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  1. #1

    Default Roll Cal, 4/4 - "Whiz kids??"

    How is everyone doing in their part of the world? I'm itching to get outside and do some yard work this weekend. Even though it's officially spring, last Sunday we had a fierce north wind with wind chills in the teens. Not really work outside weather, although I did tough out a 5K run.

    I came across this article about why so many homeschooled students are "whiz kids." It basically confirmed what I thought all along, that homeschoolers' performance as a whole, when measured against brick-and-mortar school students, is due more to opportunities and individualized education than anything else. They're not "braniacs," just kids who have gotten the opportunity to explore and learn as best fits their style, without all the wasted time on waiting in line, busy work, etc.

    What do you think?
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

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  3. #2

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    Hello!

    It has beeen busy here. Spring is here, finally. I thought winter would never end. We hope to get in the garden this week. Last week was spring break, so we left town for a couple of days. It was nice to get out of the area and do something different.

    I have r more weeks of teaching classes so we will take a homeschool break in May and start back up in June. Now that we are moving into the middle school/jr. high years, things will start changing.

    I read the article and it is like many I have read in the past. There is no empirical data to support their claims. States like California catergerize all homeschoolers as private schools and places like Idaho don’t track them at all. There is no way to tell with enough accuracy. And I have met plenty of parents and families to say this is not the case. To me this is just to make people feel better about homeschooling.
    A mama, who teaches college writing, as well as help her 11-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.
    I also share free and low-cost educational resources at
    http://chooseourownadventures.blogspot.com

  4. #3

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    We had a dose of winter today. Hail and about 50 F. It feels so cold and dismal I am so not looking forward to real winter, which I know is not actually that cold of a a winter but its definitely well below my comfort zone. My aim in life right now is to try save enough $ to get double glazing in at least some of our rooms. To do the whole house would cost about $35k to $50k. So that is more of a if we win Lotto type thing, but hopefully we can get the bedrooms done at least as that is where we have heating from the heat pump. Then the next priority would be the lounge/living room where the fire is.

    Not up to much here. Just trying to keep warm. I should be doing work as I have 58 pages due on Tue next week, which is an insane amount for one day (about 12 hours work), but I just had a really busy week and just want to sit around and do nothing.
    New Zealand-based. DD 11 (year 6 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 6 (year 1 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

  5. #4

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    I thought it was probably a feel-good article, too. Is it based on test scores of college applicant homeschoolers? What tests? Our charter has lower test scores overall, but that may be the demographic homeschools for more reasons than just individualized learning. (Ive met enough homeschooled kids at the charter who seem a little behind. Testing as a novelty works as an excuse for a year or two IMO but my experience (n=1) is that it seems about accurate.)

    I shared the link with our Facilitator, she said the article follows her observations, that the kids with the individualized learning do really well.

    So what the kids get out of it, is what the parents put into it. Homeschooling works, if the parent is willing to put effort in.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

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  6. #5
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    We are headed to AZ for a long weekend to see my dad. We have a house sitter who stays with our dogs. He just finished grad school and works with my husband. I've been madly cleaning my house today - don't want to gross the kid out . It works out well - he gets some extra cash, and for us it is much cheaper than boarding 4 dogs.

    I'm still giving my garden the stink eye. I've planted lettuce so far. I just don't have it in me this year. I'll do a tomato or two, Armenian cucumbers, and okra this year. I think our focus is going to be on our back yard and getting some grass to grow in stubborn spots.

    I think my kids are pretty average academically, but I definitely think that homeschool kids benefit from an individualized education. DS wants to work in law enforcement. Though, obviously he needs a well rounded high school education (the plan is still college), I'd rather him spend extra time studying Krav Maga, psychology, or other skills he will use as a police officer, then endless hours of literary classics.

    It has been fairly cool here high 60s lately, but by the time we get back from AZ, we are looking at 80s! Pool opening day is later next week - eek! Hooray!

    Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!
    Rebecca
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

  7. #6
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    I agree with what the article states as the advantages of homeschooling: individualized instruction and focus; freedom from group think and being treated like just another widget to be formed; and freedom from school violence and bullying. I don't think kids get a pass from peer pressure or friends--they get it more, because they aren't doing what everyone else is doing. They stick out a lot, especially with as simple a question as: "What school do you go to?"

