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secular curriculum

Last post 10-07-2008 10:33 AM by LeasMom. 54 replies.
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  • 02-17-2008 10:13 PM In reply to

    • prljen
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-18-2008
    • Posts 1

    Re: secular curriculum

    Oh my goodness there's some interesting posts out there!  I have been a believer for several years, considering to homeschool my children, yet I have been looking and all I can find is the Christian Programs, that have a strange mix of "God and America".  Yes...I am from the US and love my country, but I had lived overseas for a little while...realized there is a much bigger world out there and not everyone lives by these values.  I like to choose devotionals, bible readings, etc for my children, but feel sometimes the entire "Christain" theme in all school subjects is excessive. I am looking forward to see what the Calvert homeschool system is about. 

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  • 02-18-2008 4:04 AM In reply to

    • CRae
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-18-2008
    • Posts 2

    Re: secular curriculum

    Sonlight Curriculum may meet your needs. It does present a Chritian worldview but the curriculum does not come off preachy. As a matter of fact some Christians feel like SL isn't Christian enough. SL has a global outlook on history.

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  • 02-18-2008 4:11 AM In reply to

    • CRae
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-18-2008
    • Posts 2

    Re: secular curriculum

    To the originally poster I am sorry I did not answer your question. I was replying to prljen's  post.....sorry to hijack the original thread...

  • 02-18-2008 1:53 PM In reply to

    Re: secular curriculum

    Hello,

     I'm one of the staff members here at HSI and I'm involved in researching curriculum.  I'd like to suggest you take a look at K12 (a complete curriculum) or Oak Meadow.  You might also be interested in the Harcourt School Supply products (Core Skills).  In the near future we will be featuring some expanded curriculum packages that might also fit your needs.

    Marjorie, HSI

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  • 02-19-2008 11:18 AM In reply to

    Re: secular curriculum

    a1wheeler, I have a G/LD that I am homeschooling...we are new to it as of this year. I am a certified teacher for whatever that is worth! I have found that most history and lit programs can't keep up with him, so I bought a used student/teacher 9th grade am. st. set from backpack, and I use Junior Great books on the 6th grade level! JGB are wonderful...I used them in the public school classroom as well, so I am very familiar with the process! I bought my math from BrightMinds because it concentrates on complex problem solving rather than on rote memorization...They have a wonderful vocab. program that is based on affixes. I use Rosetta Stone for Japanese (he picked the language...) let me know if you are interested in more info on any of the programs I am using... shannon
  • 02-20-2008 8:31 AM In reply to

    Re: secular curriculum

    thank you for your input

  • 02-20-2008 8:35 AM In reply to

    Re: secular curriculum

    thank you for checking in on me...im still here iv just been having a busy week

     

    it would take ALOT more than some nasty posts to scare me off !! lol

     

    Amanda

  • 02-20-2008 5:13 PM In reply to

    • deetta
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-20-2008
    • Alpharetta,Ga
    • Posts 4

    Re: secular curriculum/ www.k12.com

    We have our daughter using the K12 curriculum form K12, Inc. It is a mastery based curriculum for k-12th grades. Our daughter is a special needs child so it is perfect for her as she has verying levels of ability.For example, she is a 7th grader working in the 3rd grade math curriculum and 5th grade literature and language arts, science and social studies. Students are given placement tests to determine their instructional level in the curriculum. We have found it to be at least a year or two ahead of our public schools. There are several ways to utilize this program. You can do K12 textbooks only,K12 textbooks and on line school ( which is so user friendly and takes a lot of the preparation work away from the parent and gives you a wonderful accountability program for you and your child, or you can use it in a virtual school setting. This is what we are doing right now. There are 18 states that use the K12 curriculum in a virtual charter public school setup.Basically , you are the learning coach working with your child at home.But you also have access to state certified teachers who offer assistance as needed, set up all your standardized testing required by your state, and they offer virtual classroom workshops where you can interact with the teacher and other students while your computer becomes a virtual smart board or white board.Teachers also plan field trips that the entire family can attend.As your student completes a course they can move up to the next level.They are not held back by the class, nor do they have to keep up with the class. Special needs students get related services through privately contracted service providers that are paid for by the virtual school. Because it is a virtual public school, all texts, on line services, teachers, testing and related services are free to the family just as if they were in the brick and mortar  public schools. We used this program in the Idaho Virtual school and now use it in the Georgia Virtual Academy and it is by far the best classical, mastery based program we have ever seen. I have over ten years of teaching experience in private and public schools, have homeschooled each of our four children at different stages of their lives with both christian and secular materials and find this to be the best of the best. You can check them out at www.k12.com .It will show you samples of the curriculum and you'll get to listen to some of the people who are behind the program. You can also check to see if your state offers the virtual school set up by clicking on your state. Our daughter jumped an entire year in  math in one semester using this program. I hope this helps you.

