It seems at any one point in time on our homeschool journey, I have one subject that “freaks me out”. I have moments where I feel like I cannot POSSIBLY teach my child *insert scary subject here* and then I go into spaz mode and spend the next three weeks researching a magical curriculum that will make it seem less scary and more manageable.
What’s really funny to me is that we are talking about early elementary here. I don’t need to teach quantum theory, or advanced calculus or how to translate passages from Latin….. Which happen to be written in gothic script on old paper…. And the ink is fading, and the paper is falling apart. I’m sure some homeschoolers do that. At some point I may want or need to teach these things.
I read a quote on a homeschooling message board that went something along the lines of “The best homeschool curriculum is the one that gets done.” I’ve spent so much time researching the pros and cons of each program, looking at samples, attempting to find it used, scheduling it out… and in this process I missed the POINT.
Yes, I need to teach the basics. I need my child to be able to read a sentence while simultaneously comprehending it, retaining the information, connecting it to the other things in his wonderful little brain, a the while enjoying it. I need him to have a solid grasp of foundational math. I need him to be able to express himself, with confidence both verbally, and on paper. I need him to be comfortable solving problems.
More importantly, I need him to have an open heart, with the ability to view the world with compassion. I need him to have fun, and embrace his imagination, and have the kind of childhood that all kids deserve.
I am pretty sure the best curriculum on the market won’t take care of most of either of those lists.
They cannot teach my kids to enjoy reading. I can teach them to enjoy reading by reading aloud good books, and by demonstrating a love of reading myself.
They cannot teach him confidence, but I can build him up as he puts forth his best effort. I can listen to his thoughts, and enjoy his stories, and engage him in pleasant conversation frequently. I can model confident conversational skills and interpersonal skills as I go about my day.
Luckily for me, I can teach him the MOST important things.
And I don’t need magic curriculum to do it.