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Smaller and purer, or bigger and broader: where are the classical homeschoolers?


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A lot of local kids hit the public schools in 8th grade and do very well there. I'm seeing a lot of my local support wane as parents get discouraged, and then if the numbers aren't there, important social opportunities among homeschoolers aren't there like they were in the elementary years. Co-ops here are great until about 7th-8th grade, like you said, then it's harder and harder to find talented moms willing to put that much effort into a class that is supposed to count for "credit." Some here hang on by doing Sonlight or by online classes, most here just try to make it to the junior year when their kids can do dual enrollment. It definitely is more challenging, but I am enjoying homeschooling this year more than ever now that I have a high schooler.

 

My local hs group of close to 100 families has only a handful of high schoolers doing school at home. Most families send their dc to private or public high school. Our coop only goes up through 8th grade for that reason, too. There just aren't enough high schoolers to have meaningful classes.

 

Since my son started high school three years ago, I've tried to make sure that we still have a presence at some group activities. I've had many moms thank me for bringing my high schooler, and tell me that my son being there and going through high school at home is helping to give them courage to teach their dc at home for high school. I hope that is the case, and the number of high schoolers who school at home will grow.

 

I know that high school at home isn't for everyone, but I've really enjoyed having my son at home, too, and I know that he's growing here both academically and spiritually. I know that his course of study won't fit the "mold" when he begins applying to colleges. My heart says that differences in his schooling will make him stand out above others in the college application process. He won't be student #xxx from public high school yyyy. They will be forced to look at him as an individual.

 

I could definitely relate to Kelli's post about having moments of panic about whether I have prepared him well enough. When that happens, it can be hard to think clearly about anything. The only way I've been able to keep those feelings at bay is to trust that my son belongs to God first and to me & dh second and that God will lift him up and help him over the bumps.

 

Leaping in faith right there with you!

Brenda

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You took my post totally wrong.

OF COURSE I want people like Ria here...I know the value of women who have "gone before" me and I need them, esp. now as I'm about to embark on the high school journey with my son.

I felt that the original poster and some others were trying to say that unless you are a "by the book" WTM'er that you have no business being here. I meant no offense. :)

 

I get that part, Becky, it's *this* part I had a problem with:

 

On that note, I'm a member of two other homeschool boards and I'm sure it may happen here as well...but why are people who are no longer homeschooling, but have put their children back in ps still on homeschool boards??

 

I guess everyone has their reasons for being here...

 

You may not have meant any offense, but I can see where a post like that can be hurtful. If both of my dd's were in ps, and I read your post, I would not be happy about a post like that.

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Or it might be a class in Ladies' Undergarments!

 

Hmmm, how about a course in the history of undergarments using the Cunnington book The History of Underclothes as the spine. There are an amazing number of books on corsets and various others that you could supplement with and perhaps a few visits to museums...wonder if you could make it a 1/2 credit or a full;)

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Hmmm, how about a course in the history of undergarments using the Cunnington book The History of Underclothes as the spine. There are an amazing number of books on corsets and various others that you could supplement with and perhaps a few visits to museums...wonder if you could make it a 1/2 credit or a full;)

 

And I have The Perfect Fit as supplementary reading, if someone want to tackle it. :D

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A good friend of mine, who has since passed away, was a math teacher at our local middle school. One summer she and a few of the other math teachers at the middle school attended a teacher's enrichment workshop in Oxford, MS, where one of the main courses taught was on women's clothing in the 18th and 19th centuries. I don't believe they had one single math-related course among the three of them. Your tax dollars at work! ;)

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I might do history and lit just as recommended in TWTM, but I use a text for science. Or someone else doesn't do great books in high school, just really good books for her student. Who would be pure enough to post? Or how could you let people know the parameters of a classical only board?

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Stop it! This has gotten out of hand!! Just this afternoon I was telling a mom who is about start homeschooling that she needed to come here and be encouraged by all the mature, wise women on here. And then I come home and look at what you people are discussing!

 

Now, aren't you ashamed of yourselves?

 

 

I didn't think so. If she sees this I am going to have to explain the difference between books and booKs to her.:D

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nt

 

Very funny!!!! Last night I finally told dh about booKs (okay, he knew about them, but the term) and he asked, "What do you talk about on there?":D All this time I've been justifying my time here by the fact that I'm learning more about homeschooling, etc.

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I think this is an excellent discussion, Laura. For our family, personally, we aren't strict followers of the classical method. However, we are very strict followers of pushing our children academically to their maximum potential. The focus is not necessarily on the liberal arts, but may be highly intensive in math and science (which isn't quite so "classical.")

 

From our experience and POV, educational success is what leads to the capabilities to achieve future academic goals. Our oldest son is majoring in chemical engineering. We could have focused more on the liberal arts (Latin, Greek, ancients) when he was in high school, but opted for him to be able to dual enroll and take the science/math route. I'm not sure that was the wrong decision for him. It was definitely hard work and developed excellent work ethic, exposed him to what he needed to do in order to achieve his dream.

