I am writing this in response to another mom’s question on her blog on choosing a curriculum. (The link had been removed.)
There are so many options and products out there meant to “help us educate” our children. So many that you could easily get overwhelmed, especially if you have not done any homeschooling at all; or even when you are a seasoned homeschooling, for that matter. It is critical to have a personal conviction in this area, otherwise, for lack thereof, you will go the way of culture.
Decide not on any program unless you’ve develop or adapted a philosophy of education, or have set goals. Read books about home education, and about the different approaches to learning. Why are you homeschooling, or considering to? What are your convictions? And your expectations?
Once you’ve at least set some goals, and get fixed on why you’re homeschooling, it would be easier to eliminate some options and focus on a few that you strongly feel would fit your family’s needs. You would be more confident to consider certain programs not just because they come highly recommended, but because you’ve assessed them, and your heart says go for it. Of course, our initial choice would not always necessarily be the “right one.”
We’re going on our sixth year of homeschooling, and I’m still learning. For the first time, we are going the way of curriculum. In the early years, we just embraced good books, lots and lots of good books. We have developed a love of learning that otherwise wouldn’t have been there had we decided to stick with the textbooks. Again, this is just what’s working for our family.
Glean wisdom from other families. Get ideas. But don’t let anyone influence your decision without you assessing the whole picture first, or let anything get you off track. Keep your eyes on your goals, on your convictions.
I have yet to hear a family say that the first year is their best year of homeschooling. It is a process, and is usually promotion. There is room for burn out, especially when we try to do everything, and when we don’t make room to wiggle about, or make mistakes. We are learning with our children, and there are different ways of going about it. What do you feel would work for your own at least for this season?
Lastly, for us, there is a need to pray, and to seek God for all our needs. He is faithful, and time and time again, has proven that He shows the way, if we are willing and if we desire His way more than our own.