Curriculum collects on shelves in our living room and peaks from boxes in the shed. A glance in either place reveals more stuff than we can realistically use. I’m so thankful for the options, but options can paralyze.
So how do I choose what to help me teach my children? How did these books end up in our possession instead of others?
I search for items that line up with our purpose for homeschooling, and trust God to lead me. Yes, the academics are important, but when I consider our goals getting an A in calculus isn’t top priority.
- I want my children to have godly character.
- I want my children to know how to think and reason.
- I want my children to grow in responsibility and self-government.
Can curriculum really address these deeper heart issues? I think that is the whole purpose of learning. So the curriculum crowding the shelves in our home has certain qualities.
It is reflective in nature.
Children need time to think about ideas. I keep multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank worksheets at a minimum.
It lays out the principles of a subject in a sensible way.
Definitions fill full the ideas words represent. A young child can understand that letters make sounds, sounds create words, and words turn into sentences. In this way, they can understand the whole subject of reading before they begin the practice.
It uses original source documents.
Reference materials lay a foundation for self-learning. Quotes inspire us to dig deeper into the context of historical events. Biographies are some of my favorite resources.
The writing is high-quality and inspirational.
This benefits my whole family. When we read good literature, we all enjoy lessons more. Yes, “Spot ran,” is technically a sentence, but it’s not engaging. Every student craves ideas and well-crafted stories.
When I started homeschooling, I had no idea how many wonderful resources I would find. I used to search to find enough for a complete year. Now it seems curriculum finds me.
What about you? What do you look for in curriculum? Do you have more than enough or not enough?
Written by Renae Deckard, Biblical Principled mother of 3. Find Renae’s reflections about homeschool and family life at Life Nurturing Education.
photo credit: kaleid