Thursday, April 27, 2006

The 17th Carnival of Homeschooling

The 17th Carnival of Homeschooling is up, hosted by The Common Room. I went over and took a brief look around, and chose three entries at random (OK, I admit it: I went to Math and History first because those are my favorites).

The Homeschool Math Blog contributes an essay called “Reform math - we need a BALANCE”. We old-timers consider “Reform Math” to be the bane of math education, but Ms. Miller doesn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater:

The key is a BALANCE. Truth is somewhere in the middle. Kids absolutely need to learn their addition facts and memorize their multiplication facts. Otherwise, they're going to go about learning math without a FOUNDATION.

But, I feel it is very important to teach them also WHY the rules and procedures work.

Principled Discovery features a post called Teaching Perspectives, a summary of educational philosophy:

So, I made up my own paradigm. Because I like where the TPI [Teaching Perspectives Inventory] begins, I too started with reflecting on basic beliefs. I started with a basic philosophy of government, or who is sovereign, and looked at how that naturally would affect the role of the learner and the teacher. I then looked at the goals of education which would naturally be held by that belief system. Finally, I looked at the actions, or methodology, which would most naturally lead to the stated goals. Here is my summary…

You’ll have to go over to Principled Discovery to see the summary, because it’s a large graphic and can’t be shown here.

For teaching history, Trinity Prep School unveils (with illustrations) the Book of Centuries,

We've found a fun way to incorporate history, reading comprehension, narration/composition skills, handwriting/keyboarding and art. Making a Book of Centuries is not an original idea. But I thought if I detailed how simple this project can be, other homeschool families may enjoy starting their own Book of Centuries.

Each week my kids make a story page about a person, place or event studied in history. Filed chronologically in a very large 3-ring binder, they can literally turn the pages of time!

There’s a lot more available at the 17th Carnival of Homeschooling. Homeschoolers (and wannabe homeschoolers) are advised to go over and look at all the entries.


Evan said...

I wish I could persuade my wife to homeschool. I work and she doesn't, and I have volunteered to do all of the English-language homeschooling (she already essentially homeschools him after regular school hours in her native language), but she believes in organized group schooling, for the usual reasons of developing networks of friends and socialization.

If anyone has been in a similar situation and has found effective ways to persuade his or her spouse, I would appreciate hearing them.

Dymphna said...

Socialization at school is more or less a scenario from "Lord of the Flies." We have been sold a bill of goods in that area.

I did a poll once about how people felt about their high school "socialization." Without exception, everyone remembered it unhappily and some were downright traumatized.

There are lots of groups of homeschoolers who get together now for field trips, etc.

We used Boy Scouts as our outlet because back then there weren't as many homeschoolers around. Now it's much more organized and networks are easier to find.

Some schools allow homeschoolers to come in for particular classes or for sports. This is a smart move as the child "counts" on their rolls. For private schools, it builds potential customer base, for public schools, it allows them to get more federal monies.

Music lessons are another way to network. And they should be a "must" for children the same way reading and writing are. The practices make neural pathways that seem to improve math performance. Not being in school leaves more time for practice and just playing with music.

Homeschoolers have better outcomes for higher education, lack of drug use, feelings of self-worth, etc. One bookstore owner told me she could tell the home-schooled kids as soon as they hit the door of her store. They were more focused, better behaved, and more interested in the books. They also interacted with one another without the need for being "cool."

If it's any inducement, tell your wife the "schooling" part only takes a few hours a day and you gradually wean the child toward using his own initiative to self-start the learning process. Sometimes it's going on and you don't even know it. To this day, I still can't figure out how our son became such an expert on birds, but he sure did.

If you want curiculum, I suggest the Calvert School in Baltimore. They are used by foreign service families and have been around a long time. It's well worth the money for books and the cost of the individual teacher who helps the parent oversee the learning. Papers are sent in to be graded and are returned with comments. They are accredited, too.

Have no idea what they cost now. Back then it was about 500.00 per year. It's probably double that now, but still a bargain.

One book, which does not address homeschooling, but is concerned with the destructive aspects of peer relationships is "Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Matter."

Dymphna said...

islam is the borg --

You're right. Unfortunately, private schools are sometimes not much better. The Friends' School our boy went to was so p.c. and elitist as to make the air unbreathable.

Two incidents:

Once he found some classmates locking another classmate in a closet. The latter was freaking and seemed terrified. The Boy intervened and was roundly excoriated by everyone, including the victim. So the Boy tried to talk to Administration but everyone was too busy. So he typed out a sheet of paper about what Quaker values were supposed to mean at the school and described the incident -- he hung his "theses" on two or three doors so people couldn't miss reading it. Admin. was real annoyed with him; upper school kids supported his actions. Admin finally decided the whole cohort of boys that age needed some education on bullying. Needless to say, the Boy was satisfied but the tarnish was definitely on the haloes of adults he'd previously looked up to.

Another time, kids had moved some couches out onto the lawn in the good weather. A teacher got up at Morning Meeting to complain they'd made it look like "a trailer park with the furniture scattered outside..." The Boy then stood up and asked her if she had some objection to trailer parks since his sister lived in one. The silence was, let us say, deep and thoughtful.

We took him out of the school the following year...

BTW, he and one history teacher were the token conservatives there. Everyone else was a very deeply blue liberal hue.

Hanley Family said...

socialization is not all its cracked up to isn't even what people think it is. It is "enculteration" (I read, "indoctrination.") Anyway, I just posted my thoughts on what truly is.

Thanks for the link, even if it was just a random sampling. I was wondering why I suddenly had a bunch of hits coming from Gates of Vienna. I like your blog, but I couldn't think of any reason y'all would link to me!

And I can't help you with the Swedish, but if you ever need help with a bit of German, I'd love to help!

Hanley Family said...

oops...messed up the code...didn't mean that whole thing to be linked : (