    DeEtta
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  • 02-20-2008 9:05 PM In reply to

    Re: secular curriculum/ www.k12.com

    thank you so much for all the info on k-12 I will go and check out there web site to see if it will work for us

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  • 02-20-2008 9:28 PM In reply to

    Re: secular curriculum/ www.k12.com

    do you mind my asking how much the k-12 curriculum costs??

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  • 02-20-2008 10:05 PM In reply to

    • deetta
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-20-2008
    • Alpharetta,Ga
    • Posts 4

    Re: secular curriculum/ www.k12.com

    Because we are using it through the virtual public school program it cost absolutely nothing. We receive on line material, textbooks for every subject, and related services for our daughter and it is all paid for as if she were in the brick and mortar public schools.But I am her lead teacher and she is home with me every day.

    I am not sure how much it costs as an independent homeschooler. You would have to check the website because you have two options for doing it that way.You can purchase books and teacher materials by themselves or you can add the on line support and virtual interactive lessons. As an independent homeschooler the program goes through the 12th grade. Some of the virtual state schools only go through 8th. You'd have to check your individual state for that.

    Glad I could help.

    DeEtta

    DeEtta
  • 03-15-2008 10:50 AM In reply to

    Re: secular curriculum

    Hello a1wheeler,

     I've been homeschooling my children for a total of 5 years.  Here are some possibilities you could consider; These concepts work for our family very well.  I would avoid buying a 'boxed' curriculum all from the same publisher.  We actually don't need to purchase very much at all to make this work.  Here's what I've found works best for our family:

    Math:

    I like to start with Singapore math through 2nd or 3rd grade (http://www.singaporemath.com/) then move on to Silver Burdett Ginn (http://sbgmath.com/) for 4th and 6th grade (skip 5th because there are NO concepts taught in 5th grade that aren't thoroughly explained in either 4th or 6th ... look at the table of contents if you don't believe me).  Now we're moving on to Algebra 1 with Teaching Textbooks (http://www.teachingtextbooks.com/).  I've heard a lot of good things about Teaching Textbooks but haven't had experience with them myself yet.  Both Singapore and SBG are very detailed and show WHY the rules of math are the rules.  It doesn't just teach the children a process, it shows why the process works that way.

    Reading:

    For reading I like to use literature guides and not buy a set curricula at all.  Here are some of the best sources on the Internet: http://glencoe.com/sec/literature/litlibrary/   http://www.discoveryjourney.com/ContentList.asp   http://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/?ref=Homepage-TopNav   http://english.byu.edu/Novelinks/index%20of%20novels.htm  http://litplans.com/authors/   http://www.webenglishteacher.com/childlit.html

    Also our library system has most of these that I like to check out also: http://store.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SearchEndecaCmd?storeId=10052&catalogId=10051&searchTerm=reading   http://www.teachercreatedmaterials.com/reading/literatureUnits

    I also incorporate short story and poetry units sometimes instead ... these are all things you can find by google-ing them.  We end up frequently doing a unit studies approach while using the literature guides.  There are so many suggestions in the literature units that almost every subject can be incorporated if you want to do it that way.

    Writing:

    Once the kids already know the parts of speach and how to compose a paragraph correctly, I use the literature guides for teaching writing too.  Also, make sure you incorporate harder assignments; Some younger children are perfectly capable of doing harder research assignments and learning how to properly cite their sources using MLA or APA - these are great for using with a science, social studies, or even P.E. (history of basketball) paper.  You can often check out writing curriculum out from the library to get ideas and formulate some of your own lesson plans.  Also, http://abcteach.com/ and http://www.webenglishteacher.com/writing.html have some good ideas for teaching writing.

