Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Up To Standards?

During my visit to Wyoming with my grandmother, the topic of conversation inevitably turned to homeschooling.  She expressed what I interpreted as honest curiosity about how I know what to teach and how to teach it.  Did I take direction from the schools or the state or some other governing board?

Much explaining about Bill and my personal educational theories and standards drew nothing but blank looks, as if I were speaking some foreign tongue to which she had never been exposed.  Finally, I resorted to the fact that each state publishes their standards on the internet, and I could access those at any time.

Ah, a light of understand begins.  And then after a few moments pause, "Each state has their own standards?  How do you choose?" Hmmmmm.  Maybe skip the part about personal education standards this go around, I try the whole, "well I pick and choose what makes the most sense to me."  Gets a nod of understanding.  Encouraged, I throw in, "but there are lots of things in the standards I don't agree with."   Which gets a surprised "like what?"

Now I know I've found my way in with my grandmother.  She loves the fine arts. So I trot out our family's values for art and music, foreign languages and love of learning.  Suddenly she lights up with the possibility of what my children and I can do with our learning time at home.

And in that moment, I'm guessing that not only did her concerns for my ability to teach to various standards set by a state education board relax, but I also met her standards for the life and education that her great-grandchildren should have.

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