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Undergrad student interested in learning about homeschooling parents' concerns


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13 hours ago, EKS said:

I think that folks who are interested in homeschooling long term, rather than just weathering the current pandemic schooling crisis (which is decidedly NOT homeschooling), would be well advised to do two things, both ahead of homeschooling and as an ongoing and evolving endeavor.

First, successful homeschoolers tend to build relationships with their children that both augment the homeschooling experience and are augmented by it.  When you are with your children all day every day, you need to establish behavioral expectations that are more stringent than might be required when you have a reprieve from them for 8+ hours 5 days per week.  Fortunately, homeschooling gives you the time to be consistent, enforce expectations, etc.  The flip side of this is that the homeschooling parent needs to be ready to really dig down into why a certain behavior is occurring and change things if necessary.  I found that for our family, high expectations and consistent enforcement coupled with a willingness to really analyze the triggers for any recurring problems was the key to making our homeschool run (reasonably) smoothly.  I believe that the result of this sort of approach to parenting is one of the things I'm detecting when I am able to spot homeschooling families in the wild.

Second, successful homeschoolers will spend a lot (a lot!) of time educating themselves about homeschooling, education, and, importantly, what it is they're teaching.  I know that over my own tenure as a homeschooler, for the first, say, 3-4 years, I was obsessed with reading everything I could get my hands on about homeschooling.  Then that died down, and I became more interested in teaching and learning in general--everything from how to harness memory and deal with its limitations to the specifics of how to teach math.  Finally, as I moved into the middle/high school years with the older one, I spent the bulk of my time learning ahead of him, particularly in the areas I was weak in myself.  

I would argue that most homeschooling difficulties--"pain points" as you have called them here--cannot be solved by external resources.  Instead, they are best addressed by either working on the relationship between parent and child and/or by a commitment to continual learning on the parent's part.  I'm not saying that resources aren't important because they most certainly are, but resources on their own cannot replace how an effective relationship creates a space for learning and how knowledge on the parent/teacher's part can light the way.

ETA:  I realized that the above may make it sound like all you have to do is have a good relationship with your children and study a bit, and homeschooling will be smooth sailing.  This is absolutely NOT the case.  First, my experience has been that the relationship piece was by far the most difficult thing about homeschooling--that is, the emotional work required to homeschool well can be incredibly taxing.    And learning ahead of your children to the degree necessary to teach well is also extremely difficult.  It's no wonder that if folks don't drop out of homeschooling by middle school they will almost certainly do so by high school.  Not everyone, to be sure, but at least around here, it is very rare to find a homeschooled high school student.  And I suppose that I should also mention that there is a third thing that homeschooling parents should do in addition to relationship building and developing their own knowledge, and that is thinking seriously about what might tip the scales toward enrolling their children in school.  Because part of being a successful homeschooler is knowing when it's time to stop.

I completely agree with you, on both your points. Right now I spend 3 hours per day and more on weekends to work on learning all the content I will be teaching/facilitating/co-learning. Hours upon hours of work to be an effective teacher.  I have taught basically every subject every grade. That is a big ask, and takes commitment. More online content would not help me or my son. We just need the time and the energy to do the work. There are no shortcuts to an effective education.

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On 2/24/2021 at 10:57 AM, Gavin Orok said:

I am a tutor and an undergrad student who is interested in learning more about the concerns and pain points of homeschooling parents, both before and during the pandemic.

-What significant issues have you experienced/are you experiencing with homeschooling right now?

 

In response to the OP, this is so new, that I think homeschoolers haven't really come to terms with this, but we recently lost the SAT subject test.  In my world, this is huge and I'm surprised I'm not seeing more about this on message boards.  To be sure, many homeschoolers are happy to see it go away, but for families like mine, the SAT subject was an easy way to show mastery of a high school level subject area.  A score of >700 or >750 or 800 was basically an A in biology, chemistry, precalculus, whatever subject.  

And now it's gone.  

In the absence of a national curriculum in any high school subject, the SAT subject test filled that vacuum.  We need some other way to fairly verify high school level work.  

