This week and next each one of The 4 Moms is discussing Homeschool Curriculum.
See what the rest of my team has to say about homeschool curriculum:
I have gotten a few emails asking me for advice about how to homeschool or what is the "best" curriculum. I am always hesitant to answer this question because it is such a personal decision. The curriculum that is best for your family is what suits the personality of your family, and that may or may not be the same as what suits the personality of my family.
I think of choosing a curriculum like planning a birthday party.
Are you the type that likes to go all out, complete with bells and whistles? Do you rent out the ice skating rink or hire clowns and ponies? Then, I say more power to you, and by the way, would you invite us to your next party? Mkay, thanks.
Or maybe you are the laid back type and your birthday parties are small affairs with family only or a few friends who enjoy a simple cake and watching the birthday person open presents.
Neither of these examples, or any variation in between, is the "right" or "best" way to have a birthday party. Whatever suits your family, your likes, your personality is what is right or best.
That is how I feel about choosing homeschool curriculum. Whatever suits your family, your likes, your personality is the right or best curriculum.
If you are a very structured, schedule oriented, type A person, the curriculum that would work best for you will not be the same as the curriculum that would work best for a spontaneous, laid back, fly by the seat of the pants type.
When my oldest was around 3 or 4 years old and I first began thinking about this thing called homeschooling, I went to the library and checked out all the books I could find on the subject.
One of those books, You Can Teach Your Child Successfully, gave me the confidence I needed to believe that I could indeed teach my own child.
Another book I checked out during that same visit, The Big Book of Home Learning, was a gold mine of information on all the various types of homeschooling methods, from ultra relaxed "unschooling" to very structured "classical education".
I was fascinated that there were so many options, and I read and re-read that book until I was familiar with all of them. My husband and I had a lot of discussions about our preferences and how they meshed with the various methods.
At that time, we did not know anyone who homeschooled, so we probably felt like we would have liked some advice or direction from friends, but we didn't have that option. Looking back, though, I think this lack of advice may have been in our favor because it forced us to look at all the options and focus on what we felt would be best for our family, not the family down the street or our best friends' family.
We thought about and discussed our goals for educating our children at home. What were we hoping to accomplish? What was the target, the end result we were shooting for? The primary answer to these questions was (and still is) that we wanted to instill a love of the Lord in our children. We hoped to "bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4) Everything else was secondary to that.
With that in mind, we made some decisions and struck out on our journey. Since that time we have made a few small course changes, but we have tried to keep our focus on the greatest commandment, loving the Lord.
(Here is where I must admit that lessons and curriculum and grades and tests and lesson plans can threaten to choke the very life out of the passion and vision we started with. It is a constant struggle to remember to keep first things first in our homeschool.)
To be continued on 4 Moms, 35 Kids next week: Nitty Gritty Details About Curriculum
Would you like to see what the 4 Moms say about menu planning? How about scheduling? Shopping with lots of littles? Click on the 4 Moms button at the top of this post to see all of the topics we have covered so far.