Keeping Up With Standards


This is a confession. I would ask you not to laugh but I laugh every time I think of this.


I like to check out the state SOL’s (Standards of Learning) every now and then to see if my children are on target with their learning. I do not feel the need to go over everything the state lists I am just trying to get a rough idea of what a child should know for their grade level. I only look at the math and language arts SOL’s, order because our family learns science and history as life happens.


As I am reading over the language arts for my kindergartener at the end of last year I see that kindergarteners  are supposed to be able to write their own name. My daughter could not write her own name. GASP! At first I felt really bad and my head was filled with thoughts like “You have no clue how to teach your children, cialis what you are thinking?” and “Maybe my children would be better off being taught by professionals.”  My oldest child had learned the basics of reading and writing in the public school system and so teaching kindergarten was a new experience for me and at that moment I was not feeling really good about my abilities.  How could I not teach my child how to write their own name?



Once I calmed down and thought about everything I realized that I was not a bad teacher I just was teaching in a different style school than the state.  My kindergartener had never had to turn in a paper alongside 20 other students, click at this point in her education learning to write her name was not a necessity. I did take the time to teach her how to write her name and she has not suffered any ill side effects from learning to do it later than other kids. She is a smart little girl who loves to learn.


One of the many privileges of home school is each child gets to learn at their own pace.


We have the freedom to teach what our children need and there are no state standards to live by.  We do have to be diligent as parents to teach them what they need to know for life, but we can have some fun with what, when, and how we teach them.


The moral of the story is; if you are like me and enjoy browsing over the state Standards of Learning here and there do not get sucked into thinking you are failing your children if you have not taught them everything on the states list.  Stop and think about how important it may or may not be for them to know a certain item on the list.  If you feel like they need to know the item relax and think of a way to work it into your home schooling schedule at a time when your child is ready to learn it.

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