Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Making the Grade

Our happy and free not-quite-unschooling process just ran smack into a brick wall called The System.

Nate has been enjoying his Navy Sea Cadet unit immensely. He gets to do all sorts of fun things like SCUBA class and so on. (alternatively, I seem to have taken up a new hobby--patch application!) There are plenty of awards and ribbons to be earned, one of which is the Academic Achievement ribbon. Here are the standards:

a. Is officially declared on his/her schools Honor Roll for a
b. Makes no grade below B.
c. Makes the Honor Roll during the regular school year.
d. Carries the required courses to be considered a full-time student at the
enrolled school.
e. Provide Commanding Officers with a letter from the school verifying the
Honor Roll status.

You can see where we might have a few problems. Honor Roll? The whole school has only one student-you can't get more honored than that. Officially declared? Um, 'cause Mama said so? Full time student? How on earth do I determine that? He lives here. Full time. And then there are the grades. We don't have any!

So I had to have a chat with the kid today. He is entering a portion of his life where these things matter (to other people, anyway). After a discussion, this is what we came up with:

One of the chief reasons to school at home is that you can move at your own pace. If you are moving at your OWN pace, then you are never forced to move on when you have not mastered a concept. If you master the concepts, that's an A grade, right? So the way he figures it, and I agree, is that he should never have anything less than an A. From there it's just a matter of me determining if he's executed 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 or 1 whole class credit, I guess. Although I haven't been counting hours or anything on below-high-school-level courses. And that still doesn't tell me what to do about a child who is working at so many different levels, or finishing one math class and starting another partway through the year.

Now I just need to figure out what my requirements for the 'honor roll' are. I suppose being a straight-A student, as we have just decided Nate is, would be good enough for most schools...but that word 'honor' in there makes me think there should be more to it. Then there's the 'regular school year'...again, we don't have one. Do I now need to be dividing up our school years into semesters? That makes no sense for us since courses don't begin and end on particular dates. Carrying required courses...hmm. I do require him to do things. Now I guess we need an official letter. And since we are going to be needing more and more official proclamations in the future, I think it must be time to buy a seal embosser. Only problem? Nate's school has no name.

Last night I asked him to name his school and his ONLY suggestion was, "Nate's home for the chronically insane." Which brings to mind the questions: When you graduate, does that mean your are sane or insane? If you become sane, does that make you a dropout? All I know is that I am not spending money to have that embossed on documents!


Sarah said...

roflol....NHCI...very funny!!!

I can see how that could be frustrating for you all.

Jenny-Fair said...

My mom offered to write a letter from 'The School of Grandma' lol.

One would think that since there are SO many homeschoolers, and homeschoolers tend to be more involved, that organizations would prepare...but we can pave the way if needed. I have never been averse to that!

Anonymous said...

Check and see if there is a chapter fo the National Home School Honor Society in your area. You are attmitted by obtaining a certain score on a standardized test. If Nate could do that and be admitted, I think that would count for "honor society".