September 29, 2008

Homeschooling Q & A

I've had some questions over the past few months that I thought would be beneficial to share with more than just the person who asked. Here below are the questions and my answers:

"I am trying to figure out how important or unimportant it is to follow a traditional scope and sequence for history and science. Any thoughts on that?" - Maggie

Good question, Maggie! Not an uncommon one, either. I haven't worried about it much due to the fact that we have been in Texas where it is not required to test (even though I do test them for free with the Texas TAKS that is available to print or take online). While I lived in Arkansas, I was required to test them with the state (and the scores were given to the state in a group for all homeschoolers rather than individually). That is when I used the BBC Science site to "brush up" on things we might not have covered. Since we do a lot of reading and KONOS is very thorough with what it covers, there wasn't much they hadn't gone over in some form or fashion. So far my kids have outperformed their counterparts in science and history.

Jessica Hulcy, one of the authors of the KONOS curriculum says about scope and sequence (from the Konos Compass, in the section entitled "Does Konos Meet State Requirements"):

Although Konos Curriculum was not formulated in order to meet state requirements, by fully equipping our children in what we believe the Lord wants for our children, we find that we do, in fact, provide all that is required by the state and much more! Konos includes all that is required by the state, but has not stopped there. Konos children are also exposed to Bible, Christian values, biographies of Christians, and
practice in character development. In addition they learn practical skills such as:

choosing friends
meal planning budgeting and tithing money
shopping and using catalogs
maintaining a safe home
handling emotions
electrical repairs
child care
scheduling time
loving the unlovable
helping the handicapped
decision making

..... and then she says "You will see that, within three volumes, Konos covers what is normally taught. In other words, the scope is the same (although Konos covers more), while the sequence may be different. The sequence or the order in which certain subjects are taught is very arbitrary. Except for subjects (like math and language) which build upon previously learned skills, there is no necessary order for learning topics. For example, what does it matter if the topic of birds is learned before or after the topic of beavers? In fact, even within the state requirements, there is a diversity about when to teach the topics. If for some reason you want to follow the state's guidelines for what is taught at each level, you can use all three Konos volumes during the year. However, we do not recommend spending money when it is unnecessary."

Question from my local co-op group via email: "Can you share some scriptures that you lean on regarding home education?"

Here are a few of my favorite Bible verses that are "food for the homeschool mom's soul":

"And all your children will be taught by the Lord and great shall be the peace of your children." ~ Isaiah 54:13

"You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." ~ Psalm 16:2

Whether you turn to the right or to the left your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, "This is the way; walk in it." ~ Isaiah 30:21

Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. ~ Psalms 119:73-74

"Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge." ~ Prov. 23:12

Now I'm off to get busy homeschooling today. We took the early morning off doing chores, so we'll be playing a little catch-up today. I told you we were flexible with that rigid schedule I posted last week!

Be sure to check out the Homeschool Post for updates regarding the dates and times of the upcoming Homeschool Blog Awards later today! We are ironing out a final post that will go live in an hour or so. Spread the word and be making your nominations list! You can get an idea of what categories there are from last year's list (only this year we added a Homeschool Methods category - which is for anyone besides eclectic and unschooling - which already have their own categories!). We'll be making a 2008 category list and posting it soon (adding that last one on).

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