    I wish that articles like these would stop using statistics from mass testing to determine how "successful" homeschooled kids are. Homeschooled kids receive individualized instruction and have the time to pursue their own interests, whether they be academic or not. "Whizzes" come in all varieties, not just the kind that graduate from high school and college early. So mass testing is a terribly inaccurate measure of what kids know or can do. Kids are again flattened and made to fit some sort of yardstick. And values assigned are based on some distant collective.

    Academically, my kid is very average. He chose to leave public school even though he would be leaving his best friend behind, because he couldn't stand doing endless worksheets everyday or sitting at a desk. He's intimidated by thick books like Harry Potter, yet he will pore over bicycle and car manuals and Lego Technic Builder manuals which are heavy in physics and engineering concepts. He also knows how to work a lathe and welder and power tools.

    Homeschooling allows for the development of individual gifts and leanings and the trying on of many different hats. The goal of mass education is to ensure that all students know certain basic skills, and that the entire operation runs as smoothly as possible, hence time spent herding and controlling large groups. Individual talents are often undeveloped or discouraged--unless they fall within the values of the school. So how is it fair that all these kids are measured in the same way?

    Anyways...sorry for the mini-treatise. On another note, I've been shoe shopping. My running shoes (Mizunos) finally got too worn to wear, so I had to replace them. I usually go to a running store and buy orthopedic inserts as well, which has sometimes run me $200. This time, I discovered that there are people on eBay who sell Mizunos in new or like new condition because they somehow didn't work out. I bought three different pairs and a pair of ortho inserts for half my usual cost. Very happy!
    Last edited by vicsmom; 04-05-2019 at 10:03 AM.
    Homeschooling an only, DS9

  8. #7

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    "Whizzes" come in all varieties, not just the kind that graduate from high school and college early. So mass testing is a terribly inaccurate measure of what kids know or can do. Kids are again flattened and made to fit some sort of yardstick. And values assigned are based on some distant collective.
    Love it! It's one of the many reasons I don't think I could ever return to the public school "machine" and teach. I have so many philosophical differences with how the system is run I'd constantly be arguing with administrators and be frustrated by the lack of being able to teach the way I think the kids need to be reached.

    And rant away! I love that we take bits of conversation and run with them on this sub-forum. That's the point.

    And kudos to you, Vicsmom, by your shoe find. I keep running in mine for longer than I should, because I'm cheap. I do splurge and have two pair at any time--one for road runs and one for trail runs. Right now, the trail ones are more than half way covered with mud, as spring has been a bit wet around here!
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  9. #8
    Senior Member Enlightened
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    I have had the same exact thoughts about returning to teach public school. Couldn't and wouldn't do it. I hate the way the system treats kids. Cruelty and indifference instead of kindness. Conformity instead of individual enterprise. Nonsensical rules like having to raise your hand and having someone else decide whether you get to use the restroom. I love teaching but I just think that model doesn't work.

    I'm cheap too, but I won't wear anything but Mizunos...they treat my feet right!
    Homeschooling an only, DS9

  10. #9

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    RTB, I don't know if your family would be interested in this, but the 2019 Senior Games are in Albuquerque on June 14-25. It's basically sports competition for ages 50+ for the United States. Sometimes it's also known as Masters' Competition. My sister goes to the international meets (she's a 58 year old sprinter, with world records), so in past years she's been in New Zealand, Spain, Rio.

    The athletes can surprise you with the ability (given their age) and be very inspirational. They compete in 5 year age brackets--50 to 54, 55-59, etc.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by inmom View Post
    RTB, I don't know if your family would be interested in this, but the 2019 Senior Games are in Albuquerque on June 14-25. It's basically sports competition for ages 50+ for the United States. Sometimes it's also known as Masters' Competition. My sister goes to the international meets (she's a 58 year old sprinter, with world records), so in past years she's been in New Zealand, Spain, Rio.

    The athletes can surprise you with the ability (given their age) and be very inspirational. They compete in 5 year age brackets--50 to 54, 55-59, etc.
    Sorry so long to respond - just go back from AZ.

    I've seen a fair amount about this, but it never crossed my mind to attend it for some reason. I'll have to look into it. DH likes to tell the story of how he cycle raced in college and got passed up a hill by a 70 year old! There are some amazing senior athletes out there.
    Rebecca
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

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Roll Cal, 4/4 - "Whiz kids??"