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Source: (consider it) Thread: Home Schooling
Athrawes
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I have worked as a Governess, using School of Distance Education materials, with a supervising teacher, and again as a teacher in a country town, when we worked closely with the School of Distance Education teachers when they ran mini-schools, and had inter-school sports etc. My experience of this system is very different to those of Lothlorien and GeeD. It may have been a haven for non-classroom teachers in the past, but Distance Ed teachers are now expected to be actively involved in class activities, whether at mini-schools, (where kids get together for a week or 10 days to work as a class) and also as part of the community, or when students come into town. Some of the Distance Ed teachers were exceptional, but all of them were expected to have had regular classes, and be able to manage them.

I have only come across one family who home-schooled for religious reasons. All the others have been due to distance, or because of travelling. The Distance Ed lessons are based on the Australian Curriculum, and are excellent materials. I wasn't too keen on the religious program my friend was using for her daughter - it seemed to be lacking in rigour. How typical this was, I couldn't say.

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Explaining why is going to need a moment, since along the way we must take in the Ancient Greeks, the study of birds, witchcraft, 19thC Vaudeville and the history of baseball. Michael Quinion.

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Lothlorien
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Athrawes, my comment about staff was true at one time. What you did when you worked there was quite a different thing. Early on, the staff at Blacfriars opened lessons sent back, corrected them, made comments and sent out more. Nothing like your experience at all. (Ex teacher here.)

Remember too that not only have methods changed but so have facilities. Even transport by station plane to town and similar. The actual distances may be the same but the manner of dealing with them is different.

[ 07. March 2017, 09:50: Message edited by: Lothlorien ]

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L'organist
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We - mainly me in the event - home-schooled our two for a brief period. They'd been at the local CofE primary with no problems, although not much sign of progress either, and then in Year 2 got a teacher who was a nightmare: kept mixing the twins up, punished them if they corrected the mis-identification, made fun of their slight stature, moved them back 3 stages on a reading scheme, etc. For 2 months we tried to sort it out with the Head but she was useless (it later transpired she and the NQT had been personal friends for 15+ years) and at half-term in the autumn we decided we had to do something because children who had been really keen on school were tearful and dreading going back.

We wrote to the LA to say we were withdrawing children and asked for help in finding new school but no help forthcoming; and since it was (is) badged as a CofE school we also contacted the Diocesan Education people, who took 5 weeks to reply and then only to say they couldn't help.

In the meantime the twins needed looking after in a purposeful way so we worked out a timetable of activities and projects and just got on with it.

When it became clear this situation was likely to go on for the rest of the academic year I picked the brains of friends who were, or had been, in teaching and tweaked a bit and then we just got on with it, while making sure plans were in place for Year 3 onwards. I also got help from a dyslexia specialist - something that hadn't happened at school.

We observed school terms in the sense of making sure the boys were free at half-term when their friends in school were also available for things. Other than that, we started the day much earlier and "worked" through until lunch, then the afternoon was for sport and fun or for going to museums, libraries, etc.

It was hard work but it was the right decision for us, and the verdict at the school they started at in the following September was that it had been a very positive thing for them; academically they were on a par with their peers and socially they were just fine.

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Gee D
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Arethosemyfeet, travel to a primary school? They may well be the only children of that age for a couple of hundred kilometers. The population density of the areas I'm talking of is very, very low. You just can't establish a primary school in such a location even one to which a teacher would travel. You have School of the Air instead.

There used be free boarding offered for secondary students with weekly travel thrown in. From memory, that ceased in WW II and was not revived after. The travel was by train. I can see how a flight for a dozen - even a half dozen children to an island would be useful. The journey from the airfield to home would not be that great. In the remote areas of the Northern Territory, you would be dropping of a couple of siblings here, then a 20 minute flight to drop someone else off and so forth. No one central place would be suitable.

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Moo

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Some American parents home-school because their children have ADHD, and they refuse to give them drugs.

The parents know how to manage their kids. The classroom teacher, even if she has this knowledge, has to consider all the other students and their rights.

Moo

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Arethosemyfeet, travel to a primary school? They may well be the only children of that age for a couple of hundred kilometers. The population density of the areas I'm talking of is very, very low. You just can't establish a primary school in such a location even one to which a teacher would travel. You have School of the Air instead.

