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Author Topic: Orthodox homeschooling - curriculums?  (Read 16386 times) Average Rating: 0
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Linnapaw
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« on: June 19, 2009, 10:49:30 AM »

Just wondering if people here have any opinions on curriculums for homeschooling for Orthodox Christians?  I know a couple of people who are Orthodox and homeschool, and from what I can gather, they are putting pieces of different curriculums together.  Not being terribly familiar with a lot of people homeschooling, I'm not sure if this is pretty normal, or if some of that comes from lack of a decent Orthodox curriculum.  So if you do homeschool, I guess I'm interested to know if you do use a set curriculum, piece things together, have joined a homeschooling group, etc.?
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2009, 11:59:32 AM »

Hi and welcome!  There are a few related topics at the bottom of this page that might help you become familiar with homeschooling in Orthodox circles. 
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2009, 12:42:27 PM »

Hi and welcome!  There are a few related topics at the bottom of this page that might help you become familiar with homeschooling in Orthodox circles. 

I read several threads dealing with homeschooling (checking the topics at the bottom of the page and going back in topics on this board a couple of years), but I haven't seen anything yet dealing specifically with curriculums.  Knowing people who are Orthodox and homeschool (and considering it myself for the future) I'm interested specifically in this topic, because from my limited experience, it seems like it is an issue.
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2009, 01:07:08 PM »

We always used A Beka curriculum, and from my own personal experience in using it, as well as the students who have transferred to the public school in which I teach, I have found that their English and mathematics curricula are top-notch. The students read much more literature, both prose and poetry, than in the Glencoe curriculum we use, and their mathematics is generally a full grade ahead of other curricula (two grades ahead of Saxon, which I recommend only for those who consistently fall behind other math curricula or as a summer review).

However, their revisionist history and science curricula leave a lot to be desired. Their American history paints the United States as the "City on the Hill" that was so popular an idea in the seventeenth century, especially with the Massachusetts colonists. It explores the 18th and 19th century revivals in great detail but leaves civil rights nearly untouched. Additionally, it actually makes the point that the conquest of the native peoples was beneficial for them because it brought them out of paganism and introduced them to Christianity.

As for the science curriculum, my chief complaint is with their biology text, which appears to be intentionally stuck in 1850. For example, they teach a two-kingdom taxonomy, Plantae and Animalia. Fungi are all classified as plants, and bacteria are classified either as plants or animals based upon whether they produce chlorophyll. It's not biology alone that is this hopelessly lost, however; even their freshman physical science text is scientifically backward. They devote several pages of the chapter on sound to a pseudo-scientific explanation of how loud rock music damages hearing, and is therefore evil (Even at age 13, I could figure out that Beethoven played at 100 dB would damage hearing just as much).

That's really the only experience I have with home-school materials, but I do know that many people buy the same texts as are used in the public schools. I use Glencoe texts in my classes, and they tend to be well-researched and -written, and not too expensive (about $40-$60 each, and about $10 more for the teacher's guide), and there are pre-written tests or test-making software available. I don't use those, but if the idea of writing a test is not something you relish, use them; they're educationally sound. Of course, there are better texts if you are willing to invest the time and money, and many companies are willing to send free evaluation copies if you are planning to buy at least a classroom set (30 copies). So if you can get a co-op together to all buy the same book for your kids, then it can really be much cheaper. A classroom set with all instructional materials is usually about $1000, so split among 30 families, it's quite economical.
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2009, 03:19:38 PM »

I have used Sonlight and like it a good deal. As a whole Christian curriculum it is fairly easy to use. It is literature based so there is a great deal of reading. And as Orthodox we sure love to read! So it is fairly easy to use orthodox sources along with the regular ones. This next year we will be using the Little house Series as the spine of our curriculum- The Prairie Primer is a really cool whole curriculum that we are pretty excited to use. http://www.cadroncreek.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=Pioneer

Anytime anyone homeschools you end up piecing things together. There are different priorities and interests in each family and you end up supplementing that.

