The state standards for public school students can give homeschooling parents some good ideas, including what your homeschool student may be lacking, or may be “way ahead” on, in various academic subjects, at least, according to the published works of the academic “think tank,” professionals, that write standard levels, bench marks, and activities.
Florida homeschool students are NOT required to follow the Florida Sunshine State Standards. Just like private schools are NOT required to follow the Florida Sunshine State Standards. In Florida, home educated, and private educated, students can follow whatever standards the directors/administrators of their schools choose. For home education (homeschooling) the directors are the parents/guardians of the home educating students. If the home, or private, school directors choose to have their students follow state standards they may, though it is not required. Home & private school students can do the state standards, and MUCH more, if the so choose.
I do recommend looking at the public school state standards for several reasons. Here are two of mine, not necessarily in the order of importance:
1. To get ideas for activites for your homeschooling students.
2. To see if your students are achieving the knowledge, skills, etc. at levels that the public school “think tank” people believe students should achieve at their respective, standard age levels. ie. 6 year old – 1st grade, 7 year old – 2nd grade, 10 year old – 5th grade, 16 year old – 11th grade, etc.
We know that different people learn at different rates, at different ages, or “developmental,” levels/stages. And, all people do not necessarily learn in the same order, of these “levels/stages.”
We also know that different “learning/teaching” styles are most effective with different students in different ways, at different levels as well. Here, I must say, duh.
The reason I mention the previously stated, obvious facts is to say that some of the state standards can be achieved much earlier in the developmental level/stage (age) that the standard is written for, and some at a later level/stage (age). It should be obvious that it is GOOD to have some general standards, levels, skills, knowledge, etc. as points of reference.
The education (learning/teaching) is much more effective when it is able to be planned, and directed, individually. Hence, home education, and some private education, is much more effective and “productive,” than most public eduction.
In other words, I think that many of the public school standards are too general, not necessarily at the best levels/stages for the majority of students, and kind of vague, especially now, with the “Common Core State Standards” stuff. I think they left a word off the new curriculum standards. I am sure it should be named, “Common Convoluted Core State Standards.”
People, and children, are a lot alike in many ways, but inspiring and facilitating creative thinking, accurate comprehension, computation, and even effective communication skills, etc., is not so easy and general as showing someone how to type on a keyboard (I must say, I hope that was a “duh,” fact). Even holding a pencil correctly takes some individual instruction, AND (surprise) some children need various instructional methods, and many times of instruction and reinforcement with an individual instructor, to learn to hold a pencil correctly. Some children are just going to get it instantly, and therefore could be writing volumes of material by the age of 5 years old, while another child will not be writing much, and/or legibly, until 8 or 10 years old, AND that is NOT necessarily “bad,” nor is there something drastically “wrong” with the latter described child, or the teaching methods!
Look up public school state standards for many states, and get ideas. Here are the state standards for Florida and Pennsylvania: