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Holes in a child's education
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Ramona
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Joined: 15 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:24 pm    Post subject: Holes in a child's education Reply with quote

OK--this has been bugging me for several months now.

A friend of mine used to tell me that she wished she'd homeschooled her kids, but since her youngest was in 11th grade it was too late to start.

Then one day she told me that she'd talked to a girl who'd been homeschooled from about 2nd grade on and was in her first year at college. This girl had said that during her first semester she'd discovered that there were a few holes in her education.

Ever since then, this friend keeps telling me that homeschooling is a second-class choice because it leaves holes, and that she's glad she didn't homeschool after all.

Then she told me that she's horrified and worried because her 3rd child says he's going to require his wife to homeschool their children. She asks me what she's done wrong as a mother to raise a son who doesn't want his kids to go to public school. She wants to know what my parents did wrong that makes me prefer a second-class education for my kids.

The whole thing is so out-of-hand!

I want to point out to her that there are huge, gigantic, humongous holes in her kids' educations, too--just different ones from the homeschooled girl's holes. But I don't know how to bring it up now. It just bugs me that I haven't ever said this to her when she was railing on about it.

For one thing, she was recently teaching a class that my two oldest were in at church and mentioned something about the distance from the earth to the sun. My DD threw in "93 million miles" just so they'd have a number to use in the conversation, and this woman was shocked that a high school kid knew that number and could remember it. None of the PS kids in the class remembered it, and my 2 kids were shocked at that. It's been a no-brainer to them since like 2nd grade. They were shocked that this adult teacher didn't remember the number.

She left the discussion about space and went into this whole thing in front of the whole class about how could my kids know something like that, and when did they have time to learn it and what method did they use to remember it and why did they spend time learning facts like that, and she wasn't sure the number was right and couldn't believe that they actually do learn things like that and on and on.

And yet she thinks that my kids' education is second-class and has holes in???

Oh, please!

Just had to get that off my chest.

Ramona
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Sunnymom
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Joined: 07 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry to say this about your friend, but she doesn't sound very sensible or rational. Of course everyone has 'holes' in their education, unless perhaps they are from Vulcan.

The thing about PS that IMO makes it so ineffecient is that the students sit for 12 years passively absorbing a wide range of information geared to appeal to the broadest range of interests. Only until one goes to college does one attempt to 'focus' on one's talents and interests in order to declare a major or specialty. When one homeschools, one can begin this process WAY before the end of high school. Heck, I am there now with my 10 yob and 8 yog, and my firstborn (now 19) knew what he was going to do when he was 12, pursued it, and is doing it right now.

And who really knows or cares about the names of the moons of Saturn, unless you work at NASA? KWIM?

Let your friend rant, and you can probably be glad that she doesn't HS- can you imagine her trying to teach her kids every single factoid in the universe for fear of a 'hole'?
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Calla_Dragon
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that people expect homeschooling to give kids some sort of "super education" as in kids can pull just about any piece of information out of their brains at any time. For people to choose such a divergent method of education, it must be really, really good. Not to say that homeschooling isn't really, really good, but people seem to have some really unacceptable and irrational expectations about what homeschooling can give a child.

No child...no person, for that matter, can know it all. Everyone is going to have holes and gaps in their knowledge bank. That's why life long learning is such a critical thing, IMO. If you know you don't know something and you'd like to know it, go learn it. The problem is that after 13 years in the public school system and 4-8 years of college, a person's love of learning is pretty much shot (not to mention trying to get a career off the ground and repay sometimes massive student loans) so the last thing the average person wants to do is initiate learning on their own about the subject of their choice - something homeschool kids have grown up doing.

There is a level at which a person is functional and there is a level at which people are deemed "highly educated", "well-read", whatever the current catch phrase is for it these days. Sadly, people most often equate many years in school with "highly educated" and the two are mutually exclusive (as in you couldn't possibly be highly educated or well-read if you haven't spent 13 years in public school and 6-8 years in college). No matter that kids coming out of public school are barely functional and definately cannot be considered "highly educated". This is the notion that homeschhoolers run directly against since our kids technically skip those 13 years in school and may or may not choose to go on to college or grab a post-secondary education unconventionally.

When you buck the status quo, those who have not bothered to check into it for themselves will believe just about anything - most of it is negative, unfortunately and they'll do just about anything to put it away in their brains as nonsense so they can feel justified in continuing doing things the way they're doing things and that they're in the right while we're very much in the wrong - facts are of no consequence in this thought process either. This is the essence of the anti-homeschool contingent, IMO.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You just cover as much material as you can, and test every year or two in grade school to identify any weak areas. Homeschoolers may appear to have more of these weak areas because they focus more narrowly and specialize more, meaning they may be far advanced in some areas and barely scraping along in one or two, but this all evens out when they hit high school and have a rigid set of requirements for graduation / entrance to college - and specialization means homeschoolers are more likely to know what major / area of business they want to go into, and be able to compete better there.