 

I am also a focuser on the smaller and purer. We can't study everything. We go narrower and deeper. However, in today's technological world, we have made educational room for a slightly different picture (like Janice's list in her post)

 

I've enjoyed the discussion. With our 3rd child approaching high school next yr, I am still trying to evaluate our route with her. She has no clear cut dreams or focus, so a more traditionally classical approach may be the one we take. Either way, pushing her to her maximum potential is our ultimate goal no matter which subjects we end up selecting to study.

 

The son you described here is an example in my mind of what good academic preparation can do for kids by the time they get to high school - they can narrow and specialize. From all the posts of yours I have read, I believe you are an excellent teacher of reading and writing, so your kids could probably read and write and reason their way through any subject - and you've let them choose which ones to study in high school. This is what I hope to do for my kids by the time they reach high school years - I just desperately need the help of WTM and posters here to guide my way to that goal, since I wouldn't have a clue how to do it otherwise. :)

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I know I don't follow WTM to the letter, certainly not with my oldest 2. However, ds is pretty in line with a good bit of the WTM.

 

We did drop Latin, and I'm hoping to pick it back up with him in HS, but the girls probably won't ever do it.

 

We love doing our history ala WTM, and I try to follow her writing guidelines (when we write, which is bad I know), but some of the stuff just didn't work as well for us.

 

I love TWTM, and I recommend it a LOT. It is THE one book I will keep around and refer to over and over. However, I realize that each of my kids is different, and they each have different goals in life. My 2 oldest already know what they want to do. One is in college now. One is heading to cosmetology school after graduation. I realize that isn't rigorous, but it's what she loves and what she wants to do. I'm not skimping on her education because of that, but I will not push her to do what is beyond her capabilities (at least right now) just for the sake of doing it either.

 

3rd dd wants to go to nursing school. I do push her harder. Ds will do goodness knows what, and he is definitely going to surpass all the girls in his schooling (at least here at home). I came to TWTM a little late for some, but not too late for the rest!!

 

Oh, and I love the boards just the way they are. I think there is a nice mix of people who have all types of experiences, and that's what makes the boards so wonderful!

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Who would be pure enough to post?

 

How did you mean "pure" enough? You mean like Aryan-pure, as if classical homeschoolers secretly feel like some kind of master race?

 

I personally don't want to be quarrantined into a classical-only sub-board, if the rest of the board isn't classical, as if it were some disease that others might catch.

 

I was thinking this was getting cleared up, but now I'm not sure again.

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Yes, I realize I'm resurrecting a dead horse and beating it again...

 

At the risk of gaining negative "reputation points" (whatever those are...)

 

I guess I'm still missing something, because I still don't get why someone who isn't doing WTM or classical, or has never even read the book, would post here.

 

Here's what the forum description says for the Parent's Forum K-8 Curriculum Board:

 

"For questions about specific curricula and their relationship to classical education..."

 

And here's the forum description for the Parent's Forum General Board:

 

"For general questions about classical education methods, teaching techniques, readiness,..."

 

So again... I'm not getting it... <shrugs shoulders>

 

I'm really not trying to run anyone off the board. Truly, I'm not. But I don't really understand it, that's all. But I certainly stand by your right to be here, regardless of my misunderstanding of it.

 

Well, it is probably because they feel supported here, and they can get great advice and help from a really wonderful bunch of people - regardless of whether or not they are purely classical hs'ers. I think people who come here are, or strive to be, serious and dedicated homeschoolers.

 

Personally, I don't want to spend time wondering why people are here if they don't follow this, or that. I figure they are here because they have found a place that can offer them help and support on their homeschool journey. And, to quote Scrooge's nephew - "I say, G-d bless it!"

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Here's what the forum description says for the Parent's Forum K-8 Curriculum Board:

 

"For questions about specific curricula and their relationship to classical education..."

 

And here's the forum description for the Parent's Forum General Board:

 

"For general questions about classical education methods, teaching techniques, readiness,..."

 

So again... I'm not getting it... <shrugs shoulders>

 

I'm really not trying to run anyone off the board. Truly, I'm not. But I don't really understand it, that's all. But I certainly stand by your right to be here, regardless of my misunderstanding of it.

 

 

I am trying to think how to word this. I don't want to sound snarky, I don't want to be discouraging to anybody. I do think your post is worth responding to though.

 

I can see why those of us who really like WTM but struggle to implement all aspects of it stay here. After all, WTM ruined our lives! :D We know too much to go back to the other way and we know too little to do it the way we really want to!!! So we hang out here and keep trying to do a better job than we did last year.

 

I also understand why people who have graduated their homeschoolers come here. We need those people, we need to be able to pick their brains! I am so glad that they do not turn their backs on us and go on with their lives!! (Okay, I don't mean to imply that they can't go on with their lives, but I appreciate that they visit here and let us glean from their wisdom and experience)

 

I understand why people who have children in other school settings, but are considering homeschooling or a return to homeschooling would be here.

 

I admit that I do not understand why people who don't care for classical education are here. I have seen people come to these boards for years and actually discourage people from following a classical methodology. :confused:

 

I also do not understand why people who have put their kids in a different school setting and are very pleased and happy with their choices choose this forum.

