Saturday, March 08, 2008

And they say homeschoolers are lazy.

So just to give you an example of what the BC government wants to know (i.e., wants me to demonstrate on paper) about the effectiveness of my daughter's education, get an eyeful of this. These are just a few outcomes, by the way, in one area (of 12) of one subject - specifically, Language Arts: Writing and Responding, Purposes. (There are other outcomes in this area, and twelve areas in the subject. And there are eight subjects.)

create imaginative writing and representations, often modelled on those they have read, heard, or viewed, featuring - ideas represented through sentences and images that generally connect to a topic - developing sentence fluency by using simple sentences, dialogue, phrases, and poetic language - developing word choice by attempting to use new and descriptive words - developing voice by showing some evidence of individuality - an organization that generally follows a form presented or modelled by the teacher; stories include a beginning, middle, and end

create straightforward informational writing and representations, using prompts to elicit ideas and knowledge, featuring - ideas represented through words, sentences, and images that connect to a topic - developing sentence fluency by using simple sentences, patterns, labels, and captions - developing word choice by beginning to use content-specific vocabulary and some detail - developing voice by showing how they think and feel about a topic - an organization that follows a form modelled by the teacher, such as a list, web, chart, cluster, or other graphic organizer

create straightforward personal writing and representations that express simple ideas, feelings, likes, and dislikes, featuring - ideas represented through words, sentences, and images that connect to a topic - developing sentence fluency by using simple sentences that relate to each other - developing word choice by attempting to use descriptive words and interesting details - developing voice by showing some evidence of individuality - an organization that follows a form or text presented or modelled by the teacher, such as a list, card, or letter

Okay, first of all? Judging by the criteria above, the asshats who wrote these outcomes don't even have a Grade One education, because to finish Grade One you apparently have to have "sentence fluency", and use "straightforward information writing". Neither of those things are apparent in the outcomes as listed above: therefore, or as they used to say back in Clearihue B, quod erat demonstrandum, they must not have finished Grade One.

Second, SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME. My brain hurts from devising worksheets targetted at satisfying multiple outcomes for eight subjects. I've been at it all day, and off-and-on for the last three days, on very little sleep. My little one is sick and is spending half the night coughing and whimpering.

Third, want to see what I had for dinner last night? (Mr HalfsoledBoots had Mini Wheats and the kids had homemade macaroni and cheese.)

I firmly believe there is no trouble so great that it cannot be helped - however slightly - by a piccolo of Henckell. The cool round grapes, Saltspring Island garlic-rosemary chevre, roasted onion & garlic jam, and fresh baguette didn't hurt either.

Anyway, back to being the principal, the teacher, the janitor, the librarian, the burly woman with a whistle who runs PE, the school nurse, the Board, and the Parent Advisory Council. See you on the other side.


Annalea said...

Thank you for making it clear to me that, should I ever find myself unschooling in BC, that I'm going to skip the "jumping through hoops to get funds" option. That would make me so cranky, working with all of that edu-speak and trying to appease whoever wrote it. ;o) Best of luck . . . and that dinner looks mahvelous . . . however did you get away with that while the rest had cold cereal and mac 'n' cheese?

Shan said...

Yeah, isn't it weird that I'm the only one who wanted to eat garlic goat cheese and onion jam on bread for dinner?

(When you say it THAT way.....)

Man the hoop-jumping is hard to take. I haven't decided if I'll do it this way forever, or whether I'll eventually strike out on my own. I guess I'm trying not to burn my bridges. I thought it would be a good idea to keep up with the provincial grade-level standards, in case someday she has to go be Just Another Brick in the Wall. Now I'm not so sure.

On the other hand, one of these days I'll take a picture of my school book collection, all paid for by Gordon Campbell. (Cheers, Gord! Bottoms up!)

kate said...

And people wonder why teachers say that writing the report cards is the hardest and most frustrating part of the job. A grade 1 report card is 3 pages of numbers, broken into a myriad of areas (as you are discovering). No where except in the tiny comment section in the top is the teacher able to say something clear and specific about an individual student.

One teacher I know says she has seven different grade 1 math programs, some of which never got opened, because the government keeps changing its mind about the curriculum. Asshats? Oh yes.

I could continue, but I won't. I think I would have eaten with the kids though :-)

FYI, I'll help anytime. I make a great teacher's assistant.

Stace' said...

Looks like you're the Cafeteria Lady too!

Heatherly said...

in florida we had to have our protfolios evaluated by a public school teacher.
other states just state placement tests, one we had to be evaluated by the superindendent and she wanted to graduate me at 13 :-)

just listen to her tell you a story i bet she covers all those things at least orally.
they just want to intimidate you. dont let it work!

mmm yummy chevre cheese. but with jam? not a pregnant thing??? just a weird thing? :0)

Salar said...

Haw Haw! I love that you used their description to critique their own writing. Why is it that anything written by the government or a scientist has to be so pompous that it actually ends up not making sense? What are they afraid of? Points for using Latin in your argumentum. (I had to look Q.E.D. up but I nodded and pretended I knew what it meant when I read it)

lizbon said...

I was going to point out that the person who wrote those requirements (I just hate the [mis]use of the term "outcome" in that context) cannot write his or her way out of a paper bag.

But then, you did it for me. So I guess I have nothing to add other than a grimace connoting sympathy and horror in equal measure.

lizbon said...

ahem. conveying, rather than connoting, if we're going to be all perfectionist and governmental about it.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Cheese with jam a 'pregnant' thing?? Oh my God all these years I thought I was just fat!

Bethro said...

Ugh! My best friend home schools and has to jump through these hoops as well. Since I was a public school teacher in a former life, I have extreme empathy for working with all of the paperwork, but without the support of fellow teachers. You've probably already worked with resources like this, but my friend belongs to a lot of homeschooling groups (both virtual and non) and she finds it helpful. Good luck translating English for the man.

Olga said...

wow. I tried to make sense of the gobbiegook and tried to figure out how I would do it and you know what? Guess I'm a ijit according to the 'their' standards. And I have a collage degree! I guess I would flunk 1st grade there....
Hope you wade through it all!

kate said...

My dad eats cheese sandwiches with marmalade. Cheese and onion jam makes more sense to me.

But neither one will I eat!

karen said...

Persevere Shan....
I did the mainstream route until my oldest was in Gr.4, my youngest in Gr. 2.
Then we switched to going on our own. It was better for us - we were able to gear the learning experience to our world and not to some artificial standard ( I could elaborate - but simply not enough room here!!) We went through WonderTree in Vanc. and although there is not near as much money to the student, there is a lot of support and freedom to function at your optimum.
Take heart - it is all possible - not always easy - but the end result is pretty darn good!!