Education Buzzwords: Curriculum Revisited

I had previously written about Educational Buzzwords, where I had officially defined many of the words used in modern education. Today I hope to explore them further, starting with curriculum.

Homeschoolers are governed by state regulation. Each state has different requirements. In Illinois, homeschools are run as private schools and not monitored very strictly. In Georgia, only monthly attendance reports and standardized testing every three years is required. In South Carolina, We are only required to register with an accountability group, which then submits records to the state, however we can be audited at any time.

For me, I would rather have too much information ready than not enough. Hence, the over planning. Seriously, though, regardless of our chosen method of homeschooling, it is important for us to have a clear system of planning and recordkeeping.

When I first started homeschooling, I simply considered the various subject areas I had to teach. I never really thought about the details of what I was teaching and why. While I am not doubting the choices I made in our textbooks, I have had to re-evaluate them over the years to really understand their purpose. This is what led me to the buzzwords research. And I revisit the issue every year.

Regarding “curriculum”, we need to remember that this is simply a list of courses taught in a school. My curriculum this year might look like this: Reading K, Reading 2, Reading 4, Reading 5, Math K-2, Math 3-4, Writing K, Writing 2, Writing 4, Writing 5, Science: Color Wheel, Art: Art Appreciation, History: Ancient History, History: Genealogy, Science: Plant Biology, Music: Violin, Music: Piano, Drama. The list continues, of course.

If you like, you can formalize your curriculum by putting together a course catalog for your homeschool. If you add to it each year, you will eventually have a cummulative record of courses that have been available to your students. This is helpful especially if you allow your students to retake courses (ie. do unit studies again, even if they did them three years ago – it’s a great time saver to recycle unit studies!).

A great form for planning out your courses for your students is here at Highland Heritage Forms. You’ll want the one called “Curriculum Scope”. There are lots of other goodies here, too, so be sure to check it out. I also like the “Yearly Planning Form” for laying out my unit studies for the year.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Education Buzzwords: Courses Revisited « Ramblings from the Heart

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