Thursday, April 28, 2016

ATI Wisdom Booklet 2: Medical - Breathing and Speech

I get a strange feeling of unease every time I type "ATI" and "medical" in the same sentence.  I think this is because the medical section is quite strange.  This section, for example, manages to be very detailed without necessarily teaching information well.

Monday, April 25, 2016

It's Not That Complicated: Chapter Eight - Part Five

Chapter 8 is nearly over!  Hooray!

We've got some truly Botkinesque themes today.  Stop reading if covert incest bothers you.

Overarching Themes:

Women are dumb.  Really dumb.  Like amazingly dumb.  That's ok because God gave us men to keep us on the straight and narrow!  

"God has ordained authorities in every woman's life.  For a married woman, it's her husband.  Interestingly, all six times that the Bible commands women to be in subjection to their husbands, it specifies "to your own husband" - as though woman's tendency might be to follow after whoever has the most charisma, looks, smarts, or money instead.  The truth is, woman's created desire to go along with what men want of her can put her in a very vulnerable position when it's outside of the God-ordained context.  The jurisdictions God set up are a safety net, not a cage." (pg. 145)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Response to "Karen" from No Greater Joy Magazine

No Greater Joy published a piece on common misperceptions by homeschool parents about college entry.  The information presented in the article is true, but misleading.  For the blog post to be accurate, the author needs to present what the prospective college student is missing by not having certain qualifications that the average public, private, or parochial school graduate would have.

See, the real trick about college isn't getting accepted into a college.  The real competition between students occurs over who gets the cheapest tuition rates from the college.

  •  Colleges have a certain number of spots for students to receive full-ride scholarships.  The most ambitious and skilled students vie for these slots so that they have little or no tuition due.
  •  At the other end of the spectrum, colleges admit students who are barely qualified - or not qualified - to attend.  These students receive little or no additional tuition breaks in the form of scholarships or grants from the college and will end up paying the highest prices for the same education received by the full-ride students.  
  • In this article, I'm ignoring need-based grants like the Pell Grant since these look to level the economic playing field between low SES and high SES students.  

First, let's look at some of the misperceptions discussed in the article:

"College applicants need a diploma and a graduation ceremony."

Truth: No one needs to see the actual diploma.   Diplomas are a pretty piece of paper than can be displayed as a decoration.  Similarly, a graduation ceremony is a nice occasion for the graduate, their family, and their friends, but it has no bearing on college admission.

Missed opportunity: The scrapbook will be less pretty; the family may have fewer happy memories.  There is no effect on college acceptance.

"College applicants must take certain core requirements.  Students must be working at college level in math and English."
Truth: Most colleges expect prospective students to have taken certain high school courses.  In addition, most majors have expectations that prospective students will have taken more specific high school courses.  Colleges certainly accept some students who below English and math requirements.
Partial Truth: Sometimes, a department will waive a course requirement if the student can demonstrate proficiency in some other way.

  •  Ms. Sargent's description of her daughter's acceptance into the orchestra is weak on details, but I will hazard a guess that the orchestra had a requirement that a student had participated in an orchestra or band previously.  If the faculty wanted her daughter after hearing her audition, they could waive the requirement.
  • This happens fairly frequently with advanced students in an area.  My high school transcript didn't include Algebra I or Algebra II since I completed those in junior high.  Since I had plenty of documentation of more advanced classes in math including a 4 on the AP Calculus A/B test, the colleges I applied to waived the Algebra requirements for me and many of my classmates.
Missed opportunity: Colleges will NOT waive requirements that are not met.  Students will have opportunities to get the requirements filled - but you will be taking a course that generally does not count towards the general education requirements or your major while paying full price for the course. In addition, these remedial courses slow the student's progression through college leading to a longer time before graduation.   Examples:

  • Ms. Sargent's two children who tested below readiness in English and/or Math at the local community college and had to take remedial courses.  If they each needed one course, this probably slowed their progression through those subjects by one semester.   If they needed two courses, this could slow them down by a year if the courses have to be taken in a certain order.
  •  I had a friend who graduated from the same parochial HS I did after taking a general science and Biology classes.  He decided to major in Chemistry.  Because he had not taken high school chemistry, he had to take an introductory chemistry class that did not count towards his chemistry major before he could take Inorganic Chemistry (the first class taken towards a chemistry major).  
"Transcripts must be official"
Truth: This only applies to public, private and parochial schools.  What this requirement actually means is that students at institutional schools must have the institution send a transcript rather than having the student "remember" what classes they took and what grades they got.