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for your suggestions. Alright I’ll try reaching out elsewhere and if it turns out that crisis schoolers are looking for some assistance I’ll return here to learn about how homeschooling works and best practices. I don’t have a lot of time to monitor this but if anyone has any remaining questions, comments or suggestions I’ll try to get back to you.

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7 hours ago, daijobu said:

In response to the OP, this is so new, that I think homeschoolers haven't really come to terms with this, but we recently lost the SAT subject test.  In my world, this is huge and I'm surprised I'm not seeing more about this on message boards.  To be sure, many homeschoolers are happy to see it go away, but for families like mine, the SAT subject was an easy way to show mastery of a high school level subject area.  A score of >700 or >750 or 800 was basically an A in biology, chemistry, precalculus, whatever subject.  

And now it's gone.  

In the absence of a national curriculum in any high school subject, the SAT subject test filled that vacuum.  We need some other way to fairly verify high school level work.  

I completely agree. My son got an 800 on physics. This proved his A was really an A. We were happy to have some verification.

 

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On 2/26/2021 at 1:30 AM, Gavin Orok said:

Thank you for your comments. Certainly reading up on homeschooling methods and trying to understand the differences with a classroom environment will be important, I think I’ll start with the book The Well-Trained Mind and the Cathy Duffy website mentioned previously. I definitely couldn’t run PE programs but I could do some of the behind-the-scenes work to help reach out to private schools/little leagues to advocate for these programs to be set up/collect information for parents. I guess educational apps/games could be a possibility if there is enough need for them, if we emphasize they are just a supplement to other in-depth activities and we have homeschool educators review them for educational value. I’m not really sure what we could do about parents having trouble connecting with teens and ensuring there is “great conversation” in their learning, and don’t have any experience with unschooling but I will do some research to try to understand the problems.

To answer your question @2_girls_mommy (thank you for not jumping to conclusions haha), I am trying to start a project where we would acquire some initial funding and we would provide some kind of assistance to educators in our free time for a reasonable number of hours each week outside of full-time school. It could be a volunteer commitment but it should involve some kind of significant skill development. I’m a math and statistics student/amateur digital artist working with a graphic design student and a CS student/amateur digital artist. It would be great if we could do something artistic or where we apply skills from our majors in some way but my priority would be trying to help address a relevant problem.
 

Gavin,

I am in my 18th year of homeschooling (3rd will graduate and go to college this year). I am also an Independent Educational Consultant, helping students with their college search and applications.

I don't think you are positioned well to offer education services. There are some areas where data and user access could be improved. 

Colleges report admissions actions to the Federal government (IPEDS data) and publish Common Data Sets. This data reports averages that can obscure accurate info. For example, an average admissions rate that simply reports admitted students divided by applications obscures the influence of state residency for popular public colleges with a requirement or policy of enrolling a specific portion of the class from in state. (See UTexas or Georgia Tech for examples) Is there a way to discern and report an in state vs out of state admissions rate?

Similarly, can you differentiate between admissions profiles for specific programs at colleges (example engineering, business, nursing vs undecided). Not only admissions rates, but admitted student profile (what math, science courses did they have? What was the gpa? How many AP or dual enrollment courses and in what?)

Admissions requirements may have extra expectations for homeschool students. These expectations range from interviews to test scores to syllabuses. Sometimes these requirements aren't evident until the student is deep into the application. Can you RELIABLY report the extra requirements and recommendations for homeschoolers. 

Ron Lieber just published The Price You Pay for College. The middle section of the book has several chapters about important factors that are not evident from current college rankings. Factors like percent of undergraduate courses taught by adjunct or visiting professors (ie not full time professors), amount of mentoring professors do and students experience, how much college students learn in college. 

Colleges publish profiles of admitted or enrolled students. What are the profiles of students who were not admitted? In other words if a student has great stats, they might look at an admitted students profile and think it looks like their own. What they may miss is that their stats are also similar to 80% of the students who were turned down.

I'm trying to point towards areas where you might have a greater feel for the topic, rather than riding in to serve a community you don't know or understand.  I am open to a PM if you have more questions. 

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On 2/26/2021 at 8:40 AM, Junie said:

I've been homeschooling for 16 years (with two graduates!), so I pretty much have all of the materials I need for my kids.  While many schools have struggled through the pandemic, our school didn't change.  We just kept doing the same thing we've been doing.  