There used be free boarding offered for secondary students with weekly travel thrown in. From memory, that ceased in WW II and was not revived after. The travel was by train. I can see how a flight for a dozen - even a half dozen children to an island would be useful. The journey from the airfield to home would not be that great. In the remote areas of the Northern Territory, you would be dropping of a couple of siblings here, then a 20 minute flight to drop someone else off and so forth. No one central place would be suitable.

This is parallel to historical wester Canada. One room schools in every town, which were built every 12 to 15 miles along rail lines. If too far to travel each day, partiularly in winter, you boarded, usually with a town family. Today the rule is no more than 45 minutes on a school bus for high school which is usually in larger centres. Though K-12 schools are common. With 13 years of school maybe comprised of 100 kids.

Switching schools Canada-wide is common. Mid-year and between. It isn't too bad when curriculums are provincial and provinces share with each other.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Gee D:
[qb] ]This is parallel to historical wester Canada. One room schools in every town, which were built every 12 to 15 miles along rail lines. If too far to travel each day, partiularly in winter, you boarded, usually with a town family. Today the rule is no more than 45 minutes on a school bus for high school which is usually in larger centres. Though K-12 schools are common. With 13 years of school maybe comprised of 100 kids.

Mr. Cliffdweller began his career teaching grades 6-7 in a small school in an isolated logging town with a population of about 100 in British Columbia. When the kids graduated from his class they went via the one daily train to high school in a town more than an hour or more away.

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Kaplan Corday
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I have not contributed since the OP, but have followed the responses, which have been very informative, with interest.

Thank you.

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Lothlorien
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What is described in Canada is not the scene here as GeeD properly describes. Some children who bus to school, or are more likely driven by their mum from their station to school can spend four hours every single school day just for transport.

Some children have a thirty minute drive or more from their home to the farmgate for any bus to collect them. Then transport to town.

Meetings can be arranges with notice of pupilsfromschoolmof the air classes which are now more school by computer than by pedal radio.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
I teach undergrads just out of high school here in the US. My classes are about an even mix of students who were homeschooled, went to public school, went to private (almost always religious) schools. ...

Cliffdweller, by the assumptions here, unless your college draws on a very arcane self-selecting demographic, that is a truly extraordinary statistic. The parallel for state, private and religious schools doesn't, of course, transpose as our school system is different and includes religious schools that are part of the state system. But if ⅓ of your pupils have been homeschooled right through to the end of secondary school, presumably the equivalent of our A levels, that is a world that is so different from ours that it really does render comparison almost pointless.

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Ethne Alba
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In the collective of home schoolers we regularly had American families over for a few years at a time. From getting to know them it became obvious that in some areas in the States, home schooling appears to be almost main-stream....one of a number of options.... with no one batting an eyelid.
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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
I think home schooling should be illegal. Children do not 'belong' to their parents.

So what do you do when yoou're on a cattle station 300 km from the nearest tarred road, you've had several bad seasons in a row, and while the bank will keep you going in a general sense, it says that there's no money for school fees? I suspect that you home school with the support of School of the Air.

Ethne Alba, for as long as I can recall, the Education Departments of the various States here have run correspondance schools for exactly that sort of pupil. In the old days, work would be posted out each week, and sent back at the beginning of the next. There was some sort of assistance for the parents in setting out how the work should be approached. The correspondance schools were said to be where teaches who could not face classes would be sent.

Hard cases make bad laws.
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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
leo:
quote:
Children do not 'belong' to their parents.
They don't belong to you either. Or the state.
'It takes a village to raise a child.' So children in a village/suburb should be educated together.

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Callan
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We seriously thought about it a couple of years ago when I moved to new parish and the LEA wanted to send the Callanette to a school 1.9 miles away (the legal limit is 2 miles). The local primary was happy to offer her a place on the grounds that they knew that someone was moving away, and that is where she ended up, after a term. In the end we didn't because I couldn't very well have hit the ground running in a new parish and given my daughter a full time education and Mrs Callan's job would not have given her the time either. So she spent a term commuting to the next village until her place came up. As it happened no damage was done and her (temporary) class teacher was incredibly good. But if the school had been rubbish we would have bitten the bullet until the place we wanted came up. The state education system in the UK isn't so good that one can say that a state education is invariably better than a couple of reasonably well educated parents in every context, much as one would wish it to be the case.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Hard cases make bad laws.

