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Author Topic: How will these kids fit in academically in school?  (Read 18532 times)
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cassidy336
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« on: March 19, 2009, 05:24:08 PM »

I'm all for educating my son but I'm wondering about schooling.  I don't really want to homeschool, but I don't want him to be bored in a typical school.  I'm prepared to send him to private school but from the limited amount of research I've done on schools I'm not sure that will be challenging enough.

My son isn't yet 2 so I have time to figure school out, but I have decided against preschool.  Does anyone have experience with kids that went to regular schools after learning so much so young? 



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trulypearl
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 06:04:26 PM »

My child is only 9 months old.  I have heard the same comments from moms in my mommy group.  They said that their older children were bored after attending public school.  Their child were too adavnce and lost all interest in learning.  This then cause them to fail not because they weren't smart but just plain didn't want to do the work because it was too easy.  I myself is afraid this might happen to my own child. 

Cassidy336 this is a great question and will return to this forum to read about others experiences. 

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DadDude
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2009, 06:07:52 PM »

There was a thread recently about this very question.  Click here

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cassidy336
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2009, 06:25:33 PM »

I think I'm more and more leaning towards homeschooling although I never really wanted to do it.  There are so many great opportunities out there now for homeschoolers - I know our zoo and aquarium have great classes - that I bet would be would a great experience.  And, I guess we are all homeschooling now to some degree since our kids are learning so much.  It would just be nice if the there was a good school that would challenge the children.  Maybe there are some good ones out there.



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DadDude
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2009, 07:11:11 PM »

Personally, I would be very worried if we weren't planning on homeschooling.  I've recently become fairly familiar with what is taught in grades K-2 or so.  Those are all things that my boy, age 2, is starting to learn now.  If we continue on as we have been, then by age 5, he may have mastered this material, pretty much everything taught in grades K-2, completely.  This means that we will have intentionally brought our kid three grades ahead of his peers.  Intentionally.  And then we pack him off to school and make him learn all of that stuff again, for another three years?  In an ordinary public school, I wonder how he could fail to be bored.  I would expect him to be bored.  After the novelty of school itself wore off, it would be weird if he weren't bored.

Of course, it might not work out that way.  Maybe he won't learn so fast.  Maybe he'll be stuck learning bits and pieces of things from the K-2 curriculum, poorly, until he's five, and then Kindergarten would just solidify what he had learned poorly.  But based on everything I gather from reports here on BrillKids, TeachYourBabyToRead, other online forums, and books I've read, this isn't very likely.  Instead, if we continue on as we have been, then the kid is going to be "a few grades ahead," at least, and his grasp of the material will be good.

I do not wish to advocate for home schooling, because I know that's a very hard choice for a lot of people, and perhaps not feasible financially or for other reasons.  But, personally, I think early learning and homeschooling go hand-in-hand.  The reason, to me, is simple: they are both about maximizing the knowledge and understanding of your child by "doing it yourself."  The Doman folks are already "homeschooling" their preschoolers.  The sorts of things I'm doing now, as my boy's main "teacher," are just the sort of things I would expect to have to do as a homeschooling papa.

The two movements don't necessarily have to converge.  It depends in part on your approach.  Consider this--it's very interesting, I think.

I think there are two approaches to early education: a "mind-priming" method and a more ambitious "academic" method.  The "mind-priming" Doman method involves teaching your kid single words, then couplets, then sentences.  When it comes to "encyclopedic knowledge," I get the sense that many Doman families cover only a relatively limited number of topics, which is fine.  They don't try to cover "the whole curriculum."  Then, after age 3 or so, does Doman really have much to say what to do with children?  Maybe not.  You can keep showing them flashcards, but at a certain point the flashcards go away and the focus of "academic" learning switches to more substantial media like books.  But basically, the kid might then go into preschool, or do a little more "academic" work, but nothing too ambitious.  The purpose of this ordinary Doman method is basically just to give your child a leg up, an advantage, so his or her mind is "prepped" for a childhood and lifetime of learning.  This makes sense and it's great.  And it looks perfectly consistent with a slightly "accelerated" or "gifted" sort of public school education.  I can see a Doman kid educated in this way fitting in well in a public school, as long as they had some "accelerated" programs for "gifted" kids.