What would be most helpful to me would be a resource to help me prepare to teach.

For instance, I am using Duolingo to brush up my Spanish and French skills.  Something similar to help me refresh and improve in Algebra, Geometry, and Trig (and maybe learn some Calculus) would be something that I could use.

 

I did Khan Academy myself for a while. 

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11 hours ago, Gavin Orok said:

Alright I’ll try reaching out elsewhere and if it turns out that crisis schoolers are looking for some assistance I’ll return here to learn about how homeschooling works and best practices.

In my experience, many crisis schoolers do want educational technology that’ll do the work for them. The question is whether it’s actually good for them...

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@Gavin Orok

Another possibility would be a site that helps students figure out options with college transfers. 

Some colleges have articulation agreements and even guaranteed admission programs. But the requirements vary greatly school to school. 

It should take into account college credit, AP credit,  CLEP, and military training that has academic equivalency (see Joint Service Transcript).

Stick to one state. 

Virginia is in the late stages of developing a transfer tool like this. I think it will be quite helpful once it's available. 

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13 hours ago, daijobu said:

In response to the OP, this is so new, that I think homeschoolers haven't really come to terms with this, but we recently lost the SAT subject test.  In my world, this is huge and I'm surprised I'm not seeing more about this on message boards.  To be sure, many homeschoolers are happy to see it go away, but for families like mine, the SAT subject was an easy way to show mastery of a high school level subject area.  A score of >700 or >750 or 800 was basically an A in biology, chemistry, precalculus, whatever subject.  

And now it's gone.  

In the absence of a national curriculum in any high school subject, the SAT subject test filled that vacuum.  We need some other way to fairly verify high school level work.  

Have you not heard? Tests are evil. Equity is the new buzzword, and tests and equity don’t get along. 🙄

I am hoping ACT develops something. 
 

To the OP - there are so many online platforms for learning. They are almost universally terrible. What we find valuable are real teachers. 

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4 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Have you not heard? Tests are evil. Equity is the new buzzword, and tests and equity don’t get along. 🙄

You don’t want to get me started on this. DH is always pointing out that tests BOUGHT equity for Jews back in the day... you couldn’t argue with the numbers.

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13 hours ago, daijobu said:

In the absence of a national curriculum in any high school subject, the SAT subject test filled that vacuum.  We need some other way to fairly verify high school level work.  

I completely agree and unfortunately, the SAT and ACT seem to be falling out of favor as well.

I think the whole system of grades in schools is ridiculous.  I realize that there are also problems with high stakes tests, but the fact that an A in, say, biology can mean anything from "you tried" all the way to "you completely mastered honors level material" is a problem.  

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3 minutes ago, EKS said:

I completely agree and unfortunately, the SAT and ACT seem to be falling out of favor as well.

I think the whole system of grades in schools is ridiculous.  I realize that there are also problems with high stakes tests, but the fact that an A in, say, biology can mean anything from "you tried" all the way to "you completely mastered honors level material" is a problem.  

Watch them realize in 10 years that getting rid of tests exacerbated equity issues. It’s like we don’t bother to learn from history.

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5 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Watch them realize in 10 years that getting rid of tests exacerbated equity issues. It’s like we don’t bother to learn from history.

They want a racial quota system. So if Asians make up 5% of population, they need to make up similar % in universities. Same with other racial groups. They don’t need tests for that. That’s equity we are talking about served CA style. 
 

But lack of testing for can be a disaster for homeschooled kids. 

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1 minute ago, Roadrunner said:

They want a racial quota system. So if Asians make up 5% of population, they need to make up similar % in universities. Same with other racial groups. They don’t need tests for that. That’s equity we are talking about served CA style.

Yeah, I’ve seen this stuff. I’m not against affirmative action to some extent, but this will wind up being very limiting to certain “overperforming” immigrant groups and they’ll be up in arms about it. I’ve seen this in NY as well. 

 

1 minute ago, Roadrunner said:

But lack of testing for can be a disaster for homeschooled kids. 

I’m sure.

