Anyways, the set up is this:
- Monday - Curriculum
- Tuesday - Planning
- Wednesday - Home Management
- Thursday - Traditions
- Friday - Encouragement
What is a home educating family supposed to do as they try to do right by their children?
Some steps that might help you.
1. Know your children. Study them. How do they best learn? If your child LOVES working on the computer, look into computer based programs. If they devour books consider a program that has lots of reading in it. Like to do worksheets? Some children THRIVE on them. Hands on? Lapbooks, experiments, building, creating... just work with it.
2. Budget. Break down what you can afford to spend. If one program meets all your requirements but is a bit costly can you do something cheaper in another area? Can you wait for a sale? Can you, if you are a blogger, contact the company and see if you can get the product in exchange for a fair and honest review? Can you share the resource with another family and split the cost?
3. Research research research. Discover the pros and cons. Read reviews. Ask questions of the vendors. Look at samples. Do the free viewing if you can. Take the placement tests. Consider if it fits with the paradigm of how YOU do school. For instance if it says you must do a program five days a week but you only school four, can you make it fit without a lot of struggle?
4. Weigh out the pros and cons. Sometimes it is helpful when considering two curricula to list out the pros and cons side by side. To really see how they compare.
5. Know your schooling philosophy. Some families will make out a mission statement for schooling, others will have their philosophy internalized, but if you know your philosophy it will help you determine if it fits. For instance, if you want to do purely secular approach, you won't want to pick a curricula filled with faith tie-ins, if you want a creationist approach you won't pick a curricula that is heavily pro-evolution. If mastery approach appeals to you for doing math, looking at a spiral approach would be a no-go. If you know, at the very minimum, in your head what mindsest fits with your family, it helps in making curricula decisions.
6. Mistakes happen. Be aware. You'll do your research, sampling, question asking and get your curriculum home and go .... oh shoot... I didn't realize it involved this or that your children hate it or it's method of doing things doesn't work for you. What do you do? Toss it? If bad enough, seriously, just sell it and move on. Rework it? Most curricula, especially the non-computer based ones, can be reworked or have something added to it to make it bearable. Ignore sections.. sometimes that is all you need to do. Figure out what part of the program REALLY isn't working and leave it out. And there are times when you just have to bear down and work through it, it's just the way it is. Life has moments like that. :)
Anyways, 6 things that might help you as you approach the new year. :)
IF you would like to read others thoughts on this broad topic of curricula, click on the image below. :) Have a great day!