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Old 08-03-2011, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
346 posts, read 428,382 times
Reputation: 506

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aconite View Post
Couple of questions:

Are you teaching the same things she'd be tested on? Schools teach to the test; homeschoolers, IME, generally do not.

Even consistently schooled or consistently homeschooled kids often have a year or two of discontinuity in their scores. There's no way of knowing how she'd've done if she'd been in school. And just to further muddy things, the state sometimes throws a curve ball by changing the test somewhat. Florida did that this year, and consequently most kids had suppressed math FCATs.

Is she the kind of kid who needs the regimented interaction and competition with peers to do well? These kids generally do far better in a school setting of some kind than in a kitchen table homeschool. Siblings, IME, are not the same sort of competition as unrelated peers.

Different kids do better in different settings. She may need school, parttime school, a co-op, or a different way to homeschool-- or a combination.
I did not teach to the test, however she did do some general review on an interactive website (study island). This is the same website used by the schools to help with test prep.

We do go to a co-op once a week in which the kids take classes, they switch from class to class during the day, being exposed to different teachers and a more social setting. These classes are only for enrichment. (for example, my daughter took a history class based on the American Girl Doll novels, and she read about 20 of the novels, did related arts and crafts, and had class discussions etc.)

I do not think she is motivated by competition, she wants to do well for the sake of doing well. I have never heard her even MENTION other kids results or scores, so I don't know if she compares or competes with them.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,167,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted2helping View Post
We do go to a co-op once a week in which the kids take classes, they switch from class to class during the day, being exposed to different teachers and a more social setting. These classes are only for enrichment. (for example, my daughter took a history class based on the American Girl Doll novels, and she read about 20 of the novels, did related arts and crafts, and had class discussions etc.)
My immediate reaction is that this sounds like it's skewed considerably younger than an "advanced" 11yo, even as an enrichment class. I'd think of it as being appropriate for, maybe, seven-year-olds. If this is indicative of the level she was working at overall, that may be a part of the issue.
Eleven, IME, is a tricky age in homeschooling. A lot of kids tend to drift into other scholastic venues. Kids who have always been homeschooled often get curious about how the other half lives, so the herd thins. You can find classes for homeschooled youngsters and teens, but the tween set are too old for most things, and often a bit young for the hormonal crowd.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
346 posts, read 428,382 times
Reputation: 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
What exactly was it that motivated you to say that homeschooling your daughter was better for the family but not as good for her as an individual? I think that is important to assess whether that is true or not. Not to make you feel guilty, but to determine whether the reasons you made the decision are still valid. Things change. Sometimes you realize that you made the wrong decision. If that is the case you cannot undo the time that has past but you can correct the future.



I am not a big fan of standardized tests as the ONLY measuring stick of academic progress but it is ONE measuring stick. If your daughter is falling behind on that measuring stick are there are other indications that she is doing well academically?

You say that you will put them in public school for high school. Does the public school use standardized test scores to place incoming HS students in their classes? If so, then low standardized test scores might be an indication that she needs to go to public middle school so that she can improve those test scores and be placed in higher level classes in high school. This can be pretty important if she intends to be college bound. Standardized tests are not everything, but they are something.



To me this is a big red flag that she does not LOVE homeschooling. She may very well love certain aspects of it, but not love it entirely. I do not think this is a rejection of you, I am sure that she can tell that you only want the best for her. Even I can tell that and I am a stranger on an internet forum.



I doubt that your husband actually wants to keep her out of school just to keep her away from 12 year old boys. I assume he is kidding. I have a 12 year old son and I assure you that at 12 the girls are far more interested in the boys than the boys are in the girls.



If you are not teaching them high school and they may need to go to public school this is a reason to put your daughter back into public school. If she is smart she will regain whatever ground she lost. She has time before high school.



Don't feel guilty. You did what you thought was right. Now you are re-thinking it. IMO that is very healthy. We all want the best for our kids and we all do the best we can.
My husband thinks that I am not looking at the whole picture when I say it was in the best interests of the family, but not necessarily for my daughter. He thinks that the overall experience is actually better for her, even if the details (i.e. lessons and curriculum) are somewhat murky. He takes into consideration the following and these are all still very good reasons to home school (to answer your question):
*we have traveled a lot, a two week mega field trip to wrap up our US History (Colonial Williamsburg, Maryland, Virginia etc.)
*we got to visit my parents twice this year, and I fashioned the lessons around the part of the country they live in, lots of good science and history!
*we spend a lot of quality family time
*the kids see us working and at work first hand, working towards goals, learning new things as adults etc.
*the kids see real-life and experience it more than they would in public school, taking the dog to the vet, grocery shopping, coupon clipping, yard work etc. (none of that is exclusive to home schooling, but easier to work in)

So it boils down to HOW I am determining the pros and cons, am I going to focus only on the end results (grades and test scores), which is what I am inclined to do because it is ingrained in me.

I would like to be more of a process oriented person, because being results only really is a narrow view of the world, and real life isn't STANDARD by any stretch of the imagination, so why we have STANDARDIZED tests is somewhat baffling....

Sorry, thinking out loud a bit...

I too have a 12 year old son, he could care less about girls right now too! My husband was mainly joking, but I think his point was that a lot of things do go on in public schools that we have very little control over, such as things between boys and girls, girls tendencies to be catty, manipulative and in general NOT SWEET.....

