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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #25021
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    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf View Post
    I can see your point about employability, Suja, but I was under the impression that the main problem was our kids competing with people who could do the same job, but for pennies on the dollar?
    That's definitely part of the problem. But, if there are 14 million out of work Americans in this country, why are we issuing 100,000 H1s to bring workers from overseas here? You know, we've been looking to hire junior level developers - straight out of college kids. Given the job market, you'd think it'd be choc-full of American kids, right? Wrong. We got NO qualified American citizens. Our most recent hires are Chinese and Indian. These are high paying jobs for kids with no job experience, and we still can't anyone other than foreign students to hire.

    Perhaps rigorous study from an early age gives people the skills and discipline to succeed in fields l require a lot of memorization and methodology (admittedly, the high paying ones), but from personal experience, it doesn't make for creative problem solvers or for self-starters.
    You're absolutely right. That's one of the biggest drawbacks of systems such as the one that I come from. But based on my experience, I'd say that most people fall into the category of 'sheep' - Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Barishnikov, Graham, et al are rare. As such, I think it is a pragmatic approach to say 'What can I do with my life that a) I don't hate b) I'm good at and c) I can make a good living at so that I can pursue all that other stuff that makes me happy'.

    I am very hesitant to take any sort of "tiger mother" approach towards my kids' learning and skill development. Especially if it interferes with their happiness.
    I definitely am not planning on taking a tiger mother approach either. But, I will have expectations of my child, and they will be high but achievable. IMO, there is a real issue with low expectations, especially for one's child. In the end, the real things that count towards happiness - good self esteem, a sense of accomplishment, having positive relationships in your life - aren't necessarily job related at all.

    But Ash, my year abroad at a uni in the UK was hilarious. It was so easy. They excused us from having to take finals that year because it was the first year they'd introduced that form of assessment and felt it'd only be fair to exempt us from them since we'd been "caught off guard" by their new system. LOL.
    It's funny you should say that. For some course during my graduate work (numerical methods?), I had this British guy for an instructor. Should've known he was trouble when he mentioned that he does chaos theory for fun. Anyway, this was sort of an interdisciplinary course that was heavily math oriented, and there were people there with math/physics background, and there people like me there with non-math background. The math people excelled; people like me, we muddled through. For the finals, we had 8 chapters to cover. He hands us two sheets of paper, with 4 questions. Each question had 3-4 parts, and for each question, we even had a choice. Problem? I had to read the thing 10 times to even understand what the hell he was talking about, and there was not a single question where I could successfully answer all parts. After my initial panic, I noticed something. The room was dead quiet. Nobody was writing anything, not even the math brainiacs. That lent some comfort. I did the best I could, calculated my possible score (around 30/100), and hoped like heck that he was gonna grade on a giant sized curve.

    At the end of the term, some friends and I went to turn in our final project, and brought up enough nerve to ask him about the finals. He goes 'Oh, that was a Cambridge style test. I was just seeing if it would work here. It won't count towards your grades'. Apparently, where he came from, students are expected to know the stuff in the textbook already. The lecture is one level above the text book, and the exams are one level above that, to see how well the students can extrapolate on the basis of stuff they already knew. I was SO glad I didn't go to school in the UK.

