Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sometimes we homeschoolers....

We scoff at other homeschoolers who used packaged or "canned" curriculum, but at the same time we're hovering around homeschool message boards or listening to other moms conversing at our local homeschool group, hoping to pick up ideas on what curriculum is popular, what works... Then we, as a group, latch on to certain things like Math U See or Saxon and when something new comes along, we resist it, because it's not tried and true. Sometimes taking the path most traveled is akin to purchasing canned curriculum. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not against canned. Sometimes canned is a perfect fit for a family... Especially, perhaps, a large family where the mom just does not have the time to sit down and follow rabbit trails, sampling this and that.

I'm sure my point isn't coming across... The guest room is ashambles and my mother-in-law is arriving tomorrow from the Netherlands, and I need to make a run to the city for supplies as well, so both a chore list and a shopping list are running through my head as I try to type this... ;o) My point is, that we really shouldn't scoff at those who use "canned" because what Charlotte Mason homeschooler doesn't have Fabre's Book of Insects or Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study on their shelf, or at least their wish list? Isn't that akin to canned if we all have the same thing? Again, don't get me wrong... I think every homeschooler should have copies of Fabre and Comstock on their shelves. ;o) But sometimes we do need some fresh ideas that have a hard time making it onto our wish list of "tried and true" because our time and resources are limited... After all, we don't have public funding and our taxes are paying public schools, not our own schools. ;o) So with all that rambling I bring you an excellent link of fresh ideas, especially for the joy of Charlotte Mason types, prepackaged for your perusal: MacBeth's Opinion (I especially love the high school science suggestions!)

Now I'm off to concentrate on finding missing pillowcases that match the bedding on the guest bed... And making a shopping list... Dish soap... Milk.... Scrubbing Bubbles flushable bathroom wipes... And where is that dustpan? I'm sure Steadfast had it in the garage....

5 comments:

Anne said...

I do like the Children's Fantasy page and I completely agree with
"For the well-formed Christian, especially a homeschooled Christian, who has parents ready and available to answer questions, this should not be a problem." !

Finally, another of like-mind on that issue.

thicket dweller said...

Very good points. Thanks for sharing.

Kimberly said...

So true!

How exciting that your mom is coming to visit! I hope you enjoy your visit!

thirty years in the trenches said...

Though I do not homeschool (I teach in a private high school), I would say that there is nothing wrong with using something "canned" if one feels that the material is good, pertinent, and if one is able to supplement with other materials. After all, one does not have to reinvent the wheel each time one needs to get into the car to go somewhere.
Teaching is hard work, though immensely rewarding in a non-monetary way. I admire those who have the commitment and the wherewithal to do so. Though I have taught each of my children in the formal classroom setting over the years, I do not think that I would have the internal discipline to be effective in the "restrictive " setting of the home. Having said that, however, my husband and I have taught our children many academic things that they would never learn in the traditional school setting as well as the social norms and religious beliefs that we learned as youngsters but that seem to be missing in society's educational curriculum of today.

Hind's Feet said...

Thirty Years... Do you have more freedom in choosing curriculum than a public school might have? I know the teachers at our local school complain at how their hands are tied in so many ways... how they may not use this or that great piece of literature because it is not "politically correct".

I don't think the wheel needs to be reinvented, but I find the cookie cutter education the local public schools around us are giving to be quite tiresome. I keep running into teenagers with the exact same worldview as the teen next to them. They have the same "boxed & packaged" way of thinking, and it's a bit disconcerting to think the schools just pumping out these robots that think the exact same way as the school system.

I'm also curious as to what you mean by the "restrictive" setting of the home. Homeschoolers don't stay home for school. We have science lessons in our meadow and creek... we meet at each other's homes for co-ops and "cottage school" type classes. We have history in the park or at the museum... on a whim we can take a field trip out of state to a historical monument... without having to fill out forms in triplicate in order to ask our principal's permission. Our brief stint with public schools this year felt very oppressive and restrictive to us.