Welcome to the World of Home Education and Learning Without School!
We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
Australian versus American Maths Texts
© Beverley Paine
Many homeschoolers are quite happy to do unit studies for the humanities - history, geography, culture; and also environmental studies and science, but most of us resort to using curriculum texts for maths.
On the homeschooling email list once someone asked about the value of using Australian texts as opposed to using American texts. Her worry was about reported gaps in the curriculum of American texts, particularly with the different sequencing, and also with the need to follow through with just one curriculum for the entire period of schooling. This subject has been covered before in the newsletter, but the reply offered on the list by John Angelico, was comprehensive and sensible and worth repeating!
John is often asked about American versus Australian material and this was his answer:
1. Maths is Maths all around the world;
2. Every curriculum publisher does things slightly differently, as does every teacher (even in Australia);
3. It's up to you where you stop - it's YOUR program, that is you teach your children - not the books;
4. US materials still teach metric although a bit too thoroughly and they teach US/British imperial measurements and use US currency BUT we parents are usually intelligent enough to adapt, skip over or ignore certain bits;
5. The purported gaps are things like stats which I never met in my secondary stuff and happily avoided at tertiary level too (since I did accounting), and the "problem" with the sequence only arises if you "blindly" follow a curriculum (like ACE) without completing it. But if you change curriculum a Diagnostic Test will show what needs to be covered to avoid gaps.
In summary, we can cope with all the problems raised by applying ourselves intelligently to the job at hand. Some problems like Australian money simply disappear because we use it every day. Who needs to "teach" about our notes and coins?
The supposed solution - to follow an Australian curriculum all the way through to year 12 is just as "blind" as following a US curriculum.
What you "should" do (only you can answer that question) all depends on:
a) the content of the curriculum you choose, and
b) the target you have in mind: Uni course needs strong Maths? Then choose what you need to do that course. Saxon Maths is US but it is so thorough and prepares a student so well for SAT exams (and thus for tertiary entry in Australia as well as elsewhere) that we and LEM recommend it almost exclusively. If Maths is not a big deal then trust your own judgement and "do what you like".
Hope this helps you think through what you need to do without pushing
you in any particular direction..."
Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you?
Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating
and reassurance to families
better outcomes for their children.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people." Vanessa
"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!" Davina
"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others." Lesley
"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
in the morning, I 've been encouraged!" Louisa
"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful." Gythaa
A gift of any size, small or large, is greatly appreciated.
By contributing, even as little as $1, you are helping to inform, encourage, reassure and support parents live closer, happier lives with their children.
I am currently giving this site a much needed facelift!
If you experience difficultiess accessing any page can you
please email me the link? Thank you.
The information on this website is of
a general nature only and is not intended
as personal or professional advice.
This site merges and incorporates
'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
Advertise with The Educating Parent
Without revenue from advertising
educational suppliers and Google Ads
we could not continue to provide information
to home educators. Please support us by letting
our advertisers know
that you found them on
The Educating Parent. Thanks!