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The New “Calvert”?

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36 minutes ago, Plum said:

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

 

Google sold you out, thanks to this thread!! Calvert's metrics are going to shoot up and be skewed for the month because of this discussion. 

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

I also think that many are assuming compliant children

I had promised myself that I was not going to get sucked back into posting in this thread, but I want to respond to this in order for my POV to be clear.  Anyone who thinks I have raised a houseful of compliant neurotypical children should be/have been a fly on my wall over the yrs.  My Aspie was so violent during puberty that one therapist's actual suggestion was for us to relinquish custody of him to the state so that the state would fund all of his therapies and med trials.  (The suggestion that my POV has been formed by compliant children, um, not just no...…)

We have 3 dyslexic children, one so severely so that I have been to by 2 reading specialists that if he had been in their schools he would have been labeled and pigeon-holed in a way that he would have never had access to accelerated track courses bc they have been told that kids do not ever progress from non-readers to advanced students as late as 5th and 6th grade.  Getting him to read was a labor of love similar to what Ruth described about her ds with dysgraphia.  I met him every single day where he was.  When he was 10 yrs old I was reading him his algebra book bc he couldn't read it but he could do the math.  He ended up graduating from college with a 4.0 GPA and is now a grad student at Berkeley.  When he was 10, I despaired whether or not he would ever be able to read and write on a high school level.

I also have 3 kids with anxiety.  My aspie is disabled by his anxiety.  My current 12th grader's anxiety is not as bad as his, but it does limit what energy she has to function.  She only considered colleges where she could live at home b/c she knew her limitations meant she couldn't handle all day interactions and have no time to decompress and breathe without stress.

All that said, my opinion does not change.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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5 hours ago, Farrar said:

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.

 

Farrar, I think the thing you are missing is how students can acquire transferable skills.  My older ds did not write a single paper in 8th or 9th grade, not for English or History.  He was a poor writer at the beginning of 8th grade (at least a year or 2 behind), but basically refused to write because there was MATH to do. I was pulling my hair out, and had many conversations with my dh about what to do, and in the end we did not feel it was worth it to destroy my relationship with ds to pull a luke warm paper out of him. He was still reading hours of high level literature, so we decided to ignore his poor writing skills for those years. So you can imagine my surprise to find that when he was assessed in 10th grade for the National NZ English Exam, he was an advanced writer for English - top 10% for 11th graders and he was in 10th grade. Um, like how do you advance 5 years in 2 when you are not writing at all?!?!?!  But yet he was. He was writing math proofs.  Piles and piles of them for AoPS. These were page long, logically organized, properly spelled and punctuated math proofs graded with feedback by mathematicians.  Writing math proofs directly translated into writing literary analysis.  

So, for my ds he saved a ton of time by basically doing two things at once - doing his Math was also doing his English.

Edited by lewelma
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29 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I had promised myself that I was not going to get sucked back into posting in this thread, but I want to respond to this in order for my POV to be clear.  Anyone who thinks I have raised a houseful of compliant neurotypical children should be/have been a fly on my wall over the yrs.  My Aspie was so violent during puberty that one therapist's actual suggestion was for us to relinquish custody of him to the state so that the state would fund all of his therapies and med trials.  (The suggestion that my POV has been formed by compliant children, um, not just no...…)

We have 3 dyslexic children, one so severely so that I have been to by 2 reading specialists that if he had been in their schools he would have been labeled and pigeon-holed in a way that he would have never had access to accelerated track courses bc they have been told that kids do not ever progress from non-readers to advanced students as late as 5th and 6th grade.  Getting him to read was a labor of love similar to what Ruth described about her ds with dysgraphia.  I met him every single day where he was.  When he was 10 yrs old I was reading him his algebra book bc he couldn't read it but he could do the math.  He ended up graduating from college with a 4.0 GPA and is now a grad student at Berkeley.  When he was 10, I despaired whether or not he would ever be able to read and write on a high school level.

I also have 3 kids with anxiety.  My aspie is disabled by his anxiety.  My current 12th grader's anxiety is not as bad as his, but it does limit what energy she has to function.  She only considered colleges where she could live at home b/c she knew her limitations meant she couldn't handle all day interactions and have no time to decompress and breathe without stress.

All that said, my opinion does not change.

 

Some of your posts about your aspie are actually among the influences that have led me away from academic rigor with my high anxiety kids. Your child was fine with a rigorous homeschool experience, but that experience could not prepare him to face life after school.

My husband handled academics well, through high school and college and graduate school. He has been deeply disabled by mental illness when it comes to functioning in the adult world and has required significant support to get through. I have a sister who was always an academic superstar but barely made it through her teen years alive because of mental health struggles. There is so much more family background, so much history with my own children.

I'm not saying my path is a better one--I really don't know. I'm walking into the dark. Maybe though you can at least understand how I might prioritize things other than academic rigor for my children.

Not because academic rigor isn't a valuable priority but because I am not able to make everything a priority.

Edited by maize
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42 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I had promised myself that I was not going to get sucked back into posting in this thread, but I want to respond to this in order for my POV to be clear.  Anyone who thinks I have raised a houseful of compliant neurotypical children should be/have been a fly on my wall over the yrs.  My Aspie was so violent during puberty that one therapist's actual suggestion was for us to relinquish custody of him to the state so that the state would fund all of his therapies and med trials.  (The suggestion that my POV has been formed by compliant children, um, not just no...…)

We have 3 dyslexic children, one so severely so that I have been to by 2 reading specialists that if he had been in their schools he would have been labeled and pigeon-holed in a way that he would have never had access to accelerated track courses bc they have been told that kids do not ever progress from non-readers to advanced students as late as 5th and 6th grade.  Getting him to read was a labor of love similar to what Ruth described about her ds with dysgraphia.  I met him every single day where he was.  When he was 10 yrs old I was reading him his algebra book bc he couldn't read it but he could do the math.  He ended up graduating from college with a 4.0 GPA and is now a grad student at Berkeley.  When he was 10, I despaired whether or not he would ever be able to read and write on a high school level.

I also have 3 kids with anxiety.  My aspie is disabled by his anxiety.  My current 12th grader's anxiety is not as bad as his, but it does limit what energy she has to function.  She only considered colleges where she could live at home b/c she knew her limitations meant she couldn't handle all day interactions and have no time to decompress and breathe without stress.

All that said, my opinion does not change.

I guess for me, it was not worth violence and melt downs and anxiety and shutting down to have a kid write a paper when without all that he was able to write well enough to eventually get A's on his community college papers. And that is what would have happened if I tried - I know because I DID try. Instead, we made sur ehe could write a paper but didn't make him write lots of them. We made sure he could write up a lab report, but didn't require a bunch of them, or a years worth.  Knowing he could was enough. It had to be. 

So that's what I mean by compliant - as in able to convince the kid to do it without world war III or to the detriment of anyone's mental health. 

Edited by Ktgrok
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As I said above, I find that some of the deepest conversations that I have in real life are with homeschoolers with kids with learning disabilities.  I have come to believe that this is because the standard programs don't work for their kids.  That they have to think deeply about how their ideal education or even an average education has to be altered to be implemented. They have to make the hard choices. They have to weigh the benefits of certain ideals with possible negative consequences. They have to decide how resilient their kids are to working a way that their brain is not designed to work. They have to balance shoring up weaknesses with letting strengths run. These choices are incredibly difficult to make, and it is very easy to second guess your self as you wander in the dark.  No one can actually tell you what the ideal education is for your unique child, and that has been more scary to me than empowering.

