Why My Products Don’t Reference Standards

This article first appeared in the Homeschool Holiday February 2021 Newsletter. If you are not receiving the Newsletter, you are not a member of our Curriculum Club! It’s easy to sign up and it’s FREE.

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This was me in 2017. The picture was taken by a student in my class. I don’t know why she took it, I don’t even remember it being taken. I just discovered it on the school iPad at the end of the day. It’s pretty accurate – both the seen and unseen.  

At the time the picture was taken I posted a reflection to Facebook:

This is the CrAzy my students see every day….. I would not change a thing. I wore my slippers to work yesterday…because I knew the kids would love it. 

I’m supposed to teach state standards and at some level I suppose I do. It is more important to me that my students feel important and loved.

We have fun every day. I tell them EVERY DAY how much I love being with them, how much I love my work. I want them at some  subliminal level to learn  no matter what we are doing, just make it your best and everything else will follow.

I have told every class that when they grow up and win an award, or are “rich and famous” to remember in their speech they owe it all to their fourth grade teacher. … what I really mean is as they go through everyday ordinary life:  think back and remember the fun, the love and laughter, from ALL your teachers. 

 They won’t use the state standards I may or may not be effectively teaching. I hope they  will use the crazy everyday chaos I pawn off as a fourth grade education. 

Today I’m going to take my class to Mass, stay and pray the Rosary, and then we’ll come back to what they have affectionately named HEADQUARTERS…and have a dance party, with our 2 disco balls and limbo set…. it’s not on the lesson plans… just written in between the lines....

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Yes, we had disco balls and dance parties before it was a thing due to the pandemic. They ate lunch under their desks in “forts” on rainy days and I used Iron Man cartoons to teach character traits – they just thought we were watching cartoons at the end of the day! 

I had a lot of freedom in my position as 4th grade teacher and the administrator in charge of discipline for the the TK – 8 school of 250 students. The standards *found* their way into my lessons – just as they *find*  their way into my products.

I never used standards in my homeschool, we just learned what the kids were interested in. I have always been that kind of an educator. 

I do not purposely design products with the standards in mind. I design products with CHILDREN in mind. I trust as educators you know how to best implement the necessary academics (FUN) in your homes and classrooms, because relationships must come above everything else. 

Holidays, and the fun they bring naturally,  are the greatest tools for relationship building. I hope you agree! 

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