How does Layers of Learning fit in with the homeschool requirements of my state, country, or charter school?
Homeschool requirements vary from country to country and state to state. You might be worried about meeting your specific requirements. Many of you work with charter schools that have their own specific requirements as well. Charter funds are approved only if certain criteria are met. If you aren’t sure whether or not Layers of Learning will meet your requirements it can be helpful to reference our Units at a Glance to see what is covered within each unit and year of Layers of Learning. Typically you can compare your list of requirements with the Units at a Glance or with the course descriptions offered below.
Many overseeing school districts or charter schools require you to turn in course descriptions. This pdf has sample course descriptions for you to use that cover each of the four subjects – history, geography, science, and arts – in each of Layers of Learning’s four years. There is also a course description for Writer’s Workshop, which your family can use year after year. Make adjustments if you are planning to select only certain units to use over the semester, term, or year. Feel free to use these course descriptions verbatim or just as a guide as you write your own.
What If I’m Missing Something?
Some governing bodies have specific homeschool requirements for specific years. For example, you may have to teach a health unit in 5th or 6th grade. There is a health unit in Year 2, but you are only in Year 1! What will you do? Try to remember that even if you are working within requirements, this is your homeschool and you have options! The easiest thing to do is to substitute one of the other science units for the health unit. You could also just add in a health component. Even library books and discussions qualify, so try to keep things in perspective and realize that you documenting what you do is more important than you reading and following every last word of any curriculum you choose.
Attendance and Grades
You may also have attendance requirements or other specific homeschool requirements you need to meet. The Mentor Planner and Gradebook both have places to keep track of attendance and the work you’ve completed along the way. They also have a place to record grades and can serve as a foundation for your school records. We also have a helpful post on school portfolios and records. Strong record-keeping becomes important when working with charter schools and meeting state requirements.
We work with a number of charter schools and are happy to become vendors for your school. You need to start that process by talking with your overseeing teacher. They can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the required paperwork.
For your information, we are frequently contacted by charter schools to find out several items.
- Is Layers of Learning classified as a secular curriculum? Yes, Layers of Learning has been classified as secular. Religion within the course is approached only from a historical standpoint and it meets requirements for being secular within government schools, including charter schools. It is used by many public school districts, private and charter schools, as well as homeschool families.
- Does Layers of Learning include a language arts component? Writer’s Workshop is the language arts component of Layers of Learning. The history, geography, science, and arts sections contain Writer’s Workshop ideas and assignments, but on their own, they are not considered language arts. You will need to implement the Writer’s Workshop units as well in order to fulfill your language arts requirement.
- How many credits is each course worth? Because this is a pick-and-choose curriculum that is used globally, you will need to decide on your own credit and grading system that applies to your customized program and location. However, we do have some advice here in this article, especially if you are homeschooling a high schooler. You may need to be prepared to discuss your grading and credit plan with your overseeing teacher.
Our FAQ page has other helpful information you might want to be prepared to talk with your school or supervisor about as well (including a section on credits).
By all means, if you have a question we didn’t answer, please feel free to contact Karen and Michelle. We can be reached on the Layers of Learning facebook page or Layers of Learning Homeschoolers group, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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