Browsing "Curriculum"
Nov 23, 2013 - Curriculum    No Comments

The Public Discussion on Education is Getting Interesting

EWlogoThe people who manage and critic public schools are only a few decades behind the homeschoolers.  But they are definitely talking about the right issues.   I’ll quote from Bill Farmer’s article in Education Week about Measuring Student Learning.

Learning is an infinitely complex process, yet as a society we seem determined to relegate learning to a single letter grade or percentage score aimed at sorting and ranking students. There can be some useful information captured by a well-written high stakes exam…Unfortunately, the elevated emphasis placed on these types of assessments, several of which are poorly constructed, oversimplifies the intricacies involved in truly documenting and understanding a student’s learning process. It is difficult to ignore the impact that this has on a student’s perception about learning.

In the high school setting where I teach, students appear to be conditioned to focus on the quantified end result. At the beginning of the year, I find myself having to counteract this tendency of students to only pay attention to the total number of points earned on an assessment…We cannot lose sight of the essential reasons why measuring student learning is so important. … but assessments also should be constructed in such a way as to provide students with the critical feedback necessary to guide their continued learning…

The original article includes comments on how he addresses this and admonishments to other teachers to try to do better. But, with education generally reduced to a process of credentialization somewhat detached from building skills necessary for understanding and success in the world, it’s hard to imagine his extortion making much impact.  It’s up the families and students to understand that grades are simplistic and short-term measure and that they need to take ownership of their own learning and growth.


What’s New? A Full High School and Middle School Science

Time4Learning Most people in the homeschool world who have spent any time online have now probably heard about Time4Learning.  But, in the fall of 2013, there’s some big news.

Time4Learning Adds a High School Curriculum. Announced in July and available in August of 2013, the Time4Learning high school curriculum for home school students covers the big four subject areas and then some. Time4Learning high school offers an online, interactive curriculum for ninth through twelfth grade that can be used for homeschooling. Courses are parent-supervised, student-paced, and designed to help students achieve college and career readiness.

Time4Learning’s second big announcement came in October of 2013, they added a very solid intense middle school home school science curriculum.   Middle school science is organized into three primary courses:

Earth/Space Science Course
Life Science Course
Physical Science Course
Nature Of Science Supplement

Nature of Science is also provided as a supplement for each of the courses. Materials are taught using a combination of animated lessons, instructional videos, worksheets, quizzes, tests and both online and offline projects. All three middle school science courses are correlated to state standards.

Disclosure. I am not an unaffiliated party and this is not pure editorial. I have a financial interest in Time4Learning so this article should be considered promotional in nature!  I wish everyone disclosed.  I frankly am sick of seeing industry newsletters which claim to have “the top five writing programs” and which sound like an editorial review when in fact, these are just paid promotional spots.  This is an actual example of a newsletter that arrived from an industry leading group this week in my email inbox!

Ask a homeschooler! Step right up, don’t be shy!

There’s a new feature on LetsHomeschool Highschool that I am really enjoying

Ask A HomeschoolerThey have a highschooler who has been homeschooled for most of his life who will answer your questions.

Are you in school and want to know what it is like being homeschooled?

Are you a parent who homeschools who wants to bounce an idea off someone?

Whomever you are, if you question is legit, here’s your chance to get a thoughtful answers to your questions from an experienced and somewhat witty homeschooler.

But wait, what is my question is a little naive?  What if it’s really a matter of opinion?  The good news isthat you shouldn’t be embarrassed by an question, the more basic, the more interest. And, there are actually three different homeschool students waiting to take your inquiries each with their own opinion. Typical questions.

I’ve been considering giving homeschooling a try and wonder what it is like day-to-day. Is it lonely?

I’m currently homeschooled and I wonder if I will be able to get into a good college…

Are other homeschool parents concerned about supporting their student learning chemistry as you are…

So step right up, don’t be shy! Click through an Ask a Homeschooler!