  2. #25022

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    Quote Originally Posted by AbbeysMom View Post
    That sounds really painful! I've only experienced nerve pain in a tooth and thought I might die. Can they fuse the disc? Or is surgery not helpful? for dealing with that.
    Oh, it's not like constantly getting my teeth drilled. It's a changeable referred pain, so one day it will hardly hurt at all and then the next day it will be a deep pulsing ache and then the next day it will be a burning pain going up and down my leg and then the next day I will have zingy stabby sort of pain and then the next day my leg feels heavy and paralyzed and it hurts to raise it up (like to get in the car). It changes all the time. The surgery MAJOR - they go in from both the front and the back to get all the stuff done that needs to be done: build a cage around your spine, take out your disk and put in a disk made out of ground up bone that they harvest from your hipbone. Recovery is minimum six months and because of the location of my break, the likelihood is that within 10 years the vertebrae below my break would break in the same way and I would have to do it all over again. You have to wear a lace up corset for several months afterwards the keep everything together. And I worry that after surgery I wouldn't be able to run or kickbox or do any kind of vigorous exercise at all. I think I will put it off until my daily life is just too painful, maybe when I have to ride one of those scooters just to go grocery shopping. Right now it has mainly okay days with a few bad days in there. I get a steroid shot in my spine every three months and that helps tremendously. I really depend upon it and get cranky when someone tells me that I should get acupuncture instead.

    "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


  3. #25023
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    I was just reading an article this morning about how other developed nations invest more in education, but the employers also invest more in on the job training. American businesses are bringing in foreigners because they say our people are unskilled, but what they don't realize is those skilled people are learning either in school, government funded education, and/or on the job training. Only here in America is someone expected to be proficient as well as experienced by 5-10 years to get into the computer field (for example). Even now with all the experience I have, going forward in my education is daunting. I can only afford to do so much, but the 'minimum requirements' for nearly all the job postings include multiple specialties...and they don't necessarily have anything to do with each other.

    I wish I could find that article again because it was really enlightening.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  4. #25024

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    I never really thought about it before, but I like the point that homework is not really beneficial. I think in some cases it is, because in some of my classes (especially college) I understood the material fine in class but once I had to do it on my own I couldn't. But I think if the student clearly grasps the subject in and out of class, homework should not be such a big part of their final grade.

    I'm watching Babies right now. So far they are clearly making the point that Americans are way too overprotective of their kids.
    And as I say that, the American family is brushing off their baby with a lint brush, then the African baby is playing in the dirt with what looks like a chicken bone.

  5. #25025
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    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    I'm watching Babies right now. So far they are clearly making the point that Americans are way too overprotective of their kids.
    And as I say that, the American family is brushing off their baby with a lint brush, then the African baby is playing in the dirt with what looks like a chicken bone.
    lmao! There's a happy medium in there somewhere.

    But that's not really a fair comparison either because Bridget lets her kids play in the dirt all the time, as do I. I'm sure we're not alone in this. I'm absolutely against having 'sterile' children. I don't think it's healthy for them at all.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  6. #25026

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    I don't believe in being sterile either. It was just funny that as I said that, that particular scenario popped up.

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    I agree Chrissy, although I admit that I am in fact germaphobic-it's one of my many qualities I am working on How is your immune system supposed to learn how to fight back if your clean 24/7. I feel the same way about antibiotics.

    Speaking of which Nolan has had this horrible cough for over a week. You ladies know of anything I can do to help break the phlegm up in his chest?? He's not running a fever or showing any other systems. Just this raspy cough

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  8. #25028

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    If it sounds like he's congested in his chest I use baby vicks and a humidifier in his room.

  9. #25029

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    I have heard that vicks on the feet, covered with socks and a humidifier in the room works, but I have never really tried it.

    "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


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    Vicks on the feet, interesting I'll have to give that a shot tomorrow night, I'm willing to try anything. Poor little guy sounds horrible!

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  11. #25031

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    My mom used to do Vicks on my feet and chest! If nothing else, the smell always makes me feel better

    Just wanted to pop in and say hi
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  12. #25032

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    That's definitely part of the problem. But, if there are 14 million out of work Americans in this country, why are we issuing 100,000 H1s to bring workers from overseas here? You know, we've been looking to hire junior level developers - straight out of college kids. Given the job market, you'd think it'd be choc-full of American kids, right? Wrong. We got NO qualified American citizens. Our most recent hires are Chinese and Indian. These are high paying jobs for kids with no job experience, and we still can't anyone other than foreign students to hire.
    I'd speculate that there currently is a gold-rush effect happening that attracts foreign workers, who I think are a bit savvier to the opportunities in the American job market than Americans themselves. Like, the trend is foreign parents steering their kids en masse towards these degrees specifically to export their labor. But honestly, I haven't been very impressed with even the experienced foreign colleagues I've worked with. I feel they look good on paper, but at the end of the day, cost the companies more through lost productivity / poor communication / not doing things right the first time.

