Parents Homeschooling Because of Common Core
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    fairylover's Avatar
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    Default Parents Homeschooling Because of Common Core

    I read an article about parents who are now homeschooling because their local schools have switched to common core. It made me wonder what you guys think about this. Are any of you here because of common core? Has it influenced the way you homeschool or the reasons why you homeschool? Please read this article and let me know what you think.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    For me personally, common core had nothing to do with my decision to homeschool. We knew before our son was born that we would homeschool him. I hated school. His father hated school. It just didn't seem like a good option for us.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    Since I was homeschooling long before Common Core, obviously, our decision to homeschool had nothing to do with Common Core.

    However, Classical Conversations is very big in the homeschool community. It is expanding exponentially each year. Classical Conversations is a tutoring franchise that in PK-6 offers a three year rotation of material. All the locations throughout the country use the same year at the same time. So, each year there is a common set of material presented at every Classical Conversations. Year 2 week 14 information presented in TN is the same information presented in year 2 week 14 in NJ. There is a common core of material.

    I have no problem with a common core of information that every second grader should cover in second grade. This would mean that if you move from one state to another that there will be some sort of consistency in what is taught. States can expect more- add in their on requirements. Still, if your child goes to school in one state for third grade and another for fourth, you shouldn't find that the new school is way ahead of the old school thus either leaving gaps in your child's knowledge or necessitating a grade repeat. So, I absolutely have no problem with the the states deciding to better align their grade level expectations.

    However, the problem is that No Child Left Behind actually caused us to fall in international education rankings, and I am wary of implementing Common Core nearly nationwide all at once. If this is indeed test driven, then wouldn't it make sense to beta test a core for several years starting with grades K-3 adding a grade each year for three years in a few states. Test the children against international standards and see if the kids test scores improve? Heck, you know when you are working with Beta software there will be glitches. You know that even after a Beta during the initial release there are still patches that come out. Why would we bet essentially our entire nation's future on a Beta program? This is my concern with Common Core.

    JMHO-
    Mandy
    Last edited by Mandy in TN; 01-28-2014 at 01:35 PM.
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

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    Good points Mandy.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    I was homeschooling before Common Core, so that is not the reason I started homeschooling. The parts of common core that I disagree with are not the "up front and open" reason common core exists. The parts I disagree with are the collection of data, the refusal of teachers to share the new curriculum with parents, and other less transparent reasons.

    The other concern that I have as to do with the idea that education is supposed to be under state supervision, but a national standard does not take into account the variables that occur within a state. Does that make sense? I guess what I'm trying to say is that one standard for 2nd grade in an affluent/white community where parents are both college graduates will not work for an extremely poor/Hispanic community where the parents do not speak English (not passing judgement on parent's education level, but rather their ability to speak English). I'm not saying that either community is more or less deserving, but they are not equal and can't be expected to perform the same with an identical curriculum.
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    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    I wish the grade goals for math were clearer, so that teachers could identify their main goal. I am of the KISS mindset rather than the more is better mindset. I wish they just said something like:

    Kindergarteners should master counting to and the visually recognition of numbers to 100.
    First graders acheive mastery of adding and subtracting single digit numbers.
    Second graders acheive mastery of adding and subtracting multiple digit numbers.
    Third graders should master multiplication and division facts through 12.
    Fourth graders should master multiple digit multiplication and division.
    Fifth graders should master the 4 operations with fractions.
    Sixth graders should master the 4 operations with decimals and percents.
    Seventh graders should master order of operations and the 4 operations with negative numbers.
    Depending on test scores, grades, teacher recommendation, and parental input, eighth graders will either spend a year reviewing and strengthening previous skills and be introduced to very basic Alg1 concepts in a course called Pre-Alg or be placed in Alg1.

    This should be a primary goal, and anything else should be secondary with wording that indicates exposure. Children should be able to move ahead as they are able, and teachers should be allowed to determine the means by which these goals are reached and any exposure is achieved. I am not against there being suggested methods or activities, but I am against these things being dictated. The above mentioned goals are necessary to move forward and age/ developmentally appropriate. It gets the average paced child to Alg1 in 8th or 9th grade with a mastery of previous skills that were logically built upon.

    Sure, there will be kids who don't reach the goal, but the ability to add single digit numbers by the end of first grade isn't vocabulary dependent and therefore should be achievable by most students of average intelligence working without learning differences regardless of English language ability or socio-economic status. It is also the skill that is built upon and necessary to move toward high school math.

    I would not want these goals lowered for lower income areas, areas with higher immigrant populations, or states whose children are currently behind. I would begin with grades K-3 and add a grade each year. There is no acceptable reason why a first grader should not learn basic addition and subtraction. Good grief, a 6yo child who speaks absolutely no English can be taught to add and subtract with dot patterns (think about dice and dominos). This is BTDT experience talking. I have taught numerous preK-age ELL students to add without issue.