 

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50 minutes ago, maize said:

 

Some of your posts about your aspie are actually among the influences that have led me away from academic rigor with my high anxiety kids. Your child was fine with a rigorous homeschool experience, but that experience could not prepare him to face life after school.

My husband handled academics well, through high school and college and graduate school. He has been deeply disabled by mental illness when it comes to functioning in the adult world and has required significant support to get through. I have a sister who was always an academic superstar but barely made it through her teen years alive because of mental health struggles. There is so much more family background, so much history with my own children.

I'm not saying my path is a better one--I really don't know. I'm walking into the dark. Maybe though you can at least understand how I might prioritize things other than academic rigor for my children.

I have never used the words academic rigor in this thread. Deliberate appropriate education is my concern. 

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15 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I have never used the words academic rigor in this thread. Deliberate appropriate education is my concern. 

 

I think we can agree on the concept, though we may still disagree on the potential boundaries of that concept.

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It was Regentrude that convinced me that my older ds was doing way more work than I thought. I was only counting seat time - so 3 hours on all core classes 5 days a week (no weekends) and 2 hours of competition math. I would mention the hours of reading he did at night, but I never counted them in his 'hours.'  Regentrude helped me to see that there was a lot of learning happening in his reading, and in the end I created courses for his transcript out of these hours - Contemporary World Problems, Philosophy, Economics of Inequality, American History in a worldwide context, Paleontology,  Russian literature, and Postmodern literature. Basically, I came to believe that he was schooly in his STEM courses and unschooly in his humanities/Social Sciences courses. 

So when people are talking 2 hours a day and then saying but we do this this and this.  It might be that their kids do much more but are only counting the school-type work. Work dictated and organized by adults.  

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I'm hesitant to wade in here, and only partly because I'm a little confused by all that this thread has encompassed. But as a relative newbie, I wanted to speak to the discouragement some of you experienced homeschoolers are mentioning. I apologize in advance for the rambling. Late pregnancy insomnia has set in and I'm no longer firing on all cylinders. (Plus my toddler is distracted and I'm taking advantage, so I'm typing fast on my phone. 😁)

I have 4 kids, with our 5th due the end of the month. I discovered homeschooling from the first edition of TWTM and the reprint of CM's Home Education series that the Andreolas did. All of this was a random pick up from my local library when I was trying to find actual things to *do* with this first baby of mine, especially since I already had a second on the way. My dd was 8 or 9 months old and I just literally didn't know what to do with her, but I knew there had to be more to this parenting thing than Baby Einstein and Mommy and Me classes. As a lifelong book nerd, I turned to the library, and God put a calling on my heart to educate this kid, and any other kids He gave me, myself. He promised to show me how and lead the way, and I believed Him. I still do. So from the beginning I was a religious homeschooler, which is so unpopular a view that I don't share that with many anymore because of the backlash.

Later, as I read more and became more educated myself, I became much more of a philosophical homeschooler. I moved away from the idea of "school at home" and began to dream of how we could make our lifestyle one of learning and growing together. I had 3 kids by this point, with the oldest being just 3 1/2. 

I had a couple of obstacles in my way. One was my own education, or lack of one. I have a troubled background, and I was in such a bad place by 9th grade that my mother pulled me out to "homeschool" me. Except she was in a bad place herself, and she didn't really do anything with me. I figured out what I needed to know, and God has been good to me, but I'm well aware of the limitations in my life because of a less than stellar education. This might make me a better and more passionate teacher, but it's also something I don't talk about much because to many people it means, "What the heck do you think you're doing, teaching your own kids? You're inept! You don't have even a high school education yourself!"

The second challenge was my husband. For years, because of my lack of formal education and because of his own hang ups with education (he's likely at least somewhat dyslexic and possibly on the spectrum, and he struggled mightily with school - the fact that he graduated at all *and* managed to attain his electrical license is testament to his high intellect and determination, but he's just now at 40 years old beginning to believe he's maybe not stupid), he thought school was best left to the experts. He's fully supportive now, even if our reasons differ, but it was a long road to get here.

I say all of this to underline what I really chimed in to say: If it wasn't for you experienced homeschoolers, I never would have had the courage to do this myself. Please don't be discouraged. The vast majority of people may look for easy, quick, hands-off, or whatever, but there are still so many of us that take seriously the education and development of our children. If it wasn't for the books written by pioneer homeschoolers, and for places like this forum where I could read about things I didn't know, so I could then learn them for myself and thus benefit my kids with that knowledge, my kids would be struggling along in a school environment that did no favors for either of their parents and, from all I can see locally, has only deteriorated in the fifteen years since I was supposed to graduate. I know what it means to pursue knowledge and own my education. I know how to help my kids learn those skills each day, and how to model it for them. I know how to find materials to facilitate learning, and how to demonstrate a *life* of learning. I know WHY I homeschool, and what education I want for my kids. I could go on and on. And the truth is, without your willingness to share and converse and even challenge, I wouldn't be here. My kids wouldn't have the education they've had so far. I wouldn't know them as well or be as involved a parent. I'm nowhere near done, and I still need the community of deep, committed thinkers to learn from and bounce ideas off of. Don't be discouraged. Don't go away. Thank you for all you do.

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On 10/29/2019 at 12:37 AM, Paradox5 said:

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

https://www.calverthomeschool.com

Ok. I'm going to try something crazy radical here and ask if we can all please get back to the original question?

Seeing as though I've never even heard of this curriculum until recently, I would love love love to hear how the new differs from the old. Can someone compare these for me?

Edited by Servant4Christ
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38 minutes ago, Servant4Christ said:

Ok. I'm going to try something crazy radical here and ask if we can all please get back to the original question?

Seeing as though I've never even heard of this curriculum until recently, I would love love love to hear how the new differs from the old. Can someone compare these for me?

 

Old: Highly respected. Oldest distance learning school in the US at over 150 yrs old (I believe.). used BOOKS printed on paper. Taught phonics. Classics were included. Followed an almost classical style. Written lesson plan books. Many courses/books were written by The Calvert School staff over 100 yrs.. Most supplies included. Truely a complete education. Loved the Calvert Math. It was one of the only ones to work even for a short time for my oldest math struggler. I originally went over there to buy the PreK for Captain. I had used it with my other boys and remembered it being fun and age appropriate. I'm so so sad it is gone. Stupid-head expensive, though.

New: K-2 secular Lifepacs. Does not include phonics. I can't say anything more because I have not seen them in real life, though The Homeschool Store here in Houston carries them. From samples, stick to CLE. 

3rd-12th: ALL online. no real books. Read a screen and take multiple choice quizzes. Not a lot of writing. It isn;t BAD. It is just such a LONG way from what was Calvert that it doesn't deserve to be calling itself by that name.

The rep I talked to tried to tell me Calvert just took all their material and turned into a digital format but it was all the same original Calvert material. 😂Maybe someone who hadn't used the original would be fooled by that.

Is it a BAD choice? No. Is it the way I personally want my kids to be educated? No. Does that mean someone who for whatever reason chooses to do so has 'sold out', isn;t doing what is best for their child, or is a terrible parent and their kid will grow up resentful and unprepared? Of course not. The path is not the same for everyone and does not have to be.