    Also, I thought H1 workers were cheaper - the trade off being lower wages for employer sponsorship? Is that not correct? That's how it is with a couple recent teammates anyway. In any case, the times I've been involved with staffing a project, foreign labor was always seen as a budgetary consideration and not something desirable as a means to ensure a better product.

    Again this is just a gross generalization from my limited experience. At the end of the day, I'm still just not convinced enough to attribute the ubiquity of skilled foreign workers in certain fields to the superiority of their educational systems. (Not that I'd have a problem with admitting to their superiority if that were proven the case.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    As such, I think it is a pragmatic approach to say 'What can I do with my life that a) I don't hate b) I'm good at and c) I can make a good living at so that I can pursue all that other stuff that makes me happy'.
    ...
    I definitely am not planning on taking a tiger mother approach either. But, I will have expectations of my child, and they will be high but achievable.
    You just described my own pragmatic approach to my career. And it does work. And no, I did NOT work hard for it. LOL. My expectations will be casually high for my kids. Because again, y'know, I just think Bodhi will benefit from the environment DH & I provide for him; to toot our own horn here, we are pretty awesome, and we'll help him keep up. Our children will be coached to be self-reliant and to keep pursuing whatever they want until they're satisfied - whatever that may be. There's nothing wrong with pragmatism. So then it seems quite unpragmatic and drastic to me to put children through high levels of school stress just to get that job they feel pragmatically lukewarm about.

    I'm sure there's a happy medium in there somewhere between tiger mother and dooming one's child to mediocrity through coddling. The key is in finding the sweet spot.

    Oh, btw, I'm sorry if it sounded like I was calling *you* out as tiger mother. Def not what I meant!

    Chrissy, I'm mad at you for quoting me before I could change "peaking" to "peeking"
    Last edited by demigraf; 11-05-2011 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Dangling participle.

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    Dangling participle. Lol. I love your grammar awareness, Myles!

    I'm typing on my phone, so please forgive the shortness of this post.

    Just wanted to say hey to Karen. You'll have to pop in here more often. :-)

    Just on the education topic, I have to say that I really don't like how the British system works. The kids leave high school at 16 and can leave with no qualifications at all if they want. They then move on to "college" for 2 years if they choose to and then finally they finish up with just 3 years for a Bachelors degree at university. I'm glad for my kids' sake that I have enough training to be able to work with them at home on any skills that they don't learn at school. The one thing that I do like that a lot of people do over here is the gap year. A lot of people take time to travel or do what they like for a year between college and university. I wish I had done that.

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    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576596630897409182.html

    That's the article I was reading yesterday about why American companies can't find qualified workers. I found it interesting and I think it applies to our discussion.

    Sorry Myles I didn't even notice your little error.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
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    Chrissy I enjoyed that article and I think that it had quite a few valid points. I keep hoping the economy picks up before I get my B.A. Not that I know what I want to do with it

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  16. #25036
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    I'm so glad I saved all of this (I was right in the process of posting it) when the forums crashed. I would never have been able to type it again.

    Suja, your British instructor sounds a lot like my exposure to the same, although it was my high school physics teacher, his first year teaching in the US. My first test in that class I got 17%, and I had the highest score. All of us waved our tests in shock and horror, and he said in his clipped accent, "I just wanted to see how badly you would fail."

