Thursday, June 07, 2001

Yesterday in the mail I received a very colorful and enticing piece of junkmail. Usually, I simply circular file such items, but this one intrigued me because it was about a new homeschooling program chaired and run by Bill Bennett: k12.

We know that we will someday homeschool (but the soonest if all goes according to plan wouldn't even start for right about 7 years). Because my mom is a teacher and my degree is in Education (granted secondary ed), I thought it would be interesting to poke around a bit.

I did, and I must say that I am tentatively impressed. My education background is in the social studies (history, econ, geography) and the curriculum for that seems very comprehensive - discussions of the Civil War in Kindergarten? Ancient Roman civilization in 2nd grade?

The brochure I received included a statement that faith and values eduction was integrated into the curriculum - something that does not surprise me in the least with Bill Bennett being involved. That is not obvious (nor does it seem to be stated at all) anywhere on the site.

I have some reservations. First, its expensive. Yes, not nearly as expensive as private school, but way moreso than public. If you don't choose it before July 31 - it would cost $1,095 for one grade and $995 for each grade a second child is in after that (there's a $100 registration fee per family and maybe per year). You can get individual curricula for specific subjects for about $300 a pop.

Second, I've not seen one sample of a unit or even a lesson. As a future parent educator, before I plunk down that kind of change on something, I want to know that it is something that I can really use. I also want to run it by educators that I trust (my mother, mother-in-law, and others) to make certain that this is as comprehensive as it seems.

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