Evaluating Online Curriculum Resources
- Thursday, November 01, 2001
One other type of Web site often useful to home schoolers are Web sites created and sponsored by individuals. Many home-schooling families have been enormously generous with their time and knowledge of Internet resources, and have posted links to very valuable educational information. Other families have even posted unit studies that they have created themselves, or useful forms that they have designed. However, many other Web sites designed by individuals contain inaccurate, misleading, or wrong information, so evaluate all materials carefully.
The second consideration in determining whether or not to use a particular Internet curriculum resource is a personal one, unique to your family. Is the curriculum resource appropriate for your childs age, his or her learning style, your teaching style, and your familys religious beliefs? These are important questions to ask about any curriculum materials you are considering, whether or not they come from the Internet. As you do this, remember the following:
Do not be a slave to any curriculum materials, whether you got them from the Internet or from a traditional publisher. Too often, even among home schoolers, we let a set curriculum designed by someone else dictate what and when our children learn. In reality, curriculum materials are simply a tool. Take the time to pray, and then follow the Lords guidance as to what your child needs to learn, and when. Use any curriculum or instructional materials to assist in following that directive, and not the other way around.
Materials that work well for one child may not work with another child, even in the same family. This is because children have varied developmental paths, learning styles, personalities, interests, and missions in life. Dont hesitate to retire instructional materials that are not working for a particular child, and select something more appropriate instead.
The following Web sites and free online tutorials will assist home-schooling parents in learning how to evaluate Internet Web sites for accuracy and usefulness in their home school.
Evaluating Web Pages. The evaluation section of this online tutorial is sponsored by the library at the University of California, Berkeley. This section of the tutorial provides practice in evaluating Web sites for accuracy, hints about determining the author of a Web site, ways to cite web information, and a series of very important questions to ask (http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/EvalQuestions.html) when evaluating a Web site.
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