Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Fuss Over Common Core (Part IV)

Everyone is still up in arms over Common Core Standards.  I know I am not a fan of them and I will not pursue the path of Common Core in our schooling.  With that said, many homeschoolers are diving off the deep end when it comes to Common Core.  They want to know which curriculum have adopted CC, which are aligned, and which are not.  People are in a frenzy!

It doesn't take a genius to know that if one uses a public school based textbook company, it will be CC based.  However, companies that cater to homeschooling may or may not be CC based.  The hunt is on to find curriculum without the influence of CC.

A few homeschooling curriculum are said to be aligned with CC standards.  Now this does not necessarily mean is CC curriculum.  To be aligned may simply mean that what is in the text for the grade level is similar to what CC states for that level.  For example, first graders learning addition facts to twenty.  CC wants a certain methodology taught, but the curriculum does not include that methodology.  The homeschooling curriculum was not changed at all from previous years when CC was not around, but now some homeschoolers are going to shun it because it is aligned.

I saw a post the other day about the Magic Tree House series being aligned with CC.  Some were ranting that they will never use this series again because of the alignment.  What?  Did they go out and rewrite the books?  Why were the books fine last year, but next year they are taboo?  Common sense is being thrown out the window in some cases.

I had mentioned before that I have purchased the "What Every __ Grader Needs To Know" series.  Just because I purchased it, does not mean I support common core.  I liked some of the material in the books and use it as a reference.  That is the beauty of homeschooling.  You can take bits and pieces from a variety of sources and meld them into a self made curriculum for your child.

If we go by what is aligned with Common Core, we can pretty much stop going to the library.  All the books could technically be aligned.  Let us use common sense and not go on a witch hunt against authors and publishers.  Being aligned does not mean teaching to CC.

If books are written directly for CC standards and deliver the material in the CC methodology, then I can see being concerned.  I would not use such books.  The main textbook companies that sell their wares to public schools will be written for CC standards.  Some of these companies offer home school textbooks and will change the home school textbooks into the same format as public school texts.  Others will not alter their home school texts.  This is where the consumer must remain diligent and be sure the curriculum meets their family's standard.

So, let us not throw our hands up in despair over the term alignment.  Look at the materials available to you and decide if they suit your child's needs.  Use common sense and think about your choices.  Did you use the Magic Tree House books three years ago with your oldest child, preCommon Core?  Did you find them taboo then?  If not, why are they suddenly taboo being aligned with Common Core?  They have not been rewritten.  What about the math program you used five years ago with your first child?  Has it been rewritten for Common Core?  If the answer is yes, then find another one. 

We as homeschoolers must unite and do what is best for our own children.  The majority of us do not like Common Core.  But going on a Common Core witch hunt over alignment is taking things a bit far.  Let us stick to outing those companies that are Common Core driven.