But I get the sense that there is another sort of Doman family, more aggressively "academic," which doesn't use the method to "prep" the mind in some vague (but real and beneficial) way, but instead uses it as the first stage in a years-long concerted effort to impart boatloads of facts, experiences, and skills--as long as the kid remains motivated and interested in learning.  I saw someone online saying recently that their kid read Charlotte's Web to her parents at age 2.5--seems hard to believe, but after what I've learned in the last few months, I do believe it.  This is going to be one of those kids who reads The Lord of the Rings at age 5, as I heard someone say about her kid on the TeachYourBabyToRead mailing list.  Then there's the kid who was showcased on some talk show (Ellen, I think it was), who at age 5 was rattling off facts about presidents and reading very fluently out of Ellen Degeneris' book.  A kid doesn't get that way by accident, by casually browsing through books.  The parents are highly motivated and they lead a child through a lot of material.  They don't limit themselves to flashcards and the other elements of the Doman method, because the Doman method couldn't teach all those things.  Rather, they are reading lots of books, watching educational videos, maybe taking classes, taking educational outings, talking all the time to their kids, doing Montessori, doing actual sports and music lessons, etc.  They do not necessarily have to "push" their children because the children have grown up this way and like all these educational activities.  But, of course, some of these parents do push their kids, more than they should do, probably with some bad effects--that's a danger those with the "academic" approach should be careful of, I think.

Now, frankly, I don't see how you could put a 5-year-old kid who could read The Lord of the Rings to himself into a typical public school, even a typical accelerated program.  I imagine that a typical accelerated Kindergarten program will teach at, say, a first or second grade level.  That's not advanced enough for this kid.  He won't be just a little bored, he'll be tortured and bored out of his skull.

Similarly, there are two different approaches to homeschooling (or, instead, two points on a spectrum of approaches).  There's the unschooling approach, which lets the kid do whatever he wants, is very suspicious of too many books or too much of organized anything.  These are the people who want to "let their kids be kids," who emphasize the educational aspects of play, and so forth.  Then there's the classical schooling approach, who take Education very seriously, who have a big long curriculum to master and, if it is mastered, the kid will emerged very well educated and prepared for whatever he wants to do in life, including (but not necessarily) a professional or academic life.

Now I can get to my point.  I think the "academic" approach to early education, which goes beyond the basics that Doman provides, goes hand-in-hand with classical approach to homeschooling, or something like it.  (One wouldn't have to follow all the advice of the various people who describe their approach as "classical" necessarily.)  If you are starting out by going out of your way to give your child lots and lots of learning experiences, then it becomes harder to justify handing the child over to a school that does not meet his needs.  It would be more natural to just continue doing what you have been doing--which is homeschooling.

I can put my most important point very briefly.  If you're the kind of parent who is catering to your child's thirst for knowledge in the most active way, with much reading, showing flash cards, some educational videos, etc., etc., and you plan to do this from age 0 until age 5 or so, and you're then going to put your kid into a regular public school (or even a reasonably good private, parochial, or charter school), then I have to wonder.  Why are you doing all this intensive teaching when the amount of substantial teaching is going to drop dramatically when junior goes off to school, and the things junior is taught in Kindergarten or the first grade are exactly what he learned when he was 1 or 2 or 3?

Doesn't that cause a bit of cognitive dissonance?

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hafam
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2009, 09:28:35 PM »

Hi

I will do more research on this and possibility of homeschooling as soon as my material preparation for my baby ease a bit.

However I do wonder how I can do homeschooling when I have to go to work for our family living. As the kid grows up, the material is much more advanced and preparation time is harder. Not to talk about our knowledge is very limited, how can we find out info enough to teach our kids what we have no clue about.

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clementine428
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2009, 09:57:33 PM »

In regard to hafam's comment: "As the kid grows up, the material is much more advanced and preparation time is harder. Not to talk about our knowledge is very limited, how can we find out info enough to teach our kids what we have no clue about."

