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4 Moms Discuss Curriculum Choices


When our family first began our "official" homeschooling journey (meaning we began a curriculum plan) we had a kindergartner, a 3 year old and a newborn.

In those days, we tried to emulate "school at home". I  set up a little school desk and even invited friends over for an "open house" so they could see the school room I had arranged and all the plans I had for the year. I wanted to make sure they knew I wasn't just planning on keeping the kids out of school so they could bring me cold drinks while I watched Jerry Springer and smoked cigarettes all day.

Our oldest child was the only one who we felt needed an actual curriculum and we settled on The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home [2]. We liked the rigorous education outlined for grades K-12 in one book and we were drawn to the amount of materials we could check out of the public library instead of spending a big chunk of change on purchased materials.

As we added more students to our homeschool, though, it became more and more difficult to keep up with the multiple schedules and levels. At one point we had three different students studying three different periods of history at the same time.

Of course, we also had a toddler and a newnewborn, so the whole "school at home" thing was also becoming more difficult.  Things were rarely quiet enough to emulate a classroom setting, and our schedule was constantly being interrupted to bake bread for new neighbors, take a meal to a new mom, or iron shirts for a recent widower [3].

Slowly, we were becoming more of a "life is school" type of homeschool instead of a "school at home". I liked the freedom it gave us and the life lessons my children were learning.

This is not to say that we play all day at baking cookies and never put pencil to paper. We do, however, feel more freedom than we did in the beginning to let real life happen and use those opportunities for education. For example, during the last presidential election, we felt like it was important to halt any individual history studies going on at that time and focus on the United States Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights.

Here is a general breakdown of subjects. (Keep in mind that the younger children have a much looser schedule than the older ones.)

Basically, we are a mixed bag when it comes to curriculum. We don't feel bound to any certain company, nor do we feel compelled to complete a list of tasks or assignments that someone we don't know decided children should complete.  We try to keep our schedule flexible and still work our way through the books we have.

Remember, your homeschool must fit your family. If my loosey goosey, mixed bag approach makes you break out into a cold sweat, then by all means don't follow my lead. Look around. Check out what others recommend and go with what fits your family.

See what the other moms are saying about their curriculum choices:

Would you like to see what The 4 Moms have to say about various topics? Check these out: