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CNN (AP): Homeschooled boy wins national science contest

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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:13 PM
Original message
CNN (AP): Homeschooled boy wins national science contest
"WASHINGTON (AP) -- A 16-year-old, homeschooled California boy won a premier high school science competition Monday for his innovative approach to an old math problem that could help in the design of airplane wings.

"Michael Viscardi, a senior from San Diego, won a $100,000 college scholarship, the top individual prize in the Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology.

"Viscardi tackled a 19th century math problem and his new method of solving it has potential applications in the fields of engineering and physics.

" "He is a super-duper mathematics student," said lead judge Constance Atwell, a consultant and former research director at the National Institutes of Health. "It was almost impossible for our judges to figure out the limits of his understanding during our questioning. And he's only 16 years old," she said."

http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/12/05/science.competi...

In light of recent discussions, I had to share this. :-)

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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. He sounds like a prodigy, but...
I wouldn't say homeschooling automatically equates to better students at face value. There are several factors at play here, but on the whole, I'd say the best method is still through a publicly funded education system staffed with qualified teachers in sufficient numbers. We're having a problem with that currently.
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October Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
69. Liberal Home Schooler Here
We are liberal.

We are not religious.

We home school.

Here's why:

Our daughter is an aspiring ballerina. Dances 25+ hours ea. week.
Has studied with major ballet companies for the past 2 summers. She takes college courses at 15, having tested into them. (I cannot teach a biology lab at home...so this works.) I also bring in a tutor for her advanced Algebra class because I'm rusty. :)

My son is 8, but very right-brained and extremely talented in music (piano, cello and electric guitar). He presents in a very different manner from his peers...and was bored to tears at school, because our particular school is so rigid, and so right-wing! It's like a parochial school where the kids are punished for everything. It's very behavior-centric. They even have to line up and be quiet for gym and recess. It's awful. And they took away recess from 3rd graders!

We started home schooling our son this year, and he's finally feeling confident, academically. He now thinks he's smart, which he hasn't thought since Kindergarten. They harped and harped on his sloppy handwriting...till he felt he couldn't do anything right. Anyway, for us, home schooling works. And when your child is humiliated in school by the teacher, it makes the decision to home school very easy.

We are under a lot of scrutiny as home schoolers, too.

The curriculum must be approved by our district every August before the year even starts. My daughter has to present her year's work to a certified teacher every May/June. This teacher writes up a report and submits it to our district. In addition, our daughter has to prepare and submit a portfolio to our district by June.

For our high school-age daughter, it's more like she's in college. Her work is independently done -- some courses are online. She takes AP courses and deals directly with her teachers (and professors). I supervise and guide her -- and help edit her work, teaching her to do the same.

Our son at 8 is monitored every two weeks by a teacher, and I submit samples of his work twice a month, as well. Him, I teach 5 hours every day. It's amazing, really. He also conferences with his teacher on the phone and has to explain a lesson, answer questions, read a passage and just converse in general on a regular basis.

He's learning about ancient Rome and Greece and loving it. He's never been more engaged. One-on-one teaching just works for him at this age and for his personality (which is huge and more than a lot of teachers can probably stand).

We never set out to do this; it just happened. Our kids are very artsy and don't quite fit our small district's model. They did not thrive there AT ALL. I can't say why, exactly, and it broke my heart.

We always supported public school, but home schooling is just AWESOME for us. We take trips to NYC to museums, cook at home, do major art projects (I'm an artist), etc. Our kids are totally surpassing what our district is offering.

Because our school is small, there isn't much offered. My own public high school was in the city, and it was great. We're in the suburbs, and it's just lacking. Our daughter has taken it upon herself to add Russian and French to her curriculum. She takes Honors English, AP U.S. History, College Biology, Algebra 2, Grammar, Russian and French -- and Art History.

Every kid is different...what works, works, I guess. I'm used to being bashed for it. I'm used to the assumptions. Hey, I used to think home schooling was WEIRD, too. LOL My mind has opened and I'm a complete convert.

Can I tell you though, that recently, while waiting for my daughter at the local college, I sat with my son and we had an amazing discussion. He saw a world map on the wall and told me he could pick out the continents. OK. He did. Cool. Then, he asked me how many countries there were in the world...I wasn't sure of the exact number and said we'd look it up...and then I casually added that the number has changed over the years. He wanted to know why, so I said it was because of wars, etc. He then said "I don't get it...why would a country bomb another country if they wanted to take it over? Why would they destroy it if they want it?" Well...that led to an economic discussion...and how war means money to a lot of corporations, etc.

Home schooling can be a beautiful thing...



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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #69
71. I'm not trying to pigeonhole all homeschoolers as religious zealots
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 10:25 PM by Selatius
It's just that the stuff that has hit the news wires has been coming from the ultra-rightwing folks who object to homeschooling because of religious reasons. They teach a less than unbiased view of science, and thus the world, through the lens of their religion. I know not all families that homeschool do this.

But you seem to have found success. Keep on going in that direction. My generation is bleeding away in Iraq, and if they've not fallen victim to that, then they've fallen victim to broken homes, crime, alcoholism, drug abuse, despair, etc. There are many who have succeeded and pushed through though, and they seem to be on the right path, whatever that may be, but there are countless others who have become lost. I was once lost as well, but I found myself, and to admit, it wasn't through the public education system. It was some things I learned outside the confines of the education system.

Pray your children's generation isn't embattled like mine on so much greed and corruption. I can see it now. Already there is somebody out there my age who will become the next Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld because of what they were taught or made to live through.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 07:10 AM
Response to Reply #71
83. Stereotypes hurt comprehension
"It's just that the stuff that has hit the news wires has been coming from the ultra-rightwing folks who object to homeschooling because of religious reasons. They teach a less than unbiased view of science, and thus the world, through the lens of their religion. I know not all families that homeschool do this."

There is certainly a perception problem with respect to HS. That's why I started this thread, to provide a different perspective on the HS phenomena and who is doing it.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 07:05 AM
Response to Reply #69
82. Thanks for putting two new faces to HS...
I'm surprised at the controls placed on you by the district, we don't have them here.

Has the district been understanding of your situation, or have you had to argue with them to do what you're doing?
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. Not all homschooling is bad.
Just 90% of it.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. Why
do you say that?

I've always liked and agreed and with much of what you've said in the past, but I'm not sure why you're saying this. Is it from personal experience, or a conception based on what you've "heard" or think you "know"?



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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Based on conversations with local teachers.
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 07:05 PM by benburch
Many relate that they got homeschoolers into their classrooms after parents abandoned the attempt and found them to be very much behind where they should have been at their age and grade level, as well as having very odd religious views that put them at odds with the other children.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Hard to judge the number of successes...
...from the number of failures that show up at their door, I think.

Certainly some people are ill-equipped to handle the responsibility. But if we were to judge all drivers from only those who land in traffic court we'd refuse to issue driver's licences to anyone.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh
**after parents abandoned the attempt and found them to be very much behind***

Those that "failed" are really good examples of hsing.....

**very odd religious views **

The second mistake.... hs'ing - not just for religious rightwingnutjobs anymore.......... :)

There are plenty of LIBERAL freethinking hs'ers. There are hs'ers who are prepared and who are dedicated to the task. There are hs'ers whose children are NOT being served by the PS system and who do much better in an optimal learning environment.

One-on-one teaching/learning. Personalized curriculum. Individualized learning style. No "teach to the test". No 30 kids. No wide spectrum "averaged" approach.

You can reach the kid you're teaching, using the technique to which they relate best. You can accommodate each individual "learning difference" and go just as fast (or as slow) as that person NEEDS.

I am not "anti-ps". I hs only one of my children. But for THAT child it is, indeed, the best option available.

Please, don't lump ALL Hs'ers together.

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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #20
93. Of course Teachers are going to feel this way
about homeschooling. I mean after all they go to school to learn how to educate children and all of a sudden a parent thinks they can do it. Who do these parents think they are? They are the parents of the child and in turn have a right to do this and I am sorry Ben as much as I like you and your site, what you say is not right.

Home schoolers tend to be brighter than most of the students who go to public school and one of the reasons is home schoolers don't have to conform to TASC tests which means they can learn much more than just what is required for a state test. They have no boundaries to learning...
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #20
206. Well the sucessful homeschoolers generally dont wind up back in public
school. Actually one study found that that there was a clear correlation between the length of time a family intended to homeschool and achievement. Families that pulled thier kids from school for a year or two to escape social problems, bad teachers, etc didn't have nearly the results that long-term homeschoolers did.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
79. LOL
:)
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #2
100. ben, the bastion of tolerance? is that you?
ben, you do not know 90% of homeschoolers, and you know it. someday, i hope i can introduce you to my kids.
but i will say, i am sure that the teachers that got my daughter when she went to school say bad things about homeschool. but that is because when she went to school her bipolar disorder exploded. she had learned fine at home, and now that she is in a therapeutic day school, she gets straight a's, but she failed miserably in regular school.
it is easy to measure what a kid's weaknesses. it is a lot harder to measure their strengths.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #100
106. I based my opinion only on what I've seen and heard about.
I'm glad to be wrong.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #106
110. Thanks Ben. You made my day :-) nt
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #106
141. Thanks, Ben.
Edited on Wed Dec-07-05 10:19 AM by mzteris
In fact, hs'ing in high school seems to be on the increase for kids who are - or may be - different. Discrimination in middle/high school can turn violent or at least emotionally violent for many and being able to avoid that can be a real plus.

Here's a really good article that addresses "socialization" in general by a hs grad.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

(Edit to add this article I just read!)
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antigone382 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
162. I was in a home school group growing up.
A lot of the families were very religious--my family was sort of liberal Christian at the time, though we're mostly atheists and agnostics now--but when my friends and I joined public school (around ninth grade in most cases), we were for the most part ahead of our peers. I won't say I didn't have some difficulty socially, because it was very rough for me for the first couple of years; but ultimately, I learned how to handle myself properly in social situations, and because I spent so much time learning on my own, independently, I've found that I have very good critical thinking skills, as well as a strong sense of my philosophical beliefs.

Now, I'm not trying to say that you can't get that from a public education--most of my college friends went to public school and they're perfectly capable of forming their own opinions, etc. However, this is a part of the country where public education is not as comprehensive as it should be; thus, I feel I'm better off with the education I received. Yes, there are bad home-schoolers out there, and I'm all for relatively strict regulations to make sure kids learn what they need to know to be comparable to their public school counterparts; but most of the home-schooled kids I have met are very intelligent, well-informed people, even if they are a little quirky.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #162
171. Thanks for adding your experience to the discussion. nt
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #162
227. I knew a family who homeschooled
Don't recall their religious beliefs, but the eldest two completed their high school studies at 16. Both won scholarships to college and the eldest son got a Ph.D. in the sciences. The girl was in the working world (marketing) in Chicago at age 20. Both live on the West Coast now.

The youngest girl they've had problems with. Don't know if public school would have made a difference, because she suffers from chronic shyness. She is still at home with Mom and Dad, after getting an English degree in college, shows no inclination to get a job.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
194. Homeschooling is a privilege of wealth
If homeschooled kids do better (and I'm not convinced), it's yet another way of perpetuating poverty. Not everyone is a wealthy, suburban, stay-at-home mom who can spend time with Johnny on the computer before running him to violin lessons, and then boast about how brilliant he is.

Some people actually have to work. And homeschooled kids will never meet their kids.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #194
202. Some of us are dirt-poor...
...we make it work by sacrificing luxuries others take for granted.

And some of us (such as myself) argue that all -should- be able to afford it with tax money collected for education purposes. The money should be assigned to each child, not to each school.


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qanda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #194
224. Woah! I am FAR from wealthy...
I make a lot of sacrifices to home-school my children. There are way too many assumptions on this thread and it really is sad that DU has such a negative perception of homeschooling.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #224
233. It's not DU...
...there are a few who believe they have a vested interest in the PS monopoly over tax dollars. It's always the same ones, and no matter how often you dispel their stereotypes they'll continue to stereotype.

It's not that they believe in the stereotype, no one could be that stupid when repeatedly corrected. It's that they need to convince enough people to believe in the stereotype so their source of tax dollars is secured.

Education is not their goal. Perpetual employment is.

These will be the people who say that failing 1 in 3 students is a success. These would be the ones who say they're not failing, no matter how much evidence you present.

If you take a look at this thread, you'll see a lot of DUers shrugging off the stereotypes and recognizing that HSers are not all RW fundies, despite the best efforts of the stereotypers.

And the stereotypers are few enough to be recognized by name.

We may humour the stereotypers, but no one is taking them seriously except themselves ;-)
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qanda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 12:50 PM
Original message
Thank you
And I guess I'm no better by categorizing DU as having a negative of perception of homeschooling. You're right that there are a few usual suspects and it's not fair to group all of DU in together because of the stereotypers.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
246. Glad to help...
...we all have those kinds of days ;-)
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #224
248. The fact that you "make sacrifices"
but are still able to afford a computer, and have the time to be on DU, says you're doing better than okay, financially. Real poor people are at work. And their kids are in public schools.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #248
252. You have unique ways of measuring "wealth" nt
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Momgonepostal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #194
238. I know homeschoolers come in all different income levels, but...
San Diego is so stinkin' expensive, it's pretty tough to make it on one income unless that income is huge.

In a place like San Diego, probably most homeschoolers do come from wealthier families.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #238
245. How many move to cheaper areas?
We did.
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fight4my3sons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #245
268. we did too
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formernaderite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
282. Taking classes at a college while being homeschooled
is not really being homeschooled. These are people opting out of the public school system, but not opting out of classroom teaching.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #282
283. May I refer you to reply 57...
...as it addresses the point you raise.

I'll also point out that those who ran the test considered this boy "home-schooled".
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. If he's that brilliant, homeschooling isn't the biggest factor...
...he was born brilliant, and got nurtured in the homeschooling environment.

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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I agree.
He wasn't homeschooled to keep him away from all those nasty non-biblical scientific things that shouldn't ever be taught to our kids.

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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I wouldn't be so sure...
...to home-school parents have to keep up with the student. His brilliance may depend far more on the nurture than the nature.
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. The kind of mathematical ability that can surpass the judges'
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 06:32 PM by mcscajun
comprehension can't be taught. And certainly, if he's brilliant, it's no doubt his parents (or at least One of them) is pretty damned smart, too.

This kid reminds me a little bit of John F. Nash, Jr. ("A Beautiful Mind").
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Quixote1818 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. I agree
nt
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Why not?
"The kind of mathematical ability that can surpass the judges comprehension can't be taught."

Why not? We know nothing of the methods used in this case, and home-schooling is a hotbed of innovation, an open-air lab experimenting with all kids of methods.

Education, even state-sponsored public education, is hardly a science with predictive abilities regarding all possible methods. It's still very much in the trial-and-error phase of research.

We often hear that the gifted cannot be taught, but it seems far more likely that the process that creates a gifted child can't be sufficiently described so as to explain to others how it was done.
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. The gifted can certainly be taught, but you cannot create a gift
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 06:54 PM by mcscajun
where none exists. You can tap potential, you cannot invent it. A gifted child will flourish under good tutelage, and wither without it. She's still gifted, but the unused gift shrivels from neglect and she never realizes her full potential. If a gifted child isn't taught at all, it'd be a bit like a tree falling in the woods: who would hear it?

I do not believe there is a process for creating a gifted child, that's going to be genetic, but certainly there is process to identify and nurture them to their full capabilities, and that same process can be used with all children so that they also rise to their full potential.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. "gift" is a label
We use the words "gift" and "gifted" to describe intellectual capacity. To my knowledge there are no physical manifestations of this capacity that can be measured. Who is to say we don't all have it and that it remains undeveloped in most of us, but not in the few whom we call "gifted"?

As you point out, even a "gifted" child will not show his/her gift without nurturing. Who is to say that the vast majority of us who are not "gifted" are the way we are due to insufficient/unhelpful nurturing?


As for identifiying them, at what age do you see this occurring? I am not at all as confident that non-gifted individuals are in a position to judge it until it is so spectacular, as in the case of this boy, that it's undeniable.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. That ignores all of the research.
Sorry but your statement reveals complete ignorance of the research into intelect.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #28
36. I am always open to correction...
...if you would but direct me to the sources of your knowledge.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #36
46. Unfortunately...
I do not have all of that in front of me and ready to go. Nor do I plan on spending the rest of my night putting it together for you.

However I can make an attempt to explain why you are wrong.

Lets say I give you a child with profound mental retardation (an IQ of say 40). No mater what you do. No mater how nurturing etc. That child will never think as fast or function as higly as a child with an IQ in the normal range.

There is the same amount of diffrence (4 standard deviations) between that child and normal as there is between normal and a profoundly gifted child (IQ 160).

You might also look into twins research. Gifted individuals show their gifts reguardless of upbrining environment. That is not to say that environment can not stifle or hinder any person including gifted individuals but that does not mean that a better environment can overcome inate biology any more than a nurturing environment can make you grow taller.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #46
52. hmm...
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 07:57 PM by Robert Cooper
I appreciate you making assertions, but I do not subscribe to that belief system.

First off, IQ does not say anything about the cause for intellecual ability, it merely measures it as a comparison with the abilities of others. For example, when my IQ was tested in high school, I was listed as "within the top 5th percentile" of the population.

Never netted me anything: failed high school, never went on to higher learning, I was on my own and had rent to pay.

For me, I was never gifted. I was fortunate to have been nurtured by some pretty canny individuals (like my parents) which supplemented my PS education. I was filled with an endless thirst for knowledge: I still read several pages each night of anything from the Encyclopaedia Britannica to Woolrych's "Battles of the English Civil War" to Hitler's "Mein Kampf".

That's not a gift, that's a result of being taught to want to learn.

With retardation, a lot of the causes are organic. I've not studied it enough to say how much, or whether there are other causes, but I do not find it a satisfying comparison to suggest that because retardation is usually organic in nature that giftedness must also be organic.

(edit: added a little clarity)
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #52
129. Thats a stretch
People can have all diffrent levels of mental funchton from severe retardation up to normal as a result of biology but once you reach normal biology has no factor in anything beyond that? The research says otherwise. IQ is extreamly highly corilated along genetic lines.

Contrary to popular beleif nothing garentees a gifted individuals will do well in school. The two are entirely seperate concepts.
In addition gifted individuals can still have specific learning disabilities. The two are not mutualy exclusive.

On average school performance will raise with IQ to a point and then it actualy drops (somewhere around highly to profoundly gifted). Schools are not designed to handle students in that range as they are so rare.

IQ has a lot more to do with wither or not you can assimilate information and make logical connections etc. than it does with any actual performance.

Check out this page on Hoagies Gifted

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/we_have_learned.htm

Some quotes

Brothers and sisters are usually within 5 or 10 points in measured ability. We studied 148 sets of siblings and found that over 1/3 were within 5 points of each other, over 3/5 were within 10 points, and nearly 3/4 were within 13 points. When one child in the family is identified as gifted, the chances are great that all members of the family are gifted.

Parents' IQ scores, when known, are often within 10 points of their children's; even grandparents' IQ scores are often within 10 points of their grandchildren's.

Sorry I couldn't locate that last night.


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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #129
133. Thanks for the link...
...more to consider.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #129
134. Hoagies - my fave.......
One thing to add though is that people have an IQ potential RANGE - their environment can significantly impact where they fall on that range. Enriched environment more probably yields people at the upper end of their range, a depressed environment, and you'll probably wind up at the bottom of whatever your "potential" was.

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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #134
160. Sortof.
IQ is not a predictor of perfomance. Its actualy suposed to be a predictor of potential so reguardless of the environment (that affects perfomrance) IQ will remain reletively stable.

Obviously that doesn't mean it actualy TESTS the same as the tests are far from perfect.

Its easy to test under your IQ... but its fairly unlikely you will go much beyond the margion of error above your IQ (usualy 10 points so well within 1 SD).
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #21
55. Intellectual gifts can be recognized very early in life...
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 08:03 PM by mcscajun
...spectacular appearances aren't always the announcement. Sometimes it's advanced reading skills at two, or Mozart's talent that was recognized by his father at three, so that after two years of intensive instruction (homeschooling if you will) he was producing masterful musical compositions at five. If he'd had a "tin ear" all the instruction in the world couldn't have produced the brilliant music that we know today as Mozart's.

Savant-like ability in mathematics generally appears later, but is clearly shown by age eleven in most cases.

Their gift may be in a single mode of intelligence or multiple ones; all gifted children, like all children, are unique. The hormonal distribution and fluctuation that influenced their prenatal brain development is a significant factor in what areas of their brain hyperdeveloped over those that did not.

It's not difficult to identify a gifted child in a group if you're paying attention: they learn faster and more readily than their peers with far less instruction, they ask more questions (if not squelched by arbitrary discipline or peer pressure), they see the interrelatedness of things, they have excellent recall.

Certainly, there may be obtuse individuals who would not see this, but I hope they aren't teachers. :)
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. but...
...you aren't identifying anything tangible that can be measured, like the size of the heart or unusual neuron activity in the cerebrum. All the evidence is observational: we know it when we see it.

Certainly that argues for a wide door when searching for a cause: pre-natal? post-natal? genetic? environmental? pedagogy? other? combinations?
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #59
62. The studies of brain development are not observational
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 08:31 PM by mcscajun
Or did you skip over this part of my last post?
"The hormonal distribution and fluctuation that influenced their prenatal brain development is a significant factor in what areas of their brain hyperdeveloped over those that did not."

Do a little Googling on child development, giftedness, and testosterone activity in prenatal brain development, and you'll find all the research on nature vs. nurture.

Nurture Must Have Something to work with...Nature is the beginning.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #62
65. Thanks for the suggestion...
...I'll follow up on it.
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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #55
149. I was a "why" child
It used to annoy everyone. I think it sparked me to explore more, though, and to have an unusually high level of curiosity.

I think most children with superior intelligence or high IQs tend to want to ask questions more anyhow. Sometimes, they see links between things which ordinary children don't.

And I also don't think that IQ necessarily has a lot to do with some forms of knowledge--autistic savantism is one form of knowledge which is the ability to excel in something that doesn't really require reasoning, but the ability to retain complex information as a computer might. A photographic memory is another form of a "gift" which doesn't mean you're brilliant, but can use your brain in a manner different from most people.

Intelligence in higher IQ usually infers that you have a higher capacity for reasoning. You might not know all the information, but you are able to process what you do, and make reasonable assumptions about the rest. You have a stronger ability to do that processing, instead of just using data to mimic someone else and their fund of knowledge.