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52 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Watch them realize in 10 years that getting rid of tests exacerbated equity issues. It’s like we don’t bother to learn from history.

I have a master's degree in gifted education, where equity is a big topic.  What's interesting is that the "culture free" ability tests (that are essentially all figural reasoning) miss a lot of kids in underrepresented populations who have strong verbal skills.  And the teachers also miss them because they don't act the way they think a gifted kid should act.  

Just because the average scores on a test for a particular population are different than for another population doesn't mean that a test is biased. For example, the if you look at the breakdown of GRE scores by age, you'll see that there is about a discrepancy of a bit more than a standard deviation between the quantitative scores of the 18-22 yo age group and the group over 60.  An explanation for this is that the over 60 crowd is, on average, decades away from their last math course.

For people interested in taking a deeper dive into the issue of educational testing--one that goes beyond the handwringing about bias--I highly recommend the book Measuring Up by Daniel Koretz.  

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3 minutes ago, EKS said:

I have a master's degree in gifted education, where equity is a big topic.  What's interesting is that the "culture free" ability tests (that are essentially all figural reasoning) miss a lot of kids in underrepresented populations who have strong verbal skills.  And the teachers also miss them because they don't act the way they think a gifted kid should act.  

And that's because human beings are fallible and biased and will miss kids who

a) Don't speak English as a first language, 

or 

b) Use grammar that's correct for their minority population but is not standard English 

or even

c) Isn't a typical nerd, which is how my own kiddo gets missed ALL THE TIME. Because a kiddo in a sparkly pink dress is not their idea of what a brilliant kid looks like, never mind what math she can do. 

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I agree with @Sebastian (a lady)that, rather than actual schooling issues, a useful tool might be something that would make it easier to figure out college admissions, transfers, and credit acceptance.  This would be useful to lots of kids, not just homeschoolers.  It's a pain to have to go to each college's website and navigate required courses, and we are just starting to get into what AP equivalents are accepted and whether DE credits transfer. 

This is more of a data collecting and aggregating issue, so it wouldn't require any knowledge specific to homeschoolers (although maybe a note about what 'extras' are required of homeschoolers would be nice).  A 1-stop shop where it would be easy to see what colleges accept what credits, or don't have many extra requirements for homeschoolers, or don't require a foreign language, etc, would be useful to a lot of people.  All of the information is available on college websites but it can take quite a while to find and is in a different place on each site.  

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Hi @Gavin Orok, I've been watching this thread develop for a while but haven't posted because I just wanted to see how it would develop. I'm still a little unclear on the scope of the project your group is undertaking--is this something being submitted at the end of the semester, or is it like a capstone project that you have multiple semesters to work on? I like the college admissions resource idea that has come up in the most recent posts, but it sounds like a lot of work for an undergrad class, assuming you've only got about 4-8 weeks to get from the genesis of the idea to submitting something to the teacher.

One thing that is probably becoming clear to you at this point in the thread is that crisis homeschoolers and public school teachers who have been thrown into online teaching are a completely different group from by-choice homeschoolers and professional online teachers. (I'm both of those.) If you're specifically inspired by the pandemic and want to help out folks who are new to homeschool/online schooling, I'd recommend hunting down Facebook groups for those folks. I have no doubt there are many, although I'm no longer on Facebook so I don't know where to direct you to start looking. Those of us who were in this game before the pandemic have generally come up with systems that work for us already and prefer to teach hands-on rather than using edtech 😉 So most of the things you could help us with would be organizational.

To that point: My current "pain point" is that I use Google Classroom to organize the work that I teach my kids on my own, but their online courses are operated through Blackboard. My older kid attempted a course that used a different Learning Service Provider, and having to juggle Google, Blackboard, and that LSP became his undoing. He has difficulties staying organized, and having to access three different "Class Calendars" broke him. I would love to try other online courses with the kids, but when one provider uses Moodle and another Blackboard and another its own proprietary system, that's too much for middle/high school kids to keep track of. It would be so, so great to have a calendar clearinghouse service that would populate all assignments from all classes onto one calendar, no matter the learning service provider.

