kitchen table math, the sequel: Crimson Wife on homeschooling vs afterschooling

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Crimson Wife on homeschooling vs afterschooling

My kids are zoned to attend one of those "nominally high achieving" but actually mediocre schools. Since I'd have to "afterschool" them to make up for the school's academic deficiencies, I don't see the point in enrolling them in the first place. So we homeschool, and free up our afternoons for a mix of organized activities and unstructured free play.
My question to Crimson Wife: how did you know?

I'm always amazed by people who manage to figure things out years before I figure things out.

Not that that should be amazing.

But, still.


Catherine Johnson said...

A few years ago I started being amazed at my capacity to still be amazed.

Luke said...

That is a good question. I don't know how people figure this out, but what I love is how they find the other joys and benefits of homeschooling after that [smile]. At least, that's basically what happened with my parents when they started homeschooling me.


Catherine Johnson said...

Hi Luke!

Were you homeschooled all the way through school?

Tell us!

Jennifer said...

This is exactly what we do. After kindergarten, when I realized that the supposedly "good" school that is in our neighborhood was just the place where progressive "ideas" go to not-die, I took my daughter out. We do school at home, with more academics in less time, and have our afternoons free to do whatever we like.

Luke said...

I attended a private Christian school for Kindergarten, then I was homeschooled through 8th, attended a public high school, and then went on to a private Christian university.

My wife, on the other hand, was homeschooled until college where we met [smile].


Crimson Wife said...

I've got a kid who taught herself to read at 3 1/2 and by the time she would've entered the local kindergarten was reading (and comprehending) long chapter books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, C.S. Lewis, etc. She's also advanced in math, though not by quite as much.

I spoke with the local superintendent about the district GATE program to find out what they do for the primary grades (they've got a separate class beginning in 4th grade).

The superintendent flat-out lied to me and said the state ed code did not allow for a separate GATE class in the primary grades. I happen to know for a fact that's B.S. because there's a very highly rated magnet school down in the L.A. area (Balboa) that takes kids as young as 1st grade.

Aside from the issue with my individual child, the school for which my family is zoned scores in the top 10% statewide but in the bottom 20% compared to schools with similar demographics.

Barry Garelick said...

From my article "One Step Ahead of the Train Wreck":

The danger of an “after schooling” program such as I was conducting is a tendency for the students to think of the math learned at home to be different or unconnected with the math learned at school. My goal of staying one step ahead of train wrecks worked to get to the topics first, so that by the time they got to it in school, they had seen it before. This was difficult since I was held hostage to EM’s topsy turvy sequencing and occasionally was forced to tackle things like geometry that came out of nowhere. ...

Poorly structured math programs are not fair to students, parents or teachers. It is unfair to students because in order to learn anything, they must essentially attend another class after a full day in addition to finishing their homework for school. It is unfair to parents who have to either teach their kids or hire tutors—and are held hostage to the school’s math program whether they like it or not. And it is not fair to teachers who are expected to teach students based on an ineffective and ill-structured program.