Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer scholar 2010

As a homeschooling mom, I had not been exposed to professional development opportunities available to and intended for public school teachers. I follow the logic--I usually only teach three children. Though, in homeschoolers' defense--we often get together and form co-operatives and work together to teach different subjects. History is, and shall always be, my thing.

I generally take advantage of any adult learning opportunity I can. I follow the same principles that have guided me with my children: experience is golden and a lack of certification from the Department of Education does not negate its value to a homeschool.

When I learned of an opportunity to attend the Minnesota Humanities Center conference in Northern Minnesota this past summer, I was thrilled.Building America: Minnesota's Iron Range, US Industrialization and the creation of a world power was an intense study of how the range fueled industrialization and helped win both world wars. It was a unique honor--only two of the eighty teachers chosen were homeschooling parents. (One more was a private school teacher whose wife taught at home.) I was humbled and knew I was incredibly lucky.

Even after learning so much on the range with my children, I discovered how much more I didn't really know. I was excited to write, to consider graduate school, and teach. My family heard a mouthful the rest of the summer. I even took my mom to the range and shared the experiences. College credit was available and I chose to do the additional work to get it. It was the final credit for my degree. I got to have a great time while learning more about what I love, finish my degree, and a certificate for 45 hours of continuing education and professional development. It's a big deal and validation of what I already know--I take this stuff seriously. I also really loved getting a certificate from the National Endowment to the Humanities calling me a summer scholar. Very cool indeed.

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