So what would you do?

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
I teach undergrads just out of high school here in the US. My classes are about an even mix of students who were homeschooled, went to public school, went to private (almost always religious) schools. ...

Cliffdweller, by the assumptions here, unless your college draws on a very arcane self-selecting demographic, that is a truly extraordinary statistic. The parallel for state, private and religious schools doesn't, of course, transpose as our school system is different and includes religious schools that are part of the state system. But if ⅓ of your pupils have been homeschooled right through to the end of secondary school, presumably the equivalent of our A levels, that is a world that is so different from ours that it really does render comparison almost pointless.
This being just one of many issues probably where that is the case.

I will say mine is an evangelical institution in a largely Catholic community, so to some degree it is drawing from an "arcane self-selecting demographic", given that home-schooling in the US seems to particularly appeal to evangelicals, while a large segment of private schools are Catholic. Still, at the risk of seeming presumptuous, I think my experience has some bearing on this discussion because it does, in fact, allow me to observe all three paradigms in roughly equal numbers and directly measure the ability of each paradigm to prepare students for higher ed.

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Cod
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Leo,

My home-schooled relations do activities together with other children from the home-schooling community. I understand this is quite normal. So they are being raised by the village, just not as defined by you.

Your last post has received a number of thoughtful responses - don't you think it would be polite to engage with them rather than offering another one-liner?

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anoesis
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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
Leo, My home-schooled relations do activities together with other children from the home-schooling community. I understand this is quite normal. So they are being raised by the village, just not as defined by you.

It's not the same. Firstly, the amount of time spent with children other than siblings is vastly less than in a school. Secondly, going to museums or parks together with other children is not the same as learning alongside others at the same age and stage, doing group projects, etc. Thirdly, (and I know this problem exists within schools as well, to some extent), it is a self-selecting group, and has a very high chance of being homogeneous with regards to worldviews, and unfortunately a pretty high chance of being homogeneous with regards to income, family structure, ethnicity, etc.

I mean, partly, I am glad that my children go to school because I am a lazy-ass parent who couldn't organise my way out of a paper bag, and who would really, actually, go nuts if I had to listen to that much noise all day, every day - but partly I'm glad they go to school because they meet people who are different, who have different home lives, different values, who do things differently, and they can see, right in front of their eyes, that it is possible for all these different people to get along, to work beside one another, to achieve together.

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The history of humanity give one little hope that strength left to its own devices won't be abused. Indeed, it gives one little ground to think that strength would continue to exist if it were not abused. -- Dafyd --

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Athrawes
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Leo, do you realise that Distance Education *is a school*? It is run with the same structure, with the same curriculum as the rest of the State or Territory where it is based, with well qualified teachers, and face to face lessons via the Internet. Students get together for sports days, mini-schools and other events, such as PCAP music lessons and camps.

If you live on a property (as I did, and as my mother did, too) that is at least two or three hours drive away from the nearest small town, then sending your 5 year old to school on a bus, or driving them in is not an option. It might be worth remembering that Australia and Canada are very much bigger than the UK, with much more empty space between places. Or are you saying that farmers shouldn't have kids? Distance Ed is not a perfect solution to the problems of isolation, but it is pretty good.

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Lothlorien
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You make a good point there, Athrawes.

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Barnabas Aus
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I have been the principal of a small K-6 bush school, and have also sat in on School of the Air lessons in both NSW and Queensland. The School of the Air staff are highly skilled, but the success of the program really comes from the combined approach of staff and parents [or governess]. It is this teamwork which ensures that these isolated children do so well. The fact that the lessons are delivered in accordance with a mandated curriculum allows these children learning opportunities which are available to urban students across the country, even to the learning of Japanese in far western Queensland.

