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8FillTheHeart

Support for designing your own curriculum

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I wandered into the world of FB this yr.  I have never been a FB person, but when we moved with 2 teenagers, it seemed like a good idea for finding local homeschoolers.  But, ugh, FB homeschool chatter is basically all coop chatter (and needing coops to successfully educate children for high school).  There are gazillion homeschooling 101 type groups, but I suspect they are probably the equivalent of the local FB feed.  I was wondering if having a FB group specifically around supporting moms who want to homeschool at home to be able to discuss designing their own curriculum would be helpful? Do you think there would be an interest in a private group where moms could share how to design their own homeschool?  

I created a group, but now I am trying to decide if it is worth it??  Thoughts?

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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There would be plenty of interest! How active it would be, otoh....? That could go either way.

I'd definitely love it. 

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Sure, I'd join.

My local groups have a variety of types of homeschoolers, and when people ask questions they do get a few different answers. But designing one's own curriculum is not usually included.

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I would love to learn more about this. I designed my own for some subjects in the lower grades but find high school to be overwhelming. It is also expensive to buy something pre-planned for every subject and isn’t always a good fit. I’m looking at planning some things for next year and would love a group to learn from and bounce ideas off of. 

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I’m interested! I’m with OKBud about active participants. I’ve joined a unit study group, a Great Course homeschool group and a bunch of others that have barely any posts. 

On the other hand, if it goes the other way and has a lot of people participating, moderating a group is so very time-consuming, so keep that in mind. 

You could also start a social group here as well. I have had trouble finding those since the turnover, but I would seek it out if I had to. I need inspiration! 

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I thought about a social group, but I remember being frustrated by line limits and how it threaded.  

I have no idea how it would turn out in terms of participation.  I think the difference between posting here and in a private group is just the privacy.  If you want to share something specific about a child's ability, it isn't there for the whole world to read.  

When I have time later this afternoon, I'll finish setting it up and just see what happens.  If it is a dud, no loss bc it wasn't there before.  But, maybe it will be helpful.  I might even be willing to do one of my homeschool to college workshops since it would be private.

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I am interested! Most of the homeschool groups on fb seem to center around specific curricula or philosophies, so I think that your anticipated page would fill an open niche. 

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In my experience, if you want an active group based on something that requires thought, you have to put in a lot of work. Like, say, daily themes and a unique group culture. Otherwise, it gets buried or it reverts to the kind of group you don’t want.
 

I’m definitely interested, but it’s a difficult needle to thread: an active group that lets you dictate the culture.

Edited by square_25
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I would be interested. I've only got a couple more years to go , and it is high school but I have a few things I would like to do in a different way than the usual high school course.

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I would be interested! There seems to be so little out there for diy. 

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I'd definitely be interested but I would bet most of the DIY HS moms are already on this forum because there is no other place for them. 

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9 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I wandered into the world of FB this yr.  I have never been a FB person, but when we moved with 2 teenagers, it seemed like a good idea for finding local homeschoolers.  But, ugh, FB homeschool chatter is basically all coop chatter (and needing coops to successfully educate children for high school).  There are gazillion homeschooling 101 type groups, but I suspect they are probably the equivalent of the local FB feed.  I was wondering if having a FB group specifically around supporting moms who want to homeschool at home to be able to discuss designing their own curriculum would be helpful? Do you think there would be an interest in a private group where moms could share how to design their own homeschool?  

I created a group, but now I am trying to decide if it is worth it??  Thoughts?

Yes, Yes, YES!!! Count me in!

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3 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'd definitely be interested but I would bet most of the DIY HS moms are already on this forum because there is no other place for them. 

This is my case!

Maybe a less time-intensive/single-platform option would be to try to designate "DIY" or something similar in the title to posts here? Or maybe the admins can set up another board on the forum for curriculum design discussions? I haven't commented until recently, but I've read here for years and I think it would be unfortunate to drive the thoughtful discussions that take place here on designing curriculum over to FB and also to have a more limited group of discussants. I'm probably in the minority, but I'd much rather chat here than on FB.

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1 hour ago, Publia said:

This is my case!

