Many homeschoolers become elated when their curriculums are picked out and opened up. Planning the year and envisioning all the possibilities brings a smile to their faces. Today’s homeschoolers are fortunate to have a variety of curriculums to choose from. Sometimes, the choices can even be overwhelming!
The course of study in curriculums vary. Some curriculums follow state standards. Others national standards. Some follow guidelines set forth by the publisher. Typically, they will try to appeal to a range of learning styles or will follow a specific educational philosophy. But not one single curriculum was created specifically for your unique homeschooler. Did you get that? Not a single curriculum was created specifically for your unique homeschooler.
The curriculum does not know what your child already knows. It does not know what your child is interested in. It does not know what learning style your child prefers. It does not know what your days will look like or what your year will bring. It is simply a tool created to help your child learn and help you teach. And it should only be used as a tool.
If your child already knows something, you do not have to do everything related to that topic in the curriculum. If your child does not enjoy the suggested projects and would rather write a paper, let him. Or if he prefers being creative over a worksheet or writing assignment, let him create.
This is not public school. We are not teaching to a general population; we are teaching to our children. We can skip ahead. We can add to it. We can go off on tangents. We can even skip something we see as irrelevant. As homeschoolers, we are not required to finish the curriculums we picked out. We can pick and choose what to cover or choose to abandon the curriculum.
We should be focused on creating a learning environment that sparks a love of learning in our children. We should use the curriculums we buy as a tool to enhance our children’s education and create opportunities for them to learn. We should never allow a curriculum to take over our homeschool and squash the opportunity we are given to make learning come alive and be part of our children’s lives.
As homeschoolers, we are in charge of our children’s education. We always have the final say. (As long as we are following the law, that is.) We have the right and the privilege to determine our children’s course of study. So as the year gets going, and you come across something in your curriculum that doesn’t fit for your homeschool, feel free to skip it or tailor it to fit your needs. After all, this is homeschooling.