Here in the Kirkwood Program, we believe that parents are uniquely qualified to educate their children.
That is why we have developed an easy, affordable, and convenient solution for families who are looking for an alternative to traditional educational systems. The focus of our award-winning program is to provide flexible tools that empower you to homeschool your children in the way that works best for your family.
Our program is quick and simple. Learn how to set up your children’s lessons, and how to navigate your Parent Dashboard to get the full benefit of the Kirkwood Program.Take a quick tour to help you get started!
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The Kirkwood Program promotes healthy development of a child’s confidence and self esteem. Many times the greatest limitations we have are of our own making and are self-imposed because we are afraid of failure and of appearing to be incompetent in a particular area. From the very beginning, the Kirkwood Program has been based on developing healthy self esteem and Confidence in school children.
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(0:00) What is self esteem? How is it shaped? Experiences that take place during the formative years define how a person feels about himself. (0:20) These experiences have three different elements Behavioral–when the event took place, Affective–how the event made you feel, and Value–how you look at yourself as a result “I am good at…” or “I am bad at…” (1:17) As adults we tend to do things we are good at or feel confident in doing, and avoid things we don’t feel confident in. We even choose careers that capitalize on our strongest skills. (1:49) However children do not have that option, particularly in school. If they have too many negative experiences that make them feel like failures or unsuccessful, they may cope by de-investing (2:13). This means they will cease to care about learning and develop a “Who cares?” attitude. This negative attitude limits their education and future. Check out a program that systematically builds self-esteem so children always feel confident and happy to learn. https://kirkwoodeducationonline.com
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It is important to note that children that are good in school but have low self-esteem require a much different treatment to address self-esteem issues than the children that have low self-esteem as a result of “not being good” at school. The procedures outlined below are based upon studies performed on children that have low self-esteem as a result of low academic achievement. This video covers:
(0:40) Self esteem studies in schools for children who had low self-esteem as a result of having problems with academics. These studies were instrumental in developing the literature behind the Kirkwood Program.
(2:18) Overview of the books behind the program – Creative Positive Affective Experiences in the Classroom – Happy Time books – Finding Myself in School
(5:20) The need to take kids out of the traditional learning system that is based on a rigid scale of grading, so that improvement and increased effort in a child is validated and recognized.
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(0:10) The most important ingredient in education is the parent or teacher who helps define the say a child will look at himself. (0:45) The Kirkwood Program empowers parents and teachers to be able to build a child’s self esteem and confidence. (1:36) We believe that every child has infinite value and worth and must be nurtured to achieve their potential.
(3:19) Self-Esteem is a crucial element for academic success, that is why building a child’s self confidence is a key component to consider when educating children (the Kirkwood program does this primarily by providing positive feedback–also known as positive affective experiences–when a child puts in the work). All effort and all improvement must be validated, even if the improvement is small, as it is still an improvement. (4:00) We want to recognize effort. Effort is more important than validating mastery level if we want to build his or her self-esteem and confidence. (4:20) As children grow their source of validation goes from external (in the form of parents and teachers telling them they did good) to internal (in the form of developing satisfaction and pride on a job well done).
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(2:38) An introduction to Mr. Pencil as he teaches kids how to hold a pencil.
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The benefits of an individualized program where students can progress at their own rate are great. Consider the following:
– (0:07) There is no arbitrary timeline that dictates how long it should take a child to master a concept. A student who learns quicker can rocket ahead. A student who learns at a slower rate can still progress at his own rate.
– (0:28) Every student has total mastery of a concept before moving on to the next. He or she may take as long or as little time as needed.
– (0:57) Individualized programs meet the needs of each individual child, maybe even those with special needs.
– (1:32) Children don’t struggle to catch up to the rest of the class.
– (2:41) More advantages of the Mastery learning system or model
– (3:14) In education, we need to enable children to invest a portion of their energy into learning and we need to validate and praise their efforts. A Mastery learning model helps create positive learning experiences that result in kids who are confident in school and love lo learn.
