Description: 

This course deals with the issues and challenges involved in organizing an effective Christian home school. Emphasis is on legal regulations; curriculum development; teaching Bible, literacy, science, mathematics, socialization, and history; testing requirements; graduation and record keeping. Upon completion, students should be able to explain and demonstrate a basic knowledge of the issues and challenges in home schooling.

Overview: 

This course offers an overview of fundamental teaching practices with a Biblical perspective. It is designed to give support and encouragement to parents currently or considering homeschooling, as well as those who do not but still want to be involved in their child’s education. Through this course, parents will be provided with information to aide in making informed decisions about their child’s education. Various topics, research, and issues surrounding education will be explored. Tools and guidance for organizing an effective Christian homeschool will be given. Also, throughout this course parents will evaluate the learning environment their child currently has, or plan to have, for effectiveness and will recognize where changes can be made to enhance learning.

Prerequisites: 
There are no Prerequisites or Corequisites for this course.
Instructor: 

Ginn, Kristine M.

Adjunct Assistant Professor in Education
Part Time
Degrees: 
B.S. Ed. (2000), M. Ed. (2004),Valdosta State University.
Subject Matter: 
Professional Education

Kristine Ginn holds a Master's in Early Childhood Education with a Reading Specialist certification. She was an elementary classroom teacher for ten years before becoming a home school teacher for her children, and now has returned to the public education classroom. She received training in working with exceptional children and taught for several years in a co-teaching atmosphere with a Special Education co-teacher. During her time in public education, Mrs. Ginn led committees to design a system-wide curriculum, served on committees to develop system-wide testing instruments, and obtained certification to train other educators in Best Practices modules. Working with teachers in the Metro-Atlanta area, Mrs. Ginn helped train teachers in the implementation of research-based teaching strategies in the classroom, and served on the Superintendent's Advisory Council as a liaison between teachers and system policy makers. She is currently continuing her teaching experience in Florida where she, her husband, and young adult children live.

Course Credit: 
Three (3) semester hours
Instructional Objectives: 

As a result of participating in EDUC 346, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the roles and responsibilities of parents in educating their children as outlined in the Bible.
  2. Communicate benefits and drawbacks to homeschooling.
  3. Understand how physical and psychological development influence learners.
  4. Navigate through learning theories about how and why we learn.
  5. Determine what curricula are and what to look for when choosing one.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of the dynamics of the learning environment such as: structure, learning space, and materials that foster a love for learning.
  7. Recognize personal learning style(s) as well as the style(s) of your learner(s).
  8. Set goals for students and be able to track and evaluate those goals through records and portfolios.
  9. Locate resources available to assist parent in educating their children.
  10. Acknowledge situation specific laws and procedures.
Required Texts: 

The Everything Homeschooling Book (2nd ed.) Sherri Linsenbach
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling (2009) Debra Bell

Additional Readings: 

LCG Booklet: The World Ahead: What Will it be Like?
LCG Booklet: Successful Parenting: God’s Way
Various PDFs posted in the lessons

Lectures: 

Lectures will be provided for most lessons. It is recommended you watch these before working through the reading or assignments. The intent of the lectures is to provide background and to expound on the information that you will encounter in the rest of the lesson. Visuals and different teaching strategies will also be incorporated into the lectures to provide added instructional material.

Course Calendar: 
week Topics
1 Introduction
Review Course Requirements
2 Lesson 1
Roles and Responsibilities of Parents
3 Lesson 2
Benefits and Drawbacks of Homeschooling
4 Lesson 3
Physical and Psychological Development of Learners
5 Lesson 4 Part 1
How and Why We Learn: The Process of Learning
6 Lesson 4 Part 2
How and Why We Learn: Theories of Learning
7 Lesson 5: Recap of Lessons 1-4
Understanding our roles and responsibilities to teach and the process of learning.
8 Lesson 6 Part 1
Exploring Curricula: How to choose one or make sure your child is receiving the right one.
9 Lesson 6 Part 2
Exploring Curricula: How to choose one or make sure your child is receiving the right one (continued).
10 Lesson 7
Learning Environment and Learning Styles
11 Lesson 8
Recordkeeping
12 Lesson 9
Education Resources
13 Lesson 10: Recap of Lessons 6-9
Knowing what should be in your child’s curriculum and best practices to insure learning.
14 Lesson 11 Part 1
Laws and Procedures: Why does it matter?
15 Lesson 11 Part 2
Laws and Procedures: How to find them and how to follow them.
16 Lesson 12: Recap of Lessons 1-11
What are we supposed to be doing and how do we do it successfully?