    I did a bit more reading on homework last night, and didn't find anything that was non-US in my first casual glance. What I did find were some good pros and cons of homework, and some research-based conclusions. Most of the studies found that homework was positive in general and that the amount of homework had not been increasing over the years except in the lower grades. That US students had less than an hour of homework in high school per night. That homework needs to be meaningful, and should not be just a continuation of problems that weren't solved in the class.

    The benefits of homework include these:
    Immediate: Students retain information and understand material better. Critical thinking and concept formation are increased. Information processing is improved, and the curriculum in enriched.
    Long-term academic: Learning is encouraged during leisure time. Attitude toward school is improved. Study habits and skills are better.
    Long-term non-academic: Students have greater self-direction and self-discipline. Time management is easier for students. Students are more inquisitive and participate in more independent problem solving.

    Studies are more mixed toward elementary school homework, and show that testing scores are not improved with homework assignments. However, they suggest that small assignments like the one I discussed (call an older person and find out what school was like when he/she was young) foster a sense of responsibility, and parental involvement may help contribute to a lifelong love of learning.

    Cons: Homework can be detrimental by limiting leisure and family/community time; the temptation to cheat to get it all done; homework assignment can exacerbate existing social inequalities - children who have afterschool jobs or no place to do homework or parents who are not able to help them are not going to be able to complete homework assignments; many classrooms try to force children into a mold of "good students" but often underachievers catch up to their peers in adulthood - this is adding to the belief that classrooms squelch creativity in favor of rote learning.

    I actually feel a little better about homework now that I've been doing this reading. One hour a night in high school is not much. I agree with starting to learn time management skills in grade school. And I also agree that US schools are not competitive and people in other countries are learning much more and usually do have a better work ethic. When I was in exchange student in Spain (10th grade) they let me just sit in the classes and not take any tests, because they said I would never be able to keep up. It's true. I've looked back over my notes and they were doing college-level anatomy and physiology in 10th grade. Art history. Literature. They studied for hours every night. And you still don't hear about Spaniards taking any of our jobs.

    The main problem I see with a lot of these homework studies is that they measure the effectiveness of homework by standardized test performance. I figure in general, a student who is motivated to do homework will also do well on standardized tests, whereas there could be plenty of people who do well on tests but hate homework, and then the further subcategory of people who do poorly on tests and don't do their homework.

    Mostly what I'm going to do is keep doing as much as I can (creatively, with play) on the off hours and in the summer. I remember being bored a lot in school, and just reading on my own while the teacher droned on. What I should have been doing was actively practicing my interpersonal skills.

    I also agree with encouraging my kids to get good, stable jobs that will pay a decent wage so they have money and leisure to do what they want in their free time (like Suja and Mylah said). DH and I never had any input from our parents at all in college majors or anything, nor any financial help, and it is sheer luck that I ended up with such a great job. There were lots of other things I could have done, and I was actually deciding between nursing and teaching but thought I would be a nurse so I didn't have to get up so early in the morning (haha). On such decisions entire futures rest. I have spent the past 15 years getting up at 4:30 AM, but am making probably 3x more money than I would have as a teacher, and I think I would have been miserable as a teacher by now. I love teaching, and I do it at work and at home, but the whole undervaluing of it and the frustrations of it would drive me batty.

    Speaking of jobs - I had an interview with the director of West Coast operations for the company, who flew up from LA to meet with me on Thursday, in between my dentist appointment and my mammogram and my endometrial biopsy. It was a great interview. She was blond and pretty and looked totally SoCal, but we were dressed almost identically except that her outfit was way more expensive, so there was this subtle mirroring effect going on. She loved me. She wanted me. She hugged me when I left (my sister said "I don't think that's legal in a job interview"). Their salaries max out at significantly less than what I'm making now. I don't think I can do it.

