2.18.2015

Eschewing Common Core? Yes, It IS Possible!

As I've talked with literally hundreds of homeschoolers over the past two years, I've learned that they sometimes believe they have no choice but to use materials aligned with the Common Core Standards (CCS) – also known in some settings as the NextGeneration Science Standards (NexGen) and/or the College, Career, and Civic Life Framework (C3). They say they don't like the CCS and would prefer to find non-CCS material, but then they demur and claim they "have no choice." In fact, if I had a dollar for every time someone told me she "can't find anything" to replace a CCS-connected resource, my husband and I would have a very tidy retirement nest egg. 

However, in developing the SUBJECT AREA PROJECT for The Homeschool Resource Roadmap over the past several months, I've been able to demonstrate the fallacy of that belief. Specifically, I've learned that in nearly every conceivable sub-category for which homeschoolers use curricular resources, non-CCS materials do exist – often in great numbers. Thus, it's evident homeschoolers really can avoid CCS...if they are of a mind to do so. 

To help them see this reality, I compiled the following list. It shows every category and sub-category available via the Subject Area Project and also enumerates how many resources in each category are INDEPENDENT of the CCS. The two numerical columns indicate the following:

IND+ = the number of resources with some independence from the CCS but which also have some sort of connection to the initiative (i.e., coincidental connection, correlation, explicit alignment, awaiting a response, other)

ONLY IND = the number of resources that are wholly independent of the CCS (i.e., having no connection whatsoever to the initiative)

Interested parties may gain access to the complete listings for all categories – including names of resources, links to resource websites, and approximate relevant age ranges – by subscribing to the Subject Area Project here. But, clearly, even just this simple tally demonstrates that one may, indeed, eschew the CCS if that is one's stated desire. Doing so will require some time and effort and may necessitate a willingness to set aside the Golden Calf of a previously-loved resource. But with these numbers in hand, it's definitely no longer possible to claim there's "nothing available."


THE HOMESCHOOL RESOURCE ROADMAP

SUBJECT AREA PROJECT

INDEPENDENT ITEMS: Subject-Specific Tally


MAIN CATEGORY
SUB-CATEGORY
IND+
ONLY IND
Multi-Subject Packages
Traditional/Textbook
3
37
Online/Video
5
23
Bible-Based Unit Studies
0
18
Geography-Based Unit Studies
0
11
History-Based Unit Studies
1
32
Literature-Based Unit Studies
0
18
Math-Based Unit Studies
0
3
Music-Based Unit Studies
0
4
Thematic Unit Studies
2
33
Delight-Directed/Guided Unschooling
0
10
Living Books Approach
0
10
Principle Approach
2
2
Waldorf Approach
0
3
Academic Support
Brain Training
1
10
Research Tools
0
6
Standardized Test Prep
8
18
Study Skills
6
15
Tutoring
0
2
Art
Appreciation/History
4
44
Filmmaking/Graphic Design/Photography
2
16
Technique/Expression
6
60
Civics/Economics
Civics
9
79
Economics
7
50
Community-Based Youth Organizations
0
27
Educational Games & Toys
Board/Card Games
0
28
Digital Games
5
41
Toys/Puzzles/Activity Books
0
19
Educational Media
Educational Magazines
0
23
Audio Libraries
0
29
Video Libraries
0
22
Foreign Language
English as a Second Language (ESL)
5
21
French
9
40
German
2
24
Greek
1
27
Hebrew
2
17
Latin
5
35
Sign Language
4
14
Spanish
10
63
Other (dozens of languages)
4
23
Geography
United States
5
32
World
9
61
Other
0
2
Health & Fitness
Integrated Health
5
25
First Aid
0
2
Growth & Development
2
11
Hygiene/Personal Care
2
7
Nutrition
4
20
Physical Education
3
23
Safety/Prevention
4
11
History
American
10
104
World
11
97
Other
5
42
Language Arts
Integrated Language Arts
13
72
Composition (Creative & Expository)
15
110
Drama/Theater
3
8
Elocution/Speech
5
30
Grammar
12
55
Literary Analysis
10
85
Penmanship
3
63
Reading/Phonics
10
101
Speed Reading
1
1
Spelling
7
51
Vocabulary
8
35
Life Skills
Character/Manners
4
37
Driver Education
1
7
Entrepreneurship
4
29
Home Management
3
38
Keyboarding/Office Skills
3
27
Personal Finance
5
38
Math
Elementary (Ages 5-11/12)
20
148
Secondary (Ages 11/12-18)
21
108
Music
Listening/Appreciation
5
45
Composition
1
2
Theory
3
21
Guitar/Bass Technique
0
18
Piano Technique
1
25
Voice Technique
1
16
Other Technique (nearly 20 instruments)
0
22
Religious Education
Bible Study/Theology
1
114
Devotional
0
43
Scripture Memory
0
12
Christian Living
1
48
Apologetics/Worldview
0
67
Creation Science
1
24
Denomination-Specific
0
25
Sunday School/Vacation Bible School
0
29
Science
Elementary (Ages 5-14)
10
143
Secondary Astronomy (Ages 14-18)
9
38
Secondary Biology
12
84
Secondary Chemistry
12
75
Secondary Earth Science
9
59
Secondary Physical Science & Physics
10
79
Secondary S.T.E.M.
4
6
Secondary History of Science
0
7
Technology
AutoCAD/Engineering
1
9
Computer Programming
7
28
Electronics
1
5
Web Design
1
17
Worksheets/Printables
5
27
Literature/Texts
Primary (Ages 5-9)
4
59
Intermediate (Ages 9-14)
4
84
Youth (Ages 14-18)
3
61
Special Subjects
Parent Resources
3
57
Logic
3
14
Psychology/Sociology/Criminal Justice
5
16
Advanced Placement (AP)
?
0
Dual Enrollment
0
6
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
1
6
Special Needs
ADD/ADHD
1
23
Autism/Aspergers
1
20
Cognitive Disabilities/Differences
1
29
Physical Impairments
2
6
Sensory Disorders
2
23
Speech & Language Disabilities
2
13
Gifted & Talented
2
7
Preschool (Ages 0-5)
Multi-Subject Packages
4
57
Integrated Language Arts
1
10
Reading/Phonics
3
39
Penmanship
0
17
Math
4
30
Bible/Character/Manners
1
19
Art
1
18
Music
0
8
Drama/Theater
0
2
Science
1
16
History & Geography
0
5
Health & Fitness
4
20
Foreign Language (dozens of languages)
1
10
English as a Second Language (ESL)
0
5
Sign Language
1
3
Worksheets/Printables
5
25
Special Needs
2
18
Literature – Texts: Baby/Toddler (Ages 0-2)
2
28
Literature – Texts: Preschool (Ages 3-5)
3
41
Educational Magazines
0
3
Educational Games & Toys
1
24
Educational Media
0
2
Community-Based Youth Organizations
0
13


2 comments:

Robin said...

McGuffey Readers, Milestone books, Rays Arithmetic, Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons-it's avoidable :)

Tina Hollenbeck said...

Yes, of course, Robin. Those are a handful of the hundreds of non-common core resources someone might use, as my chart shows.

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