Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: Free grammar and spelling lessons on Facebook

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Free grammar and spelling lessons on Facebook

Sometimes free resources just fall into your lap, as did this little unexpected lesson in grammar and spelling correction I found on Facebook.



A woman in Wills Point, Texas made an angry post about a formerly homeschooled student who was selected as this year's valedictorian. According to her post, the senior had been in the public school system for two years before being chosen as the valedictorian, and that angered some in the town. The principal even reportedly protested the award, refusing to announce the young man as valedictorian.

According to this poster and other Facebook users from the Wills Point area, the school board will consider the situation, and possibly the principal's continued employment, at a meeting scheduled for May 28.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to let my own homeschooled students use the post as a free grammar and spelling lesson, because learning to recognize and correct errors is an important language arts skill. I recommend printing the gems you find on Facebook for your own children to correct. You can't beat free lessons that just keep on coming!

UPDATE:

The Wills Point ISD has now posted an official notice regarding the upcoming special meeting on May 28. Personnel issues, including "resignations, reassignments and discipline" are among the matters to be discussed in the executive session.

Some folks have asked why I care what happens in this small Texas town, especially since I have no stake in the situation personally. Well, the main reason is that I always find stories involving homeschoolers' rights interesting.

Homeschoolers are seldom allowed to bring their credits with them when they transfer to a public high school. Sometimes they are allowed to test out of classes they've already taken, often for a simple pass/fail grade, and other times they are forced to start all over again as a freshman.

In the Wills Point case, according to the local chatter, it seems that the formerly homeschooled valedictorian was not allowed to bring his credits prior to enrollment, but allowed to test out with a pass/fail grade, as per the direction of the TEA. Therefore, only the student's grades from the time he enrolled until graduation were factored into his GPA.

Some residents believe this gave him an unfair advantage over students whose GPA included all four years. But what is the alternative? Should all homeschooled students and students from non-accredited private schools be automatically disqualified from consideration as valedictorian simply because the school won't accept the grades they were assigned for the work they did prior to transferring?

I firmly believe homeschooled students who transfer to public schools should have the right to be considered for academic honors. How schools resolve the issue of determining eligibility is up to them, but the process should be transparent and consistent, and if a formerly homeschooled student happens to win, fair and square by the policies in place, then that honor should not be tainted or taken from them.