Every so often, I am reminded why we have chosen this path. As these thoughts come to me, I'll record them here. Maybe the thoughts I share will bring comfort to or inspire other educational pioneers. Or, maybe, those who have chosen another path will better understand our choice.
Why We Became Academic Pioneers:
Because we can. And....
2e: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twice_exceptional: "Twice-exceptional education is a movement that started in the early 1970s with "gifted-handicapped" education, a term essentially referring to the same population. 2e education is an education approach backed by 35 years of research and best practices tailored to the unique needs of 2e students. It is a marriage between special education and gifted education — a strengths-based, differentiated approach that provides special educational supports.
Still, finding schools that can meet the needs of twice exceptional children can be a challenge for many parents. Public and private schools with programs that combine the appropriate levels of challenge and support for these learners are in the minority. For this reason, a number of parents choose alternative educational options for their 2e children, including homeschooling and virtual schools.
Only a handful of schools in United States offer a curriculum specifically tailored to 2e children. Some public schools offer part-time programs for twice exceptional students, where they can progress in subjects like math at their own pace, and meet other students like themselves."
Maths: Dave Makes Smelly Corned Beef
Turkey versus Crow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OErQa5yIiUk
Standardized Tests *o* and this fantastic TEDx NYED Event on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ni75vIE4vdk#! and this article about an adult with lots of guts: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/when-an-adult-took-standardized-tests-forced-on-kids/2011/12/05/gIQApTDuUO_blog.html and I think the state of the educational system is driving away good teachers and demoralizing those with enough heart to try to tough it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7Jh3Z52KV0 and http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/whadda-story-60-of-accomplished-adults-taking-standardized-test-bombed-1052.php
Some deep thoughts about The Purpose of an Education by Noam Chomsky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdNAUJWJN08&feature=youtube_gdata_player
I Like to do things the Hard Way. And....
Add -- Philosophical Differences - Fresh Air and Sunshine - and???
Alan Watts on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERbvKrH-GC4&feature=player_embedded
Momma Duck and the Pre-Frontal Cortex
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Joel Nickel's cartoon sums it up well: http://joelnickel.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/you-dont-want-to-be-a-child-left-behind-do-you/
Catastrophic Elixir When Modern Medicine & Inhumane Education are Mixed: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/us/concerns-about-adhd-practices-and-amphetamine-addiction.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0
This Morning's Cup of JO Rudely Interrupted: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/more-states-requiring-third-graders-to-pass-reading-test-to-advance/2013/03/10/edcafb5e-76ec-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines
There are many ways of being, and...
In the following link, the blogger defines five lessons they learned in school & now want to forget. These lessons play a role in our family's decision to try alternative educational paths - to periodically shake things up so there are multiple ways of learning (being) at play in children's education. As an aside, because there is a link to a Gatto video, I'd just like to say that I found John Taylor Gatto's commentary both insightful, in that I do think there have been, through history, self interested forces for standardized education - but I also found his message paranoid. While I'm sure there have been people with power and means who set policies in action to produce human products "useful" to the "health" of our economic society, I think there is far too much chaos, far too many powerful people competing for their ideals to be the primary agenda, and far too many people to control for there to be full control of the system. The fact that there is a huge push to reform education is evidence, I think, that there is not a single all powerful controlling force. Also, I think the failures of our current educational system to produce "useful" humans is additional evidence that there is not one controlling force -- or at least -- if there is, then, these all powerful people are really crappy planners since we are, as a society, at once screaming about how many of our citizens are inadequately educated and screaming that our "well educated" citizens are not good creative problem solvers. In any case, the blogger's words resonate with my husband and my experience in the public school system and clearly define some of the reasons that we've chosen alternative educational approaches for at least a good portion of our children's lives: http://www.theemotionmachine.com/5-lessons-i-learned-in-school-and-now-want-to-forget
MUD WRESTLING & Jello Wrestling - in the Jello Wrestling match, just replace the Standards vs Follow the Child teams with Public vs Private schools or Homeschool vs Public or Private teams and then follow the same line of argument. You can also replace the original teams with Education for Self-Enrichment vs for Career teams.
One of these things is not like the other...
Great explanation of asynchrony and covers many other topics that apply to our need to use home school as a tool to reach our children's needs: http://videos.med.wisc.edu/videos/32540
Saul Bass on "Why Man Creates" - a creative look at at human history and our drive to create; perfectly encapsulates the spirit of an Academic Pioneer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3FtapkiKWI&feature=shareLaser Like Focus
HOPE for the Future:
Learning to be Happy, Independent Learners: http://www.mensafoundation.org/Sites/foundation/NavigationMenu/Publications/Journal/Samplearticle/SampleArticle.htm
Does Standardized Testing Improve Education? There are many articles to read on the subject. I'll submit this article from Education Weekly for consideration. It reflects my concerns with the current methods used to evaluate learning and what is subsequently done with the results to try to remediate: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/05/26/33academy.h30.html?tkn=VSYFwmuNclGKt0GBphspN8TqDDKsacTHfQnX&cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS2 .
The Importance of Play and Free Time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oiDV6uOY9QI
We did not choose to home school for political or religious reasons. I absolutely adore the following blog post, written by someone else, which eloquently summarizes how a liberal leaning individual could possibly chose to home school: http://www.lorimortimer.com/blog/2012/02/24/for-us-homeschooling-is-not-a-political-act/