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  1. #21
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    What about home schooling? You know, it's not just for scary religious people anymore.
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  2. #22
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    The U word! GAWD I hate when people pipe up with that. I have met more snotty phone-obsessed slouchy teens that are public school all the way than I have ever met an "unsocialized" homeschooler.

    I homeschooled my kids most of their elementary years-far from town, very rural area and nope there was not a ton of "socializing".. .couple neighbor kids, couple obnoxious kids left over from the three years my son went to public school.

    We moved and the kids just started going to a new school a week ago. They are in 7th and 9th grades, doing great, making friends, blending wonderfully into their classes, teachers love them, friends are calling...

    I'm happy to have ours in PS now-we know the teachers, it's the school I graduated from, kids are ready for a varied schedule and I am working fulltime now. I really think I did the best possible route for us/ours-HS in elementary and PS now... I get compliments on my kids all the time.

    Love homeschooling-my kids are smart, well-read, responsible, mature, can talk to a wide variety of people, manage time and money, and have a rock solid sense of themselves.



  3. #23
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    Apr. 4, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    Oh come on.

    As if that brilliant 18 year old in graduate school would be any different if he went to school....except he might have been teased his whole life instead.

    I don't know ANY homeschooled kids who "don't socialize with other kids". That's such an old line. How many homeschooled kids do you know - really? Three? Four? I probably know 50...none of which spend their entire week at home, alone.

    There are geeks, and cool kids, and tom boys, jocks, and introverts, extroverts, and everything in between in public school, private school, and who home school. My homeschool co-op participates in a middle school science competition in our area -- WE are the "cool kids" in that group, and they all "interact with other kids" every day!

    Home schooling does not mean "school at home" -- e.g. line up little desks kids and mom stands in front of them reciting the pledge of allegiance every morning.

    Ok, sure, someone out there does this. I don't know them. And I don't know anyone who does, either.
    I know 13. Not nearly as many as 50, but still. The ones who were homeschooled as only children or with one sibling got exposure to other children. I can honestly say that 4 of those kids (siblings) did NOT get time to socialize with other kids. No church, no co-op, no clubs or sports, etc. I lived with them for 2 years and not once did they have friends over, go to a friends house, or do any interacting with kids their age aside from the very occasional meet up with their cousins.

    I never said it was the norm. I guess I'm just annoyed at the 18 year old grad student. It's been a crappy night and I'm a bit snappy.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  4. #24
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    Mar. 10, 2007
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    Homeschoolers have a hair trigger about that "unsocialized" business... I also had a long day and can get snappy, don't mean to.

    I think something I really learned after homeschooling though is that school isn't necessarily the best place to learn social skills. Compare to throwing the puppy out in the local overrun dog park instead of going to puppy classes. Might work, might not.

    My kids were pretty little when they started school and it went off on the wrong foot. A few years of gaining confidence, learning about themselves, being in varied experiences traveling and reading and learning and they know exactly who they are and how to relate to people and they didn't learn it on the bus or playground.

    Learning all things can happen in a lot of places.



  5. #25
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    Dec. 9, 2002
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    Hollis, NH USA
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    I have 5 children who were/are all homeschooled with two now in college. Both of my older daughters got accepted to all the colleges they applied to (good colleges, Holy Cross for one.)

    Thanks to being homeschooled, my kids have been able to do and see things that most regular schooled kids will never have the time to do. For their Junior and Senior year in high-school my two oldest daughters managed their own a 12 stall boarding facility (which they leased) and also organized a summer horse camp for our homeschoolers. Thanks to their horse related entrepreneurship they both received great scholarships which are putting them through college.

    The "socializing" thing is SO last year:-) We are members of two large homeschool groups and all the children are incredibly polite, well-spoken, well-educated. The other beautiful aspect of it is that older kids play with younger kids and all the age lines are blurred. Interestingly, my kids participate in sports at our local school and I am amazed at the large number of socially awkward kids I see...many more than I see in our homeschool circles.

    Homeschooling has come so far from the old days, with literally endless resources and opportunities. It has been a sometimes frustrating but hugely rewarding experience for our family.



