home educating planning

curriculum we use

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I’ve always been resistant to answering the question, what curriculum do you use? because though I do use it, I don’t think there is one right book, one right way of tackling any subject.

I don’t think in grades, so I am not familiar with the provincial expectations. What would it matter anyway? If I moved a province, there would be different expectations, different ideas of necessary knowledge. So I’ve come to accept that it is my choice alone that decides what areas of knowledge we tackle. But most importantly, the children’s interests lead the way.

If the kids show an innate interest in the British monarchy, logic games, or zoology, I wander into those sections of the library, curriculum fair or Amazon. I register the questions they ask all day long. The questions don’t stop when they’re three, though there aren’t nearly as many canned whys. Mom, do these bugs grow in the dirt? How does the baby grow in the mommy’s tummy, if the tummy digests food? How did they know that the earth revolved around the sun, and not the sun around the moon? Some answers I know, some answers Galileo determined and I can always Google to find out. Listening intently to the questions can determine a solid curriculum.

Why do I follow their interests? Because their full attention is paid to the answer. No need attempting to entice them to pay attention. Attention is present. It doesn’t take much effort to include other topics into the initial topic either. If she’s interested in baseball, I can have a discussion on statistcs (RBIs….), discussion on physics (how fast is that ball going or what propels it in one angle to the next), the history of baseball and any relevant events during that period (what was happening to baseball during WWII). It’s possible to approach pretty much any topic in this manner.

I’ll not cover everything the school curriculum covers, you assume. You’re probably right. And I’ll likely cover a whole bunch of other things that school curriculum hasn’t remembered, hasn’t deemed valuable at my childs’ age. Like world economics, like international diplomacy, like earthquakes in Bangladesh…sounds like a high school level social studies course. In our house, it’s dinner time.

Naturally, what I choose to buy or borrow is influenced heavily by my children’s interests. With four children, that’s a lot of interests. Sometimes two are interested in the same topic. We’ll do that together. Sometimes it’s one child’s interests, I’ll teach her to pursue it on her own.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Albert Einstein

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