Issue 89 | April 18, 2016 | Curriculum Selection 1, 2, 3
Curriculum Selection 1, 2, 3
Have you looked at a Rainbow Resource catalog lately? It must be 4 inches thick! The volume of home school curriculum available today is almost overwhelming but can also fill your academic plans with all sorts of possibilities. However, the downside emerges when all those choices must be narrowed down. How can advantageous selections be made?
We at NARHS can definitely help you with that task.
1. For starters, this should come as no surprise that all curriculum selections should take into consideration the graduation requirements:
- 4 language arts
- 2 mathematics
- 2 science ( 1 lab)
- 1 social studies
- 1 U.S. history
- 1 fine arts
- 1 physical education
- .5 health
- .5 computer
- 4.5 electives
Whatever has not been completed needs to be targeted for next year. However, if a book or course simply is too good to pass up, it can always count as an elective (and you can never have too many of those.) If you have any questions, please contact your NARHS advisor who is always happy to hear from you.
2. Also remember that specific curriculum recommendations for satisfying certain course categories can be found in the NARHS High School Resource Advisor which was sent to every family this year when they registered. In that handy manual are 100's of curriculum titles listed under their course categories. Some curricula are "textbooks" and others are regarded as "self-designed" courses for which you must keep track of hours. That is important information for the portfolio review (more another time on that).
The amount of credit value for each listed curricula is also noted. Sometimes the credit value may surprise you. For instance, a number of A Beka Language Arts texts seem to require a LOT of work, yet their value may only be .5 credit (as determined by the publisher). Logging hours on books considered "text" will not work to increase the credit value, so pay close attention.
Also, be aware of the textbook definition. A textbook contains the full study needed for the course including the reading, the review exercises and the tests. If any of the three parts are missing, it probably is not a textbook. You will need to log hours. If you have found a book you would like to use, and it is not listed in the High School Resource Advisor, please contact your advisor for guidance. We keep an updated curriculum database that may have the entry information you are seeking.
3. All kinds of curriculum can be used as resources for self-designed studies, so if you find
an interesting book at that convention booth for a great price, buy it. It can be used in a number of different ways. Weave the teaching found in that resource together with other readings and activities into a tantalizing self-designed course. Textbooks CAN be used as resources for self-designed courses as long as they are written into the course description from the start. A great benefit to self-designed courses is how stimulating and customize-able they can be for the student. Although such courses can take time for planning, they are worth the extra effort. That is another reason to start your research in the month of April. An early start for the curriculum planning can reap great benefits.
"Do something today that your future self will thank you for."