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Our first day homeschooling again


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So, due to COVID and the insanity, we decided that the most stable education we could give our kids was homeschooling again.  So, 13 years on, 2 years off, and now back in the saddle again.  I woke up this morning knowing that my kid’s old school was going to try in person education and see what happens.  All I know, is that my morning was calm and relaxed.  No getting breakfast and lunches ready, no wrangling kids out of bed, and no driving to school to get everyone there by 7:35.  No drama on the way home.  No having to solve issues like I had to before school even got started last year when I saw that my daughter’s bully was in her class again.  My youngest is in 7th grade and is actually able to complete most of her work ON HER OWN!!!  I had forgotten how much easier/ less mom involved homeschooling an older child can be (granted, there are other challenges like not being able to concentrate on math because of menstrual cramps or the teen attitude in general).  She was excited to see her new science book that I thought looked a little dry.  She brought it to her room so she could read through all the things that seemed interesting to her.
 

 Ironically, one of the main reasons we sent her to school was math.  I was tired of trying to teach her and just needed someone else to shoulder that with me.  The thing that I had to re-teach her every.single.day she went to school?  Math.  So, I’ve just learned to relax about her learning math and not worry about finishing the textbook like I had been in the past.  Like today, the math lesson was a bust.  Tomorrow?  We get to do the same lesson.  No big deal.  
 

I have also learned that I had much higher expectations for my kid’s education than the public school ever had.  I can relax quite a bit and still give them a much higher education than they were receiving.  Just having my daughter write papers even monthly is a step up.  My 15 year old ds will be a little shocked at the level of work he will need to accomplish with his online homeschool classes, but it will be good for him.  He’s used to getting straight As without any effort.  
 

So, maybe things can be better this time around.  Maybe everyone is in a honeymoon stage?  At least I’m not as apprehensive as I was last week thinking I had made a horrible decision.  

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So glad to hear a good first day report-- sounds like you all are in a good place mentally and emotionally (you know that's more than half the battle!) and set up for a good year. 🙂

It feels good to step off the crazy train (which is what my school district is at the moment...). 

Edited by Zoo Keeper
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17 hours ago, bethben said:

I have also learned that I had much higher expectations for my kid’s education than the public school ever had.  I can relax quite a bit and still give them a much higher education than they were receiving.

Whenever I start beating myself up about not completing every single thing I planned for our homeschool, I try to remember the almost complete lack of education my DD with special needs received at the public school. The levels of expectations really are shockingly low. 

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20 hours ago, bethben said:

So, I’ve just learned to relax about her learning math and not worry about finishing the textbook like I had been in the past.  

Can't speak for schools in your neck of the woods, but here, they almost never finish a textbook in public or private schools anyway.

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18 hours ago, JessinTX said:

Whenever I start beating myself up about not completing every single thing I planned for our homeschool, I try to remember the almost complete lack of education my DD with special needs received at the public school. The levels of expectations really are shockingly low. 

I never understood why the United States was so behind other countries in education until my daughter went to school.  Especially math.  Common core math was such a joke.  She got all As in math and learned absolutely nothing.  

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4 hours ago, bethben said:

I never understood why the United States was so behind other countries in education until my daughter went to school.  Especially math.  Common core math was such a joke.  She got all As in math and learned absolutely nothing.  

My daughter was kind of the same.

Which surprised me a bit. I mean, she'd struggle with her homework--homework I couldn't help her with because I had no clue how they were wanting her to solve these math problems and it had to be done their way--and yet she'd still manage an A somehow.

At least now, I can see her grasping math.

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34 minutes ago, TomK said:

My daughter was kind of the same.

Which surprised me a bit. I mean, she'd struggle with her homework--homework I couldn't help her with because I had no clue how they were wanting her to solve these math problems and it had to be done their way--and yet she'd still manage an A somehow.

At least now, I can see her grasping math.

I basically bucked the system.  I told my dd how to do math problems the "old fashioned way" aka the easy way.  I told her to ignore everything her teacher was telling her.  The way I see common core math is that they give a child five different ways to do the same problem and then assume they will pick the one that makes the most sense.  And then to add to the confusion, the student is responsible to understand how to do the five different ways and not mix them up in their head.  Yes.  Great idea.  Obviously, the people who created this have no idea how kid's minds work.  

