As I speak to homeschoolers, homeschool experts, and homeschool groups, I’ve been soliciting information on what is the most popular approach to homeschooling. Here’s what I think:
Many people with their kids in virtual schools think that they are homeschooling. Of course they are not. But this is a large segment.
Of the real homeschoolers, there are a lot that are eclectic combining a series of different homeschoolers. I spoke to one lady today, Tash, who had five kids being homeschooled. The oldest two were twins age 17, the youngest was 2. The oldest were using:
- Texting Textbooks for Math
- Apologia for Science
- A Language Arts program whose name I forgot. They were using Time4Learning but stopped at the high school level when it jumped from $20 per child to $30 which they felt was prohibitive especially since the 2nd child had been only $15 up to high school.
- A social studies program who name I forgot.
There are lots that do classical in a few forms, including Classical Conversations. A Beka is not as popular, now is AOP and Saxon as they use to be. Many people just use old textbooks for cost reasons.
Still looking for real data. I saw some on Todays-Learners.com but I’m not so sure where they got it.
To stay in shape, I ride my bike and I go to the gym. At the gym, I often wear earbuds and listen to podcasts, often TED talks. On my bike, for safety, I only wear one earbud and I also listen to podcasts.
Today, I listened to a series of podcasts by Malcolm Gladwell and Panoply Media. It’s a ten week series with this being the 3rd week. I liked them but don’t love them.
The first podcast that I listened to featured Wilt Chamberlin, one the greatest US basketball player. It’s not really about basketball, it’s about how peer pressure and the mob mentality works. In a clever and entertaining fashion, the podcast sets up the fact that Wilt’s achilles heel as a player was his foul shooting. And a weak foul shooter cannot be the goto guy in a tight game at a critical moment since the defense will just foul, watch him miss the foul shots, and then get the ball back. In modern times, Shaq had the same problem. The solution of course is to learn to shoot better foul shots. At one point in his career, Wilt changed his style and started shooting brilliantly and consistently. But then, for no reason other than peer pressure, he changed back. The question can also be put this way: Is it better to shoot foul shots underhand (“granny-style”) and be a high percentage shooter, or to be like everyone else and shoot the macho over-the-head low percentage style.
It’s a fascinating question. He discusses it in many ways but he leaves out the counter arguments which sort of annoy me. I think there’s a case for it to be easier for someone to train only one way to shoot, always overhand, rather than two different ways. Or to say that this is a historical point since in the modern NBA, the foul shooting percentage is now way up. It’s between 69% and 81%.
Here’s an interesting question. Should real or mythical American history be taught to K12 students? It’s a great discussion for the 4th because it turns the usual range of political questions on their head. Here’s some ways of framing the question:
USA: Land of the Free
- In Russia, China, and maybe even in France, they teach their history in a way that makes them sound glorious and very heroic with no mistakes ever made. It’s not history, it’s self-glorification and propaganda. I’m delighted to live in the Land of the Free where when I read a history book, I know it’s not controlled by bureaucrats and politicians, it’s by independent historical scholars writing it the way they see it. Wouldn’t you agree? Here’s a trivia question, what states in the US lead in terms of their legislature trying to legislate what should be taught in K12 history textbooks?
- What information is commonly taught in K12 which you believe to be inaccurate and which has been inserted into American history for some political or other purpose?
- Who do you think is the biggest obstacle to telling real US History: The Federal or State Governments? (Hint, remember that states control curriculum, standards, and the schools in their state).
- Why do US history professors at universities all seem to think that the history taught in K12 is basically propoganda?