Missed opportunity: 
  • For traditionally schooled students, a transcript is chocked full of information about the rigor of classes taken by the student, how well the student performed in those classes, and how well the student performed compared to their classmates.  
  • Admission officers and financial aid committees know the academic reputations of the secondary schools within their geographic area and can determine the reputations of the schools outside their area.  A transcript that shows academic rigor and achievement leads to more scholarships and lower overall college cost.  
  • A homeschool transcript can be used to estimate rigor of classes taken by the student, but has limited information on how well the student performed and no information on how the student did compared to other students. Since the transcript for the homeschool student contains less usable information than the transcript for traditionally school students, talented homeschool students are at a disadvantage when scholarships are disbursed.
"Students must take the PSAT, SAT and ACT."
Truth: Some colleges accept students without ACT or SAT scores.  They are not required.

Missed opportunity: You'd be a fool not to send them in if you are a talented homeschool student.  This is the easiest way I can think of to demonstrate that a homeschool graduate had a comparable and competitive education to traditionally schooled applicants.   A strong SAT or ACT score can eliminate most (or all) of the disadvantages of a homeschool transcript.    Many colleges have scholarships that require an ACT or SAT score of a certain level.  My ACT/SAT scores + a high GPA on my transcript earned me substantial scholarships that covered ~50% of my tuition for four years.   

  • Homeschool students can get into college without official transcripts, without standardized tests and with gaps in their educational credentials.
  • The cost of those omissions is a higher tuition cost for the students.
  • Talented homeschool students can remedy many of these issues through judicious use of standardized tests like the ACT, SAT, AP tests, or dual enrollment during high school.
My two-cents:
  • If you are a homeschool student with known gaps in education who is considering college, consider studying for and taking the GED.  There are four modules covering math, English, science and social studies that cost $37.50 per module.  The score you receive on the GED can be used by colleges to determine what your GPA would have been at a traditional high school.  Some colleges will even waive certain required classes if you score high enough on the GED.

Monday, April 18, 2016

ATI Wisdom Booklet 2: Science (ish) - Disciplines of Science

Welcome back to the ATI Wisdom Booklets Debunking series!

The ATI booklets are poorly organized.  In the second Wisdom Booklet, there is an overview of the scope of the major topics in science in the middle of a section on logic or history.  The overview contains huge omissions and falsehoods about science, so I felt compelled to point out the errors within this section since the booklet was missing an actual science section.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

It's Not That Complicated: Chapter Eight - Part Four

On a serious note, this post may be triggering for abuse or trauma victims.

It's time for BIBLE BABBLE starring Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin!

In previous episodes, our gracious hostesses have told us about why women have no agency outside of men, why loving your brothers means your literal biological brotherswhy Biblical heroines are following the Botkin plan with a special emphasis on Abigail and Bathsheba, and their personal obsession with the Proverbs 7 woman.

What wonders will we learn today?

Overarching Theme: 

Bible interpretation is so easy!  All you have to do is read the Bible and then apply the verses however you want to!

"Amazingly, the Bible does speak specifically to our parents' role in our romantic lives.  Deuteronomy 22 is a good place to start.  Verses 13-21 lay out a law that God gave to the Israelites regarding a young bride whose husband has accused her of not being a virgin on her wedding night.  Interestingly, the young bride is not the defendant.  Her father is.

The burden of evidence was placed on "the father of the young woman and her mother" to prove that their daughter was a virgin, and the father was required to represent her.  If she was proven innocent, the young man had to pay an enormous fine to the father for bringing "a bad name upon a virgin of Israel."  But if the young woman was found guilty, verse 21 continues, "Then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stone, because she has an outrageous thing by whoring in her father's house.  So you shall purge the evil from your midst." (pg. 143)

ATI Wisdom Booklet Digression: Revenge of the Nerd

Ok, this one is badly out of order, but I could not wait to vindicate my region of the US.

In Wisdom Booklet 17, one of the history sections caught my attention.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

ATI Wisdom Booklet 1: Medical Portion - Fight or Flight

Today, we learn about the fight-or-flight response.  Well, kind of.

I taught a basic (~9th grade) human anatomy course for 5 years in various formats.  ATI/ATIA has taken on a huge subject in this section.  To effectively describe how the adrenal glands work, the students need to have a solid understanding of the divisions of the nervous system, how different sections of the brain work, and a refresher on feedback loops.  Since this is the first booklet, all of this information would need to be covered at once.  That sounds like a trainwreck in the making since I spent six weeks on brain structure and function, divisions of the nervous system, and reflex arcs and other spinal cord controlled nervous system functions alone before spending an additional 6 weeks on the endocrine system.
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Sunday, April 10, 2016

ATI Wisdom Booklet 1: Science Portion - How eyes work

Thanks to Homeschoolers Anonymous, 54 of the ATI Wisdom Booklets have been posted online.

