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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
Are you a Homeschooler or Not
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Poll: Are you a Homeschooler or Not
Homeschool
Not
Want to be
Will be
View Results (43 votes)
 

SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jun 5 2011, 4:14pm

Post #101 of 129 (326 views)
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That's exactly how I remember it [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
not one post needed to be deleted because someone was being rude.



That aside I'm surprised at the ratio of 3 to 1 (other schooled to home schooled) among respondents here. Now I will have to look up national averages...

Okay the US Census information is from 10 years ago (2001), and well, only speaks to the US experience: http://www.census.gov/...ps0053/twps0053.html

Distilled the info looks like this:

In 1999 national average was about 1.5% with urban areas being lower, rural higher.
By region rural bible belt (called white or white&black gainers ?) percentages as high as 3 compared with urban melting pots as low as 0.5.
Average believed to be rising, total number of home schooled believed to be rising by 15% per year.

Some data since then is collected here: http://iae-pedia.org/ICT_and_Home_Schooling

In short:

There was a big jump between 2001 and 2003 and steady growth since with the national average pegged near 3% (2007, US Department of Education NCHS).

Obviously Internet access and an ever growing store of online educational resources has had a positive influence on the growth of home schooling. Affluence and having two parents present where one is not working outside the home is strongly indicated in 2007 (as it was in 1999).

Going back to your original premise, perhaps LOTR is bigger among homeschoolers than the wider public. I wonder if it's because they are less moved by the whims of the mob -- or the machines that drive them -- as it were, where things only remain popular for about 6 months to a year before it's on to the next thing? Hmmm.



SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jun 5 2011, 5:02pm

Post #102 of 129 (295 views)
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Oops I meant Lady Brynna's original premise. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Magpie
Immortal


Jun 5 2011, 5:03pm

Post #103 of 129 (322 views)
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ratio in this poll [In reply to] Can't Post

keep in mind, the poll question was phrased as "are you a homeschooler or not".

That is present tense. There was no option for people past the age (or point) of being homeschooled.

Therefore, the only people voting are people either currently in elementary or high school or perhaps someone homeschooling their own children since that could (to my mind) fit the definition of 'homeschooler'.

There are, I suspect, very few active members of this board in high school. Of those, I suspect many are regulars on the Hobbit board and many members of the Hobbit board seemed focused on that board to the exclusion of all others. Even many long time regulars of these boards don't visit this one.

So, I would take the sampling of this poll to be too narrowly focused to extrapolate much wider data from.

Now, if we were to post a new poll saying, "Were you ever home schooled in your life?" then maybe we'd get a wider sampling of information.

On a side note. These polls are mostly for fun and sometimes a good, meaty discussion comes from them. So I don't mean to pick at how they are phrased at all. But just in the interest of getting skilled at things... it warrants some consideration how the poll questions are phrased and what the options offer - Are they complete in the range of possibilities? Do they offer an 'other' if all possibilities can't be covered? Is anyone that might be a member here unintentionally excluded from participating (due to poor phrasing... perhaps a poll deliberately seeks to sample a sub-group of members)?

Again, it's all in fun so no harm is done. But if a poll creator wants the fullest participation possible, they can facilitate that by carefully considering how they phrase the question and possible answers. If I see a poll that I simply can't answer... (like...what's your favorite color: pink or yellow? ... and my favorite color is neither, then what do I vote?) then I simply don't vote.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jun 5 2011, 5:38pm

Post #104 of 129 (334 views)
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I agree with you, but [In reply to] Can't Post

in this case the percentage of homeschoolers is roughly 10 times higher than the national average. The very valid points you make about the validity of this poll should have resulted in a greater difference than 3 to 1 (other/home) with homeschoolers coming in much lower than 33% of respondents.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 5 2011, 6:42pm

Post #105 of 129 (326 views)
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It doesn't surprise me. [In reply to] Can't Post

Many homeschool curriculums put a strong emphasis on literature, especially what might be considered "classic" lit. Most homeschoolers I know (and knew) are fairly well-read as a result, and many are avid readers on their own time as well. They may very well read fewer contemporary authors, at least for schoolwork, than those in public school. I think I would have been a voracious reader regardless, as I was reading well above my grade level even in (public) elementary school, and when I began homeschooling it just continued on. I think I read through the library's entire collection of Sir Walter Scott on my own after being assigned to read Ivanhoe in 9th grade (homeschool). That wasn't considered unusual in homeschooled circles, though my public schooled friends thought it was a bit weird to want to read stuff like that when it wasn't assigned to you. Although even some homeschoolers thought it was a little out of the ordinary when I later began to carry around a copy of the Federalist Papers to read at odd moments. What can I say, American Revolutionary history fascinates me. Laugh