 

Course Requirements: 

1. Due Dates: Assignments can be submitted any time before, and up to the due date. To keep on track with the class, no late or make-up assignments will be allowed except for extreme circumstances. If there is such a circumstance get in touch with the instructor as soon as possible.
2. Weekly Assignments: Assignments are broken into weekly lessons. Be sure to read the assignment all the way through before beginning the reading for the week. Many times there will be instructions for activities to complete before reading. Be sure to watch any lectures included with the lesson as well.
3. Icebreaker/Biography Forum Post (20 points): All students are required to post a brief biography to the forum by the end of the first week of class. This will be used as a confirmation of your participation in this class. Please give a short introduction to yourself that should include the items below. You can also ask questions of your classmates in an effort to get to know them.
Items to include:

  •  Area in which you live
  •  If you presently have children, their ages
  •  Your background in educating your children (presently homeschooling, not homeschooling-but providing additional education opportunities at home, educating a preschooler, or no experience yet)
  •  (optional) Any story about your children you want to share (funny, exciting, nerve racking…)

4. Weekly Comments and Class Participation (100 points collectively): Students are expected to participate in class discussions by posting weekly comments and questions they might have on the Discussion Forum (see the link on the course web site). Each week’s lesson will include an item to post with a discussion summary or a question to answer. In addition to your post, you will need to interact with at least two of your classmates by reflecting on their posts as well. The intent of this interaction is to encourage conversations that will give you another place for resources, ideas, and support. This does make up a significant part of the grade because it includes weekly assignments as well as discussions. Points will be calculated by multiplying the scale score by twenty. Below is the rubric that will be used for the participation grade.

Scale Criteria
5 Required items are always posted according to the lesson’s instructions. Evidence is always apparent
that the student thought through the assignment and reflected on how it effects his/her personal situation.
A thorough summary or response to the discussion question is always given. Every week the student
reflected on at least 2 classmates’ posts with something helpful or thought provoking.
4 Required items are frequently posted according to the lesson’s instructions. Evidence is somewhat
apparent that the student thought through the assignment and reflected on how it effects his/her personal
situation. A thorough summary or response to the discussion question is frequently given. Most weeks
the student reflected on at least 2 classmates’ posts with something helpful or thought provoking.
3 Required items are frequently posted according to the lesson’s instructions. Evidence is not apparent that
the student thought through the assignment and reflected on how it effects his/her personal situation. A
summary or response to the discussion question is given, but may not cover the subject effectively. Most
weeks the student reflected on at least 2 classmates’ posts.
2 Required items are sometimes posted according to the lesson’s instructions. Evidence is not apparent
that the student thought through the assignment and reflected on how it effects his/her personal situation.
A summary or response to the discussion question is sometimes given, or does not cover the subject.
Some weeks the student reflected on at least 2 classmates’ posts.
1 Required items are seldom posted according to the lesson’s instructions. Evidence is not apparent that
the student thought through the assignment and reflected on how it effects his/her personal situation. A
summary or response to the discussion question is seldom given, or is off topic. Seldom does the student
reflect on at least 2 classmates’ posts.

5. Projects (60 points each): Throughout the semester students will be given three projects to complete. Each project will come at the end of a group of related lessons. They will serve as a recap of the covered material and an opportunity for the student to demonstrate understanding of what was covered. These projects will also serve as examples of “extension activities,” which are activities that expect students to make connections and relate ideas within the content for a higher level of critical thinking. Below is an overview of each project. More detailed instructions and rubrics for scoring the projects will be provided in the lessons well before the due dates.

Project 1: (after lessons 1-4)
Address and present the following for your child’s current age group as well as the age group that will follow (2-6, 7-11, or 12-19):

  •  Physical development
  •  Cognitive (learning) development
  •  A list of concepts (at least 2 language, 2 literacy, and 2 mathematical) you can expect your child to learn during each age group

In addition, present which learning theory you most identify with, and give facts from your personal experience, research, or the experience of others to back your choice (2 paragraphs suggested: 1 summarizing the theory and 1 giving your reasoning).
These can be presented in your choice of format: timeline (with theory paragraphs), PowerPoint, Prezi, or video/slideshow. Other formats may be acceptable as well. Check with the instructor for prior approval if you would like to use a different format from what is listed.