Y'all have taken my thought which was "Wow! This is shocking! Crazy, isn't it?" and turned it into a debate and slam of others choices. This was NOT my intent. I am ashamed I even started this thread now. Remember, we all would not be here on these boards if we weren't trying our best to educate our kids in WHATEVER form that takes. Let's keep encourging each other and stop discourging each other or shaming for the choices we make.

And THAT"S ALL FOLKS!! 😋

 

 

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I had the K level of the old Kindergarten. yes, it was SUPER expensive - I remember I was on a payment plan in fact! 

I remember there was a lovely math book, phonics book, letter flashcards, a poetry book, handwriting book, arts and crafts,  lesson plans, etc plus a whole bunch of supplies like manila paper, brass paper fastener brads, various clips, pencils, rubber bands, etc - everything needed for the various crafts. It was VERY much getting a "private school in a box". Very rigorous, but age appropriate. Very school at home. We even had a pennant with the Calvert name/logo to put on our wall and a little teddy bear wearing a Calvert t-shirt. 

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I posted a spin-off thread, I hope some will come over and discuss. I'd especially love to hear from 8FillTheHeart and other experienced parents/homeschoolers.

 

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13 hours ago, Servant4Christ said:

Ok. I'm going to try something crazy radical here and ask if we can all please get back to the original question?

Seeing as though I've never even heard of this curriculum until recently, I would love love love to hear how the new differs from the old. Can someone compare these for me?

 

adding to what a few others said:  Calvert business was sold.  Divisions were spun off.  Homeschool division for grades 3-12 no longer have an in house made "calvert", but instead are using the alpha omega product called Monarch (or ignitia when used by a school) or as the  secular version  which is called odyseyware).     doesn't really compare/contrast the content like the other people have already done, but wanted to mention again the business side of the change in case that was missed way back in the thread.  But if you're interested in what the content in the new is like, check out samples of monarch from alpha omega.   it's all made and published by glynlyon.  calvert just uses the secular edition. very different product now.  imagine the difference from a restaurant that made its own bread fresh daily stopping that and now sells some other bakery's loaves that aren't.

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On 11/12/2019 at 3:02 PM, Plum said:

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

 

 

I got one as well.  But it was in connection with a magazine I used to subscribe and am still on their list. what is that, third party ads?  At first it looks like from calvert directly but it wasn't.  Not saying that was the case for you.  Saying that was the case for me.

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2 hours ago, maize said:

I posted a spin-off thread, I hope some will come over and discuss. I'd especially love to hear from 8FillTheHeart and other experienced parents/homeschoolers.

 

Having a spin-off thread is a GREAT idea for those who want to continue that conversation. There were some interesting thoughts and ideas being voiced. Thank you!

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3 hours ago, maize said:

I posted a spin-off thread, I hope some will come over and discuss. I'd especially love to hear from 8FillTheHeart and other experienced parents/homeschoolers.

 

I wouldn't expect it. Your conversations about us* in your "Ignore" thread have been visible in new posts. I think the experienced parents/homeschoolers who participated in this thread will not care to continue the discussion, lest we see ourselves discussed again as shocking, shameful, judgmental and out of touch.

You might have noticed in THIS thread that we have indeed heard that response a-plenty lately, just for pointing out that a shallow, multiple choice education is not good (whether ACE Paces workbooks or a shiny new computer program). Our entire point was that nobody used to debate that question. Things change. There are half a dozen people here who might appreciate our experience and perspective, and I appreciate their saying so, but a far greater percentage in today's homeschooling community do NOT.

I am not saying that we always need to be agreed with, or revered. Again, as we said in THIS thread, we have all done our share of very, very out-of-the-box homeschooling. We had the humility to do that. We had the wisdom to put child over ideals. There's no ivory tower here - we could probably teach a few lessons about how to be flexible. That said, our approaches and experiences are not fashionable anymore, and we don't like being gossiped about, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of us take a very, very long break.

 

*I am referring to the original posts, not the current edited versions.

Edited by Lang Syne Boardie
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46 minutes ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

I wouldn't expect it. Your conversations about us* in your "Ignore" thread have been visible in new posts. I think the experienced parents/homeschoolers who participated in this thread will not care to continue the discussion, lest we see ourselves discussed again as shocking, shameful, judgmental and out of touch.

You might have noticed in THIS thread that we have indeed heard that response a-plenty lately, just for pointing out that a shallow, multiple choice education is not good (whether ACE Paces workbooks or a shiny new computer program). Our entire point was that nobody used to debate that question. Things change. There are half a dozen people here who might appreciate our experience and perspective, and I appreciate their saying so, but a far greater percentage in today's homeschooling community do NOT.

I am not saying that we always need to be agreed with, or revered. Again, as we said in THIS thread, we have all done our share of very, very out-of-the-box homeschooling. We had the humility to do that. We had the wisdom to put child over ideals. There's no ivory tower here - we could probably teach a few lessons about how to be flexible. That said, our approaches and experiences are not fashionable anymore, and we don't like being gossiped about, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of us take a very, very long break.

 

*I am referring to the original posts, not the current edited versions.


What edited versions? Am I missing a thread somewhere?

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7 hours ago, maize said:

I didn't think the Calvert thread was so awful. Maybe because I like the people who were posting even if we don't always agree.

I feel pretty strongly about "mental health comes first and trumps all other priorities".

Maybe I'll post a spin-off.

 

This is the only post of mine I could find in the ITT thread referencing this thread; the thread was discussed there only because the OP is one of our friends who hang out there. My post was  both posted and edited seven hours ago, edited I am sure for a typo/autocorrect error since I usually post from my phone and my posts tend to be full of those.

I've found the discussion here interesting.

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On 11/1/2019 at 5:53 PM, Farrar said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preach.  I’m extremely pro-homeschool but I feel like I spend half my ‘evangelizing time’ on the topic trying to dump a bucket of cold water on the mom thinking about it because I want to make sure she understands the basics it takes to be successful.  
 

It isn’t a teaching cert, college degree, or money - its a willingly to do it well, every day, with your child.  Being there and present and facilitating what they need, at the pace they need it, with consistent and concerted daily effort.

If she is willing to do that, then we talk programs.  And I’m sure to explain that ANY PROGRAM THAT WORKS FOR HER KIDS WILL BE FINE so long as this consistent daily effort and energy is being applied to it.  There are actually very few garbage programs out there, especially in the cheap, no frills workbook realm.  And if they are the family will find it out soon enough as they blow through it and move to the next thing.  Because mom will see and work through and understand whether it’s meeting needs and growing the student or just busy work real fast.

 But she can’t figure that out if she ISN’T EVEN THERE AND INVOLVED.

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On 11/11/2019 at 12:29 AM, Farrar said:

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

See I can’t even.  My neurotypical THIRD GRADER takes three hours per day at this point, and we are just working on skills and core subjects - we don’t expand with history and social studies until fourth grade with my scope and sequence.

 

My sixth and seventh graders work solidly through for six hours a day.  A light day where we have appointments and I cut out the fluff is four hours. Only my first grader has 90-120 minutes of work and much is play based or enrichment after the hour of phonics and math.

 

That is the sort of thing that just has me completely shaking my head.  I can’t even imagine chugging through a video and workbook for every core high school course in under four hours a day???? 

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On 11/11/2019 at 7:45 PM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

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!!" 😂

And there are folks like me who almost NEVER post tot he educational boards at this point, because we are doing what works for us and working hard each day but it isn’t interesting or dynamic or discussion worthy - it’s been so many years it’s just a What We Do Now, and I always feel like I’m stable enough in my choices that I don’t have a whole lot of curriculum or method discussion chops.  That is, it’s what the oldies have always done, I’m nobody special and am not reinventing any wheel by working day in and day out with the kids at old, solid, basic programs and reading lists. 
 

