Tuesday, April 14, 2015

To Curriculum or Not To Curriculum

Last fall, when I knew I'd need books to homeschool my child, I researched and researched (and researched) curricula. I decided that an all-encompassing curriculum wasn't for me. Instead, I pieced together a curriculum based on friends' recommendations and all that research.

I plan on reviewing the books I used for each subject in another post, but my opinion may be swayed by the fact that...I may not be a curriculum gal! Perhaps my late feelings for curricula stem from an innate rebellion against being told what to do. It seems too structured and rigid for me. (Or perhaps this is just a passing homeschool phase, and next fall I'll be all about purchasing more curricula. I am nothing if not unpredictable.)

I've done a lot of reading up on unschooling lately. Unschooling is basically loose, unstructured homeschooling guided by the child's interest. I can assert that I am not an unschooler, but I do admire unschoolers. (I'd love to incorporate some elements of unschooling into certain subjects...especially science.) No, I still want guidelines--especially as I plan on placing my kids back into public school at some point. (Another pending post--why I homeschool and why I still love public school.)

Back when I still had warm, fuzzy feelings for curricula (all of a few weeks ago), I liked using this website, which presents TEKS--Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills--in the form of skills tests.  I want J to be on task with his classmates when he returns, and this is my way of ensuring it. I've decided that these make good guidelines to create my own lessons. Using my own knowledge and creativity, all those amazing freebie homeschooling resources on the Internet, library books, and Pinterest (of course) our days can be a lot less rigid and a lot more fun.

Yesterday I printed out these skip counting mazes because J needed some help with skip counting. When he woke up in the morning and saw these worksheets, he immediately sat down and started doing them. This was before he had even eaten breakfast.

 He has bed head. I think it's cute.

His patience for his curriculum-based worksheets has been waning thin (another reason we've reached this stage). For grammar, he watched a couple Youtube videos explaining predicates and subjects. Schoolhouse Rocks was one of these videos. I love Schoolhouse Rocks. He still needs help on predicates and subjects, so I'll find a new and fun way to do this for our next lesson.

I'm happy with this new direction, but I don't call this a homeschool experiment for nothing. We'll see what tomorrow brings. (That should be my new mantra for homeschool.)

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