Standards/topics to be taught for each grade level?

Email of the Day:

I am planning on homeschooling my kiddos starting in the fall. I have four kids (10, 8, 5 and 3).Is there a list of standards/topics to be taught for each grade level? What are the guidelines for each subject for each grade to know what material to cover?

Thanks a ton! Answer:

Take a deep breath. Here’s what WA law says about the content of your homeschooling. You need to, over the course of your homeschooling, cover: reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education, and art and music appreciation, and you need to “ensur[e] that a sufficient basic educational opportunity is provided to the children,” and that your children make “reasonable progress consistent with his or her age or stage of development.” Beyond that, the world is your oyster. The law specifies 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 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.”

I should note that only the two eldest children will be homeschooled this fall. The 5 and 3 yos have 3 and 5 years, respectively, until they come under the compulsory attendance law. Children under the age of 8 are educationally free in WA — even if you were planning to send them to public school, they would not be required to attend until 8. The OSPI keeps huge and detailed lists about scope and sequence for public school students on their website. Some people find that useful for planning. A resource that is a whole lot easier to digest (I’ve had parents come to me in tears over the 1st grade list,

“Jen — what the @#%! does ‘Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number, and adding a two-digit number and a multiple of 10, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction’ mean?”

Answer: Can you show why you carry the one when an addition problem goes into double digits? ) is Ed Hirsch’s series “What Your ___ Grader Needs to Know,” which should be available at your local library. But you don’t have to keep up with the Joneses.

~ Jen GS