What is Homeschooling Curriculum?Sep 08, 2022
It is that time of year when homeschooling parents are gathering their curriculum and making plans for the start of the next school year. The question that I see posted all over right now is, “What’s a good curriculum for a ___ grader?” The problem with this question is two-fold. The first problem is that the parent isn’t providing enough information to make an individualized decision for their child. The second problem is that the parent assumes that “curriculum” means a traditional program with textbooks, workbooks or online classes. The question of “What is homeschooling curriculum?” needs to be considered.
There are two types of homeschooling curriculum, traditional-type curriculum and non-traditional (traditional meaning school-like). Homeschooling can include one or the other or a combination of the two, but the choice should focus on what will foster the love of learning and ownership of the student’s education.
Homeschooling is Learning Through Life
This is a phrase I say often to my clients. It is a different paradigm than traditional schooling. In traditional school settings, the message that gets sent is that learning only happens at school, in a text or workbook or with a teacher. But homeschooling provides the opportunity to convey this message:
“Learning happens everywhere all the time.”-Kami Wanous
Homeschool curriculum IS life! It is everywhere, in everything you do, with whomever, all the time.
That means, cooking, cleaning, family projects, gardening, playing, movies, shows, family vacations, field trips, nature exploration, camping/hiking, laundry, reading, writing and singing. All of these aren’t always learning experiences by themselves, of course, but the learning happens through discussion. Discussion is a huge part of education, whether in academic subjects or about life.
The discussions can also be about character, morals, values, and principles. This is homeschooling curriculum as well. It’s often overlooked as learning, but write it down in your records! Even traditional schools dabble in these subjects.
Playing is homeschool curriculum too!
Choosing Homeschooling Curriculum
Researching homeschooling curriculum programs can be very overwhelming. There are so many great choices and all of them sound like they’re the best. You can choose a whole program, part of one, or none!
You decided to homeschool for a lot of reasons, but one of them almost always is to provide an individualized education for your child. Now you have the freedom to do so! Understanding what homeschooling curriculum really is allows you to customize your child’s educational experience to what’s important to your family and you and your child’s goals. It allows you to relax, have faith that they will learn what they need to learn and that you got this!
Homeschooling is a journey for sure. It moves with the challenges, successes and seasons of life. But that is where learning happens. That is homeschooling curriculum. Sure, all the other stuff too, but now you can think broader by remembering, “homeschooling is learning through life” and “learning happens everywhere all the time.”