  6. #26
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    Dec. 9, 2002
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    To your point about socialization and relating it to puppies, Cowboymom: it's my belief that children learn good social skills from the adults in their lives (if they are being raised properly) and mostly bad social skills from their peers:-)



  7. #27
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    Mar. 7, 2004
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    I know lots of home school kids / families here. Some home school for religious reasons (creation is not taught and not to be taught here), some for other reasons - very bright kids, kids struggling with the learning environment. All of the kids are well mannered, fun to be around, funny and really well socialised to all ages.

    One family decided to home school because their 4 children (eldest 8 years and youngest 4 years at the time) were so busy with extra curricular activities that they really struggled to complete set home work from school. School complained that children were not doing home work. Home work did not relate to in class work (photocopied sheets handed out by teacher) and was not being marked. It came to a head one week when mother asked eldest daughter to bring her books home. Half way through the year, child had done 1 page of problems in her maths book - this was the total maths she had done at school for the year! Kids finished that week at school and never went back!.

    Now they all ride ponies and motor bikes competitively, swim, play soccer, each of them plays at least one musical instrument and one of the girls sings. They have much busier and fuller lives with greater contact with a wider variety of people than they ever had while at school.



  8. #28
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    Dec. 18, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milocalwinnings View Post
    I know 13. Not nearly as many as 50, but still. The ones who were homeschooled as only children or with one sibling got exposure to other children. I can honestly say that 4 of those kids (siblings) did NOT get time to socialize with other kids. No church, no co-op, no clubs or sports, etc. I lived with them for 2 years and not once did they have friends over, go to a friends house, or do any interacting with kids their age aside from the very occasional meet up with their cousins.

    I never said it was the norm. I guess I'm just annoyed at the 18 year old grad student. It's been a crappy night and I'm a bit snappy.
    I'm sorry you had to get in-depth homeschooling experience with a family like that. That is VERY unusual, at least among the homeschooling families that I know, and know of. I probably know upwards of 25-30 homeschooling families to varying degrees, and know many more kids. All of us attempt to give our kids opportunities to "socialize" with other kids, but we also want our kids to socialize with people of other ages too.

    We get very weary of hearing "but aren't you worried about *socialization*?" from parents of "schoolers" (as my kids call them!) Usually after explaining that "socialization" is not the same as "socializing" (a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.), we hear "Oh well, I don't know how you do it. I'd go crazy. Or kill my kids".

    It gets old. Actually, I don't usually explain socializing v. socialization but some of my friends do. They will say "Why YES we are worried about other children teaching our kids values and beliefs, aren't YOU?"

    I haven't been asked why my kids are out of school in a while, but I keep waiting so I can make shocking replies. Things like "We're ditching!" or "School is so overrated!" come to mind, but I haven't had a chance to use them yet.



  9. #29
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    Sep. 5, 2007
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    I get the "socialization" thing too. I hate when people TELL me to make sure my kids are socialized well or they will grow up wrong. Excuse me? My twin 9 year old daughters are bright, well-mannered and happy and get along with almost everyone. They are both shy, one painfully so, but that would not change if she were in school. I have been told that. No, there are plenty of painfully shy kids in school too! If I take my girls to a park or anywhere else where there are other kids, they get right in and make new friends. They have no problem playing with kids of varying ages. I also get a bit offended when people are "surprised" at how well-mannerd and well-spoken my girls are, like because they are homeschooled they are expected to be wild, unruly and unkempt monsters that can't read or write? No, I see plenty of that from kids who go to school... My girls may not be at the level that their peers are academically in some things, but they excel at other things and are allowed to learn at their own pace. They know about things that kids their age have no idea about. They have seen and done things other kids only read about in a text book. They get to do archaeology with their mom! They will also be volunteering at a local National Park along with me, as costumed interpreters during historical recreations, and next year they will attend a once a month school where they will learn skills from the 19th century like sewing, baking, beading etc so they can do even more during the living history events. Not too many kids know how to identify Spode ceramics or how to properly wield a trowel!

    For me, it's a choice that is right for my girls and I. I enjoy spending time with my girls, and teaching them. My girls went to Kindergarten, and they had an hour of homework every night. In Kindergarten!!!!!!!!!



  10. #30
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    Jun. 24, 2006
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    Agreed that traditional schooling won't "socialize" a child who is already awkward. I am not the most common sense person and although I don't think I appear as socially awkward as I feel, I most certainly am. It isn't that I can't function per say but I cannot make new friends unless it is through work or the horses and I have a lot of anxiety about meeting or interacting with people I do not know or have nothing in common with. Oddly enough I was actually very successful in sales but in a job atmosphere it just felt different i guess. Been this way as long as I can remember. My traditional school experience was awful and only made everything that much worse. Kids are cruel, especially to someone who doesn't quite fit in.

