What is a curriculum?

Discuss the pros and cons of various curriculums, or get help on which to choose!

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Echo
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What is a curriculum?

Postby Echo » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:03 pm

hello, and I bet this tops the list of the most stupidest questions anyone ever asked :oops: :lol: Well I suppose someone has to do the job :lol:
Everyone keeps telling me I can homeschool, and look at me now...out asking the dumbest question on earth! :shock: :lol:

What is a curriculum? Is it a program for a particular subject to cover one year that includes books and everything you need to go ahead and teach your child? Or is it a set of guidelines with suggestions or topics or something and then you go out and buy materials?
Does each subject have it's own corriculum?

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Theodore
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Postby Theodore » Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:26 am

A curriculum can be anything from a basic lesson plan for a single subject to a complete package for all subjects with textbooks, syllabus, materials, etc. Some parents use a packaged curriculum; others pick a curriculum for each subject; and still others design their own curriculum around what they specifically want to teach.

Bottom line, it's perhaps easiest to go with a packaged curriculum if you're just starting out and transitioning from public school. Then as you get somewhat more comfortable and have had time to look around (homeschool groups, conventions, etc.), you might switch to individual curricula for some subjects, or even develop your own curriculum if you're not entirely satisfied with what's available.

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elliemaejune
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Re: What is a curriculum?

Postby elliemaejune » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:34 pm

Echo wrote:hello, and I bet this tops the list of the most stupidest questions anyone ever asked :oops: :lol: Well I suppose someone has to do the job :lol:
Everyone keeps telling me I can homeschool, and look at me now...out asking the dumbest question on earth! :shock: :lol:

What is a curriculum? Is it a program for a particular subject to cover one year that includes books and everything you need to go ahead and teach your child? Or is it a set of guidelines with suggestions or topics or something and then you go out and buy materials?
Does each subject have it's own corriculum?


I agonized over that when I was young hser (this April is the 25th anniversary of when I started hsng). I had actually been happily hsing for about a year and a half, mostly by myself, and finally, others were jumping on the bandwagon, lol. When I went to visit these new hsers (I being the experienced one!) they all had piles of books to which they pointed, calling it their "curriculum."

I was stunned. I didn't have a pile of books. I must not have curriculum. Oh, the horror of it all! What to do, what to do??!!

Eventually I had a brainstorm, and went to my Webster's dictionary. It said that curriculum is "the course of study offered by an institution of education." OH! Well, there you go! I had LOTS of curriculum. I just didn't have a pile of books.

There are people who write the curriculum for schools and colleges. Once the schools and colleges are happy with the curriculum, then they look for instructional materials that they can approve which will meet the goals of the curriculum. Teachers will also use trade books (books you would find in the library or purchase at a bookstore), mulitmedia, field trips, and whatever else they want to meet the curriculum.

This is just my theory, but I think that as many hsers are not trained as professional teachers, they let the textbook and other publishers drive the curriculum instead of the other way around. That isn't necessarily *bad,* it's just that ABeka and BJUP and Rod and Staff et al are not publishers of *curriculum.* They are publishers of textbooks or workbooks. KONOS is not curriculum. The Weaver is not curriculum.

Where this gets especially confusing is when people talk about ABeka or Alpha Omega being accredited "curriculums." No, they are not. ABeka Academy is accredited; Lighthouse Academy is. But merely using all ABeka materials, or all Alpha Omega LifePacs, does not equal being accredited.

So, yes, you are right: "Curriculum" really is "set of guidelines with suggestions or topics or something and then you go out and buy materials." How clever of you to know this right off the bat :-) And yes, each subject will have its own curriculum. Now, you might decide that ABeka or BJUP or Alpha Omega or [fill in the blank] most closely meets the curriculum, but that stack of books from ABeka and the rest are not your curriculum.


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