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Author Topic: A Private/Home School Hybrid  (Read 9733 times)

cropperb

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A Private/Home School Hybrid
« on: May 29, 2006, 01:43:47 pm »

Hello, everyone. My name is Brandon. I was raised in Delta, Utah, and attended a free public school until graduation in ‘98.  I started college with the goal of becoming a history professor. 

After 3 years at university, I became certain that the students being sent to higher education from the public schools are uneducated. I couldn’t possibly teach them anything. They lack basic reasoning skills and even a fundamental grasp of world history eludes them entirely.

The universities today are as bad as the decaying public schools that send the students.
   
So I decided to start at the root, and educate kids with the goal, not of socializing them or conditioning them to society, but the goal of educating them. I seek to give them a fundamental, historically demonstrated education in all the areas essential to life.
Aristotle said that “Man is the Rational Animal.” In other words, he is basically the same as animals in all important respects except one: humans have a mind, language, reason. If reason is a primary virtue, as Aristotle believed, then its cultivation will make a fine human being.
   Briefly, my curriculum will have the following structure, based on four main branches:
History will be taught in a two year cycle, ancient history (up to the Fall of Rome) and modern history (Fall of Rome to the present). I will place an emphasis on major events and important patterns (such as the development of science and government).
Literature: This will also be taught in a two year cycle, corresponding with the History curriculum. The Children will read plays, short stories, poems, and novels of the great writers of history. Starting with a study of Greek Myth and Legend, by the end of the second year the children will be reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, as well as plays by Henrik Ibsen and poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Science will be taught on a two-year cycle, in a style that respects the historical development of science. Early discoveries are necessary to understand later ones, so we start with chemistry and geometry in ancient Babylon, and we don’t talk about the internal parts of atoms until we have learned about the “atomic war” of the 1800’s, where the reasons for and against the atom’s existence dominated science for generations.
Mathematics: I expect a wide variety of abilities and motivation in math among the children, so I intend to let them work independently in workbooks where they can progress as fast as they want, all under proper tutelage. In teaching math, the rudiments of geometry will be taught before algebra, as it occurred first historically.
   To a great extent, the branches of knowledge will overlap, and the students will be reading and learning ancient myths and literature at roughly the same time as they are studying ancient history and learning the rudiments of ancient science and math. Historically, everything developed simultaneously, and is therefor interrelated.
   The integration of the curriculum is all the easier for me because I will be teaching every class and will know all the material they are learning (which often isn’t the case in today’s public schools).

I plan to open the school in Concord, but since I haven't decided on a building yet, I'm still open to locating it in other cities, if anyone knows of a good, affordable location.
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cropperb

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And a poem about my experiences at university
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2006, 08:36:26 am »

Places of Learning
Brandon Cropper

Colleges and universities are places of learning.
In it four years now, a degree I am earning.

Or that at least is the plan that is offered,
When through many courses I’ve duly suffered.

In classes taught by wise professors,
I’ll grow a beautiful plume of feathers.

Yet I perceive my feathers are pluck’d;
And from the nest I’ll soon be shook.

For things beamed at me by erudite teachers,
Require one’s faith, and are more fit for preachers.

They say my reality is made by perception,
Built by my mind - the perfect deception.

They tell me the world is all an illusion,
And I wonder how they escape the confusion.

And they speak of the poor, downtrodden have-nots,
And say government healthcare is spotty in spots.

Western doctors don’t know the real human needs,
Alternative medicine they proffer - indeed!

Evolution, they say, hasn’t answered all questions;
Intelligent Design is the offered succession.

And these are the learned men of the time?
The feast of unreason! - on nonsense they dine.

God help us all to escape a Dark Ages -
In every field we need newborn sages.

As an atheist I know to not kneel and pray;
A rebirth of reason must bring back the day.

And so, my professors, I bid you adieu;
I’ll drop out of college and start my own school.

