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Old 25-04-2012, 03:03   #46
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Re: Did AP Classes cut into your kids summer of boating?

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Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
Ive been lurking this thread from the start. It is nice to see education professionals chiming in.

I have two little ones and the eldest is getting ready for school in september. I have massive reservations as it seems that what the latest evidence on education theory recommends is not what is used and that schools are trapped teaching in ways that ensure they will continue to receive funding, teaching to the tests.

The idea of using a modern version of the socratic method that teaches students to question, teaches curiosity, teaches the hunger for knowledge is not on the table.

My 20month old has in the last month, as most do this age, come fully to grips with the power of words. She is insatiable. She will point at things and say "whas dis" and if you dont respond she will say louder and louder. She is inately hungry for knowledge, as all children are.

This seems to be crushed and lost for most kids by the time they leave high school and only continue education to enable better job prospects.

We are on the cusp of home schooling our girls...
Excellent idea ... IMHO. I've sent you a PM re this.
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Old 25-04-2012, 05:31   #47
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Re: Did AP Classes cut into your kids summer of boating?

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Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
Ive been lurking this thread from the start. It is nice to see education professionals chiming in.

I have two little ones and the eldest is getting ready for school in september. I have massive reservations as it seems that what the latest evidence on education theory recommends is not what is used and that schools are trapped teaching in ways that ensure they will continue to receive funding, teaching to the tests.

The idea of using a modern version of the socratic method that teaches students to question, teaches curiosity, teaches the hunger for knowledge is not on the table.

My 20month old has in the last month, as most do this age, come fully to grips with the power of words. She is insatiable. She will point at things and say "whas dis" and if you dont respond she will say louder and louder. She is inately hungry for knowledge, as all children are.

This seems to be crushed and lost for most kids by the time they leave high school and only continue education to enable better job prospects.

We are on the cusp of home schooling our girls...

A pure Socratic method really isn't appropriate for kids just starting out in education, and it isn't the best way to teach everything.

However, if you look at how math is being taught these days you'll find a lot less rote earning and a lot more exploration and discussion.

But the over-emphasis on testing has truly tainted the water. In many states it's affected private schools, in an effort to control the "quality" of education for all chidren. Even homeschooling has that problem in many states as the students have to take the achievement tests as well.

You might want to look at the "pure" Montessori schools. It's easy to misunderstand that approach but it uses a carefully planned exploratory approach. When I was a child, if someone brought in a caterpillar from the playground, the teacher could drop everything and talk about the life cycle of the butterfly. They still that sort of thing in pure Montessori school. If they've modified the approach, however, anything goes. You won't know whether you're getting the benefit or not.

One of my daughters had a very significant learning disability. In my opinion the Montessori school saved her, allowing her to excel where she could excel and letting her work at her own pace where she struggled. She now has two master's degrees from highly respected universities and a job that would make you say WOW, in her field.

One of the things they did each year was a "Great Study" of an ancient culture. The first year it was Egypt. Montessori understood the need of even the smartest child's need for concrete experiences. They made up their own hieroglyphic language and used it to write notes to each other. They built a giant six-foot mummy (how delighted she was to come home in "first grade" and inform us that the Egyptians removed the brain by putting a hook through the nose!)

She knew all the parts of speech in first grade, taught in a concretely appropriate way it was highly effective.

This is the sort of thing that good home schooling does very appropriately. They teach concepts but in a way children can understand. The Socratic method is not concrete and personally I would not have wanted it for my young children. Young children are physical explorers.
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Old 25-04-2012, 06:16   #48
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Re: Did AP Classes cut into your kids summer of boating?

foolishsailor,

If the excerpt below resonates with you, and if you can find a Quaker school in your area, you might want to check it out.

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How does being a Quaker school affect academics?
The intellectual tradition of Quakerism is very demanding; it’s a tradition in which “truth” is something you have to pursue actively and constantly ~ you can’t memorize it. Students at Friends do have to memorize facts, but they also really have to think. They have to ask good questions; they have to demonstrate that they can think independently, creatively, and cooperatively; and they are asked to be open-minded, always testing ideas against experience and new information. Some people now describe that kind of approach as “21st century education,” but it’s what Friends education is at its very core, and why you sometimes hear the school described as “a 21st century school since 1748.”
We're not Quakers, but we sent both of our kids to a Friends school. The focus there was on encouraging the students to develop critical thinking and analytical skills, creativity, personal responsibility, and caring for others while maintaining an in-depth academic program.

