Archive for the ‘education’ Tag

The Best Way to Learn a Subject   Leave a comment

When a child has trouble with a subject at school or difficulty learning to read, what is the go-to way to address the problem?

When a person wants to learn to play a musical instrument, how is that usually accomplished?

When a high school student wants to up her chances of doing really well on a particular AP exam or getting the best score on college admissions tests, how does she go about doing so (aside from studying hard)?

The answer to all the previous questions is simple.  You get a tutor.  You get a teacher.   Repeat.

When you’re evaluating a school or college what is one fact the admissions office always wants you to know, especially if their statistic is especially impressive?  It’s that student/teacher ratio–the lower, the better.

Everyone knows that a one-on-one session is the best way for a person to learn a new subject or get the help he needs to truly understand and move forward in his studies.  And, when there are too many students in a class, it is generally agreed this is an obstacle to effective teaching.  Parents will start fretting if they find out their children are going to be in a classroom with a large number of other students.

So, if that is all true, why is there still resistance to one-on-one, one-on-two, one-on-three teaching?  Why is there concern that students in these tutoring environments are somehow getting shortchanged or even damaged?

If tutoring is the gold standard, the best way to remediate a knowledge shortage, why isn’t it crystal clear that homeschooling meets that criteria?

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Posted April 11, 2018 by swanatbagend in learning

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Just Faking It   2 comments

So yesterday was a homeschool day for our family.

Yesterday, that meant that I wrote the day’s work for each student up on the wipe-off board.  I read with both kids, which is a highlight and a fun time of day for me.  I often help with questions or math or whatever gets done in the morning.

Yesterday, we had an art teacher come to the house for an intro session with my high school senior so they could get to know each other and make a plan for what the weekly lessons will look like.

While they were talking my 8th grader and I went upstairs to get some work done.

That afternoon, he and I did a baking experiment together and rapidly found out why leavening is such a tasty thing.  Baking soda by itself is not appetizing, but the cupcakes that didn’t have it weren’t anything I would want to eat.

The senior helped me make fish tacos for dinner, as I’ve decided these two aren’t leaving the house without a modicum of kitchen experience.

The 8th grader learned how to do goulash the night before.

I think that covers it.

So, that sounds like a pretty good solid homeschool day, right?

I did pat myself on the back for it and wanted to brag about it on Facebook.  However, the rest of the story is that yesterday was probably the single most awesome day in my homeschooling career.  I’m coming up on eighteen years of experience, and I can assure you that most days have looked nothing like this.

I have been intending to teach the kids to cook by having them sous chef with me for literally years.

Usually I don’t do experiments.  I assign pages to read in a science book.

Usually we don’t have an art teacher coming to the house!  That is an exciting new development that just worked out this year.

I do read to them every day.  But I’m here to tell you it doesn’t usually look this wonderful.  It’s not pretty.  It’s just doing the next thing each day.

Ask me about the day the then preschooler threw something at me and knocked over the celery stalk/red food coloring experiment which then got all over people’s papers.  Ask me about how I never used to even get up on time so school started whenever I got my crap together.  Ask me about all the mornings I lit a candle in the den to just lighten the place up in January and February because I was so depressed I did not want to do anything.

Or better yet, ask them.  Yes.

Somehow they survived.  They are people rapidly approaching functional adulthood, in spite of me, not because of me.

 

 

 

Posted February 11, 2018 by swanatbagend in homeschooling, humor, motherhood, parenting

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