Unschooling and the 11 Subjects

Posted by Jen Garrison Stuber

Email of the Day:
As an unschooler how do you make sure you cover what your child is ‘supposed to know’ each year?
Is there a master list or something?

Answer:
Two answers to this question:

1) WA law says that, over the course of your homeschooling, you need to cover the 11 subjects: reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education, and art and music appreciation. The law further says that “all decisions relating to philosophy or doctrine, selection of books, teaching materials and curriculum, and methods, timing and place in the provision or evaluation of home-based instruction shall be the responsibility of the parent” and that “the legislature recognizes that home-based instruction is less structured and more experiential than the instruction normally provided in a classroom. Therefore, the provisions relating to the nature and quantity of instructional and related educational activities shall be liberally construed.”

So, in terms of WA law — that’s the master list: reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education, and art and music appreciation.

2) You might be asking about the scope and sequence the public schools use.
You can find that here: http://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/default.aspx
But homeschoolers in WA are not beholden to the scope and sequence of the public school system.
So even if you’re doing a very schooly kind of homeschooling, rather than unschooling — you’re still probably not going to line up with the schools.
Part of this is because your kidlet will zoom ahead in some things, lag in others, and be right “on target” on others.
Part of this is because the S&S is arbitrary.
Part of this is because you’ll find things to do that are more fun.
The awesome thing about homeschooling is that you’re tailoring it to your kidlet(s) — going at your own pace, following rabbit trails of interest, etc.
You can follow the school’s scope and sequence if you want to, but you’re not at all obliged to.

~Jen