Friday, September 01, 2006

Some Homeschooling Planning (A Little)

While out of town and away from all of our books and ‘stuff’ I sat down with a blank notebook and sketched out our homeschooling plans for the year. This was to be a brief sketch, basically translating what was in my head to paper. The intent was to briefly state what each child would be learning in this academic year and if curriculum was to be used, what curriculum it was. I also wanted to document what outside classes, sports and activities they’d be doing.

So I did sit down and I wrote it out. What happened was interesting.

1. Wrote out the plans and it looked pretty complete and full and that it would meet our family’s goals and objectives.

2. I realized that we own and/or had recently purchased curriculum, guidebooks, or books to teach more things and/or to teach the same subjects in different ways. So I added those things to the list.

3. Now the list looked way over-scheduled, over-full and overwhelming.

What to do now?
1. Scrap the extras and stick to the basic stuff.

2. Use everything but don’t use it all at once, go back and forth from this to that.

3. Don’t use everything we have or everything I thought we’d need.

Things to ponder—
1. Teach the child, not the curriculum.

2. Don’t let curriculum drive the homeschooling family. That means, the family uses the curriculum (or parts of it) to teach the child, and once the thing has been learned, move on to the next topic, don’t keep doing extra lessons or using extra curriculum stuff just because it is there and it was not yet used and it was bought and paid for.

3. Can try to use each thing, use what works or what is liked the most and leave the rest behind. Don’t force yourself to use the curriculum if it is not working or if it is not liked.

4. Perhaps shifting back and forth from one thing to another will help alleviate boredom or at least will keep things interesting. In other words, don’t use it all at once.

We will jump in and start homeschooling after Labor Day. (We started about two weeks ago but after one day I postponed it, while we did more summer things, took two trips and until after we celebrate the holiday.)

1 comment:

Doctor Homeschool said...

I loved your points to ponder. I just posted on my site about this very topic: Going Overboard and Sinking Fast. I too have been at times held hostage to an overwhelming amount of curriculum. Reminding ourselves that the important thing is teaching the children not the curriculum are extremely wise words. Thanks for the post.