Paidea classics is an awesome orthodox homeschooling resource. http://www.paideaclassics.org/index.php
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2009, 03:28:18 PM »

http://anaphorapress.com/music/education/orthodox-curriculum/

And this is a great Kindergarten/primary curriculum that is Orthodox.
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2009, 05:22:13 PM »

I have used Sonlight and like it a good deal. As a whole Christian curriculum it is fairly easy to use. It is literature based so there is a great deal of reading. And as Orthodox we sure love to read! So it is fairly easy to use orthodox sources along with the regular ones. This next year we will be using the Little house Series as the spine of our curriculum- The Prairie Primer is a really cool whole curriculum that we are pretty excited to use. http://www.cadroncreek.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=Pioneer
I checked into it, and on the whole it looks pretty solid. They use many things from Usbourne, which is an excellent publisher. My daughter's favourite books are all from Usbourne. As the kids age, though, the curriculum begins to weaken. Here's an excerpt from the page advertising their freshman American history textbook:

Quote
Discover how God miraculously preserved a small group of men, women, and children (who brought freedom, justice and the gospel to the "New World") from fierce Indian attacks, starvation, and disease.

Examine the roots of America's most significant cultural issues while you empower your children to stand strong on the rock of a consistent biblical worldview.
Both these statements are quite worrisome to me. Not to mention this gem in their science curriculum:

Quote
What happened to the dinosaurs? Could they have lived sometime in the past thousand years? Astonishing historical and geological information ignored by pro-evolutionary scientists.

If you stick with them, you're definitely going to need quite a few supplementary materials, it seems.

Sources:
http://www.sonlight.com/history-geography-120.html
http://www.sonlight.com/2S13.html
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2009, 05:42:35 PM »

Sonlight is weaker for high school but can be changed pretty easily since it is literature based. You just substitute out the books and do the same basic thing. By high school you should start focusing in on what the child wishes to do in the future. So I won't be using a whole curriculum at that point anyway. We will likely just do running start. But as I have a good 8 years before I deal with high school, I don't have any concrete plans at the moment. I don't think there is any whole curriculum that is good from primary thru high school. And personally- I hate A beka for homeschooling primary grades. So it really is open to opinion what curriculum is best/most useable. Do some research and try to find people that have the curriculum you are considering before you buy it. One cool thing about Sonlight is that you can often find the books used and save a great deal. And since it is literature based you can use it over and over each year. But you may not like a literature based curriculum.

My daughter's godmother is going to high school at a women's orthodox monastery in AZ and they exclusively use Sonlight as a whole curriculum. So it isn't hostile toward Orthodoxy, but it isn't going to be entirely orthodox in thought either. So find an orthodox homeschooling group and chat with various others to find out what works and what doesn't. And then try it out and see what works for you and your family. As well, you can join a Catholic homeschooling group and find many people close in thought on many things. But again, you will have to supplement Catholic curriculum as well. Homeschooling is always going to be taking bits and pieces from here and there. When you don't fully evaluate a curriculum and eliminate and adapt it you end up with a very bad schooling experience. Whole curriculum is a good idea in theory- but in practice you really have to go over everything with a fine tooth comb and edit and change as you go.
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2009, 10:47:06 AM »

We always used A Beka curriculum, and from my own personal experience in using it, as well as the students who have transferred to the public school in which I teach, I have found that their English and mathematics curricula are top-notch. The students read much more literature, both prose and poetry, than in the Glencoe curriculum we use, and their mathematics is generally a full grade ahead of other curricula (two grades ahead of Saxon, which I recommend only for those who consistently fall behind other math curricula or as a summer review).



My elementary school tried switching to A Beka for some subjects years back, and my mom (who worked there) was pretty unimpressed with the way they taught reading, and how, when my sister was in 3rd grade, about 1/3 to 1/2 of her class curriculum was A Beka, which didn't work well unless you were doing everything with A Beka.  (For example, they used A Beka for spelling but not for math - as a result, they had spelling words relating to the A Beka math lessons that even my husband didn't recognise having finished college calculus and several engineering classes!  50 to 75 years ago, I'm sure these terms were used more frequently!)