When travelling in western Queensland some years ago, we met a young family as we lunched in a park at a little place called Tambo. They lived on a cattle station between the Flinders Highway and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Their nearest neighbours were over 50km away. They were driving south to pick up a part for a machine at Roma, a 1200+km journey one way, and had chosen to stop at Tambo, as the grandparents were due to arrive on a coach tour. Without that joyful stop, which we witnessed, grandparents and grandchildren would have seen each other only once in a twelvemonth. I hope this gives others some sense of the isolation in remote Australia.

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Ethne Alba
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Anodises...i think that it was me who mentioned something about museums, community garden centres ...but not parks...and art galleries?

The home schooling activities in these semi-public areas....in our city anyway...are not just Going To these places, with a whole heap of other children with the very same world view as the next family.

The families in question are very different indeed, they all have varying reasons for homeschooling and lots of the families include children who go onto either university or careers in business. By no manner of means are they families who wish to shield their children from the ills or dangers of society.
The work is split up into roughly age appropriate groups and is project led, that is the whole point of accessing specialist outside resources


I'm hearing an everso slightly prejudicial set of opinions here. But i guess that is to be expected as our experiences do go some way to forming our opinions.

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John Holding

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What strikes me is that the more I hear that home-schooling is all right, because "we" get together with other homeschoolers, and go on trips to museums with other homeschoolers and, in the higher years, cooperate with other parents who have expertise in maths to trade off with my expertise in english, the more we approximate an actual school. Who is fooling whom?

Meanwhile, back to the original post, the question was about whether the state should, essentially, impose standards and vet the teaching at whatever is being called home-schooling. I haven't noticed comments from either supporters of home-schooling or oppponents.

Clearly there are some circumstances where home-schooling is the only option, such as the kinds of distances mentioned in Australia...but not so much today in Canada. But I'm highly suspicious of the idea that the ordinary parent has the time or the skill or the knowledge to provide the equivalent of what is taught in the state schools of my experience.

The only home schooler I know has produced several children (which is itself a problem for her), who are "taught" by looking at an hour long video every day, who go to a playgroup with other homeschoolers once a week, and who have next to no ianvolvement with other children. I think she expects her oldest to just slide seamlessly into the public highschool. Anecdotes are or course not data, but in the absence of imposed standards of content and inspection, I suggest that an awful lot of homeschoolers are more like her than are like some of the admirable paragons we've also heard about.

John

[ 09. March 2017, 16:09: Message edited by: John Holding ]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
Leo,

My home-schooled relations do activities together with other children from the home-schooling community. I understand this is quite normal. So they are being raised by the village, just not as defined by you.

That's good - though who decides which children go - do home-schooled kids miss out on meeting people from a different background/class/faith/sexuality?
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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Hard cases make bad laws.

So what would you do?
Allow exceptions but not allow home-schooling for anyone who wants it for whatever reason, especially fo narrow religious types who want to indoctrinate.

[ 09. March 2017, 16:12: Message edited by: leo ]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Athrawes:
Leo, do you realise that Distance Education *is a school*? It is run with the same structure, with the same curriculum as the rest of the State or Territory where it is based, with well qualified teachers, and face to face lessons via the Internet. Students get together for sports days, mini-schools and other events, such as PCAP music lessons and camps.

So it isn't really 'home schooling' then so isn't open to the sort of criticisms voiced by some of us here.

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Ethne Alba
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So, will these imposed standards also apply to private fee paying schools?
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:

Meanwhile, back to the original post, the question was about whether the state should, essentially, impose standards and vet the teaching at whatever is being called home-schooling. I haven't noticed comments from either supporters of home-schooling or oppponents.

Of course it should.
quote:

Clearly there are some circumstances where home-schooling is the only option, such as the kinds of distances mentioned in Australia...but not so much today in Canada. But I'm highly suspicious of the idea that the ordinary parent has the time or the skill or the knowledge to provide the equivalent of what is taught in the state schools of my experience.

Teaching isn't simply a matter of opening a book or sharing one's own knowledge. Teaching is a skill. Most of us will have experienced the good and the bad of formal school teachers. But there is at least a standard. Can you imagine the variations in ability allowed with no standard for the educator?

Theee are practical reason as to why homeschooling should remain legal. Unfortunately, the many of its proponents I have met are an advert against the practice.