The End

And the new school will be called Aristotle's Academy.
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crmallon

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Re: A Private/Home School Hybrid
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2006, 11:11:15 am »

I'd like to just throw a few ideas out there:

I plan to homeschool my children, but I like the idea of them having the opportunity to learn together with other children sometimes. I would not want to send my children to any school (even a wonderful Libertarian school), and I wouldn't want to make the daily trek neccessary to shuttle them all the way to Concord (or any other town, since we'll be living in the boondocks). But what would be awesome is a situation where they could spend a day a week at a school like you're describing.

I'd love to make the drive to Concord (or wherever) once a week, so my children could get together with other kids and study subjects like maths, science, and history. I'd love for them to have that opportunity to be able to have discussions about the subjects they are studying, and yes, to socialize a bit.

What if your 'school' had one day a week where out-of-town homeschoolers attended, and there could be open discussions and tutoring? Maybe the children could get a syllabus of the readings the full-time students would be doing, and the homeschooled children would be encouraged to keep up with that and be able to fully participate on the day they attended?

I'd love for my children to feel like they are part of a larger group of kids who are learning the same things, with a similar emphasis. And it would provide an opportunity for them to make some friends and get out of their home routine once in awhile? And via internet, they could perhaps contribute to out-of-class discussions, projects (like a 'newspaper'), and be included on occasional field-trips?

Anyway, those are my ideas, based on what I would want for my children. :D
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RalphBorsodi

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Re: A Private/Home School Hybrid
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2006, 12:20:38 pm »

interestingly there was a charter school attempted here in Concord called "Concord Academy" with the same "great books" type of curricula but the application was denied...

http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artikkel?SearchID=73169144497656&Avis=CM&Dato=20040411&Kategori=REPOSITORY&Lopenr=404110343&Ref=AR

excerpt:
The lower school would use a national school reform curriculum called the Core Knowledge Sequence. Developed in 1990 with a group of education experts by E.D. Hirsch, the author of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them, the curriculum provides a specific list of content teachers must cover in each grade. The theory behind the sequence is that children learn by building on what they already know, so Core Knowledge is designed to eliminate the repetition of material (kids don't get units on the Pilgrims in every grade) and to integrate the various disciplines. The content is traditional, in the sense that students learn about great works of music, art, and literature, world and American history and geography, foundations of math and scientific principles. But it is also multicultural, in that it aims to integrate the contributions of a variety of world and American culture and history into the curriculum.

Like all brand-name school reforms, Core Knowledge has its fans and critics. It is widely used in Colorado charter schools, and some public school districts, including Baltimore, have used it as well. A national study in 1999 rated its effect on state achievement "promising."

Crossroads Academy, a small, private K-8 school in Lyme, is the only school in New Hampshire that draws heavily on the curriculum. Jean Behnke, the head of school, said the logical, structured sequence ensures that lessons dovetail nicely among disciplines and from one grade to the next.

"Kids love it because instead of learning pedestrian information, they're learning about our rich world culture," she said.

But she added that Core Knowledge isn't for every child, or every teacher. It is a didactic approach that does not cater to children's or teachers' interests, but rather prescribes the classroom agenda.

The high school would use a "great books" curriculum, taught by Socratic method in small seminars. Kruger said he borrowed the curriculum from an Arizona charter school he knows.

The Academy would also emphasize the teaching of virtues such as honesty, loyalty, honor and responsibility, Kruger said. "It's really difficult to teach kids how to become good American citizens if you're not teaching them virtue," he said.
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cropperb

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Re: A Private/Home School Hybrid
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006, 07:13:01 am »

Thanks for the replies Ralph and crmellon;

BY THE WAY: I changed my profile and I am now Objectivist, just to let you know. (Its a bit difficult checking my old posts, so sorry it took so long to reply to these posts).

To answer crmellon first, I have thought of the sort of part-time tutoring structure you're suggesting, because it would allow parents to participate even if they couldn't afford full tuition, and distance would be less problematic. I hope you will be able to participate if an when the time comes.  :)

Ralph:

Thanks for the heads-up regarding the rejection of the charter school using the Great Books series, but my school will be neither charter nor will it use anything like the Great Books, which I regard as fundamentally flawed in its approach to cognition. My approach will use the methods of teaching outlined in Dr. Leonard Peikoff's course on The Philosophy of Education (it is 27 hours long and available on CD or cassette from www.aynrandbookstore.com).

