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Author Topic: Homeschooling blues  (Read 4042 times)

Jawbone

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Homeschooling blues
« on: April 01, 2005, 05:01:06 pm »

Howdy, from the new guy.  My wife and I homeschool our four children.  Well, she does most of the work.  After three years we have found out that the hardest two to homeschool are the oldest, 13 and 11.  They have been to public school and seem to think that they don't have to do the work when we tell them to.  Of course forcing them to do the work doesn't work because they just get whiny and pout.   :angry:   The youngest two have taken to homeschooling well. My youngest son (7)scored well on the state required testing last year.  He scored a 97% on the math and a 95% on the english portion. Our 5 year-old daughter is doing well also.  It seems the two that already have government school experience are the hardest. Any have any suggestions as to how to get the oldest ones to get their work done without me going postal on them?

Thanks in advance.
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byron

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2005, 05:58:41 pm »

I don't have kids so people don't take my advice because they think I'd be abusive.

<A> I vote for going postal! ....<B> Actually, in Robinson Curriculum, he says to let them sit there and be whiny and pout...eventually they figure out what has to be done.... <C> My dad would give me a choice...life or death.... <D> My friend's dad gave him a choice...do what was expected or go move that pile of rocks from one side of the the stock pond to the other side. It was a huge pile of boulders. To this day, after 40 years,  grass will not grown on either side of that stock tank. My friend didn't mind  moving rocks.

Multiple choice test...when in doubt always pick "B" (B).
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Junker

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2005, 06:01:11 pm »

Robinson Curriculum

A public school student, who encounters a high quality, self-teaching home school curriculum for the first time, may sit for weeks staring at material that he or she is convinced is impossible or unreasonable. Let the student sit there. Eventually he will respond. If he does not, then at least you showed him the way to excellence - rather than showing him the way to mediocrity while dishonestly fooling him into thinking otherwise for the transient benefits of false hope and domestic tranquility.

-- http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p61.htm
- - - - -

My opinion is that the Robinson Curriculum is the way to structure home schooling. The site tells everything you need to know and do. So far all his children have finished calculus by age 16, started university level science, and gotten maximum or near maximum scores on the SATs.

If you reference the site and have any questions or problems, please bring them up here at the forum. But, please, read the site.
- - -

(and Byron, you beat me to the post!!)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2005, 06:02:31 pm by Junker »
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Roy J. Tellason

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2005, 11:20:06 pm »

Quote
Robinson Curriculum

<...>

Quote
(and Byron, you beat me to the post!!)

Yeah,  but you very nicely provided the link...    :-)
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RagnarDanneskjold

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2005, 12:05:09 pm »

Quote
Any have any suggestions as to how to get the oldest ones to get their work done without me going postal on them?
I guess I have a different opinion / attitude about this. Getting them to get their work done is part and parcel of the system that I reject. What is their work? Who decides what is their work? What part do they play in deciding what they do and what they are interested in? If you are having to resist going postal, it is most likely because what they are not doing is what you  think they should be doing. If you want them to be forced into rote learning of whatever an outside influence thinks they should be rote learning, why do you not just leave them in the government indoctrination centers? If what they want to learn is absolutely nothing, that is what they should be working on. That won't be their interest forever. Chances are if they have been subjected to the government good-citizen training camps, they are wondering why you pulled them out just to put them through the same routine. Have you asked them what they would like to be learning? It really doesn't matter whether you go postal or reward them with candy and cash, if they are being coerced to learn what they are not interested in, they really won't be learning. When they were very young, did you watch how they responded to learning new things that interested them? I'll bet you did not need to do anything to get them to learn to talk or to learn to walk. Maybe you can learn something. Maybe you can learn just how long they will continue to desire to learn absolutely nothing.

Just a few thoughts.
 
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Jawbone

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2005, 03:47:09 pm »

Thanks to all for your thoughts.  Ragnar, we don't do a structured school room type teaching.  We do workbooks.  The kids do the work on their own time and if they need help they come to us.  We check the work to see if they understand what they are supposed to be learning.  As far as how long can they go not learning anything.  The oldest could go on forever.  He is 13, he already know everything.  The 11 year-old just follows his brothers lead, dammit.  That boy is so damn smart and it ticks me off that he doesn't want to learn.  We will take all the advice that you give into consideration. Thanks.
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dervish

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2005, 08:28:31 am »

First, get or ILL (Inter Library Loan) The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn.  The book may be more what they need, and it also very strongly urges a time to "vacation" once leaving school, even if it's to veg for a couple of weeks.  

If you're not sure how to ILL a book, ask a reference librarian.  Should your library give you a hard time over it, then say something and I'll try to find out something helpful for you.

Also, when I was unschooling, I joined an informal group that combined unschoolers with homeschoolers.  We often got into friendly competitions that spurred us in coming up with better projects and reports.  In short, it was cool to be smart (a direct reversal of highschool).  

If there isn't anything like that in your area, you MIGHT wanna think about shipping them off to the NBTSC (Not Back To School Camp):

http://www.nbtsc.org/





 
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Junker

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2005, 09:58:30 am »

Thank you for posting, Dervish. I add some extra from looking around. Any ideas on the other two books?

The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education
by Grace Llewellyn
Paperback, Buy new: $17.00
http://isbn.nu/0962959170 - as low as $12.95

The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom
by Mary Griffith
Paperback, Buy new: $10.85 -- Used & new from: $6.85

Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School
by Grace Llewellyn, Amy Silver
Paperback, Buy new: $10.17 -- Used & new from: $9.41
« Last Edit: April 03, 2005, 10:00:17 am by Junker »
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Nedda of the Hill

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2005, 11:12:34 pm »

I'd hesitate to mix boys and workbooks.  Too much repetition and busywork.  

