The homeschool movement has continued to grow and shift over the last few years. Megatrends in homeschooling to note:
- Growth. Homeschooling is no longer the rare fringy movement that characterized it ten and twenty years ago. Now several percent of the US population, perhaps 3% is actively homeschooling.
- Mainstream Awareness, Many Involved. Because of the widespread awareness and acceptance of homeschooling, the pirate or “us-them” mentality that characterized homeschooling for many years has somewhat dissipated. In fact, many families now homeschool for a few years or homeschool some but not all of the kids. Before, the homeschooling community was somewhat separated from the others, this is not nearly so much the case.
- Homeschooling Acceptance. In the old days, homeschoolers had trouble getting resources and even text books or teacher editions. Now, there’s a significant number of vendors, especially technology vendors, who actively market to homeschoolers. Time4Learning, Accellus High School, Reading Eggs, Time4Writing, Science4Us, VocabularySpellingCity, HugeSpelling, All About Spelling, and Writing Without Tears are just a few of the vendors who cater to homeschoolers. There is even a site about homeschooler’s literature!
- Technology – The homeschool market and community are now using all the great community tools on the net to find and work with each other. There are Facebook groups (and Twitter and so on) for Road Schooling, Military Homeschoolers, Waldorf Homeschoolers, UnSchoolers, Classical Homeschoolers, and so on and so on.
I have recently read two superb articles on dyslexia which every parent with children that might have dyslexia should read. Neither is ground breaking, both are good summaries.
Kerry Jone’s Guide to Homeschooling A Child with Dyslexia
The Homeschool.com Article: 5 Facts About Dyslexia
I won’t summarize the articles since both are concise and fast reads, I will point out one difference between approaches. It has to do with the use of the word dyslexia. It’s obviously, a complex word. Sounds very medical.
Both articles agree that dyslexia as a term covers a broad spectrum of neurological conditions. One article feels that a child will be relieved when they hear the term since they now have an understanding of how they are different, this will be cathartic since it is specific.
My view is that the term dyslexia is not necessarily going to be a positive thing for all children. I think it’s a scary medical term. I’m more in the camp in that students benefit most from hearing:
– specifics about how their mind is different
– what difficulties and strengths this will mean for them
– what compensating strategies and development plans they should pursue.
I do agree that a diagnosis for kids who have become anxious about their situation can be a very positive thing resolving all sorts of confusion and focusing them on what has to be done. In terms of resources for dyslexia, there’s all sorts of choices. I would suggest that people focus on getting a competent diagnosis to start which, unfortunately, is a tricky process. Part of it is the process of elimination of other problems with high quality testing of vision and other possibilities.
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!