Helpful Homeschooling Terms & Acronyms – What You Need to Know
Unschool vs Deschool
Within the culture of homeschooling, deschooling refers to the transition from institutional education (public or private) to homeschool. Unschooling refers to a specific approach to homeschooling (also called child-led or interest based).
Homeschool vs School at Home
Homeschool refers to the education of children outside established public or private institutions. ‘School at home’ refers to a specific style of homeschooling where a classroom format and/or formal schedules are used at home (often describing traditional or classic styles of homeschooling).
Nonsectarian vs Nondenominational vs Secular
When used to describe a group or club, nonsectarian could be used to describe a general openness to diversity. It is defined as, not affiliated with or limited to a specific religious denomination (inclusive). Compare this to nondenominational, which is associated with a Christian doctrine (faith based) or secular, which is not religious or sacred in nature (some call this science based).
Agnostic vs Athiests
Agnostics generally believe humans are limited to their experience so the existence of a greater power cannot be proven or disproved. This differs from atheism which can be defined as a lack of belief in gods and supernatural beings. Both do not follow a belief system like organized religions.
Mastery vs Spiral
Mastery learning means a person will master the knowledge of a topic before moving on to the next topic. This is most commonly seen in math curriculum. (For example, if a student is working on a chapter on fractions, he/she would need to have a grasp of fractions before moving on to the next chapter in the textbook.) The spiral method means a student will visit the same topic or skills over and over again, with each visit increasing in difficulty. The spiral method is often seen in math, history and science, with the student learning small bits of information each time.
Curriculum Definitions You Need to Know
When selecting a curriculum or considering user reviews of homeschool curriculum, you may find these definitions helpful:
- Faith Based/Religious – relating to or concerned with religion, may be included in any or all academics subjects
- Young Earth Creationism (YEC) – specific faith based view; interprets the Book of Genesis literally.
- Old Earth Creationists – specific faith based view; interprets the Book of Genesis metaphorically and accept the scientifically determined estimated ages of the Earth and Universe.
- Neutral/Irreligious (newer terms) – lack of religion; Incomplete science (for example it would avoid conflicts of creation vs evolution by not addressing either)
- Secular – lack of religious doctrine, no subjects avoided (people’s motives/religion often studied with history and faith often explored during philosophy, mythology, and legend studies)
AAR = All About Reading
AAS = All About Spelling
BF = Beautiful Feet
BFSU = Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding
BJU = Bob Jones University Press
BYL = Build Your Library
CC = Classical Conversations
CLAS = Christian Liberty Academy
DWN = Draw Write Now
ETC = Explode the Code
FIAR = Five In A Row Unit Study
GWG = Growing with Grammar
IEW = Institute for Excellence in Writing
LLATL = Learning Language Arts Through Literature
LOF = Life of Fred
MBTP = Moving Beyond the Page
MFW = My Fathers World
MUS = Math-U-See
RSO = R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey
SCM = Simply Charlotte Mason
SSRW = Sing, Spell, Read and Write (language program)
SOTW = Story of the World
SUS = Spelling You See
T4L = Time4Learning
TT = Teaching Textbooks
VSC = Vocabulary Spelling City
WS = Writing Strands
COMMON ACRONYMS IN ONLINE DISCUSSION GROUPS
2e = twice-exceptional refers to individuals who are both gifted and have a learning, emotional, behavioral, or social issue
ASD = Autism Spectrum Disorder
CC = Common Core
CM = Charlotte Mason (literature based style of schooling)
CP = College Prep
DD/DS/DH/DW = Dear Daughter/Dear Son/Dear Husband/Dear Wife, used in place of proper name. Also can be followed by age. Example: DS9 = Dear Son age nine
DIL/SIL/FIL/MIL = Daughter-in-law/Son-in-law/Father-in-law/Mother-in-law, used in place of proper name
GT = Gifted and talented
HS = Homeschool
HSing = Homeschooling
HTH = Hope this helps
ISP = Independent Study Program
LA = Language Arts
LD = Learning Disability
MI = Multiple Intelligences
PS = Public School
SAH = School-At-Home
WM = Waldorf Method
WTM / TWTM = Well-Trained Mind / The Well Trained Mind
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