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If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
Leo,

My home-schooled relations do activities together with other children from the home-schooling community. I understand this is quite normal. So they are being raised by the village, just not as defined by you.

That's good - though who decides which children go - do home-schooled kids miss out on meeting people from a different background/class/faith/sexuality?
To be fair, though, I should think the vast majority of people who have a problem with 'difference' have indeed been to school. Even in the great ole US of A? Certainly in the UK.
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Yerevan
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quote:
Thirdly, (and I know this problem exists within schools as well, to some extent), it is a self-selecting group, and has a very high chance of being homogeneous with regards to worldviews, and unfortunately a pretty high chance of being homogeneous with regards to income, family structure, ethnicity, etc.
My experience here in the UK (and I've lived in three quite different places since becoming a parent)is that particular state school intakes can be exceptionally 'self-selecting', partly because of high levels of socio-economic segregation in society generally, partly because wealthier 'aspirational' parents / prospective parents will deliberately opt to live near an academically successful school, which pushes up rental & property prices and excludes lower income people, and partly because once you leave the major cities behind much of the UK isn't terribly diverse in ethnic, cultural or religious terms or all that mobile (i.e. people tend to live in or near their hometown). And that's even before you enter the realm of private schooling. I can think of plenty of children I know who won't actually meet many people who aren't like them and their parents via school. On a personal level my son's current school is genuinely very diverse in socio-economic terms but utterly monocultural in every other way - I could imagine a regional homeschooling network actually being quite a bit more mixed.
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Yerevan
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...and of course quite a lot of UK state schools have a religious ethos of one sort or another, and a reasonable minority of state secondaries are gender-specific.
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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Ethne Alba:
So, will these imposed standards also apply to private fee paying schools?

I'd abolish such schools.

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Golden Key
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leo-

If I'm understanding you correctly, every kid should go to a public/state school, with the same curriculum? Why, please?

Thx.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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I will answer from the western Canadian perspective, where almost no one goes to a private school (they exist, but are rare, mostly religious or hoidy-toidy holdovers from the late 19th century). Schools being the same for all, with a common, equally high quality education, where kids from rich and poor, educated and functionally illiterate parents, immigrants who barely speak English and those whose ancestors arrived 120 years ago, are all collected together, and proceed their education on ability. Not because parents have money or some inherited status. It is a great social class leveller. We have been bad with indigenous peoples in this and many other ways.

The results are that people grow up with great disrespect of title and priviledge. No one cares much who your parents are and your claim to fame. It is about ability. We see some shifts in attitude as kids grow up in affluence, and it seems different in the east which have old money. But it is still all publicly funded schools, all responding to requirements of common provincial curriculums.

[ 11. March 2017, 04:41: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
I'd abolish such schools.

I would not abolish such schools because my distrust of the state is greater than my concern about equality.

As it happens, I also regard quality as more important than equality. Even if it gives them a head start in life, I'd rather some people could go to really good schools than that everybody goes to mediocre ones.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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In favour of elitism? Old boys club of fancy expensive schools educated running things? I think it it probably special privately funded schools which help create the state you don't trust.

Also wonder if that is why Brexit. Your people don't trust the elite educated people running your country. That is the view from here.

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Ethne Alba
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Thanks Leo!
I had a kinda feeling that this answer would arrive.

So, we have Keep a wide variety of education provision for young people in the UK
OR
Scrap the lot of 'em....and then half the conservative party would get upset.

(Not that upsetting half the conservative party is necessarily a bad idea...)

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I'd rather some people could go to really good schools

'Good' at what? Passing exams or prepared for real life, lived within community?

[ 11. March 2017, 18:30: Message edited by: leo ]

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Cod
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quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
Leo, My home-schooled relations do activities together with other children from the home-schooling community. I understand this is quite normal. So they are being raised by the village, just not as defined by you.

It's not the same. Firstly, the amount of time spent with children other than siblings is vastly less than in a school. Secondly, going to museums or parks together with other children is not the same as learning alongside others at the same age and stage, doing group projects, etc. Thirdly, (and I know this problem exists within schools as well, to some extent), it is a self-selecting group, and has a very high chance of being homogeneous with regards to worldviews, and unfortunately a pretty high chance of being homogeneous with regards to income, family structure, ethnicity, etc.

