We had a lot of reasons to start home schooling our kids, but at the end of the day there were results we wanted to see in our adult children, and what was happening in the classroom each day bore no relationship to our family goals.
We’ve tried a number of curricula and a range of course material, and this is what we’ve distilled:
I think that they will enjoy anything if we make it absolutely gripping. I also see no harm in starting with stuff they DO like. Eventually, they WILL be interested in everything. Here’s what I care about right now, in order:
- Do they have a strong concept of RIGHT and TRUE, and can they navigate their own lives based on this concept, without my help?
- Do they passionately LOVE to learn?
- Do they love to read, and take any and every opportunity to do so?
- Are they competent at Maths and able to grasp the concepts, extend them and, above all, APPLY them to the real world?
Beyond that, everything else is superfluous. I fundamentally believe that with these in place, the rest will come. They will eventually be curious about aspects of the world that may not old their attention now. And one day it will click together and they’ll be filled with wonder.
Considering that this happens to me more and more as I get older, I am not worried about them not completely grasping certain facts so early in life, because for me the facts are merely the vehicle taking them to the goals I’ve mentioned above. As long as the books I use to teach the facts serve my purpose, I will continue to use them. When they don’t, I’ll find ones that do.
We put a lot of energy into making sure there’s laughter in our household. Trying not to sweat the small stuff, laughing whenever we can, finding the lighter side of life. It’s not always easy but it’s already paying off, so in the long run I am very optimistic about the future.