Public school students, on the other hand, are forced to stay at the grade level of their worst subject, meaning they are unable to move ahead in the subjects they're best at. Saying that that way of doing things is better than homeschooling is like saying that communism is better than capitalism, because it makes everyone equally poor. Equal and mediocre is the name of the game!

I'm all for having a well-rounded education, but that has very little to do with having the same grade level in all subjects.
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seekingmyLord
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Joined: 04 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to look for the question, the one begging to be asked. The one that gives her the chance to defend her position.

"Do you know of anyone without holes in their education?"
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Redhead
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds more to me like this woman had a big regret about homeschooling and was probably feeling guilty about not having done it. When she heard what was, no doubt, an innocuous comment about homeschooling, she pounced on it for all it was worth to try to rationalize her not having homeschooled (and thus alleviating her guilt).

I don't care if someone public schools, private schools, or homeschools his/her child. There will be holes! Kids aren't all getting identical educations even in public schools. Different curricula plus different teachers is going to equal different emphasis on some subject matter.

Personally, I had gaping holes in my world history after graduation public school. Why? We spent over 6 weeks on the Punic Wars. We never made it to the French Revolution, let alone anything beyond that time in history.

Again, I'm sure this is just her way of trying to assuage her own feelings about having not homeschooled. So long as she clings to this asinine reason, she doesn't have to feel like maybe she made the wrong choice for her kids.
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Calla_Dragon
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm realizing that I have gigantic, gaping holes in my history knowledge just in planning my son's history lessons for this coming year. I realized that I knew virtually nothing about the stuff we're due to cover this year - he's 6, btw (this is using Story of the World curriculum, if anyone's curious). My history classes never really covered ancient history. We did American History starting with the Pilgrims and we did World history - mostly after WWI with a bit of emphasis on Greeks, Romans, Middle Ages and Egypt. I was publicly schooled for the entire 13 years and I was in AP social studies every opportunity I had.

I expect to find more holes in my education simply through homeschooling my son, but this hole was pretty startling. To think I went through some very supposedly advanced level social studies classes only to find out years later that I pretty much know squat about history.

Of course, now I'm terribly curious so I have "to-read" list a mile long and a goal of keeping ahead of my what my son will be studying.
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StellarStory
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aren't there always holes regardless of how one is schooled? This is another non issue to my way of thinking that people are using to make you feel inferior. Don't let them get to you. You know better than that.
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Ramona
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:32 pm    Post subject: Resolving a friend's concerns Reply with quote

I feel like I was unclear. I guess my original subject line was poorly chosen.

I'm not worried about my kids having holes in their education.

I'm bothered by the fact that I didn't say what I think the first time she said it, or the second. I'm wishing I could say it now, but I don't know a good way to bring it up.

I'm bothered by the fact that she is now so opposed to HS'ing--not just for me (I can take it; I've dealt with many antis over the years), but for her son and his kids.

I'm wondering what the best way is for me to tell her that she hasn't done anything wrong as his mother, that my parents didn't do anything wrong.

Since she's asking me why her son is so opposed to putting his kids in PS, how can I resolve her concerns?

Ramona
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StellarStory
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about saying, "I've been thinking about what you said a bit more and wanted to share with you some of my thoughts."
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CANIACMOM
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your friend is way off base when it comes to educational holes. My oldest son had so many holes from public school that the first few months of hs were spent filling in the gaps. THe school system we dealt with was very big on writing skills, yet they seemed to miss teaching the basics of grammar. I guess I might be a bit oldfahioned, but I believe you need to know the basics before you jump into large writing assignments. As a hs mom I do worry if my sons are learningall that they need to know, but each year I am reminded that we are doing the right thing. Each time we get the CAT test results, my sons score 1 1/2-2 years ahead of the national average. I guess with results like that, hs aren't leaving gaps in education.
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StellarStory
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had the same thing happen at our son's public school. They would assign HUGE writing assignments BUT they hadn't even taught him the basics of how to do those type of assignments.

It was shocking to me. I began to work with him at home long before we took him out.
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CANIACMOM
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realized I was homeschooling long before I "officially" signed on as a homeschool family. The thing that breaks my heart is when I meet kids who wished they could be homeschooled, because of the problems they have in public school. So many parents believe they survived public school so can their kids. They don't realize how bad public schools have become. It's really sad.
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StellarStory
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is really sad and not always because the school is "bad" though.
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douglisa
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was public schooled. I am finishing up a 6 yr degree right now and my hole is math. I have a 4.0 and then went to do my math requirments and could not do it. I went and got tested and found out I have a 4th grade math level. Embarassed Public would just keep passing me and missed my deficiency all together. There are holes in public too.
Once we get pass 4th grade math my husband who is a math wiz will help him, it is sad and I feel cheated. I home school because I do not want him to miss a thing. I can identify his holes and help him with them.
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