Byron makes a good point.  Give 'em some work to do.  Even better if it's something they can turn into a way to make money.  And even better if they're working with you.

You got a couple of little roosters on your hands, Jawbone, and they're starting to strut their stuff.  And they don't like takin' orders from the "old hen."  Let them run with you for a while.

N.
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Scarmiglione'

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2005, 08:42:02 am »

I've taken to The Well-Trained Mind.  From what I've read, 13 is around the age where they want to take all the learning they've acquired over the past 10 years and use it.  They can still learn, but learning at this point should be a path to a goal, not the goal itself.  Figure out some project that will require the learning you want them to achieve and give them the goal, and the freedom to achieve it any way the figure too.

This is how real-life learning works.  I want a shed, I better learn some basic carpentry.  I want fresh fruit, better learn some gardening.  I want fried chicken, I better learn to cool.  I want to make a computer sing and dance, I better learn programming and robotics (I want to learn robotics, I better learn electronics.  I want to learn electronics I better learn electricity.  I want to learn electricity, I better learn base physics).

 
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Junker

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2005, 08:57:41 am »

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home
by Jessie Wise, Susan Wise Bauer, S. Wise Bauer

List Price: $41.57
Price: $27.44

Editorial Review From Library Journal

Wise, a former teacher and current home education consultant, explains that she decided to home-school her three children because the local public school "was a terrible environment socially" and ranked academically as one of the lowest in the state, and the private school she and her husband had chosen seemed unable to stimulate and challenge her children. Bauer, her older daughter and now an instructor at the College of William & Mary, adds the student's perspective. Together, they provide detailed information on a home-school curriculum for a type of classical education called the "trivium." Within each of the three stages of learning (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) are suggestions for lessons, how-to tips, and lists of resources.  ...

Articles by Susan Wise Bauer

And...

What is a Classical Education?
by Susan Wise Bauer  (January 29, 2001)

Summary: An excerpt from The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home. A classical education is language-focused, and it follows a specific three-part pattern: the mind must be first supplied with facts and images, then given the logical tools for organization of facts, and finally equipped to express conclusions.

Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the mind. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments. In the high school years, they learn to express themselves. This classical pattern is called the trivium. ...

at Capitalism Magazine (In Defense of Individual Rights)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2005, 11:20:24 am by Junker »
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debra

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2005, 09:45:33 am »

FWIW, when we homeschooled our kids, it was after they'd already had several years of Gov.School. Getting my daughter to do ANYTHING was like pulling teeth. She'd easily sit there and pout/stare for days...weeks...months given the opportunity. We pulled TV, computer access, visiting friends, etc. Yet we still had to sit on top of her and *force* her to do the simplest schoolwork. It was miserable for everyone involved.

I know there are some schools of thought where you shouldn't "make" your kids do anything. Unfortunately, there really are kids out there who will simply NOT do anything even slightly difficult, regardless of the potential rewards involved (believe me, we tried everything: unschooling,  TCS, you name it).

So you make your call: force 'em to do it for their own good (and doesn't THAT phrase give you the shudders?), or you let them turn into a useless mass of protoplasm who couldn't tie their own shoes without assistance.

Ah, the joys of parenthood...  ;)
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Scarmiglione'

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2005, 11:05:56 am »

Quote
FWIW, when we homeschooled our kids, it was after they'd already had several years of Gov.School. Getting my daughter to do ANYTHING was like pulling teeth. She'd easily sit there and pout/stare for days...weeks...months given the opportunity. We pulled TV, computer access, visiting friends, etc. Yet we still had to sit on top of her and *force* her to do the simplest schoolwork. It was miserable for everyone involved.

I know there are some schools of thought where you shouldn't "make" your kids do anything. Unfortunately, there really are kids out there who will simply NOT do anything even slightly difficult, regardless of the potential rewards involved (believe me, we tried everything: unschooling,  TCS, you name it).

So you make your call: force 'em to do it for their own good (and doesn't THAT phrase give you the shudders?), or you let them turn into a useless mass of protoplasm who couldn't tie their own shoes without assistance.

Ah, the joys of parenthood...  ;)
My brother was like that.

Eventually he bummed out of everyone that would help him, and was looking at the street curb. I mean that quite literally.

He decided at that point to go off and get his own damn education, and now he's a surgical tech who just put money down to build his first home.

He graduated (If you can call it that) from a gov school, but had to be retaught how to read.  

This means that if he'd been homeschooled during his childhood years, even if he was only schooled to 4th grade level (his maximum reading level upon graduation) he still would have had the base tools necessary to get his own education once he decided he wanted it.

 
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debeez

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Homeschooling blues
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2005, 12:31:02 pm »

Jawbone-

I figure that by 11 and 13, they have most of the basics down.  They can read, write, and figure arithmetic on a competent level.  If not, then yes, you do have to lock 'em down and be the authoritative figure.

However, you do have to re-assess what your goals are.  What are you trying to accomplish?  What will these two do for a living when they are older?  What kind of skills will they need?  As Scarmig pointed out, now is the time for them to figure out their interests and pursue them.  

Hopefully there aren't too many bad habits...you know, like a serious addiction to video games or tv.  If there are, lock those things down and limit access.  Get inside their heads and figure out what motivates and interests them and then help them pursue those interests.  

Grace Llewellyn will say about the same thing in her books, which were recommended above by Dervish and others.  Throw those workbooks out and change direction.  

And if you are worried about the younger two rebelling...remind them that at a certain age, they too can kick the workbooks to the curb and go the unschooling route.  Sometimes the 'age card' does work, though I have always been very careful about using it.
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