 

As Seinfeld would say "Not that there is anything wrong with that!" :rolleyes:

 

But you are not alone in your pondering of the whys.

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I also do not understand why people who have put their kids in a different school setting and are very pleased and happy with their choices choose this forum.

 

Comments like these make me wonder why I'm here as well.

 

Let's not forget, we're all battling the procrustean public education system and we should be careful not to replace it with our own beds. This is a forum for learning and sharing, whatever our own personal choices are.

 

Jenelle

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I understand why people who have children in other school settings, but are considering homeschooling or a return to homeschooling would be here.

 

I admit that I do not understand why people who don't care for classical education are here. I have seen people come to these boards for years and actually discourage people from following a classical methodology. :confused:

 

I also do not understand why people who have put their kids in a different school setting and are very pleased and happy with their choices choose this forum.

 

As Seinfeld would say "Not that there is anything wrong with that!" :rolleyes:

 

But you are not alone in your pondering of the whys.

 

Well, you know, I have my dd (and had my ds, not so very long ago) in a different school setting. I chose (deliberately, not in a "I give up" sort of way -- not that there's anything wrong with *that*, lol) to finish her homeschooling in 8th grade. We finished the course that I set out to accomplish with her.

 

And I may never go back to homeschooling. Though I prefer to, if possible.

 

We're sooooo happy with our schooling choice.

 

But I'm still here. I think sometimes, "Where else would I be?"

 

Seriously. I cannot for the life of me imagine another place I'd fit in better or be able to contribute (albeit in a limited way on the high school and self-education forum) more freely.

 

I can't figure out why someone would discourage classical education and post here. Unless it would be to encourage others that classical isn't one size fits all, and that there are other options that might "fit" the family better? I dunno. But it's sort of trollish, IMO, to be a guest on a classical ed board and actively lobby against the method all the time.

 

Otherwise, I think we're mostly here because we feel like we fit here for some reason or another. And it might not be one of those reasons that's intuitively obvious to the most casual observer.

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And I may never go back to homeschooling. Though I prefer to, if possible.

 

We're sooooo happy with our schooling choice.

 

But I'm still here. I think sometimes, "Where else would I be?"

 

Seriously. I cannot for the life of me imagine another place I'd fit in better or be able to contribute (albeit in a limited way on the high school and self-education forum) more freely.

 

I can't figure out why someone would discourage classical education and post here. Unless it would be to encourage others that classical isn't one size fits all, and that there are other options that might "fit" the family better? I dunno. But it's sort of trollish, IMO, to be a guest on a classical ed board and actively lobby against the method all the time.

.

 

I mean no harm. I am sorry. I think I am having an overemotional response to a thread on another board on this forum, and remembering threads in the past that went sour and did I mention that it is that time of month?

 

I am just going to go hide from my kids and eat chocolate chips straight from that bag now. I think I will also avoid posting until my hormones stabilize a bit.:rolleyes:

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I mean no harm. I am sorry. I think I am having an overemotional response to a thread on another board on this forum, and remembering threads in the past that went sour and did I mention that it is that time of month?

 

I am just going to go hide from my kids and eat chocolate chips straight from that bag now. I think I will also avoid posting until my hormones stabilize a bit.:rolleyes:

 

Harm? Girl, you'd have to work a darn sight harder if you're thinking anything you could ever say would hurt my feelings. Not even close. You have a great deal of "credit" in my "she's just chattin' with me" bank.

 

No, I was just musing about where I fit in the grand scheme of Board. And I think possibly I sounded hurt or snarly. I wasn't. But you know why I'm here, right?

 

Right?

 

(And since you do, could you clue me in? :D)

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I can see why those of us who really like WTM but struggle to implement all aspects of it stay here. After all, WTM ruined our lives! We know too much to go back to the other way and we know too little to do it the way we really want to!!! So we hang out here and keep trying to do a better job than we did last year.

 

Yes, I do in some ways feel like WTM has ruined my life!!! ;) How awful to realize how completely inadequate my own education was.

 

And yet, I still struggle to feel like I'm making good educational choices for my kids when the "Abeka" kids call mine at 10:00 am every morning FINISHED WITH SCHOOL!!! And, I have to admit, they'll probably support themselves and their families just fine.

 

It is hard to remember that vision I have glimpsed here from certain posters that education isn't about financial success, but about building a life. I guess that's why I come *here*, because this is the only place that feeds that vision.

 

You just expressed it so well!

:)

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I was interested in a discussion about whether TWTM boards, at least the academic ones such as the K-8 boards, should be smaller because there was a greater percentage of WTM users there, or broader, where using TWTM didn't matter.

 

I just wish "rigor" hadn't been turned into a dirty word the past few days!

 

Ah, I see.

 

When I first saw this thread, I thought, "Oh, c'mon, we're all trying our best and have more in common than not . . . " But then, just today, a couple of folks posted asking for advice and there were a whole bunch of, "just relax, let the kids play, make it easier for them, they have to enjoy it," sort of answers. To my great surprise, it did make me uncomfortable, not because they're wrong, but because this is where I come so I won't get those sort of answers. I don't need help relaxing; I'm lazy. I need help pushing myself and my kids.

