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Lonely in the middle of the road.

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Does anyone ever feel lonely because they do so much fence-sitting? I haven't found anyone (especially IRL) who has a similar approach to homeschooling as me, because I don't have a coherent philosophy: rather, I do my best to figure out what works given the evidence, no matter what other people are doing. And then the things we do look odd from the outside, I think. 

I unschool lots of subjects... but I'm not an unschooler, because we very much structure our 3R's. I teach my kids young... but I make sure to keep all their learning hands-on and I'm willing to take as long as they need to over concepts, even if we spend a year or more on something like place value. I'm very academically-oriented... but my daughter's favorite thing are homeschool classes at the homeschooling center here, so we spend enormous amounts of time out and about. And I worry just as much about her social skills as about her academics. 

I know it doesn't MATTER, per se, if I can find other people who agree with me, it just gets lonely (and I'm in a bad mood today.) Sometimes I wish could just be an unschooler, or a classical education person, or an AoPS person, or something without an asterisk. And instead, I'm always none of the above :-/. 

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I think some of us just think too much to follow along with any group philosophy/approach. I've always enjoyed reading about other people's approaches but can't think of a reason to adopt one wholesale--it's much more interesting to take bits and pieces and fit them together with my own ideas. 

And I'm raising my kids, not anyone else's 🙂

I don't think you are really alone more than most of us are, maybe it's just that the people who are comfortable with one coherent and sort of standardized approach are more likely to be presenting that approach. It's hard to write a book or even a blog about "how to educate in a thoroughly eclectic manner" know what I mean?

Maybe I'll write a book about flex-schooling some day, if my kids survive my attempts to educate them 😄

 

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2 minutes ago, maize said:

I think some of us just think too much to follow along with any group philosophy/approach. I've always enjoyed reading about other people's approaches but can't think of a reason to adopt one wholesale--it's much more interesting to take bits and pieces and fit them together with my own ideas.


That's certainly how I feel about it, lol! And yes... I'm raising my own kids, and I have my own values, so why would someone else's approaches be just right for me? 

I also see a lot of people who seem to put a LOT of faith of into their philosophy. "I'll unschool, and the kids will be good at whatever they would be good, anyway!" I mean... maybe? And maybe some kids are suited to unschooling better than other kids, and some kids are much more motivated by the things they are already good at and need help getting over humps. But as with all aspects of life, I don't see so many people following the signs along the road, if you know what I mean? The thing that leads us into these odd configurations is what life and my kids are actually like.

I guess I do a lot of redirecting, based on what works, and what I mean by "works" is "helps me accomplish my goals and my kids' goals." And I don't see that so often. 

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Cheer up 5.

My kids are still young and we take it week-to-week, one term at a time but yes. It can feel isolating to be so...out of sync with "everyone else".

But I don't think of myself 'sitting on a fence'.

Instead I look am STRIKING my own path. Some people are following established paths. Some people are striking their own path. I count myself amongst the latter.

So, while I  don't even have a philosophy that I can name drop to others as an abbreviated way of giving them clues to my approach to educating my kids; that is OK.

I have learned how to use the WTM boards for what they are good for. I have learned which questions to ask and which to explore with,my husband and/or self. I am learning to trust my gut more and LISTEN to my inner voice.

I am learning to read my kids and to look critically at The Establishments for insight, inspiration or instruction on what to and not to do.

I am learning how to optimally educate my kids and no book exists that can tell me how to do that.

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1 minute ago, mathmarm said:

Cheer up 5.

My kids are still young and we take it week-to-week, one term at a time but yes. It can feel isolating to be so...out of sync with "everyone else".

But I don't think of myself 'sitting on a fence'.

Instead I look am STRIKING my own path. Some people are following established paths. Some people are striking their own path. I count myself amongst the latter.

So, while I  don't even have a philosophy that I can name drop to others as an abbreviated way of giving them clues to my approach to educating my kids; that is OK.

I have learned how to use the WTM boards for what they are good for. I have learned which questions to ask and which to explore with,my husband and/or self. I am learning to trust my gut more and LISTEN to my inner voice.

I am learning to read my kids and to look critically at The Establishments for insight, inspiration or instruction on what to and not to do.

I am learning how to optimally educate my kids and no book exists that can tell me how to do that.

 

Oh, I guess you're right that I'm not really sitting on a fence :-). I'm pretty confident about what we're doing. Maybe it's just that I wish more people were doing it! I do know some people who have similar educational approaches, but they are rare, and they are not homeschooling (although they do teach their kids at home, choose very specific schools that meet their goals, and spend a lot of time thinking about their education.) 

