Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things starting to click a bit together

The more I read from "When Children Love to Learn" and from a book by Alfie Kohn, "What Does It Mean to Be Well Educated?", the more I have a clearer vision of how things will unfold next year.

Alfie Kohn's book is one I took out from the library sometime ago. I don't know why I can't seem to sit down and just read through it because every time I sit down, I love what I'm reading. Today, I saw it in the shelves (maybe that's the problem: it's smaller than most books on my shelves!) and thought, "Oh, that's going to be due soon. I should sit down with it." It's at a point that reminds me so much of CM--about how learning ought to be the focus, not results. That's exactly what CM is about--there is no requirement for how much the children should know in the various subjects, it's all about the process and learning for their own sake.

I had been thinking of maybe having my daughter do a pretend provincial exam at the end of the year--well, not pretend, just use an old one. If she wants to then, sure, we'll do it; but I'm thinking now I won't even think about using some of the exam prep things during the year. I don't want her focus to be on how much she will learn for some arbitrary test. It's also got me thinking more about high school and if next year can be a good model year, we can continue that way for her academic subjects until grade 12, even if she's doing a diploma. She can do just the grade 12 courses she needs, with proof that she has been working on the subject matter throughout grades 10 and 11. When she gets credit for grade 12 academic courses, they automatically give credit for the "prerequisite" grades 10 and 11 courses.

This will give us so much more flexibility and we won't have to stay exactly on provincial curriculum--just have to prove that she has covered the prerequisites, is capable, but it doesn't have to be exactly the curriculum. She'd still do German through correspondence (her choice!) and most likely signed up with a teacher for art credit (either through our homeschool board or through a private school here in town), we'd get her phys. ed. credits and whatever other easy option courses she wants to cover as she went along. This feels like such a huge relief: she CAN get the diploma without us sacrificing good learning throughout the first couple of high school years just for the sake of properly meeting the curriculum and doing final exams.

On the flip side, if she wants to be eligible for certain scholarships, she will need official marks all the way through. I think I'd rather say, "Too bad, it's just money." They don't amount to a lot and I think our quality of life and learning is more important than a bit of money to help defray post-secondary costs!

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