One question a lot of homeschooling families get is “what curriculum do you use?’ (The other one is “What do you do about socialization?” to which I respond that we’re not that interested in socialized children, because we’d rather have civilized offspring.)
There are hundreds of curriculum options, and families who use each with fantastic results. No one choice works for every family, or every child in the family. Home education, to me, is all about the flexibility to meet a child’s unique needs, and help them find their own passions in life. I don’t actually know a single “well-rounded” adult who is interesting to talk to. We all have a passion, or three! I’m not about to make my kids wait until they’re 18 to have a real life and get passionate about things.
I have a really hard time settling down, myself. I’m what would be kindly described as an omnivorous learner, or terminally curious, so I struggle with “hop and drop”, academically. I’ll dive into something with concentrated effort, sate my desire, then hop to the next exciting thing. It takes a great amount of effort for me to develop steady, daily habits.
I worry about this and its effects on my kids. I want them to learn steady, daily things! To that end, I’m revisiting my love of Charlotte Mason, a late-19th century education philosopher and teacher. Her emphasis was on developing positive habits, and approaching all learning through hands-on exploration and “living” books–not often official text books. Instead of reading a text book chapter about the Constitution, we read the actual Constitution, and the contemporaneous writings of the Framers of the Constitution.
Mason’s philosophy is easy to blend with other traditional schooling methods, most notably the Trivium, “Thomas Jefferson” education, and Montessori principles. That makes it pretty much perfect for a Hop and Drop like me!
Fall is always my most productive season, so it’s a grand time to get re-inspired, re-energized about learning with my kids. So far today, I’ve had thoughts percolating regarding a blend of religion and history, and how to use it for all of my kids at the same time (kind of a challenge with over a decade of development to span!), I’ve found an on-line keyboarding program that looks very easy to use, and I’ve printed an A-Z quotations list for memorization and penmanship practice. Plugging away at our math concepts will be more fun with some “real life” math thrown in on a more regular basis.
All this hopping about makes some very traditional “school at home” teachers squirm, I know. I really appreciate it when they are charitable and describe me as “eclectic” rather than flat-out “flighty and weird.”