Live and Learn: The Curriculum Post, Part I

June 16, 2006 @ 10:50 am | Filed under: Methods of Home Education

A ClubMom mom wrote me with a couple of questions:

I am trying to figure out a starting point with curriculum. Could you give some suggestions?
My other concern; do you have any insight into how colleges are accepting homeschoolers. I have this overwhelming fear that I’ll ‘mess’ up their chances of getting into decent colleges.

I’ll address the college question soon.* For now: curriculum. You’ve decided you want to educate your children at home; now what? How do you choose between the truckloads of curriculum possibilities—let alone define your “homeschooling philosophy”?

My first piece of advice: Don’t rush into anything. Don’t shell out a fortune for materials. Don’t map out a daily schedule crammed with ten or twelve different subjects. Take some time to read and think about how people learn. Watch your children; notice what makes them light up, what draws them in deep. Listen to them; let them tell you about the things they’re interested in.

And while you’re doing that, take this quiz. Unlike most internet quizzes, which are purely for fun, this one is a useful tool for taking your own pulse as a mother, a learner, and a facilitator of your children’s learning. (GuiltFree’s Learning Styles Quizzes are helpful too.) Take the quiz, then come back here, and we’ll discuss the results. I’ll tackle the nitty-gritty of curriculum-choosing next week, but first let’s begin with this survey of style and tone.

*And about the college question: I’ve been collecting links to posts on this subject for some time, but I’d also like to encourage input from readers who have already experienced the college admissions process with their homeschooled students. If you’ve got stories to share, we’d love to hear them.

Curriculum, Part 2 is here.)

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Comments

6 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. I took the quiz. Much to my surprise, I’m an unschooler. Maybe that’s why I was so unimpressed with the curriculum I purchased when we were homeschooling the boys. It was awfully dull, but it did give me the security of feeling that I was ‘covering all the bases.’ If I wind up homeschooling our youngest, maybe I’ll need to modify things somewhat.

  2. This looks exciting! Especially if you were to be more specific about math programs…. I very much appreicate your advice on this stuff.

  3. I am a public schooled wife married to a homeschooled husband. All four boys in his family were homeschooled. The youngest is just begining the college application process. The three older boys went to college with no problem (my husband went to a respected tech school, his other brothers went to a big state school, one on a full scholarship). My husband just graduated with his law degree and another brother finished his MBA. The academic achievments are pretty comparable to kids who aren’t homeschooled, except these guys have a remarkable amount of focus, self-discipline, can-do attitude, and maturity that I just don’t see in myself or my public schooled colleagues. Their work ethic is just incredible — all during their homeschool years they had little home businesses so they could buy their gear for camping, surfing or rock climbing. They carried that same work ethic into college by teaching music, crafts, or working in construction. My husband’s 21 year old brother had so many people asking him to do work on their houses, he just started a construction business and is looking to buy a fixer-upper.

    I’m pretty proud of them, can you tell? 🙂 Our kids will be enthusiastically homeschooled. I’m trying to do the research on methods and curriculum choices before we have kids so I really appreciate your blog, Lissa. It makes me even more excited to homeschool!

  4. Hi Lissa,
    I’m a Swiss Family Robinson, “off the grid” type! I guess that is why I’ve loved Waldorf so much. This discussion will be interesting to follow. Thanks, Wendy

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