NO SCHOOLING?

Christy - posted on 11/28/2011 ( 105 moms have responded )

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On the series show "Our America with Lisa Ling", she did a bit on "Extreme Parenting" featuring 4 families. The one family that stuck out to me was the "No Schooling" family. The kids are not in school and not home schooled. They learn what they want to, when they want to. The oldest kid in the family was telling Lisa Ling, as he was playing video games, that he was learning extensive hand/eye coordination playing video games (he's 11). They also have 3 other children. The family follows no curriculum with their kids in terms of teaching what kids normally learn in school or through home school. Thoughts?

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Tara - posted on 12/06/2011

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Yes my 15 year old is doing well, his teachers love him. They like that he chose to go to school, therefore he treats it with more respect and commitment than his peers do.

He likes the alternative school becomes it allows for smaller classrooms and more dialogue about what is being studied. His relationship with his teachers is a great extension of his relationship with me as his teacher. They trust him to know what he needs and provide the guidance he requires to reach his goals.





My older son has had no problems with following structure or routine either. He has been volunteering since he was 11, he treated it like a job back then. He has been working since 16 part time so he could fund his fishing habit, lol and so he could save for his education.





He chose to take the culinary arts classes part time, in modules so he could afford them without incurring student debt. And his work has always been in the culinary arts field, he has been a caterer, prep chef and at 17 managed a small cafe for a summer when the owners went out of town. This is how much of impression he makes on those he meets.



So he can be both a leader and a follower.



They are an example of what happens when you trust kids to know themselves and to know what they want to learn.



My 15 year old doesn't see himself having a career that involves a lot of detailed complex math, he has felt this way for a long time. He likes history and English and writing and politics, theology etc. and always has.



So he has no desire at this time in his life to learn any advanced math, he has the basics, the functioning, applicable math skills he needs to get on in life.



And he knows that should he ever want to take some specific course that requires higher maths or chooses to advance his math learning just because, he knows that he is capable of learning it, he just needs to make that choice because he wants to, find the resources available and use them.



He can do this because he knows "how" to learn.

There is no reason that everything needs to be covered before the end of your schooling career. He can always choose to learn more as he needs it, or not. And if he chooses to get the "documentation" to prove that he indeed learned the info, he can do so through a variety of means. But it's not about the paperwork, it should be about the knowledge, but like my older son, he knows there are ways around all the paperwork sometimes.



It's not for everyone, although the diversity within the unschooling community is vast, we are all after the same thing: a balanced, real world education for our children.

Thanks btw for the compliment!

Tara - posted on 12/06/2011

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So.... this is called "unschooling" by most people who practice it.

I am an unchooling parent. I don't unparent my children but I don't provide a structured learn at home environment.

We learn through life.

I have 6 children, my oldest is 18, my youngest is 2.



Rather than go into all the stats, lists of famous unschoolers, studies done on unschooling adults etc. etc.

And rather than go into all the ways kids learn at home while not being "schooled", I will simply give you a window into a typical day in our home.

We all wake up at different times unless we have to be somewhere and then the kids all set their alarms to be up and ready on time.

The children who are capable of making themselves breakfast do so when their bodies tell them to eat. They will often help each other to create a balanced meal or do so on their own. I will fix breakfast for myself and the younger kids when they tell me they are hungry. We all clean up our own breakfast messes and then move onto tidying our rooms, making our beds etc.

Then my older kids can choose to either go to the library, work on something that they are currently involved in, such as the tectonic plate simulator we saw on a cool documentary and are now doing at home. One of my daughters doesn't really care too much about this project as she is currently very interested in building a teeny tiny igloo village from teeny tiny piles of snow she has collected over the past two snowfalls, after reading a book called A Promise is a Promise about Canadian Inuit peoples.





I will go about my day with the younger kids doing some baking and building (math), we will sing songs that are about numbers and measuring. We will also read through simple recipes together. We sing phonics songs the day's menu. my 6 year old does this most of the time, asking everyone else in the room to tell her the spelling of words, or she will spell phonetically if she chooses to.

My 2 year old is usually present during all of this, he helps in the kitchen as well. And when not helping he is painting, using playdough or building with blocks.

