Monday, July 20, 2009

Mondays Our Way(Late Edition):Grade Level

As I mentioned in last week's Mondays Our Way post you-the homeschooling parent-decide what grade your child is in. That's a great advantage when it comes to testing schedules, but that it also a large responsibility-classifying your child at an appropriate grade level effects their test scores, which in turn effects their college prospects, which in turn can effect their careers.

So how do you know, before you sit down at the test, if your child if your child is ready to be at that grade level? That's where educational standards come in. There are national education standards, but those mostly just set the guidelines for your state's educational standards (the ones you're really going to want to look at).

I have a natural hesitancy towards working with the public school district and prefer to do as much on my own as possible, but unless you are a public school teacher finding resources for state education standards can be difficult. They are often tucked away in some dusty corner of the internet, so as to "encourage" people to ask for them rather than find them on their own.

Luckily I am one obstinate pig headed broad dedicated lady, and after hours of internet mining I have come across EdStandards.Org, a website created and hosted by two small school districts in upstate New York. On this page there is a link to each state's individual standards page, which delineates by grade level what is expected of children in your area.

This, my friends, has been like unschooling gold to me. There is a lot that is expected of children these days-for instance, in my state children are expected to be able to create PowerPoint presentations with minimal assistance by the end of first grade. I never would have guessed. By having a list of these standards I have been able to assess exactly where Monkey's skills lie, and create new opportunities for him involving skills that he needs more practice with. While I don't exactly teach to the grade level expectations (we, as unschoolers, are more interest driven than standard driven), there are many people who do so very successfully and no matter what kind of homeschoolers you are knowing your state's standards is just one more step in arming yourself with knowledge that will help you and your child have the best educational experience possible.

Anyone else want to share their golden homeschooling/unschooling find?


Jenny said...

Power Point in first grade! That makes me LOL!

I'll have to check out the link more tomorrow, because I'm not seeing grade level standards.

Thanks for the link though!

Jenny said...

I found it. I guess my eyes are so tired, I couldn't see straight.

Off to bed for me!

Reviewer11 said...

Power Point in first grade?! That seems ridiculous to me. The child is barely learning their alphabets and stuff that takes a while for them to learn.

Thanks for sharing with us. :)

from SITS :D

Helene said...

Homeschooling? You are a braver woman than I!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Now, let's see.....Bo just graduated and builds her own websites and computers and writes computer code with ease. She wasn't introduced to these concepts until 9th grade. How EVER did she get here without Power Point in the first grade?

Thanks for letting us know!

Dee said...

This phrase "are more interest driven than standard driven" made it a lot clearer for me.

I'm not a homesechooling or unschooling mom but I'm certainly a believer in parents being involved in their kid's education.

Visiting from SITS