That's why I said in my original response that it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see a high percentage of homeschoolers in a forum for any classic book. LOTR's status in the critical literature world might be debatable, but it would certainly be well within the category of what many homeschoolers would read for entertainment.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 5 2011, 6:54pm

Post #106 of 129 (357 views)
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After watching this discussion unfold... [In reply to] Can't Post

I just have to say that it's both amusing and saddening to me that 20+ years later, the first objection/concern that comes up is still socialization. When my family began doing it, it was very much a small minority movement and considered deeply suspicious by most people. I was often asked if I was ever allowed out of the house. My response basically amounted to ".....?!?!?!?!!!!! I'm just doing my schoolwork in a different location, I'm not in prison!" The homeschoolers I knew (hundreds of them in my area) were among the busiest social bees out there, both with organized social activities and just hanging out with friends. It was my public school friends I found it hard to schedule things with, as I'd be done with my schoolwork by 1 or 2, they wouldn't get out until 3 and often had a couple hours of homework to do after that. They never had any time.

The question is really when you expect the socializing to happen. In the classroom and the school hallways, or outside of school hours? I could go on at length comparing and contrasting, as I spent equal numbers of years in public and home schools and had close friends who did each exclusively, but after a couple of decades of it, frankly I'm weary of the debate. There are always horror stories, and believe me, they horrify us too, all the more so because they give all the rest of us a public black eye....but they really are a minority. The average homeschooler does their thing quietly and quite successfully and never makes waves....or the news. And if we didn't tell you who we were, you would likely never know. Smile


Wraith Buster
Gondor


Jun 5 2011, 7:04pm

Post #107 of 129 (309 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

100% with you on everything you said there Silverlode.Smile


Gollum the Great
Rohan


Jun 5 2011, 8:44pm

Post #108 of 129 (307 views)
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I don't think you were geeky for loving Ivanhoe! [In reply to] Can't Post

I"m rereading it right now, it's such a fun read! Have you read any Howard Pyle? I've never had a crush on someone, but if I did, it would have to be Robin Hood.... or maybe King Arthur....Wink


(This post was edited by Gollum the Great on Jun 5 2011, 8:45pm)


taekotemple
Grey Havens


Jun 5 2011, 8:53pm

Post #109 of 129 (303 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

I consider that a great compliment! I just think it's so important to step outside of what's easy and normal for us so we can learn more about the world and how we want to live in it.

I realized, when reading all of these responses, that in some ways, there has been an aspect of homeschooling in my life, despite me going to both public and private schools. My mom has been a teacher since I was in preschool and actually worked at the preschool I attended. Of course, all the other kids at school thought we all lived at school (still cracks me up that kids sometimes think their teachers live at school!)

I think the ultimate goal is that people will hopefully become lifelong learners. I feel sad when I hear that many people never pick up a book again after graduating from school. It's such a shame.


taekotemple
Grey Havens


Jun 5 2011, 9:01pm

Post #110 of 129 (341 views)
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One famous homeschooler I do know of is Christopher Paolini [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember listening to an interview of him talking about how he started writing. Essentially, he'd read all the science fiction and fantasy books in his local library (a good example of how a homeschooler can be more well-read than your average student) and decided to write his own books.

While I find his Eragon books somewhat derivative, I also think they're pretty great for what they are and I think he's a good example of how a homeschooled kid can become a successful adult.

I think the important thing isn't always how we learned what we know, but how able we are to use that information. There probably are a lot more successful homeschoolers in the world than we hear about. Look at how many child actors have to learn on the set while filming a movie, not going to traditional schools most of the time, and then go on to great colleges and graduate schools (of course, the rags like to tell us more about the ones who have "failed" in life more than the ones who have done well for themselves.)


Gollum the Great
Rohan


Jun 5 2011, 9:08pm

Post #111 of 129 (296 views)
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so.... [In reply to] Can't Post

this is kind of off topic, but then, this is an off-topic forumSmile

What exactly do people define religion as? (oops, I just ended that sentence with a preposition. Prepositions are things you aren't supposed to end sentences with.Wink)

I was thinking about this today. People always say "I'm religious" or "I'm not." But what do we mean by that? What is "religion?"

