It’s been a long time, since I have written about homeschooling because I have gotten busy doing school. Today though I wanted to sharing somethings that I believe are important for our family, as we have been on this journey since our oldest was 2 years old; who’s nearly 14 today, (I count preschool because learning ABC’s, writing, reading and the beginnings of math are where education starts).
There are many approaches to homeschooling and each family has to decide what will work for them. Approaches can vary from one subject to the next or from year to year or seasons of life. There are relaxed methods, traditional textbooks, online, workbooks, no books, unschooling, Charlotte Mason and so forth.
Our method is eclectic-a mixture of methods but I have chosen the use of textbooks approach in many areas and here are the reasons why:
- If I should get sick for a long period of time, how will school continue if I am just winging it? One year, we did a more relaxed approach and I did not use a text book for science, I thought of something for US history/geography and lumped everything as educational. But then towards the end of the year, I wasn’t anywhere close to where we needed to be. I found myself rushing trying to pull stuff together, which wasn’t good. Sure we had fun at the park daily and we laughed and they did learn but I knew that was not good to work for us.
- If I should die, how will my husband or anyone else know what I was teaching our children? What was my day to day plan? What path did I have for each year? It is easy to see where we are now. And each day, we go onto the next page, chapter or book. I have mapped out the course selections for our first high schooler (with options and suggestions for changes). Furthermore the suggested path for each child is being prepared. My husband won’t have to wonder what to do, the kids have nearly become independent learners and often help each other.
- If our kids should be inclined to go to college, will they have what they need to enter or will they have to take GED classes just to get into college? Though I don’t think that most homeschoolers are teaching lazily, I do know there are some whose lack of true desire to homeschool has affected their children greatly. One day, when I took our kids to a park, I met a lady and she told me she was homeschooled but that her mom didn’t really put for the effort for her education. The daughter was just given some workbooks and that was it. Later when the daughter tried to go to nursing school, she learned she did not have the basics for college entry and had to go and get a GED.
- There are so many awesome curriculum choices available that there is no need to re-invent the wheel in many areas. Nearly everyday I discover a new curriculum through other homeschool blogs/websites. These curriculum’s are of great use and lift a burdeon from me have to become a subject matter expert in everything. Many are from teachers or specialists, who are using their skills for homeschool. Take Aurora Lipper from SuperChargedScience dot com – her science is fun! I did try to create an elementary biology program for our kids when we couldn’t buy the book from Apologia and that is the only one I wrote!!!! I do write devotions and can pull together things when something is missing but I do not want to write curriculum again!
I don’t want to waste my time, nor our kids, spending time doing “fluff” work. Taking on the responsibility of educating our children, is huge. It is hard. It is taxing. It is overwhelming, exasperating, tiring and sometimes lonely. But it is worth it. I love knowing that our children are learning all the time. I love to see them sharing their knowledge with each and me too!
Should they go to college, they will be prepared-no backtracking for them.
Now, I do utilize notebooking, projects and delight-directed learning as much as possible. Our American history and geography was and is a mixture of all three and our children enjoyed nearly everyday. But I have some curriculum favorites that are I think are great, such as: Apologia Science, Notgrass World History for High School, Notgrass “From Adam to Us,” Shirley English (levels 1, 2 and 3), Excellence in Literature for High School, Jump In (Apologia), Horizons Math, Trail Guide to Learning, Road Trip USA and a few others. I enjoy using things made by teachers available for teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers!
I plan to do curriculum reviews by subject and our 2018-2019 Curriculum Choices very soon.