Maybe a less time-intensive/single-platform option would be to try to designate "DIY" or something similar in the title to posts here? Or maybe the admins can set up another board on the forum for curriculum design discussions? I haven't commented until recently, but I've read here for years and I think it would be unfortunate to drive the thoughtful discussions that take place here on designing curriculum over to FB and also to have a more limited group of discussants. I'm probably in the minority, but I'd much rather chat here than on FB.

I am not a lurker by nature, but I wonder if people who lurk on public forums are more willing to post and engage in private ones.  ??? 

I don't think it would drive thoughtful conversation from these forums any more than has already disappeared (honestly,  I question just how much thoughtful discussion is actually taking place these days.  June, new school yr in a couple of months, new plans, and I have only seen a handful of interesting threads about course design. I'm not how many "yrs" yrs is for your lurking, but from my yrs here, my perspective is that these forums are dying a slow death.)

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If you look at the forums, that chat board is the only forum that generates traffic.  (I don't participate in the chat forum bc it doesn't appeal to me)

 The general forum (ignoring the ignore thread) has 4 active threads today (1 of them being this 1).

The high school forum has 7 (and 2 of those are about covid and standardized testing issues).

The k8 forum has 8.

The logic forum has 2.

I remember when 1/2 a day without reading meant having to go to page 2 to catch up.  😞

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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I would love something more private! But, I’m not on Facebook for privacy concerns. Although, something like this might make me join Facebook after all. I do remember several subgroups of people left for WTM spin off groups on Facebook over various spats on here, but those groups could be toxic with less relevant discussion and more gossip about members here. They certainly contributed for my developing a distaste for social media.

You’re right 8. It is unfortunate because I really really appreciate SWB keeping these forums up because they are my only academic community, but since the last forum change the vibe on here is radically different, as is the traffic, from when I was a lurker with only a toddler a decade ago. I have always appreciated being challenged about my choices in a meaningful way by the old timers on this board and most of them left a long time ago.

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33 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I am not a lurker by nature, but I wonder if people who lurk on public forums are more willing to post and engage in private ones.  ??? 

I don't think it would drive thoughtful conversation from these forums any more than has already disappeared (honestly,  I question just how much thoughtful discussion is actually taking place these days.  June, new school yr in a couple of months, new plans, and I have only seen a handful of interesting threads about course design. I'm not how many "yrs" yrs is for your lurking, but from my yrs here, my perspective is that these forums are dying a slow death.)

Well, I certainly hope the bolded in this quotation from you is not true... 😢

I do have reservations about FB or social media as the platform best-suited for thoughtful discussion. Those forms of media seem to be mostly rant- and emotion-driven, which doesn't seem conducive to actual discussion. But then, I continue to refuse to join FB, Twitter, etc. so I may be mistaken about what goes on there. My opinion is based on what DH has shared about the decrease in useful sharing and increase in highly politicized re-postings of reposts on his FB account... and he has been extremely selective about who he friends -- mostly fellow art-minded and Christian-intellectually-minded people.

Also, I do agree with square_25's thoughts about having to post new content regularly (at least several times/week) in order to keep the group active AND to keep it focused in the direction you want, rather than deteriorating. My sister runs a small business via a website, and finds it is absolutely crucial to keep adding new content weekly to keep people returning; and another friend is a film reviewer and has had to more than once redirect responses or shut down comments when people (or possibly trolls) suddenly veer into angry, accusatory, vitriolic rants -- or as I think of it: "blomit" (blog-vomit -- a reader's response to a blog post).

I would hate for you to end up not adding your invaluable posts here anymore, or not creating more wonderful programs like your Treasured Conversations and Homeschooling at the Helm, because you were having to spend hours a day managing a FB group, and all the stress that goes with it...

On the other hand, I would love to see you have a platform for providing your homeschool college workshops. I know my local homeschool group has always appreciated it when I have done an "evening info" session on a number of different homeschooling high school topics. 😉 

Just my 2 cents worth! 😄 Warmest regards, from an 8FillTheHeart "groupie", lol -- Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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1 hour ago, Publia said:

Or maybe the admins can set up another board on the forum for curriculum design discussions?

 

I can't imagine SWB spending money on that when the education boards already exist to host these discussions.

