K-12 education


(Durwin Foster) #1

I am pondering how to support my 9 year old son in education right now. He is struggling with his Friday teacher at school, to the point of school refusal on the last Friday. And today some moodiness as he thinks about going back to school after the Christmas break. It wouldn’t be an easy choice to homeschool him on Fridays for the rest of the year (we have two other children as well) but it is something I am considering. Does anyone in the group have suggestions/reflections on how to have k-12 education “work” better?


Postformal Pedagogies and Complex Futures [CCafe 10/30]
(Maia Maia) #2

When my kids were little, a group of like-minded parents got together to start our own small, alternative school, with some public funding and some donations, we paid a few teachers at low rate, and parents volunteered in various ways throughout. This only lastest a few years, but made an enormous difference in how both of them felt about school from then on. I mention this partly because there are more alternatives than mainstream public and home schooling. In fact, I’d say the group DIY approach is the best way to go.
Good luck to you, Durwin.


(Marco V Morelli) #3

Homeschooling one day a week actually sounds like a reasonable thing to try, IF you have the bandwidth for it. I would treat it not as an absolute decision, but as an experiment. In our family, @kayla mainly does the lesson & curriculum work, and the homeschooling really wouldn’t happen without her. However, I am helping to run the business side of things, i.e., making sure we don’t go broke!

As Ariadne suggests, having a small like-minded community would be an ideal solution. The main challenge we’ve faced with this, is that it can be hard to find people you trust who also think about education the way you do. Homeschoolers are diverse group—economically, ideologically, etc. That said, living in the Vancouver area, you might be able to find an ‘enlightened’ tribe. I wonder, also, if there might be virtual options to explore, which could supplement local deficiences.


(Durwin Foster) #4

@kayla would you have taken a look at Lectica by any chance? They are an integrally-informed approach to education that looks really promising to me.


(Kayla Morelli) #6

Hi Durwin– I am not familiar with Lectica, so thanks for the link! I see that the US Federal Government is a “selected client,” so this has me curious if their assessments are sufficient for fulfilling our homeschooling requirements (per Colorado law).


(Kayla Morelli) #7

How is your 9-year-old’s school set up with the teachers? Are there subject blocks with different teachers or does this teacher share more general duties with one or more teachers so it’s an all-day Friday issue? If you homeschooled on Fridays, would you be supporting a general missed day in his regular schoolwork/curriculum, or would you be taking on responsibility for a specific block of subjects?


(Durwin Foster) #8

I need to clarify a bit more what the story is, but my understanding is that the Friday teacher, who is only there on Fridays but does all of that day, is somehow doing science all day that day.


(Durwin Foster) #9

It’s a good question re: the legal aspects of homeschooling, and I am curious if Theo Dawson at Lectica might have an answer for you!


(Kayla Morelli) #10

It would be good to clarify the situation, whether it is about the specific teacher or the fact it is indeed a full day of only science, and/or both.

If you’re looking at only homeschooling a single subject, I think that’s an easier proposition because it means there’s a good chance you wouldn’t need to coordinate or keep pace with the rest of his teachers/schoolwork. You could also spread it out over the week, depending on his regular homework/extracurricular load and family schedules, if this is part of why Friday is so difficult for him.

The main difficulty with homeschooling science from my perspective is that planning and supplies tend to be one of the more expensive subjects if you wish to conduct experiments/projects. Our 8-year-old participates in a once-a-week supplemental program for homeschoolers through our school district, in which she gets 1 period/hour of science optimized for all the fun and such. However, in talking with her teacher, I confirmed this only covers a quarter of a standard curriculum year (compared to a publicly-schooled peer). So we cover science at home as well, but I tend to prioritize concepts and vocabulary before experiments. She’ll gather supplies and run suggested activities herself oftentimes–and I’m all about her taking initiative like that–but I’m not sure this would work out well for everyone. You might find you need to center everything around experiments/projects to maintain his engagement.


(Zachary Feder) #11

I’m also interested in this topic. @DurwinFoster - perhaps you’d like to connect some time over the phone for a quick chat and hello? My daughter is almost 2 so we’re not quite there but thinking very similarly. We’re in Woodinville Seattle at the moment. And I’m vaguely aware of what Zak Stein is interested in at Lectica. Also I have my own personal approach to education that I’ve been developing that I’d be open to sharing.


(Durwin Foster) #12

@kayla and @ZacharyFeder As it happens, he is managing ok right now on the Fridays. however, if that changes, I will return to this thread. Thanks for your input!