Hey, did you do infant potty training as well? I'm just looking at your siggy :-). 

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14 minutes ago, square_25 said:

 

Oh, I guess you're right that I'm not really sitting on a fence :-). I'm pretty confident about what we're doing. Maybe it's just that I wish more people were doing it! I do know some people who have similar educational approaches, but they are rare, and they are not homeschooling (although they do teach their kids at home, choose very specific schools that meet their goals, and spend a lot of time thinking about their education.) 

Hey, did you do infant potty training as well? I'm just looking at your siggy :-). 

I tried the elimination communication approach with one of mine, it was fabulous actually when she was an infant because she would need to potty and be uncomfortable but didn't like to go in a diaper. I dropped it after the first few months though because I had too much on my hands and it does take more time and attention than just doing diapers.

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3 minutes ago, maize said:

I tried the elimination communication approach with one of mine, it was fabulous actually when she was an infant because she would need to potty and be uncomfortable but didn't like to go in a diaper. I dropped it after the first few months though because I had too much on my hands and it does take more time and attention than just doing diapers.

We did it with diaper back up! It's the lazy way to do it, lol. I don't think it results in potty training as early as the "proper" way, but they were both done before 2, anyway. 

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3 hours ago, square_25 said:

Oh, I guess you're right that I'm not really sitting on a fence :-). I'm pretty confident about what we're doing. Maybe it's just that I wish more people were doing it! I do know some people who have similar educational approaches, but they are rare, and they are not homeschooling (although they do teach their kids at home, choose very specific schools that meet their goals, and spend a lot of time thinking about their education.) 

Hey, did you do infant potty training as well? I'm just looking at your siggy :-). 

May I ask why you wish more people chose to educate as you do?

Yes, we do EC/IPT. 🙂

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I feel like I have a coherent philosophy, which is to be an observant responsive parent, and pragmatic about selecting resources and approaches that are the best fit for each of my three kids.  Which in practice looks like three different approaches for three different kids. 

I don't know any other homeschoolers in real life, so I guess I don't feel like I need to fit in with any.  I just do what seems to work with our circumstances and my kids.  

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3 hours ago, square_25 said:

 

Oh, I guess you're right that I'm not really sitting on a fence :-). I'm pretty confident about what we're doing. Maybe it's just that I wish more people were doing it! I do know some people who have similar educational approaches, but they are rare, and they are not homeschooling (although they do teach their kids at home, choose very specific schools that meet their goals, and spend a lot of time thinking about their education.) 

Hey, did you do infant potty training as well? I'm just looking at your siggy :-). 


You are much better at reading siggys than I am.  I at first read @mathmarm siggy as if those were birth years, and wondered why her 7 year old hadn't moved on to intermediate napping at least.   Not to brag, but I consider my 10 year old an advanced napper.  On the other hand, word problems are pretty impressive for a kid under 14 months.  

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Apologies if I'm missing something -- I am a little sleep deprived today -- but if this would help:

If you reframe your style as "eclectic homeschooler," then you will not be alone. You will be in the largest group. 🙂

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24 minutes ago, mathmarm said:

May I ask why you wish more people chose to educate as you do?

Yes, we do EC/IPT. 🙂


Because if people are thoughtful about their choices, it’s more fun to talk to them. They don’t have to do the same stuff as us; that’s not what I meant. 

Edited by square_25
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I rarely discuss homeschooling with homeschoolers IRL. Like hardly ever. My kids largest friend group with homeschoolers tends to be Catholics.  Almost every Catholic we know uses Seton, MODG, or Kolbe. Their view toward homeschooling is very much traditional school at home.

 Wonderful families and great friends. We just dont talk about homeschooling. 🙂 Honestly, these forums are about the only place I discuss homeschooling with other homeschoolers except for my dil.

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We are eclectic, but I surrounded myself with lots of eclectic homeschoolers from the beginning so that doesn’t feel unusual to me. What does tend to stick out is our schedule.

Many with young kids love to do tons of micro-lessons each day, covering a dozen or more things in the span of an hour or two. That is so not DS. It takes time for him to dig into the meaty topics he enjoys; task switching kills his momentum. We spend 45-60min each on only a few subjects daily. Any time I’ve tried to shrink that timeframe our days feel chaotic, disjointed, & stressful. We basically block schedule. Common enough for middle or high schoolers, but (in my experience) pretty unheard of for early elementary.

