curriculum

All posts tagged curriculum

Home Education vs Homeschooling

Published August 8, 2018 by lynn k scott

I will preface this particular post with a disclaimer.  This post is non-judgmental on how any family chooses to educate their child(ren).  You must do what is right for your family.

That being said, I have changed my category name from Homeschooling to Home Education.  One might think they are the same thing, but they really aren’t.  With public education promoting K12 online education or public charters, using a certified teachers to monitor students and mandating academic testing, this truly is not home education.  It’s homeschooling or public school at home.

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Some public charter schools will give stipends to parents to use their charter school aka public education.  Those charters are still receiving government funding and in essence, bribing parents, to use their program instead of a traditional brick and mortar school.

I choose to home educate and all posts on this topic, where my daughter’s education is concerned, will state “home education” in order to provide a distinction.

First, we follow a Christ-based curriculum.  I purchase all the books with my own funds (while still paying property taxes to the public school).  I want my daughter brought up in the Word of God not in the ways of the world.  I want her faith paramount, followed by a solid education.  Not all who home educate do so for faith-based reasons, but many do.  This is not allowed in public schools.  So if you can’t use a Christian curriculum, you are not home educating.

There is also more than just book learning.  It’s learning life skills.  It’s learning effective communication.  It’s non-common core.  It’s taking a break instead of pushing through a lesson, when it’s obvious the child needs it.  There’s regrouping.  The education is based on what is best for the student; not the school district.  I won’t even go into “unschooling” (follows no set curriculum; all child-led).

There is no bullying.  There aren’t any threats of violence; gun shots.  There isn’t forced socialization among cohorts.  There is the ability to learn from a diverse group of people of all ages.  Not sure about you, but I don’t want my child, who is still impressionable and learning to receive knowledge from cohorts who are in the same boat.  Thirty 12-year olds do not have the same knowledge as a 20, 30, 45, or even 70-year old person can impart on my daughter.

Home educated children surpass their public school counterparts on testing, studying ability and working independently.  Colleges, the military and trades all accept home educated children for these vary reasons.  We are teaching education; not teaching to test.

Again, educating your child is a personal and family decision.  I am strictly pointing out that using a public education is not the same as educating your child outside the rigid confines of the government.  Homeschooling used to mean this.  However, the public school system is trying to corner another educational avenue.  Those who truly educate at home want to impress that our children are not part of the public educational process; hence the need for distinction.

apples and pears

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Another school year is ending

Published May 22, 2018 by lynn k scott

My daughter is very much looking forward to next Friday; when her 6th year of school officially ends.  As a homeschooling mom, while she gets to enjoy a couple months off from academics, I am not so lucky.

Ok, it’s not that bad.  Today, I began my curriculum search.  I’m a “book geek”.  I enjoy reviewing the different options and what might suit my daughter best.  I typically order from one Christian site.  I add everything I want to my cart, then compare the books on Ebay and Amazon.  After all, no need to overspend, right?

When all is said and done, I’ll typically spend between $200-$300 for all her school books.  It may seem like a lot to some, however, when you factor in the public “school list” of all the supplies they ask the parents to provide, school shopping, etc., I definitely save more by homeschooling.

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I’ve already purchased her spelling and first set of math booklets (they are workbooks that the student moves through at their pace).  I selected her science, grammar and language art books today.  We will finish the second half of her history at the start of 7th grade and then I’ll figure out what we will do for the rest of the year.  There are so many options.  I have 8th grade history already selected.  If you homeschool, I highly recommend Notgrass for history.

I have to purchase her books early, so I can start reviewing them and planning out the upcoming lessons.  I know many parents like to take each day as it comes, but I am a working mom, so planning out the coursework helps me accomplish her studies and my work.

I am grateful and blessed to be able to home educate.  With all my medical issues that we faced this year, my daughter would have missed a lot of school.  I was able to teach from my hospital bed and while I was recovering.  I am so glad we returned to homeschooling.  I know we were led to do this.  It has brought us closer together and we’re constantly reinforcing our faith through her lessons.

Feeling Like a Failure

Published November 3, 2015 by lynn k scott

I just got off a conference call with my daughter’s 4th grade teacher, the 3rd grade teacher and the principal. Her teacher spoke with me last week regarding catching her up to where they are in math. Now they want to include reading.

I know switching schools can be challenging in regards to curriculum. We took our time, wasn’t heavy into testing, did some child-led learning, etc. However, we did follow each subject’s book and felt good about her progress.