My older kids will then help make lunch, again changing the menu on the board. They will then move onto to other things of interest. My 9 year old will often practice guitar and singing after lunch, recording herself and playing it back to see where she can improve. She also writes lyrics, rhyming and creating musical poetry. My 11 year old may chose to write a letter to a friend, challenge her sister to do a math game online together or want to do some science experiments. We have a lot of supplies on hand for doing a lot of neat stuff.



So we go with the flow, there is always reading, writing, and math, all of it learned naturally as their brains are ready and willing to accept that info.



The older they become the more detailed our learning becomes. It is not structured but I find ways to introduce new concepts through watching my kids and knowing where their interests lie.



When my oldest child was 8-9 he loved Star Wars, we spent an entire year studying Star Wars, we learned the history of the creator, we did model ship building, we talked about space A LOT. We did measuring and math, we tried to learn Klingon, we wrote screenplays and performed them.

We lived StarWars, I made it part of our learning and he learned so much that year, stuff he probably wouldn't have learned in school until grade 8 or later.. things he might never have learned in school.



And at the same time, I reinforced all the basics, and took them further with bigger words, more descriptive language, more advanced engineering etc. etc.



Everything about their lives is about learning. The idea is always not to teach them "things" but to teach them how to learn. To give them the tools needed to source, process, organize and retain information.



I want to raise resourceful children who know how the world works and how they fit into it, not just academically but emotionally and socially.

My kids are not sheltered, they attend figure skating lessons, they attend a theatre group, summer camps, art programs, music etc.



But they live and learn in the real world. We do errands together all the time, we do our budgeting, our banking our purchases etc. as a family. They see how the world works.

They USE the skills they learn at home, all the time because the concepts are not abstract, confined to a classroom.



When we shop for groceries, they help to make lists, they go into the store and we all separate (the older two together, the young ones with me). the older girls have lists of their own, they know to look for the better price on some things, they know how to calculate the price of 250 g of luncheon meat that is priced at $1.15/100 grams. etc, they understand how their studies directly relate to their life... because their studies are their life and vice versa.



When my hubby does electrical work or carpentry or anything else for that matter, we involve the kids, they know about circuitry not because we learned about it in a book, in a lab, but because we had a funny switch and he had to fix it, they thought it was really neat so we built a small room with a few currents etc. he helped them, it was fun, and now they know a bit about currents AND electrical safety!





My oldest child did not attend highschool. He chose to do some courses online so he could attend college for culinary arts. He did not need a diploma with a bunch of stuff like history, parenting, shop class, keyboarding etc., under his belt. He need set classes to get into the courses he wanted, so he took them. And he aced the entrance exam. He wants to be a chef and he will be.





My 15 year old chose to attend an alternative high school where he is currently taking a variety of different courses of his choosing to see what exactly is his direction from here.





My kids are all free, lateral thinking people. They are empathetic and wise beyond their peers in many ways. In all my life as an unschooling parent I have heard nothing but accolades and kudos about how articulate and intelligent my children are. And also about how civilized and comfortable they are in the world and with themselves.



My kids don't have a problem talking to people, from babies to the oldest of the old.



They live and learn all the time and it is possible to provide a well balanced and complete education, I know them, their interests, their strengths and weaknesses better than anyone besides themselves.



This doesn't mean that I don't help them and guide them to learn things they might be resistant to, it just means together we find a different way to learn it so that it is more interesting.



My teens have both held down summer jobs, they have no problems with being an employee, getting up and ready for work on time etc. in fact, yet again, their employers are always so impressed with their work ethic, and often put it down to having not gone to school, also far more respectful and easy to get along with. Not your typical slack ass teens.

Anyhow, I have been doing it this way for a long long time. And I know it works for all the families I have known who also school this way.



It's not a black and white picture though.

Oh and sorry for going off topic of a typical day, guess i had more to say than I thought I did!

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I haven't kept up w/ this post since I replied on page one and still just skimmed most of this. I just wanted to input 2 things.

#1. My girls have been in the same school since K (5th now) and have loved every single teacher they've had... and loved each other's teachers as well. :)

#2 Some of the things offered at their middle school (other than the basic required stuff) next year would include... band, chorus, exploratory wheel courses (Polynesian music, exploratory art, etc..), technology courses (computer literacy and robotics), media production, leadership development and service, concentrated science investigations, life management, world geography, healthy active living, current events, oceanography, and study of the universe. And that's not all...