Those who come in at lower than average IQ levels might have such an abundance of data stored in their brains, and they are able to sound intelligent by recalling such data. But there is less curiosity, less ability to expand on that database, and less inclination to go beyond that pool of knowledge.
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Hypatia82 Donating Member (207 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #55
289. Mozart would've been Mozart...
no matter what his dad did. Indeed there's some thought the claims of his father in regards to how much he taught Mozart are bunk. Either way, Mozart would've been Mozart. Percocious creativity can only ever be stifled. If not stifled it flourishes on its own.
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Hypatia82 Donating Member (207 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #18
290. there's a big of a horse hockey in there...
some gifted people are perfectly content on persuing things themselves. They just grab books and ask questions. Indeed one can argue that to be truly gifted is to be not rely on others and instead follow one's own curiosity regardless. Then there's the matter of what is a gift? Is it perfect pitch? Some say yes, but most people can acquire it. Recognizing pitches is like recognizing colors. Also there's the problem of what's looked at with the young. You could have a phenomonaly gifted 13 year old architect, but who ever thinks to ask a child that age about architecture?
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-12-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #290
298. No child is born with knowledge...
...they learn everything from scratch.

If there is such a thing as "gifted" it would be a more efficient method to process and manipulate incoming information.

The knowledge still has to be fed into the child for a child to be an architect.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. No, it can't be taught
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 06:54 PM by mzteris
but it sure can be squelched.

I'm in a group for mensans who are homeschool(ed/ing), and I'm on loops for the gifted, for the learning disabled, and for the gifted/learningdisabled -

and I'm here to tell you that the single biggest reason they're hs'ing is the ps failure to adequately teach their kids.

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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. Yep... except...
IIRC the #1 reason for homeschooling in the US is still being a religious wacko.

Many of the homeschooled people I know were homeschooled due to the complete inability of the school to handle them. Mostly highly/profoundly gifted.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #29
35. I don't believe religion is the #1 reason
The fundies (and HSLDA) have tried very hard to act like HS'ing is THEIR idea and their province - but it's NOT!

Even among those who may BE religious, not all of them hs FOR "religious reason". Granted, the religious hs'ers are extremely vocal and visible, but non-religious hs'er numbers are growing daily. (I thank NCLB for that one! lol)

Wikipedia: "In the United States, reasons for homeschooling vary; religious concerns are an important, though not overwhelming, factor. According to a U.S. Census survey, the parents of 33% of home-schoolers cited religion as a factor in their choice, 30% felt the regular school had a poor learning environment, 14% objected to what the school teaches, 11% felt their children weren't being challenged at school, and 9% cited "morality." <5>"

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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. Um...
Doesn't that entry prity much prove my point?

Is there another single factor that is larger than religion?
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. Um . . .
No.

"In the United States, reasons for homeschooling vary; religious concerns are an important, though not overwhelming, factor. According to a U.S. Census survey, the parents of 33% of home-schoolers cited religion as a factor in their choice, 30% felt the regular school had a poor learning environment, 14% objected to what the school teaches, 11% felt their children weren't being challenged at school, and 9% cited "morality." <5>"


Think about it - you're looking at it backwards, ONLY 33% cited religion - that's leaves 67% citing NOT religion - which was MY point. You said (something to the effect that) the majority cited religion, the majority does not.

And, if you group "poor learning environment" and "what the school teaches" and "not being challenged" - this is all a commentary on ps methodology, period.

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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #42
49. Actualy I said...
religion (ok I said religios wacko but lets tone it down and say religion) is the #1 reason.

Your data shows...

#1 factor = religion
#2 = poor learning environment
#3 = objection to what school teaches (High potential *some* of this is religiously based)
#4 = Not being chalanged
#5 = 'morality' (which screams religion)
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #42
60. more stats
"Parents Most Important Reasons for Homeschooling Their Children

In the 2003 NHES, parents were asked whether particular reasons for homeschooling their children applied to them. Parents were then asked which one of those applicable reasons was their most important reason for homeschooling.

Thirty-one percent of homeschoolers had parents who said the most important reason for homeschooling was concern about the environment of other schools (figure 2). Thirty percent said the most important reason was to provide religious or moral instruction. The next reason was given about half as often; 16 percent of homeschooled students had parents who said dissatisfaction with the academic instruction available at other schools was their most important reason for homeschooling.

Conclusion

From 1999 to 2003, the number of homeschooled students in the United States increased, as did the homeschooling rate. The increase in the homeschooling rate (from 1.7 percent to 2.2 percent) represents about 0.5 percent of the 200203 school-age population and a 29 percent relative increase over the 4-year period. While data from the NHES cannot explain why homeschooling was more prevalent in 2003 than in 1999, it can provide insight into why parents homeschooled their children in 2003.3 Parents may have homeschooled their children for a variety of reasons, but certain factors appear to have been more influential than others. Nearly two-thirds of homeschooled students had parents who said that their primary reason for homeschooling was either concern about the environment of other schools or a desire to provide religious or moral instruction. "

http://nces.ed.gov/nhes/homeschool /

*****

"While the Department of Education found that the No. 2 incentive for parents educating their children at home was for religious reasons, a second report by Ventura, Calif.-based market research firm Barna Research shows that homeschooled adults have levels of church attendance, church volunteerism, prayer, Sunday school attendance and personal devotional times that are statistically indistinguishable from national norms." (Note: From 2001)

www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4021/is_2001_Nov_1/...

****

"While parents cited a wide range of reasons for homeschooling, the first three of the top 10 motivations involved better education (cited by 48.9 percent of parents), religious reasons (cited by 38.4 percent), and the "poor learning environment" in regular schools (cited by 25.6 percent).

Although other motivations included family reasons (16.8 percent) and wanting to develop character and morality (15.1 percent), a majority of the remaining top 10 reasons for homeschooling involved dissatisfaction with regular schools, such as objections to what the school teaches, the school not challenging the child, and student behavior problems at school.

The new study, "Homeschooling in the United States: 1999" is based on a 1999 household survey conducted as part of The Parent Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program. "

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2004/2004115.pdf

******


"In 2004 Brian Ray published Home Educated and Now Adults, a book based on his survey of 7,000 adults who had been homeschooled as children. Here are the top five reasons Rays respondents said they or their parents engaged in homeschooling: 1) can give child a better education at home; 2) religious reasons; 3) teach child particular values, beliefs, and worldview; 4) develop character/morality; 5) object to what school teaches. "http://www.reason.com/0504/fe.gb.facts.shtml

&&&&&&&&


". . . black homeschoolers make up 5 percent of the total homeschool population. Most importantly black homeschool movement is growing at a faster rate than the general homeschool population.


One of the chief reasons for this growth is the general dissatisfaction among blacks with public schools
http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/hslda/200306/200306130.a... "

(Hslda has a "religious" agenda overall......)
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #60
89. Hi and thanks...
...once again you deliver such excellent contributions to this discussion. Glad you joined in.

:-)
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #60
128. Thanks.
I stand corrected.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #39
47. No...
"IIRC the #1 reason for homeschooling in the US is still being a religious wacko."

I failed to see any category listing for "religious wacko"

There are lots of religions: Hindu, Buddhist, Shintoist, etc etc and lots of people prefer to raise their children and educate them within a religious environment. I seriously doubt most of them are "wackos" and given the 3% difference between "religion" and the next category, I don't think your point is proven.

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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. True.
I should be more polite.

However If we remove the word wako.

I am quite correct.

Furthermore you probobly need to add in the percentage for 'moral' as the sited reason.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #50
54. lol
for all you know, those who listed "moral" may be secularists in the middle of Fundie-land ;-)

It's never a good idea to read too much into statistics.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #35
81. Every single family I know who has chosen to HS
has done so because they got mad at the school, usually over a disciplinary decision. It is almost always an impulsive, reactionary decision.

But wikipedia doesn't list 'pissed off at school' as a reason. LOL

The two most recent cases I know about:

1. The kid was suspended for telling a 4th grade girl he wanted to fuck her. Mom didn't agree with the suspension, tried to fight it, lost her appeal and pulled her kid out to homeschool him.

2. The kid was chronically absent. State law says they have to be retained when they miss a magic number of days. Kid hit the magic number, Mom asked that he be transferred to a school that "doesn't make such a big deal out of attendance". The district refused and she pulled her kid out to homeschool him.

These are honestly very typical of the homeshooling reasons I have witnessed. I realize this isn't scientific and I have no way of knowing if this is a pattern elsewhere, but at my school, this is almost always how it happens.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #81
87. "I realize this isn't scientific..."
No, it's not. There is no way you've related all the details of the two incidents you've mentioned in anything close to an objective manner.

Many kids engage in misbehaviour to get attention when their needs are not being met. It certainly looks that way to me in the cases you've provided, and my hope is that their parents decisions will turn their lives around, because I'm sure we know where they were destined had they stayed in the public school system.

Two 'failures' have new chances to succeed. How is that bad for society?

Furthermore, in the cases of the OP, Mzteris' child, October's children, and my own son you have several examples of HS being applied to kids who are not "typical" in the way you define it.

Your effort to stereotype does not work with these kids, and does them and their parents a grave injustice.

When we talk of New Orleans do we focus only on the people FEMA saved, forgetting the dead and suffering of those who were not saved? When we talk about public education, are we to talk only about those who pass, or should we focus on those whom the system fails?

"WHEREAS, the employment rate for out-of-school youth in high-poverty areas is 46 percent; and

"WHEREAS, in many cities the drop-out rate for African-American and Hispanic youth is over 50 percent; and

"WHEREAS, the proportion of young African-American high school dropouts who are currently not employed exceeds 70 percent; and

"WHEREAS, the pervasive joblessness of minority males contributes fundamentally to various problems of inner cities--poverty, crime, welfare dependency, high proportion of female-headed families, and drug abuse;..."

Source: http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/resolutions/68th_conferenc ...

The current public education paradigm is not serving these children well. Nor is it serving society well when these continue to be the results.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #87
130. Let's ignore all the good news, shall we?
Edited on Tue Dec-06-05 07:19 PM by proud2Blib
WASHINGTON (AP)

New federal test scores show that children in the cities often do as well, if not better, than counterparts across the country when compared with students of the same race or ethnicity.

The scores also indicate that some urban districts are improving faster than schools nationwide, particularly in math.

<skip>

Enrolling about 1 of every 10 public school students, the districts are in Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Cleveland; Houston; Los Angeles; New York City; San Diego and Washington. The District of Columbia's scores were first released in October along with state and national results, but were presented again for comparison.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/12/01/cityschools.ap /...

U.S. 4th Graders Among the Best in the World in Reading Literacy: In an international comparison with 35 countries, only Sweden, England, and Dutch students scored statistically higher than United States students in reading literacy test scores for 4th graders.
IRL - National Center for Education Statistics. International Comparisons in Fourth-Grade Reading Literacy: Findings from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) of 2001. April 2003.

Reading Scores Are Up: The proportion of United States public school 4th graders who scored at the highest two levels in reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) increased by 11% between 1992 and 2005. NAR - National Center for Education Statistics. Nation's Report Card: Reading 2002. June 2003.

Writing Scores Are Up: The proportion of United States public school 8th graders who scored at the highest two levels in writing in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) increased by 25% between 1998 and 2002. RCW - National Center for Education Statistics. Nation's Report Card: Writing 2002. July 2003.

Math Scores Are Up: The proportion of United States public school 4th graders who scored at the highest two levels in mathematics in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has more than doubled between 1992 and 2005. RCM - National Center for Education Statistics. Nation's Report Card: Mathematics Highlights 2003. November 2003.

Math Scores Are Up: The proportion of United States public school 8th graders who scored at the highest two levels in mathematics in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has nearly doubled between 1990 and 2005. RCM - National Center for Education Statistics. Nation's Report Card: Mathematics Highlights 2003. November 2003.

SAT Scores Are Rising: Despite the fact that many more students are taking SAT exams than ever before - as more and more students go on to college - the average SAT scores continue to rise. Verbal SAT scores have risen 9 points since 1994, while Math SAT scores have risen 26 points since 1980 and 17 points since 1990. SAT - College Board. 2004 SAT National and State Reports. Data published on College Board Online Web site. (Similar data exist for earlier years.)

SAT Scores Are Rising: More U.S. students are getting high scores on their SAT college entrance examinations. The proportion of graduating seniors getting high scores on the Verbal SAT has increased by 12% since 2000; the proportion of graduating seniors getting high scores on the Math SAT has increased by 28% since 1994. (A high score is defined as 600 or above). SAT - College Board. 2004 SAT National and State Reports. Data published on College Board Online Web site. (Similar data exist for earlier years.)

ACT Scores Are Rising: The average national ACT college entrance examination score increased throughout the 1990s and is higher today than it was a decade ago. These gains are especially impressive in light of the broader swath of students taking the ACT exams. Thirty-one percent (31%) more students took the exam this year than a decade ago and in 2002 Illinois and Colorado both began requiring that all public school students take the ACT, regardless of whether they plan to attend college. ACN - ACT, Inc. ACT National and State Scores for 2004.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #130
131. Hey, if you need a permanent poverty-stricken/crime-riddled under-class...
...then ignore all the failures as much as you want.

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #131
132. Sorry but we aren't failing
But then again, from your cave, how can you tell?
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #130
135. You left out the header to that article, p2bl....
Edited on Tue Dec-06-05 08:32 PM by mzteris
**Students in some of the largest U.S. cities are getting better in math but making few significant gains in reading, mirroring a national trend in public education.

Question about this quote: "A total of 11 urban districts volunteered to participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a rigorous test considered the country's best academic benchmark. Enrolling about 1 of every 10 public school students" -

Did they "hand pick" those students or where they selected at random?

more quotes from article:

"As with all federal test results, the city scores were open for interpretation as they were announced Thursday in Boston. "

"In fourth-grade reading, none of the urban districts showed a significant improvement in average scores compared with 2003. "

"We should be expecting more success," said Sheila Ford, vice chairwoman of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the test. "

Nationwide, fewer than four in 10 children are proficient in reading or math on the federal test, a skill level that means students can handle challenging subject matter. In the urban areas, even fewer children reach the proficient level, the goal of the test."

WHY do you take it as some sort of personal affront that parents homeschool. AND do it successfully? There are plenty of kids left for you to keep your job.

I am NOT anti-public school, but the constant homeschool bashing leaves little one recourse in this debate. I think PS is a necessity. I believe that this country needs a good strong ps system. I also believe that there are some very significant problems as it exists today - exacerbated because of NCLB - that need correcting.

Why can't we put our heads together and look for what is RIGHT and help to increase that which works, and cut out that which does not.

The fact that some hs children perform SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER AT HOME, is not a personal insult to you or any other teacher on here (unless, of course, YOU are the teacher who refused to SPEAK to my child other than the absolute minimum in the classroom after the Principal threatened her with all those things teachers hate, (early duty, bus duty on rainy days, lunchroom duty, not getting the days off you request, etc....) She sacrificed MY child's well-being because she was too chicken-sh*T to stand up to the Principal who by the way knew next to nothing about EDUCATION and was "only and administrator" who got her jollies by extreme control of every person on HER school grounds, period. Ooops - off I go on a rant. sorry. :) )

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #135
137. I don't have a problem with you mzteris
and I would just as soon leave it like that.
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phylny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #17
151. I always find it interesting that
so many public schools can't adequately teach children. I hear it all the time when one of these homeschooling threads pops up.

We've lived in four public school systems in four states, and it appears that against all odds, my three children have thus far received phenomenal public educations in every single one of them.

AND, we've NEVER ONCE objected to any teacher that any of our children have had. Not once.

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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #151
155. personal anecdotes aside...
"WHEREAS, the employment rate for out-of-school youth in high-poverty areas is 46 percent; and

"WHEREAS, in many cities the drop-out rate for African-American and Hispanic youth is over 50 percent; and

"WHEREAS, the proportion of young African-American high school dropouts who are currently not employed exceeds 70 percent; and

"WHEREAS, the pervasive joblessness of minority males contributes fundamentally to various problems of inner cities--poverty, crime, welfare dependency, high proportion of female-headed families, and drug abuse;..."

Source: http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/resolutions/68th_conferenc ...

Insisting that our personal experience must apply everywhere and to everyone is an effort to apply a statistical analysis based on one person's experience. It's obvious from the above quote that your experience is not typical of everyone.

I don't think anyone is trying to invalidate your experience. There are lots of kids and parents who will say the same as you. Those of us who HS and those of us critical of the PS model (overlapping groups, not identical groups) can provide examples where the PS model does not work for some kids. The choice is either to fail those kids, or to educate them through another method.
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phylny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 06:29 AM
Response to Reply #155
163. I am no more "insisting" that may personal experience must
apply everywhere than, perhaps, you are.

I'm only saying that either we've had the most incredible luck in the world, or others are overstating the dire state of public schools.

Not once did I insist everyone else's experience equals ours :)
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #163
164. You don't see the contradiction in...
...the following: "I'm only saying that either we've had the most incredible luck in the world, others are overstating the dire state of public schools. Not once did I insist everyone else's experience equals ours"?

"WHEREAS, the employment rate for out-of-school youth in high-poverty areas is 46 percent; and

"WHEREAS, in many cities the drop-out rate for African-American and Hispanic youth is over 50 percent; and

"WHEREAS, the proportion of young African-American high school dropouts who are currently not employed exceeds 70 percent; and

"WHEREAS, the pervasive joblessness of minority males contributes fundamentally to various problems of inner cities--poverty, crime, welfare dependency, high proportion of female-headed families, and drug abuse;..."

Source: http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/resolutions/68th_conferenc ...

Are they "overstating the dire state of public schools"? In many cities schools fail more than half of the black and hispanic students. Is that "overstating the dire state of public schools"? Does the fact that your kids have never failed have -any- bearing on these statistics? Should we ignore the problems that give rise to these statistics because your kids have never failed?

The emphasis you place on your kids and your experience does not in any way change the problems experienced by others. Can we not deal with their problems without being told 'I don't see it so everyone else is overstating the dire state of public schools'?


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phylny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #164
183. How many times are you posting your "Whereas" quote.
I responded the way I did because of the rampant opinion that homeschooling is always superior to public schools. My experience in four states decries the broad brush.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #183
186. "..rampant opinion that homeschooling is always superior to public school"
You're kidding, right? Can you point to a single quote from anyone here declaring that "homeschooling is always superior to public schools"?

I've seen more homeschoolers on this thread than any other since I started lurking, and I've not seen -one- single quote along those lines.

I've seen many people say HS is good for -some- kids. I've seen several people say the PS model doesn't work for -some- kids.

I've said the PS model has some serious problems with respect to successfully addressing -all- kids.

And I've seen more than a few statements about how HS is -only- for RW fundie wackos.

So I'd like to see the multiple quotes to show how "rampant" this opinion is, because I seem to have missed all of them.
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phylny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #186
189. My bad, it's the tone on this and other threads. You win, okay?
Okay? :)
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #189
191. If we understand each other better, we both win :-)
...and I just -love- win-win scenarios :-)

You might consider reading some of the articles again, without the belief that we're carpet-bombing the PS system. I think you'll find a lot of sensitive, caring people looking out for what's best for their children, as best they can.

And thanks for conceding the point. Too many others wouldn't have :-)

:hi:
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #183
215. NO one said
Always..... there are extreme success/horror stories available for both sides, n'est pas?

The fact is that HS IS Superior for some kids and PS is superior for other kids. Ain't it grand that we all gots choice. :)
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Hypatia82 Donating Member (207 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #164
297. The solutions to those numbers...
is not to get more kids homeschooled. Nor are the numbers justification to bash public schools. Whatever the merits of homeschooling, they are a not an excuse to dump on public schooling or to say it can't be made better. The trick is for people to stop thinking they can't do something about it. Sadly many would rather chant nothing can be done than to do something. Selfish bastards the lot of them.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-12-05 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #297
299. And what should the people in Kansas do between now and the next ...
...election for their state board?
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
27. Sorry but thats way off.
A brilliant student will often do better in a homeschool environment or other alternative placment to a normal classroom...

but there is no way ANY school is going to take an average student and turn them into a prodegy. Period.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
56. Perhaps
But then again maybe he's getting to do internships with a scientist or at an engineering firm, to observe science as it happens. Which, of course, is a much better way of learning science that reading a chapter, answering questions, and doing a lab once every two weeks. His parents may not even be that involved in teaching him science directly.
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qanda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. Good for him!
I hope he continues to do well.
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
7. So FUCKING what?
Doesn't mean he'll have a job when he graduates from college.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
31. Huh?
I am not sure what your point is exactly.

Furthermore, assuming he does graduate from college this could actualy be quite benificial in gaining a job. Perhapse not in whatever industry you are thinking about but it could be quite benificial.
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elfin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. They may have opted out
of public education due to the abysmal offerings for gifted kids. We really need to address this - giftedness does not appear in just those families with the schedules and resources to go their own way. It can strike anywhere in the most surprising environments - that is - within minorities and low income students.I

In many ways, they are the most neglected of our kids - to our shame and eventual diminution in the world.

Ex. - Is "Tookie" gifted" -- and what might have been his future if he had been spotted and nurtured early oh. His obvious organizational talents scream out to those educators who care about this ability. Is it too late for him?

For which 5 year olds is it not too late?
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. You said it!
I was identified as "gifted" at an early age. My parents wouldn't allow me to go to the public school for gifted children -- wanted to keep me in the private Catholic parochial school, and they certainly did not have the kind of funds for private instruction, even if they would have known where to find it. No wonder my early teachers (all nuns) described me as "bored, doesn't pay attention."
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Unfortunately, it isn't just what we do to them in school...
...the gifted have a very difficult time with the egotism of others. How does it feel to be the 40-something teacher of a gifted child whose intellect and abilities surpasses the teacher's?

If the child is lucky, that teacher is humble enough to do all he/she can to foster that child's education. If the child is unlucky, he/she gets Professor Snapes (from Harry Potter fame).

And that is only one class, in one grade. The odds are high someone will come along to put the poor kid in his/her 'place'.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
9. Lucky guess
I wish the link would have given the math problem he solved. Not that I could have done anything with, I'd like to see it anyway.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Try googling the story, someone else may have mentioned it nt
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Lena inRI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
25. Here's math problem BUT. . .
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 07:17 PM by Lena inRI
how does his taking UCSD math courses categorize him as "home schooled" unless they're saying one or both parents is/are profs at UCSD????

Michael Viscardi has been taking UCSD math courses since he was 13. Last year, at age 15, he received a perfect score on his SATs. Now, at the tender age of 16, the Carmel Valley senior has done ground-breaking research on a complex mathematical dilemma, called the Dirichlet problem. . .

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

In mathematics, Dirichlet problems, named after Dirichlet, are a class of partial differential equation (PDE) problems which ask you to solve for the values of a function in a region given the value of the function on the boundary of that region. This requirement is called the Dirichlet boundary condition, for the partial differential equation that the function satisfies within the region.

Dirichlet problems are typical of elliptic partial differential equations, and potential theory, and the Laplace equation in particular. Other examples include equations involving the bilaplacian, in elasticity theory.

They are one of several types of classes of PDE problems defined by the information given at the boundary, including Neumann problems and Cauchy problems.

In December 2005, 16-year-old homeschooler Michael Viscardi won the individual Siemens Westinghouse Competition for his theorem relating to the Dirichlet problem <1>.