In fact, I've often wished for such a thing in my work life as well--I teach classes for several providers that have their own proprietary calendar systems and flexible course schedules, so it can be quite a hassle to schedule personal appointments (like the dentist) while consulting 3 different calendars to make sure I have nothing else scheduled during that time block. I would pay money for an app that would link up my multiple work calendars with my personal calendar.

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2 minutes ago, egao_gakari said:

Hi @Gavin Orok, I've been watching this thread develop for a while but haven't posted because I just wanted to see how it would develop. I'm still a little unclear on the scope of the project your group is undertaking--is this something being submitted at the end of the semester, or is it like a capstone project that you have multiple semesters to work on? I like the college admissions resource idea that has come up in the most recent posts, but it sounds like a lot of work for an undergrad class, assuming you've only got about 4-8 weeks to get from the genesis of the idea to submitting something to the teacher.

One thing that is probably becoming clear to you at this point in the thread is that crisis homeschoolers and public school teachers who have been thrown into online teaching are a completely different group from by-choice homeschoolers and professional online teachers. (I'm both of those.) If you're specifically inspired by the pandemic and want to help out folks who are new to homeschool/online schooling, I'd recommend hunting down Facebook groups for those folks. I have no doubt there are many, although I'm no longer on Facebook so I don't know where to direct you to start looking. Those of us who were in this game before the pandemic have generally come up with systems that work for us already and prefer to teach hands-on rather than using edtech 😉 So most of the things you could help us with would be organizational.

To that point: My current "pain point" is that I use Google Classroom to organize the work that I teach my kids on my own, but their online courses are operated through Blackboard. My older kid attempted a course that used a different Learning Service Provider, and having to juggle Google, Blackboard, and that LSP became his undoing. He has difficulties staying organized, and having to access three different "Class Calendars" broke him. I would love to try other online courses with the kids, but when one provider uses Moodle and another Blackboard and another its own proprietary system, that's too much for middle/high school kids to keep track of. It would be so, so great to have a calendar clearinghouse service that would populate all assignments from all classes onto one calendar, no matter the learning service provider.

In fact, I've often wished for such a thing in my work life as well--I teach classes for several providers that have their own proprietary calendar systems and flexible course schedules, so it can be quite a hassle to schedule personal appointments (like the dentist) while consulting 3 different calendars to make sure I have nothing else scheduled during that time block. I would pay money for an app that would link up my multiple work calendars with my personal calendar.

@egao_gakari I've had some business colleagues mention Zapier as an app that integrates workflow across multiple different business apps. You might check to see if the apps serviced include educational platforms like Canvas and Blackboard.

 

 

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On 2/27/2021 at 11:52 AM, EKS said:

I think that folks who are interested in homeschooling long term, rather than just weathering the current pandemic schooling crisis (which is decidedly NOT homeschooling), would be well advised to do two things, both ahead of homeschooling and as an ongoing and evolving endeavor.

First, successful homeschoolers tend to build relationships with their children that both augment the homeschooling experience and are augmented by it.  When you are with your children all day every day, you need to establish behavioral expectations that are more stringent than might be required when you have a reprieve from them for 8+ hours 5 days per week.  Fortunately, homeschooling gives you the time to be consistent, enforce expectations, etc.  The flip side of this is that the homeschooling parent needs to be ready to really dig down into why a certain behavior is occurring and change things if necessary.  I found that for our family, high expectations and consistent enforcement coupled with a willingness to really analyze the triggers for any recurring problems was the key to making our homeschool run (reasonably) smoothly.  I believe that the result of this sort of approach to parenting is one of the things I'm detecting when I am able to spot homeschooling families in the wild.

Second, successful homeschoolers will spend a lot (a lot!) of time educating themselves about homeschooling, education, and, importantly, what it is they're teaching.  I know that over my own tenure as a homeschooler, for the first, say, 3-4 years, I was obsessed with reading everything I could get my hands on about homeschooling.  Then that died down, and I became more interested in teaching and learning in general--everything from how to harness memory and deal with its limitations to the specifics of how to teach math.  Finally, as I moved into the middle/high school years with the older one, I spent the bulk of my time learning ahead of him, particularly in the areas I was weak in myself.  