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(0:00) The Kirkwood program uses the concept of a standardized work unit indicated by the happy faces at the bottom of each workbook page. The work unit credit helps to measure to a child’s efforts in learning, representing a measure of time (approximately 5 minutes worth of work) and a level of difficulty. In this way, “easier” workbook pages are assigned one work unit credit, whereas more advanced subjects for older children may, for example, be worth three work unit credits a page.
(0:26) The difficulty of the concepts will obviously increase as a child grows. However, in the Kirkwood program, difficulty increases at a slower rate than a child’s ability to do more work. So in the child’s perspective, he is now able to do more and more work that doesn’t feel too difficult for him. This makes him feel capable and that he is doing great, though in fact we have purposefully and systematically set him up for success. In this way we help increase a child’s confidence in learning and have a major impact on his or her self-esteem.ttings.
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The Kirkwood Program helps develop children’s learning potential as much as possible with the help of 3 major elements:
(1:12) The teacher (Parents in the role of teachers are responsible for a child’s education)
This video covers #1: The teacher or parent’s role in motivating a child to want to learn. (1:55) Children have infinite worth and the way you view or value a child will help to show them that they are valuable. (3:18) The Time With My Teacher component in our program is where parents and children have a one-on-one time to focus on helping a child grow spiritually (3:55), Emotionally and socially (4:35), and improve academically (5:43).
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The Kirkwood Program helps develop children’s learning potential as much as possible with the help of 3 major elements:
This video covers #2: Self-esteem as a motivation to do a particular activity. People are motivated to do the things that make them feel good, confident, and successful. The Kirkwood program helps children experience a bunch of positive experiences while learning so they feel good and motivated when it comes to learning.
How values relate to motivation: People do things that they feel are important and relevant for them and their success. In the Kirkwood Program, we teach kids why every curriculum component is important and relevant to them, teaching them the value of what they are learning and how it will help them in every-day life. (0:27) Values are a guiding system of behavior, so we instill values of work ethic and achievement so they learn to become independent self-directed learners.
(0:47) In this video we cover the third principle of motivation: Value development.
(1:00) Teaching kids that their lessons are relevant and important
(1:38) Values as guiding systems of behaviors, and our need to guide kids so they develop good values
(3:13) Teaching values in a loving and supportive environment
(4:38) Needs of children must be met: spiritually, socially, and academically
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Our children need to grow in the likeness of God. They need to learn to love God with all their hearts, souls, strengths, and minds and to love others as themselves to truly become God’s disciples.
(1:18) Often there is no significant difference between Christian kids who go to Christian schools and Christian kids who go to public schools. They aren’t necessarily more spiritually developed or mature. In addition, students and children raised in church are leaving the church after High School at alarming rates. (1:56) One of the first goals of the Kirkwood program is to help children grow spiritually as well as academically. The Discipleship Bible Lessons series is our attempt to overcome this deficiency in current educational systems.
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(1:05) Success is measured along seven different character development continuums at the Kirkwood Program. We believe that when educating children, having high academic scores is an outcome of a child having experienced growth of character. Education should not have good grades as the goal, but rather we should strive to teach our children in such a way that they develop a good character. Academic success is simply one of the results of having grown in character.
The Kirkwood Program defines growth of character along 7 different continuums:
Academic achievement is a result of a child having well developed character traits.
In the Kirkwood program, we assume that new students or the youngest students that come in the our program have little or even none of the character traits that are essential in student success. The Kirkwood Program defines growth of character along 7 different continuums:
Investment of energy
Spiritual Growth and development
Through consistent use, children who started off in Character Level 1 (doing little work and showing small academic achievement) grow to Character Level 6. They are moved systematically along our program so they become more responsible and independent students who love to learn and are very successful in school.
Here’s how we do it.
(0:53) In the first 6-8 weeks in the program, parents will determine the baseline of the child’s work. This is an average of how many work units they can do during a particular class session (it can be 1 hour long, 45 min. long, etc). This average number is used to establish the child’s first goal. In character level 2, the child must strive to always meet that goal in order to receive a weekly award. Keep in mind that the goal has to be attainable so that the child has always something to work towards, but must still challenge him or her to use his energy into working diligently. The goals and rewards are increased incrementally from Character Level 2 to 6. As the child gains greater responsibility and independence in his learning, he will also display the 7 character traits we strive for in our program.