:shrug:
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #25
44. I am -so- glad I have no ego ;-) nt
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #25
57. Homeschoolers can often take college courses
As a component of their education, particularly gifted kids who have surpassed their age-based peers. The term HSing refers strictly to whether the student is enrolled in a private or public school where he's with peers of his own age.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #25
70. Is the answer four?
:shrug:
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countingbluecars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
19. Your message to me yesterday when I talked
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 06:56 PM by countingbluecars
about a public school function honoring students who maintained a 4.0 grade point average in high school:

"You all got together and clapped each other on the back because you had a token 160 kids to parade about."

This is a wonderful achievement for this gifted boy, and I congratulate him, but home school parents shouldn't get together and clap each other on the back because you have a token kid to parade about.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #19
33. That was not the point of my OP...
...the OP follows on the heels of one of my responses to Nabeshin. The relevant quote is:

"There are many people, and for many reasons, who have come to the conclusion that the PS system is not the panacea some education professionals would have us believe."

I think this young man's accomplishment, and that of his parents, is an excellent example of what I was saying in the above quote.

Whereas most think of home-schooling and fundamentalist christians, my point with Nabeshin is that home-schoolers are a much more diverse group, including the left wing as well as the right. I recall you had difficulty with my position being a left-leaning position.

I'm also citing this as an example of home-schooling -not- screwing up the child. As seems to be a popular belief that parents cannot manage the educational role, here is an example of parents who did just that, and with spectacular success. To hear tell from some of what results they anticipate from home-schooling, this young man should not have been able to accomplish what he did.

You seemed to fail to grasp that my argument was that rather than a token 160 kids, there should have been 16,000 kids, all in your district. Were public schools addressing the needs of -all- children, -all- children would have accomplished what those 160 accomplished.

Where you take pride in 160, I worry for all the rest who didn't accomplish as much, but could have were education addressing their needs. Since the public system can't or won't, I advocate secular alternatives.


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chaplainM Donating Member (744 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
23. Next step for young Mr. Viscardi
$100,000 will go a long way for home-colleging.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. LOL.........
look up "Auto-didact".......

A) Many universities/colleges accept hs'ers;

B) there IS a movement towards "self-taught" college. (Look at how many colleges have on-line or distance learning divisions now.)

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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. Yep.
in fact very few reputable ones do not. A lot of the very top students are homeschooled or even un-schooled.
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chaplainM Donating Member (744 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #26
34. I love the word, autodidact
One of my heroes is an autodidact: Benjamin Franklin.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. My son loves that word, too.......
I'm just "here" to facilitate (and drive him places!) - he pretty much teaches himself.

:)
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Lena inRI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. He already did. . .see my comment #25
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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
37. obviousLy his parents heLped
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Yeah,
I bet he's not REALLY all that smart! I bet those "parents" made him just memorize tons of math things and equations and stuff and that's ALL he does all day every day like those "spelling bee kids", eh?.






:sarcasm:
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #40
51. ROTFLOL
I bet he would't REALLY be Board to death in a regular school.
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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
41. The success of homeschooling
depends on who is doing the teaching. I have no doubt that there are very committed, conscientous parents who take their roles as teachers very seriously. And these same parents no doubt have had the benefit of extensive education.
The children I feel for are the ones who are the victims of control freaks who homeschool because their parents want total control. No outside influences. And they can never accept that anyone else might have something to teach "their" child. And the child is seen as a possession, not an individual.
So. In my view, homeschooling is only as good as the parent who is doing the teaching.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Sort of like parenting ;-)
perhaps we should license for that =8-{
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. True......
**In my view, homeschooling is only as good as the parent who is doing the teaching.**

Just like - public schooling - is only as good (at a minimum) as the person who is doing the teaching.

Unfortunately, there are some excellent teachers who are being kept from doing what they do best - TEACHING. They are being made to dumb down their methodology because of NCLB (or some ignorant "administrator" who wouldn't know what to do with a classroom full of children if their lives depended on it)!

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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. The advantage with public school
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 07:46 PM by stanwyck
is though you might get one uninspired teacher, there are several teachers for each child. And varied influences, which I believe are beneficial to children. The homeschooling environment seems too insular to me. You never know which teachers, ones we might not even think are that good, are going to click with students. And introduce that student to avenues they might never have experienced.
Plus, you learn from other students. That is an influence that is too often overlooked.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #48
53. Contrary to popular opinion
hs kids aren't kept at home isolated from other kids/adults.

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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #48
58. "And introduce that student to avenues they might never have experienced"
But that is just as true of -any- choice.

Think of all the decisions you have made and those made for you. How different would your life be if -any- of those choices were different?

We trust parents to create children, to raise them. And when those kids get to be school aged, we stop trusting the parents and insist strangers can better educate our children?

One in three drop out, amongst blacks and hispanics in some of the inner cities the drop out is above 50%.

The PS system, by failing to educate and failing to interest these children in learning end up perpetuating the cycle of poverty/crime that it is supposed to cure.

And look at Kansas. There the public system has been taken over by fundies who have changed the science curriculum to include supernatural explanations for scientific phenomena. How are kids attending the public school system there supposed to get a decent science education?

I'd rather trust parents than a system that fails one in three.
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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #58
72. But isn't there a fair amount
of hubris on the parent's part to assume they're better educators than people who are professionals? Do these people do their own plumbing, electrical, dentistry, surgery? Probably not. But they believe that teaching doesn't require special skills or education. I disagree.
You're right that there are gaping holes in our public education system. We should be tireless about improving public education.
But there are also huge successes. Where I live, in DeKalb County, GA, immigrant children are thriving at the public schools. When the lists of honor students are published, Asian names predominate. These students, from public schools, are quickly snatched up by Ivy League schools with full scholarships.
Private school students are now finding they can't get into UGA. They've been closed out. The HOPE scholarship allows for a level playing field for the state schools. And public school kids are scoring higher and taking the slots private school kids counted on for their "fallback" schools.
It's the student's desire to succeed with the encouragement of their family. The schools are not failing these students.
Too often, parents and students are quick to blame their struggles on others. Often, the problems lie within.

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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #72
78. DeKalb's schools
are damned fine.

:hi:
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #72
85. regarding parental hubris...
...

"But isn't there a fair amount of hubris on the parent's part to assume they're better educators than people who are professionals?"

One person's "hubris" is another's confidence. I recall a motivational poster saying "Dare to be Great!". As I see it, many parents do just that and for a variety of reasons. Is it fair to stereotype all parents as somehow incapable of educate theire kids?

Look at the parents of the boy named in the OP, or October's reply. Hard to claim "hubris" applies in either case.

As for "plumbing, electrical" take a look at most any hardware store. Obviously a lot of people do their own home maintenance, enough for these companies to stock aisle after aisle of supplies.

"Dentistry, surgery" is rather unfair, as I doubt their are more teachers performing those tasks than parents, probably less since some parents -are- dentists and doctors, unlike professional teachers whose profession is teaching, not medicine.

As for the rest, I think you've captured the real problem with this little paradox:

"You're right that there are gaping holes in our public education system. We should be tireless about improving public education...The schools are not failing these students."

If you define the mission for public education as successfully educating every child to their fullest potential then it is abundantly clear the current model is failing when one in three students drop out, more amongst blacks and hispanics in the inner cities.

Public education is often touted as the cornerstone of democracy, that through public education the cycle of porverty and crime can be broken. Yet it fails:

"WHEREAS, the employment rate for out-of-school youth in high-poverty areas is 46 percent; and

"WHEREAS, in many cities the drop-out rate for African-American and Hispanic youth is over 50 percent; and

"WHEREAS, the proportion of young African-American high school dropouts who are currently not employed exceeds 70 percent; and

"WHEREAS, the pervasive joblessness of minority males contributes fundamentally to various problems of inner cities--poverty, crime, welfare dependency, high proportion of female-headed families, and drug abuse;..."

Source: http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/resolutions/68th_conferenc ...

The current model for public education is perpetuating the cycle of poverty and crime, and it fails a staggering number of children.

"It's the student's desire to succeed with the encouragement of their family. The schools are not failing these students. Too often, parents and students are quick to blame their struggles on others. Often, the problems lie within."

I disagree. We are adults and they are kids. They'll do just about anything if properly motivated. If they fail it's because we failed them. The public school system fails to appeal enough to all kids to encourage all of them to do their best. Who can blame the kids who reject the current paradigm. Schools are not democratic: they're authoritarian, dictatorial, punitive and often whimsical in the way justice is dispensed. I won't even go into all the safety features that turn a school into a virtual detention centre. Authoritarianism run riot and kids expected to live with the constant reminders that the threat of violence is a very real one in society. How much anxiety does that create and how distracting can anxiety be when trying to study?

I direct you to October's reply and the description of his/her son's troubles in school.

It seems to me a poor excuse for the failure of the schools by blaming kids who go to school and parents who do their best to help their kids learn. One monopolistic secular education paradigm does not fit everyone.

Certainly there are some kids who do well. Some are more willing to accept authoritarian regimes than others. I don't, neither will my son. There's no "failing grade" in the lessons I teach my son, only "good try, let's try again." Failure is not an option here. With patience, understanding, innovation, determination and love my son will learn. Regardless of how professional a teacher is, he or she cannot inspire my son as well as I and my wife.

After a year, to a teacher, my son would be but a memory. One of thirty in the class, one class in how many for a year. Want to compare how much I have invested in my son with the investment of your professional teacher? After a year the teacher is done, but I'm never done helping my son be all he can be.

And whereas a teacher may be somewhat supportive and encouraging, sparing a moment or two from the other kids to offer encouragement, I offer encouragement all day every day.

Hubris may apply in some cases, but I don't believe it is automatically applicable in all cases.
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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #85
103. There's no "failing grade"
and that's a good thing?
I disagree. Sometimes people fail. They don't do all that is necessary. Like "Brownie"...you're doing a heckuva job!" No. He wasn't.
You fail. You find out what you didn't do to pass. You hit the books. Get a tutor. And you try again. And pass.
Sure. Offer encouragement. But life involves tests. Life involves meeting requirements and standards that show a person can adequately perform their responsibilities.
And accepting authority is also part of life. Unless your child will never have a boss. (possible). Never serve in the military. (like my son, a Marine with two tours in Iraq). Play sports. Attend college. Or learn from someone other than yourself.
You want to protect your child. That's certainly commendable. But, as parents, we have to understand that the child is an individual. We don't own the child. And learning how to handle risks, interact with different kinds of people, and accept challenge is part of the normal growing up process.
Even having a "bad" teacher is learning. Later, we sometimes have "bad" bosses. But we don't just walk away. We've learned how to handle difficult people...and adapt and excel.
Your child is not going to leave you for a perfect world. It's rough. And your comfortable environment with only praise might not be the best preparation for reality.

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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #103
109. Correct
"There's no "failing grade" and that's a good thing?"

Absolutely. The only real "failing grade" is giving up. As long as we continue to try to master a subject, failure doesn't enter into the picture.

Consider the child learning to walk. Do we describe each time they stumble and fall as a "failure"? Do we blame the child or give up on them ever learning sufficient agility? Do they?

It's the same with everything else. A child motivated to learn will eventually master the material. Without artificial schedules such as exist in the PS system, "failure" never enters the equation. The child learns at their own pace, without anxiety.

"You fail. You find out what you didn't do to pass. You hit the books. Get a tutor. And you try again. And pass."

And this is part of what discourages kids: the label "failure". It is punitive, insulting, and unhelpful. "You find out what you didn't do to pass. You hit the books. Get a tutor. And you try again. And pass" can all be done without the stigma of "failure". Children can be motivated in a positive and constructive way to want to learn, to use the challenge of the unknown to fuel their curiousity. They don't need the threat of being branded a "failure" to motivate them.

But because of the assembly-line nature of the PS system, with it's artificial schedules necessary to get kids from one grade to the next, we manufacture 'judgment days' call report cards/exams where a child learns whether they succeed or fail.

That isn't about educating all kids to succeed. That's about judging kids "smart" or "stupid" depending upon how much they learned in the limited time allowed them.

Education shouldn't be a competition. It should be a right, guaranteed 100% effort till the child develops their full potential.

"Sure. Offer encouragement. But life involves tests. Life involves meeting requirements and standards that show a person can adequately perform their responsibilities."

So if a child fails they should be condemned to a lifetime of poverty and/or crime?

Harsh judgment, far too harsh for my tastes. Given the cost to society in welfare and law enforcement, and the self-perpetuating nature of the problem, I'd rather not give up on someone who fails a test.

"And accepting authority is also part of life. Unless your child will never have a boss. (possible). Never serve in the military. (like my son, a Marine with two tours in Iraq). Play sports. Attend college. Or learn from someone other than yourself."

Oh I really don't think it will be as bad as all that. Certainly my son is going to learn ethics and philosophy, and will certainly come to appreciate the way our society is structured and what is expected. But he will also have an understanding of what kind of treatment he should expect and what to do when it doesn't happen.

He will be street-proofed against the abuse of authority, a valuable skill I think all kids should learn.

"You want to protect your child. That's certainly commendable. But, as parents, we have to understand that the child is an individual. We don't own the child. And learning how to handle risks, interact with different kinds of people, and accept challenge is part of the normal growing up process."

True, but we don't throw them into the swimming pool and say "hope you learn to swim". Parents are a child's #1 support network (or should be). We bring them into the world and it is our responsibility to prepare them for the world. I see nothing wrong in teaching them about the world, other people, their expectations and their behaviour before expecting kids to enter the world solo.

By contrast, the PS system expects them to fly solo at 6, maybe younger if they have Pre-K. 6 is far too young for some (and I dare say most if not all) to be flying solo.

"Even having a "bad" teacher is learning. Later, we sometimes have "bad" bosses. But we don't just walk away. We've learned how to handle difficult people...and adapt and excel."

Well obviously that's not true in the general sense. There are lots of people who don't excel.

"Your child is not going to leave you for a perfect world. It's rough. And your comfortable environment with only praise might not be the best preparation for reality."

In ancient Sparta they used to cast out the adolescent males, forcing them to scrounge for themselves. There was no penalty for stealing unless they got caught. This was to toughen them up for their 'real world'. Some of them froze to death, some died of hunger. Some of them were killed by wild animals.

Indeed it is a rough world out there, all the more reason to take more time preparing our children to enter that world with their eyes open and options in hand for responding to the dangers the world presents.

Throwing them out at an age too young to understand the concepts is unfair to the kids. Given that not all teachers are above ego-tripping, I'd rather they not trip over my son (or anyone else's kid, but I have no control over that). Add to this the other kids whose poor behaviour reflects their emotional need for attention and I really think my son can do without the trauma of watching other kids misbehave.

He can learn more about respect, compassion, generosity, sharing, and responsibility from an adult who loves him than any number of kids dealing with the separation from their Number One support groups.
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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #109
116. Good luck to you
and your child. It's obvious you're very committed to your role as parent.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #116
124. Thank you...
...we are.
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phylny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #109
152. Well, a child who has "failed" at learning to walk gets physical
therapy.

Sorta like getting a tutor :)
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #152
156. If it's really that bad...
...I wasn't suggesting a physical disability, merely that kids learning to walk fall down frequently at the start. It's normal and we don't call it "failure" and we don't give up on them. I think we should take the same approach towards educating them as they grow up.

And yes, a tutor is certainly an option if needed.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #48
145. Hey -
here are a couple of articles I just read today to help shed some light on Hsing.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...



No one thinks ALL PS are "bad". No one thinks ALL HS's are "great". We each have problems. We each have advantages. We each have our share of success stories and abysmal failures and horror stories.

I think we should get off this bashing thing and try to find that which WORKS for this nation's children and try and work together.

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danimich1 Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #45
108. I homeschool my 2 children
I homeschool my 2 children - both are gifted. I am NOT doing it for religious reasons. I am not going to apologize for doing what is best for my children, just because some people think that it is wrong. As far as I am concerned, this is a parenting decision. None of us parent alike, so not all of us will make the same educational choices for our children.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #108
113. Thanks Dani, and welcome to DU :-)
Do you have any insights you can share about raising gifted children?
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qanda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #108
115. Welcome to DU
There are quite a few homeschooling parents around here. I hope to hear more from you in the days to come. :hi:
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #108
136. Welcome to DU!
Glad to see another hs'er on here!

:hi:
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #108
195. Anyone else notice
how many homeschooled kids are "gifted"? Damn near every home schooling parent I know claims hir li'l angels are "gifted". I'm wondering if the public schools thought so, too. Or it they just didn't see how very special these kisd are, so Mommy and Daddy had to step in....homeschooling, where all the children are above avereage.

I don't have kids, but my beagle is gifted!
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #195
205. Check again...
My son has language delay. Because of it he's delayed in other areas. He won't be ready for the PS system till he's over this, and we've no way of knowing how long that will take.

He's HS from the time he wakes up till the time he goes to sleep. Every opportunity to help him learn language is used. There are no special facilities, classes, etc for him. It's just us and the medical professionals we consult.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #195
217. There is a modicum of truth
in that - all kids have "gifts" of some sort in some area..... just all kids have challenges - some gifts - and some challenges - are more extreme than others.

Probably one of the fastest growing segments in the hsing community IS in the arena of gifted kids - as NCLB becomes more firmly entrenched - gifted kids needs are increasingly NOT being met.

My son was identified BY the PS when he was in 1st grade, btw.
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bklyncowgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #41
165. Hey, you're not allowed to make sense!
As a librarian, I know several homeschooling parents who take a great deal of care in working with their children, selecting books and other resources and working with thier kid's talents. Their kids are active in local youth organizations. One family I know owns a farm so along with their schoolwork the kids help on the farm training horses and raising chickens they are leaders in both 4H and Pony Club.

Homeschooling can be a great thing if the kid has that sort of a parent. If the parent is not up to the job it is a disaster.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #41
182. Parents are only as good a teacher as his/her education is.
Children of parents with a poor education won't be getting much of a chance.

Professional teachers usually specialize in one or a few topics. It takes several teachers to educate a kid. Is a parent supposed to know as much as a teacher, on all topics? Are all parents expected to have a talent for being a teacher?

Also, most parents have a job. Teaching is at least a part-time job. Depends on how many kids they have and how many of the parents do the teaching. And then there are single parent families, doing 3 part-time jobs to make ends meet (and they say these folks are lazy).
How is a parent supposed to also be a good teacher?

If hiring a teacher is supposed to be a solution: it's not a solution for a low income family.

I have nothing against homeschooling per-se. There are situations where it is the only option, and when properly supervised it can be done well.
But it's not a solution to any real or perceived problem with education in schools. If there's a problem, it can be fixed. Public and private eduction in schools has been and still is very successful all over the world. There's no reason to do away with it all together and replace it with homeschooling.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #182
193. Poverty doesn't mean "stupid"
"Children of parents with a poor education won't be getting much of a chance." - that depends upon the parent and whether the family has the means to acquire the course material needed to teach.

"Professional teachers usually specialize in one or a few topics. It takes several teachers to educate a kid. Is a parent supposed to know as much as a teacher, on all topics? Are all parents expected to have a talent for being a teacher?"

We teach them to put their poop in the potty, to dress themselves, to feed themselves, to walk, to talk, to be gentle with animals, to not throw the ball in the house, to read, to write, to bathe themselves, ...

Ever held a little 'baloney-loaf' and -know- you are going to teach him/her all sorts of things?

I seriously doubt there are many parents who could not teach their child to sixth or eighth grade. Beyond that depends upon the resources of the parent. I'd expect science classes to be a bit tricky and the math might be advanced for some. But there are tutors both human and binary-coded and there are books. As a teen I taught myself trig and logs and I only used a book.

"Also, most parents have a job. Teaching is at least a part-time job. Depends on how many kids they have and how many of the parents do the teaching. And then there are single parent families, doing 3 part-time jobs to make ends meet (and they say these folks are lazy). How is a parent supposed to also be a good teacher?"

Mzteris would probably be better addressing that point. We've made the decision to be a one-income family, sacrifice the income and luxuries, and focus on our son. Not everyone can or will do that.

Still, I think all parents can be "good teachers" by encouraging curiousity and reading. Whether they do HS or not, these two will go further towards a really good education than just about anything else.

The best teachers share their love of learning with their students. They inspire their students to understand, to know, to learn more.

"If hiring a teacher is supposed to be a solution: it's not a solution for a low income family."

I agree. It is one of my complaints against the current PS paradigm: monopolizing all the public money devoted to secular education. The options are not limited to HS or PS, nor should they be. There are more than enough religious schools. What we need are more and varied secular schools.

"I have nothing against homeschooling per-se. There are situations where it is the only option, and when properly supervised it can be done well."

Who do you have in mind for "proper supervision"? I don't see my son in a race which ends when he's 18. This is a life-long skill: to learn more. Certainly sooner is better, but it cannot be done any faster than he is willing to permit. You can encourage learning, but you can't force it. So what did you have in mind?

"But it's not a solution to any real or perceived problem with education in schools. If there's a problem, it can be fixed. Public and private eduction in schools has been and still is very successful all over the world. There's no reason to do away with it all together and replace it with homeschooling."

No one is suggesting we do away with PS altogether. Saying "if there's a problem it can be fixed" does not fix the problems. I've been posting a quote from the 68th conference of the U.S. Mayors' organization where they claim over 50% of blacks and hispanics in some cities drop out. There is -certainly- a problem and it is -not- being fixed.

There are other issues about the quality of some teachers, some schools, some boards that are not necessarily viewed as problems by the authorities but can cause problems for individual students: personality conflicts, for example. These cannot necessarily be fixed either.

And then there are problems for gifted kids, as well as challenged kids. Not all teachers, schools, boards are ready and willing to address these issues.

PS works fine for some, not all. The problem not being fixed that I keep pointing to is the matter of funding a child's education. Too often it is tied to attending the PS system. If that system fails to educate a child, no money is provided for an alternative, and so the kids fails to achieve their full potential.

If it is our belief that every child needs to be educated, we cannot abandon the children whom the PS system fails.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 06:09 AM
Response to Reply #193
211. Straw man; i did not say poverty means stupid - you did.
I do say poverty means poor education.

Education is not only a matter of intelligence but also one of knowledge - how can a parent teach on subject he/she has no or very little knowledge about?

You talk about the quality of teachers, but how can the average parent - who has no training as a teacher - provide better quality education then specialists?

Are you seriously saying that public schooling works only for a minority ("some")?

And another straw man: i did not say children for who PS does not work, should be abandoned.
I did say that HS is a valid option in some (a small minority of) cases, if done properly.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #211
212. "Children of parents with a poor education"...
"I do say poverty means poor education."

Actually, a poor education usually leads to poverty. It was not my intent to introduce a straw man, but this appeared to be a logical conclusion to your statement.

"Education is not only a matter of intelligence but also one of knowledge - how can a parent teach on subject he/she has no or very little knowledge about?" - books, course material on the Internet. Mzteris has quite a list of sources for knowledge.

Bear in mind this is how many teachers acquire knowledge. Not all (and quite likely very few) have work experience in the field they teach.

