Thinking about buying a curriculum and you’re new to homeschooling? Stop right there and put down the curriculum. Remember the first rule of homeschooling. Homeschooling is not a recreation of school at home. Not that there’s anything wrong with using a curriculum, (some of my best friend’s use them) but why jump into one without a clear vision of what your child wants to learn and where they are right now developmentally?
Homeschooling is a gift. Homeschooling is an opportunity to take risks and try things differently. Your kid hated multiplication in school after doing endless worksheets for months? How about giving direct instruction for ten minutes once a week and then reviewing multiples naturally while playing Pokemon Go or writing out multiples for a hopscotch game?
Recently, I had spoken with a mom with a very common issue. She has a daughter who loves to read and she’s reading years above grade level yet she hates school. She hates school so much that her natural flame for learning has started to dim. Tragic! Put the curriculum back down! What does this girl need? She needs to reconnect with that love of learning by taking time to follow her passion and have room to take that study deeper. Take where your child is and go from there. Don’t worry about all of the checklists you think you need right now. You don’t need them right now and they’re all online on your state’s education website and easily accessible for a later date if you still want them. Take a moment to think of the bigger picture. What are your long and short term goals for your child? Do you want your child to be a flexible thinker? To be able to figure out solutions, to be brave learners? No-one ever wishes for their child to lose their love of learning. You have an opportunity to build on your child’s natural inclinations and passions as well as to discover new ones.
The girl I have been telling you about loves to read Harry Potter. She’s eight so the checklists and curriculums out there that are targeted towards a third grader aren’t going to be just right for her. This is so common. Take Harry Potter and think about the endless possibilities. There’s a chance to dive deep into origin studies and their purpose and a deep dive into the Greek mythology that inspired the series, latin spells are a natural lead into studying Latin and learning about the science in the spells. The list of what you can do is as long as your imagination (or Pinterest.) What does your child love to do? What are your child’s goals for the new academic year?