On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, my sister forwards me the photo report from my four-year-old niece Glamour Girl's nursery school. It keeps me up to date on what the little fashionista is wearing, but more importantly, it's given me a new understanding of the basic learning standards of my home state's educational system.
Each report includes a three-point outline of what the wee ones learned each day--the secret agenda behind all the macaroni necklace making and super-special circle time. These Early Childhood Education Standards have changed the way I view my day. What if my life was more like nursery school? I asked myself. I mean, if these things are important when you're four, shouldn't they be even more so now? I set out to evaluate how I'd do. (If you're a writer looking for something other than word count by which to evaluate your personal development and contribution to society, I highly recommend this system)
Here are today's three points:
SOCIAL STUDIES: Defined as "Spending time and interacting with the community." Did you call the operator to find out what time it was? Yell at the Fed Ex guy for leaving your Amazon.com box in a puddle? Order new slippers from the L.L. Bean order line? If so, give yourself a pat on the back!
CREATIVE ARTS: Defined as "Participating with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music, movement, visual arts, and drama activities." Just the explanation I needed for those three hours spent learning the choreography from Britney Spears' "Oops I Did It Again" video. Another A+!
APPROACHES TO LEARNING: Defined as "Initiative and Curiosity." The kids got credit for this by "gazing in awe" as a model train went around the track, which set the bar pretty low. So I'm giving myself credit for "staring in rapt attention" as the coffee maker churned out my Starbucks House Blend this morning. I lose points though, for "failing to comprehend what was happening" as THAT DOG streaked through the house when we got back from the park today, leaving mud all over the floors, several walls, and even the bed. And I suspect some demerits for "ignoring much-needed clean up" aren't far behind.
Still though, I think APPROACHES TO LEARNING might be my thing.