When we decided to start this homeschool journey I had a lot of preconceptions. I expected to have to spend hours each day teaching my kindergartner. I prepared myself for the backlash that I would receive from friends and family. I imagined piles of books and curriculum and following a strict schedule.
As time goes by and I continue to prepare for our first year as homeschool parents. Many wise woman have shared their thoughts, advice and concerns with me. I’ve taken each comment into consideration. I appreciate their advice, I hope they continue to share their wisdom with me! I’ve spent lots of time praying about their concerns. What I know for certain now is that:
- Every Homeschool family functions differently.
- Every Homeschool Mom has a different style of teaching.
- Homeschooling is not a cookie cutter job.
I’ve been encouraged to avoid curriculum, to focus on reading, hands-on-learning, allowing my kindergartner to have fun and experience education in a non-structured manner. This advice is great! Unfortunately it is not for me. I’ve prayed, considered and discussed this with my husband and I know myself pretty well.
I, the teacher, need structure.
The homeschool mom down the street may not need step-by-step instructions. I do. I NEED curriculum so I have boundaries, goals and direction. That is just my personality. I’m learning that all homeschool families need to do what fits their family best. As a work at home mom I need to have clear boundaries on my time. My clients need to know that I’m doing their work. My family, my #1 priority, needs to know that I’m making time for homeschooling, homemaking, and family time.
Some things that I took into consideration when deciding about a curriculum for this coming year were:
Faith - A faith based curriculum is key. That is why we are homeschooling, so we can disciple our children and give them a strong foundation.
Family – How will this curriculum fit into our family? Is it a good fit? We travel out of state several times a year, is the curriculum easy to transport so we can bring it with us?
Cost – Like most families the cost of the curriculum is a factor for us. We needed to find a curriculum that we can afford. We want to have money left over to add in extra curricular activities for our children like music, art or dance lessons.
Prep time – I work from home and it is important to me to be sure that I continue to give my clients excellent assistance. I don’t want to spend hours each week preparing materials for the upcoming week. It just won’t work for us right now. I need a curriculum that I can pull out and jump right in!
Fun – Especially because this is our first year homeschooling I want it to be a fun year. I want our daughter to fall in love with learning. I want to create memories as a family and foster an environment of fun and learning in our home.
Teaching style – Like I mentioned above, I know what I need as a teacher, and that is structure. I need a program that will give me instructions, deadlines and goals to meet.
Are you considering homeschooling next year? Are you overwhelmed? I know the feeling, just remember that although you will receive heaps of advice, you need to make decisions that best fit your family.
Me, I’m a curriculum girl. I need a little bit of hand-holding, I need accountability. You? You may be an “un-schooler”, you may love the Classical model and spend hours each day teaching. See, were all different, and that’s the beauty of homeschooling – we have the opportunity to choose what is best for our family!
How did you decide if curriculum is right for you? Do you follow a more relaxed method of homeschool for your young learners. I would love to hear what influenced your decision! Share your thoughts in the comments below! Like I said above I hope my dear homeschooling friends will continue to share their bits of knowledge with me even if I don’t decide to do the same. I love hearing your tips!
Image Credit: Albertogp123