How Do I know When We Are On The Right Track?
- How can I avoid learning gaps?
- How can I assess my child’s readiness for certain skills?
- What if I want to use an eclectic approach to curriculum instead of a boxed curriculum, but I need a guide?
- What if I want to unschool, but need to know how my high school student’s learning experiences correspond to the subjects on a transcript?
A scope and sequence is a helpful tool for peace of mind and can help homeschool parents answer those important questions!
How to Decide on the Scope and Sequence of Your Home Education Program
If you have ever used a “boxed curriculum”, you have probably seen the “Scope and Sequence” that comes with your Teacher’s Manuals for each grade and each subject. But if you are interested in a literature based or project based approach for your creative or hands-on learners, you may have felt a bit concerned about them missing out on an essential skill or some core knowledge that will affect them later in life.
Well, rest assured that every student, whether public schooled, private schooled or homeschooled, will have a learning gap of some kind – but to the best of our ability as teachers, we want to make sure that we cover things that will help our kids or students succeed in life and remain lifelong learners.
Lifelong learners will have the desire and the means to access any knowledge that they may have missed during their educational career.
I have added some links and information below, that can help you decide on both the scope and the sequence of your home education program. Whatever your family’s educational philosophy and whatever your child’s learning style, these guides can help you to know (generally) what types of skills and learning your children will be ready for at what age/grade.
The files below have been made available by the Core Knowledge Foundation* and you may download and use them free of charge. They are guidelines and not rules that you have to follow. The guides are general, and our children learn at different rates, and are ready for the prescribed skills at different rates. Don’t let any guideline become tyrannical.
You can click these files to download them and go to the Core Knowledge Website to download FREE curriculum or to purchase a bound copy of the files below:
PREK – CORE KNOWLEDGE SCOPE & SEQUENCE
GRADES K-8 – SUGGESTED SCOPE & SEQUENCE
*This work is based on an original work of the Core Knowledge© Foundation made available through licensing under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. This does not in any way imply that the Core Knowledge Foundation endorses the work. It is not being used for commercial purposes. For the license terms of this work please click here.
Take a look at some of the websites I have linked below that have information about this and some books I recommend with valuable guides for you on how children learn, determining readiness and general guidelines on what they need to know when:
SCOPE & SEQUENCE INFORMATION
- Ambleside Online - Charlotte Mason-
AmblesideOnline is a free homeschool curriculum that uses Charlotte Mason's classically-based principles - detailed schedules for each year, information about Charlotte Mason's methods and lots of teacher resources and suggested reading lists at the website. Uses books rather than textbooks.
- Bloom's Taxonomy Info-
I included this since the NC standards have been written based on this as the basis for their educational philosophy - interesting reading.
- Core Knowledge Books-
These books by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. founder of the Core Knowledge Foundation offer a guide to the essential knowledge outlined in the Core Knowledge Sequence as well as activities, stories, poems, for subjects of history and geography, math, science, visual arts, and music, as well as suggestions for related readings and resources. The Core Knowledge philosophy, whether employed in home or school, provides a carefully sequenced set of skills and content with an emphasis on the knowledge that is most useful and productive for children living in American society today.The Core Knowledge What Your—Grader Needs to Know series was created specifically for parents. In one convenient volume per grade, from What Your Preschooler Needs to Knowthrough What Your Sixth Grader Needs to Know, this eight-volume series provides parents, teachers, and children with an engaging, illustrated introduction to the important knowledge outlined in the Core Knowledge Sequence.
- FREE Pre-K to Grade 8 - Guide-
FREE download - Contains the outlines of content in the Core Knowledge Series Books so that you can use your own materials NOTE: This is not "common core" but is based on an original work of the Core Knowledge© Foundation and has been made available as a free download. It is simply intended as a guideline and has lots of great information!
- NC K-12 Standards, Curriculum & Instruction-
This is the Scope and Sequence for K-12 students in NC. This makes a good guideline for you in choosing your own learning goals. This is particularly great for those who are concerned about their student returning to public school at some point.
Used judiciously, it can also assure you that your student's skills are in line with what their peers are doing.
Remember: #1. homeschooling gives us the opportunity to let students learn at their own pace, #2. most students are never going to be actually learning all the skills that the guide is listing in each grade, #3. if you are homeschooling all the way through, they have 13 years to learn all the skills they need to be productive adults and lifelong learners, #4. homeschooled kids (and public & private school students too) perform well on the various nationally-normed annual tests they take without ever being "taught" the information that is in the the test.
- NC K-8 Quick Reference Guides-
Handy pdf files you can download to refer to for K-8 skills. Remember that you can choose the way you get to these learning goals: curriculum, literature, projects, audio books, field trips, shadowing a mentor: those are simply tools that as home educators we use to make our homeschool programs exciting and to integrate those skills into real life experiences.
- NC Public School Grad. Requirements-
These are the NC Public School Standards for which credits students need to have to qualify for graduation from the NC Public School System. It includes requirements that PS students need to enter the NC University System as well which may be helpful if your student in interested in attending a state college.
Homeschools, like other private school programs in NC, are able to determine their own course requirements, but this may be helpful to use as a guide, especially if your student plans on continuing their education.
- Scholastic Guide to Skills Grades Pre-K-8
- Typical Course of Study - World Book-
FREE: K-12 typical course of study information. Great resource for homeschoolers.
- World Book - Typical Course of Study-
Typical skills & subjects by grade/ages. Homeschoolers & Unschoolers, this is a good tool for developing your own curricula in subject areas, or to be sure that your kids are "on track" with their peers whether for college prep, testing preparation, plans for returning to public school or simply for your own information. Don't be a slave to them, but do take a look at these types of lists as most of the time, you will see how much your children are learning and how close they are to where their peers are even without being in "real school".
- You Can Teach Your Child Successfully: Grades 4-8 by Ruth Beechick
- Teaching Children: A Curriculum Guide to What Children Need to Know at Each Level Through Sixth Grade by Diane Lopez
- What Your Child Needs to Know When: According to the Bible, According to the State: with Evaluation Check Lists for Grades K-8 by Robin Sampson
- Christian Home Educators’ Curriculum Manual by Cathy Duffy (there is one for Elementary and one for Junior/Senior High)
- Homeschooling: The Early Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 3- to 8- Year-Old Child by Linda Dobson
- Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School by Rebecca Rupp