Common Core: What other options do we have?

Have you seen this?  Parent, Robert Small, is bullied and arrested while trying to ask a question about Common Core to his School Board.

Gets my heart pounding a bit at seeing our pseudo democracy in action!  Not only is it embarrassing to think such pathetic authority is alive and well, but it makes me question even more: What is going on in our public schools?  On our public School Boards?  And what’s this incessant push of Common Core down our throats??

If you have a child(ren) in a public school – if you care about the future direction of our country – you need to know more about the Common Core.  Regardless of our politics, we’re all Americans.  And our greatest asset – our children – are being experimented on like guinea pigs with this Common Core curriculum.  As Michelle Malkin accurately says, “We are our children’s primary educational providers. Control over our children begins and ends with us.”  See more

End of story!

So, if you are going to take control and not conform to the Common Core, what options do you have?  You have a few options: Charter School, Home Schooling, or online schooling.  For the last two years, we’ve made the choice to home-school, and it’s been a journey I never would have wanted to miss.

Pulling your child out of public school can be very intimidating.  Society teaches us, as parents, that we’re not qualified.  That we really should have a degree especially if you’re going to home-school.  Bull!  I’m so tired of this false authority from teachers that THEY are the experts and we are just “the parents.”  (Mind you, I know not all teachers think this – but there is a large majority out there…)  For the record, YOU are the expert on your child.  YOU know him better than anyone.  YOU are responsible and will be the one who cares most for their well being.

Never before have parents been so well educated and had more choices at the ready.  Frankly, there is no better time than NOW to take the stand you desire and make a change.  Why?  The amount of resources (and power) you have at your fingertips is unlimited.  Resources are EVERYWHERE!  So what do you do if you want to home school?

Here’s my action plan:

1) Research “Homeschooling Co-ops” in your area.  Homeschooling your child, as a viable option, is growing rapidly.  Co-ops are great ways to share information, organize sports leagues and art and talent competitions, and create field-trip co-ops.  In fact, our home-school co-op has a field trip component, and it’s been the biggest gem!  We’ve learned SO much, added such a richness to our curriculum, and made sweet friends in the process.

2) Find out the standards for your district.  Google your local district’s school standards to learn what the expectation is for your child on any given school year.  Additionally, I really like this Scope and Sequence from Abeka.  It’s a K-12 at-a-glance so you know what your child would need to complete each year academically.

3) Find a Homeschooling Convention to attend.  Our area has an annual convention.  It was there, after months of deliberation, that my husband and I decided to take the plunge and home-school.  Once we saw all the resources available, it was a no-brainer.  I reasoned, “With all this at hand, there’s no reason not to do it.”  At the convention, you will see the numerous resources, multiple curricula offered, attend workshops on different teaching strategies and best practices, and attend inspiring talks given by professionals in their fields.  A very inspiring way to spend two days!

4) Decide on Curriculum.  To options: A-la-carte or an All-In-One?  You can pick and choose a different curriculum vehicle for each discipline OR you can go with one company and just buy a package deal.  I chose the a-la-carte option and have been very satisfied with that choice.  Here’s what I chose for our curriculum:

Language Arts:  Before Five in a Row (ages 2-4) Five in a Row (ages 4-7) or Beyond Five in a Row (8-12) – Fantastic – Use it for part of my Soc Studies and read alouds with the kids.  This has been one of my favorite components to our home-schooling curriculum.  

Math: Math U See (K-12) Outstanding program – love it 100%

Science: We’ve made up our own for this one – studied birds and took cooking lessons for our science.  Used Notebooking for our bird study.

Social Studies (SS): Used the Abeka Curriculum in SS – read, assembled lap books (one of my favorite parts) and then went to SEE a lot of what and who we studied.   It’s been one of my favorite ways to organize and show what they’ve learned! Loved it! Here’s examples of lap books for a Thomas Edison Study – but you can do a lap book for ANYTHING!!  

I’ve also used Abeka for some phonics and spelling study – but they are pretty traditional and “worksheet” like – so I use it sparingly.  Also – I’ve used Time Travelers American History Studies for our Revolutionary Unit Study and found it to be outstanding!!  Another gem…So comprehensive!  I learned so much, too!  After all, that’s what I’m after – cultivating life long learners (and that includes me)!

What if you’re not sure you can afford homeschooling?  Here’s a great article of how one family is making it work and how they chose their curriculum with very little money.

Bottom line:  If you want to take a stand for what’s best for your child, you are capable, you are smart enough and you have a plethora of resources at your fingertips.  Do your research, figure out the best fit for your family and then go for it.  In the end, your child will see you fought for them, figured out what’s best for them and they’ll thank you for it!

 

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If interested…More info about Common Core and of “We will not conform” can be found hereI attended this and learned so much more!

 

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