"You talk about the quality of teachers, but how can the average parent - who has no training as a teacher - provide better quality education then specialists?"

Teachers are expected to handle hundreds if not thousands of different children over the span of their career. A parent need only deal with his/her own children. Despite being "specialists" teachers lose up to a third of their students dropping out, and more in some areas and amongst some groups.

The "quality" we're talking about (at least some of us) is the ability to inspire a desire to learn. Parents (most of them) are highly motivated to teach their children to enjoy learning. Teachers (at least some and likely most) are not as motivated. A kid is only in their class for a year, whereas a child is a parent's child forever. The investment leans heavily in favour of the parent compared to a teacher's average investment in any one child.

"Are you seriously saying that public schooling works only for a minority ("some")?"

In some cases, yes. I've quoted some of the resolutions from the US Mayors' organization 68th conference, and they clearly state that the drop out rate amongst blacks and hispanics in "many" cities exceeds 50%.

Here in Ontario, Canada, the richest and most populous province in Canada, the drop out rate is one in three. Obviously the PS system works for a majority of children, but not the one-third who drop out.

"And another straw man: i did not say children for who PS does not work, should be abandoned. I did say that HS is a valid option in some (a small minority of) cases, if done properly."

You speak of the "small minority" but not the large minority cited in the resolutions from the US Mayors' organization 68th conference nor any of the other kids who drop-out or fail school. You've provided no options for them that I could see. Under the current PS paradigm these people are unlikely to be able to afford to HS.

What I said was "If it is our belief that every child needs to be educated, we cannot abandon the children whom the PS system fails." I don't see how this is a straw man. It is a very basic statement of a principle I believe in.
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
61. This reminds me of the "Amazing Immigrant Graduate" stories
Yes, some children of immigrants get scholarships to Harvard because of their sheer tenacity and force of will. But how many others DON'T? How many millions drop out of school or never go on to college?

One high-profile example doth not a system make.
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. Exactly right. It seems to me the OP has a big ax to grind.
But :wtf: do *I* know? :)
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #63
66. do we really have to sink to this?
I honestly don't understand this need to characterize a point of view according to some untestable hypothesis regarding the motive.

Find me a left-wing activist who -doesn't- have at -least- one big axe to grind and I'll show you a DINO.

Just what 'legitimate' motive could we have for fighting injustice unless it be our personal experience with it? Why develop a solution if we don't see any problems? Why develop a solution if we're not going to advocate it, share it with others, learn from others, improve it?


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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. I'm not "Sinking" to anything.
It just seems to me you're wedded to the superiority of Homeschooling. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #67
77. I'm wedded to parents parenting...
...in a society that supports the process of parenting without unnecessary intrusion.

I'm wedded to the empowerment of parents through options and funds to raise their children to their fullest potential.

I'm wedded to diversity, especially on the secular side of education.

I'm in favour of a general education tax, either nation-wide or province-wide that funds the education of each child from birth till 18, adjusted depending upon things such as grade level, subject studied, and special needs. Parents choose their educator (private religious, private secular, public, home) and authorizes the government to make payment to the chosen educator.

In the interest of keeping taxes reasonable, a cap could be placed on how much will be collected and thus how much made available.

Education starts at birth, whether raising a child at home or placing a child in daycare or with a babysitter, the better the quality the better the chances the child has to develop to his/her full potential.

What I oppose is the monopoly over secular education that the current public school model represents. As I said yesterday it is putting all our eggs in one basket and a third of the eggs (and more in some places) are falling out of that basket and ending up lost and broken.

And then we have places like Kansas where the public school system is turned into an arm of the religious right. No affordable secular alternatives for most people, I expect.

Diversity is the only way to innoculate ourselves against that kind of use of a monolithic, monopolistic secular education system. If we don't develop secular alternatives, we're leaving ourselves wide open for just about any demagogue to take over the public system.

The only alternatives to the public secular system now are the religious schools, and home-schooling. If your kid was that one in three who fell out of the basket, you going to give up or find an alternative that works?

That's where I think those of us on the left are coming from when we turn to home-schooling. There are no secular alternatives to the public system and that system fails one in three who drop out, and fails the exceptional kids who need more than the schools can give. Tieing up the money in one state-run monopoly does not encourage secular alternatives. If the public schools fail the poor kids, as is too often the case, the poor have no funds to pay for alternatives. Thus the cycle of poverty and crime is perpetuated.

As for "sinking", feel free to challenge me directly on anything, but an open aside to someone else about me does tend to look like "sinking" to me. Maybe I'm just being touchy, but you might take a gander here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #61
64. Actually...
...I was trying to put a different face to home-schooling.

Home-schooling, by its nature, is not a "system". However, home-schooling might produce insights which can be put together to form a system.

"How many millions drop out of school or never go on to college?" There is no doubt the schools are failing far too many children. The mistake is in blaming the kids, not the system.

As I said yesterday, we're adults and they're kids. If they fail it's because -we- failed -them-.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #61
142. Very, very true
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freethought Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
68. Who are this kid's parents?
If this kid was able to solve such a complex mathematical problem and was homeschooled, I would want to know who the parents are and what they do for a living or career. If they were able to homeschool this boy to this level of math then they would have to function on a similar level.
On its face, I would have to say that this boy is something of a prodigy, it just does not seem likely that this boy could homeschooled to this level without some type of tutoring. If a panel of scientists had a hard time grasping his technique then I would bet that they've got a prodigy in the family.

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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #68
95. Wouldn't you rather know...
...what they did with their son each day? If they kept a journal I'd love to read it. The insights they must have gained along the way.

As for your questions, refer to Reply 57 "Homeschoolers can often take college courses" by Mountain Laurel.
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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #68
150. If you read the article from the OP
you will find that both his parents are scientists AND professors. I'm sure such a rarified academic environment only enhanced the child's remarkable abilities.
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Hypatia82 Donating Member (207 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #68
291. Kid could be self-taught....
I taught myself partial differential calculus, which is what you need for aerodynamics, and also why I learned it, at 16. Had I gotten to it sooner, I'd have learned it sooner, but, alas, things like topology, number theory, non-euclidean geometry, kept me on tangents. From second grade on I just tore through math books with the effort of breathing. So there's no reason to assume the kids parents have anything to do with the math he knows. It's just math, not like it's anything difficult. Even partial differential calculus isn't difficult, people just say it is.
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
73. As a former homeschooling mom, thanks for posting this
Homeschooling is a great way to learn for a lot of kids - like Young Mr. Vascardi - and is sadly misunderstood by a great many well- meaning but ignorant folks.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 07:15 AM
Response to Reply #73
84. So true, and you're welcome...
Some people can never get past their stereotypes, but many others are more open-minded and simply need some examples to realize how silly it is to stereotype all HSers.

You would think, having fought the stereotypes regarding gender, gender preference, skin colour, that stereotyping people would be a fallacy obvious to everyone.

Nice to know we have friends who are above that :-)
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
74. Wow- good for him. I'd be hesitant to read this as a great vindication of
Edited on Mon Dec-05-05 11:12 PM by Marr
homeschooling, however. I mean- I assume last year's winner was schooled in the traditional way, but apparently he/she wasn't touted as a vindication of the educational status quo.

I'd like to know more about this particular young man's parents as well. It seems to me that homeschooling could be great or abysmal, depending on the person doing the schooling.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #74
86. Absolutely...
The quality of home schooling, like parenting, depends upon the adults involved.

And as I've said elsewhere, this discussion was to explode the stereotype that all HSers are RW fundamentalists. There are -many- reasons for home schooling, as mzteris statistics, October's reply and the OP demonstrate.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
75. Odd how CNN emphasizes homeschooling
AND FAILS TO MENTION that the kid takes math classes at the University of California....

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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #75
88. which wouldn't be happening had the kid been in the PS system nt
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Viking12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #88
120. Depends on the district and the University
I usually teach several advanced placement HS kids in my college courses each year. They attend the University earn both high school and college credit.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #120
126. Thanks for the correction...
...I'll keep it in mind for my son.
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phylny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #88
153. My kids can take college courses and they're in the public
school system.

Next?
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #88
196. The University of California
IS a public school. Homeschoolers just pick and choose WHICH public schools they want their kids in.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #75
90. See Reply 57 "Homeschoolers can often take college courses" nt
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
76. good on him.
And how fortunate that he was homeschooled - had be been a public school student and won the award, he might never have been mentioned on DU.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-05 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #76
80. Zing!!
But if he had been a PS student, he would have had to have cheated to win, right? ;)

And THAT would have made for a hell of a thread here. LOL
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
91. His mother is a Ph.D. in neuroscience
Trying to pretend this kid is a run of the mill "home schooler" is preposterous...

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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #91
98. from a "typical HS family" I know
just got this off a local loop I'm on - (I'll take out identifying information - but otherwise - it's as received.)

**********
Subject: Life after homeschool

Well.. having graduated 3....here goes..

J---- age 24 is a senior at *University* in statistical sociology.. he takes time off periodically to work on a book he is writing/ taking pictures for called ********** ...based on the homeless in (city) .. into bonsai trees... gourmet cooking..
blues guitar...recently skeet shooting.. works on (street) at a place that "pays the bills"...

JE----- age 22 is in charge of the computers for a company that owns several (restaurants and fastfood places) .. he travels all over
(two states) progamming.. networking...what ever needs to be done computer wise... He loves online gaming..plays mandolin.. has a beautiful voice...raises saltwater fish

JO---- age 19 finished his basic & AIT training for the National Guard last year... He is working as a machine operator for a Japanese company and will go to school part time at *University* on a minority scholarship for criminal justice ( think CSI stuff)..he is trained as an MP.. loves video games... animals...more video games... travel...

We have one at home, C----- age 14,

*******end**********



As I've stated elsewhere, I'm on or have been on groups/loops for mensans, disabled, gifted, Buddhists, Chinese, Liberal, Secular, Freethinkers, HS'ers for Kerry! LOL, gifted AND learning disabled, dysgraphic. There are groups for people whose children have CP or Autism/Asperger's, etc. There are groups for Unschoolers (I bet you guys would really hate THAT!) and Classical Education. From The Well-Trained Mind, to Charlotte Mason, to "Thomas Jefferson" style of homeschooling.

You don't have to be a genius to be homeschooled nor TO homeschool. There are textbooks, and the internet, education videos (think distance learning a la Universities), on-line courses, tutors, group classes, etc.

No, I'm not an "expert" in everything - NO ONE is - including teachers. (My highschool Chemistry teacher was a Math major who knew next to nothing about Chemistry, btw.) But parents DO have the luxury of designing a program TAILOR MADE for THEIR CHILD. Their learning style. Accommodating their weaknesses and playing to their strengths. Encouraging and fostering an atmosphere of learning and success.

The important thing is to teach a child HOW to learn. How to recognize what it is they don't know and how to go and find that information out. Not some rote repetition. Not memorization and regurgitation - which is practically all that is taking place in many a classroom these days thanks to NCLB.

No - NOT ALL classrooms! I'm not "anti-school". I graduated one from PS and currently have one in a charter. I only hs the one. But you have to admit that the PS system as some MAJOR problems! Some schools are better than others. Some are downright abyssmal. Some teachers are brilliant. Others totally suck. And most have little control over that - unless they're wealthy enough to move to the preferred school district and clout enough with the principal/admin to ENSURE that THEIR child ALWAYS gets the "good" teacher.

Why do we keep having this argument?

Why can I not homeschool MY child if I so choose? (ESPECIALLY as it's the best venue FOR HIM!) Why do people insist on claiming I'm "not qualified". How many people are "qualified" to even BE PARENTS for god's sake - and we don't restrict them from having babies, do we? (OK - so maybe we SHOULD sometimes! :) )


The point the OP and other hs'ing parents are trying to make in here, is that we are NOT all religious right wing whacko nut job fundies who keep our kids locked in a closet memorizing Bible verses.

We are intelligent, involved, engaged parents whose children benefit from a CHOICE in method of education.

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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #91
119. Not an embittered high school dropout?
Sounds like his education was tailored for him. Not chosen as a political statement.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #119
125. Care to speak a little more plainly?...
...who do you have in mind as your "embittered high school dropout" and who has chosen a form of education "as a political statement"?

You've repeated this twice and I see no one in this discussion who fits the bill.
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Hypatia82 Donating Member (207 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #119
295. His schooling may be...
but his education is still an open question. And schooling should never be tailored to suit. It only creates people who know tons about one thing or even a few but haven't a clue about something else. What good is it to know advanced calculus if you've never read Shakespeare or pondered the ramifications of the Magna Carta or never written a poem? Worse it creates people who only have experience with how they are taught, not how others are taught and more importantly how others learn. And perhaps worst of all it creates an enironment of intellectually based social stratification. To say nothing of how it never introduces kids to things like tutoring their classmates. Thus limiting understanding as you never truly understand something until you have to teach it.
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
92. There is a movement on today by Parents
All Parents, not just the religious, but all parents who are tired of the state and government interfering it their rights to raise their children as they see fit. The case of the girl in Texas who was taken from her parents because they wanted to pursue a different course of treatment for their daughter.

Parents believe it is their right as to what their child learns in school and that includes sex education, etc. I am a firm believer in Parent's rights and any parent in this country has the right to educate their child as they see fit...
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triguy46 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
94. Teaching a gifted genius should not be confused or compared
to the hard work in the trenches of school teachers. There is no "news" in this story. Here is a scenario in which there should be headlines: "inner city child of a crack whore, with no father in the home, raised by an 80 year old aunt, wins academic scholarship to local state university." That is what we should strive for, and be aware of since its the battle being fought in schools today. OR, try this one, "Girl, 14, raises siblings while meth cooking momma sits in jail"

Put me on the side that this young genius is an anomaly and not some expected outcome of 'homeschooling.'
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #94
96. Some clarity...
"Put me on the side that this young genius is an anomaly and not some expected outcome of 'homeschooling.'"

There is no telling how many undiscovered "prodigies" there are out there. To deny his parents credit for helping him develop his full potential is unreasonable and unfair. Shall we deny the public school systems all credit for the students who graduate?

As for the headlines you'd like to see, I think the reason we don't see them is rather self-explanatory. How well do undernourished, anxious children learn in the armed camps called inner city schools? And look how many fail:

"WHEREAS, the employment rate for out-of-school youth in high-poverty areas is 46 percent; and

"WHEREAS, in many cities the drop-out rate for African-American and Hispanic youth is over 50 percent; and

"WHEREAS, the proportion of young African-American high school dropouts who are currently not employed exceeds 70 percent; and

"WHEREAS, the pervasive joblessness of minority males contributes fundamentally to various problems of inner cities--poverty, crime, welfare dependency, high proportion of female-headed families, and drug abuse;..."

Source: http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/resolutions/68th_conferenc ...

We need a better paradigm. The kids we fail to educate need us to find a better paradigm. If the cycle of poverty and crime is to be unwound, we need to find a better paradigm.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #96
99. legalize drugs
turn the prisons into treatment centers.
also, feed all pregnant women, and feed them well. not peanut butter and surplus cheese. feed them steak and potatoes. cooked. somehow. the world will be a better place almost immediately.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
97. good for him
it's great to see American students with interest in math and science.

as for the homeschool debate. we often mention it whenever we see articles like this where some student won a contest.

i think in some cases homeschooling is good for some students. but overall for most students i think a regular school where they interact with other students is the best.

the sucess of homeschooling also depends on the parents resources and their own education and what kind of education they are able to provide their child. most families could not provide this for various reasons. and many who can would rather thier kids still attend school with other students as they feel the benefits of that outweigh the benefits of homeschooling.

the important thing is we provide all students with what they need. as i said, the success of homeschooling depends on many factors not avaiable to most families.
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
101. Adding the word "homeschooled" to the headline just got this ignored
This is a stupid and pointless argument - people are free to do what they wish and we know that many children would be moron killers if it wasn't for public schooling. I've known parents in the city who couldn't eaven speak never mind read or teach. These arguments are mindless drivel. 'Nuff said.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #101
102. You actually came in here to say that...
...after reading all the responses to determine "These arguments are mindless drivel".

I'm impressed, tho' I doubt you would consider it favourable ;-)
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #102
107. No, my point was that there have been a string of threads about this
"homeschooling" argument and there are clearly arguments to be made on either side, but the extreme emotional responses bely the actual answer which is simple. The different paths people take are what makes the US great. But you knew that having that word in the title would spawn an argument about homeschooling and his accomplishment would become fairly irrelevant. Am I wrong?
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #107
111. Yes, you're wrong, I'll explain...
..."homeschooled" in the title was from the CNN headline.

No, I was not flame-baiting by including it. I've participated in several of the threads you are probably referring to, and I've noticed how often HS is linked negatively with RW fundamentalism. That's not where I come from on this issue, nor is it true for several who speak up on these threads in defense of HS.

Nor did it look true for the boy in the OP. He represented a good example of the diversity behind HS and ran contrary to the usual stereotypes of who is involved in HS.

I'm not very pleased with the knee-jerk attacks against HS, nor the denials of problems in the PS system. This was an opportunity to raise the subject in the hopes a more reasoned discussion would occur and a better understanding fostered amongst us.

"extreme emotional responses", yes, I've seen them too. But Mr. Spock, I'm sure you realize we are not going to get from there to a point where we understand and respect one another by not talking about it at all.

This is not a 'nya nya in yer face' discussion. It's more a matter of 'here we are, we're LW HSers, we don't fit the negative stereotypes so many of our fellow-LWers seem to have about HSers'. It's a matter of reaching out a hand and saying 'we're not scary people'.

And a lot of the points raised about problems in the current PS paradigm deserve serious consideration. In the secular education field, it is monopolistic, this does cause problems (such as in Kansas). In some of the inner cities schools fail more often than succeed with black and hispanic children. We -have- to do better than that and simply blaming the kids/parents/poverty is -not- working either.

I haven't seen any HSers say that the PS system fails every child. I think we've all acknowledged that there are successes. But each of us can point to our own cases and those we know where the PS system simply cannot accomodate the needs of the student, such as is the case with the boy mentioned in the OP.

Where the schools would fail a child, we refuse to give up and according to the information provided by Mzteris most HSed kids do quite well.

I wonder if you've read any of the exchanges in this thread. I think its been quite productive and with very little heat, despite the fact someone has signalled this thread as 'flaming'.

We're not going to learn to understand one another if we don't make the effort, Mr. Spock. That's what this thread is about.
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #111
114. Of course I'm right - this thread IS about HS and I'm not interested!!
Simply trying to suck me into an argument I think is pointless, is in itself pointless IMHO. Telling me I'm wrong for thinking this is a pointless topic is fun for you to say and sound like you are "calling me out", but it is pointless. I am only reponding to the replies I am getting to my posts and do not see this pointless extension of a less-than-nothing argument IMHO. I am not interested in any more of these threads until people calm down - I don't care if you think we are learning and understanding people in this thread - it's a flame-fest topic at this time IMHO.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #114
121. "I am not interested in any more of these threads" - ho hum, cya
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
104. His mentor was Prof. Peter Ebenfelt, Dept of Mathematics....
University of CA at San Diego. He's also a gifted musician. His "school" is listed as the Josan Academy of San Diego, which apparently has no web presence.

www.siemens-foundation.org/2005Berkeley.htm#Michael

Good for him. But he's no product of a high school dropout dad keeping one chapter ahead of him in the math workbook. Apparently he was educated to make the best use of his ample talents--not to prove a political point.

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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #104
112. See Reply 98 by Mzteris
She has a wonderful way of responding to "he's no product of a high school dropout dad keeping one chapter ahead of him in the math workbook".

The lack of completion of any level of education need not have anything to do with intellect. In my case it was reporting an abuse of authority and dealing with the back-lash. Till then my career goal was astronomer. Instead, I became a writer with an acute affinity for those abused by authority. Before that I was finishing my five high school years in four. I always had all the math homework for the year done by February. I taught myself trig and logs and was teaching myself calculus until events brought my motivation for school to a crashing end.

Sometimes I wonder what I'd have been like had events been different, but as I am I've made a difference for the better in many lives and regardless of the difficulties I'm glad I was there when they needed me. I wouldn't have been if I hadn't lived the life I've lived.

What I have is a love for learning, no fear of discovering I'm wrong because then I can learn what is correct. Seems to me if I can impart that to my son and direct him to the sources of knowledge, we're on our way together.

And when we get to the tough stuff, we'll tackle it together. Any reason to believe we can't learn it?
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #112
117. What if his talents outrun yours?
Many homeschoolers hire teachers for higher level courses--either individually or in groups. Will your son (how old is he now?) be allowed to learn from someone else if his needs demand it?

Will your son deal with authority figures better than you did? Even if there's only ONE authority figure?

Does your wife participate in the homeschooling?
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #117
123. answers...
"Many homeschoolers hire teachers for higher level courses--either individually or in groups. Will your son (how old is he now?) be allowed to learn from someone else if his needs demand it?" - Yes, as required.

"Will your son deal with authority figures better than you did?" - you have some evidence I did not deal with authority figures well? Do I look like I have a crystal ball to predict my son's life to know one way or another what will cross his path and how well he'll deal with it?

And my son is 3 and a half.

"Even if there's only ONE authority figure?" - I doubt anyone lives who only ever runs into one authority figure. Care to elaborate?

"Does your wife participate in the homeschooling?" - Absolutely.

Last May my son was diagnosed autistic. His pediatrician feels this is more likely a false positive result, and that language delay is more likely the correct diagnosis. I facilitate his education during the working hours, my wife contributes before and after work. On weekends its more of a joint effort.

The process never really ends in a day till he's asleep.

Since May his development in language has been tremendous. Then he had about five words. We stopped counting new words sometime in September when he had 350 words and started repeating every conversation he heard. Last month he started singing songs and he's commenting on what he sees and asking for things he wants. During the December assessment at the health clinic, we were congratulated on just how much progress he's made and how much clearer his speech is now.

Indeed, all the professionals involved have complimented us on how much effort we've made and how determined we are to help our son through this.

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Stockholm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
105. Good for him!
I am not convinced about home schooling though.
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Jara sang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
118. What did he present for his project? ...his backwoods still?


:hide:
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #118
127. You might try reading the link in the OP nt
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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-05 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
122. Pretty impressive
:)
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
138. Another SLANT to this whole story
Take a look at the names of the regional finalists!

http://www.siemens-foundation.org/2005SWCRegionalFinali...


Does anyone have an opinion on this??




(Also - in the national semifinalists there are (at least) three homeschoolers. It's not always possible to tell from a name as in some states you have to "name" your homeschool like a regular school.)
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #138
139. Quite a diverse list!
A niece graduated from Rice University a few years ago; it's a fine school in Houston. A good number of the graduates did not have WASPish names.

And many on this list somehow managed to get educated in those dreadful public schools.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #139
140. Let me repeat......
Not all public schools are dreadful.

Does PS - as a whole - have some significant problems?

Yes.

Are there some totally abysmal PS?

