Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: Founder's Academy Curriculum

I first became acquainted with Lynn, from Founder's Academy, via Twitter. She's a seasoned homeschool mom of adult children, always ready to encourage those of us who are still, uh, crunching Cheerios underfoot.

Lynn has a wide variety of upper grade Government and Economics courses available through Currclick, but has also recently introduced several "Elective on Demand" unit studies suitable for a wide variety of ages, including little guys, (aged 5-7,) like mine. The unit studies are short, generally consisting of 1, or perhaps 2 class sessions along with accompanying e-books. At the time of this writing, all of the Elective on Demand classes are less than $10, making them really affordable.

We had the opportunity to review the prerecorded My First Constitution Class/My First Economics class. (Most of Lynn's classes are live, but there are also a few recordings of previous live sessions available. This was one of those.)

L was fascinated with the format. He loves the computer. We got to see Lynn teaching in one section of the screen, see her Power Point presentation in another, and see the students interacting with her via the chat box in another. It was pretty cool. I love Currclick, and have purchased a number of their products, but this was my first experience with the "live" format, (or in this case, prerecorded live format.) 

Lynn's teaching style is warm, and somewhat informal, what you'd expect and hope for from a homeschool mom. The material itself was a good introduction for L. The curriculum we're using this year hasn't, (at least at this point,)  touched on anything to do with American government, so this was all new material for him. Some of the vocabulary went a bit over his head, but we were able to pause the recording and discuss things as they came up. He got a kick out of having been assigned a little "homework" between sessions, as we don't usually have "homework" around here.

I took notes as we went along about some of the topics that were touched on. Here's a (non exhaustive) list.

*What is the Constitution?
*Who were the authors of the Constitution?
*An explanation of the 3 branches of government, and their functions
*An explanation of checks and balances
*How to bills become laws?
*Brief explanations of the first 10 amendments
*What is the study of economics?
*A discussion of wants vs needs
*Practical discussion of making choices (This item or that item. My money for that item. Time for money.)

Obviously that's a lot of ground to cover, several years worth at least. This course would serve as a good introduction for a student who is unfamiliar with the material, or a good review for someone who's already been studying it.

I enjoyed the break in our routine, and the opportunity to be the student, (along with L,) instead of the teacher. L enjoyed the class, and said he's like to take some more like it. That pretty much speaks for itself.

Do check out the Founder's Academy FB page, or follow her on Twitter to keep up with the latest offerings, discounts, and even the occasional freebie! (She's currently offering a free, live event called "Let's Give Thanks," on 11/18/11. Go check it out.)

Disclosure: I was provided with a free course, as described above, in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided, and the opinions expressed are my own.

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