Now tell me they aren't trying to produce well rounded individuals who can function in society and aren't just teaching 'useless' stuff. ;)

Sarah - posted on 11/30/2011

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I don't really care if people want to homeschool or unschool or whatever, that's their decision I guess.
It's certainly not anything I would do though, a) because I don't think I'm qualified to teach them all they need to know and b) because to be honest, I wouldn't have the creativity or patience.

So often, the thing with these debates that annoys me is when people are passionate about one side or the other......so they completely dismiss that the other side has any merit at all.

Just because I believe that going to school is best for my kids, it doesn't mean I don't get or understand why some parents might choose to homeschool for their kids. However, it often seems like parents that choose to homeschool feel the need to bash schools for some reason.
I'm sure there are some not so good schools, but I think most public schools do a damn fine job, with teachers that do a damn fine job.

I don't see why we have to put down one type of education while trying to explain the benefits of another type.

Krista - posted on 11/30/2011

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I think that the most important thing that a kid can learn...is how to learn. Everything falls from that. A good school (or homeschooler) will encourage intellectual curiousity, and will also teach the child how to research, how to find connections between concepts, and how to apply concepts to practical applications. To me, the most crucial skill that can be taught is reading, and reading comprehension. If you can't read, and can't understand what you're reading, you're going to have a much harder time learning anything else.

I approve of homeschooling, and do not care how the homeschooler structures their day, as long as they are preparing their children for the world outside their home.

I also approve of working with the child's interests, but with one big caveat -- sometimes the parent has to foster an interest. I don't approve of it if a parent says, "Oh, Johnny doesn't like math, so we haven't done any of that."

Well, Johnny's going to need some math once he's out from under your roof, sweetcheeks.

So as a homeschooler, the parent's job is not just to cater to the kid's interests, but also to work with them to spark an interest in other subjects. So if Johnny doesn't like math, then that parent needs to get creative and find a way to GET Johnny interested in math, whether it's running a pretend business, or building a doghouse together, or what-have-you. Or, if the kid doesn't like reading, then you FIND a way to spark their interest. You don't just throw your hands up and say, "Oh, she's not interested in that." That's lazy.

Good homeschooling is a lot of work and requires a shit-ton of creativity. I applaud the homeschoolers who acknowledge the huge responsibility that they have, but I have nothing but scorn for the ones who shirk their duty and try to put a positive spin on it.

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√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/15/2011

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Casey,

Did you read Anita's story? She unschooled her kids and they seem like perfectly fine, educated, smart, functional adults?

Casey - posted on 12/15/2011

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Unschooling? In New Zealand that would be illegal, irresponsible, and argh I am blown away by this concept! My daughter LOVES school, loves her friends, her work, her teacher and all the extra curricular activities her school offers that allow her to discover new skills and learn how to interact with people on different levels. They need to learn how to cope being individuals and on their own away from mum and dad. And they need to LEARN. Not oh its video game day today. Or I just wanna play with barbies. What about children with learning difficulties like dyslexia that couldn't be picked up because a chile would 'choose' not to read as it was too confusing. i am just.. gobsmacked.