Ys.

Are there some really good PS?

Again, yes. But unfortunately, they are few and far between, and if you look closely, many of the schools (listed) are not your typical "PS". (Case in point, if you look at the NC "winners" - the School of Science and Math - is a selective residential highschool ONLY for kids who qualify!)

Do all homeschoolers hate all public schools? NO. (I have one in a charter school now. Though, if he had not have gotten into that particular school, I would probably have kept him home as the "assigned school" was not a place I would send my child.)

Do most homeschoolers - and most ps'ers for that matter - have "horror stories" - at least one - about Public schools?

Yes.

Are all hs'ers "perfect"?

H#ll NO.

Is homeschooling for everyone?

Heck no.

Is homeschooling the PERFECT place for SOME?

Absolutely yes.

Look Bridget, the problem is - that hs'ers have caught an awful lot of flack and bashing on DU in recent months. Everyone seems to think that hs'ers are a bunch of rightwing fundie nutjobs who beat their kids and make 'em learn Bible verses and keep them totally isolated from "society"... and because of that - there has been a sort of backlash to point out all the "ills" of PS.

You should not take this personally. I'm sure you are a fine teacher. Most of those on here probably ARE (of course they are - they're Democrats and DU'ers! :) )

I try to "educate people" about the good things associated with homeschooling, and try to get yall to understand that there are plenty of LIBERALS who HS. And that "lack of socialization" is completely and totally INACCURATE. And that hs'ing is sometimes the ONLY REAL choice for some people. That hs'ing has produced some extremely well-educated and successful people.

Now, when hsing gets "attacked" - I do tend to point out the "bad things" about PS, just like you guys point out the "bad things" about HS. We could all tell horror stories about public school, and I could tell you horror stories about some fundie hs'ers I know. We could all take the extreme examples and isolated incidents to "make our case".

But what's the point?

Why do teachers seem so threatened by homeschooling? Like I told P2BL - unless you're the teacher who helped to traumatize my son in the classroom - I have no personal beef with you.

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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #140
147. I'm not a teacher.
And, as a graduate of Public Schools, I realize they are far from perfect. But my mother was widowed young with three children. She had to work & we had to go to the only schools available. I'm sure I could have benefited from a different education. However, that was many years ago.

The originator of this thread spends more time talking about his "theories" than about the needs of his child. And he's still upset about his own unpleasant educational experience.

Grown ups should surely be able to decide how best to educate their children. But they need to grow up, first. (It appears that you did!)
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #147
158. Exploding another myth...
...The originator of this thread spends more time talking about his "theories" than about the needs of his child. And he's still upset about his own unpleasant educational experience...But they need to grow up, first."

Indeed.

Perhaps such things are uncommon in America. Here, we ask questions directly so as to better understand before we start arm-chair psycho-analysis. You would think some would learn from Dr. Frist's mistake.

1. "spends more time talking about his "theories" than about the needs of his child" - how long did it take you to ask about my child, and what have you said in response to my answers? I was and am quite comfortable discussing the topic of education in a more general sense, I am and have been quite comfortable talking about my son's needs. I did so in response to -you- when you asked. if you'd like to discuss it further, I'm willing.

2. "he's still upset about his own unpleasant educational experience" - First off I'm unaware that I'm "still upset" about anything that happened that far back. I wouldn't be here with my wife and son in paradise had anything been different. To be "still upset" with something that happened when I was 18 would require me to be "upset" with my family and home today, as they are a direct result of my living the life I lived after the "unpleasant educational experience".

I fail to see where I've given cause for that belief.

Being a fat egghead most of my youth I was certainly a favoured target of bullies. I come by my dislike for abuse of power honestly. Having caught a school VP in an abuse of authority and reported it, only to suffer his revenge without defense later, I come by my dislike of abuse of authority honestly.

The fact that I have had very natural reactions to abuse, and have come to oppose abuse because of my experiences with it, seems to convict me of being "still upset" in your eyes. I fail to follow your logic in this. Are those who are raped "still upset" when they oppose it? Are those who experience the horrors of war "still upset" whenever they oppose it? Even when their opposition occurs decades after the experiences? It seems to me to be a cheap shot as a way of disparaging one's viewpoint because that person has actual experience with the problem they are addressing.

If actual experience with a problem somehow disqualifies us from trying to solve it, then I am at a complete loss when it comes to trying to understand your position, because that appears to -be- your position.

3. "they need to grow up, first" - Well let's see: my father died when I was ten, leaving my mother to raise my younger brother and I. If there is anything I didn't get over from my youth, it was the loss of my father. He was brilliant and loving and fun to be with. There are probably not two days that go by where I do not think of him. It was his idealism, and that of my mother that inspired my life and my choices. I grew up -very- fast. Had to, to take some of the load off my mother's shoulders. We grieved together, were strong for each other whenever one felt weak. We were always poor, but we were always a happy family grateful for each other.

Things changed when my mother remarried. Turned out the guy was a closet alchoholic and when my mother gave in I moved out. That was at the same time as the incidents involving the VP at school.

Despite that, living on my own, I still tried to finish High School but was so demoralized about the lack of integrity I ran into amongst school staff I ended up failing English.

So, I went on for about 20 years writing tech manuals for companies like the Toronto Stock Exchange, Northern Telecom, IBM, Olympia and York, Canadian National Railway. I never made less than twice what my friends made.

I really can't imagine a better job than writing for a living, and I've loved wiriting since I was thirteen.

So why should I feel embittered? Why should I feel myself immature? My son has a learning disability that requires a specialized learning environment no one in my area can provide. We live on one salary so one of us can help him throughout the day while the other works. We live without most luxuries, and like my original family, we find our happiness in our love for one another and our ability to have fun with very little.

I -really- don't understand your animosity, Bridgit.


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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #140
197. Yeah, teachers, don't worry
There will always be poor kids whose parents can't homeschool for economic and social reasons. You'll be needed to educate them, long after the HS types have abandoned the public schools.

Thanks!! We appreciate it!
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #197
210. Some of us don't believe in abandoning the poor...see reply 77
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #139
144. Please check these out....
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #138
143. Could it be, maybe, because home-schooled kids have more time
to work on things like this?

If their parent decides that they are going to have their kid enter something like this, they can put everything on hold for a month if they want and dedicate 15 hours a day to study and preparation for the contest.

Public school kids can't take this luxury.

But I will bet you anything that they get a more well-rounded education.

Granted, in some cases (like this one, perhaps) the kid is just smart. Fine. But it doesn't mean that home-schooling is the one answer...
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #143
146. yes and no
Yes, hs'ers have MORE TIME - because they waste less time.

But few lock their kids in a closet and "make them learn this thing" for some contest.

It's obvious that this particular child is very gifted - probably profoundly gifted. PS are not equipped to handle kids like that.

As for a more "well-rounded" education. I really think not.

PS are getting locked into the "teach to the test" mentality required by the NCLB. Hs kids are free to explore to the depth and breadth of their interest. They're not limited by "a textbook" required by some adminstrator (who probably got a kickback from somebody for purchasing it and more than likely provided by some company like Neil Bush's! aacck!) Hs'ers aren't limited by a set of required steps to learning. Endless days spent on repetitious nonsense and homework ad nauseum doing the same set of problems over and over and over again when you mastered it in the first 10 minutes.

I digress.

I just read two great articles I've posted in the hs forum, if you'd care to read them, I think they might shed some light on the hs'ing movement.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...



HS'ing isn't for everyone but it is perfect for some. For many children - especially the gifted these days, and the LD, and the different - it is rapidly becoming the BEST choice.

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #146
198. Actually,
there have been stories of homeschooling parents who focus on winning this competition or that competition to the detriment of the kids' education. It happens. Can't happen in a public school, though
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 04:42 AM
Response to Reply #198
208. "Can't happen in a public school, though" - oh really? link
http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/13346428.htm

Jill Porter | Dear God! Philly students trading religion for math

SCORES OF Philadelphia public school students are missing out on math and other academic classes to read the Bible and discuss salvation through Jesus Christ.

They're leaving school for an hour per week to do so.

And if the subject of evolution comes up, they're likely to be told that they are God's creations and Darwin's theory isn't true.

It's shocking that public school time would be used in such religious pursuit - and downright scandalous that evolution would be debunked in favor of creationism, which isn't permitted in the district's curriculum.

And it's all perfectly, unfathomably, legal.
----


Watch for my new thread on -this- news item.
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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
148. Yes
I read about this. But both his parents are professors, and they're both SCIENTISTS. I doubt if he's gotten much homeschooling in the foggy creationist ramblings or much on ID. I would assume he's been well prepped in science of all kinds.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #148
154. Another misconception.......
&**I doubt if he's gotten much homeschooling in the foggy creationist ramblings or much on ID.**

Do you think that the hs'ers on DU are teaching ID or creationism??????

HS'ers are not all fundie rw'ers, you know. :)

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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #154
157. well he is different than the hs families I have...
Edited on Wed Dec-07-05 04:56 PM by trixie
Had one last week trying to argue that not all caterpillars turn into butterflies, only the sinless ones do. :crazy: Apparently it is only a theory not a fact. :crazy: Had a family this morning with the mom and her two teen sons she wanted to tell me that our library is backward and that fiction means real and non fiction means fake (her words). I am sure those two boys are getting an excellent education. :rofl: The absolute best :sarcasm: are the unschoolers - www.unschooling.com

To be fair - homeschool did start out as a liberal ideal that was to combat theocracy and patriotism in public schools back in the 70s.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #157
159. ah but in Kansas PS they're going to teach supernatural explanations...
"To be fair - homeschool did start out as a liberal ideal that was to combat theocracy and patriotism in public schools back in the 70s." - I think there were other reasons too: communal living, more nurturing, less authoritarianism (patriotism was only one component of that), more freedom and free thinking.

They still apply for some of us.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-05 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #157
161. Hey - what's wrong with
UNSCHOOLING?

It's not what you think it is. And not what some do with it either, though it does seem to work - even in the extreme - for some.

Child centered learning isn't really a bad idea.

If you do it right and the child's love of learning hasn't been totally squelched - then allowing them to choose their areas of interest can be a very good thing.

And yeah, some hs'ers totally suck - but in all fairness, so do some ps teachers. :( And some people are just plain damn crazy!

The thing is - we don't ALL suck and we're not all toothless ignorant fundies.

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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #161
166. Why don't you do both?
Why don't you instruct at home and send the child to school where the child can learn to live/work in a society of his/her peers? Why isolate the child? One day the child will have to work/live in society by himself and I hope he/she can work with others, especially those that are different.

Is it just me or do most homeschoolers feel they "own" the child. It is their possession to do with as they please. This sickens me.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #166
167. My child is NOT isolated!
This is a complete and total misconception. Heck, I need a social calendar just for my kid! :)

As for doing both - "schools" take up way too much time for a serious student. All that changing classes and raising your hand to go to the bathroom. All that time spent with ENDLESS review for those who didn't get it the first time - or the first 24 times! All that time spent on skimming the surface and memorizing "stuff" that's going to be "ON THE TEST!" Gasp. Never mind that within three weeks of said test that the kids who "aced" that test, would more than likely do quite poorly on the identical test given again.

"Homework" - takes hours and hours (of boring repetitious drivel, usually) and leaves little time for independent study at home - for the serious student.

What sickens you? PARENTING?

Maybe all parents should just hand over their NEWBORNS to some "expert", eh? NO ONE - and I mean NO ONE will care for my child the way I do. Period. And if you're not a parent, then you haven't a clue what I mean.

Homeschoolers don't feel like they "own their children". Homeschoolers LOVE their children and will do whatever it takes to do what is right for their children.

What about the PS parent who beats their kids for making bad grades? Or maybe they just punish them by taking away something. Or the ones who pays their kids a $100 for each "A". Or buys them a new car for making the honor roll? Does this sicken you? What about the parents who completely abdicate any responsibility for raising their OWN kid by making the schools totally accountable for "how their kid turned out."

Homeschooling isn't for everyone. But neither is public school. Not every hs parent/teacher is good at what they do, but neither is EVERY PS teacher a good one. I can name quite a few who weren't. Of course, I can name a few who were great, but unfortunately, they were few and far between.

I am not "anti public school". I graduated one from PS and have a first grader in PS (albeit a Montessori Charter of my choosing). But my middle son's experience was not a very good one, though he eagerly went to school ready, willing, and able to learn. Unfortunately, the way most schools are structured do not fit his learning style nor personality.

I am doing what is best for MY child. I wish you'd respect that. I respect your choice to educate your child the way you see fit. But if your kid had the same experience in "school" as my kid - then I'd consider you a very poor parent indeed if you didn't DO SOMETHING to improve your child's situation. When we went to hs'ing - it was supposed to be temporary until we could find a "better school". Lo and behold - it worked wonders for my son. He LOVES it. It IS his choice, btw. And would probably leave home if we told him he HAD to "go back to school!" Believe me, I didn't want to give up my chosen career, but I did what I had to do for my kid and HIS well being!

It works for him. It works for thousands of kids. PS is not a panacea, it's a choice.



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BeTheChange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #167
169. For those of you that homeschool, I would really appreciate your opinion..
Okay, there sounds like alot of folks on here that arent religious fundamentalists that homeschool their children and I thought Id take this oppurtunity to get your opinions on a situation that has been weighing more and more heavily upon our family.

My MIL is homeschooling my husband's youngest sister who is 14. She has never been to a school, public or private. She just took her first quiz. This semester they added Latin to her cirriculum and tomorrow her first paper is due in a creative writing class she is taking. Last year, she took two choirs and an english class.

The problem that I have is that she isnt taking any science or math classes. She also isnt taking much in the way of world history and it seems that what she has had of American history basically focuses on the same crap every year because it is a multi-age class that also covers such topics as calligraphy and Christian home ec.

Now, Im a Christian. Id really appreciate not getting a bunch of replies about Christian fundamentalism and how horrible religion is. My husband and I are well aware of the extremism that exists in our family and are doing the best to deal with it. That being said...

She has pretty much no cirriculum. At 14 which should be her freshman year of HS, she has yet to do ANY math this year. The math and prior years were shoddy at best. She obviously knows how to add and subtract (albeit very slowly... we were playing gin rummy on a recent visit and it pained me to watch her count her cards)and multiply and add.. but I honestly dont know how much she knows beyond that. Can she divide a fraction by a fraction? I dont know. Last year they bought a CD rom and book to teach her algebra. She kept telling me that her and her mom were finding all kinds of incorrect answers in the books key.. I wonder if the incorrect answers were the ones they were coming up with.

The kid is so freaking bright. She can play any song by ear.. she writes music. Her stories are amazing, albeit incorrectly punctuated and spelled, but she has a wonderful imagination and a fantastic vocabulary. I know that if she was given the chance she would thrive in anything she choose to do. The problem is, my MIL seems to place an irrational value on the Arts at the detriment of everything else and right now she seems to be trying to steer my SIL towards music instead of towards the well rounded education that my husband and I feel that she needs to be getting. I worry that they are dooming her to a life with so few options... marry and be a mommy, work at a grocery store, fast food... etc. However, my MIL says that a child will instinctively reach out to what they need to know.. so she basically just lets my SIL do whatever she wishes. Over the years this has consisted of everything from being absolutely obsessed with horses... last couple years it was the Lord of the Rings and now, she has finally been allowed to read Harry Potter so it is becoming that.


I understand homeschoolers arent about measuring things with testing... but I do not comprehend how she has never taken a test in her life. Will she really be able to catch up all that math between now and college even if they did get her in classes next semester? We almost got them to agree to put her in a charter school last year, but my MIL just didnt want to do it, because it was secular and unfortunately, they live about 45 minutes away from a large city and private christian school options just arent that present. They absolutely will not put her in a public school. I dont know what to do. As a woman knowing how hard it is to exist in the business world of men, it breaks my heart to think of the future she has been limited to.

Thanks for your opinions and thanks for listening.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #169
172. It's hard to comment
without really knowing the kid... It sounds like she's bright, but it also sounds - to me - like she probably has some learning differences (a/k/a learning disabilities) and/or other quirks . . .

Even bright, well-educated kids may have issues with spelling and punctuation - Dysgraphia and dyslexia can be real culprits here (along with some other LD's.) I'm not saying she IS mind you, maybe it really is just a case of not being taught, which if so, is sad. Have you asked her about it? (Tactfully, of course.)

I personally am not an advocate of "total unschooling", but I've heard from parents/kids who do and for whom it's worked marvelously well. And we do tend to the child-led interest approach.

Ancedotally only mind you, I've heard of kids who didn't learn to read until they were nine or ten, but within a year had completely caught up with and surpassed their peer groups in reading/ comprehension.

I've heard of kids who "didn't do math" - other than that needed for "real life experience" - who decided one day in their teens - "HEY, I want to go to college and I'm going to have to pass all of these math tests, I'd better learn this stuff." And lo and behold, they go get the books and they do it. Mastering it in far less time than the average kid who takes four years to get through high school math classes.

Does that work for all? No. But it works for some.

Is your MIL "right" to concentrate on the arts? Well, maybe. If the daughter has LD's in the area of math/concrete sequential thinking, if she's "gifted" in the arts, then that's probably a good idea. But I can't answer that definitively.

As far as "testing" - well, at some point she is going to have to know how to "take a test" - but that's something you can learn just like anything else. My own son has severe test anxiety (brought on by his PS experience, btw - but that's a whole 'nother story.) so we don't "test" except for the yearly test we're required to do and the occasional test for his LD issues. We'll also seek accommodations for any college testing he'll have.

And grades?? - I have a story - a few years back we picked up a friend of his who'd just gotten his report card. "What'd you make, yada yada yada...."? After a few minutes he turned to my son and asked him if he'd gotten a report card.

"No."

"NO?"

"No, I don't get a report card, I homeschool remember?"

silence. . . "Oh - well what grades did you make?"

"I don't get grades."

LONG SILENCE. . . "Well, how do you know if you've LEARNED anything?"

:rofl:

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BeTheChange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #172
175. Thank you ..
You make some interesting points. I dont believe my SIL has any learning disabilities that are innate in her. I do think that due to the lack of direction she has developed some learning challenges. Her misspellings arent glaring, but when they happen, they are on basic words that I would think a 14 year old should know. I guess my biggest concern is her punctuation. Commas, semicolons, colons, etc are used sparsely and often incorrectly. Truth be told, english and writing are probably her strongest subjects.

In talking to her she wants to go to school. She feels like she is falling behind. She actually went to a homeschooling conference and used all her money that she had saved to buy books and a cirriculum this past summer when my MIL finally made her decision that she would continue homeschooling. The kid is crying out for structure. My MIL has a full plate and is incredibly busy.. a couple of months ago SIL went in and asked her mom if they could sit down and write down a list of chores for everyone in the house and a schedule. She came to visit us recently and we got to spend alot of time speaking to her. She is so smart and alot like her brother, who is more right brained, although he is a very talented artist as well. I just think that if she was given all of the options she should be that there is a very good chance she would find a career that wasnt nessecarily part of the Arts. Maybe she wouldnt.. there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Arts... but I hate that it feels she is being pointed towards a direction instead of getting to pick her own.

I also find it interesting that you mention you are required to do a yearly test. I dont understand why they are not. MY MIL has spoke about maybe getting SIL in some college classes in the fall, that she will take with her.. but they are classes like Pottery and various Art classes.

It is good to hear that there are children that are able to make up the time they have missed and not be crippled by it. I hope that she is one of them.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #175
176. There's a great book
you should buy her for Christmas.......

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1592400876/102-0496852...


I'm of the opinion that if she WANTS to go to school, she should be allowed to try.

Different states have different regulations on testing, etc. Some are very strict, some are quite relaxed.

One thing to remember about "parental pushing/control" - it takes place IN PS well everday. :(

One other thing - there are thousands of websites oriented towards learning every subject under the sun. If she's not getting what she needs/wants from the resources Mom has to offer, the net is a wonderful resource. If you - or she would like any specific suggestions, feel free to PM me and I'll help scope them out for ya.
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BeTheChange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #176
179. I bought it for Christmas :)
It still has to be reviewed by the Inlaws and deemed suitable, but Im hoping that it makes the grade.

Unfortunately, the web is out for her. Not allowed.

Thanks again!
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #179
257. Yikes!
NO WEB?????

The horrors! THAT is child abuse!!!! aaaaaaaaackkkkkkkk I'd go crazy without the net!

Seriously, that's awful. Even the fundies I know use the computer - er - religiously (no pun intended.) Of course they do closely monitor what their kids access, but heck, I "monitor" what MY kid accesses! There are a lot of creeps and crap out there!

There are some pretty good video education courses - through The Teaching Company - although they are quite pricey. Sometimes you can get them off ebay cheaper, but make sure what you're getting. They're mostly university level, but have a smattering of highschool level. I know they have Algebra and, although I've not personally seen it, I've heard good things about it. (We have the Alg II one but haven't gotten to that level yet.)
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #169
174. Thanks for asking...
...it can be very difficult watching someone else raise his/her children, when they don't do it the way you would.

I've found a hands-off approach works best except in cases of actual abuse. I prefer to believe most parents understand their children at the age of your SIL.

Certainly I wouldn't be raising my son or daughter that way. I agree a well-balanced education is most versatile.

But I also consider the possibility your MIL is trying to encourage your SIL to steer her own course. You don't say whether your MIL has offered your SIL the opportunity to learn more history or math, and been refused.

From your description your SIL's potential includes entertainment: namely music. I don't see harm in pursuing it, or specializing in it. Athletes do much the same thing if they hope to achieve the Olympics, and many of them are no older than your SIL.

With math, well, I can't tell you the last time I did trig, logs, or calculus. A lot of people don't need the math they learn, and over time it's forgotten. Yes, it would cut down her potential choices, but specializing in a field usually will do that.

And as for history, that is something anyone can catch up on by reading. Buy her a book or two for Christmas.

That Golden Rule of treating others the way you want to be treated applies here, I think.

I hope that helps.
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BeTheChange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #174
178. Im obviously not an expert..
I just love my SIL.. I could take the "IL" off, because for all intents she is my sister. I want her to have every oppurtunity that she can possibly have. Although my MIL has not refused requests that my SIL has made, she also hasnt taken to heart the request that was made to go to school. Every semester she says that SIL will take some math classes and every semester things get too busy for these classes to actually be taken but there is plenty of time for a couple choirs and anything related to religion. SIL doesnt want to be a musician. She doesnt want to learn to read music.. she loves to sing, but doesnt seem interested in making it a career. She is very interested in acting but from what has been said by MIL, there are no drama courses that arent secular that SIL can get involved in. The inlaws in general do not seem very interested in her acting inclinations.

