There’s been a lot of buzz, discussion, and anxiety in the homeschool community for the last few years about the Common Core State Standards. Many of you have asked us what our stance is on the standards, and whether our curriculum is designed to comply with them.
What is the Common Core?
According to the CCSS website, “The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that states voluntarily adopt.”
Why Homeschoolers are Concerned
There is some real concern in the homeschooling community about what the Common Core Standards Initiative will mean to our families. In an early article posted by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, HSLDA Director of Federal Relations William Estrada wrote, “The CCSS specifically do not apply to private or homeschools… However, HSLDA has serious concerns with the rush to adopt the CCSS. HSLDA has fought national education standards for the past two decades. Why? National standards lead to national curriculum and national tests, and subsequent pressure on homeschool students to be taught from the same curricula.”
Some in the homeschooling community have also expressed concern that as curriculum publishers endeavor to align with the CCSS, the educational quality in those texts will actually decrease rather than improve, while some are disenchanted with the atypical teaching methods employed by the CCSS, among other concerns.
What We Are Doing
At Timberdoodle, our approach is simple. We are ignoring the CCSS and continuing to search out crazy-smart curriculum resources, exactly as we’ve been doing for the past 28 years. Our specialty has always been hand-picking the best products in every subject area and offering the families who trust us the same products we have used or would happily use ourselves. And we have no plans to change the way we carefully review every resource we sell.
Why Some Products Do Say Common Core
Some of those products we carry will, in fact, align with the CCSS, not because we’ve sought that out, but because the quality resources we’ve chosen for our curriculum are already up to that standard or beyond. It is no surprise to us that the excellent curriculum we are excited about is good enough to exceed the qualifications for the CCSS.
This Has Never Changed, and Will Not Change Now
At Timberdoodle, we work with trusted publishers and products we review carefully, not just in Math and Language Arts but in all subject areas, so that we feel confident we are providing some of the best resources available for your children. Our goal is to exceed educational requirements, not by aligning our curriculum with any government standard, but by continuing to find products that work well and meet the high standards we hold for our families and yours.