So much homeshool lingo seems to be tossed around the blogosphere. Hopefully, this will help you define those key phrases.
Unschooling ~ (Also mentioned as “natural,” “child-led,” “eclectic,” and “organic”)
If a homeschooler describes their style of teaching as “unschooling,” then chances are they mean that the subjects of their study are guided by the child’s interests and not necessarily by a set of curriculum. These homes often use unit studies to pursue what the child wants to know about a particular topic. The focus is on the process more than the topic.
The term “unschooling” can also be used to mean that the child learns through life experiences and not through a specified course of study.
For more resources on “unschooling,” visit Unschooling.com or read The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom.
Lapbooks ~ (Also spelled “lap books”)
If you are planning a unit study, need a way for your child to review math facts, or just want your child to be able to track what they are learning through a chapter in their science book, lapbooks might provide the learning tool you want. Essentially, a lapbook is a manila file folder that is folded into thirds and contains smaller booklets you or your child has made as well as clip-art, short stories, poems, time lines… the sky is the limit.
For some pictures of great lapbooks, visit JimmieHomeschoolMom’s Flickr Page. There are also some great lapbook tutorials on YouTube.
Two books which might prove helpful as you build lapbooks with your child are The Big Book of Reproducible Graphic Organizers: 50 Great Templates to Help Kids Get More Out of Reading, Writing, Social Studies and More and Making Books That Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist & Turn: Books for Kids to Make.
To “drill” a child or to use “drills” means that you will be test your child’s knowledge on a subject, such as math facts, in a timed assessment. We have used paper and pencil tests but have more success with an oral test using flashcards.
Drills can be used for foreign language, verb tenses, math facts, and more.
Sue Patrickmade a huge impact on the homeschool world with the popularity of the workbox system. At its essence, using workboxes is a way to organize your homeschool day in a way that gives the student the opportunity to self-pace. More will be discussed about workboxes during Workbox 101 next week.
Sensory Bins ~
If learning can be accomplished through the senses – and we know it can – then sensory bins are an excellent resource for educating small children. By using sensory bins, a child is engaging in a learning activity that can incorporate textures, smells, tastes, visual cues and sounds.
Typically, a sensory bin is themed around a particular subject or holiday. The bottom of the shallow tub is covered with some type of textured substance that can be scooped or sifted. The bin also contains various preschool-proof objects of various textures and sizes to stimulate the inquisitive nature of your child.
For additional information on sensory bins, check out these resources:
- Sensory Play is Important for Preschoolers (Associated Content article)
- 1+1+1=1 (Tons of ideas for what to put into sensory bins)
High School Course of Study ~ (also called a “Four Year Plan”)
A high school Course of Study states the intent of the teacher and student to teach/study a specified selection of courses. The four year plan is necessary to stay on track for graduation and may be required by some colleges for admission of homeschool students.
If you are preparing your child for high school, it would be in your best interest to contact a few colleges and ask for information on what is specifically required of homeschoolers for the admission procedures. Here are some additional resources which might be helpful:
- Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships
- College-Prep Homeschooling: Your Complete Guide to Homeschooling through High School
- Homeschoolers’ College Admissions Handbook: Preparing Your 12- to 18-Year-Old for a Smooth Transition
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