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  #31  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:05 AM
Janice D. Soderling Janice D. Soderling is offline
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That being said, I think it's mighty suspicious that my eldest, at 14, knows for a certainty that one whiff of second-hand cigarette smoke will kill him instantly, but had no idea (when I asked him) what the European Union is, or that there even is such a thing.

I am tempted to ask "Don't you discuss public events at home?" but won't.

When the family gets together these days I love the end-of-the meal arguing/debating that goes on among the grandchildren (from 16 to 21) and includes the adults who are lucky enough to get a word in edgewise.
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  #32  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:05 AM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
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The one time I read for Amherst I stayed at the grand old King's Inn. The desk clerk was reading Sylvia Plath while standing under a painting of Emily Dickinson. I pointed to the painting and gently suggested "You should be reading her." The girl asked "Who is she?" In Amherst! It was an occasion for total despair.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:06 AM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
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The one time I read for Amherst I stayed at the grand old King's Inn. The desk clerk was reading Sylvia Plath while standing under a painting of Emily Dickinson. I pointed to the painting and gently suggested "You should be reading her." The girl asked "Who is she?" The poor lass had no idea who Emily Dickinson is. In Amherst! It was an occasion for total despair.
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  #34  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:10 AM
Janice D. Soderling Janice D. Soderling is offline
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One ill-informed girl doth not a disaster make, or a swallow a summer.

I'll bet you can find a boy in Menlo Park NJ who doesn't know who Thomas Edison is. Maybe two.

At least she was reading.
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  #35  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:19 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Maybe she would have worked her way to Dickinson at her own pace, finding her own way. Actually, Plath as a gateway to Dickinson could be a logical progression. She likes Plath, picks up a book about her work that mentions Dickinson and decides to read her next.
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  #36  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:30 AM
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Williamb Williamb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janice D. Soderling View Post
I am tempted to ask "Don't you discuss public events at home?" but won't.

When the family gets together these days I love the end-of-the meal arguing/debating that goes on among the grandchildren (from 16 to 21) and includes the adults who are lucky enough to get a word in edgewise.
It's a fair question, Janice. I only get my kids on weekends, as I'm divorced. I live in a duplex and I'm something of a hermit: stacks of books all around, but a kick-ass entertainment center and PC. When I get my boys I take them swimming, or to the parks about town. We dine out most of the time.

My boys go to a chartered school here and this school doesn't do report cards or anything like that. They email the kids' grades to my ex-wife, and she fills me in on how they're doing. It's actually a pretty busy interaction between parent and teacher. My ex gets several emails a week. She doesn't forward them to me and I haven't asked, though maybe I should.

Anyway, when I brought up the issue of the European Union, I was dumbfounded that my eldest didn't even know it existed. And his grades are all A's and B's.

On the flip-side of the coin, he told me that his social studies teacher had the class spend more than a week on the Civil War prison camp at Andersonville, and were shown photos that made the Nazi camp survivors look healthy by comparison. I would post a link to a photo of one survivor of that diabolical camp, but it's too arresting, too graphic. The evil that man can do to his fellow man never ceases to disturb and sicken me, even as I near my fiftieth year on this earth. It's the reason I've found faith in God. I don't believe in Hell, but I find it unconscionable that certain people should slip into oblivion scot free, without being taken to account for the awful and obscene things they did when they were alive. That may very well be the way it is, but I don't have to like it.

I'm rambling, sorry...
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  #37  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:47 AM
G. M. Palmer G. M. Palmer is offline
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I'm not sure where people get the notion that homeschool children aren't socialized.

First of all, since when do you only spend time with your age cohort? The shoehorning of children into age groups (instead of interest and ability groups) is the most ignorant part of compulsory public education.

Secondly, who is a hermit and keeps their kids at home 24-7? These parents would raise bad kids with our without homeschooling. My children and all of their homeschooling peers go out to events once a week, do Girl Scouts, participate in church, travel, and do all sorts of engaging, socializing activities.

Thirdly, of course parents want to brainwash their children. That's why we have children--we want them to believe the good things we believe. Sometimes that means, if our good beliefs don't match up with society's, that we get Nazi children or Communist children or Juche children or bigoted, intolerant children--but since most people don't suck, this isn't generally the case.

Fourthly, homeschooled students are sought after by colleges because they're just about the only kids who are self-motivated and well-read.
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  #38  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:11 AM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
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Michael, I think home schooling is very solid. The schooling I got at home was way better than I got in the classroom. My parents were just way smarter and better educated than my teachers. For years now, the National Spelling Bee has been won by a home schooled child. At the same time, there's much to be said for captaining a debate team or running for class president and winning. Frankly, I was very fortunate in the public school education I got. We public school kids were at an awesome disadvantage to the preppies when we got to college, but by sophomore year we caught and passed them.

Last edited by Tim Murphy; 04-30-2012 at 10:16 AM.
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  #39  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:36 AM
G. M. Palmer G. M. Palmer is offline
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That's true--but at least in Florida homeschooled kids can participate in extracurricular activities (the so-called "Tim Tebow Rule") AND they get to go to junior college (dual enrollment) for free starting at 15 (and participate in those activities, too).

I understand the push to start formal schooling earlier and earlier (let's get those kids out of those bad homes!) but 7 is too early, 6 is far too early, 5 is just silly, and 4 is right out--but that's where we've gotten to; "voluntary pre-k" will soon become "mandatory pre-k"--and then where have all the childhoods gone?
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  #40  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:41 AM
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Laura Heidy-Halberstein Laura Heidy-Halberstein is offline
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Quote:
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. For years now, the National Spelling Bee has been won by a home schooled child.
No, it has not. In the last 14 years it's been won twice by totally home schooled children and twice by semi-home schooled children.

What it has been won by is Indian-American children. 9 of the last 13, to be exact.

http://www.spellingbee.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._Bee_champions
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