If I had it to do all over again, I would never have put them in school. I would have gone straight to online schools once I could no longer continue homeschooling them myself. Noah had been on track to finish high school a year early had we continued homeschooling and now will barely eek out graduating. Collin discovered that he really was smarter than most people, including a lot of adults, and became nearly insufferable. After being in school, both of them are extremely co
An example of my 1st grader's homework So, I have my kids in the local public schools which has real drawbacks and benefits. One of the things I am struggling with is when – if ever – to push back over some the homework issue. Like has happened at a lot of schools, homework has creeped down into earlier and earlier grades. So, my 1st grader has nightly homework and my kindergartener has homework once or twice a week. There are so many problems with this. First of all, the
(It always kills me that “socialization” is seen as a potential problem for homeschooled kids. Like the barbarians that run the social scene at many middle schools are well socialized human beings! I’ll take my odd, but genuinely good home-socialized boys over the manipulative, callous and cruel children that are running amok at our local public schools any day. Heck, my oldest has been trying to convince me to homeschool my daughters precisely so they will not be “sociali
Interesting story in the NY Magazine this weekend about how praising kids harms and sometimes helps them. Much of the research about praise isn’t new to those of us to pay attention to such things, but for many people the reality of how praise can help and harm kids runs counter to what we’ve been taught to believe. The first thing that researchers have discovered is that when we praise kids insincerely (ie giving everyone a medal for participation rather than for achievemen
The first point which needs to be made is that contrary to the perception that unusually smart people are arrogant and think that they are better than everyone else, many, many highly intelligent people are in denial about their giftedness. People who belong to Mensa report that one of the most common things they hear from other members are jokes that someone must have messed up their test because they aren’t actually smart enough to be there. People who counsel and work wi
First, the differences. I always figured that high intelligence was just about how a person learns new information and skills. What I have found out, however, is that high intelligence entails not just being able to learn new things quickly and easily, but affects a person’s entire experience of life. People with unusually high intelligence take in and acquire information differently, process that information differently. They frequently experience emotions and physical s
A Beka. For kids my sons’ age (particularly the older one), I like the approach of The Well Trained Mind. However, as much as I love my kids, I have two little ones who need watching, writing that I want to do and various other things to attend to along with teaching two boys. So, in order to prevent burn-out, I need something with more guidance than you get from using The Well Trained Mind. I like literature based learning such as Sonlight and Beautiful Feet. However, af
fascinating article in the Washington Post about the genetic code of the platypus. Scientists just finished mapping the odd animal’s DNA and not too surprisingly, it’s odd. What is particularly useful about this is that scientists have been able to map segments of the platypus’ genetic code which are similar to those found in birds, mammals and reptiles. Over the ages, and at crucial times in the evolution of life, there were probably many transitional animals bearing the
New research seems to back up my decision to drop word problems. Researchers have conducted experiments which showed that students who were taught the abstract concepts underlying math problems, without real world examples were better able to apply what they learned than those who were taught using real world examples. So, I guess all the kids who have ever looked at a problem about two trains leaving the station, traveling in opposite directions and said, “this is dumb!” mi
suspended 11 students for taking part in a senior prank where a kid dressed like a gorilla chased 10 classmates dressed like bananas through the halls. From the story: Senior Andrew Leinonen, who will study criminal justice at Carthage College this fall, wanted to do something that wouldn’t damage property or hurt anyone, while still being hilarious.
“What’s funnier than a gorilla chasing bananas through a school? Nothing,” Leinonen said. “It was a harmless prank.” Leinonen
We have a small deck off of our kitchen where I hang our bird feeders. This allows us to draw them in close enough to actually see them when they come to eat. Visitors to our house in late spring and summer are often startled at the appearance of this fellow: The Baltimore Oriole. Because of their extremely bright colors, these are some of the coolest birds to attract to your feeders. And of course kids are always excited to see a bright orange bird. Fortunately, it’s su
here and here) as well as my extreme opposition to student loans and our current system of funding higher education (here, here and here). Today, via Joanne Jacobs, we find out that Charles Miller who led the Commission on the Future of Higher Education is now arguing that the earnings benefit for having a college degree is probably much less than has been previously stated. Rather than being 1 million over a career, the number according to Charles Miller is more like $280K.
At any rate, a new program in Boston is working to teach low income parents to talk with their children from a very early age and to respond to their children’s conversational cues rather than shushing them. You may have heard of the work done by Betsy Hart and Todd Risley which found an enormous gap in language exposure between low and upper income households with 9 month to 3 year old children. Low income parents spoke far less frequently to their children and used fewer
I know that my perspective is different because I do homeschool and it’s for reasons far less pressing than protecting my kids from violence or sexual abuse or something like that. So I suppose that having taken the step of removing my kids from the school system for relatively benign reasons it is hard for me to fathom why the parents keep sending their kids back to schools where there children are exposed to violence, educational malfeasance or damage done to children by t
Many moons back, we had our oldest son, and for one year, our younger son enrolled in Montessori schools. When I began homeschooling, the first books I bought were the Teaching Montessori at Home books by Elizabeth Hainstock and Lee Davis. (There is one for preschool and another for grade school. I think I lent my preschool one to someone, but I have no idea who. If I lent it to you, could you let me know? Thanks 🙂 ) Anyhow, as I went through the preschool edition, I wa