2009.03.20 13:00 - Homeschooling or Ritalin?

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    Wol Euler was guardian and commenter for this session, filling in for Solobill.

    Wol Euler: hello myna
    Wol Euler: hello fefonz
    Fefonz Quan: Hey Wol
    Wol Euler: how are you today?
    Fefonz Quan: thoughtful (just finished my report at pheno :))
    Wol Euler: ah.
    Fefonz Quan: and good, apart from it. had a nce yoga lesson
    Wol Euler: ah :)
    Fefonz Quan: and how are you?
    Wol Euler: oddly happy :)
    Wol Euler: I've been in a cheerful frame of mind all day, singing and humming, nearly skipping as I walked home from work just now :)
    Fefonz Quan: better then happily odd :)
    Wol Euler: wb myna
    Mickorod Renard: Hiya Wol, myna and fefonz
    Myna Maven: Thanks. Crashed.
    Wol Euler: must be Spring arriving :)
    Fefonz Quan: Hey Myna, Mick :)
    Wol Euler: hello Mick
    Fefonz Quan: yes, the best season
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,i had trouble logging
    Myna Maven: Our spring arrived with termites today. Whee!
    Mickorod Renard: yikes
    Wol Euler peers across the fountain at the distant Mr Renard. Come and join us.
    Wol Euler: ewwww, myna, sorry to hear it.
    Wol Euler: better :) ty
    Mickorod Renard: thankyou
    Mickorod Renard: my day started with a puncture to my tyre
    Wol Euler: :(
    Myna Maven: Car?
    Mickorod Renard: motorbike
    Fefonz Quan: hope you fixed it quickly
    Myna Maven: No fun.
    Wol Euler: hope you weren't riding it as ti happened
    Mickorod Renard: well,,I didnt notice until i had left home
    Myna Maven: That hadn't occurred to me.
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,it did happen when riding
    Mickorod Renard: but i still made it
    Fefonz Quan: but if no notice, its not so bad
    Mickorod Renard: I just love not having to wait in the trafic
    Wol Euler walks to work.
    Myna Maven: Wol skips home from work, though. :)
    Wol Euler: heheeh
    Mickorod Renard: nice and healthy wol
    Wol Euler: at least today.
    Wol Euler: some days that is the only exercise I get, so I am really picky about making sure I do at least that.
    Myna Maven: That's a good practice.
    Wol Euler: when I started out after college, my first job was in a big company in a pair of 5-storey houses converted to offices, side by side
    Myna Maven: Did you race up and down the steps?
    Wol Euler: my team was at the top of house #7, the engineers were at the top of house #9. Neither house had an elevator.
    Wol Euler: I have never been as fit as I was in those years.
    Fefonz Quan: :)
    Mickorod Renard: I seem to be on my feet all day,,I am in demend alot at the moment with students wanting to finnish their exam projects
    Fefonz Quan: another version of survival of the fittest :)
    Fefonz Quan: (the high floors i meant)
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Mickorod Renard: grin


    The discussion begins in earnest.