 

That said, life on the internet moves fast and organically. I'm pretty sure that if this place gets over run with relaxed homeschoolers, the draconian homeschoolers will start a forum elsewhere and there will be a natural divide.

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Yes, I realize I'm resurrecting a dead horse and beating it again...

 

At the risk of gaining negative "reputation points" (whatever those are...)

 

I guess I'm still missing something, because I still don't get why someone who isn't doing WTM or classical, or has never even read the book, would post here.

 

Here's what the forum description says for the Parent's Forum K-8 Curriculum Board:

 

"For questions about specific curricula and their relationship to classical education..."

 

And here's the forum description for the Parent's Forum General Board:

 

"For general questions about classical education methods, teaching techniques, readiness,..."

 

So again... I'm not getting it... <shrugs shoulders>

 

I'm really not trying to run anyone off the board. Truly, I'm not. But I don't really understand it, that's all. But I certainly stand by your right to be here, regardless of my misunderstanding of it.

 

 

I started homeschooling (with a burned out teenager) as a relaxed 'find the passion' kind of mom. When he didn't 'find' the spark of passion, I changed curriculums. I changed methods. I changed whatever I could to make school more 'fun' 'engaging' or 'interesting.'

 

What I've learned in the years since is that I should have required more. He would have hated it, but he would have learned more. Lots more. The biggest lesson being sometimes you've just got to muscle through the tough stuff.

 

With my second and last son, I choose differently. I come to this board to learn about rigor and demanding academics. About asking more than my son thinks he should have to give. ;) So I've gone from being a relaxed, eclectic, nearly unschooler to a tough minded, academically, demanding type homeschooler.

 

I come here to learn that it CAN be done.

 

I'll never be a totally classical educator, but I'm way closer now than I was five years ago. If only I could start all over with my guys........

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I don't homeschool the WTM way. My classical bent is more from the Ignatian philosophy, not the WTM (classical education has existed for centuries. ;)) I have read the WTM, but I am also very confident about finding my own way with each of my children. I am currently posting on the high school board and I am not even homeschooling a high schooler this yr. I sent my current high schooler to school. :eek:

 

Why do I post here?? I know very few homeschoolers that take education as seriously as I do. Most sort of go along doing this and that and are content with the mediocre. I am not. I push my kids to accomplish the most difficult topics/assignments they can. I don't currently have a high schooler, but I have graduated one who is doing quite well in college. I have 5 more coming up, one is an 8th grader. High school is always there in the back of my mind.

 

The women on this board are the most intelligent, amusing, and friendly women to hang around (ok....no offense dads.....you are pretty awesome too!) The advice they offer is pretty much on target all the time. I don't happen to know any women quite like them IRL (except for Jane.....she is even more thoughtful and intelligent in person!!! :) )

 

I don't believe that the WTM is the sole way to achieve the same goal. I am extremely indebted to SWB for this board. I recommend the WTM to friends that are floundering and need someone to provide a road map on what is a solid education. I sure like spending time here even though my own homeschool reflects my POV of education and not WTM.

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The women on this board are the most intelligent, amusing, and friendly women to hang around (ok....no offense dads.....you are pretty awesome too!) The advice they offer is pretty much on target all the time. I don't happen to know any women quite like them IRL (except for Jane.....she is even more thoughtful and intelligent in person!!! :) )

 

 

Aw shucks. Hoping to see you again this summer!

 

Jane (who greatly appreciates her WTM friends and wishes that we could get together for coffee on a weekly basis)

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Anyone here doing Caesar the sophomore year and Virgil and Xenophon the junior? I'd love to read through some threads on how that's going.

I picked up an old 1960s Latin textbook at our Friends of the Library bookstore. I am able to use it without a teacher's guide because I studied Latin in college. (Yes, long before I had kids, I knew that classical education was the best.) It moves really fast. My son has learned all the endings for the first 4 declensions of nouns, the first 3 conjugations of verbs in all tenses and voices, and all moods except subjunctive, and he is now learning pronouns. Meanwhile his public school friends who take Latin have not even completed learning all the cases for the first declension of nouns. Yes, we will read Caesar next year. But after that, I'll allow him to switch to modern languages. He wants to learn French and Russian. I can teach him French, but he'll be taking Russian at the community college.

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Laura, you said:

 

"(T)he second part of the question was a legitimate concern to me and some others: where are the classical homeschoolers?"

 

My belated response is an echo of what others have said or implied: What constitutes "classical" homeschooling? I've never considered TWTM the epitome of a classical education ~ which for me is well and good, given my lack of desire to implement such a thing. Susan's and Jessie's knowledge and encouragement are valuable to me, however, and I've long relied upon TWTM as a source book. Not an instruction manual, but an excellent reference.

 

"I was just trying to see what might happen if I asked a question like that."

 

So how do you feel about what happened? Has this discussion encouraged you? discouraged you? or....?

 

"I think both the rigorous and the (choosing words carefully here) more accessible are valuable depending on how much a person can handle. I just wish "rigor" hadn't been turned into a dirty word the past few days!"

