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  #21  
Old 12-07-2010, 04:52 AM
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It's certainly been magnificent for us. Absolutely magnificent. Spicy Pea graduated way ahead of her class having already earned her Certified Nursing Assistant certificate.

Sweet Pea is a full grade and a half ahead of where he "should" be and no reason to think he won't keep moving ahead.



And socially-OMG, all my kids have friends who range from MUCH younger than themselves to elderly-with no difficulty in those relationships. It wouldn't occur to them that they can't enjoy their time with any age group.

The idea of being racist or sexist is killed by their home environment. GG is part Chinese, Spicy Pea is part Puerto Rican, I'm bi, the family is poly... we're just a big huge walking, talking cauldron of different tastes.
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  #22  
Old 12-07-2010, 03:13 PM
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Actually GS I have to speak up on this one - the high school my daughters go to, and the course my 2nd is planning to enrol in does teach critical thinking the entire course is designed to make sure the kids know how to think for themselves - to not spout out the answers - to really question and think for themselves... it also has a component on social awareness - via volunteering in the community...

As soon as this became available I heaved a sigh of relief - because if the program wasn't available I would thoroughly agree with you - the program is the International Baccalaureate - and it is taught worldwide (it took our school 15 years to reach the standard required to become a Baccalaureate school - definitely worth the effort )

You can read more about it here http://www.ibo.org/

Interesting info Kat. Where are you located ? States ?

Interestingly enough, when I was working within the public system, I was there one year when we were going through the accreditation process. When I attempted to get inserted in our mission statement such a simple statement as " and to foster critical thinking skills in all our students" I was shot down quite soundly by the 'powers that be'. Although there was some theoretical agreement with the philosophy, it was plainly stated that no such statement was allowed as it was unmeasurable !
I even questioned that although I understood where that came from and what it meant. But one thing I know for certain...............if you aren't committed enough about something to put it in ink, it's rare that anything will ever progress. Failing to 'ink' it, it just becomes another escape mechanism.

Looking up the site you referred to for future use

GS
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  #23  
Old 12-08-2010, 07:07 PM
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Interesting info Kat. Where are you located ? States ?
Hey GS - located in Australia currently, planning to move to Canada eventually... the Canadian school my daughter would be moving to also offers the program - and a more extended one.. hers currently has very limited courses in the arts (even though her school is the best in our town and very highly acclaimed for their arts program - it doesn't meet international standards yet - though they are working very hard on that )

It is my understanding that Australia has only 3 or 4 IB schools nationally... it's very difficult to obtain the status and standards required...
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  #24  
Old 12-17-2010, 09:09 PM
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I'm always a day late and a dollar short.

We homeschooled because I was bullied mercilessly throughout school, to the point of writing suicidal notes in my journal when I was ten. I'm not saying this for pity, but as a fact. I put my son, reluctantly, in public preschool because it was the thing to do, and he loved it, and I loved it. He did well, the teachers were great, and I had time to focus on the new baby. However, things changed when he entered kindergarten. The teachers were always complaining about him, he was being bullied on the playground. We volunteered in his classroom, and we were shocked to see that our son was sitting alone at a table in the corner while the other kids sat together. Turns out he was talking too much so they isolated him. We spent the afternoon helping the other kids color on the paper with a green crayon and sort scraps of paper into groups of color. Our son didn't color--he was the only one in the room who didn't need to because he could read the word "green", so he didn't need remind himself with a crayon what color he was looking for. We though, our son learned to read at home and the teacher isn't teaching him at all. Nothing we saw the rest of the year changed our mind. When the teacher cornered me at the end of the year with the speech therapist and told me my son had a speech impediment--he took a breath sometimes in the middle of a word, which was "inappropriate"--BUT they weren't going to do anything about it, there wasn't anything I could do about it, and it might not even manifest as a problem, I informed them that I was going to homeschool. The teacher said, "That might be a good idea" and I thought, heck if the school doesn't want him, I'm certainly not going to force it down his throat.