    Reading this thread I wish we had thought of home schooling, it would have been fantastic for me.



  11. #31
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    I haven't decided how I feel about homeschooling.

    I have one friend who has a very bright, but limited daughter. She has been diagnosed as high functioning austistic, who has exceptional motor skills, but very low empathy/sympathy skills. She has also graded out 2 grades higher in math and science. Traditional school would be very difficult for her, with the areas of deficiet (?sp) she has and the fact that she would not fit in well with others in her higher skill sets. Her family makes a tremendous effort to make sure she is integrated socially in areas that she can handle, sports and other homeschool groups. I am certain school and life in general would be very difficult had she attended traditional schools.

    That said, when I hear about people who homeschool for other reasons, religion specifically, I have kind of a hard time with that. I worry that the kids will not be exposed to other points of view and I think being well rounded includes seeing how others believe. Or those kids who just don't want to do the work, and refuse. Homeschooling is not the answer for those kids (and I know 2 who are in that category).

    As my kids are older now (graduated from college), and they tell me things that happened to them or their friends in school, I'm not so enamoured of public schools. Lots of bad stuff happens in schools too, like bullying and drug use.

    What I do worry about with the homeschooled kids is not social-ability, but equipment. How do homeschools get around not having a chemistry lab, for example? Or do they have access to this kind of expensive and sophisticated equipment and I'm unaware?



  12. #32
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    Mar. 10, 2007
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    You can buy science equipment; most people that homeschool through high school either purchase the necessary equipment or find access to a lab.

    http://www.hometrainingtools.com/dis...e/p/DE-KITINT/

    http://www.hometrainingtools.com/chemistry/c/3/



  13. #33
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    My kids have been back in public school for a few months now-they were out for five years, started back in at 7th and 9th grade. At their midterm they have nearly all A's, teachers are happy with them, and they're making friends and fitting in well.

    The biggest positive I've heard from the teachers so far is regarding their forward attitudes and work ethics. The next biggest positive is how well-read and generally literate they are. They both were started in general english classes and were promptly upgraded to Advanced. They each have A+'s in their English and math classes.

    Turns out really where homeschooling failed our kids is in sports! Neither DH nor I are very sports minded and the kids are rather clueless about the rules and procedures for volleyball or hockey... I'm sure they will catch up some day.

    We moved and ended up in a different school system; had we not moved I wouldn't have stopped homeschooling. I don't regret for a moment homeschooling them through elementary and if I had it to do over again I think I would not have done any PS for elementary, just gone straight to the HS. I lost ground the years they were in PS but we made it up and then some. No TV until the last year or so, tons of reading, excellent life experiences and activities plus two pretty smart kids made for a wonderful foundation. It was worth the hundreds of dollars in overdue library book fines we paid! We used to bring home scores of books every week and I really think that is how young kids should learn: follow their interests and their own pace and find their footing before they go into the more regimented upper classes.



  14. #34
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    Feb. 4, 2005
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    Threedogpack, my oldest kiddo is doing mostly 6th grade work, the grade at which science in public schools is mostly still a "narrative" model (less experimentation, fewer mathematical calculations) so doesn't yet require many bunsen burners. ;-)

    When it comes to supplies in general, we just buy stuff, whether new or second hand. Homeschooling is not always inexpensive. :-) Our LCD digital microscope is a huge hit here, for example, and we have looked at and learned from some pretty cool slides.

    We have a good jump on Biology here on the farm for sure, with the various species of critters! The older daughter gets to have a hands-on repro lab helping breed mares this year, which she is immensely stoked about.

    When it comes time for more advanced science coursework (Chemistry specifically) that I'm not comfortable teaching, homeschooling juniors and seniors can make use of dual-credit classes at our local community college.
    "And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!"



  15. #35
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    Jan. 27, 2008
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    A poster above mentioned that their Homeschooled kids played sports with the local high school? Could someone elaborate on that please?