Project 2: (after lessons 6-9)

  •  Pick 3 curricula to explore and rate them using the given rating sheet as a guideline (add or take away any items to personalize the rating sheet to your child’s needs)
  •  Write a summary of what you found through the process of rating the curricula. What was/were the main aspect(s) you were looking for? In what ways did the curricula differ?  What did you find they had in common? Was there an aspect that you found all were lacking? If so, how could you fill in the missing pieces?
  •  Choose 1 curriculum from the 3 you explored and make a lesson plan for your child’s current age/grade level. Some examples and formats will be given for you to modify to fit your needs. The lesson can be in any subject area and only needs to cover one concept. Make sure to address the learning environment needed, the learning style(s) that will be used (Is the style a strength or 4 weakness for your child?), how you will know if your child learned the content, and resources you used.

Project 3: (after lesson 11)

  •  Write an essay in the form of a letter to a friend or family member who is questioning why you have chosen your child’s education route (homeschool or brick and mortar with at home support). Give a clear stand and back it up with factual information and scripture. Include what you have found throughout this course (How do you know if the child is getting the right kind of education and how do you plan to insure he is properly educated?). The letter should communicate your point effectively and in a friendly, positive tone.

6. Quizzes (30 points each): There will be three quizzes throughout the semester. Each will be over specified lessons. These will be open book/notes.

  • Quiz 1: (Covers lessons 1-4)
  • Quiz 2: (Covers lessons 6-7)
  • Quiz 3: (Covers lessons 8-11)

7. Final Exam (100 points): There will be one exam at the end of the course. This exam will be cumulative over all material covered in the lessons. Questions will be similar to those found on the 3 quizzes. This exam will be open book/notes.

Summary of Course Requirements Point Value   Letter Grade Total Points
Icebreaker 20   A 439 or more points
Three Projects (60 points each) 180   B 388-438 points
Three Quizzes (30 points each) 90   C 337-387 points
Class participation and forum posts 100   D 286-336 points
Final Exam 100   F 285 points or below
Total 490      

Students With Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities have a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. Students having a disability requiring an accommodation should inform the instructor by email (on the “Course Info” page click on the instructor’s name and then select “Send Email”).

Technology Access
This course requires web access and the student has to have an established e-mail account. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary to view documents that are PDF files. One can download the reader free at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.

Course Evaluation
Student input is welcome for improving this course. Making suggestions by e-mail is helpful. Our goal in this course is to facilitate the successful achievement of all instructional objectives by all students. At the end of the course students have the opportunity of assessing the course. We want to make e-learning courses as effective as we can. We may also ask some other questions concerning a student’s experience in distance learning to help us improve our program. We appreciate students letting us know how we can improve our products and services for them and other distance learners.

Withdrawing From or Dropping This Course
It is the responsibility of a student to drop a course if he or she cannot meet the requirements of the course. Any student who stops attending a course without officially withdrawing from it risks receiving a punitive grade for that course. Withdrawal requests may be conveyed in any manner to the course professor, Registrar, or Vice President of Academic Affairs. This action is sufficient for ensuring any refund owed you. Please note the following: If a student drops a course on or before the “Last day to withdraw from a course without a grade penalty” as published in the University Academic Calendar, even if his or her work is not of a passing grade, then a “W” is recorded. If a course is dropped after that date, but before the last 21 calendar days of the semester, then the instructor determines the grade. The faculty member will at this time record a grade of “W” if passing (not computed in GPA) or “WF” if failing (computed in GPA). Students who drop a course, yet remain in one or more other courses during the last 18 calendar days of the semester, will receive a grade of “WF.” Students who completely withdraw from the University at any time during the semester may be given a grade of “W” on all courses. If students do not initiate the withdrawal process, the instructor is required to initiate the administrative process and to record a grade of “W” or “WF” for the course depending on the date the faculty member drops the student from the course. Students who register for a course as an audit, but then withdraw will be assigned a grade of “W” for the course.