A scope and sequences is an outline of lessons to be taught, or skills to be gained by the students, arranged in grade levels. Or on a smaller scale a scope and sequence is the lessons contained in a particular course.
Because by objectives are different than mainstream education my structure, planning and content will look different too. Not to say that we won’t cover the same material that is covered in school, but we will have different priorities, and different order to our learning.
Let’s start with grade levels. It has taken each of my children well into highschool before they have understood which grade level they are in – it simply hasn’t mattered. (Mind you, socially it helps as the general person on the street, or even family member, doesn’t understand that grade levels don’t matter unless you are in a large peer group.) I have used this scale to help me progress my children towards independent learning.
- Relationship and Character – Building a relationship with God and family is my primary goal when my children are young. Character training is the foundation for any future relationship and learning activities.
- Love of Learning – I see this stage as a time when we spoon feed our kids a variety of knowledge – we introduce them to the world and its wonders. A broad general knowledge now allows them the narrow their studies to a specific interest later in life.
- Study Skills – Once our kids love learning we can begin to transition them to learning independently – to learn because they want to learn. But we need to give them study stills to support their hunger for knowledge: researching, responding, recording. Or another way to put it is reading, talking, creating.
- Independent learning. To have the skills necessary to pursue knowledge and wisdom.
Another list that I use – more like a scope and sequence helps me cover every area of life as a teaching and training opportunity.
- Relationships with God and Man
- Responsibilities (Time, Money, Possessions)
- Intrapersonal growth (becoming a better self)
- Talents, Gifts and Abilities
This list forms a priority listing for me as I plan how we spend our days. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the proportion of time we spend, as in we may well spend more time on the 3R’s than piano practice – but if we are strapped for time, piano practice would be our first choice. When I evaluate our success in a year, I consider this priority listing – it is more important to me that my children grow in their relationship with God and their family than it is for them to have a head full of knowledge about any given subject. That being said, it is important for our kids to have knowledge, and I believe that it is their ability to think and interact with the many facets of our world that will give them the opportunity to glorify God. So I don’t downplay the importance of academic excellence, I just keep in mind the whole picture.