The grass is not greener on the other side. It really isn’t. We each have different children, each child has an individual need to learn the best way for them. I have three kids, and I could use a different “curriculum” for each one. There is no best curriculum. There is no best when it comes to education. Just what works best for each person.
I put curriculum in quotations because curriculum is a broad ideal, especially when it comes to alternative education. (Meaning not the public school system which is considered normal everywhere.)
The actual point behind homeschooling is to educate our children different from how they would be taught in public school or private school.
The definition of curriculum as shown above is that it is what the school uses. As a relaxed homeschooling family, we view curriculum as a box of textbooks with workbooks that go along with each textbook chapter. You read the passage, answer the questions, take the test, and you’re done. That is not education, not for the majority of people.
–Let me throw in here real quick, that I do know that a lot of public school teachers are opting for more project-based learning, and I absolutely love that. But, they have rules, and a contract they have to abide by so their hands are somewhat tied. I admire that there are teachers trying their best to teach against the common core, and public school textbook education grain. —
Through some trial and error I have noticed that my kids truly learn, and truly soak up new information when we do it a little differently. When we do it using our Funschooling Journals which are relaxed homeschooling curriculum, if you want to call it that. They encourage the child to develop a love of learning while using their creativity, and having most control of their education. They are research-based, and literature-based, and so much fun.
Technology is also a pretty big part of our education. YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video have some amazing educational shows. There are Manu documentaries, and even movies that can be educational. They jibe so well with the Funschooling Journals, and with our free-flowing education style. It’s an incredible thing to watch a child’s eyes open wide, and they’re body get so excited as they watch something they never knew before. And with a child’s curiosity it can turn into an entire week or more of learning.
My 6 year old is obsessed with all the baking shows on Netflix, so she’s been watching them, and telling me all about the things she is learning. Next week we are buying all the ingredients so she can make her own little baked goods using what she has learned through Netflix, and books. It will be such a versatile learning experience. She will learn measurements, fractions, basic math, temperatures, and how things work together. An overall, real-life lesson that still teaches the basics of things she needs in life.
My oldest wants to be a video game designer. She enjoys Minecraft right now. We bought her the Funschooling Minecraft Journal, and we also bought her Minecraft Modding For Kids which has you sign up for an online modding program to help them learn coding in video games! How neat! I don’t even think I could list all the things she will learn while doing this. And eventually (probably around May) we will be signing up for online classes for her to work with other students, and an instructor in video game design!
Along with this post, which is very homeschool awareness heavy, I recommend reading my post about stopping parenting wars in education. You can find it here:
Regular ol’ curriculum is so limiting, and doesn’t encourage a love of learning, or teach mastery, or understanding. It teaches for testing. That is the goal of all public schools, to have high scores on tests. I am preparing my child for life, not a test, and to do that I will need to teach them though life, not test-taking materials. I am not against workbooks, my middle loves workbooks. She is only at the end of Kindergarten though, that could change, and I am 90% sure that it will shift, a least a little. She is very analytical though, so that will carry with her in her learning. We will encourage her to learn however works best for her, same with the oldest, and the youngest. That may be different for each child, and it may be similar in some ways.
My goal as a homeschooling parent is to teach my child how to find new information, how to decipher that information to make sure it is true stuff that they are reading, to encourage them to have a love for learning, to reach out to learn new things, to learn through failure and trial and error, to embrace all different types of learning experiences, and to always take something away from any situation. We stopped using curriculum because curriculum hinders learning, and we want to embrace learning.
What do you use in your homeschool? Do you use box curriculum to a T or do you use random materials? How did you get to where you are now? Answer in the comments!