For the most part, my elementary school used a Houghton-Mifflin curriculum, which I don't think is objectionable, except that our books were published in the 70s and 80s, and I'm pretty certain that they have gotten quite a bit more "progressive" in the meantime.  My husband and I are kind of split about homeschooling, but with things like this (which is local to us) becoming more and more prevalent, it just seems like public schooling is becoming less of a wise choice.
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2009, 11:00:53 AM »

I have used Sonlight and like it a good deal. As a whole Christian curriculum it is fairly easy to use. It is literature based so there is a great deal of reading. And as Orthodox we sure love to read! So it is fairly easy to use orthodox sources along with the regular ones. This next year we will be using the Little house Series as the spine of our curriculum- The Prairie Primer is a really cool whole curriculum that we are pretty excited to use. http://www.cadroncreek.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=Pioneer
I checked into it, and on the whole it looks pretty solid. They use many things from Usbourne, which is an excellent publisher. My daughter's favourite books are all from Usbourne. As the kids age, though, the curriculum begins to weaken. Here's an excerpt from the page advertising their freshman American history textbook:

Quote
Discover how God miraculously preserved a small group of men, women, and children (who brought freedom, justice and the gospel to the "New World") from fierce Indian attacks, starvation, and disease.

Examine the roots of America's most significant cultural issues while you empower your children to stand strong on the rock of a consistent biblical worldview.

Both these statements are quite worrisome to me. Not to mention this gem in their science curriculum:

Quote
What happened to the dinosaurs? Could they have lived sometime in the past thousand years? Astonishing historical and geological information ignored by pro-evolutionary scientists.

If you stick with them, you're definitely going to need quite a few supplementary materials, it seems.

Sources:
http://www.sonlight.com/history-geography-120.html
http://www.sonlight.com/2S13.html

My elementary school was a small "non-denominational" Protestant school, which used a basically secular curriculum, but depending on the teacher, I do remember certain people mentioning things like you quote above, though most of what the teachers said at that time actually was pretty well researched (at that time, they had a lot of pride in the quality of their teaching staff).   

At this point, I'm not even as concerned about high school, since in this area (if we stay here), there are a couple of decent choices even among the public schools, since a few of them are competitive entry, and in those schools, probably at least half of the kids are from parochial schools. If the teachers or administrators try pulling an ultra-liberal stance, not only will there be a sizable parent outcry, but a good number of the kids would probably get pulled out of the public system (in favour of parochial schools, etc.) and with the school system howling all the time that the number of kids outside the system hurts their bottom line, they probably wouldn't be too keen to risk it. 
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2009, 12:08:27 PM »

At this point, I'm not even as concerned about high school, since in this area (if we stay here), there are a couple of decent choices even among the public schools, since a few of them are competitive entry, and in those schools, probably at least half of the kids are from parochial schools.
Good! I did my student teaching in a Comer magnet school, and I was quite impressed with the quality of education there. Parental involvement was incredibly high, which is crucial for quality education.

Quote
If the teachers or administrators try pulling an ultra-liberal stance, not only will there be a sizable parent outcry, but a good number of the kids would probably get pulled out of the public system (in favour of parochial schools, etc.) and with the school system howling all the time that the number of kids outside the system hurts their bottom line, they probably wouldn't be too keen to risk it. 
I'm glad to hear that, for the reason that the school is very concerned with the values and beliefs of the families they serve. It shows that the school is not out to teach what they think the kids ought to know, but are willing to be an extension of what is being taught at home. Parents and teachers ought to work together for the benefit of the children. The school in which I teach firmly believes this, and I'm glad to know your school feels the same way.
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2009, 12:16:27 PM »

Do we have anyone that went to the Orthodox homeschooling conference in the fall?  Any ideas from that gathering?
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2009, 02:09:21 PM »

My Father's World is an excellent curriculum if you are teaching a variety of ages.  It leaves the doctrinal teaching up to the parent even though it is Christian based.  If you are bothered by a reading, you can swap it out for something else (recently they had added The Purpose Driven Life to one of their years...ugh, yeah, I am so not going to bother with that book!).
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2009, 02:11:11 PM »

Do we have anyone that went to the Orthodox homeschooling conference in the fall?  Any ideas from that gathering?

I saw one for this past March Huh  Is there one coming up this Autumn?
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2009, 03:47:44 PM »

I have homeschooled from a protestant mindset, as well as Orthodox. I am only now starting to see any Orthodox materials come about, and they tend to be more expensive than either secular OR protestant materials. They are not carried in any of the discounter catalogs, whether those are 'christian' or not. There is the Garden of the Theotokos for very early ages-k5 I think.  There are singular books written for various ages for simple reading or addition to another curriculum, so as to fill in "orthodox gaps" in those.