    Wol Euler: Mick, what do you teach? (if it can go in the log)
    Mickorod Renard: design and technology
    Wol Euler: product design?
    Fefonz Quan guess it is not fashion desing, but need to ask anyhway
    Wol Euler: production design?
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,in some way
    Mickorod Renard: I tend to cover things like engineering and woodworking
    Mickorod Renard: plus cad cam
    Mickorod Renard: electronics in a small way
    Wol Euler: pretty comprehensive, then.
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,i supose it is
    Mickorod Renard: we have food technology too and the sewing too
    Mickorod Renard: but I leave that to others
    Fefonz Quan: do you like to teach?
    Fefonz Quan: (mayeb foolish question, you wouldn't do it otherwise...)
    Mickorod Renard: I love it
    Wol Euler: good :)
    Mickorod Renard: and I love the interaction with the students too
    Fefonz Quan: yes, it sounds very satisfying
    Mickorod Renard: yes it is,,and its everchanging and so are the kids..growing up
    Myna Maven: What age group?
    Mickorod Renard: range from 11 to 18
    Myna Maven: OK.
    Myna Maven: Yeah, you do see a lot of growing up.
    Fefonz Quan: in a way teaching is a performing art, though not defined as such
    Wol Euler: oh, schoolkids. I was somehow thinking of college level
    Mickorod Renard: well,,we are a college too
    Mickorod Renard: but as in A level grade
    Wol Euler smiles. I can imagine that must be a lot of fun.
    Mickorod Renard: its a large spectrum of ages to cover,,some are very young whilst others are very adult
    Myna Maven: You're in a position of great influence with these kids, so it's good you like to teach. :)
    Wol Euler nods
    Myna Maven: Kids can tell those who don't like to teach.
    Fefonz Quan: and teachers can tell those who don't want to learn...
    Mickorod Renard: I like to stay outside the politics of education and look on it as a vocation to provide the kids with a future
    Mickorod Renard: I hate exclusion
    Wol Euler nods. There is an awful lot of politics in education, yes. Alas.
    Fefonz Quan: what is exclusion?
    Mickorod Renard: exclusion is where kids that become unruly are denied school
    Fefonz Quan: i see.
    Mickorod Renard: thats a little misleading
    Mickorod Renard: in the uk no kid is denied education
    Mickorod Renard: but sometimes a school will find one that will not fit in
    Mickorod Renard: and will not wish to expend efforts to accomodate them
    Fefonz Quan: yes, it's a fine line between the benefit of one student and that of all, whom he might effect/disturb
    Wol Euler nods
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,that is very important fefonz

    I remembered that Myna mentioned homeschooling.

    Wol Euler: do you see yourself as a "teacher", Myna, with your homeschooling practice?
    Myna Maven: Hmmm....
    Wol Euler: (it was you who spoke about homeschooling?)
    Myna Maven: Yes.
    Myna Maven: That's difficult for me to say.
    Myna Maven: I mean, a parent teaches. To me this blends in with my parenting.
    Wol Euler: true
    Myna Maven: Yes, I teach. But we are eclectic and try to work on a child-led basis much of the time.
    Myna Maven: Though I do insist on covering specific ground.
    Mickorod Renard: that sounds very interesting Myna
    Myna Maven: There is unschooling. And I am a little too nervous to trust in that entirely.
    Wol Euler: what is that?
    Myna Maven: Unschooling is entirely child led.
    Mickorod Renard: I must look that up,,its intriguing
    Fefonz Quan: Like not sending him to shool and teaching him all at home?
    Wol Euler: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unschooling
    Mickorod Renard: thanks
    Myna Maven: No, homeschooling is schooling at home.
    Myna Maven: Unschooling is letting the child pursue learning as the child is fully inclined.
    Fefonz Quan: (i've heard about one extreme such case among close circles. the child go MIT profesorship at 22)
    Myna Maven: You mean unschooling or homeschooling?
    Fefonz Quan: homeschooling i guess.
    Mickorod Renard: what frustrates me sometimes,,is seeing kids who are bright and with great spirit and energy dropping out of school at the critical momment.and thus often spoiling their chances in the future
    Fefonz Quan: what didyou mean the child fully inclined?
    Tarmel Udimo: hi everyone, rain my favourite


    It was indeed raining in the Playgoda today, though not outside it.

    Myna Maven: Hi Tarmel.
    Fefonz Quan: Hey Tarmel :)
    Wol Euler: hello tarmel
    Mickorod Renard: hiya Tarmel
    Myna Maven: Just a minute, Fefonz...and yes, Mick...I can imagine how frustrating taht would be.
    Myna Maven: Terribly.
    Mickorod Renard: there seems little in an established system to accomodate kids going through change
    Myna Maven: By as the child is fully inclined, I mean people who practice Unschooling don't have a schedule for their children as far as what subjects to pursue.
    Wol Euler: when I was young (coughs) that was accomodated by streaming, there were four levels of English taught in grade 10 for instance. That has fallen out of favour
    Fefonz Quan: i see. sounds nice in an utopic world
    Mickorod Renard: that sounds a lovely system Myna
    Myna Maven: Instead they completely trust that the child will learn the material as the need arises, and when the child finds they need to do it in society.
    Wol Euler: I tend to think that that is true.
    Wol Euler: what children need to learn, is how to learn.
    Wol Euler: if tehy have that, they can provide themselves with what they need
    Myna Maven: Wol, agreed!
    Fefonz Quan: i would suspect some children will find quite late what they are mssing...
    Wol Euler: hello ara


    What happens to homeschooled kids after they finish "schooling"?