I guess what is really hard for me is that I feel caught between a rock in a hard place. I must be respectful of my MIL's decisions, but then I have a very unhappy 14 year old who has nobody to talk to but myself and her brother about unhappiness with said decisions. I dont understand how you pass your GED if you dont know much math beyond addition, subtraction and multiplication. She is 14 and has no idea of how to divide fractions... figure out an angle, calculate the circumference of a circle... How does she succeed in college? I hate that she knows nothing about our country and its history. I asked her what year the US was founded and she didnt know. I want to cry everytime we get her in social situations.. Ie, we took her skiing for the first time and she was in a class with other teens. She didnt want us to leave her.. and as I watched from a distance it hurt to see how painfully unaware she was of how to interact with anyone her own age. At the end of the 4 hours she had become best buddies with the fatherly ski instructor.

And Id love to buy her books, but you see, Id buy her secular texts and that isnt allowed. Everything she reads has to be approved. The pastor had to have a talk with her father so that she could read Harry Potter like everyone else her age. She doesnt watch television or listen to nonsecular music. I gave her a couple of CDs by Kate Wolf last year because she had expressed an interest in folk music.. and they were deemed unsuitable.

I know there is nothing I can do. I guess I just wanted to be assured that they werent erasing her future. My oldest SIL is Schizophrenic. Nobody in the family seems to want to deal with or acknowledge this. Instead, they blame her actions on the fact that she went to secular schools and basically wants to be a life long student but cant afford to. She cant function in the real world. I feel like my MIL has thus rebelled against education to the point of silliness.. and it would be silly.. if SIL wasnt involved. They ask us to pray that God will fix my oldest SIL and the other day my husband finally told them that they were being irresponsible in not seeking help.. God provides counselors and medication for a reason. And if ever there was a reason, this would be it.

We started a savings account a couple of years ago incase SIL needs extensive tutoring or prep classes to bring her up to speed should she choose to pursue higher education but not be prepared for it. I guess that is all we can do.

It just breaks my heart because she has so much potential and I just pray that the realities of society and all its rules and hoops and regulations dont prevent her from being able to maximize on it.

Phew... anonymous internet bulletin boards let you get alot off your chest.

Thanks for listening.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #178
184. I'm so sorry I couldn't do more...
...my heart goes out to you and your husband and especially your SILs.

Regarding the eldest: I hate to say it but not treating a schizophrenic -does- sound like abuse: neglect at the least and refusing medical treatment at the worst. I don't know the laws in your area, but a call to a health professional might be in order. However, bear in mind that taking that course might -really- put a strain on your relationship with your MIL and family. Be very sure you're prepared to deal with the consequences.

As for your younger SIL, the situation is much more complicated. You could certainly let her know, privately, that you will do all you can to help her. I don't know if or when a child can leave home voluntarily, but consider letting her live with you when she attains that age and offer her assistance with her education.

Of course, that too will cause a strain on your relationship with your in-laws.

If she can visit on a regular basis, you might consider tutoring her when she visits.

I don't envy you your dilemma.

Have you considered starting a thread about this? There are a lot of smart people here at DU, people who will likely give you better advice than I've managed. Give it some thought. If nothing else, the sympathy and support will be therapeutic.

And stay in touch.

Robert
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BeTheChange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #184
261. You did so much by listening..
With the holidays coming up and the start of a new semester Im so on the edge of my seat about wanting to have this discussion with my inlaws.

I appreciate all ideas and advice.
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danimich1 Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #167
177. I agree with everything you wrote!
Edited on Thu Dec-08-05 01:55 PM by danimich1
I am in complete agreement with everything you wrote.

I am so busy taking my girls to different activities. If they were in school, there is no way we'd have time for so many. My girls are extremely outgoing, social, and capable of socializing and carrying on a conversation with kids AND adults. Compared to children the same age (and older) in public school, they are doing just fine.

I can't imagine anyone being "sickened" by my children, their education, their behavior. My children are not sheltered, but they are receiving parenting -- something many children in this country are lacking.

My children are gifted, which is why they are homeschooled. I have 2 profoundly gifted brothers who were in the public school system, and both were suicidal as pre-teens and teenagers. How sad that the public school system ignored their needs, rather than nurturing them and giving them an opportunity to grow.

Will I put my own children through the same torture that they went through? Absolutely not.

When I first heard of homeschooling I thought it was really strange. However, after meeting some homeschooled children, I completely changed my mind. I know so many secure, confident, succesful young adults who were homeschooled. I can only hope that my children can be as succesful when they are adults.

On a related note, I consider myself to be a liberal -- it's not a dirty word to me. In my mind, part of liberal thinking is to be open to different ideas, and be accepting. The attitude of many here regarding homeschooling is really inconsistent (I have been lurking for a couple years). As a liberal, I try not to be judgemental -- it's a shame others can't do the same.

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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #177
255. This is a trait I see
in most hs'ers I personally know.

** My girls are extremely outgoing, social, and capable of socializing and carrying on a conversation with kids AND adults. **

Others comment frequently on how well my son meets/interacts with adults.

Have you found the homeschooling group on DU yet?



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danimich1 Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #255
258. How can I find the homeschool group on DU?
Thanks.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #258
262. well........
Here's the link, and I think you can access it - but you can't post unless you've got a star. :(

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #167
200. Public school is only a choice
for those with the resources. For others, it's a necessity.

Garden club liberals!
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #200
214. Wha???
"garden club liberals?"

What the hell is that?

Granted some people are unable to hs for real reasons - I was a single mom at one time and would not have been able to hs my daughter. So I certainly understand that hs'ing is not possible for EVERYONE. But - I also understand that many people are living WAY above their means in the never ending quest to keep up with the fictional Joneses...

Many of us make sacrifices in order to stay home. Nearly every single hs'ing family that I PERSONALLY know - have made sacrifices. And not one of us belongs to a garden club.

A few examples: One lady raises chickens in her back yard and sells the eggs, she coordinates a farmers market and learned how to design websites for the farmers selling their products.

One mom works part time from home scheduling appointments via phone/computer.

One mom knits/crochets and sells purses, scarfs, mittens.

We live in smaller houses, drive less fancy cars, we certainly don't buy expensive/flashy clothes/shoes, we make do with less.

When you don't have to pay daycare/before/afterschool care, you don't have to buy "dress up clothes/shoes/jewelry/hairdos" to go to work in, when you don't have to "eat out for lunch" every day, when you don't have to pay the cost of gas for commuting to a job, paying for parking (possibly), when you sit down and "do the hard math" - many many Moms (unfortunately - it's usually the MOMS!), really aren't "making" all that much anyway. You CAN live more cheaply, but you have to want to.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #200
216. Establish a monopoly, tax away all the dollars, and then say ...
... 'yeah, it would be nice if everyone had a choice, but the poor can't afford it.'

I'd rather be a so-called "Garden club liberal" than a damned hypocrite.

Break-up the monopoly, assign money to students rather than schools, and give parents a choice about where the money for their child goes.

Or is that too much freedom for you?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #216
218. Why don't you do just that - in Canada?
Then get back to us and let us know how it works out for you. Or we could just read the headlines.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #218
228. Don't look now but your vested interest is showing ;-)
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #228
231. And I want to know why you are so interested in American education
if you live in Canada. Are you planning on moving here?

Last time I was in Canada, I learned a lot about the schools there. Both our hotel maid and waitress were certified teachers who were making more money in their service industry jobs than they would have as starting teachers in Canada. They were looking to find work teaching in the states. Seems like your energies would be put to better use if you focus on your own country's problems. You certainly appear to have the time.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #231
234. lol, you've -got- to be kidding :-D
really, given the number of foreigners on this board, I'm surprised you'd take it upon yourself to ask all of them why they're interested in America.

Or perhaps what you -really- want to know is when will I leave this board and stop encouraging Americans to take another look at the monopoly that pays your salary.

Or did I misunderstand you completely?
:eyes:

As for the Canadian scene, I'll speak for Ontario.

We've spent most of a decade under a RW provincial government, which was replaced by a Liberal government about three years ago. Under the Tories, salaries were frozen (or raises strictly limited) for a lot of civil servants. We also got down-sizing, in the name of efficiency. On top of that, school populations have declined for over a decade and that left a lot of surplus teachers, thus keeping a lid on starting salaries.

That said, under the Liberals class sizes are supposed to be limited to 30 or less, and we're looking at a new law coming that will require students to stay in school till graduation or 18, whichever comes first. Bear in mind the Liberals were elected through huge support from the teachers, so I rather doubt the teachers have much to fear from the Liberals (especially given how much the rest of us are fed up with the way they are downloading provincial debt onto unprotected, market-value assessed property taxes which is just about ruining our retirees and working poor).

Yes, I've had an active correspondence with the Minister of Education, the Premier, and columnists. I do the LTTEs and a surprising number are published. Education is not all I advocate. I also correspond on eco-tourism/environmental issues and energy policy (freeing us of oil-dependency). I've also been a strong supporter for the GLBT issues. The most recent year was spent on municipal government, since more than half the representatives were elected using my strategy.

Being one of the few LWers in a decidedly RW area, there is a notable lack in LW relationships where one can discuss events. And not everyone shares my interest in America. My life-long friends are in Toronto, and during the winter none of us travel very far very often.

As my son does not require my attention all the time, and as I've very little opportunity for intellectual stimulation in my daily routine, I come seeking it here (and googling for a variety of subjects, lately "dover+evolution").

Why Education? Well there are few things more fundamental to any society/culture/civilization.

Why American Education? Well there are few things more fundamental to world peace.

I don't suppose -you- would have noticed the creeping growth of authoritarianism in America, but I've been watching it for over a decade and I've watched as damn near all my predictions have come true.

I'm hoping America will turn a corner soon, but I fear that having a taste of authoritarianism, there are too many who found they liked it.

Be that as it may, the only way to break the back of authoritarianism is through education, and the current PS paradigm is decidedly against any reduction in authoritarianism.

Indeed, it is the PS paradigm that has produced the current trend towards authoritarianism.

If there is to be world peace, America must turn its back on authoritarianism. If that is to happen, America must reform the institutions that promote authoritarianism. Education is a dfundamental institution that promotes authoritarianism. Why do you think the majority of urban blacks and hispanics in "many" cities drop out? Who detests authoritarianism more? Indeed, I'll wager most drop-outs have problems with authority.

Authoritarianism curbs the free spirit. Why do you think you and I are at each other's throat ;-)

My free spirit is a keepsake from my father, and the 60's didn't hurt. It was my mother who taught me compassion.

Combine free spirit with compassion and you have what I have always believed to be the core of the Liberal philosophy.

I've yet to see you display either towards HSers. It marks you and I doubt there is an HSer here who doesn't know it. -I- was told about it after our first argument over HS/PS.

Your reputation precedes you.

And I've faced this kind of challenge often enough to face it again.

Looking over this thread I see what influence you have in these kinds of arguments.

As tempted as I am to quote the Good Witch Glenda to the Wicked Witch of the West: "Begone! You have no power here," I'll resist the temptation ;-)


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countingbluecars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #234
236. YOU'VE got to be kidding.
What are your motives here at DU? You take no interest in anything other than bashing teachers and the public schools. You take any positive comment about our school system and twist it into something ugly and negative. You have a grudge-we get it already!

YOUR reputation is growing, and one warm, fuzzy kitten story won't help.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #236
278. My so-called "grudge against teachers"...
Edited on Sun Dec-11-05 08:10 AM by Robert Cooper
...Aren't you glad I got my star and conducted a search to determine the truth or deception implicit in your comments?

Let's see:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Can't Scotty McClellan be indited for anything? Obstruction of the truth" - Oct 30th (first post)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"I beg of you---PLEASE PLEASE tell me these are fake!!!!!!" - Nov. 3rd

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"More Freeper Madness" - Nov 6th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"all marriage is now illegal in Texas? because of screw-up in anti-gay" - Nov. 9th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Intelligent" Design Gets Ass Kicked in Dover" - Nov. 9th

- first five threads and no mention of teachers.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Principal Ridicules Innocent Child, Parades Her Around School" - Nov. 10th
- first mention of teachers:
-- http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

"...Not all teachers are bad..."


You will note that so far there is very little evidence that I "take no interest in anything other than bashing teachers and the public schools". Let's continue, shall we:


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Rove to speak at 7 p.m. est." - Nov. 10th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Just why exactly is Natalee Holloway still news?" - Nov. 10th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Frist Hesitates to Investigate "CIABlack Sites" Leak if from a Repub" - Nov. 11th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"I am so outraged at this moment I could explode!" - Nov. 11th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"DU Terminology: A little help?" - Nov. 11th (my first thread)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"I thought hell froze over with CNN headline about Frist" - Nov. 10th, 11th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Robertson tips Fundies' hand: Intelligent Design IS Stealth "Creationism"" - Nov. 11th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"In memoriam: In Flander's Fields..." - Nov. 11th (my second thread)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Check out the Peacekeepers! (pic)" - Nov. 12th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Bush Pulls Security Clearances From 92 Senators" - Nov. 12th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Robertson threatens PA town; O'Reilly threatens San Fran..." - Nov. 12th, 13th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"I want to make a small point about the South." - Nov. 12th, 13th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Tsk, tsk. The preznit's secret breakdown made the tabloids" - Nov. 13th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Tony Blair May Soon Be Impeached" - Nov. 13th


hmm. 14 more threads and not one mention of a teacher, let alone bashing a teacher. However, the next one might score more highly:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"The religious right have invaded my workplace, please go away!" - Nov. 13th
I posted the following:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

But look closer. Is that proud2blib also posting to this thread? Why yes, it is. And she announces she's not only a teacher but a former union officer. Do we fight? Why no, actually, we agree.

I guess we can't count that as evidence of your claim, now can we?

The first -21- threads, and only one mention of teachers, and I said "...Not all teachers are bad..."

Let's look further:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
""Bush May Soon Order Aerial Attacks on Syria" ("would bolster popularity")" - Nov. 14th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"C&L clip: Falafel Boy defends his "satirical riff with a serious point"" - Nov. 15th


So that would be 23 threads with only one mention of teachers: "...Not all teachers are bad...".

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"teen couple with murdered parents were home schooled" - Nov. 14th, 15th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"The public schools don't have a lock on raising perfect children. Neither does home schooling. Each depends upon the quality of the people involved."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Never have so many slaved for so few, thanks to the group mind-set established by the government in public school."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"And try not to be too hard on them (anti-HS DUers). The school system is a significant and oppressive control mechanism in our society that specializes more in rote than original thinking...
"What I found truly scary is the idea that the state can require kids of any age to attend school. Laws can be passed to induct them at much more tender ages than is now the norm. There was even an opinion in the Toronto Star claiming that future earning potential is enhanced if kids are inducted as early as four =8-{
"I just 'love' the idea of pressuring four year olds to 'do well' because their careers hang in the balance."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Given a choice between coming clean and losing their job, or lying and blaming a child to protect their job, I've little doubt how most teachers and daycare professionals will behave.
"It isn't kids who fail to learn a subject, it's teachers who fail to teach it. Unfortunately, the kids will bear the stigma of the teacher's failure for the rest of their lives. With patience and understanding and trust and time most any kid can be taught anything.
"But PS doesn't work like that: each teacher is given thirty kids and a limited amount of time to cover all the material in a subject. Each kid gets, on average, 2 minutes of help every hour. In a five hour day that's ten minutes spanning all the subjects.
"With HS, a child gets 60 minutes, or 30 minutes or 20 minutes of personalized attention every hour, depending upon the number of kids in the family. And they're taught by someone who is -not- going to give up on them. Someone who doesn't use an artificial deadline to cut off instruction and judge the child a "failure"...
"I've spent more time undoing the damage done by the public school system than I have dealing with my Dad's death when I was ten. I've certainly given more thought to the way we treat kids than most anyone I know.
"I've no objection if some want to send their kids to the PS system. Perhaps the experience will be good for them, I'm sure it is for some. But I wouldn't cast stones at those who HS, to me it's the last reliable source of individuality we have left."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"I'm surprised at the apparent contempt shown parents who decide they know what's best for their own child and follow a path outside that of the regimented majority. That this contempt is so easily expressed provides evidence of that group mind-set I discussed in an earlier reply.
"I know of no one who is telling any parent to stop PS and start HS. But it seems to be open season on those who HS, persecution without any knowledge of the facts or else the result of cherry-picking data that roughly matches up with preconceived notions.
"That so much lazy thinking results in stereotyping is not really a surprise for those of us who survived the PS system and saw such behaviour first hand. The "you're either with us or against us" attitude is one that starts in the school playground.
"Not hard to see why it is so vigourously defended under the guise of what is best for the children...
"I fail to see why I should be expected to permit my child to develop a herd mentality that stereotypes rather than thinks when the schools fail to offer options that encourage individuality and emotional well-being.
"I'm not prepared to abdicate my responsibilities to my child. Your mileage may vary."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Let's see:

"Given a choice between coming clean and losing their job, or lying and blaming a child to protect their job, I've little doubt how most teachers and daycare professionals will behave." - not all teachers, just "most".

"I've no objection if some want to send their kids to the PS system. Perhaps the experience will be good for them, I'm sure it is for some." - not exactly condemning the PS system here.

"I know of no one who is telling any parent to stop PS and start HS." - not exactly condemning the PS system here either.

What I condemned, and have done so consistently, is the herd mentality that develops in the PS system amongst students. It is an issue since the '70s if not earlier: too much authoritarianism in school stifles individuality.

And look, there's proud2blib, blaming the internet rather than home-schooling:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Considering that these kids met online, I would bet the internet had a lot more to do with this murder than the fact that they were homeschooled."


So 23 threads before I start discussing my thoughts on education in depth, and I did it in an education thread where people were blaming the idea of home-schooling for two brutal murders. My position has been one side of an issue that spans decades. No bashing of all teachers, and reasoned arguments in support of my opposition to PS authoritarianism, while still acknowledging that the PS system works for some kids. Repeatedly I express concern and support for the kids whom the schools fail.

I've something to apologize for here?


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"That persistent 1974 feeling again..." - Nov. 18th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"I've been told to *gasp* move to Canada." - Nov. 18th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"This is a sad footnote to a nice story." - Nov. 19th

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Does anyone remember what it was like when Richard Nixon" - Nov. 19th


Another four threads without mention of teachers or education. 28 threads and in only two of them do I say something about teachers and the PS system, and there are no blanket bashings of all teachers and the argument against the PS system comes with an acknowledgement that it works for some.

Still doesn't sound like I "take no interest in anything other than bashing teachers and the public schools", does it?

And then we get to our prize:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Teachers walk in protest over kid bringing a taser to school" - Nov. 18th - 21st


TalahassieGrannie said, in part:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"When you have a small room and 30 kids, each with a huge backpack and they are all on the floor, they are dangerous to me, to the kids, and all kinds of stuff comes to school in them, including drugs, bottles and weapons."


My first response, to TalahassieGrannie:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Just a few days ago I was hassled over Home Schooling... ...and then I read this thread and wonder why those advocating that I send my son to PS failed to mention any of this.
"Thanks, school is -definitely- not what it used to be.
"Stay safe, Grannie."

And who pounced? Why, proud2blib:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"So ONE incident makes ALL schools dangerous?
"Some logic you got there."


Well, there are far too many links to list for that thread. It's worth reading for the hyperbole and denials of my opponents.
What is interesting is the list of my opponents: proud2blib, countingbluecars, and ulysses.

The same group -still- trying to claim I "take no interest in anything other than bashing teachers and the public schools".

23 non-education threads (and two weeks) later:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"What children lack today is hope." - Dec. 5th
- http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I don't suppose it helps your argument that most responses in that thread, including mine, were in agreement with the OP.


We'll try to speed this up.

8 threads unrelated to Education that followed the above

9 Education-related threads that followed the above:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Approaching 500: "Low post count and no star and you are all over DU...""

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"500 posts: a sampler"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Jill Porter - Dear God! Philly students trading religion for math"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"School boards for -fifteen- states flunk science standards"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Youth suspended for speaking Spanish"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"CNN (AP): Homeschooled boy wins national science contest"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Drug testing in schools"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Elementary Teacher Accused Of Tying Kids To Chairs With Computer Cords"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"WTF is the problem tonight?"


So what's the score:

59 threads unrelated to education

13 education-related threads, with nine of them occurring since proud2blib, countingbluecars and ulysses decided to 'respond'.

No evidence whatsoever that I bash all teachers. Limited evidence that I criticize the PS system (and I've repeatedly acknowledged that the PS system works for some students). And my criticism is an age-old complaint about too much authoritarianism in schools, a complaint shared by many.

Not that I expect some to bear this in mind when they next attempt to 'describe' my interests.

But it is a useful exercise to be reposted as the need arises :-)

(edit: typos)
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countingbluecars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #278
285. LOL
Wow, how long did it take you to compile all that? I have neither the time nor the inclination to read it all, but I hope it made you feel better.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #285
286. Here's the only part relevant to you...
...the rest of that reply is relevant for those you try to confuse :-)

"No evidence whatsoever that I bash all teachers. Limited evidence that I criticize the PS system (and I've repeatedly acknowledged that the PS system works for some students). And my criticism is an age-old complaint about too much authoritarianism in schools, a complaint shared by many.

"Not that I expect some to bear this in mind when they next attempt to 'describe' my interests.

"But it is a useful exercise to be reposted as the need arises :-) "

I have this archived on my machine, should this copy disappear for some reason.

And actually, I enjoyed preparing it. :-)
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countingbluecars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #286
287. LOL
"I have this archived on my machine, should this copy disappear for some reason."

I'm sure DU won't delete your hard work, but it's always good to keep a copy of such an important document.

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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #287
288. Given the number of times I've been misrepresented, one never knows ;-)
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #234
239. You have issues and energy
I use my energy to do lots more than post here on DU. For example, I participate in anti war rallies here and I went to Crawford in August. I also belong to many education groups and participate in parental advisory groups through a special ed organization. Just sayin. . .

I am not at your throat. Rather, you appear to have a vendetta against all teachers and public schools. You came after ME and several other teachers. That has been observed by many DUers, not only me. To expect us to roll over, play dead and not respond is ludicrous.

There is a homeschooling forum here. That has been pointed out to you. Your posts will be more well received there yet you continue to come after teachers and public schools. Thus, your agenda is quite obvious.

It is also clear you have issues. But I am not Bill Frist, so I will leave that one alone.

I would no more dream of coming on here or a Canadian discussion board and criticizing Canadian education than I would post about education in Outer Mongolia. It clearly is neither my problem nor my business. So I just can't relate to your interest in AMERICAN education beyond your obvious desire to continually criticize it. And I find that rather non productive as well as mean spirited. And that is not what DU is all about.

If you were really interested in DU and its work educating like minded progressives and liberal Democrats, you would donate and spend time in threads other than those where you find teachers to slam.

I have some problems with homeschooling. But I direct my energy to the legislative body in my state that allows hsers to function with no supervision. I also have met hsers here whom I greatly admire. It is obvious they are determined to do a good job and I applaud and support their efforts. Hence, I have no need to attack them. I realize that there are good and bad hsers as well as schools and teachers.

As for this thread, it has been pointed out repeatedly that this kid took university classes at a university. THAT would mean he is not homeschooled.

