Posted in HS4CC

70-20-10 Model for Homeschoolers

Before you order this year’s curriculum, I want to briefly explore the “70-20-10 Model” of learning theory. The basic idea is that 70% of our learning comes from experience, 20% from people-based exchanges, and 10% from a book or formal education.

At our HS4CC workshop earlier this week, my guests Carl Nordgren and Mark Tully mentioned the “70-20-10 Model” and I quickly made a note to look into it deeper. I’ve always been interested in how people learn, especially since I am the parent of four sons who have each challenged me greatly. Helping them learn, find connections, and develop intuition have been hard-earned skills in the DeRosa family! If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes studying educational learning theories, you soon discover that it’s a big controversial mess. Still, this one is pretty interesting, so I wanted to share it with you through my Homeschooling for College Credit lens.

The 70-20-10 Model suggests the whole of learning roughly breaks down like this:

The 70/20/10 blended learning model | The Successful Software Manager
Read about the 70-20-10 Learning and Development

70% Experience: “doing” the thing. To learn writing, you write. To learn math, you solve math problems. To play violin, you must practice the violin. Look for ways to apply learning in real life.

20% Exposure: watching others “doing the thing.” The understanding that collaboration (not just from peers, but from parents too!) is a really valuable component of learning.

10% Education: reading about it. A child in the USA spends many years in formal education, in fact, it’s the law! If we are to accept that 10% of our teen’s learning is coming from their formal education (reading a textbook, memorizing facts, studying flash cards, theory) then it follows logically that 90% of their learning isn’t resting on the brand of curriculum you buy this year!

5 Ways to Enhance your HS4CC Program

  1. Every science class should have a lab! It doesn’t have to be formal, it doesn’t have to be expensive or thorough, and it doesn’t even have to line up perfectly with your textbook. Simply select (or let your teen select) a few interesting experiments or projects to help them learn. College credit or high school credit isn’t the point- the point is getting in there and testing a hypothesis!
  2. Study abroad at home. While it may be impractical (and expensive) to take a trip out of the country, get creative and reinvent what “study abroad” looks like during Coronavirus. Based on the culture your teen is studying, have them spend two weeks living the life as they would in the country of their choice. From curating a playlist on Spotify, watching special movies, cooking and eating special foods, and even creating art- there are a lot of ways to DIY an experience to remember.
  3. Bootstrap a small business. Ditch the notion that starting a business has to be a big, expensive, formal venture. All of my kids (and I mean ALL OF THEM) have operated at least a dozen small businesses from the time they were single digits. From making and selling dog treats door to door, to gumball machines at the BMX bike shop, there is nothing that teaches you more about customer service and how the world works than starting a small business.
  4. Volunteer. When I looked for other parents who were brining college credit into their homeschool, I came up empty. The organization I wanted to belong to didn’t exist – until it did! Build something around your passion and others will find you. I still make time to volunteer for other causes, but I faithfully serve my homeschooling community everyday through the Homeschooling for College Credit community. Volunteering can be as simple as sharing your gifts once in a while, or on a regular basis. Formal or informal, but the experience is invaluable!
  5. Field trips. Field trips, like science labs, are lost on the young! Places of significance can be much more interesting when you’re an older teen than when you’re young.

Good to Know: CLEP Testing Center Mask Policy

Here are some things you’ll want to know if you’re taking a CLEP exam this year. Modern States Free CLEP vouchers can be renewed or extended (contact Modern States). College Board registration tickets can be renewed or extended (contact College Board). Testing centers are limiting the number of students who can test at one time.…


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit

One thought on “70-20-10 Model for Homeschoolers

  1. Hi! Interesting thoughts. Can you clarify “Field trips, like science labs, are lost on the young!”?
    I think, if children (primary or middle grades) are prepared, a field trip is not lost. Should the young not have field trips to the zoo, the waterfall, or different states or places they now know through history?

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