Curriculum fairs. The mere mention of these two words makes my heart skip a beat. Good or bad heartbeat skipping, you ask? Both.
Thousands of square feet of books, books, books. The only thing the curriculum fair is missing is a cafe kiosk.
I’ve noticed the expectant parents with their empty, rolling luggage after they’ve spent plenty of time writing their homeschool curriculum wishlists (and checking them twice). These parents anticipate hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars spent for the upcoming year. They don’t want to throw out their shoulder as they walk from book to book, flipping, holding a stack, putting a book back, discovering another gem, hence the rolling luggage.
But I won’t bring that luggage, because I might buy too much. If I must buy something, I have to hold it. The stack can’t become too daunting or I’ll have to return it or at least, come back after another workshop.
My first curriculum fair, I overheard one mom in tears ask another more experienced mom, what is the right curriculum? I wanted to join in and declare:
What will we teach our children? Just as all parents across this globe get to decide how to teach their children what to eat, how to speak to their siblings, when or if to go to bed, the parent may choose what the children will be taught.
Curriculum fairs show us the sky’s the limit. It provides us with endless ideas.
This year, I’m days away from the curriculum fair and I have no list. I’ll bet I’ll put some thoughts together before the end of the weekend. But if my pattern holds consistent, the “must purchase” list becomes shorter and shorter every year.
The fantasy of the right curriculum, the right knowledge base, well, it’s an attempt at feeding our children’s brains with the right information, hoping to equip them to what? Compete with God or Google? Deciper the Rosetta Stone? Know the same stuff as the neighbour’s kids? What is an education anyway?
“There isn’t a right way to become educated, there are as many ways as there are fingerprints”.John Taylor Gatto