Tara - posted on 12/13/2011

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Unfortunately there are some homeschooling families who believe they are protecting their children from the world and therefore don't take them out and about into society. I think this may happen more in places where homeschooling is frowned upon.
Where I live my librarians love our homeschooling kids, all of them. They actually organize things surrounding our homeschoolers, because they know they can count on them to show up, do their best job and be polite, respectful and articulate.
Because my kids are with me all the time they accompany me on errands etc.
They are more than capable of doing some of the grocery shopping, I am in one part of the store, my older two girls (11 and 9) are together with a list in another part of the store, walking calmly, price checking, and loading their cart with food for the weeks menu that they helped to create. They will then go home and help to cook said food into healthy well balanced meals.
They go to the post office on their own to mail letters, collect the mail and buy stamps.
The 9 year old volunteers at the library helping to label books, pull old stuff out of circulation and they even have her answering the phone. At NINE... why? Because they have real world social skills.
Skills they have learned by living in and being in the real world all the time. Because they see how society really works, opposed to a school setting. They see people waiting in line without pushing and shoving or trying to butt in.
They see people say please and thank you when ordering food or getting gas. They live life and they learn life at the same time.
Where I live most people don't homeschool for religious reasons, we do so because we want our children to have a balanced education. Meaning that education goes beyond learning to read, write and learn math concepts.
Real life learning means learning how to handle yourself, it means learning how to read people and be respectful, it means learning about how life really works outside of school.
It means when they see an injustice they know it will be handled within the laws of our country.
They understand how people are expected to act in society and therefore there is no need to adjust their behaviour when we go out, they behave the same way no matter where we are or what the situation. They behave as any contributing member of any civilized society should behave.
I have been doing this a long long time. My oldest child is 18. I have heard nothing but amazing compliments about my kids from anyone who has ever had the pleasure to meet and talk with them.
My 15 year old son started attending town council meetings when he was 13 because he felt he had something to offer. And because he knows that to be a member of our community means that you involve yourself. Being a bystander accomplishes nothing in this world.
My kids are empowered to use their intelligence, they are empowered to be who they are, they are led by example.
My children spend a lot of time with schooled children, they have no problems socializing with kids who are not homeschooled, however they often find their behaviour to be immature and not in line with how they conduct themselves.
My kids value their friendships, they don't act flippantly about their relationships as many kids in school. They value their reputation. They value their lifestyle. They value their autonomy. They are lateral thinkers who know how to stand up for their rights.
I am raising free thinking, empathetic, intelligent, articulate, and compassionate people. They will all choose their own paths in life, but I know they will not compromise their own values and virtues to do so.
For those on the outside who say that homeschooled kids are unsocial etc. I would bet the ones you speak of are being raised in a religious home learning environment where they do not have a lot of freedom to be themselves and where their life and their routine is structured around obedience and adherence to the bible.
This does not necessarily mean they will be sheltered but often it does not lead to independence in thought, learning or personality.

Jamie - posted on 12/13/2011

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I did independent study throughout high school. This is different than unschooling, but I am a firm believe in whatever works for the child.

I had severe and untreated ADD (still untreated ;-) haha though it probably should be) and I wasn't even trying in middle school I think I left with a .5 GPA. I asked to try independent study.

It was perfect for me. I was also able to also take community college classes during that time, which was a completely different atmosphere than high school.

I graduated early with a 4.2 and got into every college I applied for.

I'm a firm believer that you and your child know what is best. If unschooling is really going to have them thrive then go for it.

Teresa - posted on 12/12/2011

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Hi,I am Grandma Teri,I've rasieng my grandaughter since she was 21/2 years old and she has gone to school and love it,until she turn 15 yrs she started telling me she did not have to go schoo,I live in wisconsin and she already got a ticking for $85.00 and had to go to court in front of a judget,but once again this school she refuseing to go to school when she should go,now this school year she is in her frist year of high school,so when the first few weeks and few days atfert that but now since their fall break she has refuse to go back because of one the male teacher and her had disagrement and it was the a other stund whom was a bog and let him get away with it,so because of this teacher she is refuseing to return to school at all and as ask Harry and I teacher her at home where she said she feel very safe and she does not feel safe at school or the school bus..So where would I start to home school her at home .we are from wisconsin.Anyone can help me to get her start please let me know.her therapies is100% behind me home schooling total.because of michele not getting any kind of schooling with her IEP.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/09/2011

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LMAO sorry I am not trying to be rude but you are basically stating that homeschooling equals no social manners. When I've seen SOOOOOOOOO MANY kids who are IN school be total hellion brats. Running around grocery stores, screaming, wandering isles ALONE. All these kids are in school. So to me that is just a lack of proper parenting when kids act like that. It has nothing to do with homeschooling at all.