I used Abeka in my own private school experience, and I used it early on with my oldest. We switched pretty early on. I could not stand the math program, as it was glossy and colorful but without the necessary repetition to cement the facts into the child's head. Just not meaty enough. We switched to MathUSee and haven't looked back with the next 6 kids. The Abeka history took issue with my oldest daughter come high school, her co op teacher really had issue with her and used the abeka text to back herself up. I was most unhappy. Still working on a thrilling history that I can dig into, and I loved history growing up!  Science ended up being Apologia, though I don't agree with Dr. Wile on vaccines ( i have a vaccine reaction child and children who for whom regular vax are counteraindicted) The science is done very intensely in the high school levels. Several friends kids took the CLEP after taking the high school level courses and passed with flying courses.

As far as Orthodox theology courses, I am as stumped as you are. We have the Law of God, several items such as flash cards and icon cards, A child's view of the Church and some lovely stuff from paidea classics. (www.paideaclassics.com) They are always getting new things, and stuff that lay people publish often pops up there. Their Orthodox handwriting is a simple yet lovely introduction to both writing and the saints. You can either get a spiral book for printing off, or download directly from the website. Spelling pages as well. I think of what few options we have out there Paidea is my all time fave!
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2009, 04:18:01 PM »

I was in an Abeka school when I was in third grade (Fundamental Baptist church) and have seen their materials since (little has changed).  I DESPISE their history and reading materials.  It's all white-washed, EVERYONE in AMERICAN history is an ideal "Christian" with no flaws (gag, gag)  Roll Eyes  Sorry, but how are we to learn from that?!

That said, I do use their elementary math and phonics Wink
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« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2009, 03:28:01 PM »

Just wondering if people here have any opinions on curriculums for homeschooling for Orthodox Christians?  I know a couple of people who are Orthodox and homeschool, and from what I can gather, they are putting pieces of different curriculums together.  Not being terribly familiar with a lot of people homeschooling, I'm not sure if this is pretty normal, or if some of that comes from lack of a decent Orthodox curriculum.  So if you do homeschool, I guess I'm interested to know if you do use a set curriculum, piece things together, have joined a homeschooling group, etc.?

Linnapaw, back to your original post.  Send me a PM and I can e-mail you a list of our curriculum and the resources we use.  I'll try to put up a summary here on the board when I get a chance.
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2009, 12:08:39 PM »

I've split off the debate over whether home or public schooling is preferable to the new Homeschool sticky thread in order to keep this thread on the topic of home school curriculum.  Please take any other debate about the merits of homeschooling and public schooling to Homeschool VS Public School.

Thank you,
EofK, Family Forum Moderator
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« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2009, 08:11:12 AM »

I've used a lot of different homeschooling sources over the years too.  I think besides the Orthodox issue is also what works for your family.   Sonlight never worked for us (Orthodox or not), even though I found Orthodoxy through a Sonlight catalog.  I know a lot of people who find Tapestry of Grace to be easy to tweek for Orthodox - but that didn't work for us either.

We also didn't like Law of God as a resource.  Dry and boring.  I'm using  The Feasts of the Lord and The Year of Grace in the Lord from some ideas I found from an Orthodox blogging friend who is putting together Orthodox curriculum.

My family prefers textbook and workbook style, but we can't stomach the ABeka's (nor BJU's) revisionist attitude that someone already spoke of here.  We also disagree with their stand on Young Earth.  I'm still trying to work through what I'm going to do next year.  I have found two online sources that have been very helpful for me, which includes the one mentioned earlier.  Neither is the textbook style that we prefer, and I'm unsure what we'll really get done in our homeschool. 

I don't know what the rules are about sharing links, so will wait to see what one of the mods recommends. 
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« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2009, 01:34:03 PM »

^Links are ok when they're relevant to the discussion.  Feel free to post!
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« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2009, 02:25:58 PM »

Do we have anyone that went to the Orthodox homeschooling conference in the fall?  Any ideas from that gathering?

I saw one for this past March Huh  Is there one coming up this Autumn?