Our son and daughter are 41 and 40 years old now, but we can still see the positive imprint of Wilmington Friends School on them.
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Old 25-04-2012, 06:39   #49
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Hud,

Thank you for taking the time to post that. I can't think of a better model for school than what you have said. Living in Ireland now our independent educational opportunities are limited, the closest we have found to this Quaker model would be the John Scottus schools, but alas they come with their issues as well. We are now looking towards the Educate Together model with our kids currently in a Montessori crèche in the mornings.

As my wife and I do not want our children "indoctrinated" into a given belief but rather informed to leave them the ability to make their own choice later, how did you find the religious instruction within the school?

Edit: found some Quaker schools here in Ireland http://www.quakers-in-ireland.ie/about-us/schools/

One is even close, will check it out. Thanks.
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Old 25-04-2012, 06:47   #50
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@rakuflames,

Thank you for the info. We do appreciate the montessori system. As an American transplant in Ireland I see that it is more widely used and accepted here than in the states. I have also interacted with many sailing families that have done such a myriad of homeschooling methods from Calvert to unschooling and in every instance it produced an exceptionally welled rounded, educated and happy child. I think it is less the method and more the act of bringing the family into close communion that creates a child like this. We forget that depression and anxiety are rising and are a borderline epidemic in the youth today, especially the young lads here in Ireland, and schooling and familial structures likely play a large role.
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Old 25-04-2012, 07:00   #51
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Re: Did AP Classes cut into your kids summer of boating?

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...As my wife and I do not want our children "indoctrinated" into a given belief but rather informed to leave them the ability to make their own choice later, how did you find the religious instruction within the school?...
There was absolutely no pressure of any kind to become a member of the Religious Society of Friends. In fact most of the students and faculty, by far, were not Quakers.
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Old 25-04-2012, 07:25   #52
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Re: Did AP Classes cut into your kids summer of boating?

Your son is taking AP's @ 12 yrs old? By his choice or yours? Does he want to and enjoy them? Does he understand why he's taking them at a VERY young age? Do you? Does he have a dream or goal that calls for them?

Having been thru the AP grind twice, I offer that is starting too young. There is plenty of time in HS sytems to take all the AP's needed. Higher Ed administrators (especially at best programs) are now quickly moving to look for the more rounded college applicant with consistant high performance in school, commitment to community service, dedication to self improvement (think sport, music, etc), work history, and the discipline to balance it all. Good luck and have fun along the way.
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Old 25-04-2012, 11:25   #53
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Re: Did AP Classes cut into your kids summer of boating?

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You went to an entirely different school district than I did; one unlike any I taught in; and completely unlike the one my chidren went to. That covers a 61 year time span.

Unless you went to a very small high school, at no time have all students taken all the work. In addition, students who are retained, even once, are FOUR times as likely to drop out of high school without graduating as similar students who were not retained. Children view being retained as being a devastating as having a parent die.

Rather than dumbing down, in fact our curricula have become more and more advanced at earlier and earlier grades. Just to give one example, children are now learning multiplication facts in second grade instead of third. I learned the periodic table in tenth grade when i took chemistry, and not all students took chemistry. My daughters had it in sixth grade, and all students covered it. There was nothing exceptional in this; it was a standard sixth grade textbook used widely across the country.

in the 50's, when my sister was in high school, leaving without graduating to enter a trade was acceptable for students who were not academically inclined. When I went to high school in the sixties, for example, we had "practical math" for the students who would not be taking algebra.

The AP classes are *not* what we used to take in high school. The AP classes my daughter took were quite challenging. Her younger sister did not take AP classes, so the difference was quite evident in our home. My high school did not have AP classes, but mathematically talented students could take Algebra I in eighth grade and then take more advanced math in high school (assuming the school was big enough to support those classes). We had biology for all, and advanced biology and physics for exceptional science students.

This is my field -- why students succeed and fail, and how the curriculum has and has not changed over the years, what's on the achievement tests, etc. The great majority of platitudes we sometimes want to believe about education are wrong.

Hey, I don't tell engineers how to build bridges, but this is something I know about.
Not to rock the boat, but where did htese guys graduate from?

