What curriculum should I use for homeschooling?
Well, there are zillions of options out there. I would say the right question is probably not, “What curriculum should I get?” Homeschooling ranges from having no curriculum at all, to bare-bones curriculums, to very thorough, planned-out curriculums. But the question I suggest asking yourself is, “What am I trying to accomplish in homeschooling?”
The nature of what you want to do is going to dictate something about your curriculum. What I recommend, as you look at curriculums, is that you go in the direction that we did. We found a curriculum where we could trade in things that we cared about. Some homeschooling curriculums are all videos and all laid out. The pens are in the boxes, everything’s done for you. and it’s just a mechanical thing. You’re essentially having a school come into your home and teach your child their way. If you’re insecure, or you really believe in that type of planned-out curriculum, or if it’s your denominational orientation, then go for it. That type is schooling will be okay. But what we used with our kids was a system called the Robinson Curriculum.
What we liked about the Robinson Curriculum is that it had an overall scope and sequence that organized around the most essential skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic. But inside of that we could adapt what we did with math, which books we read, and how we approached writing. For example, we would integrate Saxon math into the math section or our Writing Course into the writing section for our children’s daily schooling. That kind of flexibility allowed us to adjust things as we learned what worked with the kids and what didn’t.
When you’re thinking about curriculum you really want to think about what you’re trying to accomplish—and then go out there and look around and find what seems to be a match for you. My personal conviction is that you want a curriculum that leaves enough flexibility where you can adapt things a little bit to your unique situation, instead of potentially becoming enslaved to a learning factory in a box.
-Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand
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