    Baby S. went to the doctor yesterday. No ear infection. No evidence of hand-foot-mouth. Strep swab was clear. He screamed the whole time we were there, as he had been all afternoon at home. The doctor said he was evidently miserable, and to just keep him comfortable as best I could. He took hours of crying and screaming last night to fall asleep again, even with ibuprofen and being held semi-upright. It's my sister's birthday tonight and dh and I are supposed to go out on a dinner cruise with her while my mom watches all the kids for 5 hours. I'm not sure that we can do it. It's taking both me and dh, working in shifts, to handle Baby S. and his screaming, and that's not counting putting the twins to bed too. My sister would not understand, though.


  17. #25037

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    Yay! APA us back up. I'm currently in car w/ a sleeping kid in the back while DH is inside at a party. We didn't make it to the Oakland Museum, L. I've never been to it. That was a fun video, and it makes me want to go there.

    Chrissy, thx for posting the article. It was very interesting. Am I reading the chart correctly, though? Employers in Japan and India are reporting local skill shortages at higher rates than their US counterparts?:



    Yawn! I want to take a nap myself!
    Last edited by demigraf; 11-05-2011 at 02:53 PM.

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    Chrissy, that's a great article.

    I've been thinking a lot about this sort of thing recently. My sister has been at home with her kids for almost 17years now, and though she wants to work outside the home she won't take a job that doesn't allow her the ability to drive her kids back and forth to their private school in another town, or to be at home with them after work hours. Which basically means she refuses to work full time but doesn't want a part time job. My mom and I think she's mentally finding excuses not to work because she is afraid to go back.

    She's also a bit jealous of my brother and I who have careers. Her degree is in history and she has never used it - when she did work it was in business and she hated it. I use my degree every day and so does my brother. She apparently made some comment to my father, saying that she was glad she went to school to get an education and "not just to train for a job.". As though somehow my Master's makes me less educated than her Bachelor's because it is job specific? My dad told me that the other day and it's really been eating at me. I have an excellent education and I love my career. And I'm glad I trained for something specific that fits my interests. I think that is pure jealousy on her part.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 11-05-2011 at 02:52 PM.
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    Lydia, thank you for posting that. My degree is not in education so I haven't researched homework, but my teacher colleagues all value homework and I was not aware of some of the anti-homework studies. It was nice to see the pros and cons laid out. I agree with aspects on both sides, particularly the negatives of too much time away from family, and the benefits of time management.

    Also, to further comment on the education/job discussion, I was lucky to witness parents that had fulfilling careers. I learned through watching them that I would benefit most from a career I enjoyed rather than a job and I'm proud of myself for following through on that. At one point in my life I never thought I would. My brother was very similar. I think my sister got the message that success in school was what was important, and she excelled in school, but beyond college she was lost.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    B is still passed out in the backseat & DH brought me a plate of food Indidn't need to eat but did out of boredom. I just rubbed my eye and now it's stinging from chicken wing sauce.

    Mandy, unlike you, I got into my field quite undeliberately, as it's not related to my cognitive science degree at all. I was a writer out of college - 2 travel guide books - and then moved onto a series of random temp jobs. I jumped into this career because it was an IT gold rush at the time in the mid/late 90s, I was tired of struggling financially and not having real challenges, and my neighbors talked me into training myself.

    L, really useful perspectives you shared on homework. Thank you. I hope you're happy with he decision to keep your current job.

    Katy, I forgot to say "owie" about your back! It sounds so debilitating at times. Hope your party was fun.

    And hi, Karen!

    Now to find an eyewash...

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    Back when I was an undergrad, I worked in a tutoring center, teaching English ( I know, I was in the country for 4 years or so when I started). I assumed, incorrectly, that my students would mostly be there due to ESL issues. Nope. Most had done the entirety of their education in the public school system, and came out with very little reading comprehension. Additionally, the lack of general knowledge was stunning. For instance, there was a module that talked about England. Where is England? "In the US, right?". Pull out a globe, ask them to point out the US. Blank stare. Showed the US, asked to point out where NY (where we were) was. Nothing... no wonder we have fighter pilots that cannot pick out Canada and Mexico on a map.