Recent studies, including the 1993 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS), have underscored the urgent need to improve adult literacy in the United States. The NALS found that 21 percent of adult Americans, approximately 40 million people, have extremely limited reading, writing, and computational skills
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Old 26-04-2012, 02:15   #54
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Originally Posted by foolishsailor
@rakuflames,

Thank you for the info. We do appreciate the montessori system. As an American transplant in Ireland I see that it is more widely used and accepted here than in the states. I have also interacted with many sailing families that have done such a myriad of homeschooling methods from Calvert to unschooling and in every instance it produced an exceptionally welled rounded, educated and happy child. I think it is less the method and more the act of bringing the family into close communion that creates a child like this. We forget that depression and anxiety are rising and are a borderline epidemic in the youth today, especially the young lads here in Ireland, and schooling and familial structures likely play a large role.
If you live near Dublin, theres plenty of schooling choices, it will just cost you that's all.

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Old 26-04-2012, 02:26   #55
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They are all religious bases even the fee pay schools. For junior school only Educate Together schools are non religious, which is where we have a place and will likely send our eldest.
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Old 26-04-2012, 02:49   #56
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They are all religious bases even the fee pay schools. For junior school only Educate Together schools are non religious, which is where we have a place and will likely send our eldest.
Some of My kids were educated There. If you want to avoid too much religion, consider the Protestant schools. It's light touch stuff. I am completely non religious and never baptised the kids into anything. They went to a church of Ireland school,( both primary and secondary) ( one of them even won a bible reading competition,!!!) but I think religion runs off kids like water of a duck. In the state sponsored schools religion anyway is a joke. My wife used to teach it and she's an atheist.! Funny I found more pressure to be " church going" when I lived in the US. Only in the UK did I find a virtually completely non religious society. ( and France to a lesser extent)

I don't think the existence of a so-called religious ethos should really sway ones opinion( then I personally don't care anyway) I'd consider the quality of the school, the commute time, the parental involvement etc, first. Then if I had a choice I'd narrow down further.

Sorry I know were way off topic here. By the way I m not a fan of homeschooling I think kids need the peer interaction. My wife as a teacher was (is) dead set against it. But of course many kids have been so schooled. It's funny that the attitudes of patents that determines education choices not what the kids finds works for them.

I did find moving countries etc later had a problematic effect on schooling. We did some boarding schools for a while to alleviate that. the US was a big shock to them.


As I said previously I don't think kids should do much academic work in the summer. They'll be adults soon enough and working long enough for the rest of their lives ( especially the way pensions have gone) . After all these years I think parents over think and over agonise the choices on schooling . If your kids are bright and have a family background that encourages reading and the pursuit of knowledge, that has more effect then any school. ( throw away the TV)

Best of luck with the little uns , ( that was a while ago for me !)
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Old 26-04-2012, 05:11   #57
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Re: Did AP Classes cut into your kids summer of boating?

I teach at a community college. There is a trend for high school students to commute to a couple of classes a day at our school instead of taking AP classes. I ask them why they do it. They say for the relatively modest tuition they pay, they get college transfer credit for sure, without having to take the AP exam. By the way, I don't require any summer reading before they take my class.

Interestingly, it seems my classes are a LOT different than the AP classes they've been taking in high school. I hear the "real" college class is much more socratic, requires much more critical thinking, creativity, and actual writing, and challenges them to think in entirely new ways.

I say "real" college. But of course, they've been trained to think the "real" college is the expensive four-year school they'll be attending next year. When I was much younger, I taught at an Ivy League university. There's really no difference between the classes I taught there, as a graduate student, and the classes I teach now at a community college, as an older man with long career in international business behind me. But I'm pretty sure I'm a much better teacher now.

There's a lot of b.s. for sale in our education system at some very high prices these days. Caveat emptor.

Ivy League degrees might be a ticket to jobs in high-paying sectors today, but will those really be the rewarding careers a generation from now? I think not. Deep down, I think a kid can learn more useful skills for living well in the twenty-first century by bumming around a bit on a sail boat than by getting into Harvard. A "successful" career in this century is going to be about creativity and using time well, I think, not about money.
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Old 27-04-2012, 21:30   #58
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Re: Did AP Classes cut into your kids summer of boating?

Some very interesting takes.
But I must admit I read them with the thought they are coming from adventurers with a much different frame of mind that the average Joe.
Some of you may perhaps be selling a good education short.

