Last time I was on the blog I discussed the process of choosing to homeschool, and how that has the potential to bring up a lot of self-doubt and insecurity. This post will be dedicated to curriculum *cue the scary music * When it was time for us to start looking at curriculum for our 5 year old, I figured, ehhh this should be easy, she’s 5! Boy was I wrong; the process of choosing a curriculum is overwhelming. There are so many curricula available that there are entire conventions dedicated to them Like these! They are great, but when you are new at homeschooling, it can be scary and make you feel even more insecure. So here is the truth about how we got through it…
1) Connect – I never felt more reassured then when I connected with other homeschooling families. Community is really important; not only for your sanity, but also for the sole purpose of demonstrating that we are all just trying to figure this out! This is also a great way for you to see how other people are doing it; my homeschool community is always providing guidance, new ideas, and reassurance that there is no “right” way to homeschool.
2) Time – be patient with yourself, I have found that homeschooling is something you have to settle into. When I first began to homeschool I had this idea that my homeschool had to look like a traditional classroom, I was wrong. The beauty of homeschooling is that my kids can learn anywhere, anytime, in a variety of ways. If we need to take a break, we take a break, if we want to change subjects we change subjects, if we don’t like this book we get that book… you get the point. The first curriculum we tried was called My fathers world, we loved it! But there were also things we didn’t like, it took me an entire year to realize, I was in charge and it wasn’t going to hurt Ella if we skipped some portions of the curriculum. It takes time to find a curriculum that will work for your child, and each child is different. Education is not one size fits all, and it shouldn’t be, we are all unique human beings who learn in a variety of ways. In three years we have tried three different curricula, and I think we have found something that works for us! So be patient, and let the process happen.
3) Socialization– Remember when you were pregnant, and you received all kinds of unsolicited advice? Well, when you choose to homeschool you will be inundated with variety of opinions, questions, and you got it, unsolicited advice. The most popular being “what about socialization, don’t your kids miss out?!” The truth is, homeschoolers are just fine, Google “the truth about homeschoolers and socialization” and you’ll come up with a plethora of information demonstrating that homeschoolers are well socialized. Research aside, lets just take a look at the situation… we put a bunch of children the same age, with one adult, and we expect them to “socialize.” Merriam-Webster defines socialization as to teach someone to behave in a way that is acceptable in society; based on this definition does it really make sense that a 5 year old can teach another 5 year old about what behavior is socially acceptable in society? No, it does not. Homeschooled children are around lots of adults, lots of other children, in a variety of settings on a daily basis. It is through actually being in society, and not in a classroom, that they learn how to behave in a socially acceptable way. The point is, when you choose to homeschool know the truth about it, do your own research, and don’t let people bother you with their ideas about what is right for your children.
So that’s it, choosing a curriculum will be overwhelming, but that’s okay. Don’t stress out too much about finding the perfect one from the get go, give yourself and your children time to settle in, it’ll all work out.
A little about my family curriculum, our first year we tried My fathers world, our second year we tried LifePacs, and this year we are participating in Classical Conversations.