Don’t Make Up Your Own Curriculum

When I search for a curriculum, I want one written by experts. Experts understand the “deep structure” in a content area. Because experts organize knowledge differently, we want their expertise when deciding what is important to include in class. For example, a non-expert who writes curricula might wrongly interpret the Slave Narrative Collection at theContinue reading “Don’t Make Up Your Own Curriculum”

curriculum design

In my experience, there are two main types of curriculum designs: mastery – each concept is taught only once, but thoroughly; students are not taught the concept again. Ex: Math-U-See, many penmanship programs spiral – concepts are reviewed throughout the year, more depth of knowledge is added at each visit. Ex: Saxon Math, many foreignContinue reading “curriculum design”

Class Goal Types

Over the years, I’ve come to think of classes as generally falling into three main categories: survey course – skims over major content areas; requires vocabulary study Western History from 1500 to Present; 5th grade biology methods course – mastery of facts, concepts, and procedures; requires rigorous practice Algebra I; Elements of Art and Composition;Continue reading “Class Goal Types”

written to the student

Written to the student is a specialized term. This is curriculum meant to be read by the student so that the student can understand the presented concept and complete the work independently, without needing assistance from the teacher or parent. When teachers assign work that can be completed without direct supervision, it’s more likely toContinue reading “written to the student”

Success in a rigorous, content-focused online course is possible.

Reflective discussions, enhanced focus on individual student-teacher relationships, automated retrieval practice, and quality group dynamics are all possible in online classes. Since face-to-face courses are readily available in public schools, my expectation is that I must teach at least as well as a face-to-face course, and wherever possible, better. Because, otherwise, why would students signContinue reading “Success in a rigorous, content-focused online course is possible.”

online supplements, apps, and extensions

Digital extras are usually meant for face-to-face classrooms, so they are rarely useful for the all-online classroom. Their inputs and outputs are often designed to be displayed on digital whiteboards, in-class devices, and so on. Just like in a face-to-face classroom, teachers must consider the tradeoffs. Teachers will have to learn how to use theContinue reading “online supplements, apps, and extensions”

I’m on a podcast!

This summer, Jenn Naughton and I decided that quarantine homeschoolers needed a hand. Jenn founded the Secular, Inclusive Classical Teachers group on Facebook a while back, but we wanted to reach more people. So we started the Good Enough Homeschool podcast with the explicit goal of reviewing homeschool curricula to share what we liked andContinue reading “I’m on a podcast!”