I was in public school through 8th grade at which point my parents homeschooled me. My mother and father never went to college, so our family thought it was a horrible idea but it actually worked out very well. I was always raised to believe that education was fun and extremely important so I actually had no problem teaching myself the subjects that my mother wasn't good at, like math and grammar. For other classes, like writing classes or biology I was able to take classes at community colleges and with other homeschool groups. Now, it  is rare that any child would take an interest in teaching themselves but most of them aren't taught by their parents the value of a good education like  I was. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was teaching myself calculus (and I'm not a math genius at all). My family wondered if I really was learning anything, but when I took the SAT and the scores came back, they realized that the scores were high enough to get me into Yale, so homeschooling really was working.

The other option is to homeschool until high school, which is what my two best friends from college did. They were very successful homeschooling and the advanced classes offered in high school continued stimulating them. They both had SAT scores in the upper 1 % of the nation, with one of them having a full scholarship to Princeton.

I definitely suggest homeschooling but you need to be aware of the legal issues in your state. California, where I grew up, is very strict about homeschooling and as far as I know just last year was considering making into law that all homeschooling parents have a teaching credential. That idea was thrown out though. A good place to start looking for information is the home school legal defense association. 

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cassidy336
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2009, 11:59:25 PM »

DadDude, you make some very good points.  My son has pushed me from day one. I'm here because I wasn't doing enough with him and I searched and searched to find something that would satisfy his need to learn.  He already has a "favorite president" and loves as much of this information that I will teach him.  He is leaps and bounds ahead of kids twice his age, and we have only actively been doing Doman for a month.  I guess it is hard to accept that I'm going to homeschool because it almost doesn't seem like a choice, it seems like a natural progression.  Then again, if anyone told me I would be nursing an almost 2 year old, or having my next child in a birthing center, I would have laughed!

I believe it was Doman who said that schools could handle gifted kids, but not kids with IQs of 200, which is what most of us are probably creating. I'm so thankful for the internet because it will make things much easier I'm sure.

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Tiger Lily
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2009, 01:02:57 AM »

Hi everyone,

I have just been exploring this exact question.  Homeschooling v's traditional schooling. I am a primary teacher and I know I could teach my child better than anyone else.  It would be one on one, I know the curriculum and we could work at our own pace.  My husband is supportive of this and is an engineer so higher order maths and science would be covered. HOWEVER, after much deliberation, we have decided to send our daughter to a private school for the following reasons:

1.  Socialisation. To make real connections with other children and build relationships is just as important as academics.  To learn to tolerate people we don't necessarily like is important to our teenage and adulthood years.

2.  Feeling accomplished.  I want our daughter to be proud of her achievements and accept awards at assembly or be able to be the best in the class at whatever her special skill is.

3.  Independence.   I know our children grow up way too quickly and we want them with us all the time, but I think it allows the child to develop their own sense of being when they are exposed to different people and different situations. 

BUT

In saying I will send my daughter off to school but this will not stop me from being a part of her schooling.  I expect the teacher to keep me up to date with what the children are learning, so we can extend on these topics further at home.  As my daughter is so hungry for information and she learns so quickly, I would expect a program to be put in place for her.  If she is reading by the time she is at school, then it is the teachers obligation to ensure my daughter has a challenging curriculum, just like the other students.  I will be monitoring this and ensuring my daughter gets what she needs.

I think as a teacher the biggest misconception from parents is that they can not play a part in the schooling. 
- Volunteer in the class for reading/spelling/science etc
- have regular meetings with the teacher
- communicate on a regular basis
- have your child show you what they have been doing in the classroom in the mornings/afternoons when you drop them off
- have projects that are on the same/similar topic that you can do at home, but your child can then share with the class

I feel better knowing that we are sending our daughter to a very well disciplined school and know that I am there to support and back her up the whole way.  She will have the best of both worlds.



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DadDude
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2009, 05:21:14 AM »

On the socialization question, the following book is really good:

Guterson, Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense

Another good discussion of this is in The Well-Trained Mind, but that is more expensive.