I have always disliked middle school in general, the peer pressure, the meanness of so many of the kids etc, so that's why I would hesitate to put HER back in middle school public school,
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
346 posts, read 428,382 times
Reputation: 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aconite View Post
My immediate reaction is that this sounds like it's skewed considerably younger than an "advanced" 11yo, even as an enrichment class. I'd think of it as being appropriate for, maybe, seven-year-olds. If this is indicative of the level she was working at overall, that may be a part of the issue.
Eleven, IME, is a tricky age in homeschooling. A lot of kids tend to drift into other scholastic venues. Kids who have always been homeschooled often get curious about how the other half lives, so the herd thins. You can find classes for homeschooled youngsters and teens, but the tween set are too old for most things, and often a bit young for the hormonal crowd.
It may have been considered too young for her, but she enjoyed the books, the lessons etc, and sometimes learning needs to be enjoyed. Perhaps I did not challenge her enough last year, I know I did in math, but perhaps not the other subjects.

I have actually planned a much more labor intensive school year for this upcoming year....
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:39 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,598,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted2helping View Post
I agree, each kid is an individual and the same thing does not work for both, obviously and hence my dilemma.

I am not sure where you are going with "how are the non school activities going?" Do my kids enjoy them, YES, do they have friends there, YES.

Extra curricular activities are going well in a general sense...my son is about to take his 2nd degree black belt test in TKDO (he goes twice a week, and two Saturdays a month). He also takes golf lessons once a week and two Sat. a month)

My daughter continues to take weekly piano lessons, and weekly tumbling lessons, and also takes golf lessons once a week & two saturdays a month.

ALL these activities are with public schooled children, and many of the friends they have in these activities are the same ones they knew when they too were publicly schooled.
Extra activities are a good measure of how they are doing in the general sense of the word.
Here I would just continue to caution against measuring one against the other. You also understand that they are at a particular growth development time. Having a super quick sister might put a bit of a damper on the brother, however you know your kids the best. I know a family that home schools and the focus is on their business and the kids are really hands on in all aspects so their is a little less pressure on rote learning. Good luck, I am sure you are looking out for your kids
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:44 PM
 
11,615 posts, read 19,738,691 times
Reputation: 12051
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted2helping View Post
My husband thinks that I am not looking at the whole picture when I say it was in the best interests of the family, but not necessarily for my daughter. He thinks that the overall experience is actually better for her, even if the details (i.e. lessons and curriculum) are somewhat murky. He takes into consideration the following and these are all still very good reasons to home school (to answer your question):
*we have traveled a lot, a two week mega field trip to wrap up our US History (Colonial Williamsburg, Maryland, Virginia etc.)
*we got to visit my parents twice this year, and I fashioned the lessons around the part of the country they live in, lots of good science and history!
*we spend a lot of quality family time
*the kids see us working and at work first hand, working towards goals, learning new things as adults etc.
*the kids see real-life and experience it more than they would in public school, taking the dog to the vet, grocery shopping, coupon clipping, yard work etc. (none of that is exclusive to home schooling, but easier to work in)

So it boils down to HOW I am determining the pros and cons, am I going to focus only on the end results (grades and test scores), which is what I am inclined to do because it is ingrained in me.

I would like to be more of a process oriented person, because being results only really is a narrow view of the world, and real life isn't STANDARD by any stretch of the imagination, so why we have STANDARDIZED tests is somewhat baffling....

Sorry, thinking out loud a bit...

I too have a 12 year old son, he could care less about girls right now too! My husband was mainly joking, but I think his point was that a lot of things do go on in public schools that we have very little control over, such as things between boys and girls, girls tendencies to be catty, manipulative and in general NOT SWEET.....

I have always disliked middle school in general, the peer pressure, the meanness of so many of the kids etc, so that's why I would hesitate to put HER back in middle school public school,
I think there are pros and cons of homeschooling. I am NOT anti homeschooling. Much of what you say about schools is true, especially middle school.

I agree that being process oriented is important in the long run, but sometimes there are short term goals that require us to be results oriented. I look at standardized tests in that light. They are not the be all and end of schooling but they are something and we have to sort through when they are important and when they are not.

In general, I think the things your kids get out of homeschooling are good, especially if your son is thriving when he used to be unhappy. However, if your daughter is unhappy being homeschooled perhaps it is better to have her in school while you keep her brother home a bit longer. Kids are different and it is possible to have different solutions for different kids.

My oldest and middle took Algebra in 8th grade. Their younger brother is taking it in 7th grade. Other kids take it in 9th grade. All of the kids are normal. Your kids are different from each other and may require different treatment. That's all ok.

At any rate I think it is great that you are giving this a lot of thought. It is easy to get our heels dug in once we make decisions and it is really good that you are not doing that. Whatever decision you make I am sure it will all work out in the end.
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,111 posts, read 3,074,870 times
Reputation: 8651
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aconite View Post
My immediate reaction is that this sounds like it's skewed considerably younger than an "advanced" 11yo, even as an enrichment class. I'd think of it as being appropriate for, maybe, seven-year-olds. If this is indicative of the level she was working at overall, that may be a part of the issue.
Eleven, IME, is a tricky age in homeschooling. A lot of kids tend to drift into other scholastic venues. Kids who have always been homeschooled often get curious about how the other half lives, so the herd thins. You can find classes for homeschooled youngsters and teens, but the tween set are too old for most things, and often a bit young for the hormonal crowd.
Oh, I very much agree with this! My son, who has always homeschooled, is 10 1/2, and he's getting curious about school, talking negatively about what we do at home, etc. Our co-op classes suddenly seem too "young" for him. I had been considering some type of school for them since last semester, and lo and behold, a very small progressive democratic charter opened in the next county over! So the kids are signed up and they will start in a couple of weeks. I actually know quite a few homeschoolers who are trying it out for this year, so he (and my 8 year old daughter) won't be alone... but I'm very curious to see what all of the kids think! It's not a "sit down in this classroom and do your work" type of school, so I don't think the homeschooled kids will have too much trouble adjusting. This age is interesting and exciting, but it's definitely more demanding in regards to providing age-appropriate opportunities!
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