We homeschooled until he was 15, and we loved it. I loved being an active part of his education. We went places, we did things, we had many opportunities which I don't think we would have had if the kids were public schooled. I still mourn the loss. My son asked to go to high school, because he said he felt isolated. He likes school, but he's hard to take sometimes. He's much more moody now, and he never has any time because he's always doing schoolwork. He's been bullied (again) and the school did nothing about it (again). He's encountered teachers who don't care if he passes or fails, and sadly, he's encountered teachers who don't know how to help him learn if he doesn't fit in a certain box. He struggles daily, and I feel helpless and angry that today might be the day that kills his love of learning. But maybe he enjoys the challenge, because he insists that he stay in this school. I'm still researching other schools, just in case.

My daughter is an easier kid. She went to a Montessori elementary school and loved it. Now she's in a gifted and talented program at middle school, but it's very mired in old-school, "think-in-the-box" type teaching, where her work is invalidated if it's not performed within strict parameters. Again, researching other schools.
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  #25  
Old 12-18-2010, 11:33 AM
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I am an anarchist and as such have different political ideas, especially ones that conflict with the idea of the government educating children.

Specific issues would be the teaching of "American History" with a focus on the establishment of government. People who believe in the valid existence of the state don't realize this subtle twist, but lesson plans are often taught from a state-centric perspective. History covers wars but never the individual, human impact wars have.

I'm anti-war, period. While American History teaches how the Americans fought the revolutionary war to cast of the chains of English tyranny, the truth is that it was the American powerful kicking off the British powerful. Their wealth was established (and retained) by the very land-grants given to them by the British et cetera.

Basically, it's a matter of perspective. Government schools (for so many reasons, from lack of perspective to legislature mandated standardized testing) have no ability to teach the values of personal freedom and responsibility that I would instill in my children and that I think are so VERY vital.

So that doesn't appeal to non-anarchists, but I've got issues with the very nature of the American education system as well. It's based on the Prussian model which was developed for the purpose of creating soldiers and factory workers. Drones, as I see them.

They seperate children by age groups, not intellectual capacity. In lower grades, this is even worse since children get instruction with the same class in ALL subjects by the same teacher. At least in middle schools, they're rotating teachers and classmates to diversify the pool of knowledge and perspectives.

I beleive the purpose of education isn't to give kids skills, it's to show them how to be adults. Gaining skills comes with that, but there's more to it. Social interactions, for instance. Development of a self-enforcing morality. Fostering non-educational interests. I think tossing a bunch of ignorant (in it's true sense of "lacking information") children together under the supervision of ONE person is contrary to this process. Children learn to be adults by interacting with adults, not children. I can't help but think that children in this kind of setting are treated like cattle, with the teachers as the herders, rather than developing, diverse, individual human beings. Even when teachers have the best intentions, they're limited to their own perspectives and value sets. It MUST come down to that since the kids aren't given enough infomation to form their own perspectives inside that model.
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  #26  
Old 12-18-2010, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine View Post
I am an anarchist and as such have different political ideas, especially ones that conflict with the idea of the government educating children.

Specific issues would be the teaching of "American History" with a focus on the establishment of government. People who believe in the valid existence of the state don't realize this subtle twist, but lesson plans are often taught from a state-centric perspective. History covers wars but never the individual, human impact wars have.

I'm anti-war, period. While American History teaches how the Americans fought the revolutionary war to cast of the chains of English tyranny, the truth is that it was the American powerful kicking off the British powerful. Their wealth was established (and retained) by the very land-grants given to them by the British et cetera.

Basically, it's a matter of perspective. Government schools (for so many reasons, from lack of perspective to legislature mandated standardized testing) have no ability to teach the values of personal freedom and responsibility that I would instill in my children and that I think are so VERY vital.

So that doesn't appeal to non-anarchists, but I've got issues with the very nature of the American education system as well. It's based on the Prussian model which was developed for the purpose of creating soldiers and factory workers. Drones, as I see them.

