Grade Level Guidelines and Standards

What sort of grade level guidelines and standards should homeschoolers follow? As you take on the responsibility of educating our own kids, some of you are wondering what you should be doing at each grade level. How do you know if you’re “keeping up with the schools” or “falling behind“?

What sort of grade level guidelines and standards should homeschoolers follow? As you take on the responsibility of educating our own kids, some of you are wondering what you should be doing at each grade level.

There are not any specific objectives in homeschool law. We have a few basic subjects: Reading/Writing, Math, Science and Social Studies. But, what do you need to cover in each subject? And when? What grade level? How do you know if you’re covering all the right stuff?

Grade Level Guidelines

In education-speak, the order of the topics and objectives is called scope and sequence. You are not required to follow the state’s scope and sequence. You can pick and choose any curriculum that interests you or suits your style. Bear in mind that anything you choose is a guide, not the master. If your student’s resist the pace—by getting bored or frustrated, then that’s a clue that you need to do something different.

Some people like to use the state standards as a guide. If your child might be going back to public school at some point, it might be beneficial to stay on track with the state or national standards. Other people like to use the national standards (which also called common core standards). If you might be moving out of state, you might find the national standards useful.

State and National guidelines are divided by subject. The subject includes what skills and topics students should master at each grade level.

Many homeschool curriculums cover topics and objectives in different order than the state or national standards. Many homeschoolers intentionally avoid and resist programs that are aligned with common core. If you’re looking to see what’s age appropriate for your child, a guide can help determine if you’re pushing to hard or lagging behind.

What is the right stuff anyway?

Also consider that no one knows what the future will look like–what content is necessary knowledge to succeed in the future? Jobs that our kids will do, likely do not even exist yet. So, most curriculum is based on the past–what people needed to know for success then. No one really knows what is the essential body of knowledge that needs to be covered.

And just because you cover it, doesn’t mean the learner will retain it. Every education setting has gaps. This is usually a huge relief when homeschool parents realize there will be gaps anyway. Because we all worry about whatever we don’t know that we don’t know.

It’s more important to learn how to learn—and also be willing to unlearn and relearn what you thought you knew already.

Think of it like feeding your kids a nutritional diet. There are guidelines and menu planners out there. But, only you know what your kids will actually eat. You have to modify to fit them. You are the resident expert who knows that.

You have your children’s best interest at heart to see them grow and mature. You’re the expert who knows your child best. Don’t worry about those learning gaps or what you don’t know that you don’t know.

Humans are infinitely curious. Fuel your child’s curiosity. Curiosity will guide you from there!

Now, let’s look at some lesson plan examples
to keep track of what you’re learning/teaching:
I've collected some lesson plan examples from my own records. My basic content was always there, but the format changed from year to year. If you want to keep track with paper/pen or with an app/computer file. These examples can help you figure out the details to include

About Kim Andrysczyk

Homeschool veteran, Association Director, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and accidental blogger. I'm here to encourage you thru the tough times and inspire you toward excellence. If I can make it, so can you!


  1. […] to make that happen. We look to the so-called “experts” in education who have set guidelines and standards for measuring that success so we can use that as an equivalent […]

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