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Just now, Rosie_0801 said:

 

I can't imagine SWB spending money on that when the education boards already exist to host these discussions.

I agree.  Within the last yr or so, it seems like the education boards have declined in traffic.  The chat forum and the ignore this thread thread seem to be the most active things on the site.  It makes me sad b/c this has been my homeschooling refuge for so long.  But, even here, most of the discussion is about what can I use for, who do you use....vs how do you teach.  That shift is radically different from what the forums used to be.

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7 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

Well, I certainly hope the bolded in this quotation from you is not true... 😢

I do have reservations about FB or social media as the platform best-suited for thoughtful discussion. Those forms of media seem to be mostly rant- and emotion-driven, which doesn't seem conducive to actual discussion. But then, I continue to refuse to join FB, Twitter, etc. so I may be mistaken about what goes on there. My opinion is based on what DH has shared about the decrease in useful sharing and increase in highly politicized re-postings of reposts on his FB account... and he has been extremely selective about who he friends -- mostly fellow art-minded and Christian-intellectually-minded people.

Also, I do agree with square_25's thoughts about having to post new content regularly (at least several times/week) in order to keep the group active AND to keep it focused in the direction you want, rather than deteriorating. My sister runs a small business via a website, and finds it is absolutely crucial to keep adding new content weekly to keep people returning; and another friend is a film reviewer and has had to more than once redirect responses or shut down comments when people (or possibly trolls) suddenly veer into angry, accusatory, vitriolic rants -- or as I think of it: "blomit" (blog-vomit -- a reader's response to a blog post).

I would hate for you to end up not adding your invaluable posts here anymore, or not creating more wonderful programs like your Treasured Conversations and Homeschooling at the Helm, because you were having to spend hours a day managing a FB group, and all the stress that goes with it...

On the other hand, I would love to see you have a platform for providing your homeschool college workshops. I know my local homeschool group has always appreciated it when I have done an "evening info" session on a number of different homeschooling high school topics. 😉 

Just my 2 cents worth! 😄 Warmest regards, from an 8FillTheHeart "groupie", lol -- Lori D.

Well, I certainly do NOT want this to be work for me!!  That might mean it will die a definite death!  I don't have time to make a FB group work.  I am thinking more of a place to ask questions in private and offering support to each other answering questions.  Not me generating questions that people want to answer!  Ugh.  Not a me kind of thing.

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1 minute ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I agree.  Within the last yr or so, it seems like the education boards have declined in traffic.  The chat forum and the ignore this thread thread seem to be the most active things on the site.  It makes me sad b/c this has been my homeschooling refuge for so long.  But, even here, most of the discussion is about what can I use for, who do you use....vs how do you teach.  That shift is radically different from what the forums used to be.

 

Oh, I quite agree. I think most people around here already know what they are wanting to achieve and how they want to achieve it, so there aren't many threads around to teach newbies to imagine what they had never imagined before, as happened when I was new here. There also doesn't seem to be many newbies starting at the beginning any more.

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Just now, Rosie_0801 said:

 

Oh, I quite agree. I think most people around here already know what they are wanting to achieve and how they want to achieve it, so there aren't many threads around to teach newbies to imagine what they had never imagined before, as happened when I was new here. There also doesn't seem to be many newbies starting at the beginning any more.

Well, that could be the biggest thing.  Newbies answering newbies with all the answers (CC, co-op, online Easy Peasy) and no one asking real questions that don't have easy answers.  Those kinds of questions I can ask.  BUT......people have to be willing to think about them and face that the answers might take effort.

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10 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

  BUT......people have to be willing to think about them and face that the answers might take effort.

 

A difficult thing to do when one is terrified even of following a boxed curriculum. The power of the cult of the expert is strong.

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Honestly @8FillTheHeart I admire your gumption and envy the stamina of your optimism.

I have began to go nuts at the inane, (New-) Homeschooler Seeking Miracle Curriculum type conversations--whether they occur online or in real life. My brief and never to be repeated again, Co-Op experience did me in. It exposed me to how many parents, while well meaning, are looking to patch together an education for their kids with a combo of economically priced quick fixes and private tutoring.

