What we are doing at Apple Blossom

We’re working on a program to make teaching homeschool easier.

The idea is to organize your curriculum in a way that allows your child to learn at a pace that works best for them. We do this by helping you set goals and structure lessons around your child’s learning style.

The lesson planner is at the heart of the program. Use it to organize subjects and lessons to meet your curriculum goals. Add learning resources and link to reference materials & assignments directly from the lesson plan.

We want to help you to create a schedule but be able to change it without throwing your plan into confusion. Our goal-oriented approach allows you the flexibility of changing the schedule to suit your needs.

With your goals in sight, you can adjust the lesson plan based on an individual child’s progress by setting time for review and spending more (or less) time on certain subjects. You can cover lessons in whatever order makes sense without worrying about missing any details.

We believe a lesson is designed to accomplish a goal — the goal isn’t to complete the lesson.

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Feature demo slideshow

I’m working on a slideshow that users can see to learn about Apple Blossom features.

Choos a curriculum (or develop your own)

Organize your lesson plan

Track your child's progress

Find and share curriculum materials with others

Buy and sell curriculum materials online

It will appear on the landing page with the registration form.

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Lesson Plan Mockup

Here’s a first draft of the Apple Blossom lesson plan mockup screen, showing sample preschool curriculum content.

Here’s an example screen editing the lesson for the letter “Q”.  I may make editing in place in the future.

iPhone & iPad app mockups coming soon!

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Apple Blossom Curriculum Software Features

Choose a curriculum

Select from our pre-defined curriculums or create your own. We’re actively looking for curriculum authors to develop their curriculum and publish it on Apple Blossom. If you have an existing curriculum that’d you’d like to share (or sell) we can help you convert it to a format for Apple Blossom users to integrate it into their plans.

Gather learning materials

Whether it’s a coloring page, a times table worksheet, or an article on the geography of Brazil, materials make the lesson. Share your materials with others and find the right materials to supplement your lessons.

Build lesson plans

Using your curriculum and materials, you can build daily, weekly, and long term lesson plans. List your subjects, define topics to cover each day, add materials and planning notes, and rearrange your lesson schedule.

Track student progress

You can track your children’s progress completing the curriculum, indicating mastery and scoring grades if you want. Lessons don’t always go as planned, but with Apple Blossom you can keep track of which areas of the curriculum are covered on a given day. You can them go back and cover areas you missed or review topics that could use improved mastery.

Share with others

You can choose to share your curriculum and materials with others. If you’re a co-teacher (or not homeschooling) you can share children’s progress with their parents.

Collaborate

You can collaborate on curriculum development with others. Use the power of the internet to work together defining curriculums, developing lesson plans, creating learning materials, and reviewing and customizing existing curriculums.

Marketplace

There is a lot of great material out there, but not all of it is free. Apple Blossom plans to offer a secure marketplace for curriculums and materials from learning professionals. If you develop your own curriculum and materials you can license it to others through our marketplace.

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Homeschool Classifieds academic planner

Homeschool Classifieds has an academic planner.  It’s a pretty cool resource for building a printable weekly or multi week assignment sheet.

Here’s an example weekly assignment sheet I created.

This list is roughly what Kelsey does with our kids, although it’s not exact.

She does one letter per week.  Some things change based on the day of the week.  For instance, one day she does science, another day geography.

This week we’re on ‘E’.  For geography, they’ll study Ecuador,  maybe talk about animals like llamas and cuy, then color a picture like this:

For science, they will talk about where eggs come from, which is coincidentally a great lead in for Easter, although their Bible study subject was Esther.

The idea of Apple Blossom is to be able to automatically generate and fill in a calendar like this for your curriculum.  You can use a pre-planned curriculum or create your own and fill in the details as you have time, including links to materials like the coloring sheet.  Then you can track your progress on the curriculum — say you missed a day– so you can go back and review. You can even share your curriculum with others if you want to.

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Curricula or Curriculums

It’s been bugging me for a while. What is the proper plural of “curriculum”? Is it “curricula” or “curriculums”?

It looks like all the online references dodge the question:

Wikipedia: “plural: curricula, /kəˈrɪkjʉlə/ or curriculums”
Dictionary.com:
“noun, plural -la /-lə/  -lums.”
Merriam Webster
: “plural cur·ric·u·la\-lə\ also cur·ric·u·lums”
The Free Dictionary:
n. pl. cur·ric·u·la (-l) or cur·ric·u·lums”
Your Dictionary
: “noun pl. curricula -·u·la (-lə) or curriculums -·u·lums”
Word Web Online
: “Derived forms: curriculums, curricula”

But what do you use?  And which is right?

I feel curricula is right but I don’t like the sound (or look of it.)  It reminds me of dracula.  I like curriculums but it sounds wrong.  I’ve started thinking that when you are describing a group of curriculums together that it makes sense to say “curricula” as in a course of study with more than one curriculum.  But when you’re talking about individual unrelated items, it’s “curriculums.”

So “curricula” describes a group of related curriculums
And “curriculums” describes multiple unrelated curricula

Makes sense?  No, I didn’t think so.  I’ve probably got to choose one or the other and stick with it.  But what do you think?  I’d love your comments.

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Apple Blossom startup blog & twitter account

Besides this blog, I’m also blogging about the business of Apple Blossom Learning as a technology startup.

Also, check us out on twitter.

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