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Saturday, February 16, 2008


It is always a pleasant and wonderful experience when I call our friends' house. Good afternoon! D______ speaking! or Hello, _______ residence, B_______ speaking! Growing up we were always instructed to be cautious, never identify yourself, and so my children answer the phone, as I was taught, with a simple but cordial, Hello?

Or at least they did until the other day when Elle picked up the phone and sweetly blurted out Who is this? Where that came from I don't know. I startled her with shrieked corrections Hello! Who's calling, please! and she managed to pass me the phone with a quizzical look and a timid Here she is...

The woman on the other end commented that my daughter sounded "lovely" on the phone. I apologized for her uncharacteristic bluntness and she laughed saying that at the last number she had called a little boy answered the phone with a curt Hang on! and then promptly disconnected her. She then introduced herself as the official from the home education department calling to follow up on our application. Of course.

She had a few areas of concern: how I would exactly describe our plan, and where was the science. As it was all in the painstakingly detailed package I submitted, I patiently re-explained that it was to be classically based, but interest-led. Apart from observing nature, we don't do a formal science program, it falls in with our regular studies (the example I wrote of described a day of spontaneous experiments on water displacement after reading Aesop's "The Crow and the Vase.") She was all too happy to offer materials and I readily accepted realizing she was not forcing any particular study on us because she felt ours inadequate, but because she sincerely wanted to assist. Satisfied that she had filled her obligations, my cooperation virtually assured our stamp of approval.

We had a friendly chat in which she confirmed my suspicions about staff changes causing a backlog and apologized for delays, and I asked about the status of the state advisory committee. She said she couldn't really discuss it, but mentioned it is not moving along as swiftly as they had hoped with higher-ups dragging their feet.

A package with science materials and our certificate of approval is in the mail.

1 comment:

KathyJo said...

Ain't it grand to be legal? :)