It feels like too many parents want a Fantasy Fix that doesn't involve them thinking hard, working hard or being engaged. I briefly entertained delusions of opening a small school locally, but the parents (not the kids) are too much work. They want God Himself to design and deliver lessons for their perfect Snowflakes, but they balk at the idea of paying for his divine presence. They want something that they can hand over to their kids at 9:30am each Monday and never have to think about it again.

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I sent a request to join the facebook group.  I would love to learn more about creating our own curriculum!

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55 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I am not a lurker by nature, but I wonder if people who lurk on public forums are more willing to post and engage in private ones.  ??? 

I don't think it would drive thoughtful conversation from these forums any more than has already disappeared (honestly,  I question just how much thoughtful discussion is actually taking place these days.  June, new school yr in a couple of months, new plans, and I have only seen a handful of interesting threads about course design. I'm not how many "yrs" yrs is for your lurking, but from my yrs here, my perspective is that these forums are dying a slow death.)

I don't know about others, but I didn't sign up/comment because I was pretty sure when we were just beginning that I didn't have much to add that others with more experience (you, for example! 🙂 ) hadn't already said well. My approach to commenting is generally to let others go first and then if I still feel that I've got something worthwhile to add, I pipe up. We're into year 5 of "official" HS now, so while our endeavors are still to my mind highly experimental, I do have at least some experience and not just theory at this point.

I don't mind a public forum. I'm not convinced that FB offers substantially more real privacy than what you get here, even if it's nominally private. I do agree FB and Insta are killing discussion on other websites, including probably this one, but I guess the contrarian in me feels the need to resist that.

ETA: I do admit that I was disappointed to click into this thread and find that it was about moving conversations over to FB. I was looking forward to discussing designing particular programs of study!

31 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

I can't imagine SWB spending money on that when the education boards already exist to host these discussions.

I generally agree; I think a well-worded subject line is enough to point people to the idea that you want to discuss designing your own studies in X subject.

Edited by Publia
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1 hour ago, Rosie_0801 said:

I can't imagine SWB spending money on that when the education boards already exist to host these discussions.

👍
 

59 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Well, I certainly do NOT want this to be work for me!!  That might mean it will die a definite death!  I don't have time to make a FB group work.  I am thinking more of a place to ask questions in private and offering support to each other answering questions.  Not me generating questions that people want to answer!  Ugh.  Not a me kind of thing.

 

1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

...But, even here, most of the discussion is about what can I use for, who do you use....vs how do you teach.  That shift is radically different from what the forums used to be.


Hmmm... I don't see it working without a "moderator", or an expert/experienced homeschooler to help generate ideas for what this could look like... I just don't think most homeschoolers have enough wisdom/experience of materials, or of what different educational philosophies and pedagogies, are out there to know how to initiate or contribute to a discussion of this type.
 

I think the percentage of homeschoolers who created their own DIY, or who have heavily tweaked/adapted already published materials has always been small, and the amount of people reading about educational philosophies and pedagogies has been even smaller.

I always enjoyed the philosophical discussion threads, but never participated, as I felt too intimidated. I felt like I never had the brain-power left over to be reading up on educational philosophy/pedagogy, as I was spending all my time just trying to sort out DS#2's LDs and figure out how to adapt or create materials that might work for him, or research-research-research what materials or techniques might help -- all while juggling his extreme and strong-willed personality that was very anti-anything-educational, highly distractible, quick to melt-down into rage, and often oppositional. It was extremely exhausting just getting through a day, esp. as DH was on the fire dept., so I was also being a single-parent 1/3 of the time while DH was at work...

I imagine there are others like myself who feel too intimidated to start or enter into those types of threads, but I also agree that the face of homeschooling has radically changed in the last 12 years, with the explosion of outsourcing options, coupled with the widely-available co-ops (such as Classical Conversations,) and hybrid / university model schools, where parents do not need to do the research or may only need to just oversee at-home work while an outsourced school or teacher provides the rest.

Even at our local fantastic homeschool support group (NOT co-op, but support with oodles of wonderful options) has been changing, with fewer parents willing to step up and help create or organize or lead, and many of the newer parents looking for drop-off activity options. There is no longer the "pioneering" aspect of all pulling together to make great things happen, since there are so many competing options that just require paying a fee and sitting on your phone texting or surfing the 'net while kids do the option... Perhaps that is part of a society-wide change??