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Academic achievement (in the form of good grades) and character growth are tied together. While having good grades is really important, they need something more important. What is necessary above all things for a child to grow and develop into a mature, responsible, and successful individual is to have strength of character.
This video gives a rundown on 7 character traits and how they are crucial for your child to become successful not only academically but also mature enough to persevere and not give up in the face of challenges.
Investment of energy
Spiritual Growth and development
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Play time and study time are both equally important in a child’s development.
(0:58) Play is spontaneous, and the activity or activities done while playing are up to the child. This involves activities where they are interacting with other children, toys, etc. This is not watching TV. The purpose of playtime is for children to be able to express themselves freely, and it is up to us to parents and teachers to create an enriched environment that will help children do this.
(1:46) Study time (time dedicated to working to learn) requires a project which a child must complete as and assignment. (1:58) Children need to have an allotted time during the day when they are doing academic activities.
As to how long the study time should be, it depends by age:
(2:20) Children 2-3 years old: 15 to 30 minutes, 2 times a day. [Be sure not to burn the child out.]
(2:53) Children 3-5 years old: 30 min to 1 hour, 3 times a day.
(3:06) Children develop work ethic when they work to learn. Think about the balance of work and play, and base the structure upon the needs of your child.
One thing all children have in common is an abundance of energy. We believe in giving credit when a child uses some of that energy into working to learn. A work unit credit indicates that a child completed a lesson with a passing score. Each lesson is an opportunity to earn between 1 and 3 work unit credits, depending on the difficulty of the lesson.
How do children earn work unit credits?
The program automatically grades assignments and grants work unit credit for most curriculum subjects. However, some lessons will require a parent to decide how many work units to grant and must be done manually.
Early Preschool: matching and puzzle lessons
Foundational Skills: line and letter tracing, puzzles, block designs, and self-esteem exercises
How to grant work unit credit
When your child is logged in, Work Unit Credits appear in the “Tracking My Work” Box.
Smiley faces indicate earned credits.
A paper and pencil icon indicates that a work unit credit needs to be granted by the parent. Simply select “Grant Work Credit” from the menu, enter your parent password, review the work, and click the smiley faces to grant credit.
Work unit credits are a great way to see your child’s progress over time. As students focus more energy on their lessons, they will earn more work units per lab.
Whenever your child logs in to work in the program—that’s a lab. You can set your child to do 1, 2, 3, or more labs a day. You decide how often you want your child to complete a lab, and how long each lab will last.
Labs let you enjoy the freedom of a totally flexible schedule, while incorporating regular study periods in your child’s day to make sure they stay on track.
How should I set up my child’s Labs?
You can set the length of a lab from 15-90 minutes.
A general rule of thumb is for younger children to have several 15 or 30 minute labs with breaks in between to move around and play. Older children may thrive with labs of up to 90 minutes.
However you decide to set up your child, we recommend that you set the labs with your child’s age and attention span in mind, being careful not to set the lab so long that your child becomes fatigued.
How many lessons are there in a Lab?
Because each child will work at their own pace and complete as many lessons and the can within their lab time, the answer will vary from child to child and will depend on their age. Keep in mind that more advanced lessons take longer than others to complete. To see examples of how labs work in a case-by-case basis, please see the video, What is a Lab?
Which subjects will my child do during the lab?
Our default is set to go through all the subjects during lab. The subjects rotate according to his lab schedule as long as your child is logged into the program. If you want your child to have only a single subject appear during their lab, you can go to lab schedule before they start their lab, and clear out all other subjects except the one you want your child to work on.
Scheduled study time provides structure to establish a routine and helps children develop good study habits. You can structure your lab sessions according to the individual needs of each of your children.
What about flexibility?
Keep in mind that labs are not set in stone, they are general blocks of time within the day set aside for studying, and can be completed at any time of the day —whether at the beginning of the day, in the afternoon, or simply around any other activity you have planned for them. Children can simply log into the program at any time to complete their lessons, without ever being locked out of the program.