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18 minutes ago, bethben said:

I basically bucked the system.  I told my dd how to do math problems the "old fashioned way" aka the easy way.  I told her to ignore everything her teacher was telling her.  The way I see common core math is that they give a child five different ways to do the same problem and then assume they will pick the one that makes the most sense.  And then to add to the confusion, the student is responsible to understand how to do the five different ways and not mix them up in their head.  Yes.  Great idea.  Obviously, the people who created this have no idea how kid's minds work.  

That's what we would have done except another teacher in that grade told us that the math teacher expected it to be done that particular way. If it wasn't, it would be marked wrong.

That may or may not have played some factor in my decision to start homeschooling.

After all, if she can do the problem and get it right, I'm not sweating whether she knows four other ways to do it.

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1 hour ago, bethben said:

I basically bucked the system.  I told my dd how to do math problems the "old fashioned way" aka the easy way.  I told her to ignore everything her teacher was telling her.  The way I see common core math is that they give a child five different ways to do the same problem and then assume they will pick the one that makes the most sense.  And then to add to the confusion, the student is responsible to understand how to do the five different ways and not mix them up in their head.  Yes.  Great idea.  Obviously, the people who created this have no idea how kid's minds work.  

Barry Garrelick just did a video about some of the downfalls of this called "misunderstanding about understanding."  https://researchedus2020.wordpress.com/2020/08/11/evidence-supported-instructional-practices-misunderstandings-about-understanding/

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4 hours ago, bethben said:

I basically bucked the system.  I told my dd how to do math problems the "old fashioned way" aka the easy way.  I told her to ignore everything her teacher was telling her.  The way I see common core math is that they give a child five different ways to do the same problem and then assume they will pick the one that makes the most sense.  And then to add to the confusion, the student is responsible to understand how to do the five different ways and not mix them up in their head.  Yes.  Great idea.  Obviously, the people who created this have no idea how kid's minds work.  

This kind of teaching works after the conceptual understanding has been explicitly taught. Then you won't get the 'steps' mixed up because math is not about following steps. If a class of kids all have the concepts underlying long multiplication down pat, then sure, have a playful session using word problems and see the myriad ways they think of to solve it (I think Jo Boaler called it Number Talks)

Sorry, rant off.

Bethben, sounds like your first day was successful! Well done to you and your kids! Thanks for posting, it's always nice and encouraging to hear. Hope you have a great year!

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6 hours ago, bethben said:

I basically bucked the system.  I told my dd how to do math problems the "old fashioned way" aka the easy way.  I told her to ignore everything her teacher was telling her.  The way I see common core math is that they give a child five different ways to do the same problem and then assume they will pick the one that makes the most sense.  And then to add to the confusion, the student is responsible to understand how to do the five different ways and not mix them up in their head.  Yes.  Great idea.  Obviously, the people who created this have no idea how kid's minds work.  

YES! It's ridiculous.

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I am in a similar bucket.  I've been part time homeschooling since Preschool and now I can't believe we are bringing them fully home in  fifth grade due to Covid.  We decided to send the twins to school for writing and electives.  The twins have been participating in math competitions since kindergarten, so we never really cared about math at school.  It's always been an easy class and the twins actually like learning all the different ways to answer questions because they can use it during a competition when necessary.

I am very nervous about this.  I shouldn't be because we have been using solid programs and the kids are perfectly fine with homeschooling.  We fully homeschool every summer with no issues.  I worry because this is a lot of pressure on me.  It was much easier to just fill in the gaps and focus on a few subjects.  On the other hand, we are not rushing anything.  For instance, we are cycling through SOTW ancient on our pace.  I don't have to spend time reteaching the kids "social studies" or email a teacher because she explained only three states of matter when we have five.  But it's overwhelming.  it's good you are at peace with it all.  I am at peace with the kids being home, but very nervous about whether I can teach all the subjects without the backup of school.   

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