BTW, only my own children get to call me a witch. ;-)
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #239
253. Not the response you hoped for, was it ;-)
"Rather, you appear to have a vendetta against all teachers and public schools. You came after ME and several other teachers."

Like TalahassieGrannie? She was the teacher I responded to (and thanked) when you first descended upon me with your wild accusations. You know the thread. The one you started that you had locked because you couldn't "control" the opinions being expressed by others?

I've thanked her again in this thread, and asked her to share her insights and ideas.

That I have no respect for control freaks does not translate into no respect for teachers. There are lots of teachers who are not control freaks, and too many who are. Apparently you do not like the distinction and try to blur it. Not hard to figure out why.


"That has been observed by many DUers, not only me."

Not surprising, given that there have been a few control-freaks who work as teachers who have challenged me much as you have. I think one of them is rather obviously present in this thread.


"To expect us to roll over, play dead and not respond is ludicrous."

Control Freaks !? Play dead !? Hardly! You've already forgotten that I said "Control freaks curb free spirits. Why do you think we are at each other's throats?" You're not going to rest till you "curb" me. I expect nothing less.


"There is a homeschooling forum here. That has been pointed out to you. Your posts will be more well received there yet you continue to come after teachers and public schools. Thus, your agenda is quite obvious."

As is yours ;-)

Seems mine is to enjoy discussions with fellow liberals about whatever topic appeals to me, including education.

Yours seems to be pushing HS discussion into a closet and keeping it there. I'm just the current 'mess' you're trying to clean up.

But you're not the only one who hears from DUers. I find the encouragement I receive from DU HSers and DUers who didn't realize there was a LW HS movement to be quite...encouraging. ;-)

Of course, don't let me try to keep you from convincing the mods that all education threads started by me should be in the HS group. I'm sure if they agree they'll do it. Since I don't see a mod symbol by your name, I'll assume you are trying to direct (as in "control") events which you have no right to control...er..."direct" ;-)

Must be tough dealing with a free spirit with a spine. I only wish there were more of us.


"It is also clear you have issues. But I am not Bill Frist, so I will leave that one alone."

Follow the balloon, 'Bill'.


"I would no more dream of coming on here or a Canadian discussion board and criticizing Canadian education than I would post about education in Outer Mongolia. It clearly is neither my problem nor my business. So I just can't relate to your interest in AMERICAN education beyond your obvious desire to continually criticize it. And I find that rather non productive as well as mean spirited. And that is not what DU is all about."

Oh really? Do tell?


"If you were really interested in DU and its work educating like minded progressives and liberal Democrats, you would donate and spend time in threads other than those where you find teachers to slam."

Really? Well you'd better tell Earl to include that in the FAQ and the Rules. He seems to have overlooked your little 'injunction'.

Must be tough dealing with a free spirit with a spine. I only wish there were more of us.


"I have some problems with homeschooling. But I direct my energy to the legislative body in my state that allows hsers to function with no supervision. I also have met hsers here whom I greatly admire. It is obvious they are determined to do a good job and I applaud and support their efforts. Hence, I have no need to attack them. I realize that there are good and bad hsers as well as schools and teachers."

So nice of you to save face...er...admit under duress...er...'tell' us this. I'm sure we will all take this to our bosoms and embrace you as one of our own.


"As for this thread, it has been pointed out repeatedly that this kid took university classes at a university. THAT would mean he is not homeschooled."

Actually, as has been pointed out by others elsewhere in this thread, this has no bearing on whether a child is considered "home-schooled" or not. And it seems the people who ran the test considered him "home-schooled". But that is no reason for you to not try to "control" the definition of words to suit your liking.


"BTW, only my own children get to call me a witch."

Well aren't you glad I 'resisted' the temptation then ;-)


Always a pleasure to verbally joust with you. Let's do this again sometime, shall we? :-)
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #234
243. Oh look, Toto! It's Dr. Frist and ...-another- Dr. Frist! Oh my! ;-)
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #216
230. So School Vouchers are the answer?
Any parent has the right to educate their children as they wish. I have no desire to limit their freedom.

I'm childless & my taxes help support the public schools. Our mother bought us books, paid for music lessons, took us to the library--& sometimes the museum. But she was a widow who worked full time. So I'm concerned about families where home schooling is impossible. A voucher will not support a family because the parent chooses to homeschool rather than work.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #230
235. Good point...
...I can see it would be impossible for a single-parent to HS unless there was more support than a school voucher. And we're not just talking about the poor. We're talking -all- single-parent families.

Okay, I'm going to need to think about this a bit. The idea is still sound with all combinations except HSing single-parent families ...and poor families where the loss of either income would ruin the family (hoo boy).

Thanks Bridgit. I'm off to use my new snow-blower to remove about 8 inches of snow off about 100 feet of driveway. I know what my brain will be working on :-)
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #230
244. Good point, part II
...okay, it can be done. If we had a near limitless budget :-(

The thing is I didn't envision an education tax that can pay any amount for education. In one of my replies I even talked of a cap to keep taxes reasonable.

HS might not be possible, but communal schooling would be (one parent taking in several children).

And to complicate things further, I did not envision the taxes paying for a science lab facility for HSers either. Facilities would have to be provided that are shared if/when needed.

Now I'm very depressed because I haven't worked out all the nuts and bolts. I'm certain the theory is sound, but putting it into practice (and making sure there are a variety of secular choices at affordable prices) is not something I think I can do alone.

It's rather like designing the Apollo Project. it takes a lot of brilliant minds to work out all the details.
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Hypatia82 Donating Member (207 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #167
292. Serious students are useless...
articulate, intelligent, witty, humorous, verbose, and other kinds of students, those are worth while. Whenever I see someone mention "serious student" I feel an inevitable urge to think they have no concept at all of learning or of being a student.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #166
168. Here are a couple of links to
articles on hs'ing that you might find enlightening.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


I was once where you were. I thought all hs'ers were weirdo rw fundies and all their kids were weird, too.

Though, now I know WHY a lot of those kids ARE "weird" - because a lot of them are Aspies or Autism or suffer from some other PDD or NLVD or CAPD or other LD that the schools couldn't handle. AND/OR they're gifted. Usually AND, btw.....


I'm speaking from first hand knowledge/experience. I was a product of PS, I have and have had children in PS. AND I also now have experience in hs'ing and hs'ing community. You, however, have probably only been exposed to PS - and no real first hand experience with hs'ers - those bumpkins you mentioned notwithstanding. (I have a hard time believing ANYONE is that ignorant, however, but possibly so.)

All we're trying to say here is please take a minute to truly educate yourself about this OPTION. It is a wonderful one - and sometimes ONLY one - for some children. Who knows? Maybe even your own, someday. ;)
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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #168
170. Just to let you know..
I work in an educational cooperative so I have a vast amount of hs families along with public/private school families. I also live in Michigan where we have schools of choice......

Snip
As for doing both - "schools" take up way too much time for a serious student. All that changing classes and raising your hand to go to the bathroom. All that time spent with ENDLESS review for those who didn't get it the first time - or the first 24 times! All that time spent on skimming the surface and memorizing "stuff" that's going to be "ON THE TEST!" Gasp. Never mind that within three weeks of said test that the kids who "aced" that test, would more than likely do quite poorly on the identical test given again.

I am not "anti public school".

Never heard of too much education but whatever. It doesn't seem that you have a grasp on current educational trends but then we live in different parts of the country and I don't believe your state has schools of choice - huge difference.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #170
173. Au contraire
We have magnet and charter schools here.

Current educational trends - please enlighten me.

I wasn't complaining about "too much education" - but too much BUSY WORK. Big diff. And too much wasted time spent on things that are NOT learning! Ya know?

My daughter went to one of the top ranked highschools in the Country. My younger son is currently in a bilingual Montessori charter school. My middle son - before we started to hs was in a magnet school. (I also - in the past - had foster children that attended other PS in the area.)

My middle son heard these things from his teachers -

1. You're not supposed to know that yet.
2. Oh, let's not talk about that, it's confusing to the other kids who don't know that yet.
3. Finished already? Why don't you go read a book?
4. Surely you're not done with that, why don't you go over it again. And again.
5. No, I don't know WHY - (fill in the subject of your choice) - that's not important right now.
6. No, I don't have anything else you can do. Just sit quietly until everyone else is done.

(SIGH)

FYI - my son is NOT profoundly nor even highly gifted - just PDS (pretty darn smart) who liked to go in-depth into the subjects he was learning about.


Did you get a chance to read the articles?

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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #173
180. How much does it cost to send your child to a charter school?
Don't you think that every child, even those of poor parents, should have the same educational advantages? The right thing to do is to make your own public school system the best by your involvement. Taking your child to a for "pay" school means you don't really care about the others in your community.

In Michigan we have "Schools of Choice". This does not include some private schools and does not include any parochial schools. Public schools may woo any child that would like to attend their schools. Is your child into performing arts? The district over here has a high school specifically for performing arts. We have schools for the gifted, for the at-risk, for engineering, for medical studies etc. All are free.

You don't like your schools? Get involved, very involved. Be part of the curric. committee, be part of the hiring committee etc. To fight only for your child is against what we stand for.

Yes I have read your articles but I see they don't include how homeschoolers fare in work environments. How do they fit in as colleagues? There aren't any articles listed about those children who are homeschooled so that their parents may abuse them at will. How about children of school drop-outs, how is there education going? You went to public school. I am sure you still have friends from school and go to reunions etc. How will your child feel when he doesn't have life long friends or never been to a school dance? I wouldn't want my kids to miss one thing like that.
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danimich1 Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #180
185. Interesting argument
"Don't you think that every child, even those of poor parents, should have the same educational advantages? The right thing to do is to make your own public school system the best by your involvement."

Using your logic, I should take all the food that my children eat and give it to community kitchens, then stand in line at the soup kitchen to feed them every night, while arguing for better soup.

My tax dollars are contributing to the funding of the public school system, and there are many administrators that have been hired to create a decent public school system. I have contributed to that system and can use it if I choose. However, it is MY choice whether I will send my child to that public school or not. It is also MY choice to use our city's pools, parks, etc.

It is your choice to use the public school system. You have no right to judge those who do not.

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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #185
270. Yes you should give to food closets
You absolutely should! Our kids do a minimum of 10 hours a week of charity work. We live our beliefs. That was the dumbest thing I ever heard. Someone said above - Garden Variety Democrat.

We just had two patrons battling at the library a while ago. One hs mom and a ps dad. Mom was insisting that the library create (with tax dollars) a hs only section. Ps dad said, "I have already provided an education for your children with my tax dollars, I will be damned if I am going to fund them again". Very good analogy. Interesting to note that most hs families are the first to vote down services to the community with tax dollars.

How involved are you in your community? How involved are your kids in the community?
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #270
272. You're kidding, right?
Nothing you wrote had anything to do with Dani's relpy. Indeed, you totally misconstrued her analogy.

And please provide the evidence to support your claim that "Interesting to note that most hs families are the first to vote down services to the community with tax dollars."

As for "How involved are you in your community? How involved are your kids in the community?" - I got a majority on city council elected with my strategy, routed the local de-amalgamation group which would have crippled us financially, helped organize resistance to the province's abuse of property taxes, ... As for my son, he's three with delayed language disorder, how involved does he have to be to meet your standards?

You know, before you ask questions like that, you might pause and ask yourself whether the person you are attempting to indict might not have very valid personal reasons for not listing a true-blue curricula vitae.
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danimich1 Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #270
273. "That was the dumbest thing I ever heard."
It is interesting that you call my analogy "dumb." I vaguely remember hearing that defense when I was in grade school -- when an opponent would call something or someone "dumb" because he/she couldn't think of an educated retort.

"Interesting to note that most hs families are the first to vote down services to the community with tax dollars."

My, you certainly have unique access to the thinking and activities of all homeschoolers.

It seems that you have found the perfect forum to spew your venom against homeschoolers. I hope you're having fun.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #180
199. Schools of Choice
Your Schools of Choice sound closer to what I've been talking about than any other secular institution I've heard of.

When did they start? How are they doing? Are there other states doing this? Are they equally available to all (locations)?

"How will your child feel when he doesn't have life long friends or never been to a school dance? I wouldn't want my kids to miss one thing like that." - I met my life-long friends when I was in my early twenties. I met my wife when I was late-thirties. I was the year-book photgrapher, so I didn't go to dances with a date: I went with a camera ;-)

Not every child is going to be a social butterfly. Some of us were/are more like caterpillars who really didn't blossom until -after- high school. While it is great to have an ideal and work towards it, I think you shouldn't expect all of us to hold it up in as high a regard as you do.

"To fight only for your child is against what we stand for." - sometimes we lead by example. But more than that is the implication that children are interchangeable, identical. If I fight for -my- child because he has a learning disability, how have I betrayed all the others by not allowing my son to fail in the PS system, which he'd surely do?

If the purpose of education is to achieve -every- child's potential, what excuse would I offer if I do not fight for -my- child's successful education. If that cannot be accomplished in the PS system, or if I disagree with components of the PS system because they interfere with successful learning, how do I abdicate my responsibility to -my- child by insisting he fail in the PS system?

"Be part of the curric. committee, be part of the hiring committee" - except you are still but one voice and can be out-voted. Failing my son by democratic method does not make failure any more palatable. Look at Kansas for an example of a curriculum process gone berserk, yet completely democratic. Hiring is fine if you get the teachers you want to educate your child. But that rarely happens unless you can pull strings (and 99% of parents can't).

"Don't you think that every child, even those of poor parents, should have the same educational advantages? The right thing to do is to make your own public school system the best by your involvement. Taking your child to a for "pay" school means you don't really care about the others in your community." - actually I see it quite the reverse. Successfully educating my son to contribute to society shows I care very much about others, including my son.

Indeed, by pulling my son from the PS system while continuing to contribute taxes to it, I'm ensuring the tax dollar goes further by reducing the number of kids that need to be funded by those taxes.

Of course, I don't support that paradigm. But that is the reality as it exists now.
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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #199
274. I will ignore the Canadian and I love Canada
Different schools, different system etc.

When I said it was the dumbest argument - the argument was "I should give food to a food closet". Yes she should give food to a food closet. How is that NOT a stupid sentence?

FYI - we do both. We send our kids to school and we homeschool. We don't feel we own our children. The little comment about "not being social butterflies..." Let me translate that. You did not do well socially in school so you project this onto your children and "shield" them from the meanies at school. I am just saying I feel bad for hs kids. You can spot them 20 feet away.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #274
275. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #180
219. Charter schools
ARE public schools here. Just run independently from the "local school board" - but still subject to state requirements on education. It's kinda like a private school, only it receives public funding, and you can get in only by blind lottery - just like the rest of the magnet schools.

**There aren't any articles listed about those children who are homeschooled so that their parents may abuse them at will. **

Oh please. The vast majority of abused children attend public schools. This is a non-argument, IMHO. Are there crappy hs parents, sure. I've said that over and over. But they're crappy parents, period and would still be a crappy parent if said children were in PS.

Some HS'ers are very successful in college and in life. Some aren't. Just like kids in PS.

I WAS very active in the school where my son went - PTA, volunteer in the classroom, etc. Didn't stop the school from mentally abusing my child, though did it?

I believe in PS - I've said that repeatedly - but it is NOT for every child.

HSing is a CHOICE and sometimes it's the best and/or only choice for some kids. Why do you begrudge the chance for SOME kids to receive the best form of education available to them?



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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #180
220. One more time, Trixie
OUR KIDS ARE NOT KEPT IN ISOLATION!

** How will your child feel when he doesn't have life long friends or never been to a school dance? I wouldn't want my kids to miss one thing like that.**

My son has lots of friends, including the neighborhood PS ones and the ones from gymnastics and kung fu and soccer and baseball and swimteam and dance and his science co-op and his HS group(s) that he attends regularly, as well as his volunteer work with one of the local pet adoption groups, plus he does pet sitting in the neighborhood. We have game day once a month (chess, stratego, risk, etc.) We meet weekly for just "play time". We get together for special projects and field trips with others frequently. Oh yeah, he and another hs'er are planning to start a Birthday party business. He's a magician/juggler/ballontwister and she's an excellent artist that does face painting, decorations and story-telling.

Whew. When DO we find time to actually homeschool! Ok - I fess up - we carschool a lot!

:rofl:
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #220
247. Oh no you don't...
"CARSCHOOL"

Look, on behalf of the AHSA (Anonymous Home-Schoolers Association) I've been asked to ask you to refrain from introducing any more new "school" types. If you will examine your secret decoder and dial up code 22B you will find you are prohibited from mentioning such things as "carschool", "busschool", "canoeschool" and most especially the "school of the absurd".

People are confused enough.

You are still permitted to mention "ballet school", "music school", and of course the "school for thumbing your nose at control freaks".

We of the AHSA appreciate your conformance to these policies.

If we may be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to let us know.

=8-}
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #247
254. I forgot . . .
we weren't supposed to tell the ps'ers about CARschooling. zzzzzzzzziiiipppp - mum's the word!

:rofl:
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #180
225. forgot to mention
his Saturday Chinese classes and the two week chinese camp he attends in the summer, plus various other and sundry summer camps.

AND he volunteers two hours a week as a library page. When he turns 13 he'll get to be a Jr. curator at the Science museum - he's been counting down the days since he was 5!

Plus he'd live at the skate park if it were up to him. :)

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #168
201. One HS kid I know,
the daughter of a psychiatrist and a nurse practitioner, is 10 years old and can't read!! Not a word! Her Sunday School teacher tells me she has to be careful not to ask her to read, in fear of embarassing her. Her parents say "She'll read when she feels the need. We're not going to push her." What a load!! What if she doesn't "feel the need" until she's 20...or ever?!

Oh, yeah, this is better than the PS
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 04:51 AM
Response to Reply #201
209. My son is learning to read at three as part of his HS therapy...
...he can already identify all the letters in any word, recognizes close to three hundred words now by sight.

We use a chalk board to spell out words to help him learn to pronounce them. But the side-effect is he's learning to read as well as speak.

It's a mistake to use any one case of HS to stereotype all HSers.

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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #201
221. That is a theory of even some
"real schools", btw......

And from what I know of people who let their kids read "when they're ready" - they catch up and surpass most of their PS peers. (Granted, this is all antecdotal information, but true nonetheless.)

All three of my children read at 4 years old, btw.

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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #201
256. Some hsers learn to read "late", as well as some students at Sudbury
Valley-type schools, who learn to read when they want to. But, as mentioned above, they catch up very quickly and by age 13 or 14 you can't tell the difference. (Also see "Homeschooling for Excellence" by the Colfaxes - even their son who learned to read "late" still got into Harvard (undergrad as well as Harvard Med, I believe).

Not everyone has to be on the same timetable. People who are used to the "factory model" or assembly-line type of schooling find it very hard to accept this, but it's true.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
181. So lemme guess, teacher is irrelevant?
Are we to believe not so much the "school" part but the "home" part does the trick?
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #181
222. Individualized attention and
tailored lesson plans designed for the child's learning style. You can easily accommodate their weaknesses and play to their strengths.

Any "real" teacher will tell you that small class ratios increase learning. The more one-on-one time a child gets, the more optimal the learning experience. :shrug:

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countingbluecars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #222
240. Smaller class sizes and
programs planned to accommodate individual learning styles! That is exactly where the money should be going. Instead we are funding testing mandated by NCLB.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #240
241. Yep.
EVERY student should have an IEP, IMHO.

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Xenotime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
187. You KNOW the parents did the work for him...
why are people homeschooling anyway? Ridiculous.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #187
223. you obviously didn't read the article
These kids are GRILLED by professionals.

He's extremely gifted and deserves every bit of it. The hs'ing wasn't what MADE him brilliant, he was born that way, but it certainly - for him - optimized his educational experience. PS's are not equipped to deal with the extremely gifted.
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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
188. I home-churched my kids
I was just too worried about the influences of the liberal ministers and members of the congregations. No telling what someone might tell my impressionable kids. Like how the Bible was written as metaphor, in the language of the times. It's not to be taken literally.
And how it's been translated and rewritten, according to cultural beliefs of the time. Or how certain books were deleted.
Can't have my kids learning those kinds of facts.
Too "sciencey".
(I hope you know I'm kidding.)

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #188
203. here's the scary thing
There really is a "home church" movement, for most of the reasons you mention.

Me, I'm one of those liberal ministers who "believes" in metaphor and evolution and public schools and other frightening ideas.
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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #203
207. We love all you liberal ministers
and I have a great appreciation for the Presbyterian ministers who led my church during my childhood. They were part of the Civil Rights movement, women's rights movement, environmentally conscious, and anti-war.
And they taught us all about the true meaning of Christianity.
Bless you.
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enki23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
190. "man lives to 110 on a diet of nothing but beer and pretzels!"
so what?
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Nobody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
192. Doesn't that just say a great deal?
First off, the only polite thing to say to this young man is "Congratulations!" I sincerely hope he has many more successes.

My comment is that we're going to see a lot more homeschooled kids winning academic awards and leaving all the rest of us behind. Look what the right wing nutjobs are doing to our schools! They're taking the science out of science class.

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-05 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #192
204. Yeah,
but a lot of HS ARE right wingnuts. Probably most.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
213. A nice quote from a homeschooling friend
"Public schools should be like public libraries--well funded educational resouorce centers that people can voluntarily participate in to the degree it suits them."

Not a bad analogy--libraries are much loved, and the main gripe I hear is not enough hours open.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #213
226. I'm late to this thread
but I think I have a unique perspective. I teach in an Exceptional Student Ed. facility that deals with a wide range of exceptionalities. Right now I teach gifted kids (in FL that means IQ of 135+) grades k-8. They leave their schools, including private schools, (or their homes) and travel by bus where I teach them for 2.5-5.0 hours a week. I have been teaching since 1972 and in this center since 1987.

I teach a lot of home-schooled kids. (obviously they are not completely home-schooled because they come to me one day a week) It is presently evenly divided between religious preference and more liberal motivations. Also, the children of doctors, lawyers, lobbyists (state capital) are a good portion of this number because they can afford for Mom to stay home. I have one Dad that stays home at this time. In addition, we have a couple of very "brittle" diabetes cases whose parents attend with the child for hourly blood monitoring.

I find as a rule (there have been very few exceptions) that homeschooled kids exhibit more curiosity, have a wider range of factual knowledge, read well, BUT less writing and math ability. I believe that the structured aspect of PS, with the rote and repeat does produce better skills in those areas, and I think parents have a hard time pushing their kids at home to do that boring stuff. We have had about six or eight prodigies in the time I have been here, who did things like got their PhD before 18 because they were done with the HS curriculum at 12 or so.

I have not really seen a deficit with these kids as far as "getting along" socially, however, this is a unique environment and not the wide range of social behaviors they would find in the PS.

I have, on various occasions, counseled a parent to pull a child out of school. My personal preference, and my daughter will be doing this with her children, is to put the child in PS and see how it goes .. in most cases (unless there is an obvious problem early on). If the child has extreme problems socially, or is bored to tears, then it is time for a change. And of course a lot of it depends on the teaching parent. It takes intellectual curiosity mixed with a good dose of demanding of excellence to home school effectively.