    We don't have kids yet but this is something my husband and I have talked about doing, but the sports/activities aspect is something I'm curious about. I do think there are some fun times (and even scholarships) to be had when playing HS sports and wouldn't want to make future theoretical children miss out on such an opportunity...thanks!
    TPR!
    Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboymom View Post
    I really think that is how young kids should learn: follow their interests and their own pace and find their footing before they go into the more regimented upper classes.
    I wholeheartedly agree! The older DD has literally read the complete juvenile medical section at our local library, because she finds it intriguing. In addition to "normal" science stuff, we've pursued studies on local animal habitats, erosion, nutrition, and (ahem) chicken husbandry -- all because the kids expressed interest. The amount of recall they have on info we learned from those units? It's fairly high.

    We do of course insist on occasionally-less-interesting basics: grammar, spelling, math.

    However, one beautiful thing that homeschooling allows, at least for us, is the chance for kids to learn to love both reading and writing. We read books for English, for history, for pleasure -- every day, every subject. We read the front page of the newspaper and follow current events. We read hard stuff and process meanings together out loud. My younger daughter reads aloud with me daily, working on pronunciation, vocabulary, intonation, grammar -- the 500-page Rick Riordan book I handed her when we started ancient Egypt made her 8 year old self cry with brief despair. Too bad, so sad. Two weeks later, she's intrigued, reading the book at night when she thinks I'm not looking. She thinks she's a rockstar and that She Can Do It. The older DD read over 10,000 pages last year -- she tracked them for fun.

    The girls write the same way. Analytical, creative, poetic writing, sometimes even copying great works -- every day, put your pencil on the paper and write Something a little bit better than yesterday.

    Sorry for the soapbox. The school day is something I love sharing with my girls.
    "And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!"



  17. #37
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    Three Dog Pack, I may not have fancy schmancy lab equipment, but how many regular school kids can say they get to go on archaeological digs and learn history by digging it up? There are also a lot of chemistry type things you can do without expensive lab equipment. A lot of public schools can't afford that type of stuff anymore anyway. We have great local museums and things which allow for experimentation as well. Most (not all!) but most homeschoolers find ways to enrich their childrens lives without the use of lab equipment in a classroom setting. There are tons and tons of parents who send their kids to public school who do not, and many times cannot help their children or do not or cannot support them and foster their education. I am allowing my girls to learn about the things that interest them, and we get heavily involved in our local community and the bounty it provides for educational opportunities. We learn about animals by going to the zoo and listening to keeper talks! When the girls are old enough, they will get to volunteer at the zoo if they want.


    They have no interest in sports, and I didn't either. I HATED PE. I did it all in school and I don't know anything about the rules or anything about any sports except equestrian sports of course! My girls couldn't tell you anything about football, but they can tell you all about faults and lucky rubs and dirty stops! Plus, the movie Brave got them interested in Archery, and so that is what they do now!



  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capall View Post
    Three Dog Pack, I may not have fancy schmancy lab equipment, but how many regular school kids can say they get to go on archaeological digs and learn history by digging it up? There are also a lot of chemistry type things you can do without expensive lab equipment. A lot of public schools can't afford that type of stuff anymore anyway.
    Experiences count for something and I'll not discount them. However, they also should not be a substitute for some other traditional learning either. Learning what/how/in what order to mix things together (or perhaps more important, what NOT to put together) may not be taught without a more formal environment. It might be taught too...I don't know as I've not homeschooled.

    We have great local museums and things which allow for experimentation as well. Most (not all!) but most homeschoolers find ways to enrich their childrens lives without the use of lab equipment in a classroom setting.
    not a doubt in my mind there are probably many enrichemnt areas outside of a school setting. But enrichment isn't .really. what I was speaking of.

    There are tons and tons of parents who send their kids to public school who do not, and many times cannot help their children or do not or cannot support them and foster their education.
    did I say there was? I did not. As I did state, I don't know how I feel about homeschooling. I see the benefits and the negatives about each setting.

    I am allowing my girls to learn about the things that interest them, and we get heavily involved in our local community and the bounty it provides for educational opportunities. We learn about animals by going to the zoo and listening to keeper talks! When the girls are old enough, they will get to volunteer at the zoo if they want.
    and this is fine, but I think children also should learn about things that DON'T interest them. Things they should learn, because they are good to know, even if not interesting.

