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.
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.