My grandson right now is 2 and totally at home, but we can see he is READY FOR CIRCLE TIME! In the grocery store when he sees children he calls out "Come back!" He really needs some interaction and we'll be enrolling him in a nursery school for a few mornings a week.

One last thing I would like to say is that I have encountered, sadly, some parents (few, but enough to be disturbing) who homeschool to keep the State out of their lives. Some of these folks have drug/alcohol problems and can't get the child ready for school with any regularity. A few of them have mental conditions such as paranoia that also plays into a need for more privacy with their parenting.

TG
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #226
249. Better late than never...
...this thread is in its fifth day and shows no sign of slacking.

Thanks for giving us some idea of the variety you've taught. I hope you'll share more of your insights.

I noticed earlier today you'd said something (in anothe thread) to the effect that your ideas for education might be too radical for people on this board. I don't suppose I could persuade you to share them here, could I?

I can't speak for others but I would -love- to hear them. And I'd hate to think I'd missed the opportunity to ask you for them.

Thanks for thinking about it.


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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #249
260. My "radical" concepts have to do with the current
model of education, which really isn't very old. I'm not an educational historian, but I'm guessing the one teacher/one classroom is only a couple of centuries old. I believe that we have over simplified and over specialized education at the same time. We have over-simplified by putting hundreds or even thousands of similarly-aged kids in the same place. I don't believe we evolved to be able to even DEAL with that number of individuals at one time. It is mind boggling and I think it leads to dis-ease on the part of both some (not all) children and most teachers. We have over specialized because once we GOT all those kids in the same place we then had to fragment them into specialized groups (ESE, gifted, music, art, PE, etc.) because we have so many kids in one place we can't begin to meet their needs without a full array of specialists. I think this warehouse approach is especially problematic in middle and high school where adolescents have so very many peer issues. Columbine wasn't just about guns..it was about alienation and isolation within a crowd. But the high school is almost mythical in American culture and my God, what about FOOTBALL? And marching band? And cheerleaders? But I submit that isolating each age group from one another fragments the process of educating the "whole child" (I am a product of the Sixties, after all.) I know the good old days weren't all that good in education, but one positive effect of the one room school house was that older students nurtured the younger and what better model for future parenting? And parenting, in the long run is the thing that drives success in education.

And that's my idea and it will never, ever happen. So my classroom is my kingdom and it's cool and I like it.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #260
263. Sounds like Montessori!
Multi-age classrooms where the older students help teach the younger students.

There is also an "experiment" going on in NC with a grant from Bill Gates where they've started some "very small high schools". There are some very good results from this, BUT - and it's a big BUT - the gifted students are not as happy. The other students are doing better, but the Gifted kids feel like the class is moving too slowly and it's been "dumbed down". :(

I think having smaller schools and smaller classrooms - period - would be a good start.
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Nobody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #263
279. This is true of gifted students everywhere
You could have been describing me. There were no gifted student programs in my grade school until after I was already in JH. (JH was a story in itself and by HS I had a lot of catching up to do. Being gifted, I was equal to the task and graduated as an average student with an above average GPA)

Gifted students without extra hard classes get bored fast, as I did.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #279
280. I recall special projects...
...I remember preparing slides for all the constellations for our JH's Resource centre. I had slide frames, black construction paper, scissors and a pin. I'd make larger holes for the brighter stars, etc.

Another special project was to make an 8mm movie. My friend and I did Jekyl & Hyde. It was great, except we used candle-light for lighting. We used over a dozen, and thought we'd had enough. But we ended up with about 20 minutes of black. Although the moon and the candle flame were bright enough to be seen, nothing else was.

But it was a learning experience. Aside from the makeup and stop-motion photography, we learned to provide enough lighting.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #260
264. I truly bow before your wisdom...
...thank you for sharing that.

Paleo-anthropology (along with most sciences) has been a hobby of mine since I was knee-high. While physical changes were interesting, it was the social order and sruvival strategies that intrigued me the most.

The history of ideas and society has also been of interest to me.

The two give me an interesting perspective on today's trends.

I too am a product of the '60s. I mentioned in another reply in this thread that free spirit and compassion are the hallmarks of the modern Liberal philosophy, as I hold it. I think that's becoming an anachronism in this day and age. Even the left has drifted right, tho' there are still hold-outs :-)

You mentioned isolation and alienation as problems, and I'm in total agreement there. But it isn't just limited to the crowd. I think there is a fundamental loss of security in our society because of the alienation and isolation created between parents and children.

And it starts remarkably early. I've heard stats that suggest up to 75% of toddlers are in daycare while the parents work. For some it comes even earlier with babysitters for infants.

Once children enter the ECE-PS continuum, they are effectively abandoned for several hours each day, quite likely the whole work day with older, latch-key kids. There is no parental interest or concern expressed and no protection offered for several hours each day, every school day, every year.

This cutting off from the family support group creates a sense of isolation and alienation which the school crowd fills. Thus the 'gang' is born. By 'gang' I mean the original sense, a group of kids who hang out together and watch out for each other. Whether it becomes criminal or not depends upon other factors.

But the 'gang' comes with problems, like the need to conform to an image. If you don't go along with the gang, you don't belong in the gang. This places enormous pressure on children who have already suffered the virtual loss of their parents every school day and who have found solace in a gang.

And then there are the kids who don't fit within the existing gangs. Their isolation and alienation can be formidable.

Thanks for telling me that "high school is almost mythical in American culture". It's not here and that is an insight which explains some of the behaviour I've witnessed in these discussions.

"And parenting, in the long run is the thing that drives success in education." I agree. But what worries me is the outsourcing of parenting that begins with ECE and continues with the PS system. My concern is that parents are losing skills they once had in abundance, because they're not doing those things anymore.

Between the high divorce rate, the 'work-till-you-drop' work ethic, kids being dumped into state-run institutions at the earliest age possible to permit parents to work rather than raise their children...and the more recent political trends towards RW authoritarianism, I'm truly worried for the world my son will inherit (he's 3+).

Last thing I want for him is to turn him into a sheep.

"never ever happen" I don't believe that. You may be right, but I don't want to believe it. The future is too Orwellian to contemplate if I give up hope of change.

"So my classroom is my kingdom and it's cool and I like it." And why couldn't I have had -you- as a teacher :-) I had three teachers who influenced me profoundly:

Mr. Dodd - looked and sounded like James Mason, taught English and encouraged me to voice my opinion.
Mrs. Ross - taught English, encouraged me to write.
Mr. French - taught World Religions and brought each one to life for us. Learned a lot about patience and tolerance for different ideas from him.

Three out of sixty-odd teachers. And I was in a "good" district.

Ever considered teaching people how to teach?
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #213
259. I LOVE this quote, and said something very similar in a discussion over
Thanksgiving.
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
229. Better home-schooled than schooled in Kansas
Since his parents are scientists, at least this kid got a decent science education that almost certainly mentioned the verboten word "Evolution."
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #229
242. Actually we have great schools here in Kansas
And the new standards don't take effect till AFTER the next state board election. So there is plenty of time to fix the mess.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #242
251. "So there is plenty of time to fix the mess"...
...assuming the majority vote for change, or have you forgotten how they got -into- this "mess"?
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #229
250. Yep...
...and it is sad that so many PS students either won't or will only in conjuction with something like ID.

I take it there are no secular alternatives in Kansas?

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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
232. There are Publicly Educated Children winning scholarships
all over the country but they are the "norm", so when a home schooled child, who is also a prodigy, wins a scholarship because he is a math genius it is newsworthy.

However it does not mean that homeschooling will result in your child being a prodigy or a genius.

I went to school on engineering scholarships and I went to public school.

My nephews, both at Carnegie Mellon, have scholarships and are public school graduates and the one has been on the Dean's list at CMU....

Education has more to do with the way the child and his/her family approach education. A home environment that is very concerned with education and that values education will produce well-educated children.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #232
237. My sister in law teaches in a private school...
Both her kids went to public school. One has her Masters's & the other is thinking about grad school.

Obviously, the home environment was pro-education. But the girls went to college on athletic scholarships--for which they would probably not have qualified without the public school athletic program.

Whatever works.

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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #232
265. Excellent points, Bleedingheart
The public schools here (Atlanta, GA) graduate kids with perfect SATs who are grabbed up by the Ivy Leagues. Motivation and support are key. And public school teachers do their jobs well. But the home environment, as you mention, is crucial.
I worry for many home-schooled kids. Not all, of course. It's about the parents wanting ultimate control, with no other adult having any supervision of their child. Ever. No teacher to report to the authorities (as teachers are required to do) signs of abuse. No teachers to challenge parental views. Which is a normal part of growing up. The child must make that journey of separation from the parent. The child must find their way as an individual.
My daughter graduated from a small liberal arts college here in Georgia, Berry College. The home-schooled kids who attended Berry did not assimilate well. They didn't understand that professors aren't "Mom". You have to wait your turn to answer questions. You have to show respect and follow protocol. You sometimes have to work as part of a team.
There is more to education than memorizing facts. Emotional maturity that comes from varied experiences is also critical to growth.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-05 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #265
266. Who Watches the Watchers?
"I worry for many home-schooled kids. Not all, of course. It's about the parents wanting ultimate control, with no other adult having any supervision of their child. Ever. No teacher to report to the authorities (as teachers are required to do) signs of abuse."

I've always been fascinated by people who conduct a 'trial by innuendo'.

Perhaps we can install cameras in every room of every home, just to be sure nothing is happening in these houses where parents manage to avoid any supervision by the state. We could put signs up underneath the cameras saying "Big Brother is your Friend". Perhaps surprise inspections in the middle of the night, rushing kids off for medical exams to ensure they're not being abused.

Nothing like a little paranoia before we engage in hysteria.

"No teachers to challenge parental views."

And who challenges the teacher's view? And who challenges the view of the person who challenges the teacher's view, etc ad infinitum?

"Which is a normal part of growing up."

Really? Says who?

"The child must make that journey of separation from the parent. The child must find their way as an individual."

By being separated from his/her parents at three for daycare, or earlier for babysitting? What journal are you reading that provides an age where a child must begin this journey without family around? What journal tells you that family involvement in a child's life stunts their individuality? What studies have tested this and demonstrated a particular age to be optimal?

Or is this stuff you've made up to justify the paranoia?

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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #266
267. You're over-reacting
I specifically said I worry for some home-schoolers. My daughter works for social services. There is an element, clearly not you, of religiously fundamentalist parents who demand ultimate control over their children. The children are possessions. You no doubt encountered this form of parenting in the extreme case of Andrea Yates. When problems exist within the household, there are no safety nets for the children. No teachers. No friends. No neighbors allowed access to the household. The home has become a carefully guarded camp. Until something goes horribly wrong and social services has to become involved. O the police.
You don't need journals to document this. You just need to read the newspapers.
I'm guessing that my experiences in public schools were much more positive than yours. You seem to bear quite a bit of resentment toward teachers and formal education. And, no doubt, that is why you don't want your child to experience what you did.
I respect your decision. Though it's difficult for me to understand.
The majority of my teachers (with only a couple of burn outs) were motivated, engaging people who introduced me to the sciences, literature, math, foreign languages, geography, social sciences, history, and political science. They were creative and inspiring.
In addition, I have wonderful memories of playing field hockey, basketball, volleyball, swimming, and running track with my classmates. I was a cheerleader and member of the band. I was in student council and on the yearbook staff. I was part of a team. I learned how to work with my friends to accomplish a goal.
Plus, there was the natural progression of interaction with the opposite sex. We were in classrooms together from first grade through college graduation. This kind of interaction is invaluable. You work through your fears, crushes, and learn what you truly value.
You might discount this. But what about your child? You've made the decision all of these experiences are off limits. This was your decision, right? Not his/hers. You have decided that all of these activities are negligible. The excitement before homecoming. The speeches from students running for office. The class trips to museums. The team projects.
You were unhappy. So, you've decided that your child would be, too.
Not all of us had negative experiences with our education. Many of us thrived and have life long friends from those days. Many of us look back and are grateful to our teachers who worked so hard and shared so much.
Our fear is that the home-schooled child will miss so much that we found rewarding and fulfilling.
If you had our perspective of an enriching school background, you would have more respect for our beliefs.
But you've made your decision and your concern is justifying that to us. And to yourself.
Just know that many of us had school experiences totally contrary to your views. That is the gulf between us.


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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #267
271. I doubt it...
Edited on Sat Dec-10-05 11:01 AM by Robert Cooper
"I specifically said I worry for some home-schoolers. My daughter works for social services. There is an element, clearly not you, of religiously fundamentalist parents who demand ultimate control over their children. The children are possessions. You no doubt encountered this form of parenting in the extreme case of Andrea Yates. When problems exist within the household, there are no safety nets for the children. No teachers. No friends. No neighbors allowed access to the household. The home has become a carefully guarded camp. Until something goes horribly wrong and social services has to become involved. O the police."

Okay, I'm not keen on the stereotype you've assigned to religious fundamentalists. There are a lot of parents alarmed at the degree of state intervention in parenting. The issue of corporal punishment is an example of those who oppose further state involvement in parenting.

The religious have another reason above that. If they take their role as parent seriously, and seek to raise their child in a strictly Christian environment as they believe they should, they are not likely to find it in society at large. Keeping the kids at home and keeping outside contact to a minimum is not a terribly surprising decision.

Yes, there are some who abuse kids and spouses. There are some in all walks of life, and they are not necessarily picky about who they abuse. The kids abused by those priests were not locked up in a house. They were going to school. Suggesting that isolation somehow equals abuse doesn't wash with me.

We're isolated. You can't live in a forest wilderness and not be isolated. We do not have visitors very often: a function of our remoteness. We have several dogs who keep trespassers off the property, not just the two-legged variety but bears, coyotes and feral dogs.

And on top of that, my son is not expected to attend school till he's six. A lot of abuse can happen in six years.

I disagree with the implication that those of us who are isolated and have little or no contact with state authorities are somehow ripe for abuse. I also disagree that somehow contact with state authorities immunizes a child against abuse.

And throughout you seem to ignore the role of a doctor. There aren't many kids who go for long without seeing one. Kids need shots, prescriptions, broken bones set, yearly physicals, etc. Unless there is a doctor in the family, I don't see how you think they can get around visiting one.

"You don't need journals to document this. You just need to read the newspapers."

Which does not in any way try to compare the number of cases like the one you've described to the number of isolated families who do not abuse their kids. Beware of stereotypes founded on newspaper stories.

"I'm guessing that my experiences in public schools were much more positive than yours. You seem to bear quite a bit of resentment toward teachers and formal education."

Funny, I just got through addressing that in another thread. here are the links I provided to suggest otherwise:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I might also add a quote from Reply #253:
"That I have no respect for control freaks does not translate into no respect for teachers. There are lots of teachers who are not control freaks, and too many who are."

and this one:
"I've never denied that the PS system works for some. I get hell for pointing out it -fails- some. I also get hell for pointing out the damage authoritarianism can do to the free spirit of a defenseless child."
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

"And, no doubt, that is why you don't want your child to experience what you did. I respect your decision. Though it's difficult for me to understand."

I appreciate the effort. Perhaps Reply 158 will help:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

"The majority of my teachers (with only a couple of burn outs) were motivated, engaging people who introduced me to the sciences, literature, math, foreign languages, geography, social sciences, history, and political science. They were creative and inspiring."

I had three teachers like that, and I was in one of the best PS high schools in Toronto.

"In addition, I have wonderful memories of playing field hockey, basketball, volleyball, swimming, and running track with my classmates. I was a cheerleader and member of the band. I was in student council and on the yearbook staff. I was part of a team. I learned how to work with my friends to accomplish a goal."

I too was on council and was head photographer for the yearbook, president of the camera club, president of the chess club, on the stage crew, and was a member of our board's student government (representing my school).

Life was good till I was victimized by authority.

"Plus, there was the natural progression of interaction with the opposite sex. We were in classrooms together from first grade through college graduation. This kind of interaction is invaluable. You work through your fears, crushes, and learn what you truly value."

And would that explain a 50% divorce rate ;-)

"You might discount this. But what about your child? You've made the decision all of these experiences are off limits."

I don't believe I have. Mzteris talks of her child's social life and it certainly sounds full. My son is still a bit young for a social life along those lines. We placed him in a play-group one morning a week and initially things were fine, but he grew tense and agitated over it as the visits came and went. When he started having behavioural problems we stopped and he's learning better behaviour. Come the spring we'll try again, and see how he fares.

"This was your decision, right? Not his/hers."

I don't leave much up to a three year old. That would be abdicating my parental responsibilities. I'm not a supporter of the 'let the kid do what he wants' school of parenting.

He has choice over what he watches on TV, within the limits we establish. We don't have satellite (no cable available) so we don't have commercial TV. We've provided about 40 vocabulary builders (he has delayed language development), several animated movies (he loves "El Dorado" and "Shrek"), as well as some children's cartoons ("Kipper" and "Oswald" are his current favorites). Most of the time he chooses vocabulary builders.

He also has choice over the toys he plays with. We've enough that we have to cycle through them to keep things fresh and not too crowded.

He pretty much has choice over when he eats and we're pretty easy about his choice of snacks (cookie, yogurt, fruit, ice cream). He's very fit and we limit the quantities of cookies he can eat. He has his choice between milk and water (no juice). And on top of that he gets a multivitamin.

He's too young to go outside alone and we're not always able to get out. However, I fixed up the deck with mosquito netting and a tarp for a roof and the area has become an outdoor year-round play area where he can go whenever he wishes and we needn't worry. Next year we plan on building him a play area outside with a slide and swings.

When we are outside, we don't try to tie him down too closely. We like to be able to see him (on a property with about 2000 trees that's not always easy) but he's quite good about coming back when he escapes our sight.

Not sure at what age we'll let him out on his own. I'm figuring I'll know it when I get there. I'll certainly have a better idea the closer we get to that point.

"You have decided that all of these activities are negligible."

No. I haven't. I think there are more important things to learn.

"The excitement before homecoming. The speeches from students running for office. The class trips to museums. The team projects. You were unhappy. So, you've decided that your child would be, too."

I seriously have no idea how you've conjured this image of me.

"Not all of us had negative experiences with our education. Many of us thrived and have life long friends from those days. Many of us look back and are grateful to our teachers who worked so hard and shared so much. Our fear is that the home-schooled child will miss so much that we found rewarding and fulfilling. If you had our perspective of an enriching school background, you would have more respect for our beliefs."

I think I'd have more respect if there was more understanding that not everyone lives identical lives, and it's -okay-.

You have fashioned a template of the 'ideal childhood' and apparently neither I nor my child fits. So you pity us.

I'm sure there are many experiences my son will miss. he won't know what it is like to grow up in a one bedroom apartment with two or three siblings, dodging drug dealers and prostitutes on his way to and from school. He won't get beat up by a bully. He won't have a teacher make a sarcastic remark at his expense, or feel the need to tip tombstones just so he can show the rest of the gang he's not chicken. He won't be tempted to smoke, drink, do drugs. He won't be exposed to bigotry and hatred except as topics to be studied. Yes, it is true he'll miss some of the good stuff, but then lots of kids attending PS miss the good stuff too.

How many fat kids were the centre of attention? How many gays went to the prom dance with their date of choice? Heck how many 'ugly' kids went to the prom at all? How many kids didn't get into clubs? How many had to work after school to help out the family? How many kids didn't make the teams? What about the kids who stutter, the kids who grew tall first and the kids who never grew tall, the kid with the big buck teeth and the kids with glasses, the kids who knew every answer and the kids who never knew the right answer?

Seems your 'ideal childhood' does not apply to all PS kids. Attending PS is no guarantee.

"But you've made your decision and your concern is justifying that to us. And to yourself."

I'd laugh but I realize that you've (presumably) only just seen the links and quotes I provided in this response. I feel no need to justify what I do to anyone but my family.

I talk about my experience either as an example of an issue I'm addressing or because I'm asked or because I've been misrepresented (deliberately or otherwise).

"Just know that many of us had school experiences totally contrary to your views. That is the gulf between us."

And it is unfortunate, because I do not think I'm speaking of one or two isolated experiences, but rather the experiences of many 'uncool' kids who did not have your experience, despite attending PS.

Stats I've quoted say more than 50% of blacks and hispanics in "many" cities drop out of school. Care to tell them your story and encourage them to think well of the PS system that failed them?

It's great that you had your experience, truly. It would be nice if everyone had that experience. Imagine outfitting the entire school as cheerleaders, or for the football team.

Unfortunately, that's not how the PS system works. The PS system is about grading people, some for success and some for failure. I think my son can be better educated without that artificial grading process.

(edit: typos)
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
269. Wondering what Home School College will get the $100,000
college scholarship....
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
276. CAn go both ways
It all depends upon the resources available to the student. I have met home school kids who were heads and shoulders above institution schooled kids and I have met some who were so behind it was frightening. Pretty much depends upon the values, abilities and motives of the parents.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #276
277. same as teachers...
...there are good teachers and bad teachers, as in any profession.

Consider this 'gem':
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
281. The kid's mother was a math professor
and he outdid her at 13, so she sent him to university. He does not represent the typical homeschooled kid, I think.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #281
284. Define "typical"? nt
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #284
293. If you are among the top 98th percentile in intelligence
You are atypical.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #293
296. The point being made here is that there is no such thing...
...as "typical" for HS kids. There are gifted kids, challenged kids, and kids in between.

The idea of "typical" negates the reality of individuality.
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Hypatia82 Donating Member (207 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
294. What's not mentioned....
is that competitions like this are as useful as tits on a boar. For one they take a very narrow view of what constitutes scientific work and related knowledge. And they take a not so nice view of anything practical. What the kid did is nice, but it's just fancy math. If the kid had applied it and come out with his own wing design program or a functional model wing, and presented that? He likely wouldn't have won. Of course had he either or both of those he should be hit over the head with a 40 lb bass for entering a contest.

Personally I find science contests like this great wastes of time and pushing science in the wrong way. There's other contests where the rules defy logical defense. Like competitions for robotics that only accept team entries. So an individual child who has no one else around or just wants to do it on their own is excluded. Worse none of these contests ever consider things like how a person thinks of what they know, do they tutor/teach and so on. The great genius of Einstein wasn't in his theories, it was in that he never thought anything he knew couldn't be learned by anyone else who cared to learn it. Of course his views on schooling, that it should be presented with joy and as a gift not a chore, for starters, don't sit well with the vast majority of educators or reformers.

I think the winner of this contest should be whoever enters with an entry they know won't win because it doesn't meet the unwritten criteria but enters anyways, just to thumb their nose at authority. If there's anything that should be encouraged it is free thinking and a healthy contempt for authority. Neither of which the Westinghouse prize does much about. Or cares about.
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Robert Cooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-13-05 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
300. last chance kick nt
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