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    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf View Post
    Mandy, unlike you, I got into my field quite undeliberately, as it's not related to my cognitive science degree at all. I was a writer out of college - 2 travel guide books - and then moved onto a series of random temp jobs. I jumped into this career because it was an IT gold rush at the time in the mid/late 90s, I was tired of struggling financially and not having real challenges, and my neighbors talked me into training myself. .
    I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that - you're probably in the majority with that and you have a great career. What gets me about that comment of my sister's is that somehow I didn't get an education? I know, I need to let it go.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    She sounds jealous.

    And lol about homework averaging only an hour. Yeah right. Like I said, in 4th grade Sydney averaged 3-4 hours per night. Since then it hasn't been that bad, but both Bobbie and Jessica easily do (did) 2-3 hours every night in homework. The only exception was Fridays. Like I said, they had more homework than I did when I was in college.

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  24. #25044

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    Ky used to average about 3 hours per night in homework as well. After I spoke to the teacher about it though we came to a consensus that she would lower his homework, which she has. I also let her know that due to him being stressed about finishing homework (he didn't want to let her down and I was having issues with making him go to bed on time because he did not want the negative repercussions of not doing homework the next day in school) he was not getting enough sleep. So now we have a "no homework after 7:30 pm" rule. Luckily our school is not grade based, it is standards based. Meaning as long as the child is one grade level and is gaining ground on whatever level they are on (as some kids came in below and some came in above) then they will be averaged on what they are working on and do not get a letter grade. All of our children have to pass a test at the end of a chapter in every core subject (math, science, social studies, language arts, and reading) and if they do not achieve at least a 90% then they do not move on to the next level. Ky is already above grade level in all subjects so I do not worry about homework because he is a hard worker. Like you Suja, I have high, reasonable expectations. My expectations are actually higher than the school's expectations and the state standards just because I am not from this state and they just have low standards and are consistently ranked in the bottom 5 of states in this country. I think we are 48th right now.

    I just thought it odd that this teacher would try to insinuate that we do not place a priority on our child's education since I have ALWAYS made sure that my son is above grade level. The statistics for little black boys in this country academically is/was rather frightening to me and I resolved when he was born that he was not going to be behind, ever. And I have made sure of that. My real life associates, family members, and friend, actually think I am rather neurotic about academics because I am rather "Tiger Motherish" in this aspect of my children's lives, but I am not going to let Ky especially fall through the cracks and I expect him to always be at least one grade level above where he should be in reading, writing, and math. He always has been and it was me pushing him academically that made this happen.

    That said, I do not see academics as the most important thing in a child's life. I feel childhood is a learning experience as a whole and academics are just one part of this. Children should learn to get along in a family, develop good social skills, learn to do household work, have fun with their friends and family members, have leisure time, relax, learn what they truly enjoy, get involved in their community, etc. etc. the list for me goes on and on.

    I am happy that Ky's school is not grade based and that they actually do take the parents opinion into the mix when it comes to homework. I did express to our principal, D that I do not want Ky's averages to suffer due to homework and that doing worksheets is not something I feel is worthy of a priority, as most of his homework is work sheets or answering questions from a reading.

    Homework of the variety L mentioned is more meaningful to me. Though I do see memorization as an important process in learning. For instance, Ky still needs to memorize some multiplication factors. He knows how to figure them out but it is beneficial for him to memorize them so he won't have to try to figure them out all the time. It is quicker and easier to just memorize them, but it is also important that he knows about the process of multiplication KWIM. Also in reading there are some words like "rough" that you cannot sound out. You have to memorize the "ough" sound or the "ight/igh" and various other combinations, even "know" with the silent "k." So I do think that memorization is important but should not be the primary focus on learning.