I am also the only homeschooler I know IRL who has set school hours they are reticent to interrupt for every “homeschool xyz day” that pops up. In order for DS to have the mental focus to wrestle with the type of work he prefers, it must be done in the morning. When we’ve tried pushing back our start time it always ended in double the lesson time with half the retention. If something is scheduled before noon & I don’t feel it’s value is equivalent to (or exceeds) a day of schoolwork, we skip it. 

It feels awkward to forge your own path, but the  beauty of homeschooling lies in its diversity. 

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:


Because if people are thoughtful about their choices, it’s more fun to talk to them. They don’t have to do the same stuff as us; that’s not what I meant. 

 

It is possible to be thoughtful about your educational choices and still pick an overarching philosophy. I think there can be a benefit to following an entire framework instead of picking and choosing. A classical education is more than learning Latin. Charlotte Mason is more than narration and nature study.

 Does that mean *I* am able to commit to any such framework? Absolutely not. 

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6 hours ago, square_25 said:

I guess I do a lot of redirecting, based on what works, and what I mean by "works" is "helps me accomplish my goals and my kids' goals." And I don't see that so often. 

One other thought.  It could be that also that people with young kids your kids' ages are still finding their feet and haven't quite decided how they want to approach things.  (I would say my dil probably fits that profile and her oldest is 8.)  Some people have to spend a while trying different approaches before they find their zone.

People with older kids might feel completely comfortable "passing the bean dip" when homeschooling conversations come up.  I know that I would not really talk to someone with a 7 yr old as their oldest about homeschooling philosophy unless it was someone I was pretty close friends with.  Casual conversations about homeschooling philosophy are rarely productive. People who have been homeschooling for a long time know that. 🙂 

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4 hours ago, beaners said:

 

It is possible to be thoughtful about your educational choices and still pick an overarching philosophy. I think there can be a benefit to following an entire framework instead of picking and choosing. A classical education is more than learning Latin. Charlotte Mason is more than narration and nature study.

 Does that mean *I* am able to commit to any such framework? Absolutely not. 

 

Oh, absolutely. And of course, I DO have a philosophy and a framework -- we're very academic homeschoolers, and we specifically want to impart the ability to analyze things. So it's not like it's a completely blank slate :-).

I would actually have an easier time with people who have global, overarching goals (even ones different from us) and who thought deeply about how to reach those goals. Instead, I see a lot of people checking boxes and hoping for the best, and that gets tiresome to watch. 

4 hours ago, Shoes+Ships+SealingWax said:

We are eclectic, but I surrounded myself with lots of eclectic homeschoolers from the beginning so that doesn’t feel unusual to me. What does tend to stick out is our schedule.

Many with young kids love to do tons of micro-lessons each day, covering a dozen or more things in the span of an hour or two. That is so not DS. It takes time for him to dig into the meaty topics he enjoys; task switching kills his momentum. We spend 45-60min each on only a few subjects daily. Any time I’ve tried to shrink that timeframe our days feel chaotic, disjointed, & stressful. We basically block schedule. Common enough for middle or high schoolers, but (in my experience) pretty unheard of for early elementary.

I am also the only homeschooler I know IRL who has set school hours they are reticent to interrupt for every “homeschool xyz day” that pops up. In order for DS to have the mental focus to wrestle with the type of work he prefers, it must be done in the morning. When we’ve tried pushing back our start time it always ended in double the lesson time with half the retention. If something is scheduled before noon & I don’t feel it’s value is equivalent to (or exceeds) a day of schoolwork, we skip it. 

It feels awkward to forge your own path, but the  beauty of homeschooling lies in its diversity. 

 

That's interesting, because this is exactly like my complaint, lol! Part of the reason I came here to work my grumpiness off is that we've working on scheduling classes at our local homeschooling center (I teach math there), and my desire to have a few of our mornings free is met with blank incomprehension. Everyone else seems to reorganize their schedule around the homeschooling center classes (which are lots of fun, but do not a full academic program make) and they don't seem to understand that we do quite a lot of academics at home in the morning, and that we need at least some of that time free. 

We do something very similar to you, I think -- we work on a few subjects, an hour or so at a time, and we work on all of it before noon. That's what works best for my daughter, too. 

