Choosing a college, planning a wedding, breast versus bottle feeding, buying a house ... They've got nothing on choosing a homeschool curriculum.
The truth? The world of homeschooling completely overwhelms me. So I did what I always do when I get overwhelmed; I ignored it, focusing on fun projects instead, and hoped the answer would magically appear on my doorstep. To a certain degree it did. We moved into a community with so many more resources and options than I ever had in the South. I signed up for a Classical co-op at the beginning of the summer, and didn't think about it again until this week. As I started to actually prepare for our school year, however, I realized this program would be perfect for one of my school-aged children ... and disastrous for the other.
|Spiderman ponders this problem.|
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After hours of therapeutic baking and reading and talking to people who know my children best, last night my husband and I decided if it isn't good for one of our kids, it's not good for our family. As much as I love the classical program - and I do, especially for older kids - it is just not the right fit for our family this year.
|This little guy is my oldest. I often forget how young my family really is.|
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Which means, it's the second week of August and I don't have a plan for this school year. Mercy.
|Obviously I don't have time for laundry when my children's education is at stake.|
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Choosing a curriculum is hard because everyone wants to sell you something. Even if it's a philosophy over a product, they are still passionate about their philosophy, and information is given in exclusive terms. You must use this protocol in its entirety if you want your children to grow into moral adults with a lifelong love of learning ... only using pieces of this curriculum will mean your child will only have pieces of a moral, spiritual, and academic education. One website actually said that! It is overwhelming to sift through the hype and find what connects with my family's personal ideals and goals. And we all have so much at stake here, right? Of course I want my children to be moral adults who love to learn! But is there a conscientious parent who doesn't? Is there anyone hoping to raise immoral and lazy adults? Of course not.
They're fishing for my business by tapping into my insecurities as a parent, and friends, I'm buying it.
|At the zoo this week my children were asked if they've ever seen a tapir before. My six-year-old replied, "Only on Diego." Ah, my strategy for home education is working. |
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I homeschool because I believe in giving children a wider context and a non-fragmented life. I believe in play and curiosity, and building on an individual's natural strengths and passions. I believe in being outside and moving as much, in as many ways, as possible. I want them to have time to play and grow and just .... be kids, in a family, for as long as they can.
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But beneath the din of panic, I hear a whisper saying, "They're little kids. 5 and 6. Read every day. Put paper in front of them every day. Let the older one do a little math every day. That's it. The rest is cultivating a culture of fascination and exploration, and you're already working towards that. Click off this stupid website and chill out."
All I want to do is foster this little imagination.
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And as my husband reminded me last night, if it all falls apart we can always put them in school.
|where I'm sure they'll learn to stop climbing cars in the nude.|