Anyone?  Huh
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« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2009, 02:49:33 PM »

Do we have anyone that went to the Orthodox homeschooling conference in the fall?  Any ideas from that gathering?

I saw one for this past March Huh  Is there one coming up this Autumn?

Anyone?  Huh
'

most of the ones I know who went are on the Orthodox homeschool yahoo group.  I had to bow out because of a conflict that weekend.  I heard reports that it was quite good.
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« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2009, 03:00:40 PM »

^Links are ok when they're relevant to the discussion.  Feel free to post!

Thanks.

http://www.amblesideonline.org/ ... this one is free curriculum recommendations using the Charlotte Mason method

http://evlogia.typepad.com/evlogia/   She is putting together a lovely Orthodox curriculum which follows the church year.  I used her book recommendations are part of our family prayer/devotional time.  It is not really an all-inclusive curriculum - more church year, art, copy work, and dictation.
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« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2009, 08:40:19 PM »

I am a teacher at a public school. We have five children and my wife homeschools them. Up until recently she primarily used Sonlight, but recently has started using a Mennonite curriculum called Christian Light (http://www.clp.org/). She is primarily using it for English right now. The standards seem high and we are quite happy with it. We have heard good things about My Father's World, but can't afford to get some of their books and really look into it, although my wife did buy their book on dictation, which is excellent. There is a science curriculum she really likes, but I can't remember what it is called. I know this is broaching another topic, but I have had first hand experience comparing public school standards (in a district with a very good reputation) with the learning of my children and there really is no comparison. I am very blessed and thankful that my wife is willing and able to educate our children.
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« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2009, 10:45:04 PM »

I've split off the debate over whether home or public schooling is preferable to the new Homeschool sticky thread in order to keep this thread on the topic of home school curriculum.  Please take any other debate about the merits of homeschooling and public schooling to Homeschool VS Public School.

Thank you,
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So far nothing in the off-Homeschoolcurriculum whatsoever...
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« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2009, 09:42:23 AM »

The science curriculum my wife likes is called Apologia.
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« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2009, 10:10:55 AM »

The science curriculum my wife likes is called Apologia.
I've looked into this publisher, and I must say that I like their approach to science for lower-level students. Instead of the standard one year for each subject (physical science, biology, chemistry, physics), they integrate all four over four years. Many curriculum publishers are beginning to develop integrated courses, which can really help some students. It is true also that some students will be confused by jumping between subjects, so I like that this publisher gives the option.

However, they are a self-proclaimed "creation-based science" publisher, and I feel responsible to say that any science which is based on what one already believes is invalid scientifically. It's called circular reasoning, and it violates the very scientific method. Therefore, as an educator, I cannot recommend this curriculum to anyone.

Here's their reading list for 7-12 grade:
Supplement I

    * Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No!, Dr. Duane T. Gish, Master Books paperback ISBN 0890511128
    * Reasonable Faith: The Scientific Case for Christianity, Dr. Jay L. Wile, Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc., Paperback ISBN 0965629406


Supplement II

    * What is Creation Science, Dr. Henry M. Morris and Dr. Gary E. Parker, Master Books, Paperback ISBN 0890510814
    * Environmental Overkill: Whatever Happened to Common Sense? Dixy Lee Ray, Regnery Gateway, Hardcover ISBN 0895265125, Paperback ISBN 0060975989


Supplement III

    * Evolution: A Theory In Crisis, Michael Denton, Adler & Adler, Paperback ISBN 091756152X
    * Darwin's Black Box, Michael Behe, Touchstone Books, Hardcover ISBN 0684827549, Paperback ISBN 0684834936
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« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2009, 02:02:55 AM »

As you are planning your homeschooling, you might like to check the educational objectives for each subject, by grade. They can be hard to find. In Michigan, where I am from, you must go to the state website, choose education, choose educators, and then choose content guidelines.  Here is a short extract from the Language Arts Guideline for first grade:
 
Quote
Phonemic Awareness
  Students will…
 
  R.WS.00.01 demonstrate phonemic awareness by the wide range of sound manipulation
competencies including sound blending and deletion.
 
  R.WS.00.02 recognize that words are composed of sounds blended together and carry
meaning.