I would argue that most homeschooling difficulties--"pain points" as you have called them here--cannot be solved by external resources.  Instead, they are best addressed by either working on the relationship between parent and child and/or by a commitment to continual learning on the parent's part.  I'm not saying that resources aren't important because they most certainly are, but resources on their own cannot replace how an effective relationship creates a space for learning and how knowledge on the parent/teacher's part can light the way.

ETA:  I realized that the above may make it sound like all you have to do is have a good relationship with your children and study a bit, and homeschooling will be smooth sailing.  This is absolutely NOT the case.  First, my experience has been that the relationship piece was by far the most difficult thing about homeschooling--that is, the emotional work required to homeschool well can be incredibly taxing.    And learning ahead of your children to the degree necessary to teach well is also extremely difficult.  It's no wonder that if folks don't drop out of homeschooling by middle school they will almost certainly do so by high school.  Not everyone, to be sure, but at least around here, it is very rare to find a homeschooled high school student.  And I suppose that I should also mention that there is a third thing that homeschooling parents should do in addition to relationship building and developing their own knowledge, and that is thinking seriously about what might tip the scales toward enrolling their children in school.  Because part of being a successful homeschooler is knowing when it's time to stop.

Just had to quote to say YES!

Yes. This is my story as well. 

I only had one friend who was seriously considering homeschooling that asked me for advice and the above is what I told her. The parenting when you’re homeschooling is Intense with a capital I. There is no getting away from each other for 8 hours a day (or more) for a breather. It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s Intense. And I told her that you’ll spend an obscene amount of time researching.

Anyway. I just wanted to comment on what you posted because it’s soooo right and sums up my story so well. 

And you’re right about knowing when to stop. For my oldest, by 12th grade, I’d have had to outsource 5 of his 6 classes. He was too far ahead of me for me to be the best teacher for him. Outsourcing 5 classes would cost too much $$$. I signed him up for a cyberschool for 12th grade and it was pretty wonderful for him. If it hadn’t been wonderful, I had a backup plan of various asynchronous classes he could have jumped into and we’d have just taken the financial hit.

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OK, here is another suggestion that is database and information oriented.

Many longtime homeschoolers use a lot of "living books" instead of textbooks, especially in elementary/middle school and particularly for integrating history and literature.

Often times the current booklists offered by curriculum providers are heavily influenced by what is in print. Buying these books new can run several hundred dollars per grade.

It would be cool to have a topical book management app. I'm thinking of something where you could:

Select a popular curriculum and see all of the books in a subject and grade (ie, 5th grade Sonlight)

See which of those texts was available at any of the libraries I have accounts with (ideally with the current hold status)

See availability of the text on the used market (ex. through Abebooks) with the price (including shipping)

Have suggestions of similar related books on the same topic and similar grade level

Juvenile non-fiction goes out of print rapidly. The prime buyers are school and public libraries. Once they have bought a copy, sales tend to dry up, even if the book is still accurate and interesting. Curriculum providers are reluctant to include out of print books in their current curriculum, because it is frustrating to users to feel like they ought to chase down hard to find copies of a specific text (and also because they may make money selling books).

Ideally an app like this would allow me to indicate that I own a certain book, would allow filtering by curriculum and curriculum date (ie, if I have the 2010 Sonlight Eastern Hemisphere schedule, I would want to see lists of those books), and allow an on/off selection for suggestions of older related titles.

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Another suggestion that isn't homeschool specific, but that seems manageable and uses available data.

Different colleges have different policies for Advanced Placement and CLEP credit. It can be tedious to challenging to dig up the specifics of these policies.

Some students assume that all of their AP or CLEP scores above a certain level will earn college credit. They can be surprised and disappointed when they find that their score isn't high enough or credit isn't offered for students in their major.

Conversely, other students have heard that "most colleges don't offer credit for AP anymore" and don't contextualize this with policies at specific (usually highly selective) colleges or particular majors or particular AP courses. 

Information for CLEP can be even more difficult to find, because it's an exam for students who self-study or have experience in the topic, without the in high school push from College Board.

Furthermore, there is not a standard reporting format for colleges to explain their credit by exam policies.

