Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Better Way To Homeschool Choosing Curriculum

After deciding to homeschool their children, many parents panic at the thought of choosing the "right" curriculum to use. This is understandable as parents take the responsibility to educate their kids out of the hands of the public school system. How can the parents be sure that they are making the correct decisions?

When I first began schooling my own kids I heard many moms and educators assure me that it was not the curriculum that would make or break my child's education. The truth is, with the right attitude toward learning, a homeschool child can excel far beyond the constraints of any "curriculum". Attitude is everything. Character is paramount. If the child becomes a brilliant student who aces every test and standard set before them, yet cannot communicate compassionately with the world around them. What good would that be?

I would rather invest heavily in the training of "how to learn" with my own kids than "what to learn" any day. A Child that learns to become an independent, self-motivated, compassionate learner would be my primary goal. So what about curriculum?

The primary goal you as a homeschooler need to set is your standard's for success. In my own family, we have 4 basic goals that would define our mission statement as homeschoolers. Keep in mind that these are different for each homeschooling family.

    Our faith is the most important thing we can pass on to our Children. As Christian parents, we include the Lord in everything we do.
    Math facts need to become reflexive. A child cannot hope to thrive mathematically if they do not have those basic facts memorized.
    Children need to devour books and great literature. This is key to becoming an excellent communicator; both on paper and in front of others. Nothing exposes children to vocabulary and culture like great novels.
    Children need lots and lots of practice perfecting the art of writing and communicating. There is no way around this one. To become a great writer, one must write a lot.