You always have to wonder what’s going on when the principal becomes involved. Basically, they want to put her back in 3rd grade. I vetoed that option immediately. My daughter can do the work; I just need to know where to catch her up.

It’s challenging enough starting a new school. I don’t want her to feel punished because we worked at her pace vs a standards pace. We agreed she would do extra phonics work for reading and attend 3rd grade math.

I’ve read about this happening to homeschoolers who return to school. It’s been one of my worst educational nightmares and it’s coming true. I plan to work with her on math and catch her up to 4th grade and her 3rd grade math can reinforce it. It will probably take the rest of the year, but we’ll get it done.

Right now I feel like such a homeschool failure, even thought, rationally, I know that’s not true. My daughter’s never been a strong reader and she’s stubborn as the day is long when she’s corrected. Now I’m wondering if I made the right choice putting her back in school. I really hate having to work when I want to be home and this never would have been an issue.

Just feeling judged, even though that’s not how they came across.

Homeschool and Curriculum

Published May 16, 2015 by lynn k scott

Many people use Facebook as a means to have hundreds of friends, complain about the world or use it as their only interaction with the outside world; my focus is a slight bit different. I now only have a small handful of “friends” (under 30 of them), I primarily use Facebook to buy and sell items and network.

Yesterday, a woman posted she was having a garage sale.  She was a teacher and had 10 boxes of books she wanted to downsize.  If you ever thought no person truly gets giddy at the thought of garage sale, then you’d be wrong.  I adore garage sales and I love going to them when I know they will have specific items.

As with most homeschooling families we may be winding down like public schools.  Summer vacation is on the cusp of summer, yet we have another aspect in our educational world most parents don’t need to consider:  next year’s curriculum. I had already reviewed several “boxed” curriculums, selected the one we were going to use, and started searching for deals to save on the cost of buying new.

When the teacher was able to confirm she had a lot of 4th grade material, my preselected curriculum went out the window. I could hardly sleep that night, because I needed to be there early.  They say the early bird gets the book…I mean worm. Well, I was the first there and the teacher and her mother (a retired teacher), started pulling out all sorts of books for me.

I also kept sorting through the mountain of books and adding to my ever-growing pile of books and supplies.  I primarily kept to teaching books.  Many of them had exercises already in them that my daughter could complete.  While it’s not a Christian-based curriculum, it’s pre-Common Core.  With the family budget being what it is, I conceded that I would download and print the Christian aspects for next year.

The books I received aren’t necessarily a teacher’s manual that would correspond to a student workbook, but there are plenty of options in the books I did purchase.  The woman asked if I minded binders.  She had three of them, full of history, reading comprehension, non-fiction work.  It was sorted, organized and something that would have taken me hours of research, several reams of paper, and several ink cartridges to print out on my own.  Do I need to raise my hand or will a “hell yea I’m interested” be sufficient?

I was able to score some 5th grade learning material as well.  If my daughter needs to elevate her learning next year, I’ll be ready.  I might need to pick up one history book.  However, all in all, I’m fairly sure the materials I walked out of that garage with are easily several hundred dollars.

Not only did I receive books, workbooks, binders, science cards and test prep material, I also picked up some supplies.  I found some study cardboard for project, a table of the periodic elements, a small abacus, a minerals chart with the minerals attached that can be felt and examined.  I found a measurements foam cut-out, miscellaneous shapes and colors (math related), geometric shape models, slices of tree (to see the rings) play money, ruler, protractor, magnets, a compass, patriotic stickers (for projects) etc. I even picked up a brand new game of Mancala.

When all I was said and done, 9 bags and an one hour later, I paid a whopping $53, loaded up my trunk and was on my way. This was not the curriculum I had planned for this year, not even close.  I really needed to put that $53 to other bills; however, I took it as a sign.  It was an immense savings.  Granted, I will have to do a bit of organization and a little more prep-work to utilize these materials, but I believe this was the best decision for our little homeschool.

I will do a couple fundraisers for next year’s curriculum.  Now I can spend the next couple months organizing for the next school year.  My daughter will continue math and language arts through the summer.  It will not be a rigorous summer full of school work, but it will keep her geared toward what she will be learning and we won’t need a week or two of review.

I smiled when I thought about my big score this morning.  Homeschooling allows for flexibility.  This was proven when I was able to choose what materials we’d be using.  I was set on one curriculum, for weeks in fact, and then right opportunity came along, with a bit of flexibility and that was changed in the course of 60 minutes.  Welcome to homeschooling!

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