My granddaughter, Gretta, is homeschooled.
I have not been impressed with homeschooling until recently.
This past year, Gretta’s mother enrolled her in an introductory acting class at the Utah Children’s Theatre in Salt Lake City.
Gretta progressed at her own speed. She danced a little, sang a bit, memorized small lines, and participated in short little ten to fifteen minute productions. None of these activities required much in the way of costumes, sets, or props.
Recently, her mother arranged for her to do her first audition for the play Charlotte’s Web, by E. D. White. In early 2019, the play will run for six weeks, and requires a professional commitment. For those over eighteen, payment and union membership is arranged.
Gretta created a portfolio of photos, and memorized some lines for the audition. She auditioned in front of three adults. A couple of days went by, and she was called back for further consideration.
Finally, the cast was posted on the internet. Gretta was selected.
Wow, Gretta is in show biz for real. By show biz, I mean theatre arts. In live theatre, the ultimate emphasis is on language. To be in a play, you must memorize and speak the written word clearly. Then, you must attempt to understand what the playwright meant by the words he/she wrote. You must give your best interpretation of the written words. You are given clues by the play itself – its characters, the director’s objectives, and the development of the story.
What’s all this worth? A lot. Gretta will have learned by doing: by participating in her own learning. She will hear and speak some of the richest words ever written. Over the years, if she keeps with it, she’ll slowly understand that what she says in these great plays is the best that can possibly be said.
The key word to this entire experience is customization. Gretta’s learning has been customized to her readiness to participate in Charlotte’s Web. There’s no standardized lesson manual to this process. It’s all determined on Gretta’s own individualized human profile.
That’s learning at its very best.
If that’s what homeschooling is accomplishing, I’m all for it.