It could be useful to have a tool that would let a student select course and score and then see what credit they would get at specific colleges (possibly sorted by distance or all in their state or schools with a band of admissions rate or average test score). This could be useful in deciding the benefit of sitting for the exam or in seeing where exam scores would offer the most benefit. I would suggest such a tool have both a hypothetical "just looking" option and also an option for students to input their actual scores.

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For us clubs are what’s lacking for homeschoolers. That’s really the only place where I think PS kids have an advantage. Mock trial, chess club, model UN, robotics.... all of those things don’t exist for homeschoolers where we are, so if there was an online clearinghouse of those organized by region, we would be super interested. I am guessing big city kids have it all, but online versions where there is a once a month in person meeting would be a total hit in our house. 

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On 2/26/2021 at 11:23 PM, Not_a_Number said:

This forum doesn’t have too many crisis schoolers. Part of the reason I’m here is that it’s a serious academic forum for people who put a lot of thought into homeschooling. 

As a result, most people on here have a lot of experience with their own kids, and some (like me) have PhDs and experience teaching at a college level or another high level. 

Yes, those who are “homeschooling” only and for the first time because of the pandemic are “crisis schoolers”, - VERY different from parents who have chosen this path thoughtfully, after years of research and planning. 
 

Almost all crisis schoolers will happily return to conventional schooling as soon as they possibly can.

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Just now, ScoutTN said:


 

Almost all crisis schoolers will happily return to conventional schooling as soon as they possibly can.

This worries me a bit. On one had they took over resources that weren’t built to handle such large number of homeschoolers. Classes were hard to sign up because so many newcomers filled them up. We now have a massive expansion of what is being offered online (although I would argue that it has come at the expense of quality), so what happens when there is a massive exodus of those online schoolers? I hope we don’t see a string of bankruptcies. I still remember Landry going under. 

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The lack of SAT requirements are causing a lot of student to apply to schools where they would have never made the SAT cutoff in previous years and so would never have paid the money to apply. Now they think "I'll just give it a chance." MIT's applications are up 62% this year. 

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3 minutes ago, JHLWTM said:

@daijobu what about CLEP? Can that be a surrogate for SAT subject exams?

Is that the same kind of difficulty? 

Personally, we're going to go the math contest route. Not that this solves the "showing subject knowledge" problem, but at least it's a number other people understand. 

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1 hour ago, lewelma said:

MIT's applications are up 62% this year. 

And then the under qualified ones who are let in will probably end up dropping out--and then people will be saying that MIT's coursework is biased because...well, I'm sure you can see where this is going.

The problem is that when one sort of qualification is no longer used to rank applicants, the admissions committee will start relying on other qualifications--and some (or many) of which will be even less available to underrepresented groups.  Extracurriculars mainly.  

A similar thing happened when IQ tests were outlawed for making certain employment decisions.  Now employers use other things as a proxy for IQ--a college degree and where you went to college are two big ones--and that has gotten us into the mess we're in today with people who really don't need college or want it are attending in droves.

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

Is that the same kind of difficulty? 

Personally, we're going to go the math contest route. Not that this solves the "showing subject knowledge" problem, but at least it's a number other people understand. 

My ds needed to show competence in English, which he could do through the SAT.  His math contests would not have been enough.

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Just now, lewelma said:

My ds needed to show competence in English, which he could do through the SAT.  His math contests would not have been enough.

They might have been enough. One of my IMO teammates didn't even bother going through high school English, because a university was willing to take him without a high school diploma 😛 . 

But that's for very high level competitions. It's probably not enough just to have a good AMC score or something. And you're right that this is a serious loss... I wonder how one will be able to show competence in the future? 😕 Maybe college classes? 

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26 minutes ago, EKS said:

And then the under qualified ones who are let in will probably end up dropping out--and then people will be saying that MIT's coursework is biased because...well, I'm sure you can see where this is going.

Oh, the under qualified ones will not get in. It is more the problem with the huge increase in work load. The alumni association has had to pull out all the stops to give 62% more interviews. I'm not sure how the admissions office can process them all. 

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3 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

They might have been enough. 

Haha. Well, not at MIT. There is a huge requirement to demonstrate writing competence to get in. And then once you are in, you have to take a writing class each year - so 4 writing classes to graduate, and they must be spaced out one per year. You cannot place out of these.