    Mickorod Renard: yes,,but how does this integrate into the established further /higher education system?
    arabella Ella: hiya
    Myna Maven: They need to learn how to learn and think for themselves.
    Mickorod Renard: Hiya Ara
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Tarmel Udimo: hi arabella
    Myna Maven: Hi Ara.
    Fefonz Quan: I agree that should me one of the major benefits of school, but not the only one
    Myna Maven: Mick, are you asking about how unschooling integrates into the higher education system?
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,because most systems require formal certification
    Mickorod Renard: before entry
    Mickorod Renard: say into uni
    Fefonz Quan: Some people (including me) benefit a lot from an orginized systems and schedules for their time
    arabella Ella: yes it is easier to operate in an organised environment as otherwise you need to much self discipline
    Myna Maven: Colleges/universities have been opening up to homeschoolers here for some time.
    Myna Maven: There are different ways of managing it.
    arabella Ella: but schools need to change a great deal today to keep up with changing times
    Mickorod Renard: ok
    Myna Maven: As far as that goes, it won't be much different with homeschoolers than unschoolers.
    Wol Euler: about a quarter of my college class were doing second degrees, or had got halfway through a degree and abandoned it. Taking higher education later in life is more common than many people think
    Tarmel Udimo: I missed the begining of the conversation, but did you say why you home school Myna?
    Myna Maven: We homeschool for several reasons, not just one.
    Wol Euler: which I think is a great idea. How many people really know at age 17 what they want to do every day for the next 48 years?
    Tarmel Udimo: yes?
    Myna Maven: Schedule. Wanting a more open schedule is one.
    Tarmel Udimo: yes I agree Wol


    What happens during schooltime?

    Myna Maven: The school system here for a while had even banned all recess.
    Myna Maven: No play.
    Tarmel Udimo: yikes!
    Myna Maven: A lot of kids here end up on Ritalin. This state, I think, has the most scripts written for Ritalin in the US.
    Wol Euler: good god.
    Myna Maven: My son is artistic. He is not one, no, to sit in a chair.
    Tarmel Udimo: which State is that Myna?
    arabella Ella: why did they stop play Myna?
    Fefonz Quan: This state being?
    Myna Maven: Georgia.
    Fefonz Quan: thanks
    Myna Maven: They stopped recess because they said the children needed to use that time instead for learning.
    Mickorod Renard: bit scary Myna
    Wol Euler: O.O
    Myna Maven: Now I think they permit 15 minutes a day for recess.
    arabella Ella: but play is learning too dom't they realise that as basic?
    Myna Maven: It would seem they would need to...but...
    Wol Euler: that sounds positively Victorian.
    Mickorod Renard: and they will get too rebelious of the repressive system
    Myna Maven: Very repressive.
    Myna Maven: And bullying too is a big problem here.
    arabella Ella: my only objections to home schooling Myna is that kids do not get so much time to socialise or to learn how to deal with conflicts and other similar stuff
    Fefonz Quan nods
    Mickorod Renard: some could be down to frustration,,and the bullying state system
    Wol Euler: it doesn't sound like Georgia kids get much time to socialize at school either, though
    Myna Maven: Ara, I don't see how they have any time to socialize in school.
    arabella Ella: Besides i know some ppl in the US who homeschool and they wont even get their kids to use computers or watch TV
    Fefonz Quan: we had a lot of time to socialize in shool
    Fefonz Quan: school
    arabella Ella: kids generally socialise in rec3ess or when waiting for transport etc
    Myna Maven: When they are tied to their desks studying for leaning how to take tests there's not much chance to socialize.
    Fefonz Quan: there was a 10-15 min breaks every 1-2 hours
    arabella Ella: that's cool Fefonz
    Wol Euler nods, ours was like that too
    Fefonz Quan: i thought that's common
    Myna Maven: I went to school in several different regions of the country, here. A long time ago...but it was different in each region.
    Myna Maven: Varies greatly from place to place, school to school.
    arabella Ella: seems like they are still preparing kids for a job in manufacturing Myna and manufacturing is on the way out in europe and the USA
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Mickorod Renard: It differs here too,,but largely similar with a 15 min break in the morning then lunch of an hour,,then 2 hours before going home
    Wol Euler: they should be teaching kids to be curious, and how to satisfy their curiosity
    arabella Ella: yes as info is available so easy so why train kids in memory when we have technology for that
    arabella Ella: kids need to learn soft skills like communication, thinking, creativity and analysing and summarising and selecting info
    Myna Maven: Yes, Ara, I prefer to teach my son how to use resources.
    arabella Ella: great
    Fefonz Quan: i think memory is also important
    Mickorod Renard: teaching kids confidence is a major for me
    arabella Ella: may i ask how old your son is Myna?
    Wol Euler: as a tool, yes; as a storage box for facts, no.
    Fefonz Quan: goggling instead of knowing has many fallacies
    Myna Maven: He's now 11. We have homeschooled from the beginning.
    Mickorod Renard: lovely
    arabella Ella: fantastic
    arabella Ella: so if i may ask does one of you stay at home to homeschool him?
    Myna Maven: Yes, I do.
    arabella Ella: ok


