Homeschooling 101 Blog Hop week is here! We will be talking about the various aspects of homeschooling this week from curriculum to home management to just plain ol’ encouragement. I hope you join me each day!
Today we are talking curriculum. There are as many options as there are people it seems.
The beauty of homeschooling is that you can choose the curriculum and approach that fits your student, you, and your family. There is no single right answer. Even within a family there are any number of different items that might works for a single student with a single subject.
So, how do you choose? I don’t know but I will share what our family does and how decisions get made here.
1 – We use what we have.
We have been blessed in a number of ways with curriculum options. Whether it be from the amazing reviews we get to participate in through the Review Crew or curriculum being gifted to use or just a good find at a garage sale or used book store, we look first through what we already have available. Having to pay for something does not always mean that it is the best and the most expensive is, in our experience, often NOT the best. I don’t get rid of something just because it doesn’t work now. Because it might work in the future and I might can use some small part of it that will be just perfect for a unit study.
2 – We use what has worked. And the correlation of this is to not use what didn’t work.
When we find something that works well, we do try to stick with it. We enjoy unit studies that focus on a lot of books. So we do that. We found out a few months ago that the girls, especially Miss E, absolutely adore creating notebooking pages. We much of her curriculum will be showing up in her notebooking notebook rather than a workbook. We don’t use computer or online math programs. They don’t work for our girls, who need the concepts explained in more than one way. So, we don’t bother with them.
3 – We talk with the girls and get their opinions.
The girls have to spend a lot of time with their curriculum. Therefore, we feel it is a good idea for them to at least have a small bit of input on the choices. We give them some options and then listen to what they have to say. This has made a huge difference in our math choices and literature adventures. For math, we took them to the local education store and gave them several choices to look through. We asked what they liked, didn’t like, what appealed or not, etc. Their opinion was taken into consideration for the final decision. For literature, Miss E was able to clearly express that she did not like answering someone else’s questions about what she was reading. She wanted to tell about what she got out of the book, what impact it had on her, what she found fascinating. So, notebooking pages it is for her.
When we are able to show the girls that they are important in the process, much of it goes smoother.
4 – We are not afraid to change what is obviously not working.
We make mistakes. We all do. It is okay to admit that a mistake was made, hopefully it was not too expensive, and then move on. Choose something different and try again. Not everything will be a good fit and that is okay. Isn’t that part of why we wanted to educate them ourselves? I know it was for our family – what the public schools were doing for the girls did not fit them and was not in their best interest. So, when something needs to change, don’t be afraid to change it. The sooner you find what does work, the better.
5 – We work with the concept of “progress, not perfection.”
Some of you will disagree with me on this one and that is okay. But this is a really important concept. Perfection is not attainable so we strive for making good progress. If we strive for perfection in their work, we may lose the joy of learning in the process and that is just not acceptable. We want our girls to be lifelong learners, not ones who check off the list and call it enough. By allowing them to work hard and make progress, we place the value on the effort rather than the grade.
It isn’t about doing more and doing it better. It is about each child as an individual, getting what they need to move forward in their understanding of life and how to be a productive part of it, honoring God through all they say and do.
This post is the first in a series for 5 Days of Homeschooling 101 and is part of the TOS Review Crew Blog Hop.
Monday – Curriculum
Tuesday – Planning
Wednesday – Home Management
Thursday – Traditions
Friday – Encouragement
Some of my blogging friends participating in this blog hop are:
Melissa @ Mom’s Plans
Melissa @ Grace Christian School
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through the Open Window
Rebekah @ There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining
Steph @ Indy Homeschool
TaMara @ Tales of a Pee Dee Mama
Looking for more information on curriculum – whether it be advice for choosing it or looking for a specific grade level, please visit the blog hop linkup.
LinkyTools is acting up for me but please visit the Review Crew post that anchors the curriculum discussion today. You can see all the linkups from there. 🙂