Xandria - posted on 12/09/2011

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I work in a library and after five years of dealing with home school kids I agree with Germany and think it should be outlawed. Honestly if we see a group coming we run and hide. For a parent who sits at home with them all day it might not be important for them to know proper social etiquette but once you bring them out in public and expect them to deal with other people it is important that they know things like how to stand in line and wait their turn. How to proper articulate their wants or needs. How to properly fill out a slip of paper and follow instructions accordingly. All things that are learned in school and are needed every day in things from going to the doctors office, filling out a job application, to going to the grocery store.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/06/2011

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Incredible. You should write a book about it. We need more information and proof that the school we all shove our kids in is not the only and definiatly not the best way. Thanks!



I think in America they would just throw you in jail..... we're not allowed to do such a thing :(

Tara - posted on 12/06/2011

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I live in Ontario, Canada.
I do follow the requirements of my province, I provide a letter of intent to provide home education to the local school board each year. The education act section 13 says I have the right to school my children at home, I sign the paperwork saying that my children will be satisfactorily taught at home.
And I acknowledge that I take on that responsibility.
For the most part the school board where I live is nothing but supportive. We have certain rights to school things, if I wanted my children to attend school just for phys-ed for the sake of argument, I could exercise that right as long as I provide transportation to and from. I still pay school taxes like everyone else, and I get nothing from the government in the way of assistance toward their lessons etc. it's all out of pocket expenses. (unschoolers are some of the most frugal people on the planet, and resourceful too!) So it's a pretty good set up here. We also have the OFTP, the Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents who provide advice, legal support etc. if needed.
I love where I live, in my tiny little village of just 1200 people we have half a dozen unschoolers. We get together frequently for swimming at the pool in the winter, field trips, craft and science days etc. etc.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/06/2011

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Awesome! Where do you live that allows you to unschool your kids in such a manner? I'm not too familiar with even homeschooling, but have heard that they do have to follow a sort of curriculum which defeats the noschooling purpose so I'm not sure if it's even an option locally, or in America at all?

Also, I think by forcing people who homeschool to follow any sort of government regime defeats the purpose. Expecially if you want to take longer to teach your kid one thing over another. I definiatly want to look into it so any information you have would be great :)

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/06/2011

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And to prove a point - your younger son who is in an alternative school right now. Is he doing well? Your older son that did take college classes, you said he aced them? Did he struggle at all?

I'm just curious due to some comments that we need to prep them for such a rigid structure early in life in order to be able to enter the rigit structure for college later in life.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/06/2011

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Lol you guys are cracking me up. I dare not ask ages but I'm 25 and I think I started reading Harry Potter books at around 13? I think they had already come out with 3 books by then.. or maybe more.. but I do remember waiting impatiently to read the other half of the series :)

Sal - posted on 12/05/2011

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The book was 1997 when my son was only 1 but the movie was 2001 when he was 5 so I guess he got the book the birthday before the movie at 5 so maybe I can't be your mum Emma ... Pheww I was really feeling old

Sal - posted on 12/05/2011

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My god I'm old enough to be your mum!!!!!! (if I was an early starter) my son was 6 or 7 when he got the first bookmark think

Stifler's - posted on 12/05/2011

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I think I was actually still in high school when the first movie came out! You guys make me feel young and immature.

Sal - posted on 12/05/2011

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God I feel old.... Emma got to read Harry potter at school and by the time he was out I was reading it to my son !!!!

[deleted account]

Here is a link to a FAQ sheet about the finances in our district. We spend an average of $7,957 per student. The state average is $9,286. We have less because we are considered a "wealthy" district. I assume this means we are expected to raise more in fundraising. Our school raises just over $950,000 on average per year in fundraising. We have just under 1100 students in our school, so this gives us about $850 more per student. It doesn't go far.

http://www.publicedpartnersgc.org/files/...

Jodi - posted on 12/02/2011

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I probably should also add that giving those $ values probably doesn't give a comparative picture to the US anyway, because it is also all relative to the cost of living.

But I guess, that is all off topic, because the OP is talking about NO schooling, not minimal structured schooling or homeschooling.

Jodi - posted on 12/02/2011

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Niki, I am not sure where Emma lives, because it is state based, BUT I do know that the public schools here where I live are funded on the basis of about $12,000 per student, or thereabouts. Catholic and private schools also receive an amount. My kids are in Catholic school, and the school receives funding of about $7,500 per student (and the rest is made up of fees and fundraising).



