TruSpark Homeschool Curriculum Review
TruSpark App Homeschool Curriculum Review Summary
- Grades: 6th- 12th
- Subjects: Career Exploration
- Category: Non-religious
- Format: Online
- Price: $19.95 for One Assessment, $29.95 for Curriculum and One Assessment, and $49.95 for Curriculum and Two Assessments
How to Use TruSpark in Your Homeschool
TruSpark is a web application that utilizes SIMA research to enable middle and high schoolers to explore future avocations. There are 19 core motivations including learner, builder, achiever, and influencer. SIMA research shows that each of us has a unique motivational and behavioral pattern, which when understood, can help us to lead productive, meaningful lives.
TruSpark’s process includes writing explanations about what the student enjoys doing. The stories are analyzed to determine the motivational pattern of the learner. These strengths can help predict future performance and provide information that will show a “good job fit” for the individual. This motivational pattern is based upon the subject matter, the environmental conditions, preferred relationships and roles, natural abilities, and the central motivations that drive the person’s behavior. Organizations, universities, and businesses use this information for hiring, leadership development, diagnostic purposes, and organizational improvements. Researchers have found that even if a job does not allow a person to express his talents, he will still perform a job based on his core motivations.
TruSpark will help your child gain valuable insight, which will hopefully pay dividends personally and professionally. It can also be used to help a homeschool teacher understand how her motivations affect her teaching style and curriculum choices. The instructor may also use the feedback to plan which subjects and/or enrichment opportunities to add to the homeschool year. Once the teacher understands her student’s learning pattern, she can understand why a student performs the way he does and what frustrates or satisfies him, how the student learns and makes decisions, and who the student needs to associate with in order to be successful and effective, how long the pupil will stay motivated, and why he is vulnerable to failure. For instance, a builder may be interested in taking a web design course or joining a robotics club. Studies show that when people are engaged in their work, their motivation seems almost unlimited.
- Recommended Study Timelines: The curriculum takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete and can be done independently. Additional time can be spent learning more about the core motivations and additional employment choices. Parents are encouraged to work through the curriculum with their children.
- Tailor-made Content: TruSpark, an interactive program, returns recommendations that align with each person’s unique gifts. While geared towards younger teens, even teachers and adults can learn something from the program.
- Professional input: TruSpark’s team is headed by certified teachers, clinical psychologists, career recruiters, consultants, researchers, and life coaches. This research has been used by several universities and businesses.
- Feedback on possible careers: The student’s top 3 core motivations are used to match the student with 10 potential careers. There is also the option to explore additional occupations within the O*Net and MyNextMove online databases. Each employment entry features a brief summary of the knowledge, skills, ability, and education needed to be successful on the job. Salary information can be searched by state and/or zip code. In addition, some avocations also feature a short video–usually one or three minutes long–describing the occupation.
- Assessments: Assessments can be completed in fifteen minutes. Students are encouraged to take it once every few years since the results are based on enduring traits.
TruSpark Pros and Cons
- Both the curriculum and assessments are online.
- The app is interactive and contains short, descriptive videos.
- TruSpark offers a more lengthy version called TruMotivate for older college-level students. TruMotivate requires only twenty minutes to complete, is mobile-friendly, and includes 27 core motivations.
- TruSpark has a sample lesson that you can view before you purchase (found in the FAQ section of the website).
- Based on over 60 years of SIMA (System for Identifying Motivated Abilities) research and used by NASA, IBM, and over 20 colleges.
- What is SIMA? System for Identifying Motivated Abilities® or SIMA® is based on data that uses a proprietary process to identify a student’s core motivations based upon the person’s strengths and interests.
- Since it is a web app, some features do not always work well on a mobile phone.
- While the database includes over 900 occupations, “entrepreneur” and some emerging occupations are not included.
- Mainly geared towards younger teens.
Additional Comments from TruSpark Users
“TruSpark app is a nice comprehensive tool to use. It showed us how to make choices based on lots of different options. It enabled our teen to discover a variety of different things that were motivating and it helped to understand each perspective as to career options for the future. I like that aspect of the app. What I don’t like about the app is how there are too many choice areas. A few less may be a little easier to understand. It is a wonderful app to use, yet just like all technology and apps, it has its ups and downs. Each student or parent should try it before buying it as it may be very helpful to one family or group of homeschoolers over another. I did like how it is a set-in-stone guide and would recommend using it for my own teenager in his last year of high school.” S. Schwark