 

Yes, it is difficult if not impossible to choose appropriate words there ~ because it gets dangerously close to misunderstood, inaccurate labeling. Is my friend Julie Bogart's (Bravewriter author/owner) eclectic, not-particularly-"classical" style some how "less than"? Many who consider themselves poster children for "rigorous" academics would likely say so. But on what basis? And why is not-ueber-classical education allegedly more accessible, anyway?

 

I'm so not into labels. I do understand the basis for your question, and I absolutely agree that we should encourag one another to aim higher rather than settle for less. I think, though, that we have to be wary of assuming that what's better for us is better for everyone, and to remember that "different" is not necessarily on par with "less".

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Wow. Laura. I think I understand your point, and your wish for some more academic rigor, but I think WTM has grown (esp with the new boards) to encompass a larger variety of ways to teach and learn. And I don't think any of us, old or new, have the monopoly on academic rigor. "Academic Rigor" is different for everyone, as has been pointed out so eloquently in previous posts.

 

Speaking for myself, WTM has always been the heart of what I wanted to teach and provided a beautiful basis for my beginning path of homeschooling. But my beliefs in teaching and learning have veered away from a "strict" WTM method. I will not be hemmed in by the label of "classical" or any other method that doesn't fully work for us, or that I don't fully believe in. Does that mean I don't need the boards because parts of it don't work for me? Not at all. As previously mentioned, we all come to this homeschooling journey for different reasons, and that effects our curriculum, and our goals.

 

You mention "If a kid doesn't like math, simply switch to an easier program." I would suggest, not "easier", but different. "History phobia? Pick a prepackaged curriculum that doesn't demand much." While I can not keep up with every post by a long shot, I don't think I have ever seen this advocated. However, I believe in a more "child-led" education. If a child sincerely hates a particular subject, I believe in the flexibility of change. Not "dropping" a subject, but I shall not, and will not, mimic a school room situation of dreading and hating subjects and classes for the WTM "ideal" whatever that may mean to a person individually. That would be MY invested ideal, not my childs education that I have at heart.

What TWTM did for me was set me free from following the public school curriculum. I couldn't and don't follow it very closely because I started homeschooling when my kids were in 4th and 5th grade and they've each been back in the public school at least once since then. But I had a classical education myself, in college, because I wanted one. TWTM made me realize that what was good for me was also good for my kids. So we do Latin and logic and great books, but I don't necessarily use the books SWB recommends, and I don't follow the 4 year cycle for history very closely because of our erratic hs journey. This year we're focusing on a one year survey of church history, using Sonlight 200 as a spine, but not following it to the letter either. I just hope we can get through the 4 year cycle at least once in our homeschooling years. My 13 yo has done medieval and is now learning early modern. We are doing the early modern strictly as a read aloud/historical fiction/great books approach since his main history work is the church history. My 15 yo has studied ancient history at the public school as well as digging into it on his own because he enjoyed what he learned at the public school, and medieval at home, but we didn't finish the time period. The problem is that we all 3 love history so much that the survey approach just bogs down. We could spend an entire year studying one century and we'd all be happy. But I want them to have a better rounded education than that. So I'd say our homeschool is rigorous by anyone's standards, but we don't follow WTM very closely.

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An interesting thing happened on the journey. I had always viewed my son as a natural biologist with an engineering bent. Between his Montessori education and TWTM, he has developed a passion for history. He is not the best Latin student, but enjoys it. If we had placed more emphasis on math and science, we may not have discovered these interests.

 

Interesting. Almost the same thing happened to us. My oldest always loved math and science, so I designed a very rigorous program for him. He's taking Precalc at our community college at 15! Then he spent a year (last year) taking classes at the Math and Science center, a local high school which is very intensive in math and science. The only select 75 out of 300 applicants every year. His paper for biology last year was on the epigenetics of autism. Huh? Glad he had to do it not me. But after a year there, he began to hate math and science. Now he wants to major in music and literature. I NEVER would have guessed that he would take that path. Music, maybe, but I was sure he would be an engineer. It just goes to show you never know what your kids will get into next.

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Interesting. Almost the same thing happened to us. My oldest always loved math and science, so I designed a very rigorous program for him. He's taking Precalc at our community college at 15! Then he spent a year (last year) taking classes at the Math and Science center, a local high school which is very intensive in math and science. The only select 75 out of 300 applicants every year. His paper for biology last year was on the epigenetics of autism. Huh? Glad he had to do it not me. But after a year there, he began to hate math and science. Now he wants to major in music and literature. I NEVER would have guessed that he would take that path. Music, maybe, but I was sure he would be an engineer. It just goes to show you never know what your kids will get into next.

 

 

I hope this comes across in the spirit it is meant and I am not picking on you, it is just that your post sparked the thought.

 

I don't think it is surprising that interests change in the way you described. I think sometimes we put too much emphasis on one or two focus areas (usually a childs "favorite" subject) so that some other subjects/areas get little or no attention. I think this focus is not good because it burns a child out on those subjects. A balance needs to be maintained in all areas. If a child loves history, of course make sure that passion is supported, but we also need to make sure other areas are still emphasized. This will support a well-rounded education and give opportunities to make connections between the favored subject(s) and other areas and keep the favored subject in a place where the child is getting enough to maintain the passion, but not too much that they burn out on it and no longer enjoy the subject.

