When you are new to homeschooling it is helpful to understand the new language, so here is a guide to quickly give you the meanings.
Acknowledgement is given to Time4Learning.com for their vocabulary compilation in their e-book, Welcome to Homeschooling – A guide for families.
This list is not comprehensive, a more complete list can be found in the
There are many programs for purchase that provide homeschool families with a comprehensive scope and sequence, textbooks, assessments, projects, and timelines that are grade leveled.
These programs are prescribed and can be quite costly. They can be helpful to a new homeschool family who would like guidance. However, what may work for one child may not work for another, so a prescribed curriculum may not be the best route.
The materials used for a course. This can include a text-book, a teacher- and grading-guide, lesson plans, tests, and worksheets. In an online curriculum, some of these elements can be integrated and automated.
Deschooling, also called decompression, refers to the period of time when a student (and family) adjusts after leaving a traditional school setting. This period can range from a few weeks to an entire year, depending upon the student’s needs.
A method of teaching that does not rely on any one approach but rather culls the best from multiple approaches.
Also known as a Homeschool Group. A group of homeschoolers who interact on a regular basis for the purpose of networking, sharing resources, and energy, providing opportunities for socialization and co-teaching. Some support groups are virtual (i.e., internet-based), but the majority have physical locations and meetings.
A portfolio is an accumulation of materials that demonstrate your child’s learning. Some items included are:
Portfolios can be online, in file boxes, in 3-ring binders (the most common), or otherwise.
A common beginning method of homeschooling in which a family attempts to simply recreate a conventional classroom education within their home. Many times this includes a boxed curriculum and a rigid daily schedule.
homeschoolers are criticized as not providing appropriate
socialization, meaning the social interaction found in a traditional
In fact, as homeschoolers point out, traditional school’s artificial grouping by age, grade, and ability-level, is a dysfunctional and unrealistic situation compared to the socialization of children within a family and more natural social groupings.
are just one part of a package of resource materials that includes: a
scope and sequence, an educators’ manual with teaching strategies, a
student book with content explanations and examples, and a practice
These packages usually offer a re-teach (remediation) workbook or an enrichment workbook that focuses on higher level critical thinking skills.
Also known as student-led education or interest-led learning, this is a teaching method in which students study those topics that interest them, rather than follow a pre-defined curriculum.
cross-curricular educational approach in which learning is focused
around a central, common theme. For instance, a unit study on trains
would teach the development and use of early trains (history), train
routes (geography), different engine types (science), train-based
literature (language arts), and so on.
Unit studies allow children of different ages to study the same unit together but in different levels of detail.