Overview of the Home Program
Individualization At Its Best
The Home Program
Parent/Teacher/Student-designed courses with personally chosen curriculum, teaching strategies, learning activities, and assessment plans based firmly on the student’s passions and interests combined with family goals and expectations – all coursework from Kindergarten to the end of Grade Nine can be completed using this method. Available throughout BC using local and/or distance teachers.
Adding More TLA Programs to the Home Program
Online and Blended courses and classes created and taught by TLA’s own teachers can be integrated into the Home program (Blended classes for Gr. 7 to 9 and Online courses for Gr. 8 and 9).
Adding Field Trips and Events
TLA organizes field trips and events all over BC including major international excursions that can and should become built-in components of your child’s learning plan.
How Does Assessment Work in the Home Program?
The key to learning is formative assessment (FA). Guiding the learning process requires ongoing interaction between the parent, student, and teacher. Weekly communication via internet virtual software (Google Hangouts, Skype, Collaborate), email, phone, etc. combined with shared work samples (scanning and attaching to email or uploading to Google Drive, creation of work in Drive, and other similar systems allow our parent-teacher teams to work collaboratively and cooperatively in guiding the child’s learning process. Parents don’t need to fear being left alone for months at a time. And scheduled in-home visits attach a person to the teacher’s face and voice.
Term report cards follow term-end meetings where student learning can be celebrated together and a few last work samples handed in. Parents, now fulfilling the role of teacher’s aide, help guide the ongoing formative and summative assessments formalized on the report card.
K-3 Reports include all or some of the following assessments – Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Approaching Expectations, and Not Meeting Expectations – and comments focused on Literacy, Numeracy, Citizenship, and a Growth Plan.
Gr 4-7 Reports include letter grade and effort assessment per subject and comments focused on Literacy, Numeracy, Citizenship, and a Growth Plan.
Gr 8/9 Reports include letter and percentage grades and effort assessment per subject as well as comments per subject.
Portfolios – We strongly prefer not to work with portfolios since evaluating projects that are months old has little present value to the child’s learning. However, breaking this system up into smaller portfolios shared frequently can be made to work more effectively.
Weekly contact can be as simple as scanning and sending work samples, participating in a Hangout, or chatting by phone or email. You and your teacher will work out a system that will work for everyone.
Provincial Learning Standards
Learning Standards including curricular competencies and course content are tracked by teachers and observations are reported directly to the family. Parents can either leave this whole topic to the teacher, or work alongside their Home teacher. Learning standards from a variety of grade levels may be noted, and cumulative reviews performed by the teacher after grade three, six and nine will ensure your child enjoys a well rounded, quality education.
Foundation Skills Assessment – conducted in a relatively stress-free and sensitive manner, FSAs are a required part of your grade four and seven student’s program at TLA.
Teaching Strategies – Four Common, General Strategies To Consider:
Direct Instruction – parent directly explains or demonstrates the material/concept to the child. Go over workbook pages, work examples on the board or paper, and stay with the child to ensure proper understanding and completion of the task. Includes modeling, guided discovery and practice, lecture, taking turns, discussion, questioning like the socratic method, and more.
Self-Study – more mature, more capable, and more motivated children may be able to understand and complete assignments with little or no direct supervision. Some curriculum is more suited to this as well. Such students would use the instructions included in the resource to work on their own. Self-study may include teamwork, community work, environmental exploration, physical play and more.
Project Based Learning is the ongoing act of learning about different subjects simultaneously. This is achieved by guiding students to identify, through research, a real-world problem (local to global) developing its solution using evidence to support the claim, and presenting the solution through a multimedia approach based in a set of 21st-century tools. Group work, environmental explorations, community work, and discussion fit well here.
Rote Memorization is especially useful in the early stages of concept acquisition. Learning ones’ timestables, poetry, Scripture, and grammar rules is quickly accomplished with rote memorization. Students must then be guided and encouraged to apply that knowledge in more complex ways. Rote Memorization is useful for imparting information needed as a groundwork for greater knowledge and skill. Variations of rote memorization includes mnemonic strategies, visualization, using graphic organizers, and more.
Intimately involved in choosing curriculum, parents may also participate in ordering consumable curriculum using our purchase order (PO) number system which is accepted at an increasingly large number of vendors giving parents easy access to learning materials.
Our massive Resource Centre contains tens of thousands of non-consumable resources (either already lent out or on the shelves waiting to go) along with consumable resources. And if you can’t find something using your PO or in our Resource Centre, we will order it in for you.
Consumable resources are one-use only and are deducted from the $600 budget per child (siblings can combine budgets) and become your property at year’s end.
Non-consumable resources are lent out to you for the year or for varying amounts of time. TLA provides dozens of online resources such as math, language, and content-area apps and programs as needed to fulfill the needs of the learning plan without deductions to the $600 budget.