    Erin

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    I tell my kids Cs get degrees...thus far, they've all averaged above that. I feel life is too short and I don't want them stressing out about achieving straight A's. I'm happy with what I do and opportunities are everywhere. That's what I want my kids to find for themselves. If they chose to be competitive, that's great. But I will never push it. If they're happy being a manager at Walmart, then that's where their happiness is. It's not for me to decide.

    What I do constantly tell them (because I believe it) is that you don't have to be exceptionally intelligent to complete college. I've known some pretty flaky (i.e. what I would call 'dumb') people with masters degrees. The only difference between them and me (or anyone) is their commitment to college. If you have a functioning brain, you have the ability to reach whatever educational goal you want. I only 'require' mine to get a 2-year degree, and I talk to them constantly about that 2-year degree being in something that will pay the bills. (like, not social work). :-)

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


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    Erin, I applaud you for being aware of the statistics and expecting more for Kai. That said, with you as a mother he's at a huge advantage against most kids I know, no matter what racial/cultural background.

    As far as memorization goes, it is an important part in the learning process, if a basic one as Erin described. Educators talk about Bloom's Taxonomy of learning - memorization is the most basic step on the hierarchy of learning. Using and applying knowledge are higher functions.

    And Chrissy, I think you're very much right that persistence is what gets degrees and I certainly have known idiots with advanced degrees. Then again, some areas of study and some schools are harder than others. I definitely don't think all degrees are the same.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    I definitely don't think all degrees are the same.
    No, they're not. But Cornell doesn't just hire those with Ivy League degrees, kwim? You can get where you want without having to jump through all those hoops.

    eta: In case you don't kwim, they've hired me with a 2-year community college degree. They've hired professors from Harvard, and they've hired professors from state universities. If you take courses in something you're passionate about, you can't help but do well. The real hard part is knowing what you want to be when you grow up...getting the degree is just a matter of doing the coursework. But like I said, anyone with a functioning brain can do it.
    Last edited by missychrissy; 11-05-2011 at 07:27 PM.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


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    I definitely agree with that, too. I was actually thinking more between areas of study rather than schools. I kind of have a low opinion of teaching degrees (no offense, teachers), at least from the program at my university. Other schools have better programs.

    ETA: to clarify why I think that, I've worked with quite a few teachers who don't have basic spelling skills and use very poor grammar in their work. One teacher, certified to teach elementary kids, asked me in front of her 5th graders if I knew what a preposition was. She was helping her students with an assignment and couldn't explain it to them. I still can't figure out how you can pass a licensing exam if you don't know what a preposition is.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 11-05-2011 at 07:32 PM.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    I think I'm over-sensitive about this because I grew up hearing from my favorite grandmother that you had to be 'really smart' to go to college. All my family-on both sides-were blue collar. They're good people and my grandma didn't tell me that in any attempt to hold me back. She really believed it. That combined with the fact that my guidance counselor kinda shot me down by saying you had to be 'really good at math' to work in computers helped me decide to quit high school in 10th grade and delay college until I was 29. If I didn't work in mental health and work with some therapists with masters degrees that severely lacked common sense, I don't know if I'd have ever gone to college. I didn't believe I was 'smart' enough, and I knew I wasn't good at math.

    Thankfully, experience has taught me different, and that's the lesson I hope to pass on to my kids. Bobbie will be the overachiever. She loves learning, loves school and can't imagine life without it. All kids have to rebel and I tease her that her version of rebellion is that she's academically minded and her parents are both high school drop outs. She knows I'm kidding-I'm very proud of her. But I fully believe that all it takes to get a degree is dedication. Not brilliance.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


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    You're right, for most people. I'm glad you got past your early opinions of college and I'm sure your grandma believed that and was trying to help. I have to be a realist, though, because some of the kids I see really never will make it to college -of course, I see the bottom 5% most of the time. I do believe there is a difference between book smarts and street smarts, and they often don't go hand in hand. I've known several people who were functionally illiterate yet had more common sense than most people I know.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 11-05-2011 at 07:49 PM.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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