My impression is that most active homeschoolers sincerely believe that their kids are being better socialized at home and many "extra-curricular activities" than they would be surrounded by their peers in an institutional setting.  Many studies back this up, I gather.

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norcalmommy
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2009, 07:52:05 AM »

I'm going to the library tomorrow to pick up The Well Trained Mind as it seems like a very interesting book.

DadDude & Cassidy336,  Would you share how you organize your lesson plans for your child(ren). DadDude, you mentioned you recently became familiar with K-2 curriculum - what were some of you best resources? I'm truly trying to develop a plan for teaching my son that is well thought out and is fun for him.  What do your programs look like and what resources have you found most helpful?

Thanks!

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cassidy336
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2009, 10:51:06 AM »

I don't have lesson plans at this point.  I want to get there and I go back and forth feeling guilty for not doing them now since it is the best time for him to learn and then thinking that he isn't even 2 and if he only wants to watch trucks he is still building his right brain.

I know I want him to learn Spanish so I try to show him at least one video with Spanish audio on it everyday.  I also try to do at least one math presentation.  Other than that we just go with what he wants.  Sometimes we go over Presidents for 30 minutes, other times he only wants to watch trucks. 

This is all so new to me that I will get a plan soon, but it will still be based on what he is interested in.   I have a great attachment moms group with great kids so we have an art in the park morning and friday playdates and I like us both socializing with people that I respect and like.

I think socializing would be the biggest reason why I wouldn't want to homeschool.  I'm sure the research DadDude posted will show that homeschoolers are fine in that regard.  I just want him to have a crush on someone and to see the same kids on a regular basis.  My husband has had the same friends since he was 5 years old.  I really want that for my son.  I realize there are ways to connect with homeschoolers in the area and I have several friends that aren't doing preschool so they will at least be around for the next few years.

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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2009, 01:40:46 PM »

I'm definitaly thinking about homeschooling. There is really little reason why we shouldn't. I think that by sending children who have been taught so early on subjects that I didn't know about until I was a teenager, I would be doing them a huge disservice. Could you imagine sitting in a class room being taught things that your mom or dad showed you when you were two? It would be so boring. I would want to dissembowel myself in class.  Wink

I do believe, however, that as parents we need to review material and go into greater depths in the subjects that were first introduced to our children as babies. This is just the natural progression of higher learning. We will have to education ourselves on how to best transition from the Doman method to something more traditional as our children age. We will be doing this together!

Our children have been given a wonderful advantage in life. My in-laws see how brilliant my two-year-old is every time that he goes over to their house. They always say, "I don't remember our children doing that at his age!" It's not because he is smart, it's because he has been given educational opportunities, love, and encouragement since the day he was born.

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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2009, 03:18:20 PM »

DadDude & Cassidy336,  Would you share how you organize your lesson plans for your child(ren). DadDude, you mentioned you recently became familiar with K-2 curriculum - what were some of you best resources? I'm truly trying to develop a plan for teaching my son that is well thought out and is fun for him.  What do your programs look like and what resources have you found most helpful?

"Lesson plans" posted elsewhere (well, not the lesson plans but a description of what I do).  Resources for becoming familiar with the curriculum, well...just making new presentations has required me to study things, just to make sure I've gotten it right.  We also got a number of educational books that discuss curriculum matters.  One of them is The Children's Literature Lover's Book of Lists, which covers nonfiction as well as story books.  I also, for my "day job," have studied state standards from time to time.  They're published online, just search Google on "state standards".

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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2009, 06:06:24 PM »

If you do decide to homeschool, would you wait until the child is 18 to send them to college?  I know there are AP classes now so kids can go to college with 48 credits, can homeschoolers get AP credit? 

I guess I thought if my son went to a private school that he would skip a grade or two.  If I do homeschool I will of course keep teaching him things, but I'm wondering if you can do AP credit and still have them enter college early, with a bunch of credits. 

I want my son to fit in with other kids, but I want to make sure that he is challenged.  If he is ready for college material early, then it would just make sense to start on it.

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