Science and history curriculum
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  1. #1
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    Default Science and history curriculum

    Hi everyone. I am just getting going again with T4L, we tried it for a week when school started, and from my understanding the science and history is not a complete curriculum. What other options do you guys recommend for it? My kids are kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grade. They are just moving from a virtual public school where they all had science, social studies and history. I do not want theem to be lacking in those departments so I just don't know if what T4L offers is enough. We are new to homeschooling and of course my concerns are high until I really get into the groove of this. Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Administrator hearthstone_academy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science and history curriculum

    Hi! At lower grade levels, kids should focus on language arts (especially reading and reading comprehension) and math.

    There are national standards for language and math. There are none for science and social studies. They are both broad disciplines, with many groups "suggesting" certain standards. For example, here are suggested social studies standards from the National Council for the Social Studies. You can see that it would be difficult to cover it all . . . civics, economics, geography, U.S. history, world history . . . which is why, at upper grade levels, students are given the choice of courses to take. They might study a narrow topic, like Colonization of America.

    No one graduates from high school having thoroughly studied every topic available in broad areas like science and social studies. Each school and curriculum will have its own ideas about what, in those two subjects, a student "should" study, when it should be introduced, and how in-depth to go. I like this Typical Course of Study from World Book encyclopedia.

    You have a lot of latitude in those two subjects. I have found what Time4Learning offers for third grade science and social studies to be more than adequate for my kids, and don't forget that you also have free access to Science4Us.

    At the kindergarten level, students usually just need to know basic social studies things that you can teach in the course of talking to them, such as identifying the American flag, knowing their address, knowing what community helpers are and how they help (police officers, fire fighters, librarians, doctors, etc.), calling 911, and so forth. Kindergartners do also have free access to Science4Us. AND, kindergartners can access all of the preschool lessons. Many of those are designed around science and social studies topics, with the first lesson in each topic being a little book or video that is perfect for additional science or social studies practice. Examples of preschool topics that you could use are Outer Space, Insects, Going Places, Your Self, and so forth.

    Now for first grade. Again, Science4Us is available. Also, all of the language arts extensions in first and second grade are designed around science and social studies topics, such as Westward Expansion or Plants. The first lesson in each of the language arts topics is a science or social studies lesson.

    I have found all of this to be more than adequate for my own kids. Once they are in third grade, you don't really need to prowl around the site for science and social studies ideas. I've just used what is provided at that grade level, in its suggested sequence. I think it's more than what most kids get at school. Compare this description of Time4Learning's third grade social studies to any of the suggested standards you find online.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Science and history curriculum

    Quote Originally Posted by hearthstone_academy View Post
    Hi! At lower grade levels, kids should focus on language arts (especially reading and reading comprehension) and math.

    There are national standards for language and math. There are none for science and social studies. They are both broad disciplines, with many groups "suggesting" certain standards. For example, here are suggested social studies standards from the National Council for the Social Studies. You can see that it would be difficult to cover it all . . . civics, economics, geography, U.S. history, world history . . . which is why, at upper grade levels, students are given the choice of courses to take. They might study a narrow topic, like Colonization of America.

    No one graduates from high school having thoroughly studied every topic available in broad areas like science and social studies. Each school and curriculum will have its own ideas about what, in those two subjects, a student "should" study, when it should be introduced, and how in-depth to go. I like this Typical Course of Study from World Book encyclopedia.

    You have a lot of latitude in those two subjects. I have found what Time4Learning offers for third grade science and social studies to be more than adequate for my kids, and don't forget that you also have free access to Science4Us.

    At the kindergarten level, students usually just need to know basic social studies things that you can teach in the course of talking to them, such as identifying the American flag, knowing their address, knowing what community helpers are and how they help (police officers, fire fighters, librarians, doctors, etc.), calling 911, and so forth. Kindergartners do also have free access to Science4Us. AND, kindergartners can access all of the preschool lessons. Many of those are designed around science and social studies topics, with the first lesson in each topic being a little book or video that is perfect for additional science or social studies practice. Examples of preschool topics that you could use are Outer Space, Insects, Going Places, Your Self, and so forth.

    Now for first grade. Again, Science4Us is available. Also, all of the language arts extensions in first and second grade are designed around science and social studies topics, such as Westward Expansion or Plants. The first lesson in each of the language arts topics is a science or social studies lesson.

    I have found all of this to be more than adequate for my own kids. Once they are in third grade, you don't really need to prowl around the site for science and social studies ideas. I've just used what is provided at that grade level, in its suggested sequence. I think it's more than what most kids get at school. Compare this description of Time4Learning's third grade social studies to any of the suggested standards you find online.
    Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. In the k12 virtual public school they started giving my kindergartener science, history, social studies and art in addition to his other language arts and math skills classes. I thought it was a bit much since this wasn't something they didn't when my daughter first started. They changed a lot over the last couple years and implement so much more "busy work" and stuff that is just overkill. But because of what they assigned my kids I was nervous if I deviated from offering the same things then they wouldn't get a quality education. I really appreciate the help and advice.

  4. #4
    Administrator hearthstone_academy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science and history curriculum

    Virtual public school is my personal pet peeve. I'm sure they're designed by well-intentioned people, but they seek to keep the student busy for the number of hours they would be present at a brick-and-mortar school. Studying at home is simply more time-efficient. For example, some days a child might just have a 25-question test (which they finish quickly) and then they need to doodle pictures at their desk until all of the students are finished or until the end of the designated class period. There is also no time spent on roll call, assemblies, walking to and from class, etc.

    If the excess of busy work is one of the reasons you left K12, then you don't feel guilty about not offering a lot of busy work. You are doing what you know is the best fit for your own child; not something designed to keep "a typical student" (whatever that is) busy all day.

    Have fun!

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Science and history curriculum

    You could always add in a history read a loud like Story of the World along with t4l. ThT would be more than plenty for elementary level. My daughter is using t4l history 7th grade, and she complains it's too much, lol. I think it is great, and plenty.

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