3 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

One other thought.  It could be that also that people with young kids your kids' ages are still finding their feet and haven't quite decided how they want to approach things.  (I would say my dil probably fits that profile and her oldest is 8.)  Some people have to spend a while trying different approaches before they find their zone.

People with older kids might feel completely comfortable "passing the bean dip" when homeschooling conversations come up.  I know that I would not really talk to someone with a 7 yr old as their oldest about homeschooling philosophy unless it was someone I was pretty close friends with.  Casual conversations about homeschooling philosophy are rarely productive. People who have been homeschooling for a long time know that. 🙂 

 

I've mostly been talking to fairly close homeschooling friends with kids around my older daughter's age :-). But that's a good point -- they are definitely still finding their feet. I do think I get a bit of a leg up, since I've thought about teaching a lot in the last decade (and specifically one-on-one teaching, since I've always been much better at that than in a classroom), and lots of people haven't. And of course, there's lots I don't know, since we've only been doing this for a couple of years, and I don't know how everything will shape up as my daughters get older. 

This forum has been great for chatting about homeschooling, because right now, homeschooling dominates my life, and I've found very few people in real life who are really interested in talking about it. And I get pretty intense about my hobbies... I guess that's what the Internet is for, lol! 

Edited by square_25
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1 hour ago, square_25 said:

...my desire to have a few of our mornings free is met with blank incomprehension. Everyone else seems to reorganize their schedule around the homeschooling center classes (which are lots of fun, but do not a full academic program make) and they don't seem to understand that we do quite a lot of academics at home in the morning, and that we need at least some of that time free. 

Yes, we run into the same blank stares 😅 

Currently I’m torn. I’ve discovered an ability-grouped homeschool math team through the local Math Circle. I think he would really enjoy it! Unfortunately, it’s on the other side of town at 11am - 45min each way for a 75min weekly meeting... 

I’m leaning toward this one being “worth it” both academically & socially. We’ll know more next week once we’ve shadowed the class. He’s never met other kids who love math like he does, & there is a park nearby where theoretically we hold lessons if we drove over early. Perhaps history, which is largely literature-based. I had planned to dedicate a separate day to that anyhow. 

Most offerings don’t make the cut, though. Park days, artsy craftsy things we can do at home, short one-off workshops, jam-packed “homeschool days” at local museums / galleries that we could visit any time, athletics, age-grouped co-ops... all a hard pass. It has to provide something that I either cannot offer myself or have no interest in offering myself! 

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2 hours ago, square_25 said:

 

That's interesting, because this is exactly like my complaint, lol! Part of the reason I came here to work my grumpiness off is that we've working on scheduling classes at our local homeschooling center (I teach math there), and my desire to have a few of our mornings free is met with blank incomprehension. Everyone else seems to reorganize their schedule around the homeschooling center classes (which are lots of fun, but do not a full academic program make) and they don't seem to understand that we do quite a lot of academics at home in the morning, and that we need at least some of that time free. 

 

 

That's so funny because I was very protective of our academic mornings at home for quiet study.  I would not give that up, except for occasional events or field trips, and then all academics were off the table those rare days.  But we never had a regular morning appointment because that was school time, and we were almost always done by lunch time, getting later as they grew older.  

Our closest homeschooling friends were Waldorf, or more accurately, Waldorf-inspired.  We were definitely not doing Waldorf academics at home.  But I was so grateful to have them as friends because they were low- or no-media, which was our practice at home as well.  It was so nice for all the girls to play together, when none of them were watching the Disney Channel at home and bringing that toxicity into the mix.  

It didn't matter that our academics were different because I was more interested in learning about their parenting styles.  I was already confident in what I was doing academically.  

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I see the fact that no one homeschools quite the same as I do as a sign that I’m doing something right. I want to set things up as well as possible for my child and for myself, and if that looked like a bunch of other people, I would really doubt that it was actually right for her. After all, if doing what everyone else was doing was right for her, I could make things a lot simpler by sending her to school.

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I found this really interesting - a presentation on learning by UT Austin professor of neuropsychology Dr. Michael Mauk. Thought it intersected nicely with some of the discussion here. 

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Our homeschooling community here is small enough that we are definitely known as the 'academic' homeschoolers, and as far as I know the *only* ones in town.  I have never hidden my kids abilities or the struggles we have faced, even though they are different struggles than other homeschoolers face.  I simply say "my kid works above grade level" and move on. There is nothing judgmental or bragging in a statement of fact like that. As I have said many times on the board, I have more in common with the learning disability crowd than the unschoolers or christian schoolers or average schoolers. The learning disability crowd has to *adapt* the curriculum to the needs of the child, as do I.  They have been a wealth of information even though we come at homeschool from opposite ends of the spectrum.