Learn how to set up your children’s lessons, and how to navigate your Parent Dashboard to get the full benefit of the Kirkwood Program.
Tour the Parent Dashboard
Take a quick tour to help you get started! Read on, or click on the video at the bottom of this page.
Your Parent Dashboard
Welcome to Kirkwood Education Online! Now that you have signed up for our program, let us give you a quick tour of our features and tools.
This is your Parent Dashboard where you’ll find the tools you need to get the full benefit of our program’s flexible and customizable features. Each child has his or her own tab in the upper left corner to access their individual settings.
Setting up and Placing Your Child
To begin, just select your student’s name. If you’ve already assigned curriculum—Great! You’ll have all these tools available. If not, you’ll need to place your student.
To do this, simply click on the blue “Setup Student” button.
Choose a grade level from the drop-down menu to automatically assign subjects. Then click “Continue.”
The next step is to set up your student’s schedule. You can choose which days of the week you want your child to work in the program and set the duration and number of computer sessions per day.
Remember: Our program is totally flexible and fits around your schedule. If you want to devote a certain day of the week, let’s say Wednesday, to teaching outside the classroom (such as cooking, gardening, or field trips) simply schedule your student’s computer labs on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Click “Finish” and that’s it! Your child is ready to begin. Keep in mind, you can change these settings at any time.
Congratulations! Your child is ready to go!
Continue reading to understand all the tools you have available in your Parent Dashboard
Click on your child’s name to customize settings.
Let’s begin with Lab Settings. This is where you set the number of labs your child will complete each day, along with the duration of each lab. This is also where you set up work unit goals, but we’ll cover that another time. Once you have made your changes, click “Save.”
Click on Lab Schedule to see the order in which the lessons will appear.
Your child will work through the lessons for each subject in order until the end of the lab. If there are still subjects that he has not completed—don’t worry. He can get those done in the next lab. The subjects will continue to rotate according to his lab schedule as long as your child is logged into the program.
You can add additional lessons using the dropdown to select a subject and clicking “Add”. You can click and drag the blocks in the order you want them to appear, or if you prefer you can take any subject out. Save your changes.
Click on Reassign Curriculum to see the order in which the lessons will appear.
Reassign curriculum is where you can add any subject by clicking on the “Plus” sign. The drop down menus make it easy to assign books within the subject. You can even move your child ahead repeat a lesson. Finally, you can remove any subject from your child’s curriculum by clicking on the X. Remember to save your changes.
Click on Student Summary to see a detailed record of you child’s accomplishments.
You can view the lessons done that day, as well as for the past few weeks, or all time. Want a detailed view? Just click on one of the books and you can see each lesson your child has completed in that book. You can also print out your records by clicking on the “Print” icon.
Celebrate Your Child’s Achievement
When your child is eligible for a weekly award, this is where you can view and download their certificate. Certificates are printable and list the work your child completed during the week.
Time With My Parent
If you want to review curriculum with your child, click on Time With My Parent.
This feature gives you insight about areas where your child may be struggling and provides exercises you can go over together.
We recommend you take 5-10 minutes at the end of the day to review your child’s progress. This is also a great opportunity to praise and validate your child for concepts that have been mastered.
All your child’s assigned workbooks are available for PDF download at no additional cost. However, if you would like to purchase printed copies of the books, click on “Book Store” in the menu above the Parent Dashboard.
Your child is now set up and ready to begin! Simply click on the green button, and their Lab time with start.
Download this 30+ page workbook to help your kids master the art of cursive writing!
Kids will learn how to form each upper and lower case cursive letter using proper direction and stroke sequence. Includes lots of room to practice with dashed guidelines, and pages for writing cursive sentences, too!
Recommended for Elementary Grade Levels.
THE SOLAR SYSTEM
Free Unit Study
Download this 40+ page unit study and discover our great world!
Filled with colorful photos, illustrations, comprehension questions, and activities to engage your child, this is a great tool to help discover the world that was created for us to enjoy!
Recommended for Elementary Grade Levels. Answer key included.