Phonics
    Students will…
 
  R.WS.00.03 understand the alphabetic principle, that sounds in words are expressed
by the letters of the alphabet.
 
  R.WS.00.04 use grapho-phonemic (letter-sound) cues to recognize a few one-syllable
words when presented completely out of context. Begin to associate letters and sounds,
particularly initial and fi nal consonants.

 Word Recognition   
    Students will…

 R.WS.00.05 automatically recognize a small number (about 18) of frequently
encountered, personally meaningful words in print.

 R.WS.00.06 make progress in automatically recognizing a few of the 220 Dolch basic
sight words.
 
  R.WS.00.07 follow familiar written text while pointing to matching words.

 R.WS.00.08 narrow possibilities in predicting words using initial letters/sounds
(phonics), patterns of language (syntactic), and picture clues (semantic).

 R.WS.00.09 know the meanings of words encountered frequently in grade-level
reading and oral language contexts.
It is incredibly detailed, but it really lets you know what they expect children to learn at any grade level. I'm sure all the other states have something similar. It may be useful if you are trying to assemble your own curriculum.
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« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2009, 03:52:27 AM »

There are books that tell you what a child needs to know for each year that are much more user friendly. Namely; Homelearning year by year by Rebecca Rupp and the Core Knowledge series "What your (first grader, second grader......) needs to know...." book for each grade. The former is a book of lists and book resources to build a curriculum the latter is more like a cliff notes of each year that is especially useful in early grade school years.
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2009, 12:47:28 PM »

As you are planning your homeschooling, you might like to check the educational objectives for each subject, by grade. They can be hard to find. In Michigan, where I am from, you must go to the state website, choose education, choose educators, and then choose content guidelines....

It is incredibly detailed, but it really lets you know what they expect children to learn at any grade level. I'm sure all the other states have something similar. It may be useful if you are trying to assemble your own curriculum.
I agree completely. Those standards are what I use in planning my curriculum, and every district in the nation is required to show how what we teach in the classroom is aligned with district, state, and national standards as a part of No Child Left Behind. These standards are specific, easy to understand, and categorized for ease of reference. In fact, the only difficulty is the somewhat unwieldy nature of most state government websites. I have mine bookmarked, so I don't have to go searching every time.

There are books that tell you what a child needs to know for each year that are much more user friendly. Namely; Homelearning year by year by Rebecca Rupp and the Core Knowledge series "What your (first grader, second grader......) needs to know...." book for each grade. The former is a book of lists and book resources to build a curriculum the latter is more like a cliff notes of each year that is especially useful in early grade school years.
I've looked through a few pages of these books, as available online, and they seem to be nothing more than book lists with a bit of vague information thrown in here and there. I would not attempt to build a curriculum based on these books. Furthermore, I submit that if one cannot understand the state standards for education, one does not have the mental capacity to teach.
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« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2009, 01:54:03 AM »

I homeschool.  I don't use a curriculum except for math.  The rest is directed by me and my boys.  We sit on the couch and read read read then while I'm at work they write write write.  In my opinion there's nothing you can do with a textbook that you can't do with a regular book.
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2009, 06:05:05 PM »

I don't use a curriculum
Really? Or do you mean you don't use a textbook? There's a big difference.
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« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2009, 05:21:03 AM »

I don't use a curriculum
Really? Or do you mean you don't use a textbook? There's a big difference.

It seems to me that curriculums and examinations were invented to help teachers manage the progress of a large number of students.  If you spend every day teaching your children you should be intimately familiar with what they know, how they are progressing, when it is time to push them and when it is time to let them relax.

I just use the books off the shelf in no particular order.  Except for math, like I said, which does have to come in a particular order.
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« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2009, 05:22:43 AM »

As you are planning your homeschooling, you might like to check the educational objectives for each subject, by grade. They can be hard to find. In Michigan, where I am from, you must go to the state website, choose education, choose educators, and then choose content guidelines.  Here is a short extract from the Language Arts Guideline for first grade:
 
Quote
Phonemic Awareness
  Students will…
 
  R.WS.00.01 demonstrate phonemic awareness by the wide range of sound manipulation
competencies including sound blending and deletion.
 
  R.WS.00.02 recognize that words are composed of sounds blended together and carry
meaning.

