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Thoughts on Curriculum

This is one of the most visited pages on our website, so we know that parents considering homeschooling are intently focused on curriculum. Choosing what to use and how to teach it may seem like a daunting task, particularly to a parent taking an older child out of school.

We can provide you strong reassurance:

  • You are normal. Most parents are at a loss when first considering curriculum.
  • You have time to learn. Your own "on the job" learning process will provide a good model for your child. Let your child see you figuring out how to do something that is new to you. Let your child see you excited about finding out something you don't already know. Most of what we want to learn in life doesn't fit neatly into a programmed textbook. Making mistakes and mid-course corrections is an inherent part of true learning and, consequently, an inherent part of homeschooling.
  • You will lose this anxiety. Most homeschoolers with a year of homeschooling under their belts have developed confidence that they and their children can find the methods of learning that best suit their family's needs.

We also provide you with strong advice:

  • Wait! Before you start shopping for curriculum, take time to explore the educational landscape of homeschooling. Take time to learn about the wealth of opportunities opening up to you and your children. Particularly explore your local library and all the resources available through inter-library loan.
  • Start to learn about learning. The worst mistake you can make is trying to replicate school at home burn-out inevitably results. The conditions for optimal human learning are not found in a standard classroom. Experts know that humans learn best when they perceive the relevance and usefulness of the material, and when they have no fear of failing to learn. You already know how curious your children are. In homeschooling you can build on that curiosity, seeking ways to learn that you and your child recognize as meaningful.
  • Seek the counsel and support of experienced homeschoolers. In our Getting Started page, you will find suggestions for homeschool resources and support. For immediate encouragement and reinforcement read the thoughts of two homeschool moms in the articles listed below.

Homeschool Resources From the article:

It's fun to browse through packaged learning materials, but it's most satisfying to buy each one if and when we see a specific need for it or because it's fun or fascinating in its own right. Starting off "homeschooling" with a pre-determined set of purchases toward a particular set of studies can present some pretty expensive surprises about how learning really works and/or doesn't work.

Buying a Curriculum From the article:

Many first time homeschoolers feel more comfortable with a full-blown curriculum. When you are trying to decide whether to homeschool or not one of your fears could be "Can I do this?" or "Will I be doing enough?" Using a boxed curriculum may help to alleviate those fears. Many of us started that way, then stayed with structure or went to more relaxed methods. We all have to deal with our own comfort zone.

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