School Vocabulary in English & What is Home Schooling?

It’s that time of year again! Time to send our kids to school!

In the spirit of the new school season here are some common English words around School and learning.

Levels of schooling in the USA:

Elementary School – Kindergarden (6 years old) to 5th or 6th grade (10-11 years old)

Middle School* – Grades 5th-8th

Junior High School* – Grades 7th-9th
*some areas do Junior High and some do Middle School

High SchoolGrades 9th–12thwith the exception of the mixed model which is 8–12

All children are guaranteed the right to a free public elementary and secondary education when living within the jurisdiction of the United States regardless of race, gender, ability, citizen status, religion or economic status.

Common phrases you will hear in real life USA English Schools:

“Take your seats, class.”

This is said by the teacher at the beginning of class.

“Raise your hand if you have a question.”

Raising your hand is a universal way to signal to the teacher you have question

“The homework is due by Friday.”

Homework is work completed outside of school that you need to bring back at a certain date.

“This morning we are having a pop quiz!”

Students dread a pop quiz because they are unplanned quizzes where you don’t have time to study.

“Let’s line up for recess.”

Line up means form a line. Recess is a free time usually outside between classes or lunch.

“Don’t forget to study for the test next week.”

A gentle reminder from teachers to study for an upcoming test.

“Remember to bring your permission slip for the field trip.”

A permission slip is a paper signed by parents to allow kids to participate in a field trip or other activity.

“Good morning, class. Let’s begin with the Pledge of Allegiance.”

The Pledge of Allegiance is a pledge to America while looking at the flag. Almost all schools say the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning across America:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Common School and Classroom Vocabulary

Desk: A piece of furniture for sitting and writing in class.
Book: A written or printed work with pages for reading.
Teacher: A person who educates and imparts knowledge to students.
Student: Someone who attends school to learn and study.
Pencil: A writing tool with a graphite core and wooden casing.
Homework: Assignments given to students to complete at home.
whiteboard: A flat, white surface for writing with markers.
Eraser: A tool used to remove pencil or chalk marks.
Ruler: A straight measuring tool for drawing straight lines.
Paper: Thin sheets used for writing, drawing, or printing on.

I don’t send my kids to school. I homeschool! What is homeschooling?

I get this question a lot! Homeschooling is educating your children from home. It isn’t a popular option because of common misconceptions as well as public opinion.

How does homeschooling work?

You choose your child’s curriculum and what they will learn. It’s completely legal in the USA. In fact, 3.7 million kids are homeschooled every year and the number is rising.

I have a homeschool “covering” in the USA. I pay them $50 a year and they will give me my kids report cards. I can choose to enroll my kids back in public school anytime. Homeschooling regulations look different state to state in the USA.

Why do I homeschool?

I choose to homeschool mostly due to the fact that it gives my family a lot of freedom to travel. Plus, we have a lot more freedom in our daily schedule. We don’t use alarms to wake up and school bells don’t determine our day’s rhythm.

My kids are SO curious and they love learning. This year we do an online program that covers math, science, and language arts four days a week. We also do some language learning and spend a LOT of time outside.

Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but in this season, for my family, it’s the best option! What about you: Do you homeschool your kids? Is it legal in your country? Message me on Instagram @camillehanson


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Camille Hanson

Hi friends! I create American English content for you and ESL Learners around the world!

When I am not creating videos, books or blogs, you will probably find me in a cafe somewhere around the world, studying my next target language or at home cooking up food for my family of five.

Stick around, read some posts and learn some English with me :)

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