Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Curriculum Questions

From this post, I may have unintentionally left the impression in some minds that I think textbooks are inferior or that I don't use them. Neither is true. We use them in some of our studies. We just don't make them a steady diet. Which then leads the to the question...

What curriculum do you use?

I have not talked much about HOW we actually home school around here or specific curriculum choices we make. And that is intentional. Homeschooling is a very individual thing and what works in one home may be a complete failure in another. That said, I will share some guidelines about how we go about choosing curriculum. This is from a post I did a while back.

When I began homeschooling, "What curriculum do you use?" was the first question I wanted everybody to answer. I devoured magazines and catalogs soon after they arrived. I also attended a variety of conventions and support groups to keep up with what was available. Seeing all that was available left me with more curriculum choices than I ever dreamed and more confusion than I wanted. And that was 20 years ago! (way before the internet!) How do you choose from all the options and opinions which is right for you? Here's how I wish someone would have responded to me way back then.

Before choosing curriculum I would encourage anyone to do a study on knowledge and wisdom. What does the bible says about each and how they are acquired? Contrast that with the bible says about the foolish. This will help formulate what God sees as needful and which is most profitable in the education of your children.

Before choosing curriculum there are a few other considerations that may help make that decision more obvious.
1. What type of a home do you want to have?
2. What do you desire a typical day to be like?
3. What input and interaction do you desire your spouse to have in this whole processs?
4. What type of a relationship do you desire between siblings?
5. What are the unique traits that God has placed in your children that make them easier and sometimes more difficult to teach?
6. What notions do you have about what your desire your family to be like in 10 or 15 years?
7. What do you think a well educated child means?
8. What notions does your spouse have? How do they compare?
9. What other influences are there in making homeschool choices. (ie. grandparents, friends, or state law, etc.)
10. What did you like about school when you were young? What did you dislike?
11. How would you describe a successful homeschool experience?

These answers may lead to more questions but that will lead to a better curriculum decision. 

There are no correct answers and different families will give different answers. That is the benefit to homeschooling...God using this tool to train His children to be who HE desires them to be. I believe homeschooling is God's calling but it will not look the same for every family.

I could just as easily tell you everything that we have done and you can just plug it all into your day and move on. Or you could decide that you like the way another family does it and use their "method" instead. But that would not be fair to you or your children. You and your family must seek the Lord together as you gather the counsel of others.

Considering the questions and thoughts I have outlined, I hope will spark you and your spouse to come together and decide what are the ultimate goals in educating your children and then other "curriculum" choices will be easier to make. While most would agree that we desire our children to grow in their knowledge of Christ and in Godly character...How that is best achieved will be different in each family. Remember you are not only training your children but you are also training them in how to train the next generation.

God is also working on you and your own personal growth and relationships at the same time. The decision about what curriculum to use is only one of many you will make in the discipleship of your children. Your are going to make good decisions and you will also make mistakes. Learn from both.

Lastly, I want to emphasize that the best place to learn about all education is from God's word. You and your family will never fail with the Word of God as your primary source for all wisdom and instruction.

1 comment:

Kelli said...

The oter question we learned to ask early on was, "What learning style does each child have (Auditory, Kinesthetic or Visual). Once that, too, was established (we have one Auditory and one Kinesthetic/Visual), that helped out tremendously in putting the day, work areas, sibling interaction, and curriculum choices in line with our goals. And our second year was extremely more successful for us all than our first. And momma was able to move forward rather than run screaming out the door for good.