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  1. #41
    Senior Member
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    Wait a second. Wait just a second. Why NOT encourage children to take the highest math they can? I think the whole, "I can't do math!" thing is mostly bull, just in the same way I think it's bull when people refuse to speak proper grammar when they're outside of an English class. Why should you only learn enough to get by on the ACT/SAT? I once had a teacher who thought she was going to do English things her whole life and ended up in math and loving it.

    It's good to be well-rounded and prepared on all fronts, no matter whether you get that education in a public school, private, parochial, homeschool, or unschool. Sure, foster what someone loves to do, but challenging people goes beyond allowing them to grow with only their talents. If I'd had it my way in school, I would have only done history and English classes, but I would have never learned as much as I did with physics and Chemistry and advanced math classes. Much in the same way that learning a new language trains you to think differently, these skills do, too.

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  3. #42
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2005
    Location
    Illinois
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    Thinking differently is what I have been introduced to lately.
    Not that I have been "the norm" ever in my life, but I just finished reading The Unschooling Handbook.
    What a different approach. One that has intrigued me.
    On one hand, I think 'ya, I have given my 6 year old the lessons thus far to become who he is.' What a great feeling. And then I think, 'ya, that could definetly work. Letting him learn at his pace, what he is interested in at that time.'

    The other hand says, 'I went to public school, loved it, learned things I wasn't interested in or things I could not have just happened upon.'

    But yet, who wants there child stuck indoors all day, with the chance that some rowdy one next to him could distract the learning or that he may hate math like me only because he is forced into it. When really it's all around him anyway in a more interesting way.

    If my husband could have it his way, our kids wouldn't go to a school house ever. I am leaning this way, but still unsure.
    Thanks to all that have given info here. I have learned from it!

  4. #43
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
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    appalachia
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    285
    to respond to soapandwater- i don't consider my public schooling to have been very well-rounded. instead of having spent too much time learning advanced algebra and calculus (which, at 35, i have never ever needed and knew then that i would never need to know), i wish i had learned how to balance a checkbook, understand mortgages and interest rates, maintain a car, grow and preserve food, write a resume, and use a sewing machine. i know some schools offer woodshop and home ec, but my public schools required us to choose only one of these electives per semester, which were lumped in with music and art, and i always chose art and therefore had to pass on the other classes that piqued my interest and that i would have actually used in my life. so i feel my education was limited and that i wasted a lot of time on things that i didn't even retain because i wasn't interested in them and have never needed anyway.

    i know that's just me and other public schools are different, but i feel strongly that no one shouold be forced to learn something they're not interested in-they most likely won't really learn much anyway. we need to give kids more credit for knowing what they're naturally drawn to, stop trying to homogenize everyone so much, and allow room for exploration of a wider variety of relevant life skills.

  5. #44
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
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    943
    Quote Originally Posted by honeybee
    i know that's just me and other public schools are different, but i feel strongly that no one shouold be forced to learn something they're not interested in-they most likely won't really learn much anyway. we need to give kids more credit for knowing what they're naturally drawn to, stop trying to homogenize everyone so much, and allow room for exploration of a wider variety of relevant life skills.
    I agree with letting students focus on what they do best. I went to a school that allowed me to have an hour and a half of creative writing everyday for four years. I got to take the hardest English and History classes I wanted. We also had an alternate math class that taught basic math skills and skills where math would be used in daily life. And I learned how to compute interest in my advanced math classes. And I know I'll NEVER use permutations except when I'm bored. That's not the point, though. It is AMAZING to be able to conquer what you think you couldn't do, and doing things that aren't natural to you helps hone your skills in general.

    The life skills I didn't learn in the classroom, I learned and am learning outside of it, on my own and from family and from just living. I didn't learn to knit in school, but I did learn how to understand graphs of loss and profit in economics. In my math classes, I learned about everything from M.C. Escher to Archimedes.

    What if someone didn't want to learn how to read and comprehend literature? Is that a good enough excuse to say, "You don't have to read books. You can just go look through a microscope instead." There is something to be said for learning things you don't want to do. Plenty of high school students have to write five page papers in their English classes, whether they want to or not.

    Just something to consider.

    There's nothing wrong with homeschooling, though.

  6. #45
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6
    this discussion is so useful. thanks everyone.

    my husband and i (and toddler, benny!) went to an Alternative education conference last month. completely inspiring. lots of talks by montessori people, waldorf, democratic school, sudbury, as well as homsschoolers. met a super cool woman who unschooled all her children (now one- only 23 - has just written a novel which has been signed by an agent, the other is an amazing illustrator). we also heard Matt Hern speak. Fantastic. If anyone is interested, his book is called: Field Day: Getting Society Out of School

    The most interesting thing we learnt about is the Global Village School. It's an online school which offers curriculum (K right through to highschool) and learning support. Throughout all their curricula there is an emphasis on peace, justice, diversity and the environment. i had a quick look at some of their high school syllabus and it looks amazing (where else would highschoolers learn about the biases of the media or the WTO or gay/lesbian history?). It sounds like they are very flexible. You can either just buy their curriculum or you can have the full tutor-support package (or anything in between). It's also pretty reasonably priced. We are very tempted.

    If anyone else wants to read more about it, go to www.globalvillageschool.org


 
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