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The threat to home schooling from common core is that the new national-think being promoted through the standards will infect all textbooks, curriculum and assessments. The further we get down the road of implementation the more real that threat is becoming. Because home schooling does not rely on the public school calendar for when it starts and stops (usually never – learning is an ongoing process) the timing of this post is actually fairly arbitrary for many homeschoolers. But there are some parents who, especially after the Welcome Back Parent Orientation meetings held this past week, are just now deciding they cannot leave their children in the public school system. (My phone and email have been burning up with stories from parents who couldn’t believe what they were hearing and reading.) What is a home school parent, especially a new one who hasn’t done a lot of research into teaching materials, supposed to do? What materials can they use to teach their kids without indoctrinating them or worse, confusing them?

Enter the Home School Resource Roadmap and their Master List which identifies “which homeschool-related companies and products have explicitly chosen to align with the CCS/NexGen/C3, which have some sort of coincidental connection, which are correlated, and which have chosen to remain independent.”

The Master List is a creation of Tina Hollenbeck who is a passionate home schooling mom who just wanted to provide some guidance to homeschoolers in the wake of the oncoming Common Core Standards. From the About page, “On March 8, 2013, Tina launched an effort to contact every provider of curriculum, resources, and material that homeschoolers use in order to ascertain each one’s position relative to the Common Core Standards (CCS) – alternately known in some contexts as the Next Generation (NexGen) Standards or the College, Career, and Civic Life Framework (C3).

“To date, she has contacted or otherwise checked on more than 2,200 entities in terms of CCS/NexGen/C3. She has heard back and/or has discovered clear website statements from about 98% of the providers and is continuing her efforts, hoping to gain replies from every entity she contacts.”

There are several cautions about using the list mostly related to reading the explanatory notes for each listing. The list is not meant to be an endorsement or condemnation of any material contained on it, just an identifier to help parents. HSRR implores users:

1. It is imperative that readers take time to study and understand this site’s definitions for each category; please do not assume you know the meaning of a category name without doing so.

There is also a separate list that identifies which Standardized Tests have aligned with the CCS/NexGen/C3 and which have not. I fear the list of non-aligned tests will grow smaller and smaller unless common core standards are dismantled nationally.  The list of aligned tests should be a surprise to no one and includes tests like: ACT, SAT, AP, GED (which will now be Pearson’s Hi-Set), Terra Nova, Iowa Basic Skills (Form C), PARCC and SBAC. The good news for homeschoolers is that the list of independent tests is two pages long. The publishers of those tests are also listed which makes finding them much easier for the newbies.

 

 

 

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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