I wasn’t going to write this until we had officially started homeschooling next year but so many of you are already asking me what curriculum and a lot of you are starting the same journey so I am going to share what we have decided to start with next year.
I am not sure if it is a commonly asked question to homeschooling moms but the first question people ask when I say we are going to homeschool is, what curriculum are you following?
The short answer is…..none!
When I made the decision to start this homeschooling journey I googled all the curriculums I could find and it was completely overwhelming and if I am honest really expensive. (Cheaper than private school but still expensive).
I took a step back and then started talking to every homeschooling mom I knew. I joined all the groups I could and I asked everyone who would answer what curriculum they were using.
Basically for the last 3 months I have been listening to as many discussions as I can. Not all of them have been around curriculums but include challenges moms have, questions existing homeschooling moms have etc. Some may say I turned into a bit of a stalker but it has been incredibly insightful, I have learnt so much and had so many of my assumptions about homeschooling blown out the water.
It was through these discussions that I made the decision to not buy a boxed curriculum for anyone of the kids.
Jack and Emma are still learning on an informal level and while I do need us to have a routine, I do not need a set schedule but everything they need to learn can be found, for free online. So while we settle in, we are going to learn as we go.
Kiara is going into Grade 10 next year but she is only 15 in April next year so she has some time on her side. I have still not decided 100% what we are going to do with her. I would like her to do her GED but our local universities seem a little skeptical about this so we need to first figure out what she wants to do once she finishes. CAPS/IEB is the other option but again, I don’t actually need to buy anything formal for her to be able to do this. I had to buy all Cameron’s text books for next year so if we do go with CAPS I will just get the books she needs. I would like for her to de-school for a bit and have bought her some Udemy courses to see which of them pull her interest the most.
It took me about 3 months to get to this point and I have learnt a few things along the way, the biggest being that every child and every family is unique. Some children within a family function well on a boxed curriculum while a sibling may not.
If you are considering homeschooling and unsure which curriculum or how to start, this is my advice.
- Understand WHY you want to homeschool your children. The answer is different for everyone but I think it is important to understand why you have made this decision, it will impact how you decide on a path. A big part of our reason is that we feel our children are not being taught enough about things outside their set school curriculum. So I want the freedom to be able to spend time going off on a tangent if the kids want to do that.
- Talk to as many homeschooling moms as you can find to talk to you. Don’t just look for moms who are following one curriculum, find moms who are doing it in various ways. Ask them all the questions and then sit back and listen to them.
- Research what you learn. Cambridge is a very popular high school curriculum, they do not offer art subjects so while everyone was suggesting Camridge, it would never work with Kiara.
- Figure out how your child learns. Children all learn differently, auditory, visually and some need to move, understanding this will help you figure out which way you are going to go. I have an idea of how my 2 learn but I am not 100% sure, another reason I decided to not start with a boxed curriculum.
- Have an open mind and be prepared to be flexible once you have made your decision. One of the things almost all the moms I have to have said is that they have changed curriculums a few times because the ones they had didn’t work for their kids.
The biggest lesson I have had to learn over the last few months is to look at schooling differently. The goal is not just teaching the kids something every day for the sake of teaching them something but rather it is now about learning and using our every day life to do that.
There is no rush to make this decision. Allow both yourself and your child the time to figure it out.