    We were visited for the third or fourth time by a non-English-speaking newbie, who is apparently still unable to understand or to believe that none of us speaks Spanish. I ejected him after he turned abusive.

    Mickorod Renard: I wish I had with my son
    Myna Maven: How so, Mick?
    Mickorod Renard: well,,I got on so well with him, and wanted to share my life with him,,but thought it best to keep him in a state system and have interaction with others
    Myna Maven: :)
    Mickorod Renard: now,,i wish I had had the guts to home teach him
    arabella Ella: but Mick interaction with others is also important as when kids leave home they have to interact with a real world and that may not be easy for the kids
    arabella Ella: who are homeschooled
    Tarmel Udimo: sorry folks i have to leave you - off to pheono...
    Myna Maven: Bye Tarmel.
    arabella Ella: bye Tarmel
    Mickorod Renard: by Tarmel
    Mickorod Renard: lol,,is that the time
    Wol Euler: :)
    Mickorod Renard: I think we are all Phenem too?
    Myna Maven: Ara, they have studies that show homeschooled kids do well with socializing.
    Myna Maven: I could give you some examples but we don't have the time.


    A tiny fashion show to end the session.

    Tarmel Udimo: but before i go, i have to ask Wol, to please stand and show us this beautiful dress:-)
    Fefonz Quan: how much statistics is there myna?
    arabella Ella: oh that sounds good then ... b ut i guess it does not apply to all
    Fefonz Quan: i thought it is very new and rare
    Wol Euler grins
    Tarmel Udimo: lets see Wol:-)
    arabella Ella: come on wol
    arabella Ella: wow lovely
    Myna Maven: No, it doesn't apply to all. But neither does it in public school.
    Mickorod Renard: very nice
    Wol Euler grins. I love it.
    Fefonz Quan: i agree
    arabella Ella: true
    Tarmel Udimo: wow very beautiful;-)
    Mickorod Renard: ok,,Phenem.folks
    Myna Maven: Pretty, Wol.
    Myna Maven: Very pretty.
    Wol Euler: ty :)
    Tarmel Udimo: yes see you all later
    arabella Ella: I must go to phenemo too
    arabella Ella: bye all
    Wol Euler: from AVid, a very old set, one of Darwin's first outfits.
    Fefonz Quan: me too, bye all :)
    Wol Euler: bye ara, bye tarmel, bye mick
    Wol Euler: bye fefonz.
    arabella Ella: bye
    Myna Maven: Am on my way over too.
    Fefonz Quan: have a great weekend
    Mickorod Renard: bye Wol,,bye anyone not doin phen
    Wol Euler: bye my dears, take care
    Wol Euler: bye myna, enoy the weekend

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