Like every new endeavor you take on, starting out in homeschooling is a trial and error and process. You have to figure out what works for your kids and for you. The biggest part of the process for us has been the curriculum itself.
So looking back on our journey over the past 4 years, I have to say that if I had only known…
- That Baby Bear would not retain a bit of what he learned the year spent with Math-U-See Primer, I never would have doled out the cash for the curriculum.
- That K12 in the early years is just a compilation of non-fiction and fiction reading material, workbook pages, and self-explanatory teacher guides that I could quickly pull together myself with online resources. That was HUGE chunk of money gone.
- That my kids would learn just as much as not more from all of the free interactive activities, lesson plans and printouts available online as they did from all of subscription services that I tried out.
The bottom line, after spending somewhere around 2k in packaged curriculum of any kind I have learned that my kids do not fit into any specific mold more than I do. Though we use some curriculum that I pick apart and grab as we need it, we are slowly turning into unschoolers, grabbing information when we need it and staying away from any particular teaching model.
I can’t say we have turned into unschoolers yet, because I do try to follow a loose a course of study to make sure we will not have any gaps, but that often is overlooked when the kids really get into a topic.
For example, we spent a short amount of time on ancient Egypt because the topic just really wasn’t interesting to them. Why try to teach an important part of world’s history at young age if the child is not interested, chances are they are retaining little of the information.
They are however interested in prehistory and the dinosaurs so we are spending a great deal of time on those studies and laying a great foundation for more in depth studies at a later age.
Oh no, I feel like I’ve gone off on a rambling trip again. My point is that no matter how much I wish we had fit into the Charlotte Mason mold it just did not happen for us, neither did the Unit Study mold. If you are just beginning to home school or thinking you may like to in the future. Do not base your child’s education, or the curriculum you choose, on a mold you would like to fit into.
Instead, take the time to carefully evaluate how your child learns, what keeps them motivated and ready to learn and then make sure it is a teaching method you yourself are comfortable with.
So my question to you today is, what has been your biggest trial and error when it comes to homeschooling? Is it the curriculum, scheduling or something else? Have you found a comfortable teaching/learning method for you and your child(ren) or are you still teetering uncomfortably wondering if you’re really know what you are doing?