Sunday, July 20, 2008

Minimum compliance

Last week I received word from my school district that my kids' portfolios of work had been approved. Coincidentally, when I got the call the seminarian was on his way to the school district office to drop off our affidavit for the 2008/2009 year. Suddenly the homeschooling liaison realized that she had only one portfolio from me, and hung up quickly to go find the other.

Within 5 minutes he arrived to find her glancing through the portfolio. It took her only another minute or two to decide it was OK.

We didn't do extensive portfolios. There's a 3-page Word document that lists the books the kids read, books I read to them, other books or resources used, field trips taken, classes, etc. Then about 18 pages of work samples: copies of animal classification cards the kids made, math tests, short essays, little grammar worksheets, some art. It all fit into a 1-inch binder with room to spare.

So I am not sure why people submit 3-inch binders, packed tight with everything I put in mine (only more of it), along with photos, ticket stubs, brochures, and other proof of exciting educational activities. I doubt they are getting the scrutiny such effort deserves.

The law does not require proof in the form of ticket stubs and photos. But if people continue to submit those things to make their kids' portfolios look better (or maybe just to make the mom look better) eventually someone will decide that proof is good and we'll all have to do it.

"Minimum compliance" is a good term. Give them what they want, cheerfully and on time - but don't give them more than required.


Henry Cate said...

"Give them what they want, cheerfully and on time - but don't give them more than required."

Great point. If we give more than is required they'll start to expect it.

Sharon-Momn4boys said...

YES YES YES. Minimum compliance!

Don't give them any more than is required or they will decide more is better and require it of others.

I think I'll link to this.