Curriculum and lesson planning was one of my favorite subjects in college, because there are so many versatile ways to present themed-topics today. I still use one simple strategy however, the more senses you engage while teaching, creates lasting impressions, a higher rate-of-retention, and your child will get better grades, while having more fun!
Learning Retention and Better Test Scores
Ideally teaching to the five senses will cause a permanent memory “trigger”, resulting in higher test scores, as well as a higher IQ. I appreciate the fact that homeschooling opens up the world to our children, through various media sources, programs, and available activities. Ensuring no one gets bored, including teacher!
Grade-Level Academic Standards
On your state’s educational “.gov” website page, you can access “Academic Content Standards” by grade-level for each subject. Highlighting what your child should be studying, and what they will be tested on, according to your resident state’s education compliance standards. However, don’t let all the theoretical terms or verbiage scare you.
Once you get a glimpse of what’s expected from your child, start a fact-finding mission, and create an educational treasure hunt for you and your homeschooler. Yes, learning can, and should be fun!
Curriculum Fact-Finding Missions
Start with field trips, and teach while experiencing life. This is what makes homeschooled children smarter than public school attendees and sought-after by higher universities. Field trips to public libraries and museums are good for homeschoolers of every age and grade.
Patronize Local Public Libraries
The wealth of child-safe media is worth taking a trip to your library. Find favorite books, movies, websites and community-sponsored classes and activities, with regular trips to your library. A free library card for you and your child will allow unlimited access to school books and computers for learning and educating, according to your family-truths and traditions.
Professional curriculum simply uses the state’s academic content standards, mixed with experiential learning activities, projects, books and media. Learn to utilize and saturate the five senses, within each focused subject theme.
Curriculum Example – U.S. History
For example, U.S. History curriculum could include a pre-read (parent-approved) history book, and corresponding documentary film or movie, about our founding fathers, or nation’s inception. But don’t stop there; visit a revolutionary war reenactment, sew an American flag by hand, learn our national anthem and your state’s song, cook cornbread in an iron skillet and wash it down with buttermilk. Visit your nearest art or natural history museum.
Continue U.S. History studies by helping your child memorize the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Study the Bill of Rights plus the other Constitutional amendments and perform a theatrical reenactment, for your family or neighborhood, as recommended in many of my patriotic teaching articles, on my news page online at www.AssociatedContent.com/cmajors .
Professional Curriculum Checklist
Under each subject heading find grade-appropriate, related resources for each of the following categories. Just remember to saturate your subject.
Activities – can include walking, archery practice, cooking, planting a garden, marching in a band, writing poetry, and field-trip investigations.
Arts – can include painting, designing, rubber stamping, art museums, art books, and biographies of famous artists.
Books – can be printed texts, e-books, pamphlets, writing poetry, authoring and publishing a book, as well as library trips.
Crafts – should be indigenous to a culture or era, including sculpting, pottery, recycled crafting, basket-making, rug weaving, sewing, or spinning wool.
Dance – can include classical forms of ballet or ballroom, square-dancing, modern dance, tap, Polynesian, or Yoga stretches.
Experiments – can be scientific, investigative, constructive and destructive (such as building a volcano to explode it), or simply walking with a compass, GPS device, or magnifying glass.
Media – would include making a documentary, viewing subject-related movies, film, TV specials, video, DVD’s, etc.
Music – could include learning to play a musical instrument, singing, church choirs, writing and recording an original song.
Theater – covers puppet shows, costume making, performing, uploading a U-Tube video, or enrolling in professional acting classes.
Websites – research every subject online first to point you in the right direction, on your professional curriculum quest.
If you create an exciting program, both you and your child will have fun learning. Confirmation of a professional homeschooling program is the high-retention rate of the information studied, as well as the superior grades your child will receive.