In addition, my philosophy is a combination of student-directed learning and parent-required learning.  My kids do 80% of their studies how they want, but 20% is me making sure that they don't convince themselves that they are bad at something and thus don't do any of it.  80% passion and 20% tolerating the work makes for a nice balance.  🙂 

I say 'stand tall.' Be the educator that you want to be, and leave the rest behind. Come here for moral support. 

Edited by lewelma
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A long-time homeschooler, who had actually founded the unschooling group in my area, once told me that she considered what I was doing unschooling, because I was following my child's interests and desires and letting her learn at her own speed. It was simply that at the time, this included doing multiple languages, high school level math, and sitting in on college classes in science, for a kid who was legally registered in 3rd grade.  The only thing she wasn't driving was that I was insistent that she actually develop legible handwriting and the ability to type. 
 

That helped immensely with the "I'm doing it wrong" feeling-because I was feeling so beleaguered by the "better late than early" folks and the "let them be kids" that I felt like I couldn't win. 
 

Folks here have held my hand through multiple "I'm doing it wrong" crisis, too. And I have definitely gotten more support from the special needs side than from the "academic" side. 

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49 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

A long-time homeschooler, who had actually founded the unschooling group in my area, once told me that she considered what I was doing unschooling, because I was following my child's interests and desires and letting her learn at her own speed. It was simply that at the time, this included doing multiple languages, high school level math, and sitting in on college classes in science, for a kid who was legally registered in 3rd grade.  The only thing she wasn't driving was that I was insistent that she actually develop legible handwriting and the ability to type. 
 

That helped immensely with the "I'm doing it wrong" feeling-because I was feeling so beleaguered by the "better late than early" folks and the "let them be kids" that I felt like I couldn't win. 
 

Folks here have held my hand through multiple "I'm doing it wrong" crisis, too. And I have definitely gotten more support from the special needs side than from the "academic" side. 

 

I'm really not an unschooler, though, because I do push my kids... I'm just mindful of their interests and take lots of input from them. But I'm sure my daughter wouldn't be doing the math she is if I didn't drive it... she doesn't do math in her spare time. I am also sure she would like math a lot less if I didn't follow her lead on what she's interested in, and that she'd be extremely bored working on grade level, but that's a pretty different philosophy from unschooling. 

Grousing aside, I don't tend to feel like I'm doing it wrong... I mostly feel like I have no one to talk to except online, that's all. And maybe that's just normal. 

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22 hours ago, Shoes+Ships+SealingWax said:

I found this really interesting - a presentation on learning by UT Austin professor of neuropsychology Dr. Michael Mauk. Thought it intersected nicely with some of the discussion here. 

I listened to this this morning during my workout.  I thought his talk was interesting, but I did think some of the word choices (like test taking for information retrieval) could make it sound like he was saying something he wasn't.

FWIW, I see many of the concepts he describes incorporated into lots of educational methodologies.  For example, Montessori's 3 steps to learning-- identification, recognition, and recall.  I think the Jesuit's philosophy of education really fits in with some of what he was describing, especially their philosophy of prelection.  

Quote

On pages 92-93 of the Jesuit publication, Foundations (available at this link http://www.jsea.org/resources), prelection is described as follows: 
 
PRELECTION 
In this traditional method teachers… [give] a short account of the matter to be studied but [are] careful not to substitute their activity for the self-activity of the student… 
 
DEFINITION  
The prelection is a preview of a future assignment conducted by the teacher with the active cooperation of the class. It is not a lecture but a prelude to and preparation for private study.   
 
PURPOSE  
1. to interest the student in the subject under investigation;  
2. to see precise and obtainable objectives for the assignment;  
3. to point out the more important or complicated parts of the assignment…. 
 
PROCEDURES  
Teachers carefully prepare and select the comments they will make in the prelection; the teacher does not merely offer impromptu remarks about the next assignment. The prelection should include:   
1. the objective or results expected from the assignment;  
2. the connection of the lesson with previous lessons… 
4. the major ideas to be understood….   
 
The teacher must remember that the goal is to stimulate and aid the student to self-activity; the teacher should say no more in the prelection than what is necessary to accomplish this purpose.   
 