We just aren’t interesting enough day to day, and my schedule is so squeezed after school hours that I don’t have the brain cells to devote to the more philosophical educational discussions at this point in our academic journey 😆 

 

So it’s the chat board in tiny, five minute snippets for moi.  But I am here, silently doing the things, and there have to be a lot of the WTM population like me!

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On 11/15/2019 at 4:49 PM, Arctic Mama said:

That is the sort of thing that just has me completely shaking my head.  I can’t even imagine chugging through a video and workbook for every core high school course in under four hours a day???? 

 

Many of the homeschool families in my area do exactly this.    

When you look at the facebook posts for homeschool info, the recommendations are: Easy Peasy, Time 4 Learning, Acellus, K12. Or unschooling.  One of the parents commented how these programs were great because you didn't even need to buy any books if you don't want to.  WHAT!?  Why aren't your high schoolers reading?!  My 11 year old is doing more than these kids. 

I know of another family who's done nothing more than those "Complete Curriculum" workbooks you can find at Barnes and Noble or maybe Costco. Their eldest is in high school.  There's no plan for college.  There's no plan, period. 

I am the only person I know of who plans to teach Algebra. Everyone looks at my wild-eyed when I say my intention is to teach through Calculus.  "But he doesn't need it.  No one uses all that math in real life".  YES, PEOPLE DO. They are called engineers and scientists!  And for Pete's sake, it's ok to learn things simply because they are interesting. 

  

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On 11/11/2019 at 8:55 AM, Plum said:

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

 

Quoting myself because I woke up at 3:30am thinking about this. 

 

11 hours ago, MissLemon said:

 

Many of the homeschool families in my area do exactly this.    

When you look at the facebook posts for homeschool info, the recommendations are: Easy Peasy, Time 4 Learning, Acellus, K12. Or unschooling.  One of the parents commented how these programs were great because you didn't even need to buy any books if you don't want to.  WHAT!?  Why aren't your high schoolers reading?!  My 11 year old is doing more than these kids. 

I know of another family who's done nothing more than those "Complete Curriculum" workbooks you can find at Barnes and Noble or maybe Costco. Their eldest is in high school.  There's no plan for college.  There's no plan, period. 

I am the only person I know of who plans to teach Algebra. Everyone looks at my wild-eyed when I say my intention is to teach through Calculus.  "But he doesn't need it.  No one uses all that math in real life".  YES, PEOPLE DO. They are called engineers and scientists!  And for Pete's sake, it's ok to learn things simply because they are interesting. 

  

This is exactly the point I was trying to get to though. My sister was a senior when I was a freshman in high school. She told me when I was choosing my sophomore classes that our parents planned for us to attend community college first and didn't want us to apply directly to 4 year college. So she took the B track and advised me to do the same. To her, there was no point in taking college-prep courses if we were going directly to cc. I mistakenly took her advice and realized that year that applying myself, pushing myself was so much better than an easy A. I switched back to A track my junior year, but it taught me a valuable life lesson. The bare minimum might be fine for some people, they may have other priorities, but it's not for me. I'd rather prepare myself and work to the best of my ability than skate by checking boxes. 

To me, schooling is the checking of boxes. It is the formality of learning skills. There is a place for schooling, but it shouldn't be the only thing that is being done. I have no problem with using a check the box type curriculum provided there's a lot of supplementing and enrichment  happening alongside it. I had my oldest in online charter to fulfill the box-check of accredited high school courses in order to get an easy transfer to an early college charter. We had a plan. We were not just checking boxes though. I always supplement and extend lessons from the course to our every day life learning. There was one course that he plowed through in 2 weeks. Health was a  graduation requirement that is a part of our every day life. I didn't see the need to follow along and enrich because so much of that is a part of our daily conversation. Box checking is good for hoop jumping and learning basic skills, however it severely lacks context that comes with education. Isolating skills doesn't work. Kids need context in order to put those skills to use. (Read The Knowledge Gap)

To me, education is putting the world into context. It helps one learn their place in the world, how they see it, how they can make a difference, how to see a bigger picture, and how to put those skills from schooling to use. It is never done. Skills can be mastered. Education is never mastered. There's always something more to learn.

Education is intrinsic. Schooling is extrinsic. Education is life long and self-motivated. Schooling is a set of skills that the world has decided is important to master. Those skills can be obvious to others when lacking (spelling, math, writing). Education is internal and therefore more easily hidden, not obvious. Thinking about something for days on end, figuring it out, doesn't have the same external reward system that skill has. There's no philosophy bowl that I know of. But there are spelling bees, science and math bowls. Ways to publicly display knowledge + skill.

The big problem I see is parents who are considering homeschooling or may be in the midst of it, only know schooling. It can be overwhelming to just get that started. Especially if you have a child with LD's or has struggled with mental issues or lacks EF or got lost in the public school and has enormous gaps. Schooling is where most people start and it's a lot of hard work to get past that. I've been reading about homeschooling since 2003 and I don't feel like I know it all. Sometimes I feel lost and it's easier to check boxes so I can visually see progress. It's reassuring to know you are doing a good job. How do you measure education? 

Well those are my now 4:30am thoughts. 

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Piggybacking on Plum's thoughts:

One reason I feel the WTM is needed is because it espouses a way to EDUCATE kids, not just SCHOOL them. Is that not one purpose of a classical-ish education? To learn to think, to want to learn beyond the box check? It is certainly a tougher road and not for every one. How vs what.

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I don't spend much time on Facebook but this thread made me want to see what kind of posts are being made in our local homeschool group. Someone new to homeschooling with a sixth grader was asking for curriculum recommendations and at least three people mentioned The Well Trained Mind in their responses.

Nobody suggested Time4Learning but there were a couple mentions of Easy Peasy. Math programs suggested included Singapore, Saxon, Math-U-See and Teaching Textbooks. Several people mentioned using Moving Beyond the Page and others said they use The Good and the Beautiful.

Really the suggestions seemed pretty balanced and reasonable.

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Once again it feels like FB is spying on me. Mindshift had a post from 2014 that linked to another article about fast education or the McDonaldization of education. Encouraging something called slow education in its place  

Quote

 

In education, McDonaldization attempts to wipe out any of the messiness or inefficiencies of learning. Instead, it attempts to reduce it to a commodity that can be packaged, marketed and sold. Rather than cultivating a deep, holistic love of learning that touches every aspect of a student’s life, learning is reduced to an assembly line. As we allow this to happen, we impose a mechanistic view of learning (which, in nature, is largely an organic process) and at a great cost.

Our education systems continue to rapidly adopt short-cuts that reflect the dimensions of McDonaldization. Essentially, this imposition seeks the most efficient (read: easiest and cheapest) way to get a student from kindergarten to grade 12. In an assembly line, things are homogenized as much as possible. In education, we tend to see this in the assumption that the most important thing a group of kids have in common is the year they are born.

 

https://plpnetwork.com/2014/08/26/time-fight-slow-education/

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On 11/15/2019 at 4:47 PM, Arctic Mama said:

Preach.  I’m extremely pro-homeschool but I feel like I spend half my ‘evangelizing time’ on the topic trying to dump a bucket of cold water on the mom thinking about it because I want to make sure she understands the basics it takes to be successful.  
 