Edited by Lori D.
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I did ask a question to the mods a few months back to see if it would be against the rules to post/sell lesson or curriculum plans on here. They seemed really receptive. 

 

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The only subject I've created is what we (not so) lovingly call "Bitchery." That's just a reading list and discussion though. 

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3 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

If you look at the forums, that chat board is the only forum that generates traffic.  (I don't participate in the chat forum bc it doesn't appeal to me)
The general forum (ignoring the ignore thread) has 4 active threads today (1 of them being this 1).
The high school forum has 7 (and 2 of those are about covid and standardized testing issues).
The k8 forum has 8.
The logic forum has 2.
I remember when 1/2 a day without reading meant having to go to page 2 to catch up.  😞

That is true... BUT, things always slowed way down in June as many people had wound-down their school year. AND... this year, esp., the pandemic has really fried a lot of people. So I would argue that this is not the best time to take a "snapshot" view of the Boards and what is *typical* activity.

That said, I do agree that the overall # of educational threads has gone down. But I also think this might be a prime time for reviving discussions on educational topics, as I'm also seeing a number of people coming to homeschooling and planning on sticking with it *because* of the pandemic...

Edited by Lori D.
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1 hour ago, Lori D. said:

Also, I do agree with square_25's thoughts about having to post new content regularly (at least several times/week) in order to keep the group active AND to keep it focused in the direction you want, rather than deteriorating. My sister runs a small business via a website, and finds it is absolutely crucial to keep adding new content weekly to keep people returning; and another friend is a film reviewer and has had to more than once redirect responses or shut down comments when people (or possibly trolls) suddenly veer into angry, accusatory, vitriolic rants -- or as I think of it: "blomit" (blog-vomit -- a reader's response to a blog post).

 

I ran a large babywearing group on FB, so that's where my experience comes from. We wound up with daily themes, and we had to post thoughtful content a few times a week -- if the thoughtful content generated by admins disappeared, the group quickly went back to "LOOK AT THIS FANCY NEW BABY CARRIER!!" as opposed to actual geeky talk about how to use the things we had. (It was a wrapping group, so there was plenty of nerdy talk to be had, if you wanted it.) 

And as you say, FB groups need serious moderation. Once you have enough people, you WILL have random people pop out of the woodwork and be angry about whatever their pet peeve is. The bigger the group, the more this happens. But the bigger the group, the more active it is, too, so that can't be discounted. 

Edited by square_25

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Hallo ! I am on this board for this very reason though I have been posting on the Chat Forum only. But I have lurked a lot in the education boards.

I am a panicked pandemic mother of a 13 year old boy and a 4 year old girl terrified of potentially homeschooling

I would be very interested in something like this. I have to leave now so please pardon this abrupt post and introduction. But I just wanted to bookmark this for further posting tomorrow. Thanks

 

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I will also say that I saw traffic move from a forum like this one to FB groups, and it did decrease the traffic on that forum :-/. Once there were more thoughtful alternatives available on FB, people did gravitate to them more, because it was more integrated with their routine. 

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59 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Well, I certainly do NOT want this to be work for me!!  That might mean it will die a definite death!  I don't have time to make a FB group work.  I am thinking more of a place to ask questions in private and offering support to each other answering questions.  Not me generating questions that people want to answer!  Ugh.  Not a me kind of thing.

Then you'll have to farm it out to someone ;-). Someone has to moderate. 

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I sometimes feel like everything has already been discussed here so I'm a little intimidated to ask certain questions. I doubt I'm the only one who feels like this. 

I don't know of any other place to discuss DIY homeschooling other than this forum. I joined a few local FB homeschooling groups but there are no good conversations there. I finally left one of the groups because it was spammed with political alarmism posts. I've never even heard of the curricula they discuss. Most people do online schooling or Easy Peasy. 

When I first began researching homeschooling there were good blogs but they seem to have disappeared. 

I've noticed that when I search this forum using google for discussion about specific curricula it pulls up discussions from 2010 or so more than recent discussions. Was that the heyday of this forum? 

