Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Favorite comments of '14, cont: gasstationwithoutpumps, Anonymous, and lgm

On The Advocacy Gap:

gasstationwithoutpumps said...
Actually, homeschooling took less effort than managing school did. There was almost as much effort involved in getting our son to do his work, but the work was actual learning rather than busywork, and we could tailor assignments and essay prompts to fit his quirks, rather than having to struggle with a one-size-fits-none assignment.

Advocacy wasn't all that hard at the schools—there wasn't anything available to get, so we were doing a lot of after-schooling. Switching to home-schooling kept the after-school stuff and eliminated most of the way-below-level stuff that the schools wanted him to do.

Anonymous said...
My son was in school for two years. He skipped from 4th to 6th on entry, with two additional years of math acceleration (so he was doing Algebra I) and then he skipped from 6th to 8th the next year. This was a small private school that was truly doing its best to accommodate him.

What we found was that even with the two skips, there was no cognitive challenge. The only challenges were related to executive functioning--and even those were few and far between. The only placement that was remotely appropriate was math--and even that was a problem because it was taught entirely from a procedural standpoint. I don't mind procedures, but I also want my kids to learn the reasoning. So the second year, we did an independent study sanctioned by the school for math, which worked out well, but also meant we were back to homeschooling in that subject.

Actually, we're back to homeschooling everything now. It is astounding to me that he can work half the time and do ten times the work that was required at the school using resources that are in many cases several grade levels above what the school was using.

We are much happier homeschooling. Actually, I'm not sure how a traditional school would truly accommodate a student like my son (and I'm sure there are many out there like him). He would do best in classes where the input is upper high school or college level (so 4-6 years above chronological age), where the output expectations are high school level (maybe 3-5 years ahead of age), and the executive function demands are age appropriate. Grade skips can't accomplish this, and even a gifted program won't be able to accomplish this without a lot of differentiation.

lgm said...
Advocacy became fruitless when NCLB and full inclusion began. Enrichment was banned in the classroom. Children who were fast finishers quickly learned to work on their own projects....a book at their appropriate level, singapore math problems, practicing their instrument ...anything to get away from the noise and commotion of the fully included elementary classroom. The richer people left, to private or homeschool. The Superintendent of a nearby district put his 12 yr old in community college. Thankfully for me, honors level was still available....enough rich people left that their slots became available.
October 6, 2014 at 6:13 PM  

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