I mean, partly, I am glad that my children go to school because I am a lazy-ass parent who couldn't organise my way out of a paper bag, and who would really, actually, go nuts if I had to listen to that much noise all day, every day - but partly I'm glad they go to school because they meet people who are different, who have different home lives, different values, who do things differently, and they can see, right in front of their eyes, that it is possible for all these different people to get along, to work beside one another, to achieve together.

First, knowing the people concerned as I do I believe that although the amount of time they spend with other children is somewhat less than they would spend were they all at school, I suspect the interactions are somewhat better. Anyway. How much time does a child actually need? The important fact is that they are spending some time on a regular basis, rather than simply spending all their time with their parents.

Second, I believe that gong to museums etc with other children will be every bit as good if it is a small group led by a few interested and motivated parents who have chosen the trip and planned what is to happen. While it is true that in a mixed-age group how the learning takes place is presumably going to have to cater for different ages and levels, but one finds those differences in the average class, so I don't imagine that's such a big deal - and apart from that, I expect every child who has been to a school has - at least once - trailed at the back of the crocodile daydreaming and waiting for the trip to end.

Third, the town is homogenous, so if that's really a problem then the Gvt should start shipping people in and out.

I don't deny the validity of your points - I've seen all those problems in other families who homeschool their children, but I don't see that they're necessary so. However, at its best, homeschooling involves children being taught by highly motivated parents in a way that suits those children better than a schoolteacher - who has 30 children, paperwork and an enormous rulebook to deal with - can manage.

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Cod
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
Leo,

My home-schooled relations do activities together with other children from the home-schooling community. I understand this is quite normal. So they are being raised by the village, just not as defined by you.

That's good - though who decides which children go - do home-schooled kids miss out on meeting people from a different background/class/faith/sexuality?
Not you.

--------------------
"Line dancing is as sinful as any other type of dancing, with its sexual gestures and touching. It is an incitement to lust."
Rev Dr Ian Paisley

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I'd rather some people could go to really good schools

'Good' at what? Passing exams or prepared for real life, lived within community?
Although both of those may be desirable collateral consequences of a good education, I don't think either is anywhere near the core of what education is for or what it should be aiming to achieve.

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Lamb Chopped
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Another one that doesn't trust the state (or in our case, the local authorities) to get it right. My son goes to a very good public school within 10 minutes' distance of some that are among the worst in the country. Location is everything here.

What I want to know is, why do so many people think that it's good, heck, necessary, for children to spend the bulk of their time with their exact age-mates all day? It's come up here on the thread as an argument against home schooling, but also in real life for me, as a Certain Relative decided to rant about my son's social life, which is largely with people either a couple years younger or much older. He declares this "unnatural." Me, I think it's a good thing that my son gets along with all ages. Would it be better for him to treat his young cousins with contempt when they visit?

ETA: it seems to me that the one kind of diversity NOT favored by a large public-run school is age diversity.

[ 12. March 2017, 02:11: Message edited by: Lamb Chopped ]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
What I want to know is, why do so many people think that it's good, heck, necessary, for children to spend the bulk of their time with their exact age-mates all day?

I've worked in a school whose house system included mixed-aged tutor groups and classes for some subjects.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

What I want to know is, why do so many people think that it's good, heck, necessary, for children to spend the bulk of their time with their exact age-mates all day?

The difference in cognition and maturity is massive on a yearly basis. Teaching most children in large groups is a practical reality in modern life. A significant time with people interacting at their level is a very good thing.
IME, children also interacting with a large age range is a healthy thing, but that is not the reality of much home-schooling. And is rarely the main issue argued.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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There certainly are deficits in modern education. Trends which disturb me in general are de-emphasis on physical education, fitness and activity, and, the decline of arts - music education and arts education. I see the problems with this when we hire people with graduate degrees who can't reference any literature other than current novels, think music is something listened to, and are in lousy physical condition. Emotional and physical health problems stem from the lack of these.

Re ages: there are always children more developmentally advanced in a single grade. How to handle social relations and get along with others is really important.