    Science:

    This website is all you need to incorporate more science than you'll ever need into your plan: http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/benchmark_index.cfm.  Beyond a good science museum and a plastic human with all the body parts that you can take out of it, this is all you need to teach science.  If your child is particularly interested in a subject, let them learn more than they 'need to learn' even if it takes an extra week or two.  We spent about 5 weeks learning about the taxonomy of trees last year because our kids were absolutely fascinated with it!

    Social Studies:

    Look at the Benchmarks for your childs age (and all the grades above her level too).  Then check out nonfiction books from the library so your child can learn everything that is necessary, plus way more.  There are some great sites on the net too: http://bensguide.gpo.gov/  http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/outusgov/ch1.htm  http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/charters.html

    Arts:

    We just do crafts and things.  I'm not a particularly art-inclined person myself, so we follow the lead of another homeschooler in our area and they help us with this area.  There are tons of books at the library that have crafts and art ideas that would work too.

    Religion: 

    We also do religious courses of study, but feel it's a) not as good educationally to use "Christian" programs b) a little too pushy onto our children to have every subject focused around a religious theme - I can do that on my own without someone else pushing it c) sometimes not exactly our same Christian beliefs are being taught.  Set a good example and your kids will learn from you more than from any curriculum.

    Conclusion:

    I'm sorry you've had 'Christians' attack your freedom to believe what you want may or may not believe on this forum.  Based on your posts I don't even think it's clear that you're either religious or athiest.  One last link that I initially found helpful when I went this route for schooling is this:  http://docsdomain.net/blog/?page_id=706  http://docsdomain.net/blog/?page_id=637 ... actually there's two links, but they're both the same website, just two separate pages.  Their philosophy is a bit different from mine (they're 'unschooling'), but I really like all the links and their philosophy to homeschool for free.  It really can be done if the parents are excellent in math (but I have forgotten much of what I'd learned so that's not me).

  • 04-20-2008 2:34 PM In reply to

    Re: secular curriculum

    I am new , started last year. We use Calvert. I agree, it is too stressful, and it seems alll i do is school. I am looking for new cirriculum for next yr. 6th and 3rd grades.  I dont follow calverts daily plans. i just wing it.  My 6th grader misses having friends. Any ideas about that? We live in a very rural place in Alaska. I have been reading through here and taking notes on different ideas. Thanks.......

    Maggie

  • 04-21-2008 2:32 PM In reply to

    Re: secular curriculum

     hi i have been reading all the replys to looking for a secular curriculum very interesting.  people sure do have a lot of hopeful sugesstions. I have a guestion for you about the stress you do not think your son needs added on when he starts high school is this stress of testing or religion?

     

    As a Catholic I will probably use a catholic curriculum looking at Catholic hertitage.  But at the same time I am planning on utilizing my parish's religious education programs . so after the first yesr coming up a might look for a totally secular curriculum. 

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  • 05-16-2008 10:36 PM In reply to

    Re: secular curriculum

    This is the craziest thing. I typed a message and lost it. Anyway, my daughter missed a lot of school this year due to a few illnesses, and then my husband and I separated and I moved to another state. She has missed a lot of school, and then the school system we moved to is diferent. Although, they also use 4 block scheduling, like semesters, their school year starts and ends earlier than the VA school she went to.

    On top of that, I am on a limited income due to disablity. I can not afford to buy much, so I am looking for secular curriculum, but also free or extreamly inexpensive. I have found a few sites, but I am having a problem findind any to use in a short amount of time. I am trying to help her make up at least three classes this summer, and her friends mom wants to see if I can home school her som at the same time as two of the classes are the same, HS Earth Science II, and 9th grade Social Studies, (could be World History or World Geography) she can make up either one. Then I need Geometry and 9th grade English for her friend and Vivian is going to help teach him, as she is splendid in English.

    The reason I need to do this, my daughter has ADHD and has a hard time paying attention in class, and she doesn't like the meds. She was doing fine until she fell behind, but now she's talking about dropping out, because she doesn't think she can make up six classes, through credit recovery. She would be the first female to graduate HS in our family, instead of dropping out and going to college, like my mother, myself and my sister. I don't want that for her.

    If I can do this on a shoestring and it works out I may home school her until 12th grade. If you have any ideas, websites, or know of any home school programs that offer scholarships, that would be welcome and wonderful. Thank you for your time.

    Beverly

    you can email any ideas to me at erius_light@yahoo.com

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