I also think buried in his talk is the key that it isn't TESTING that makes students master content.  It is students working through self-mastery of the content.  That is a big difference (and why I dislike his word choices.)  I rarely test my kids.  Like almost never.  Based on that statement alone, the assumption would then have to be that they are not learning the material.  But, my kids master content.  How?  Prelection, for one.  But then the in turn "teach" me, especially in high school.  They explain to me what they are learning.  They research and write papers covering more in-depth the topics that they are studying.  They write notes to themselves (Cornell type notes or their own format) where they identify key ideas, define/explain, and then summarize what they have been learning about that day.  

Ironically,  I think most textbooks are a book parallel to PP lectures.  Textbooks synthesize information down into the same bite size "mental digestable nuggets" that PP's do for lectures.  Reading whole books on topics vs. textbooks requires students to know how to synthesize key information for themselves enabling them to learn how to learn without what needs to be learned separated out for them. 

Anyway, thanks for linking the talk.  I was a psy/early childhood major in a former lifetime, so how kids learn is something I think about quite a bit.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart

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I like to think about things and how my children learn and make up plans for them, even if those plans have to be scrapped frequently because my children are little humans who grow in unexpected ways. I have to make my peace with the fact that not everyone likes doing that. Many, many people like to find one set of instructions that makes overall sense and then follow that. It frees up their mental space to focus on other things they find more valuable. It may mean that some things they do don't actually benefit themselves out their children, but the benefit they get from having a plan and sticking to it outweighs that downside. I just don't chat about educational their with those people because it stresses them out to be disagreed with and isn't an interesting conversation for me. Thankfully, there are usually plenty of other topics to choose from.

We are odd ducks sometimes, too. We are serious about our religious beliefs, but we accept evolution. I let my kids have tons of time for free play, but when we work I push them to work well. I had 4 kids in 7 years, but I'm not against birth control. We expect good behavior but also allow our children to question the way we do things. And so on. Usually I can find some common ground with just about anyone and stick to discussing that, though. In only have problems when I meet up with someone who had strong opinions that aren't based in facts of any kind. One specific homeschool park meet up springs to mind, but we just never went back there.

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9 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I also think buried in his talk is the key that it isn't TESTING that makes students master content.  It is students working through self-mastery of the content.

I thought he made it pretty clear that by testing he meant more self-testing than a formal assessment, but I can see how the terminology could be bothersome considering how hyper focused on standardized testing schools have become.  

9 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I think most textbooks are a book parallel to PP lectures.  Textbooks synthesize information down into the same bite size "mental digestable nuggets" that PP's do for lectures.  Reading whole books on topics vs. textbooks requires students to know how to synthesize key information for themselves

I think it depends on the textbook. Some certainly pre-digest content to the point of billeted lists & little context. However, there comes a point at which reading whole books on numerous topics to the point of mastery is simply too time-consuming & effortful to be practical in a structured, scheduled classroom environment. 

I’m glad you enjoyed the talk 😊

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7 hours ago, xahm said:

I like to think about things and how my children learn and make up plans for them, even if those plans have to be scrapped frequently because my children are little humans who grow in unexpected ways.


I love to read & re-read the planning threads on this board throughout the year. It’s the only place I really see posters acknowledging that their plan changes several times before the year begins & that by the time the year is actually occurring whatever they had originally considered is often unrecognizably different from where they’ve ended up! 

Edited by Shoes+Ships+SealingWax
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8 hours ago, Shoes+Ships+SealingWax said:

I thought he made it pretty clear that by testing he meant more self-testing than a formal assessment, but I can see how the terminology could be bothersome considering how hyper focused on standardized testing schools have become.  

I think it depends on the textbook. Some certainly pre-digest content to the point of billeted lists & little context. However, there comes a point at which reading whole books on numerous topics to the point of mastery is simply too time-consuming & effortful to be practical in a structured, scheduled classroom environment. 

I’m glad you enjoyed the talk 😊

His talk was focused on the student mindset of passing a test.  In today's environment, I don't think anything else would make an impression on an audience. Ironically, mastery is really what he was describing. Actually learning material not for a test but to learn it to know/mastering the content......never really focused on as the real long-term objective. 

My comment about textbooks was not directed toward him as a professor in a college classroom (though my college kids have lamented how little the learn in a classroom compared to how they learned at home, so they would probably disagree. They spend what time they can squeeze in researching what they want to learn outside of the classroom. The main difference is they know what that looks like. For most students, it never crosses their minds. The textbook is the material.)

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