Is what I say PC for a bunch of hippies takes on school?

The public schools in our area were top rated in the nation for decades.
Some of our children flew through them and loved them, went on to higher education with ease.

Now the schools are over burdened with apathy from the kids towards learning. It hurts the brighter kids with a head to learn.

I stopped by our local middle school this morning and paid up one childs lunch account.
Until last year, this school was off-the hook amazing.

Now, the school was a zoo. Adults in key positions supervising on campus and off with radios,, certain kids isolated from the general population, police present and have a sub station office on campus with the bench with the handcuff hole drilled into it,,, awful.

This situation happened in what seems like over night.

Then I drove up to a Canyon Area where the private school is located that our child will attend in fall. I had to drop off some paperwork and was offered a tour. Sierra Canyon School: California Private Schools | California Independent Schools | Chatsworth CA | Best LA Private School

Tranquil,, no supervision outside the classroom or labs,, kids all said hello, 1 to 8 teacher ratio, classes seemed self-propelled as I walked down the halls, well equipped labs and facilities,, like I stepped into an amazing story book.

Yeah, it's a fortune to send another kid to private school,, especially this one.
But I really think a good education system is the backbone of this country and the backbone of a kids future.

An education is something no one can ever take away from our kids.
It exercises their minds, exposes them to social and an environment that will expand their mental, social and manual skills in many aspects of their life.

Community college is just the 13th grade IMHO, and on line degrees are even worse.
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Old 28-04-2012, 01:15   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free Agent
Some very interesting takes.
But I must admit I read them with the thought they are coming from adventurers with a much different frame of mind that the average Joe.
Some of you may perhaps be selling a good education short.

Is what I say PC for a bunch of hippies takes on school?

The public schools in our area were top rated in the nation for decades.
Some of our children flew through them and loved them, went on to higher education with ease.

Now the schools are over burdened with apathy from the kids towards learning. It hurts the brighter kids with a head to learn.

I stopped by our local middle school this morning and paid up one childs lunch account.
Until last year, this school was off-the hook amazing.

Now, the school was a zoo. Adults in key positions supervising on campus and off with radios,, certain kids isolated from the general population, police present and have a sub station office on campus with the bench with the handcuff hole drilled into it,,, awful.

This situation happened in what seems like over night.

Then I drove up to a Canyon Area where the private school is located that our child will attend in fall. I had to drop off some paperwork and was offered a tour. Sierra Canyon School: California Private Schools | California Independent Schools | Chatsworth CA | Best LA Private School

Tranquil,, no supervision outside the classroom or labs,, kids all said hello, 1 to 8 teacher ratio, classes seemed self-propelled as I walked down the halls, well equipped labs and facilities,, like I stepped into an amazing story book.

Yeah, it's a fortune to send another kid to private school,, especially this one.
But I really think a good education system is the backbone of this country and the backbone of a kids future.

An education is something no one can ever take away from our kids.
It exercises their minds, exposes them to social and an environment that will expand their mental, social and manual skills in many aspects of their life.

Community college is just the 13th grade IMHO, and on line degrees are even worse.
"Top rated in the nation", "it's a fortune to send another kid to private school, especially this one" ... sorry for your problems but thanks for funding the new backbone of this country.
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Old 28-04-2012, 03:16   #60
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Re: Did AP Classes cut into your kids summer of boating?

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Community college is just the 13th grade IMHO, and on line degrees are even worse.
The value of a good University / College is as much about the freindships / contacts the person makes as it is about the education (unless what you learn is very job focused). Go Harvard or Oxford and your social circle will be more useful than elsewhere. Having said that, even in those places there will be different strata......

Whilst I agree that the book stuff / formal education / exam paperwork is important it alone does not provide the education that someone will need in life.

Not sure what online degrees you are talking about, I am sure plenty of near scams operating - but for anyone thinking of more education, especially boat based, the Open University is worth a look (used to be mail based, now of course more internet - the target being those who could not afford to stop working / could not access a University). Admittedly UK based and was created by a Socialist Govt back in the 60's - but very well respected. and been operating over 40 years. I beleive not simply Degrees on offer - rather than AP classes that simply allow someone to enter a College, if the kid is that way inclined then let them get half (or the whole?!) of a degree .
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