 

I know people who emphasize sports over academics and vice versa. I think we need to be careful about jumping on this bandwagon of over supporting passions. There is a balance in everything and I think we need to keep that in mind.

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I hope this comes across in the spirit it is meant and I am not picking on you, it is just that your post sparked the thought.

 

I don't think it is surprising that interests change in the way you described. I think sometimes we put too much emphasis on one or two focus areas (usually a childs "favorite" subject) so that some other subjects/areas get little or no attention. I think this focus is not good because it burns a child out on those subjects.

I'm sure you didn't mean to be mean. I did what I thought was best for my son, and I was surprised, but not necessarily disappointed by the change. I want my kids to choose a career that they will enjoy. If they do that, they will be fulfilled and I'll feel like I did my job. As I wrote that post, I thought of just what you said. Sometimes the act of communicating things to others helps us understand them better. Maybe someone here can learn from my mistake (if it was one).

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So how do you feel about what happened? Has this discussion encouraged you? discouraged you? or....?

 

I've been encouraged. It was good to see the hard-core folks who stuck with their high schoolers as devotedly as they did when they were teaching with Prima Latina and dictation out of Aesop's Fables[/a]. I'm very encouraged indeed to have added 4 more blogs of homeschoolers who do various versions of "classical" to my bloglines.com list. I'm renewed to try harder with my sons, especially my high schooler, and not just copy the NC standard course of study. Yes, this has been a good thread.

 

"I think both the rigorous and the (choosing words carefully here) more accessible are valuable depending on how much a person can handle. I just wish "rigor" hadn't been turned into a dirty word the past few days!"

 

I'm so not into labels. I do understand the basis for your question, and I absolutely agree that we should encourag one another to aim higher rather than settle for less. I think, though, that we have to be wary of assuming that what's better for us is better for everyone, and to remember that "different" is not necessarily on par with "less".[/color][/font]

 

I don't know how many times I'm going to have to refute the idea that my intent was to turn everyone here into a homeschooler who uses WTM to the letter. Why are classical homeschoolers not allowed to search and rescue their own without making everyone else feel bad about themselves? For me, different is less, just like a different religion for me is less. I'm not saying it's less for you or for anyone else. It may be best for someone else to use a public school, or a school-in-a-box, or radical unschooling, or worksheets and textbooks for every class. It's not best for me. I'm not concerned about what is best for anyone else. If I was, I'd be visiting different boards. There's not a homeschooler (heh, or public schooler) here who doesn't believe what she (or he) is doing, or intending to do, isn't best, and has chosen her own option because the other options are somewhat "less." If there is such a homeschooler, I would probably believe they are confused and need to adopt a more concrete educational philosophy. I think labels and classifications are very natural and necessary to human beings and need not imply prejudice.

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If there is such a homeschooler, I would probably believe they are confused and need to adopt a more concrete educational philosophy. I think labels and classifications are very natural and necessary to human beings and need not imply prejudice.

 

Laura, I'm out of rep for the day, or I would have given you some for this quote alone. I don't think anyone here should feel she or he has to apologize for setting and maintaining high standards or for having a consistent educational philosophy. We all do the best we can for our children. The best (as we understand it) we can (at this moment in our lives) for our children (and no one else's). If I didn't think that classical education were the best for my child, I'd be doing something else, would I not? :)

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I don't know how many times I'm going to have to refute the idea that my intent was to turn everyone here into a homeschooler who uses WTM to the letter. Why are classical homeschoolers not allowed to search and rescue their own without making everyone else feel bad about themselves? For me, different is less, just like a different religion for me is less. .

 

 

I am going to zero in on this. I do believe that we ought to be able to hold a certain standard on these boards without people falling to pieces about it. Once on my blog I suggested that I sometimes post on a "message board visited primarily by homeschoolers of a classical bent" and someone took great offense at this. The person argued with me, on my blog, that this is not a message board for classical homeschoolers. And I can agree that it is intended for homeschoolers and afterschoolers, I think it is not a stretch to say the people who pay the bills for this place promote a classical approach to education. I cannot understand why anyone is bothered by that.

 

So yes, classical homeschoolers should be allowed to search and rescue one another without folks on different paths getting their feelings hurt.

 

I am so far from where I want to be as a homeschool mom, but if we did not have this place to "flesh out" all that SWB and JW taught us with WTM, I would be even further from where I want to be. It's like the math discussions.

I simply cannot do math the way many on here suggest. But I am not going to get my feelings hurt because TT is not well liked. I am going to listen to the warnings about it and add in Aleks for good measure. I refuse to let people holding up a high standard offend me. After all, I come here to listen in on conversations between people with high standards!!!

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Laura,

 

I'm watching this thread grow and and I am wondering how it came to be that a thread about classical education on a forum for classical education needs to be defended or clarified.