I disagree with the Great Books approach in many ways, but to indicate briefly: a book is not necessarily worth reading simply because it is renowned, well known, or a favorite of the intellectual elite. Those conditions are neither necessary nor sufficient to justify giving a book or author a place in the curriculum. I would not countenence a solemn study of Heidegger, nor would a respectful review of e e cummings be part of my school's material. Anything by James Joyce is out on basic priciples of decency. And yet all these authors are paid tribute by the Great Books approach. ::)

Let me add in closing that the Great Books approach is most certainly preffereable to the non-structured mishmash of propoganda fed to school kids nowadays. But viewed by itself, the Great Books approach has no respect for the hierarchy of knowledge and it is doomed to marginal successes at  best. I know you're prolly not advocating the Great Books, but I had to give my two bits once it was mentioned. ;)

 - Objectivist
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Ron Helwig

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Re: A Private/Home School Hybrid
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2007, 11:51:15 am »

I plan to open the school in Concord, but since I haven't decided on a building yet, I'm still open to locating it in other cities, if anyone knows of a good, affordable location.

Just a thought that has been floating around in my head:

Here in Deerfield we don't have a high school. Most of the high school kids that are attending government schools are going to Concord. According to the history I get from locals, the voters keep voting down the building of a high school.

There is also a new commercial development being started here. Something like 150 acres, about one mile from the "center" of town and about a half mile from the existing school.
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Dreepa

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Re: A Private/Home School Hybrid
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2007, 04:41:30 pm »

And Deerfield pays big money to send there kids to Concord don't they?
It would be nice to get a private school that Deerfield could send their kids to instead of Concord... could even be cheaper.

I think that Brandon has decided not to move to NH... or at least that is what he posted over at NHFREE.
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BlueLu

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Re: A Private/Home School Hybrid
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2007, 08:55:05 pm »

Maybe, since I have not made it to NH yet, I can work for you.   ;)

I had started this thread, as an off-the-cuff market study, when I thought I would be there by now:  http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?topic=3576.msg55360#msg55360

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solomon

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Re: A Private/Home School Hybrid
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2007, 02:33:45 am »

that is extremely refreshing and a wonderful idea. count me in as an instructor--what kind of qualifications will be required? my love/speciality is history, but i would be more than willing to take extra classes this fall in order to work with you.

i was also wondering what city i would move to--looks like concord is the winner!!
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Ron Helwig

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Re: A Private/Home School Hybrid
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2007, 09:19:56 am »

And Deerfield pays big money to send there kids to Concord don't they?
It would be nice to get a private school that Deerfield could send their kids to instead of Concord... could even be cheaper.

Deerfield is paying over $11,000 per student per year to Concord. That doesn't include transportation.

Amazingly, a group of parents got together and ponied up enough of their own money to hire one bus. Of course the statists are insisting that the town pay for transportation and have put a warrant article on the ballot to not only raise enough taxes to hire two buses, but also to pay a transportation stipend to those who don't use the bus.

There are a dozen high school kids here that are using/desiring alternative public schools. There are about 150 (IIRC) that are going to Concord. I have no idea how many are using private schools and homeschooling. I'm no expert, but it seems to me like there's a large enough market...
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LibertyforLife

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Re: A Private/Home School Hybrid
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2007, 07:54:16 pm »

Oooo oooo new idea!

What if private citizens offered for free or low cost to teach classes on a subject that they like to talk about and parents/students could select the classes they wanted to learn stuff about?

Regardless what anyone else thinks, I'm going to do this once I get to New Hampshire. I'll be the one teaching classes about Computers. Perhaps once I have my farm I'll teach about that too....hmmmm.....

I'm so going to think outside the box on this education idea. I'll adapt it to my son's education that I am doing with him.

I'd love to see people who have a passion of a subject teach a subject because that passion will translate, I think, to the children who love to do it.

Can you imagine an entire community that teaches a single class about things that they are passionate about and offers it for free or low cost? This is soooo kewl of an concept.
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