Thursday, March 31, 2011

Curricula or not?

Now that we've started to find our way through the maze of home learning, the big question becomes curriculum. This year we've used a hodge podge of curricula. It's worked for us, sometimes really, really well. But it's been a ton of work and I've had to throw out great curricula I created because it didn't fit Haley's learning style, her interests or was too much work for the educational payoff. We've concentrated our efforts, condensed our volume of work and found true learning without all of the superfluous bells and whistles.

So what about next year? I'm currently trying to find a language arts program and a science program. Maybe a math program. Or maybe not. Which brings me to an even bigger question: How school-y are we going to be?

I know we are going to continue with our relaxed attitude. "Unschool" is not something I think will work for us--I'm not sure I can relax that much. I am, after all, a control freak. Haley is generally resistant to challenging herself. So while I believe in the concept of "unschooling", especially in children with internal motivation, we're not ready for that. Since I don't want to move backward in our educational journey, that leaves me with continuing what we are doing.

Choosing exactly what to do and how much to do and when to do it is a huge decision. I hate to waste money buying something we'll hate or that won't work. So I'm researching, researching, researching and trying to walk that fine line between following our interests and forcing a set curriculum on Haley. I'm trying to find a balance between home learning and home schooling. Schooling is unimportant to me but learning? Learning is essential. And joyfully learning is vital!