It isn’t a teaching cert, college degree, or money - its a willingly to do it well, every day, with your child.  Being there and present and facilitating what they need, at the pace they need it, with consistent and concerted daily effort.

If she is willing to do that, then we talk programs.  And I’m sure to explain that ANY PROGRAM THAT WORKS FOR HER KIDS WILL BE FINE so long as this consistent daily effort and energy is being applied to it.  There are actually very few garbage programs out there, especially in the cheap, no frills workbook realm.  And if they are the family will find it out soon enough as they blow through it and move to the next thing.  Because mom will see and work through and understand whether it’s meeting needs and growing the student or just busy work real fast.

 But she can’t figure that out if she ISN’T EVEN THERE AND INVOLVED.

I totally agree. When I just had littles I said it was pretty quick and easy. And I still say that - and I say you can't screw up a kindergartener, not really. I think the expectations of most public schools are ridiculous though in those ages. And yeah, I'm one saying you can do less "book work" in even upper grades IF YOU HAVE TO due to a kid that is just NOT cooperative. Now, if that kid IS cooperative in public school and not at home I think he should be in public school. But for the kids that are just going to drop out if you do public school, then yeah, I'll talk about for those kids ways to get the basics done fast so the kid can just get it done and move on with life, rather than drop out entirely. But that doesn't mean LESS work for the parent - it means WAY more. It means figuring your kid out, knowing why they are balking, trying a zillion different things to get the one that works or interests them, strewing materials, fighting them every damn day to get at least the basics done, doing the legwork and research to get them into the next stage in life be that dual enrollment or an internship or a volunteer job or exploring regular job options with them and teaching them how to do the applications and witting by their side as they actually do it, etc etc. It's still intense, just in a different way. (but I'm also of the view that a good percentage of kids, probably mostly boys, should just be done with higschool by age 16 at the latest)

Plus all the darned driving. No one talks about how much of a time suck that is! 

On 11/16/2019 at 8:30 PM, MissLemon said:

 

Many of the homeschool families in my area do exactly this.    

When you look at the facebook posts for homeschool info, the recommendations are: Easy Peasy, Time 4 Learning, Acellus, K12. Or unschooling.  One of the parents commented how these programs were great because you didn't even need to buy any books if you don't want to.  WHAT!?  Why aren't your high schoolers reading?!  My 11 year old is doing more than these kids. 

I know of another family who's done nothing more than those "Complete Curriculum" workbooks you can find at Barnes and Noble or maybe Costco. Their eldest is in high school.  There's no plan for college.  There's no plan, period. 

I am the only person I know of who plans to teach Algebra. Everyone looks at my wild-eyed when I say my intention is to teach through Calculus.  "But he doesn't need it.  No one uses all that math in real life".  YES, PEOPLE DO. They are called engineers and scientists!  And for Pete's sake, it's ok to learn things simply because they are interesting. 

  

Ok, yeah..that's crazy speak. Who doesn't want to buy books?!?! Or as the parent of a dyslexic - audio books, or something??????? For me, the whole point of a barebones foundation education that you can get done quickly is it left time for other ways to sneak education into a kid that was non cooperative. Not that you just call it a day  - you drag them out of their room and have them watch documentaries or news broadcasts with you, you drag them with you in the car and put on NPR and discuss the stuff you are hearing, you buy SO many books for them hoping some will be of interest, etc. Heck, when they are like that and refuse to read it just because you say to that leaves you buying MORE books trying to find ones they like! 

Plus the time spent on fights to get them off screens, discussing their options if they are not going to do an academically heavy load, and (again) sneaking in knowledge via discussions, etc. 

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13 hours ago, Plum said:

Once again it feels like FB is spying on me. Mindshift had a post from 2014 that linked to another article about fast education or the McDonaldization of education. Encouraging something called slow education in its place  

https://plpnetwork.com/2014/08/26/time-fight-slow-education/

Love this! and as one of the outliers here, totally the opposite of say, Arctic Mama on the face of it, I think this is the thing we can agree on. The idea that doing education with kids requires us to be co-learners (or even if outsources we are still collaborators in helping get them the material, take them to the class, etc). That we come alongside them as they learn, tweaking and individualizing as wel go, and that the goal is not checking boxes but becoming a person who is inquisitive and knows how to learn, with a basic foundation of knowledge to serve as a jumping off point. I think there are various ways to acomplish that, but that those who see education this way (most here if not all) have foundational a different view than those saying "hey, sign them up for Time 4 Learning and walk away". 

The investment in our kids' education, and the example we set by learning and growing alongside them, no matter what the topic. The culture of learning - the emphasis on learning as a worthy goal. For at least one of my kids that didn't look like school much of the time, but there was never a doubt in his mind that I valued learning, or that knowledge was something to be treated as a commodity. To this day he's the best researcher in the house, and has picked up my habit (as have the other kids) of wondering something and then going to learn it and getting sucked in for hours/days/weeks/years. 

So maybe that philosophy is what unites us? Even as we disagree about the methods?

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I got an email from Calvert a while back advertising their new price. I looked into it because it seemed too good to be true. At first I thought, if this is really Calvert's new price, I can get over my "school in a box" prejudice and consider it because that's a great price. 

Then I was appalled. I was appalled that there was little mention of the drastic reformatting of the program for unsuspecting newbies. I was appalled that what had been a good, trustworthy, legitimate all in one option for people who wanted that was gone. And the worst part? The reviews from parents who had been switched from traditional Calvert to this mid year with little warning! 

Can you imagine? The way they treated customers was so awful. If I'm ever in a place where something like that is needed, I'll go to T4L or anything other than Calvert.

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My husband mentioned to a mom at Tae Kwon Do that we homeschool. She was interested and the conversation continued. She said, "It just takes a few hours, and there's a computer program for that, right?"  🙁  He was amazed, because earlier that day, I had been telling him about this thread.

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1 hour ago, knitgrl said:

My husband mentioned to a mom at Tae Kwon Do that we homeschool. She was interested and the conversation continued. She said, "It just takes a few hours, and there's a computer program for that, right?"  🙁  He was amazed, because earlier that day, I had been telling him about this thread.

 

Yeah, some of the newer perceptions about homeschooling are starting to scare me.  I posted about this somewhere on here last fall/winter, but we did 3 college tours with my oldest (she graduated and starts college in January).  Anyway, a couple of things shocked me on the college tours.  

At the first college, the admissions advisor found out that we homeschool and the first thing she said was, "what online program or co-op do you use" (I can't remember her exact words, but it was something to that effect).  My jaw dropped to the ground and my brain panicked when she asked me that.  So, right off the bat, these admissions counselors are thinking we're all using something like either K12 or Classical Conversations.  That's what went through my head...  I told her that I put everything together myself and she just kinda stared at me.  

The admissions advisor at the second college was quite obviously not blow-away by homeschooling, either.  The third college was a great fit (it's actually a community college), so my daughter decided to go there - where she starts in a few weeks.  Anyway, when she was picking out her first semester classes, the advisor said he wanted her to only take the bare minimum - 12 credit hours the first semester.  He said there were two reasons why.  First, this was her first semester of college.  Second, she homeschooled.  So, I feel like these advisors really do have it in their minds that homeschoolers are not getting as good of an education as everyone else.  And that shocked me.  I don't know why, but I think I didn't realize that these homeschool perceptions were still out there.   

I think my point is that what we're doing in our micro-population affects us all, whether we realize it or not. 

