Learnwell Information for Families Serving Overseas
Learnwell started in 2017 in order to offer support to YOU – families homeschooling on the field.
FAQs for Families
Is Learnwell an online school?
No. Learnwell offers support for homeschooling parents, and everything we offer is parent-facing. We don’t think it’s best for younger children to be taught in front of a screen!
Is Learnwell only for families from North America?
The curriculum of Learnwell reflects learning objectives for children in the United States and Canada. Ideally, parents would be homeschooling in their own mother tongue. However, we recognize that there are families on the field who must homeschool and whose passport cultures do not offer homeschooling resources. Non-North American families will need the support of agency personnel to make this determination and will need information and resources to aid them in any transitions back to their passport culture educationally.
Do you serve parents who are homeschooling children with special needs?
We already serve several families who have children with mild learning challenges. If a child doesn’t need major or ongoing curriculum accommodations or modifications, parents should be able to easily participate in Learnwell.
However, we have seen the need for more intensive homeschool support for families on the field who have children with special needs. So we’ve been working hard on creating a way to serve these families through Learnwell and offer the support that is needed.
Click HERE for more information.
Can a family join Learnwell any time in the school year?
YES. We’ll work with you to determine if you can jump right in with parents homeschooling in the same grade, or if you need to drop back a bit. While possibly a little bit of opportunity for community is lost if a parent is not working on pace with other parents homeschooling the same grade, we are happy to accommodate families at any point.
What curriculum does Learnwell use?
For reading (grades K-3 or 4), we use All About Reading, an Orton-Gillingham-based system. We’re going into our fourth year with this curriculum, and our parents and teachers love it. For our TCKs, who of course have less exposure to English than their peers at “home,” a strong reading program is a must. You can read more about the program HERE.
Additionally in reading, teacher-created literature units are included as part of the language arts curriculum in all grades. These books are classic and/or award-winning books that both parents and kids enjoy, and our lessons utilize the methods in Teaching the Classics.
We begin using a grammar curriculum in 2nd grade using the Easy Grammar series. Our teachers supplement this with learning activities and videos every step of the way.
Instruction in writing and spelling is included throughout the language arts lesson plans, and dovetails with the genres reflected in literature. We have identified writing objectives for each grade from which our teachers create these lessons.
For math (grades 1-7), we use Math Mammoth. We chose this curriculum initially for the incredible resources that it offers for learners who are advanced and learners who are struggling. The curriculum spirals a bit in that it comes back to certain topics to add new concepts, but it is primarily a mastery curriculum. You can read more about Math Mammoth HERE. In kindergarten, we use Mathematical Reasoning as our guide. In all levels of math, our teachers guide parents in creating hands-on lessons and applications beyond the curriculum.
In social studies and science, one of our priorities is for the parent to be able to teach all of their children together. In our first year, we selected curriculum that allowed for this; however, it wasn’t the best fit for the families we served. So we have written our own curriculum in these areas.
Every month of the school year, Learnwell families are alternatively working through science OR social studies. This allows us to go in-depth with these topics in a given month.
In science, we have written curriculum on a two-year cycle through topics of earth science, life science, and physical science. In social studies, our curriculum reflects a four-year cycle through world history and a two-year cycle through basic concepts of government, civics, and economics.
How do Learnwell families access their curriculum?
Families need to purchase their own curriculum in reading (K-3 or 4), literature, grammar (grade 2 and up) and math. All other materials needed are accessed through the Learnwell portal.
Can a family participate only for one subject?
Yes. We realize that sometimes, everything is working great in one subject but not in another. If you only need support in language arts or math, you can receive support in only that subject at a reduced cost.
How much internet connectivity is needed?
Ideally, you would be able to get online at least once a week in order to print out their lesson plans, print out any supplementary materials, watch their coaching video, and communicate with their teacher.
More connectivity is even better, and allows you to include fun teaching videos in your homeschool day (we have a subscription to BrainPop and BrainPop Jr., for example) and fully participate in the Learnwell community.
Less connectivity, however, is feasible. Because our teachers write their lesson plans in response to feedback from the parents they support (all of whom are teaching children in the same grade), we don’t post lesson plans far in advance. You can, however, work a few weeks behind the other Learnwell families. This allows you to download several weeks of materials at once.
No connectivity doesn’t mean that you can’t be served by Learnwell. Because we are in our fourth year, we can package an entire year’s worth of lesson plans, supplementary materials, and coaching videos for a given grade. Of course, this isn’t ideal because you wouldn’t have the support of a teacher week-by-week or month-by-month. However, this is available to families serving overseas without internet access. If you are interested in this, please email us at [email protected]
What are the costs for Learnwell?
From the beginning, our goal has been to support families serving on the field. For that reason, you receive a significant scholarship.
For the 2020-2021 school year, regular tuition is 2,250 USD per year, and families serving overseas receive a 50% scholarship. If you join us mid-year, tuition is pro-rated accordingly.
Special Needs program costs can be found HERE. We are working hard to provide the same level of scholarship assistance for this program as well.