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anoesis
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
What I want to know is, why do so many people think that it's good, heck, necessary, for children to spend the bulk of their time with their exact age-mates all day?

I'll only answer for myself here, seeing as I originally posted about my own experience of being homeschooled, and how I felt/feel about that. What I would have liked, and would like to be able to be confident of, for others, is the opportunity to be able to spend time with age-mates. Is it necessary? Evidently not, because I survived and pass for a normal human most of the time, in most contexts. However, I missed out on heaps and heaps and heaps of...how shall I put this?...cultural zeitgeists, maybe? Had to be there moments - where I wasn't there? It's still happening to me now, at age 40, where something comes on TV, or a song comes on the radio, and a couple of people turn to each other and say, "OMG, do you remember when?...", and everyone goes, "Oh, yeah! I went to see that, like, twelve times" - or whatever, and I have to go, nope, don't know what you're talking about. On the flip side, I did once pretty much wipe out the competition during of a game of Well I Never, due to my lived experience having provided me with so many points of difference to the others... [Big Grin]

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SvitlanaV2
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Anyone from a family that didn't have a TV, or that listened only to classical music is likely to have gaps in their knowledge of pop culture. You don't need to have been home-schooled for that.

What schoolfriends can do is 'tutor' you in the things you've missed. But that's not the same as experiencing it yourself, I imagine.

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Leorning Cniht
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I have a similar lack of common cultural references, owing to having grown up in a country other than the one I live in. I can't say it bothers me - and I completely reject the idea that "popular" culture is any more valuable than any other kind of culture.

And if that means I'm rather bemused by the interest in, for example, the Kardashian family, who as far as I can tell are famous for being famous, then I'd count that as a benefit.

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anoesis
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You're both right, of course. In my case, homeschooling was only one factor in, I'd have to say, a whole concatenation of things which conspired to make sure that fitting in, anywhere, was always going to be an effort.

Yeah, so:
1.) Not part of the mainstream in educational terms.
2.) Immediate family aggressively Christian, insular, country sort of laid-back, tending-to-secular.
3.) Physical isolation.
4.) A child of immigrants, who, without rejecting them, had little to no interest in many of the defining aspects of this country's culture, and a continuing interest in the culture of the country they hailed from.
5.) Immediate family estranged from wider family (and on other side of world)
6.) An eldest child of what were, at that time, relatively elderly parents.

So, probably, no-one should pay much heed to what I have to say on the topic of homeschooling. It's just, I guess, one of the few things on the list above that represents an active choice, rather than a set of circumstances that one has to make the best of. Also, I didn't have an unhappy childhood, until the last couple of years. Probably from when I was about fourteen. I was desperately unhappy then, and desperate for a friend, a comrade, an ally, a fellow-traveller to compare experiences of the confusing land of adolescence* with.

*A thing my mother did not believe was an actual thing, just a notion made up by psychiatrists.

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The history of humanity give one little hope that strength left to its own devices won't be abused. Indeed, it gives one little ground to think that strength would continue to exist if it were not abused. -- Dafyd --

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Lamb Chopped
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I brought up the same-age issue because I've heard it used as a major point against home schooling.

As for peers sharing joint cultural experiences, I'm not sure that kind of thing exists very much anymore--certainly not as specific to a particular age cohort.* I mean, who watches TV (as opposed to subscription cable) any more? The idea of the whole country watching a miniseries together, as happened in my childhood--ha. Instead you have a lot of offerings, all accessed by smaller groups, much like books. There is still shared pop music, but you can get hooked into that (and into politics, also shared) over social media. The same is true of things like Minecraft. It's internet-pollinated, by and large--at least that's my experience, watching my kid. Which is of course anecdata, but...

I worry about him, of course, since so many people have laid down the law to me that he "has to" spend most of his time with friends exactly his age or suffer unspecified damage. Which is just not possible due to oddities about our location. But I can't help the nagging feeling that they might be right...

And yet I see him functioning very well in a room full of elderly people, he is the favorite of the primary and middle school kids, and he can hold his own among ordinary adults.

I probably need to take a chill pill.

* for example, I don't see a generation gap in music etc. any more. The adults I know listen to much the same thing as their kids--or vice versa.

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