Now, I am not sure if this is a combination of primary and high school funding, or only primary school, but I imagine more funding would be needed at high school level, so if this was across the board of the 13 years of schooling, the funding per student for a school probably varies depending on the year level. But it gives an idea of the funding for the school on average.

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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I don't know but it wasn't like a lot of resources were used. Just our own pens and paper and the teacher bought the harry potter book and honestly the teachers here fork out for a lot of things because they care about the students and helping them learn in a fun way.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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Oh, and there's a college in CA offering classes that study Lady Gaga and her industry. LOL random but it made me laugh when I heard it.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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That's really neat.

I was wondering how much money the school you went to works with per student? I wonder if we can compare it. It would be interesting to see compared to Americas schools what kind of level it would fall into. I wonder if they get more money over where you are or just are able to do more with less money than us?

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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we always had a book the class was reading adn had to do activities pertaining to it. in most grades we did it.

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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The teacher read it to the class (this was before the movies) and we had to visualise what the characters were like and draw them and write character profiles, draw ron weasleys house, write what we think should have happened, invent another character, write a book list for hogwarts etc. imagination kind of stuff to get kids thinking.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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Look at how long they are for childrens books too. She really set a new bar

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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I wouldn't be opposed to kids studying Harry Potter. Afterall, they did break records around the world as kids books and even appealed to adults. They are incredible

[deleted account]

Harry Potter stuff? What is that? I mean, I know the books, but our schools don't do anything with them. Kids can read them if they want, but no study on it.

Our middle schools don't offer a fraction of the ones you mentioned, Teresa, but it is very encouraging to learn that they are making a comeback and schools are taking initiative to expand beyond basic academics again.

I am on a committee at our school that focuses on teaching the kids to be well rounded and functioning in society. We are an elementary school, so obviously we are limited, but we do try to incorporate societal functions into the school environment. I take a lot of what I learn from my home schooling mom friends into those committee meetings. You don't necessarily have to have a whole class to teach societal function, you can incorporate it into almost anything--like the home schoolers need to incorporate academics into every day functions, public schools, or traditionally structured schools, need to focus more on incorporating every day functions into the academics.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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Emma, don't you live in another country though?

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Nope. That middle school isn't even in my neighborhood (IS our district school) though. It gets students from 4 different public elementary schools. I 'think' there are only 3 public middle schools here.

I, admittedly, have no clue yet how things work in the middle school. I will by next school year though. We have the registration papers now and there are 5 required courses (language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, and then a semester each of physical education and health). Four choices of 'electives', three choices for 'honors' courses (leadership, video production, and yearbook). And then 17 choices for X-block enrichment courses. I just read that X-block courses are during period 2, so obviously kids can't do a LOT of these things, but there is a wide variety of choices.

I'll have to let you know the realities next year. Right now middle school is overwhelming me and we still have just over half a year left of 5th grade... ;)

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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I went to a very low socioeconomic area school and we did anti bullying stuff, art, harry potter stuff.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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Teresa, do you live in a upper end neighborhood? I've never heard of those classes. In fact, I've been hearing a lot about how schools are cutting back or entirely cutting out those kinds of classes due to 'lack of funding'.

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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I think everyone needs that basic education. What if you lose the farm and counting eggs as maths isn't good enough anymore? if you can't even use a cash register or know basic english to write your resume you're pretty much screwed in today's society.

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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Structure doesn't mean rigid routine or lectures. It means there is a standard of education you have to meet to pass and certain tests.

[deleted account]

High school level. I went to a boarding school in high school on scholarship. Because my family was homeless, I had to attend and keep my grades up. If I didn't, I was out on the streets again. But I was also working towards university scholarships in high school. If my high school grades fell, or I was truant, I wouldn't get the scholarships I needed for college and even if I didn't need scholarships, I still needed top grades to get into college. Even if I weren't even planning to go to college, I would still need to keep the grades up, attend everyday, and follow the teacher's orders to get the diploma, which is needed, in my area anyway, for almost any job that pays more than minimum wage.



Well, gee.....when you look at it THAT way, the traditionally schooled kids do get more real world experience because the home schooled kids just have to take the GED test without really having to account to anyone.





