Tips on Using the Curriculum: Understanding How it Works
Our online curriculum is a rigorous curriculum, which is primarily designed for elite public and private schools, is unlike typical online homeschool curriculums. Here are a few helpful tips to better acclimate you to our curriculum.
Tip 1: Active Learner vs. Passive Learner
Our curriculum requires an essential set of skills for the student to be successful. It requires critical thinking as well as problem-solving skills. Students will not be successful using our curriculum if they want to learn passively. Passive learning is when students are given information and material then regurgitate it onto a test without worrying about the information ever again after they complete the test.
With our curriculum, students will be required to learn actively and can expect to see material learned in another lesson integrated into a future lesson. As active learners, students are required to process the concept and skills taught in a lesson to the point of real understanding. We highly recommend students to complete a written summary of the lesson in their own words and review before taking a quiz or Progress Check.
As parents/teachers, one of the simplest ways you can help your student actively learn is by just asking your student what they learned for the day. This will help them develop their critical-thinking skills and it will help them adapt to this new style of learning if they are having trouble.
Tip 2: The Importance of Progress Checks
Our progress checks are designed to be a continuous check of mastery of a skill for the student. Students will often see questions on a progress check from material they previously learned or from previous grade levels they assessed out of in relation to the skill. This process is how the curriculum verifies that the student has retained the information learned. Please make sure your students know that they do not need to rush through the lessons. They should take their time on the lessons and practices, as well as integrate some of the extra resources available, to help reinforce the lessons learned. Also, understand that if at any time a skill in a progress check is not passed, the system will automatically reassign that skill at the previous grade level to allow the student to build on the skill before reassigning the missed skill.
Tip 3: Self-Paced not Self-Taught
Our curriculum is 100% self-paced but not 100% self-taught. This means that students can work at their own pace, but when they encounter a lesson/skill, they don't understand they will need intervention. The parent/teacher may provide intervention with the resource material available in the Parent Portal, or you can schedule a coaching session, or pop into the Learning Centers for intervention.
Tip 4: The Learning Process
You will see notifications of struggling and failed quizzes and progress checks. This is 100% normal! Your students are learning new information and science has proven that it takes 5-7 times for someone to see new information before they fully understand it and hours of practice before they can demonstrate the new knowledge to some level of mastery.
Tip 5: Mastering Skills vs. Completing Work
Our curriculum focuses on mastering skills, not just completing work, as a successful learning experience. Our school system puts a great deal of emphasis on completing work as a demonstration for knowledge instead of the content provided in the work. Out curriculum works in reverse. Students need to demonstrate an understanding of the material before taking a quiz and most importantly before taking a progress check. Completing a lesson, practice, quiz in a day is not the goal. The goal is, did you really learn and understand the skill presented in the lesson.
Tip 6: Ask for Help
Don't be afraid to ask for help! It is a terrible misconception in the homeschooling community that homeschooling parents have to figure everything out on their own. Teachers in a school system do not teach without support, so it is unfair to expect a homeschool parent to teach without support. Utilize our Coaching and Admin Team and other FA parents to help you navigate through this exciting but challenging academic journey.