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4 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

 

Yeah, some of the newer perceptions about homeschooling are starting to scare me.  I posted about this somewhere on here last fall/winter, but we did 3 college tours with my oldest (she graduated and starts college in January).  Anyway, a couple of things shocked me on the college tours.  

At the first college, the admissions advisor found out that we homeschool and the first thing she said was, "what online program or co-op do you use" (I can't remember her exact words, but it was something to that effect).  My jaw dropped to the ground and my brain panicked when she asked me that.  So, right off the bat, these admissions counselors are thinking we're all using something like either K12 or Classical Conversations.  That's what went through my head...  I told her that I put everything together myself and she just kinda stared at me.  

The admissions advisor at the second college was quite obviously not blow-away by homeschooling, either.  The third college was a great fit (it's actually a community college), so my daughter decided to go there - where she starts in a few weeks.  Anyway, when she was picking out her first semester classes, the advisor said he wanted her to only take the bare minimum - 12 credit hours the first semester.  He said there were two reasons why.  First, this was her first semester of college.  Second, she homeschooled.  So, I feel like these advisors really do have it in their minds that homeschoolers are not getting as good of an education as everyone else.  And that shocked me.  I don't know why, but I think I didn't realize that these homeschool perceptions were still out there.   

I think my point is that what we're doing in our micro-population affects us all, whether we realize it or not. 

My oldest is a senior in college and we did his first college tour the summer after 10th grade I think. So six years ago? I have another ds in his second year of college and we have just started college tours with my 11th grader. So we have done many college tours- some repeat visits to the same universities.

Never before this year have I been asked what umbrella school we are part of. And never before have the admissions counselors seemed relieved that there is an umbrella school involved. It is so strange to be asked these questions now when we never were before (even at the same universities). The impression I have is that they have had increasing issues with homeschool applications. Two of the recent visits included admissions counselors that were relieved to hear an umbrella school was sending the transcript. They made comments along the line of "we need a transcript we can read" or "we need a transcript to come in a recognizable format". What the heck? Our umbrella school really does nothing to insure quality or even completion of work. It is basically a legal cover and recording keeping service so it really means nothing. How many homeschoolers have been sending in crazy unreadable transcripts that this is now a question at two different universities?!?! What the heck?

All that to say homeschoolers seemed to be making progress in being treated fairly. Schools that used to require SAT II tests or interviews or extra documentation from homeschoolers had actually started backing off those requirements. It was supposed to be getting easier for homeschoolers as homeschooling became more mainstream and the students more successful. And now here I am having transcripts questioned by schools that never questioned them before. Ugh. I realize my sample size is small but it is a noticeable change and it is not favorable.

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2 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

Never before this year have I been asked what umbrella school we are part of. And never before have the admissions counselors seemed relieved that there is an umbrella school involved. It is so strange to be asked these questions now when we never were before (even at the same universities). The impression I have is that they have had increasing issues with homeschool applications. Two of the recent visits included admissions counselors that were relieved to hear an umbrella school was sending the transcript. They made comments along the line of "we need a transcript we can read" or "we need a transcript to come in a recognizable format". What the heck? Our umbrella school really does nothing to insure quality or even completion of work. It is basically a legal cover and recording keeping service so it really means nothing. How many homeschoolers have been sending in crazy unreadable transcripts that this is now a question at two different universities?!?! What the heck?

 

Oh, no...I was hoping I was the only one with this experience.  ☹️  My oldest is done homeschooling and my 2nd is a senior next year.  BUT....I have a 4 year-old boy.  So, I am basically starting this whole process all over again.  It is sooo strange to have gone through the entire thing and then start over.  And what is homeschooling going to be like 12 years from now when he applies for college, I wonder??  At least I have been through the entire process as I homeschool my youngest.  I did make some big changes after watching oldest go through the SAT and college placement tests, so those are going to apply to the youngest.  

Good luck with a strong finish for your 11th grader!

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2 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

My oldest is a senior in college and we did his first college tour the summer after 10th grade I think. So six years ago? I have another ds in his second year of college and we have just started college tours with my 11th grader. So we have done many college tours- some repeat visits to the same universities.

Never before this year have I been asked what umbrella school we are part of. And never before have the admissions counselors seemed relieved that there is an umbrella school involved. It is so strange to be asked these questions now when we never were before (even at the same universities). The impression I have is that they have had increasing issues with homeschool applications. Two of the recent visits included admissions counselors that were relieved to hear an umbrella school was sending the transcript. They made comments along the line of "we need a transcript we can read" or "we need a transcript to come in a recognizable format". What the heck? Our umbrella school really does nothing to insure quality or even completion of work. It is basically a legal cover and recording keeping service so it really means nothing. How many homeschoolers have been sending in crazy unreadable transcripts that this is now a question at two different universities?!?! What the heck?

All that to say homeschoolers seemed to be making progress in being treated fairly. Schools that used to require SAT II tests or interviews or extra documentation from homeschoolers had actually started backing off those requirements. It was supposed to be getting easier for homeschoolers as homeschooling became more mainstream and the students more successful. And now here I am having transcripts questioned by schools that never questioned them before. Ugh. I realize my sample size is small but it is a noticeable change and it is not favorable.

This is sad, and surprising to me. I honestly figured that most people who weren't super invested would take the easy way out and pop them back into public school (that is what largely has happened here because it's so hard to change your mind midway through high school). I hadn't envisioned being able to half-ass high school in a homeschool for the majority of people- or enough at least to impact an admissions advisor. I should not have made that assumption apparently. 😞

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2 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

My oldest is a senior in college and we did his first college tour the summer after 10th grade I think. So six years ago? I have another ds in his second year of college and we have just started college tours with my 11th grader. So we have done many college tours- some repeat visits to the same universities.

Never before this year have I been asked what umbrella school we are part of. And never before have the admissions counselors seemed relieved that there is an umbrella school involved. It is so strange to be asked these questions now when we never were before (even at the same universities). The impression I have is that they have had increasing issues with homeschool applications. Two of the recent visits included admissions counselors that were relieved to hear an umbrella school was sending the transcript. They made comments along the line of "we need a transcript we can read" or "we need a transcript to come in a recognizable format". What the heck? Our umbrella school really does nothing to insure quality or even completion of work. It is basically a legal cover and recording keeping service so it really means nothing. How many homeschoolers have been sending in crazy unreadable transcripts that this is now a question at two different universities?!?! What the heck?

All that to say homeschoolers seemed to be making progress in being treated fairly. Schools that used to require SAT II tests or interviews or extra documentation from homeschoolers had actually started backing off those requirements. It was supposed to be getting easier for homeschoolers as homeschooling became more mainstream and the students more successful. And now here I am having transcripts questioned by schools that never questioned them before. Ugh. I realize my sample size is small but it is a noticeable change and it is not favorable.

I find this interesting because we've had two schools tell us they still want thehomeschool supplement even with a cover school transcript. These are smaller LAC's,though. I did have one neighboring state U tell me they refigured homeschool GPA's, but not ones from our specific cover school. 

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From a FB group. 

Quote

Time 4 Learning question here. Is it not a complete curriculum? I signed up for it thinking it was something in-depth that my daughter could use all year, but maybe not? Example: The social studies unit for 2nd grade. There are 4 "chapters" with light content and then a quiz at the end and that's it for the entire grade? She finished it up this morning after starting a few weeks ago, and does that mean she's done? It seems awfully brief and doesn't really drill down into much. Or am I totally misunderstanding the purpose?