 

Secondly, on a message board where tact is king we shy away from certain subjects so as not to alienate other posters, risk neg reps, or chance an off topic digression about how someone else is offended and it is refreshing to read a post where someone gets really excited about the subject they are discussing.

 

I can tell by your word choice and tone that this really means something to you personally. You are not out there "me-tooing" your peers and you haven't censored yourself to the point of ceasing to make meaningful adult conversation.

 

If the highest priority on a message board is sugar coating every last word and playing such nice-nice with each other so that absolutely every last "opinion" and thought must be allowed to go unquestioned lest someone be offended then the board becomes about therapy, self-esteem, or socialization--a reflection of some of the very things that I do not like about public education.

 

While my intention is not to "make friends" on message boards, it certainly should be no surprise that after we've censored ourselves and ceased to talk about those hot topics, (as if the study of Latin or Greek is that contentious!), potentially offensive to someone, we wonder why we never feel really close to anyone and we speculate on how it is that we are the only ones attempting these particular educational goals. On a board with thousands of registered participants we feel isolated and alone.

 

As a result of this thread I've been thinking about how much more of an effort I need to take to get the Latin done the way that I know it needs to get done. There was a comment left on a blog not so long ago that I laughed at and then immediately worried that it might apply to me, "There are two ways that students think they can learn (topic): One way is to do the work and learn the topic, the other way is to come up with lots of good excuses why they didn't learn the topic. But there is no either/or, there is only number one."

 

And so I need spend more time figuring out how to overcome the difficulties with the Latin and less time whining in my head about all my excuses.

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I don't think anyone here should feel she or he has to apologize for setting and maintaining high standards or for having a consistent educational philosophy.

 

I don't think so, either.

 

We all do the best we can for our children. The best (as we understand it) we can (at this moment in our lives) for our children (and no one else's).

 

Yes. Your emphases are important.

 

If I didn't think that classical education were the best for my child, I'd be doing something else, would I not?

 

Maybe or maybe not. I imagine there are times when people would prefer to do "X (uppercase)" but for a variety of reasons have to modify for the time being and do "x (lowercase)".

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I do believe that we ought to be able to hold a certain standard on these boards without people falling to pieces about it...So yes, classical homeschoolers should be allowed to search and rescue one another without folks on different paths getting their feelings hurt.

 

Kelli, just to clarify, I do agree with you. I think, though, that we can do that without asserting a holier-than-thou stance. It is my opinion that some of the comments in this thread fell short in that regard, thus my earlier post.

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I've been encouraged...Yes, this has been a good thread.

 

This was a good discussion, I agree!

 

Why are classical homeschoolers not allowed to search and rescue their own without making everyone else feel bad about themselves?

 

I think it's possible to engage in that "search and rescue" without assuming the tone of smug superiority that I sensed in portions of this discussion. Of course, "I sensed" underscores the subjectivity in my comment. This is merely my interpretation.

 

For me, different is less, just like a different religion for me is less.

 

I hear you. I would not put education on the same par as faith, but I do understand your underlying point.

 

There's not a homeschooler (heh, or public schooler) here who doesn't believe what she (or he) is doing, or intending to do, isn't best, and has chosen her own option because the other options are somewhat "less." If there is such a homeschooler, I would probably believe they are confused and need to adopt a more concrete educational philosophy.

 

I think we will have to agree to disagree on that score.:)

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I

I think I will like this better in the high school years; these junior-high years seem to be pretty much about transitioning from being a kid to being a young man, about learning how to handle larger work loads, and they frankly aren't as much fun. But I think we will find our way to the other side, back to the interesting conversations, and that's good. To tell the truth, when we get to DO that stuff, I like this homeschooling a lot.

 

It kind of freaks me out that I have a rising 8th grader on my hands, though. When did THAT happen?

 

 

I remember thinking that even if we just "maintained" (in middle school) we were still better off at home. Just last night both dh and I said how much we hated 7th grade. Sigh.

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Laura,

 

 

And so I need spend more time figuring out how to overcome the difficulties with the Latin and less time whining in my head about all my excuses.

 

For me, this thread is getting me back on track with my eldest's history, which has been minimally done for the past couple of years to focus on other things. When I presented my recent plan for next year (SWB's highschool/self-education history book as a spine, and using the Bible, Josephus, Ussher, Snorri Sturluson and that famous Greek historian whose name slips my mind) doing comparative history along with other readings (some ancients, some modern with different scientific view points for certain historical things, etc) she didn't balk at all. This is a girl who "hates" history.

