Wading through the Curriculum Jungle
- Monday, September 03, 2001
Overwhelmed by choices, daunted by the immensity of their responsibility, and worried about breaking the family bank, home-schooling parents find that choosing a curriculum is a fearful task. But there are strategies that will help them sort through the choices, alleviate fears, and probably save money.
Do your homework before buying curriculum: Reading some basic parent-help books can answer many of your concerns, help you develop your own philosophy of education, and maybe even suggest some programs that especially appeal to you. (See the end of the article for some tried and true basics.)
Spend money slowly: Its easy to be convinced by a knowledgeable salesperson that his program is absolutely the best, that is, until you hear the pitch from the next salesperson. Almost always, you can manage with fewer resources than you think you might need.
Consolidate grade levels whenever possible: Teach as many of your children as you can with the same resources at the same time. Bible, history, science, art, and music are the easiest subjects for this sort of
efficient teaching. Generally, aim toward the older children when choosing books for the group.
Control your curriculum rather than letting it control you: Almost anything you choose will need to be adapted in one way or another to work well for your children. Use as much of a resource as is useful. Supplement if necessary. If what you are doing is not advancing your childs knowledge or skills, go on to something else. Skipping pages in books is okay!
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