They seperate children by age groups, not intellectual capacity. In lower grades, this is even worse since children get instruction with the same class in ALL subjects by the same teacher. At least in middle schools, they're rotating teachers and classmates to diversify the pool of knowledge and perspectives.

I beleive the purpose of education isn't to give kids skills, it's to show them how to be adults. Gaining skills comes with that, but there's more to it. Social interactions, for instance. Development of a self-enforcing morality. Fostering non-educational interests. I think tossing a bunch of ignorant (in it's true sense of "lacking information") children together under the supervision of ONE person is contrary to this process. Children learn to be adults by interacting with adults, not children. I can't help but think that children in this kind of setting are treated like cattle, with the teachers as the herders, rather than developing, diverse, individual human beings. Even when teachers have the best intentions, they're limited to their own perspectives and value sets. It MUST come down to that since the kids aren't given enough infomation to form their own perspectives inside that model.
A massive +1 to that. I don't think I read anything that I didn't agree with there. It's the same over here in England. I've never enjoyed the school education system here. College wasn't much better, but I was actually put around a lot more mature people at a similar intelligence level for the subject I was studying. I think there was still a lot of teaching me things I didn't need to learn though. For the kind of work I want to be in, I was given a lot of useless information...
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  #27  
Old 12-19-2010, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine View Post
Specific issues would be the teaching of "American History" with a focus on the establishment of government. ..............
History covers wars but never the individual, human impact wars have.

While American History teaches how the Americans fought the revolutionary war to cast of the chains of English tyranny, the truth is that it was the American powerful kicking off the British powerful. Their wealth was established (and retained) by the very land-grants given to them by the British et cetera.

Basically, it's a matter of perspective. Government schools (for so many reasons, from lack of perspective to legislature mandated standardized testing) have no ability to teach the values of personal freedom and responsibility that I would instill in my children and that I think are so VERY vital.

So that doesn't appeal to non-anarchists, but I've got issues with the very nature of the American education system as well. It's based on the Prussian model which was developed for the purpose of creating soldiers and factory workers. Drones, as I see them.

They seperate children by age groups, not intellectual capacity. In lower grades, this is even worse since children get instruction with the same class in ALL subjects by the same teacher. At least in middle schools, they're rotating teachers and classmates to diversify the pool of knowledge and perspectives.

I beleive the purpose of education isn't to give kids skills, it's to show them how to be adults. Gaining skills comes with that, but there's more to it. Social interactions, for instance. Development of a self-enforcing morality. Fostering non-educational interests. I think tossing a bunch of ignorant (in it's true sense of "lacking information") children together under the supervision of ONE person is contrary to this process. Children learn to be adults by interacting with adults, not children. I can't help but think that children in this kind of setting are treated like cattle, with the teachers as the herders, rather than developing, diverse, individual human beings. Even when teachers have the best intentions, they're limited to their own perspectives and value sets. It MUST come down to that since the kids aren't given enough infomation to form their own perspectives inside that model.
I am so with you on this. I'm not an anarchist, but I am soooooo totally there with you on the facts that I left in the quote.

You kicked ass explaining it-wish more people understood these faulty circumstances in our educational system!
I want my children to learn to THINK, not simply to obey.

That concept was driven home to me in highschool (my own highschool) when I joined JROTC. I had MORE education on thinking for myself in the military style training than I did in my REGULAR CLASSES! EEK!

My ten year old son whose never seen the inside of a public school thinks for himself so well.
My older three kids who had some public school and some not, all struggle with just following along.

Yes-I understand that as people each child is different, but it's impossible to not see the changes after a child enters that type of environment opposed to before they ever set foot in it.

Thank you for writing it out so much more eloquently than I could.
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  #28  
Old 12-22-2010, 10:52 AM
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I'll add my voice to those agreeing.

I think grouping children by age and making them learn set things at set times regardless of their interest or ability just seems totally nuts, and I too want them to question things (yes even adults) and think for themselves and not have to learn to fit in just to survive school.
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