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TWTM really inspires me even though I do not homeschool the WTM way. I, too, view the book as an excellent resource. After finding the book at the library many years ago, I was thrilled that some very intelligent person had done the work for me with regard to selecting curricula. I was overwhelmed with all of the choices out there. As time went on, however, I realized that some of the top picks were not good fits for my ds. I also realized that the WTM method was not going to work with my ADHD child. I then latched on to the few suggestions, recommendations, and ideas that I *did* like and that were very do-able for us...including using the SOTW history books. When the revised edition hit the book stores, I made it a point to purchase it. Why? Because even though I did not consider the WTM to be my method of homeschooling, this book happens to be one of the most inspirational homeschooling books out there. I like picking it up every so often and reading a few chapters to see if there's anything new I can glean from it. It sits horozontially on the top of my bookshelf in our living room right under a small world globe. I love the way it looks there and I won't ever sell it. A few months ago, while at the grocery store in the early afternoon, a woman asked my ds why he wasn't in school. He replied that he homeschooled and we both gave her a nice smile. That lady followed me to my car and asked me if I could tell her a little more about homeschooling, because her child was soon to start school and she was not happy about the school system. After giving her my phone number and email address, I told her to go to the library and check out TWTM by SWB and JW. I told her that there were other good homeschooling books out there, but that this one was the most inspirational one I have found. It's funny, this is the first post I've made since late last week. There have been some things that have bothered me here lately and I had considered not posting here anymore. I felt like maybe I just didn't fit in, but I've missed this forum and all that the moms and dads here have to offer----no matter how closely they follow the WTM...And after stumbling upon this thread, and reading the responses of Momof7, Maria of Electically Yours, and Colleen, I've changed my mind. Thank you ladies!

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I don't think so, either.

 

 

 

Yes. Your emphases are important.

 

 

 

Maybe or maybe not. I imagine there are times when people would prefer to do "X (uppercase)" but for a variety of reasons have to modify for the time being and do "x (lowercase)".

 

 

Colleen, you say "I imagine there are times when people . . . have to modify for the time being and do "x".

 

This is true -- this is why I am "here", even though I am not a classical homeschooler. I would prefer to be a classical homeschooler. For many reasons, it has never worked for our family.

 

Now, we are at a place where I would prefer to be a homeschooler, period. And again, for many reasons, it is no longer working for our family. We are preparing to enroll our oldest in a local Christian school.

 

In my heart, I am a homeschooler. In my preferences, I am a classical homeschooler. Sometimes we can choose our reality, sometimes it is forced upon us.

 

And I want to stay here, on these boards, because here is where I find people who challenge me, inspire me, encourage me, and broaden my horizons. Sometimes it has to do with homeschooling, often it does not.

 

Life doesn't always turn out the way we want it. Giving up homeschooling is one of the hardest things I've done. To think that I would have to give up the "friends" that I have here would really bite.

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:grouphug: for Christy! I can appreciate what you're feeling right now. I haven't been exactly there, but I had 9 years of afterschooling before bringing my children home full-time. Hold onto the fact that as one who is a homeschooler at heart you are equipped to keep your eyes and ears out for what your daughter will be learning and experiencing. Stay connected to her learning in whatever way works out best.

 

During the time I afterschooled, I became increasingly involved with not only what I was teaching them at home, but aware and involved in their education at school. Sometimes that meant I moved to intervene in a situation, which school staff didn't always understand or appreciate at first. I stayed in touch and respectfully brought up my concerns and potential solutions and my daughters had a better educational experience because I stayed aware.

 

Colleen, you say "I imagine there are times when people . . . have to modify for the time being and do "x".

 

This is true -- this is why I am "here", even though I am not a classical homeschooler. I would prefer to be a classical homeschooler. For many reasons, it has never worked for our family.

 

Now, we are at a place where I would prefer to be a homeschooler, period. And again, for many reasons, it is no longer working for our family. We are preparing to enroll our oldest in a local Christian school.

 

In my heart, I am a homeschooler. In my preferences, I am a classical homeschooler. Sometimes we can choose our reality, sometimes it is forced upon us.

 

And I want to stay here, on these boards, because here is where I find people who challenge me, inspire me, encourage me, and broaden my horizons. Sometimes it has to do with homeschooling, often it does not.

 

Life doesn't always turn out the way we want it. Giving up homeschooling is one of the hardest things I've done. To think that I would have to give up the "friends" that I have here would really bite.

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Thanks, Marie and Nan. I took my girls to the school today for their visit -- it was good to come home and find some virtual hugs. :grouphug: I am encouraged at the warm welcome they received and I think they are going to have a very good day. I'm looking forward to picking them up this afternoon and doing the whole "milk and cookies" thing. It is a comfort to know that if we change our minds -- if this school experiment takes a bad turn -- I can (and will) bring them back home. And I can come here and find all kinds of help if we return to homeschooling. It is a blessing to have choices.

 

I do want to point out -- I did NOT feel that the original post was intended in any way to make me (or others in my situation) feel unwelcome here. It was a legitimate and thought-provoking question and I enjoyed reading all of the responses. My post was simply to add to the train of thought that several had contributed to, as to why this board attracts a wider variety of teaching styles, and why some folks who are not currently homeschooling still like to "hang out". I wanted to make that clear, I hope my post did not sound defensive.

 

Along those lines, I do think that I will still have a contribution to make to the discussions on these boards. If nothing else, I can see where I made some significant mistakes in homeschooling, and if others can benefit from some lessons I learned the hard way, hopefully it would make their path straighter (ha, note I did not say EASIER!) than mine.

 

Well, I'm off to declutter a certain little girl's closet, while she is conveniently out of the house. There could definitely be some advantages to school, right?;)

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