Monday, June 17, 2013

What You Need to Learn

I'm in the midst of planning a big picture plan for the next year, and then detail planning for the next 4-6 months. The boys are happily "on a break" so that I can use our usual schooling time to plan a bit.

I'm building book lists, figuring out if a piece of curriculum will contribute to our schooling or hinder it, and ultimately deleting half of what I originally added to the list.

There is just so much out there to aid in education, and a lot of it is good. Really good. It is easy for me to get caught up in all that good and feel like "good" is exactly what we need. The truth of it is that I'm the gate keeper and my job is to provide them with a GREAT education. For us it means protecting our time to explore and our time together as a family. Using materials that individually add a little bit of time to our schedule is fine, but adding curriculum upon curriculum that would keep us at the table for 6 hours just isn't going to work for us.

We want our kids to have the best education they can have, and we decided long ago that that means having the time to really investigate their areas of interest. We have spent the last two years cultivating that philosophy in our home, spending the first part of our homeschooling time on reading, writing, and math and the rest on exploring. There is science, history and geography, there are biographies read and projects begun, but I work really hard not to add anything that ultimately boils down to busy work.

After all- what do we really need to be able to learn?

Paper, a pencil, access to books and real experiences.

Curriculum is a tool, and when used in the right way and situation can be precisely the needed instrument. But sometimes it's a $300 dollar hammer when a $10 hammer would have done the same job just as well.

I'm trying to remember: 

Don't trade "great" for "good".

Less done really well is more than a giant stack you plod through, kids wondering if it's "over yet".

Going out and doing something trumps reading about it.


  1. What a great reminder for us all. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I came via Sarah's link up and noticed you're a fellow spinner. A bit of a dying breed I think. I also weave but haven't done much of either for a while.

  3. Really good points. You have saved yourself and your children a lot of grief, and had more fun in the bargain.


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