Scope and Sequence: Why I Need to Ask for One

Scope and Sequence

What is a scope and sequence?
Why are they important?
How will they benefit me as a teacher at home?

 

  1. What is a scope and sequence?

Companies that produce educational curricula also produce a scope and sequence for their particular curriculum.

A scope and sequence gives information concerning new material being introduced, at what depth material will be taught, the sequence at which material is reviewed and built upon, and the level (grade) at which that material will be presented.

  1. Why is a scope and sequence important?

Suppose that you have a child in a public or private setting and wish to home educate them. A scope and sequence from that particular school’s curriculum will let you know what has already been introduced to your child.

Also, suppose that your child struggled last year. Their grades may have been okay, but you realize that your child has not comprehended sufficiently what you feel needs to have been accomplished at this point. A scope and sequence will let you know what material was covered during the past year. Should any of that material be revisited? Probably so. Should areas of accomplishment be retaught? Probably not. This is where a scope and sequence is handy.

As you look at the scope and sequence of other curricula providers, you can see at what level any particular information is being introduced. If the information you are concerned about is being introduced at the next level (grade) of a particular curriculum you are considering, then you need not worry. It will be introduced to your child as if it had never been taught.

However, if it has already been introduced, you might need to do a reteaching of that particular introductory material before you move ahead. In this scenario, there is no need to reteach a whole level (grade) if there is only a gap in a particular portion.

Scope and Sequence Photo
Scope and Sequence Example for Spelling
  1. How will a scope and sequence benefit me as a teacher at home?

The introduction of and type of subject matter varies from company to company. Different curriculum providers introduce new material at the level their particular authors and editors feel is appropriate. Requesting a scope and sequence from each company (or publisher) you are considering will give you an overview of material covered by each provider from preschool through high school.

Even if you choose not to use a particular company’s curriculum, you will benefit by seeing the different levels at which curriculum providers introduce new material. This is highly beneficial if you choose to do unit studies or deviate from a particular providers sequence.

During the high school years, some subjects are taught by courses. Those courses may be built around a particular topic instead of in a spiral pattern. For example, in the area of history, one course may center entirely on World History, while another course may center on a particular country’s history. Also, some courses may center on particular time periods.

If you were to decide to home educate your child during the high school years, you would not want to reteach a particular course that your child had already taken. In other words, if a child had taken World History at the ninth grade level, you would not want to reteach that same course at the tenth grade level unless there were problems with the previous course. Instead you would want to teach your country’s history. In this scenario, knowing the particular subject matter that your child has already been taught is very beneficial.

Different provider’s scope and sequences can also help you create your own scope and sequence for your particular situation.

Periodically reviewing your scope and sequence (at least at the beginning of each school year) can help you catch gaps before they occur and aid you in keeping on track as to your own goals for your child’s education.

Also, a scope and sequence can assist you in setting and attaining goals. Goals are what you wish for your child to learn academically before they are presented with that kindergarten, elementary, or high school diploma.

A scope and sequence can also be used as a checklist that lets you know where you have been and where you are going. In other words, your spot in the journey.

Your curriculum provider has a scope and sequence for each subject. Just ask for it when requesting information or when ordering catalogs. They should be happy to send you one.

I hope this information has been beneficial to you. If so, leave a comment. You may also leave suggestions for future posts.