On the plus side she’s recognizing the problem. So far most have said it’s not a complete curriculum and needs to be supplemented or used as a supplement. 👍

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There is a lot going on in this thread. I have lots of thoughts, but they are pretty disjointed.

I have seen the online discussions with parents asking for free online programs that kids can do themselves. It is disheartening. Many local homeschoolers attend CC. It is not my cuppa, but those parents are invested in their kids educations. There are some families that don't seem to be doing much. I don't know the kids well enough to know for sure. Some families use the public school for some classes, including my family. My middle son does 3 band classes at our public school. I only know one kid who does school online while his parents work. He is a friend of my daughter's. Public school was not good for him. The first couple of years he spent the school day at a friend/neighbor's house. When he was 14, he started staying home alone, except when doing things with the homeschool group. The vast majority of kids we know are parent taught. My daughter is unusual in that she takes a couple of online classes - Latin III through Lukeion and Derek Owens Calculus. But some kids do go the DE route at the local community college when they are old enough. Overall, there is committed parent involvement where I live.

I don't think 2 hours of school per day is enough for high school. My oldest is a fast worker. She easily spends 10 hours per week on her Latin, sometimes significantly more. She can get through the Physics book in a year if she spends between 2-3 hours per week on it. She is trying to condense DO Calc so it will be cheaper for me. She would probably be able to finish in 5 months working 5-6 hours per week. History and Lit probably take 2 and 4 hours respectively per week. (We do a lot of reading but *very* little writing, so this is mostly reading and discussion. Writing is the major weakness in our school. I would like to assign essays, but I am committed to giving her a life outside her various obligations and writing just hasn't happened much this year. Theater just ended, so I want her to use those 3 hours per week doing more writing and discussions.) Bible Survey takes about 1.5-3 hours per week, depending on how much commentary we read and how much discussion we do. She isn't spending time on her Spanish (She has a 3rd of BtB Advanced book to finish and some readings for me from one of my college books to do yet.) She'll do those while on break from Latin and once her math is done. So my very fast worker averages about 5 hours per day for a good but not excellent (very little writing!) education. My other high schooler is not a fast worker. He is a very hard worker who conscientiously completes his work. He doesn't do Latin, but is currently working on Spanish. He is doing Biology instead of Physics and Algebra II instead of Calc, but the rest of the work is the same. He *easily* spends 7+ hours working on school most days. Sometimes the stars align and he is done by 1:00 or 2:00 and he is. so. happy. I would guess that most kids fall somewhere between my super fast worker and my super slow worker, so I would expect them to spend around 5 or 6 hours per day on school for 5 or 6 classes. I'm happy for kids who can do it in 4 and feel for those who have to muscle through for 7 or more. I feel like a high school student only doing 2 hours isn't being challenged to their potential. I am *not* directing this to anyone in particular. I feel like people who hang out here are invested in their kids' educations. I am referring to FB posters who state that their kids are on screens most of the day, but they don't know what to do about it because the kids have already finished their school work.

I don't post often, but I read on here a lot. I remember when it used to be a lot busier here. One thing I noticed was that traffic slowed about the time I saw threads chastising people for asking questions that had already been discussed. Posters were strongly encouraged to read old posts instead of asking themselves. There are a number of issues I see with that. It discouraged discourse. The search function here is terrible. It implied that discussion on a number of topics was finished. As helpful as the pinned threads are, I think they also decrease the amount of discussion.

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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

This is sad, and surprising to me. I honestly figured that most people who weren't super invested would take the easy way out and pop them back into public school (that is what largely has happened here because it's so hard to change your mind midway through high school). I hadn't envisioned being able to half-ass high school in a homeschool for the majority of people- or enough at least to impact an admissions advisor. I should not have made that assumption apparently. 😞

Here in NY, the state took away the religious objection status for vaccines. I talked to a vendor at a homeschool conference this summer and he said that the number of homeschoolers has grown because of that. His comment was, "Whatever it takes to get them out of public school." My thought was, but yeah, they're going to make the rest of us look bad. So there's a bunch of people for whom academics is secondary, because they were fine with brick & mortar until new regulations happened.

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1 hour ago, knitgrl said:

Here in NY, the state took away the religious objection status for vaccines. I talked to a vendor at a homeschool conference this summer and he said that the number of homeschoolers has grown because of that. His comment was, "Whatever it takes to get them out of public school." My thought was, but yeah, they're going to make the rest of us look bad. So there's a bunch of people for whom academics is secondary, because they were fine with brick & mortar until new regulations happened.

Ahhh- that makes sense

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3 hours ago, knitgrl said:

Here in NY, the state took away the religious objection status for vaccines. I talked to a vendor at a homeschool conference this summer and he said that the number of homeschoolers has grown because of that. His comment was, "Whatever it takes to get them out of public school." My thought was, but yeah, they're going to make the rest of us look bad. So there's a bunch of people for whom academics is secondary, because they were fine with brick & mortar until new regulations happened.

Lol I've known homeschoolers irl for . . . I don't know . . . somewhere around 20 years now. I don't know one person who is doing it for academics. I don't mean academics isn't the primary reason. I mean academics isn't a reason. This was true years ago when people (in my area) were using those correspondence courses and is still true now when everyone is doing public online charter schools (I realize that's not legally homeschooling). I still remember the light bulb over 6 years ago, when I visited this board and realized there were, in fact, people who homeschool for reasons other than convenience.

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5 minutes ago, Jentrovert said:

Lol I've known homeschoolers irl for . . . I don't know . . . somewhere around 20 years now. I don't know one person who is doing it for academics. I don't mean academics isn't the primary reason. I mean academics isn't a reason. This was true years ago when people (in my area) were using those correspondence courses and is still true now when everyone is doing public online charter schools (I realize that's not legally homeschooling). I still remember the light bulb over 6 years ago, when I visited this board and realized there were, in fact, people who homeschool for reasons other than convenience.

I don't think I would ever describe homeschooling as convenient, except the part where we can sleep in and not have to have kids on the bus by 7:30am. 😆

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5 minutes ago, knitgrl said:

I don't think I would ever describe homeschooling as convenient, except the part where we can sleep in and not have to have kids on the bus by 7:30am. 😆

🤣 I know, right?!? It was convenient for them 20 years ago because they just handed the kid the packet and went about their life. It's convenient now for the same reason, just online. I do know a few parents now who help their kids with their work, though. And because there is some oversight they are much less likely to simply not school at all. 

 

 

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Wow, fascinating thread! I have quite a lot to say about all this... maybe too much! I'm going to make this a numbered list, because I don't think this is going to be a coherent essay. 

1) I've heard a few people lament the fact that people have moved away from this forum to FB. I think this is something that's not homeschooling-specific: that's just what's happening in the world. I saw the exact same transition in babywearing (which had been my hobby for the last 6 years). People used to mostly hang out on a forum much like this one, and then everyone migrated to Facebook, and people were depressed by the change. 

I think the issue here is that Facebook interactions aren't designed to be thoughtful. Discussions move quickly, people aren't using to reading long replies, and unless the group is zealously moderated, the highest-drama people wind up taking over the group. So for those of you who are seeing the most outrageous advice on Facebook: I really wouldn't assume that it's representative of any kind of real world. It's just that the Facebook-verse often rewards bad behavior. 