In each Wisdom Booklet, there are two science-related sections.  The first section "Science" covers "Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy, Geology, Physics, Mathematics" while the "Health" section covers "Health, Nutrition, Behavior, Counseling".

I've read through the first 15 or so and was surprised how haphazard the information in the booklets are and how poorly designed the lessons are.

I'm just going to jump into the Science section of the first booklet.  The first part is a quick overview of the material in the booklet.

Friday, April 8, 2016

It's Not That Complicated: Chapter Eight - Part Three

Family dynamics leak into personal writings.  In this section, Anna Sofia and/or Elizabeth demonstrate a very basic persuasion technique used by a wide variety of groups including cults.  This technique is really most effective when used in a person-to-person interaction; a written version of it is underwhelming, but serves as good practice to identify and undermine the technique.

Overarching Theme:

Obey your parents and life will be great!  Disobey and life will be horrible!

"Think about this question carefully.  Is it well with you?  How do you feel about how your life is going?  Are you generally peaceful, or generally angry? Do you know where you are going? Or do you feel like you're stumbling around in the dark? Are you spiritually happy, or do you feel fearful?  Do you feel the hand of God supporting you in everything you do? Or do you often feel frustrated and thwarted? (pg. 139)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

It's Not That Complicated: Chapter Eight - Part Two

Today, dear readers, you get a special treat!

First - no covert incest!

Second, to help you better visualize what the actual book is like, I've included a quote that is a fairly standard page of uninterrupted Botkin language.  Technically, I should have included the entirety of the first paragraph, but decided to spare you some pointless emotional babbling along with minor slams against the girls who ask Anna Sofia and Elizabeth for advice so we could start at the main point of this section.

Overarching Themes:

History supports us!  If historical families did it, it can't be wrong.

"(...) The idea of their parents being involved in their relationships with boys sounds about as reasonable as arranged marriages.

Monday, April 4, 2016

It's Not That Complicated: Chapter Eight - Part One

The title of Chapter Eight is "That's Why You Have Parents: How to Draw Strength, Wisdom, and Protection From Your Father and Mother".

Chapter Eight has the dubious honor of the second-most overwrought history lesson in the book.  (I think the "Western civilization is being undermined by evil Socialists" section of chapter three wins for the entire book. )

Overarching Themes: 
Oh, woe is us!  We have it harder than anyone in history!

"You wouldn't have bought this book if you didn't already know that it's a complicated time for boy-girl relationships.  Maybe even the most complicated in history.  It's true that yesteryear's mating dance involved a labyrinth of intricate courting rituals - floral communication, fan sign language, courting candles, bundling bags, calling cards, dance cards, basket auctions and whispering tubes.  But today it's complicated not because there is an impenetrable fog of arbitrary rules (thank goodness we don't have to know whether receiving a bunch of yellow roses means "friendship" or "extreme betrayal"), but because there are no rules. It's a Wild West of anything-goes. The single world has morphed from Victorian parlor into Dodge City- no law and order, no higher court of appeal.  It's every man for himself!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

It's Not That Complicated: The Boys - Part 3

Let's start with a quick review of the themes of Chapter 6 +7 before looking at the quotes from the "guys".

Chapter 6: Don't be a whore like the woman in Proverbs 7.  Remember, you can totally tell people from what they look like on the outside.

Chapter 7: Guard your heart - but don't make guys feel bad.

From Chas, networking guru:
Chapter 7:
"If this person has previously passed up the opportunity to pursue you, it is self-deception to believe against all reality that this person is eventually going to change their mind and love you, or that you can make them interested in you.  Once you realize that they don't desire you back, holding a flame for an unrequited love is making an idol of your desires rather than accepting God's sovereignty.  The idol needs to be burned ASAP, and that means self-mortification - dying to yourself.  If you really loved the object of your desire instead of yourself, you would honor your their non-desire for you and extinguish your flame.  Holding onto a flame when the clear answer of "no" has already been given is almost a guaranteed way to make the object of your desire hate you - especially, if you are friends with someone the object of your desire IS interested in.  Because now you are running interference.  For a man nothing is more irritating than a pushy girl with a crush who never gives up - especially if she is competitive or manipulative of another woman that he is interested in." (pg. 123)