Phonics
    Students will…
 
  R.WS.00.03 understand the alphabetic principle, that sounds in words are expressed
by the letters of the alphabet.
 
  R.WS.00.04 use grapho-phonemic (letter-sound) cues to recognize a few one-syllable
words when presented completely out of context. Begin to associate letters and sounds,
particularly initial and fi nal consonants.

 Word Recognition   
    Students will…

 R.WS.00.05 automatically recognize a small number (about 18) of frequently
encountered, personally meaningful words in print.

 R.WS.00.06 make progress in automatically recognizing a few of the 220 Dolch basic
sight words.
 
  R.WS.00.07 follow familiar written text while pointing to matching words.

 R.WS.00.08 narrow possibilities in predicting words using initial letters/sounds
(phonics), patterns of language (syntactic), and picture clues (semantic).

 R.WS.00.09 know the meanings of words encountered frequently in grade-level
reading and oral language contexts.
It is incredibly detailed, but it really lets you know what they expect children to learn at any grade level. I'm sure all the other states have something similar. It may be useful if you are trying to assemble your own curriculum.


Linguistics was my primary field of study and this list makes my brain hurt.
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« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2009, 05:26:58 AM »

I feel responsible to say that any science which is based on what one already believes is invalid scientifically. It's called circular reasoning, and it violates the very scientific method. Therefore, as an educator, I cannot recommend this curriculum to anyone.

- All reasoning is circular.

- The scientific method is a system of eliminating error, not of finding truth. 

That said I don't think I like that curriculum either  Tongue
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2009, 12:04:38 PM »

It seems to me that curriculums and examinations were invented to help teachers manage the progress of a large number of students.  If you spend every day teaching your children you should be intimately familiar with what they know, how they are progressing, when it is time to push them and when it is time to let them relax.

I just use the books off the shelf in no particular order.  Except for math, like I said, which does have to come in a particular order.
Ah, so you do use a curriculum. Like me, you write your curriculum based upon what your students do and what you feel they are capable of accomplishing next. Your reading curriculum may not have a particular order, but like you say it doesn't have to. For the past two years, I've taught Shakespeare in September. This year I'm teaching it in November. No real difference.

At any rate, the curriculum you use is based upon your students' needs and desires. This method is in my educated opinion the very best way to build a curriculum. Many companies try to sell you a curriculum based upon their textbook; I equate this with getting all your recipes from Campbell's. They may taste good, but the real purpose of those recipes is to sell soup. In order to get the most nutritious recipes, you're going to have to put a lot of thought into what you cook. Same with curriculum. Don't buy it from the textbook manufacturer. You may use their textbook (and I do use textbooks occasionally in my classes; at times they are the most effective way of teaching a concept), but make the curriculum yourself. You the educator are (or at least, should be) the expert.
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« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2010, 10:51:30 AM »

Does anyone have experience with Singapore Math?   
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2010, 05:20:21 PM »

Does anyone have experience with Singapore Math?   
Not personally--I have never taught maths--but the concrete/pictorial/abstract system is a solid, research-based technique. In the hands of a good teacher, Singapore is a powerful tool. I'd get the Standards Edition rather than the US Edition; it is aligned to California state standards, which are in turn aligned to US Dept. of Education standards. By using the Standards Edition, you can ensure that your children are learning all they are required to learn, and should you decide to enroll them in school at a later date, you will know that they are on pace with the public school system.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 05:20:44 PM by ytterbiumanalyst » Logged

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Eugenio
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« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2010, 03:07:10 PM »

The Orthodox Internet Radio Show "Come Receive the Light" has a podcast this week devoted to Classical education used as a homeschooling curriculum.

http://www.myocn.net/index.php/201007232886/Come-Receive-the-Light/Classical-Learning.html

I haven't listened to it yet, but it sounds interesting!
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« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2010, 04:42:56 AM »

It is all depending on what you wish to your child.
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« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2011, 05:28:33 PM »

We use Switched on Schoolhouse.

It teaches "general Bible" and has some Bible inserted in several lessons.

I mean it's pretty basic and great for Elementary school aged children to gain knowledge of the Bible.

I know what you mean, it would be nice for a "more Orthodox" curriculum for the older kids.
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