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19 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I sometimes feel like everything has already been discussed here so I'm a little intimidated to ask certain questions. I doubt I'm the only one who feels like this. 

 

I used to participate sometimes on the high school forum when my kid was a baby. No one did worse than politely ignore me. 

Things certainly were a lot more happening here in 2010 than they are now. For the most part, I blame mobile phones. Who is going to write a thousand word response from their phone? 

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14 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

Who is going to write a thousand word response from their phone? 

But, for some of us that’s a good thing! I sometimes come across my old dissertations disguised as forum posts, written first in Word and carefully edited, and I cringe. The worst of it is that I can’t log in under my old user name to delete those monsters.

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I'd love to be part of a discussion on this topic, but I'm not on Facebook.  @8FillTheHeart, would you consider doing at least of couple of threads on this forum if you also do the Facebook group?  

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6 minutes ago, mms said:

But, for some of us that’s a good thing! I sometimes come across my old dissertations disguised as forum posts, written first in Word and carefully edited, and I cringe. The worst of it is that I can’t log in under my old user name to delete those monsters.

 

Me too. But I consider it evidence that I have grown up, as I should have over the last 15 years, lol

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The discussion in this thread has put into words many of the thoughts I've been wrestling with lately. 

I've tried enough boxed curriculum that I know nothing is going to fit us perfectly.  I rather enjoy making it our own.  This past year was the first year I've been confident enough to just choose my own history and literature books to just read and discuss.  And it was very freeing and satisfying.  It was our best year by far.    My middle DS (a slow reader) told me it was his favorite year because he loved his books.  That was all the encouragement I needed to continue making my own.  It is soooo much work and I understand some families do not have the time or desire to do so. 

I've only been homeschooling for 8 years.  I'm no expert, but I feel like I could help a newbie,  if only with encouragement.  At the same time, High School is just around the corner and I wish I had someone who has walked that walk before who I could discuss ideas with.  We are mostly homeschool loners.  Closest co-op is  45 minutes away.  I do have one other homeschool family in our church.   I've joined a few FB groups for community but they often leave me feeling disappointed and uninterested.

It seems that just a few years ago (maybe 5?) I could find far more encouraging homeschool mama blogs that were not just about curriculum choices or box days but about the ins & outs of homeschooling.  Maybe it's my imagination.

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35 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I sometimes feel like everything has already been discussed here so I'm a little intimidated to ask certain questions. I doubt I'm the only one who feels like this. 

I don't know of any other place to discuss DIY homeschooling other than this forum. I joined a few local FB homeschooling groups but there are no good conversations there. I finally left one of the groups because it was spammed with political alarmism posts. I've never even heard of the curricula they discuss. Most people do online schooling or Easy Peasy. 

When I first began researching homeschooling there were good blogs but they seem to have disappeared. 

I've noticed that when I search this forum using google for discussion about specific curricula it pulls up discussions from 2010 or so more than recent discussions. Was that the heyday of this forum? 

This version of the forums was created in 2008, but the forums predate that by at least a decade.  My first introduction to the forums was when my oldest (now almost 31) was in 6th grade and I was exploring Foerster's alg.  The forums were several yrs old by that time.

If I had to define my personal vision of heyday, it would be when the Draconian moms were extremely active on the high school forum (that group of women inspired you to stretch your homeschool). There have been individual great posters over the yrs (Myrtle, nmoira, Ester Maria come to mind) who passed away 😞 or stopped posting. But, in the last 5 yrs or so, the discussion has radically altered.  Most of the posters who really encouraged out of the box thinking or inspired high aspirations had kids who graduated long ago.  

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I would love to be in that discussion, but if it was on FB, then my name would be associated with me.  I don't know how I feel about that.  

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

...I've noticed that when I search this forum using google for discussion about specific curricula it pulls up discussions from 2010 or so more than recent discussions. Was that the heyday of this forum? 

I pulled together the "motherlode" pinned threads at the top of the high school and college boards. I would say the heyday of really great discussion and helps ran most heavily from about 2008 through 2016. For the college board, it's been more like about 2014 through 2018/19.

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