Interesting post, Mike. I homeschool my son in partnership with a school district here in California. While we have standards we must incorporate (for us, we refer to this as topics to cover or skills to learn), the rest is up to my son. Now in 9th grade, he has been free to pursue any subjects he takes interest in. He has studied anatomy, areas of psychology, physics, astronomy, and information technology all on his own. In fact, he is now quite familiar with several programming languages that he taught himself. I may provide some guidance and resources, but the rest is all him. He would be happier still, if we could ditch the “standards,” but he tolerates them for now. ;) I see this a lot with the other homeschooling families, and while it has to be handled differently in a classroom, I feel pretty sure most other children would benefit from this outlook.