Monday, April 25, 2011


(If you're here for fiber content and don't give a fig about education philosophies, SCROLL DOWN!)

I've been thinking a lot about what folks have shared, over schooling and kids and related topics. I didn't expect to hit the nerve I did - I was worried about people thinking I was criticizing their children or their jobs. Apparently that wasn't much of a worry. Interesting.

I guess, what it comes down to, is that children are individual and have different needs. (Ohmigosh. REALLY?) We all seem to have figured that out, except for the government wonks who decide policies for this stuff. Some children CAN be pushed hard, and some even enjoy it. By all means fast track those kids. Some kids need more repetition and should be able to get it without slowing down the entire classroom or being criticized. And most children are fine in that zone between the other two. The old system of placing kids by skill rather than age had a lot of things going for it (so long as we didn't send eight year olds to college, I still think that's a tricky situation).

The Goober in particular is thriving with the current system we've got going. I may think some (more than some) things she's learning are ridiculous, but she's learning them. There's a lot of the curricula I think is screwy, but again, I can customize a great deal so it's no big deal. (Though... Venn Diagrams? In Kindergarten? Seriously?)

The 'creative spelling' topic came up in the comments. The school advocates it, but I don't. (Yay for customizing.) There's whole lot of "it is okay for your child to write however they want" in the parental handbook. I disagree. I'm with my blog readers, in that it's best to start the kid off doing things as closely as possible to correct. I've stressed that it's important to write like everyone else (both in spelling and penmanship) so that we can all understand each other. I've even told her that her ideas on grammar are more logical (because they are), but we still have to do it like everyone else. Obviously she's not getting things right on the first try, but we're working to get there. I don't know about neural pathways, but it just seems dumb to let a kid do things wrong without even attempting to correct. It'll make things harder later, one way or another.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts. Those of you who went anonymous to disagree with me, you're certainly free to, but you don't have to. I enjoy disagreement, especially when it's laid out coherently like it has been in the comments. It gives me things to think about. There's a HUGE difference between "I disagree, and here is why" and "YOU SUCK!" While I will always sneer at the second type of comment, I enjoy the first.


Remember the knit-along coming up May 1? We're still doing it. For now, all you need to be doing is buying yarn. Any type, any weight, though I suggest worsted-ish so you can keep up with the rest of us. I'm still planning to use Cascade 220 for an adult size XL sweater, to give you an idea. For amounts, find a pattern for a stockinette sweater using the yarn you want, and buy enough to knit that. If it seems a little on the low side, get a skein for luck.

Do we need a knit-along button? Or a group on Ravelry? I fully intend to put all directions, commentary, and digressions up here on the blog for posterity, but a Ravelry group might make it easier to communicate questions... I don't know. Everyone's always free to comment or e-mail or bug me on Ravelry or Twitter, so it's not like I'm hard to find.



Anonymous said...

As a grandmother, not the mother, I worry about what my son's education plan for Tesla entails. I know the government overseen system is broken.I don't know how to fix it.
I do know the attitude of a lot of people is 'we pay taxes. Educate our kid' instead of 'our tax dollars are supposed to help ME educate MY kid'

laurel said...

Hm, I wonder if the whole "spell how you want" is holding hands with the "you can achieve whatever dreams you may have!!!" thing. I'm sorry to whoever out there who reads this and is still hoping to become an astronaut or whatever but I think maybe pushing "Find what you're good at and work with it!" is a little smarter, for everyone- not just the chitlins.

I'm sure even Aristotle would describe a Samurai Knitter KAL group on Rav as "bitchin". Just so you know what me and uh, "Ari" think about this idea.

Roxie said...

Oh thank you, thank you for giving all instructions on the blog. I want to play, but I just don't have the time to get over to Ravelry.

Teach her the standard spelling. Have you seen some of the nonesense spellcheck makes of creative spelling?

irisphnx said...

I think I'll join in the KAL with my birthday yarn. I couldn't get it to commit to either of two patterns I thought I liked. Good thing this yarn frogs well. Doesn't matter to me about blog vs rav, either way is fine. It's all internets anyway.

Amy Lane said...

I just got my propaganda mag that said the government cut spending by $20,000,000,000 in education the NCLB years. In order to make up for this, they make the standards harder, in order to make the country not look like fucktards when the kids who are coming out from classes of 40 kids per room who don't get enough food and so are hyperactive and disoriented. We NEED parents to take a look at their children's education, because the government just plain doesn't give a ripe fuck.

irisphnx said...

Husband reminded me last night just how many days I can't raise my arms over my head. Pullover maybe not. Now I'm torn again.

Anonymous said...

I come here much more often tahn raverly, its much mor efun.

So along with irisphnx woul dit be possible to make a sweater with buttons instead of a pullover?

It is hot in Texas.


Carol said...

I love using the forum in Ravelry. It's fun to be able to go and ask a question and get an answer quickly.
If you want me to start a group I will.
But I read my blogs daily too so I'm cool with whatever happens.