This is a question for everyone, I'd love to see what all your answers are! Smile


taekotemple
Grey Havens


Jun 5 2011, 9:38pm

Post #112 of 129 (283 views)
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You could start a new poll on that topic! [In reply to] Can't Post

You can do a poll, "Do you consider yourself to be religious?" Put a few options (religious, not religious (atheist/agnostic), spiritual, questioning, never thought about it, or the like) and ask people to explain their vote. I think you'd get some very interesting answers on that one.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 5 2011, 10:09pm

Post #113 of 129 (339 views)
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I have, but a long time ago. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I still have his Adventures of Robin Hood on my shelves somewhere, though. Around that time, I was also heavily into Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and I'm still a big Sherlock Holmes fan.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 5 2011, 10:58pm

Post #114 of 129 (287 views)
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I also found [In reply to] Can't Post

 Eragon to be highly derivative, but considering he was 15 when he wrote it, I suppose it was only to be expected. I haven't read his later books, so I don't know how much he improved (or if he did).

Among the homeschoolers I know, one of the biggest emphases was not just to learn facts to pass tests (which they tend to do well on anyway) but to learn how to learn...in other words, how to reason through the concepts so that later if you don't know something, you know how to go educate yourself on that topic. Homeschool moms (at least the ones I know) are serious about the learning and the ones I knew were very tough graders (they know when you're slacking). One of the friends I graduated with told me she found college a breeze by comparison. Laugh

I think people can have a fairly narrow idea of homeschooling because they're just not familiar with how it works or with many people who do it. It's not underground anymore; there are huge conventions for home educators and many different curriculums and educational approaches with lots of support and materials available. It has great advantages; flexible scheduling, very small teacher/student ratio, the ability to tailor study programs to fit the student or to focus on problem areas - and anything and everything becomes a learning experience. When homeschoolers talk about cultivating a "learning lifestyle", they mean it. I led an outdoor club for homeschoolers for a number of years - I did it for fun but I suspect the moms were gleefully including it in their curriculums. I taught plant and animal identification (botany and life sciences), camp cooking (home ec), firebuilding, knot tying (hooray for build-your-own-camp-furniture), and map and compass work (basic geometry and geography) among other things - and I suspect a lot of the kids were earning a few PE credits in the process, especially on our camping trips. They were having a blast, hanging out with their friends, learning along the way and probably getting credit for it in addition to their usual textbook lessons. Conventional schooling is what everyone's used to, but homeschoolers are those who will contend that it's not the only, or even the best, way to learn. It's just one of the possible ways, but they're choosing another.


Gollum the Great
Rohan


Jun 5 2011, 11:38pm

Post #115 of 129 (303 views)
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my mom often tells me [In reply to] Can't Post

that she's learning as much as we areSmile
she said so much of her own schooling was so boring that she didn't retain much. Now, what with read-alouds, building a greek warship out of snow, eating African food, re-creating the Nile Delta, and trying to make Viking battle axes out of duct tape and paper mache, she gets to learn it all over again - and it's fun!

We had the funnest (good vocab word, eh?) time with history class because we did it with three other familes. Once a month we'd get together and share what we learned, eat food from the time period/culture, dress up, etc. My favorite was the Middle Ages, we had a real banquet and a pig's head made from meatloaf and we all dressed like princesses or jesters or monks or minstrels... I'll never forget it.


Gollum the Great
Rohan


Jun 5 2011, 11:39pm

Post #116 of 129 (281 views)
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that's true [In reply to] Can't Post

maybe I'll do it... the answers would be.. interesting, to say the least.


Elizabeth
Valinor


Jun 5 2011, 11:41pm

Post #117 of 129 (281 views)
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People tend to respond to polls that "ring a bell" [In reply to] Can't Post

in their interest or experience. I responded ("not") because I've had a couple of friends who homeschooled their kids and I think it's an interesting topic. But I'm willing to bet that a lot of people looking for an interesting poll who were not homeschooled, are not homeschooling their kids, and have had no experience with homeschooling, simply skip this one.

I don't think you can draw any conclusions from any of the results in this forum, just enjoy the discussions!


(This post was edited by Elizabeth on Jun 5 2011, 11:42pm)


Gollum the Great
Rohan


Jun 5 2011, 11:42pm

Post #118 of 129 (309 views)
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Kindred spirit! [In reply to] Can't Post

Love Stevenson & Doyle. My friend just went to England (I'm soooo jealous) and brought back some wood from Sherwood Forest for me. Smile She also got to see the Sherlock Holmes museum. I'm going there someday!