For what it's worth, I responded to this in the world of babywearing by forming a very carefully moderated Facebook group dedicated to babywearing, and it's been functioning relatively well as a center of thoughtful discussion. Everyone was on Facebook, and it seemed that trying to keep people on forums was a losing battle, alas. But it's definitely a much less natural ecosystem for interesting conversations. 

2) Like some of you, I would assume that homeschoolers like @8FillTheHeart were outliers even before. People have always wanted to cut corners. It might, however, be true that the fact that homeschooling has become more "mainstream" has convinced more people that they can do it without much effort. I think in general, though, people are often looking for a magic bullet. I see the exact same attitude in people who send their kids to school. "I am paying 30,000 a year for school, so my kid must be getting educated!" "My kid passed a fancy IQ test to get into their elementary school, they must be getting educated!" No one says this out loud, of course, but it's implied by the fact that they aren't quite sure what their kids are covering in school. In fact, the only way you can be sure that your child is getting educated is if you're personally reviewing what they are learning and are making sure they get meaningful educational experiences that are helping them progress, whether they are in school or not. But of course, that takes a lot more effort than letting a magic school or a magic program or a magic co-op do the work for you... 

I have to say, having talked to both the veteran and the new homeschoolers where we are, I'm not noticing a major difference between the cohorts. Specifically, almost no one is as academically focused as us, both in the older groups and the younger groups... But perhaps the people I talk to (mostly secular homeschoolers that attend classes at a NYC homeschooling center) aren't representative. 

Speaking of NYC, we really have had a major influx of homeschoolers due to the new vaccine laws. And a lot of them seem to have no clue what exactly they are doing and are trying to get by with signing up for lots of classes at homeschooling centers. Now, I love homeschooling centers, and I love teaching math at our homeschooling center, but for us the classes there are largely social time. The meat of our academics is definitely at home. If you take your kids out of school and put them in a totally unregulated homeschooling center and don't carefully monitor if the classes are good, you will not automatically get amazing results because "hey, anything's better than public school!"...

3) I think 2 hours of work a day is woefully inadequate for high school. We're probably doing slightly more than that in 2nd grade over here, and I can't imagine our amount of schoolwork is going to stay constant! I don't know whether we're going to homeschool high school for social reasons (we haven't yet found enough homeschoolers with the same values as ourselves to be sure that my kids will be able to have friends in high school if they are homeschooled), but if we do, it won't look anything like that. 

On the other hand, I know precisely what @maize means about that having been about the amount of learning that happened in high school for her. I remember being unutterably bored in high school by practically all of my classes. And depressingly, about the only part of my high school education that stuck was the stuff I cared about myself. I spent hours and hours a day on math contest problems, and I'm certainly very good at math. But I don't remember any of the history I learned. Or any of the sciences. Well, I do remember the random bit of jargon, and I know that everything is made of elements and whatnot, and I know a few physics formulas... but let's just say that this outcome is not a reasonable result of the number of hours I spent in school and is certainly not implied by the good grades I got. And having talked to lots of adults, I would say I'm not in the minority. 

I was part of the gifted program, by the way, so I was in a good school, and some of my teachers were good. So this wasn't anywhere near the worst case scenario... 

4) I don't know how positive a note this is, since I know I've locked horns with at least a few of the old-timers on here, but I do think of myself as the same kind of homeschooler as you are. That is, I teach most things myself, I focus on creating meaningful learning experiences, and I am completely uninterested in any kind of "checking the boxes" curriculum. And I'm hoping there are enough thoughtful people left on these boards that we can keep having interesting conversations :-). Frankly, I've also sometimes been discouraged by the level of discussion, because a lot of times, people just seem to want to be told what curriculum to use, and don't want to do deeper troubleshooting... 

 

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31 minutes ago, knitgrl said:

I don't think I would ever describe homeschooling as convenient, except the part where we can sleep in and not have to have kids on the bus by 7:30am. 😆

And I've literally heard someone give the reason of "I don't like getting up in the morning" as their reason for homeschooling. 

Come to think of it, something I've been struck by is the number of people I talk to who homeschool for a negative as opposed to a positive reason: they are trying to get away from something, not follow a specific educational vision. They homeschool because they think schools don't have enough play time, or because they are worried about bullying, or because they don't like the idea of a 20 to 1 student to teacher ratio in the early grades. And those are all valid concerns! But the problem is that people spend so much time thinking about what they don't want that they don't seem to come up with what it is they do want. And then you get people whose vision is something like "oh, I just want my child to have lots of freedom and figure things out for herself!" And while I know unschooling can be a valid educational option, I think it requires a lot more thought than that to make it effective... 

Edited by square_25
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I am in Ohio, and a couple of years ago one of the larger public school at home providers folded, which meant a lot of parents were suddenly searching for options.  On the Ohio homeschooling page, there are A LOT of people who recommend easy peasy.  Also, (harkening back to a former thread in the chat on here about an online curriculum that your kid can do without supervision) there are a lot of questions (or at least to me, a lot) about what kids can do that is independent because "I work full-time" etc. I have seen people looking for online math for a 2nd grader.  

I am conscious of the fact that the FB group is not an accurate depiction of what homeschooling looks like throughout the state, but i find some of the questions sad.

 

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56 minutes ago, square_25 said:

And I've literally heard someone give the reason of "I don't like getting up in the morning" as their reason for homeschooling. 

Come to think of it, something I've been struck by is the number of people I talk to who homeschool for a negative as opposed to a positive reason: they are trying to get away from something, not follow a specific educational vision. They homeschool because they think schools don't have enough play time, or because they are worried about bullying, or because they don't like the idea of a 20 to 1 student to teacher ratio in the early grades. And those are all valid concerns! But the problem is that people spend so much time thinking about what they don't want that they don't seem to come up with what it is they do want. And then you get people whose vision is something like "oh, I just want my child to have lots of freedom and figure things out for herself!" And while I know unschooling can be a valid educational option, I think it requires a lot more thought than that to make it effective... 

In all fairness to the bolded- some people (like me!) start out that way, but quickly find their footing to shift to the positive and start becoming goal oriented instead of just reactive. But when you are leaving school, in general it is because you are dealing with a less than optimal, if not a crisis situation, vs. people who decide from the time before they give birth that they are homeschooling, where you have loads of time to think through things and develop high and lofty ideals. I've gotten to enjoy both sides in a way. We pulled our oldest out of school mid-junior high because nothing the school did made sense and I had just hit frustration max. I read Dumbing Us Down, and had waded into some general homeschooling type things, but had in no way wrapped my head around anything resembling a philosophy. But once we started i knew it was what I wanted to do with the younger ones who weren't anywhere near school age.

I still don't know if I have a philosophy almost 6 years later, but I definitely see it as something I want to do, not something I have to do. Most days. Although I'd never in a million years call it convenient!

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6 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

In all fairness to the bolded- some people (like me!) start out that way, but quickly find their footing to shift to the positive and start becoming goal oriented instead of just reactive. But when you are leaving school, in general it is because you are dealing with a less than optimal, if not a crisis situation, vs. people who decide from the time before they give birth that they are homeschooling, where you have loads of time to think through things and develop high and lofty ideals.

 

This is how things played out for us.  I never intended to homeschool DS11. I had only ever met two homeschooled people before, but they were graduated and working.  I had no concept of what homeschooling was or wasn't, nevermind an over-arching philosophy on what excellent homeschooling looked like. We are 6 years in, as well, and I'm only just starting to develop a more solid concept for the end-goal. 

Edited by MissLemon
Deleted a bunch of Kid-specific stuff for privacy
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