    Again, I'm not fully for or against either way of schooling. I also think that the things and the way we learn are changing. I had a recent discussion about this with a neice and her mother. I asked them what their thoughts on homeschooling were and my neice stated that she would have to think about it a little and my sister said, it used to be that history was taught by people who had a college degree in history, the same for math and english. Now teachers are teachers first, with learning theory as a base, and the depth of knowledge of the subject is a little less. I found that observation to be interesting.

    I also think the internet will change things up very much. My son earned his masters online, that would never have happened 30 years ago...so the method of learning and the method of testing that knowledge is changing too (as the testing was done online for his degree and the testing for 2 friends in medical school was done in a large classroom with computers).

    Homeschooling may very well become the norm in another 10 years.



  19. #39
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    Sep. 5, 2007
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    They aren't substitutes for traditional learning... However I never did anything with chemistry and fancy lab equipment until I was in high school. When my girls hit hs age, they can enroll in college classes. It's not hard to teach basics of chemistry at home. I even know how to extract DNA with basic household goods and a strawberry

    And yes they learn about things they may not care too much about, but they also can grow in areas they are interested in. One hates math, the other hates writing. But we still do it, a lot of it! Those are just two examples. I really can't think of anything I learned in grade school that I can't teach them at home. I teach biology out of a college biology text book (which I explain in ways they can understand) and they learned a lot about India and Pakistan when I was doing research for my professor. They've learned about far more cultures and ways of life (and how to respect them) because of what I am able to teach them.

    I'm sorry if you took my post as an attack, it wasn't meant that way. I guess I'm just tired of people (not necessarily you) who get a holier-than-thou attitude and think home schooled kids are going to somehow be stunted and unprepared for the world because they didn't spend 8 hours a day in a classroom. I don't think homeschooling is for everyone, but I also don't think traditional school is for everyone either. I thank my lucky stars that I am able to provide such an enriching learning experience for my girls. I am lucky I have great contacts and people who can provide unique experiences that they could not get anywhere else. It just gets tiring when people put me down or question my ability to teach my girls. (Again, not saying you did this I'm talking in general here. It gets tiring).

    And one more thing, I work part-time as a grader for one of my former college professors and I am absolutely appalled at the students writing skills! These are kids who graduated from traditional high schools and they can barely compose coherent sentences. I find that quite sad and disturbing.

    *I know I probably have several grammatical errors here, but I'm not being graded and/or writing multiple drafts and editing like I would for a composition!



  20. #40
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    Dec. 18, 2006
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    I think it is sort of impossible...and unnecessary...to have an opinion of homeschooling unless you actually know someone (or hopefully many people) who actually do it.

    There isn't "a" homeschooling method. There are hundreds of them. People who homeschool because their kids are so brilliant the public schools can't work with them; people who have kids who are in the lower half of the bell curve and need extra time to grasp concepts. Families that live in bad school districts; families that have kids in serious competition (riding, figure skating, etc.); families that homeschool for religious reasons....the list goes on and on.

    And in every cohort of students in each of these groups, you will find families that did it well, that didn't do so great, and everything in between. There will always be a wildly amazing success story and a failure, if you look hard enough.

    Once when I was first homeschooling, another parent (that I didn't know) was grilling me about my "qualifications" (to teach 2nd grade math)...and I explained how homeschooling worked in my state and how parents send in reports to the district...etc. She said "Yeah.....but what if, the person is...well, you know. An idiot?" To which I had to respond "Well....the idiots have the same rights as everyone else. But...who gets to decide WHO are the idiots?"

    Many homeschooling families enroll in community college classes for science; or enroll in a cooperative; or buy equipment; or find alternatives to using actual equipment. I can tell you for certain that my kids will not suffer if they don't get to run the 5 lame chemistry experiments I recall doing in high school. (Maybe I've blocked it....) I am teasing, science is one of the reasons we belong to a co-op because it is expensive to do alone. But you might be amazed at the online resources available these days....

    As far as district sports - apparently it is not legal in NY for homeschooled kids to participate in interscholastic sports. I think it is related to the fact that they need to maintain a specific grade point average for eligibility and since we "don't grade", we are not eligible. I have a friend with a very athletic son and an irate attorney husband who might challenge this regulation....so it will be interesting to follow.

    Too bad, though....if your kids were capable and interested in sports, it is reasonable to think there might be a middle ground (e.g. some sort of school sanctioned achievement test for eligibility)....an interesting concept...



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