Core Knowledge is an educational reform movement based on the premise that a grade-by-grade core of common learning is necessary to ensure a sound and fair elementary education. Based on a body of research in cognitive psychology and effective school systems worldwide, Core Knowledge posits that, in order to attain academic excellence, greater fairness, and higher literacy, early education curriculum should be solid, specific, shared, and sequenced. By teaching a body of specific, lasting knowledge in a way that allows children to succeed by gradually building on what they already know, the Core Knowledge mission is to provide all children, regardless of background, with the shared knowledge they need to be included in our national literate culture.
It is an ongoing problem for teachers and children that there is no consistency between one school district (and sometimes one classroom within a district) and another in what is covered within a grade. That means that some children are bored by repetition while others are left behind by the assumption that they received information in the previous grades that was never taught in their classrooms.
The Core Knowledge movement also makes education more fair across socio-economic classes. Far too often, the schools give up on poor kids before they ever arrive at the school's doors. The education offered to them is dumbed down to such an extent that they are handicapped in trying to pursue further education. With the Core Knowledge reform, that would be less the case.
This programs is intended to cover about half of the curriculum for the kindergarten year. The book is set up to be read along with the child, so it is one story or poem or essay after another, written at the right level for an average kindergartner. It covers language and literature, History and Geography, Visual Art, Music, Mathematics, and Science. (I think we could actually cover all of it before Yule -- but homeschooling is like that. With no herding and no bureaucratic paperwork to do, everything goes much faster.)
That actually makes sense, but I will be augmenting that with similar materials about Australian history. Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck finding materials about Australian History written for the kindergartner -- not even in online book stores in Australia!
I am taking a slightly different approach next -- I will look for biographies of important figures in Australian history (Captain Cook, Ned Kelly, et al). Failing that, I will get a couple of adult histories and write my own children's histories. With Lulu and similar companies, I can even make "real" books and Jack won't need to know that I wrote them myself!
I have come to the conclusion that it is because I was raised during a time when progressive education was all the rage. 'Following your bliss' and making education relevant sound good -- but somehow I always felt ripped off. There was so much I wanted to know, so many books I didn't have the frame of references to understand! I thought that education should have given me a jump start on that knowledge and a leg up with those frames of reference, but they never did. Instead we wasted time with "relevent" twaddle. I was bored.