Yes, I'm aware that I just contradicted myself :P Apparently, both sides have pluses and minuses when it comes to real-world experiences. We just have to figure out how to combine the best of both worlds.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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Most of my ideas are actually a mesh of whats already being done. I think Arizona is on the leading edge when it comes to stream lining schools. They got sick of public schools, so they created a voucher system which allows you to take the same money the state usually pays public schools and give it to another school - usually private or if someone would have rather gone to a religious one. This system puts pressure on public schools to shape up, or else lose kids to another school.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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Scholarships? You mean university level then? I'm talking about public schools? Or did you have to pay for K-12 too?

[deleted account]

I learned everything on your list from school. I did have to be there every day, if I wasn't, I failed, and I lost my scholarships, which were the equivalent to my paycheque. My teacher was giving me orders and taught me what it was like to have someone telling me what to do, and to have to do it. She also taught me how to be the boss, as I have been the boss for most of my working career. I learned the math skills I needed to run a register long before I got to the register, and while I didn't learn how to run the register at school, I did learn how to figure out how to run it at school--one of the few things of value I got from science: do it one way, if it doesn't work, try another, and document as you go. OR listen to someone who knows how to run the register teach you--something we do all through school.

That said, I think you are on to something. Perhaps the area where we are failing our kids, and home schoolers are succeeding in, is to teach them the ability to apply the skills they learn in school to real life. It does one very little good to know how to add and subtract decimals on paper if they cannot apply that skill to their bank accounts, or how to compute growing percentages if they cannot figure out how to apply that math to interest rates.

Home schoolers are more likely to have that skill because they tend to do those things with their parents, their parents tend to turn every day chores into teaching moments.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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It would worry me too if they weren't learning at least that much Katherine

Katherine - posted on 12/02/2011

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I have to say I have never heard of this. Maybe it works. But do they not learn the basics, like math, reading, etc.....?

[deleted account]

Well, I've spent most of my career in the corporate world and I have to say, it's almost identical to high school... even down to the cliques. Part of what's important about school in socialization. There is always be a pecking order, there will always be someone else's structure to follow, the main reason to succeed will always be to get the hell out of that place so that you can be anywhere else but there... But, to become your own boss, you have to be able to first succeed and then have the education and capital to go it alone. Life is a lot like K-12, start at the bottom, learn slowly, grow into yourself and eventually set achievable goals for your life.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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School may be work but it's book work. They don't get the hands on experiance nor what it feels like to have a job. To have to be there every day. To have a boss that gives you orders. To figure out how to use a register, flip burgers, unscrew a bolt, saw a board, deal with customers yelling at you, how to handle money, a check book - nothing.



You miss so much real life experiance sitting in school until 18, when then getting dumped on your butt because society expects that you should know how to live your life out of no where, with little real world experiance.



I also don't think there is a need for being in school past 18 unless it's a trade school or university. Think how teenagers are, and how hard it is to be stuck at home while trying to be your own adult. It's very contradictory.



They can benefit a lot more if schools were set up more like trade schools - or at least from 14-16 if they were set up for those 2 years like that.



I agree on 10 being too late for basic skills.

[deleted account]

That's an interesting concept. I'm not sure I agree that "most" schooling is useless, but I certainly do agree that a lot of it can be useless for some students.

I know that a lot of the useless stuff is there so that all kids are exposed to something they are passionate about and can identify it in order to follow that passion later. Take History, for example, many kids would say history is a waste of time--most of us don't even remember it through to adulthood--but there are a few kids who are exposed to it in school and it becomes a life long passion they would not have experienced if not for the public school exposure.

I do like you idea of giving more control in what to study to the student, but I would not wait until 10-14 to study basic reading; I feel that is a little too late. Once a kid can read, they can learn almost anything they wish, so I think reading and very basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals) should be learned much earlier, around 4-7 yrs. That way they can already be following their passions.
By 9-14 years old, they would know whether they lean more towards mathematics/scientific/engineering passions, or whether they lean more towards the arts/literature/sociology or have passion for both sides of this fence. They can start focusing in on classes in those areas so that by 15-16 they can start to narrow in on a career field.
School is work, it gives us the same exposure to the real world as any other job gives us, so I don't see the benefit of working at 16. They cannot learn anything running a cash register that they cannot learn through attending school.

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