Wraith Buster
Gondor


Jun 6 2011, 12:26am

Post #119 of 129 (277 views)
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My mom tells me that too [In reply to] Can't Post

She is more global thinking but my dad is really detailed and technical so we get some of both.
Actually a bit ago my sister was having a hard time with Algebra. Mom was busy and dad was willing to help so, they sat down and it literally took one hour and a half to get through one problem.Laugh


Gollum the Great
Rohan


Jun 6 2011, 2:00am

Post #120 of 129 (285 views)
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THANK YOU! [In reply to] Can't Post

You have no idea how nice it is to have someone not freak out and be like, "WHAT? YOU'RE NOT GOING TO COLLEGE? YOU ANTI-SOCIAL UNAMERICAN HERMIT!"

As a home school mom, I'll definitely always have a chance to learn. Our little motto is "Every moment's a homeschooling moment."


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 6 2011, 2:22am

Post #121 of 129 (294 views)
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Oh yes, [In reply to] Can't Post

you always learn more as a teacher than as a student. Students often don't realize that while they may cram for tests, their teacher has a kind of test every day; they have to be prepared to teach a lesson! That's true for teachers of all kinds everywhere. Smile


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Jun 6 2011, 2:42am

Post #122 of 129 (256 views)
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It boggles my mind that people don't pick up books [In reply to] Can't Post

though I know it's true (some of my in-laws are like that.) My husband built bookshelves in our bathroom, because our library was overflowing. :-)

My parents were also teachers. I remember when I was ten asking my dad about the fourth dimension, because I'd read a science fiction story that mentioned it. He drew lines with his fingers along the two sides of a table corner, and along the leg, showing me how three lines could all be perpendicular to each other. Then he asked me to imagine a fourth line perpendicular to all three. That kept me busy for a good long time. :-D

My grandmother read a complete book every day, and my daughter is following in her footsteps. I remember when she was in middle school she was supposed to turn in a sheet one week. It was about a thousand pages for that week. But that was a slow week. She could finish a Harry Potter book in a day; we used to go to the midnight booksales and buy them, and by morning she'd have the book finished.

Anyway, I think in any good family there's an aspect of homeschooling. My dad used to read us bedtime stories from the encyclopedia before we were in kindergarten. I had a great education in public schools, but maybe that's partly because it was supplemented so well at home.


taekotemple
Grey Havens


Jun 6 2011, 6:41am

Post #123 of 129 (278 views)
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Interesting... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Among the homeschoolers I know, one of the biggest emphases was not just to learn facts to pass tests (which they tend to do well on anyway) but to learn how to learn...in other words, how to reason through the concepts so that later if you don't know something, you know how to go educate yourself on that topic.


What you say right here, I relate to. See, I went to a Montessori school until I was in 2nd grade. I didn't even know I was in a grade until I switched schools because my school wasn't set up to be like standard schooling is. I chose to go to a private high school, partially for the smaller class size, partially because the focus was more on developing a thinking mind, rather than memorizing facts. Then I chose to go to both a college and a graduate school that used evaluations instead of grades, for the very same reasons. I find that I can come up with better explanations for arguments than many of my peers who went to more traditional schools. I think part of that is when you are taught not how to memorize facts, but how to utilize information to explore a concept and understand it, you tend to have a greater grasp of what those facts mean. I mean, is it more important to know the exact date the Civil War started, or is it more important to understand the causes and how it impacted and still impacts American culture?

There are ways to attend school and not be conventionally schooled, and I'm definitely a product of attending some alternative schools. I'm grateful that I was raised by someone who supported that. I don't think I would be the kind of learner today if I hadn't started out in a Montessori school, which fostered in me the ability to be a self-motivated learner, rather than focused on external praise. And it began me on the road to seeing life as a learning experience, rather than focusing on learning being something that only happens in school.

So, I agree with you, I'm not a big fan of conventional schooling. But not all schools are conventional, and I did get to experience many of the advantages you mentioned that homeschoolers have. Not to argue your point, because I get what you're saying and agree with much of it, but it is possible to obtain a pretty unique and excellent education, and also that same attitude towards having a learning lifestyle, and not be homeschooled.

I definitely respect families that can do homeschooling. I know it wasn't an option for my mom, being a young widow and not having the finances or the family support to stay home and homeschool me and my brothers. She's told me she wishes she could have done that, though.


aranelthehobbit22
Gondor


Jun 6 2011, 8:54pm

Post #124 of 129 (251 views)
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naah [In reply to] Can't Post

you know me I don't get into that sorta thing.... Wink


Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea


Jun 6 2011, 9:15pm

Post #125 of 129 (288 views)
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You need to widen your circle of acquaintances! [In reply to] Can't Post

It would be a good experience for you to meet kids who've gone to public, religious and private schools (in addition to your homeschooled friends). I think you'd be surprised how much you have in common.

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