    Children who are working ahead of goals should be allowed to do so. Children behind goals should be met where they are. When children move from one area to another, their mastery tests should be sent to the new school and they should be able to pick up where they left off. Yes, that's correct I would divide math class into at least two parts- a mastery part where children work at their own pace and an exposure part (for stuff like time (days, months, telling time, elapsed time), measurement, shapes/ geometry, number sense, and word problems) where the class is taught as a group. I may would even throw in a third part, real-world explorations, because math is applicable to real life.

    By fourth grade and continuing through seventh, my ideal math classroom would be a full hour where kids have 15-20 min of independent math work where they work on their computation goals meeting them at their level. Then, there would be a period of teacher-led group instruction of exposure with student participation followed by problems solved either in small groups or independently where the teacher walks around and offers assistance. Occasionally (once per week or every other week), I would toss in a day of real world exploration. Younger kids can work with pattern blocks, puzzles, legos, sharing/ dividing things, grouping things, etc. Older kids would figure out how many cans of paint they need to paint a room, how much carpet they need to carpet a room, how many ways they can make a certain amount of furniture fit it a room, how they can purchase different grocery lists on a budget, how they can modify a recipe for different size groups, how to balance a checkbook, how to quickly figure percents for sale items and tips, as well as finding fun with multiples, number sequences, and probability, etc. I wouldn't expect another teacher's class to look like mine and I would appreciate hearing different ways to meet the basic goals that have mastery testing to move to the next level, approach exposure, and encourage delight in math.

    However- I was not asked to contribute to Common Core. Imagine that. lol
    Mandy
    Last edited by Mandy in TN; 01-30-2014 at 10:42 AM.
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

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    I don't think any of us were asked to contribute Mandy. They wouldn't like what I have to offer. I think there is too much of a rush to turn kids into mini adults. We need to let kids be kids. This is something that is grossly overlooked in public schools.
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    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    My thought was not to lower standards for children whose first language is not English, but it is not fair to expect them to understand things explained in English if they don't even speak English. I'm basing part of this on a friend of mine who lived in a border town in Texas. When she substituted in the K and 1st grade classes she said that children would come to class for the first time and not know their names because for 4-6 years their name within the family was "M'iho" or "M'iha" (a term of endearment derived from "mi hijo" my son, or "mi hija" my daughter.) Contrast this with children who have had their name embroidered on everything since they were born. They are not on equal footing as far as their language arts skills. I get that they can learn math without English, but they might not have back up at home for the language arts requirements.

    If the people making CC had asked more input, I'm sure it would be a more workable system
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    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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    I think that is a real problem with teaching to the test. They do not take into consideration the differences in background between families. It's not a racial issue or a income level problem. It's just that families are different. But these differences are not considered at all.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    I apologize for not being clearer. ELL's LA scores specifically would be impacted but their science and social studies scores will also be impacted. OTOH- in grade school ELL's math computation skills should in no way be impacted. Math computation is a universal language.

    I don't disagree that ELL (as well as LD learners) throw a curve ball to those people evaluating the statistics. I am certain that the powers that be will have the ability to look at the data many ways (like running reports w/o ELL and LD students, running reports by ethnicity, etc.) so that they can compare apples to apples.

    However, standards are not written to accommodate the minority (kids with LDs, ELL, gifted students, etc). They are written as a guideline for the neuro-typical student without language barriers, and they should be. To the best of my knowledge, most states have guidelines for creating IEPs for students who fall outside the norm.

    As far as m'ijo, I still call my 20yo m'ijo. That is a parental term of endearment. Siblings, cousins, friends, etc. wouldn't be calling these children m'ijo. They know their names. I can think of several reasons they wouldn't answer when called that have nothing to do with not knowing their names.
    1. They go by a nickname. This would be like a little boy named William not answering because no one ever called him William. Everyone calls him Billy. He may or may not know his full name, but he would answer to Billy not William. My oldest ds goes by his middle name. When he went to kindergarten, I made sure to tell his teacher. I did this because I was one of those nickname kids that didn't answer the first day of kindergarten, and I still remember being embarrassed over the incident. Parents who don't speak English may not be able to tell the teacher that their child goes by a nickname or, even if they speak English, it just may not occur to them.
    2. They may be pulling the teacher's leg. Hey, they don't speak English and she doesn't speak their language, so why not see what they can get away with.
    3. However, the most likely reason is mispronunciation. I tutored a little Indian girl who told me every week that I wasn't pronouncing her name correctly. I would try to say it just like she did, but I apparently never got it right. If that one child told me, how many other names have I mispronounced and out of shyness, respect, or whatever the children never told me?
    Last edited by Mandy in TN; 02-01-2014 at 10:29 AM.
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

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