The year my son got in, MIT got the entire USA IMO team who were seniors. 

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2 minutes ago, lewelma said:

Haha. Well, not at MIT. There is a huge requirement to demonstrate writing competence to get in. And then once you are in, you have to take a writing class each year - so 4 writing classes to graduate, and they must be spaced out one per year. You cannot place out of these.

Yeah, this wasn't at MIT 😛 . It was a Canadian school. But then he had an IMO gold medal and people really wanted him. He's relatively fancy nowadays. 

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20 hours ago, Gavin Orok said:

Thanks for your suggestions. Alright I’ll try reaching out elsewhere and if it turns out that crisis schoolers are looking for some assistance I’ll return here to learn about how homeschooling works and best practices. I don’t have a lot of time to monitor this but if anyone has any remaining questions, comments or suggestions I’ll try to get back to you.

Well, all righty. We'll try to remember to keep the light on.

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1 hour ago, lewelma said:

Oh, the under qualified ones will not get in.

Perhaps.  

But this is actually a thing at other schools.  The folks on the low end of the SAT range who were let in for reasons other than academics tend to struggle.

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I would absolutely love for video based history and science curricula that is vibrant and engaging and shows the world of both subjects. I am not talking about a lecturer discussing it, but re-enactments of history, and nat. geo. type videos. I have a dyslexic student who is very visual, and we struggle to find topical studies like this. I can usually find one video, but that just doesn't go into the detail necessary.

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My "pain points" re homeschooling are all domestic. I grew up watching the Jetsons. Where is my Rosie the Robot and Foodarackacycle food serving machine that I was promised? My Roomba vacuum, Suvie kitchen robot, Hero pill dispenser, Jura superautomatic espresso maker, Bartesian bartender, and Alexa are all sad and pricey substitutes. (Kidding, I don't own all of these, but wish I did! At least, until Rosie comes along.) 

 

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On 2/27/2021 at 10:14 AM, Junie said:

I've looked at Khan Academy and it just seems so confusing.  I could never figure out where to start.

I need sets of lessons to work through online in small chunks of time.  I don't want to watch lectures/videos.  I just want practice problems in an online format that will progress through a certain level of difficulty.

Oh my goodness, yes.  Trying to set up the classes I wanted my dd to take and all of the set up was just beyond me.  Somehow after taking her PSAT she was able to set it up and do the math SAT practice which helped her get ready for her ACT which is what is required here, but I could never do it.  I am not even trying this time around with my current high schooler.  We are using practice ACT testing through the library. 

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I have not read through all of these, but quite a bit.  Thanks for updating what you are working on.  I am still not clear if this is a school assignment or something you want to research and do on your own.  But that's ok. 

I have girl scouts.  They have to reach out into the community at multiple levels throughout their older years to find a need in the community and come up with a project to help in that area and meet a lot of confusing requirements along the way to earn the highest awards.  So I know how getting started on one of these is the hardest part.  And I have a daughter in college, and if she was trying to start something as ambitious as this, I wouldn't want her to get discouraged.  Finding something that clicks and that gives an idea as to a small project that you can do is not easy.  

What stuck out to me is your experience and interest in the arts.  I have artistic children.  One of the benefits of homeschooling is that they can take classes or do volunteer work or join amateur clubs in the real world to learn about their interests or as part of their formal education.  Mine are dancers.  They got asked to try out for a community theater musical as featured dancers at one point which opened up the world of theater to them.  The fact that they got to work with people who had studied theater and who worked in it even if part time in the real world was of way more benefit to us than a text or a curriculum or online course aimed at homeschoolers.  The same goes for educational classes.  When my kids studied Astronomy in high school they joined an astronomy club with a high school astronomy teacher that was leading it and that joined up with the city's astronomy club.  They got all of the labs they needed building telescopes, setting up events for the public and learning from someone passionate about it. 

That is my longwinded way of saying do what you are passionate about.  If it is digital art, then find a way to hook up with homeschool groups or aftercare programs or scouts programs to volunteer to teach what you know and to help them set up ways to carry on when you step back.  

 

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