a resume and a cover letter and practicing interviews if that's what's needed. I can give credit for PE or dance or art. I can give credit for a lot of things - I'm not saying education has to be textbooks and that's it. But the idea that only two hours of credit-worthy school pursuits is happening in a teen's day? That's concerning to me! Education is the work of youth. Free time is key, yes. But free time should not be more than 12 hours a day! I don't think that's wild to say either. I don't have that much time free. I have obligations and work. Life requires things from us.

 

I actually WAS talking about kids who are super fast at acquiring information 🙂  I was talking about the kinds of gifted kids, perhaps/often 2E who end up being highschool drop outs who might be best serve by a short and sweet make sure we covered the basics approach and the rest of their time spent in some other productive way - reading for pleasure, working a job, starting a dog walking business, playing a sport or instrument, volunteering, etc. For them, going by skills/knowledge acquired instead of time served could mean they can do 2 hours a day of bookwork. They may not write an essay a week, maybe an essay a year, but they can do it without struggle and produce a decent essay. 

Again, not saying that is ideal, but possible. 

Also with the caveat that I was NOT including pleasure reading, nature documentaries, listening to public radio, discussing current events with a parent, volunteer work, sports practice, etc etc as part of that two hours. 

And most importantly I should say that if one does end up in that 2 hours a day of academics path it means MORE intense parenting/teaching/interaction/discussion is needed, not less. Which I'm sure isn't what the parents saying this on facebook are thinking. 

3 hours ago, maize said:

I don't think anyone here is recommending no more than two hours of educational activities.

My 8th and 10th graders both do math most days. Other subjects we do something of a loop schedule; I don't really count time but let's say we are going with two hours and math takes a half hour. If we do science next it could get anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half, depending on what we are doing. If it's just reading a chapter and taking notes that might be another half hour so we have an hour left. Maybe we spend that hour on foreign language. Next day start with math again, then do history. Then English. Next day is math then back to science. 

I'm not counting in transition time because that's not academic time and I don't actually schedule out a two hour block.

As for the rest of their time... They take tumbling classes. And dance classes. And martial arts. And theater. And choir. And music lessons. We're not short on credits nor on time spent learning. My sixteen year old now teaches at the martial arts dojo, I'm hoping to get the fourteen year old to a point where he can teach there to; he has to get a bunch of assistant teaching hours to earn his black belt so there is motivation--motivation that should help him practice the communication and interaction skills he desperately needs. 

They both read for pleasure every day.

Your post seems to assume that a kid who needs a less academic focus in high school is probably not a kid who can learn academics quickly. That is not the case here--my kids do mostly learn academic stuff fairly quickly. It is emotional regulation and social skills--important life stuff--that they do not learn quickly. They are healthier and happier with lots of physical activity and they need social involvement.

If I could provide all of that AND give them deep and rich academics I would. Maybe you could do so. 

I can't. I have to focus my time and resources where I see the most benefit. 

Yes, exactly. 

I also think that many are assuming compliant children - mine was not. I could only force so much, so I had to pick and choose. 

A LOT of high school drop outs are kids in the gifted range. Not just because they are bored and would happily stay in school if given more or harder work. But because schoolwork in general doesn't interest them - they have zero interest in checking off boxes. So for that group of kids the choice may be either to have them say forget it and not check any and drop out, or to figure out how to most efficiently check those boxes so they don't just walk away entirely. Which as I said above, means more parent intensive stuff usually - tons of time spent trying to figure out how to best cover the material in the least amount of time, etc. 

And it doesn't mean the parent isn't thinking hard about big ideas - just that those big ideas are more holistic and less academically focused. More about how to create emotionally healthy well rounded people - and that might look very different than how the parent envisioned things. 

Edited by Ktgrok
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On 11/11/2019 at 9:46 AM, Farrar said:

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.

I would TOTALLY get in on something like that!

And I hope you "old-timers" don't give up on us all completely. Like others have said, I am the only person I know IRL homeschooling high school without outsourcing the whole shebang. The first question we always get when we say we homeschool is: which co-op do you do?

Yeah, none. We don't do co-ops. I have found the ones locally to be entirely unsatisfactory in terms of both academic and social output, but 8's book Homeschooling at the Helm was a literal game-changer for me in terms of shaping our approach to my students. We started doing things our own way years ago, and we haven't looked back since.

I need -- seriously NEED -- the kind of interaction that has been here in the past, and continues to pop up on occasion. And I hope that 8 and Lang Syne and lewelma and others will continue to share their wisdom here, because we sure as heck can't find it anywhere else.

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I just got an email from Calvert Academy advertising their services. Weird considering I've never even been to their website.

Quote

With the benefits of K-12 courses, live teacher support, and world-class accreditation, Calvert Academy is your answer to homeschooling with confidence this year, and you can get it all for as low as $229/month.

 

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1 hour ago, lewelma said:

8, there are still many of us here that share your vision. I too keep looking for the deep conversations we used to have here.  What I am seeing is that newbies don't ask the right questions -- they just ask about curriculum or outsourcing or time in seat questions.  Where are the big threads like Depth vs Breadth?  So, if the oldtimers need to be pushed and challenged by each other, we need to create these threads ourselves. We cannot rely on the newbies anymore.  But if we start these deep threads, they will come. 

This!

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