Tonight is our HS curriculum review. Something you should know about home education in MD is that the state requires a certified individual to review your curriculum for the year. I had to list all subjects, by student, and list goals I hope to accomplish by the year’s end. It may seem quite daunting to the ‘teacher’, especially if the teacher puts together their own curriculum with no pre-made lesson plan attached.
I survived my prep time and my classroom will be all ‘perty and sparkly’ for tonight. Believe it or not, I really don’t mind the review process. Some folks think it’s invasive, and I agree, it is. However, there are enough folks who claim to be ‘homeschooling’ that are not actually doing any teaching and when those situations come to light, it casts an ugly shadow on those of us who take home education seriously.
Also, because we move around the country (thanks Army!) I chose to be a bit pro-active with my record keeping because we just never really knew where we would land. Some states are very lax in their HS laws. Our ‘home of residence’ Indiana only requires notification of intent to homeschool. Some states have home educator laws like our home state of Iowa requires a Bachelor’s Degree or the oversight of someone with a Bachelor’s degree. Maryland is by far the most rigid in their HS laws, but what really bugs me about this state is their missing the mark, so to speak, in their laws.
Maryland wants the reviewer to make sure that the curriculum ‘jives’ with the subjects begin tought in the public schools. I must include all the peripherals of Art, Science, Gym, Social Studies, etc. The things NOT REQUIRED in this state are annual exams and attendance. Woa, what?? Annual exams may be the bane of all teachers, but it does help with knowing if the children ‘get it’ or if they ‘got it’ this year. Annual exams let me know if my kids are on par with kids their age, with a national average, and it is a great target as they near college decisions.
See this last summer we had to re-do english across the board because annual exams showed us the kids were under average for their ages in english sentence structure and mechanics. I needed to know that so we could review such skills so that they didn’t have a faulty foundation that may not have supported the bricks we would lay in the future.
How about your state? Do you appreciate their laws, or groan under them? 😉 Do you think annual exams are hogwash, or do you want to know your children’s national standings? Am I possibly too competitive? I actually know I am, but I do try to temper it with my children 😉