kitchen table math, the sequel: Dawn weighs in on terminology

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dawn weighs in on terminology

I think you guys need to stop calling it after-schooling. What you're doing IS homeschooling, it's just that the homeschooling gets interrupted by 6 hours of crafts and confusion.
This reminds me of the time I sat next to a former head of JPL. He said he'd gone many rounds with his school district. Once he went to a school board meeting & said something along the lines of: "You have the kids sequestered here 6 hours a day and you can't teach them anything in that time?"

I remember being tickled by the word sequestered.


NIkita said...

My children have just started school after years of homeschooling. I say they are caged for 6 hours a day.

And no, the one in grade school does not seem to be learning anything in that time. The jury is still out on the high school.


Redkudu said...

What worries me more is the move to more time in school. We have before school for mandatory math tutoring that starts at 7:30, are going to be going to after-school mandatory tutoring in math, science, and English (it's a new idea called "Summer School Now"), and our normal school day runs from 8:30 - 4, with 90 minute periods and block scheduling.

Another thing that bothers me is that the "Summer School Now" idea - while it may have some merits - is for kids who are just plain failing classes, not because they've been identified as not mastering material. And, as I've mentioned, we've got English teachers teaching Writer's Workshop this year instead of any concrete curriculum - so what about those kids who don't want to talk about themselves endlessly? It troubles me.

VickyS said...

[W]hat about those kids who don't want to talk about themselves endlessly?

Right. And that's why I don't believe for a minute the English teachers who say "all the kids" love Writer's Workshop.

My guess is that we could take a vote here: how many of your children like Writer's workshop (or the equivalent as has been discussed in many ktm threads)? I think we'd find (1) not too many and (2) of those who do like it, most are girls.

LexAequitas said...

I find it sad that you guys don't want kids to enjoy their childhoods, and just push them and push them before they're ready to do advanced work. Also you should give the constructive curricula a chance, they're designed to work with the way people naturally think.

Just kidding.

I think that unfortunately, teachers are not actually rewarded for teaching, either through salary or through other incentives. Thus, though they think otherwise, teaching is not really their core skill. Classroom management is their core skill. Teachers who can manage a class effectively are viewed as good teachers, regardless of whether they can teach effectively. Arts & crafts is a good, easy way to manage a group of children.

Teachers tend to take this kind of characterization harshly, though they really shouldn't: managing groups of people is a great skill.

Anyway, I've after-schooled my kids since prior to kindergarten. I think the terminology has to stay as "after-schooling", simply due to the very different circumstances. You don't usually have to worry about correcting the teacher when you're home-schooling.

SteveH said...

"very different circumstances"

Yes, the first 15 minutes consists of debriefing. "The teacher said what?"