General Curriculum Information
At CyberLynx, our goal is to give parents as much choice and flexibility as possible regarding both curriculum and instruction. We understand that parents who want to homeschool often know what methods and tools work best for their students. As a program, we have competitive student allotment funding and encourage its use to strengthen instruction.
Our goal is to provide a comprehensive range of curriculum options that meet Alaska State Standards. Our current list of approved curricula is listed on our Approved Curricula list. All of the choices have been reviewed by our certified teaching staff and Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), found to meet or exceed the Alaska State Standards for that subject and grade level. Parents in partnership with certified teaching staff select from the list of approved curricula. If parents wish to use a curriculum that is not currently on the list of approved curricula, the curriculum will be reviewed by our certified staff and considered of addition to our list of approved curricula.
Each office has resource areas where parents are welcome to look through catalogs, browse curriculum and talk to helpful staff regarding curriculum options and choices. These resource areas provide the opportunity to review materials before purchasing them to ensure that they fit the educational needs of each student. Certified teachers in each office have years of instructional and curriculum experience, supporting parents in making the best curriculum choices for their students.
Courses Listed on the Individual Learning Plan (ILP)
The state of Alaska requires a student to be enrolled in a minimum of four classes to be considered a full-time student. There is also a 50% rule that states that half or more of a student’s classes need to be academic classes (Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Technology, World Language) and that no more than half (or UP TO half) of the classes can be non-academic (Art, Music, PE, etc.). As many as eight classes can be listed on the student’s ILP each semester. More than eight courses per semester requires approval by the CyberLynx principal.
Examples of Academic Courses:
- Language Arts: English, Composition, Literature, etc.
- Math: 6th Grade Math, Algebra, Business & Consumer Math, etc.
- Social Studies: 5th grade Social Studies, Geography, US History, Economics, etc.
- Science: 4th Grade Science, Biology, Astronomy, Earth Science, etc.
- World Language: German, Italian, Spanish, American Sign Language, etc.
- Technology: Keyboarding, Game Design, Digital Photography, etc.
Examples of Non-Academic Courses:
- Art: Multimedia Art, Art History, Drawing Landscapes, etc.
- Music: Piano, Violin, Drums, etc.
- PE: Taekwondo, Swimming, Gymnastics, etc.
- General Electives: Home Economics, Fundamentals of Electricity, Welding, etc.
–ILP: Individualized Learning Plan is an individually developed document for students, created together by the site office certified teacher and the home school parent, to outline the course work for the current school year. It contains the Personalized Education Report (PER) and State Standards that are met in each subject area along with methodologies of instruction. The PER is a working document that shows the student’s yearly classes, curriculum and serves as a quarter/semester grade report.
There is a variety of curriculum options available to use. CyberLynx certified teachers will provide support to families when making curriculum decisions. Each student’s course of study is truly individualized.
Many parents, particularly those who are new to homeschooling, may choose to use an all-inclusive or packaged curriculum in which all subjects come from the same source. This can be helpful for both parents and students since all the courses have a similar format and presentation, and the various subjects are aligned to complement each other. These can be thought of as a “grade level in a box,” that contains everything you and your student needs to complete all subjects in their grade level. A few examples of this kind of curricula are Book Shark, Oak Meadow, and Moving Beyond the Page.
Some parents who are comfortable with their role as a home school educator, and are aware of the various resources available, can choose a more “a la carte” approach to curriculum, picking a different curriculum for each course. In this way, parents can blend the merits of curricula from a variety of different sources. Talk to the site office certified teacher for suggestions.
In addition to the primary curriculum that provides the foundation for the student’s instruction in a particular subject, parents are welcome and even encouraged, to use other supplemental resources, materials, books, websites, local workshops, online instruction, individual tutoring, and online subscriptions to further expand the students experience and cater to a particular students’ interests and learning styles. These supplemental resources, enhancing the main curriculum, do not all need to be identified at the beginning of the year or identified on the PER/ILP. We understand that good teachers pull from all available sources.
When parents have specific ideas about a course they want to teach, and no curriculum exists or is available that matches what the parent has in mind, there is an option to develop a “home designed” or “parent designed” course. Although this is an option, given the wide range of curricular options, it is rare that no acceptable curriculum can be found. However, a designed course is typically done only when the parent has particular expertise in that subject. Talk to your site office certified teacher for more details regarding the requirements of a home-designed course.
The state of Alaska says that faith-based curricula, although perfectly acceptable for use, for credit, cannot be counted as part of the four minimum number of courses required. CyberLynx families who rely on faith-based curricula will have to identify a minimum of four courses (at least two of which are academic, the other two may be non-academic) that are non-faith-based.
For example, a student’s PER/ILP might contain the following classes and curricula:
- Math with Saxon Math
- Writing/Composition with Write at Home
- Music with Suzuki
- PE with Home School Family Fitness
Those are the four secular courses. In addition to those, a PER/ILP may include the following:
- Reading from Religious Curriculum
- Science from Religious Curriculum
- Social Studies from Religious Curriculum
Please note that these are just examples, and each student’s PER/ILP will vary according to the child’s age and educational needs. Also, note that since these guidelines are from the state of Alaska, they apply to all correspondence programs in the same way.
Please contact your site office if you are interested in using a faith-based curriculum.
Parent Guide to Alaska’s Standards