"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind."
Khalil Gibran

Monday, October 10, 2011

No Stress Curriculum

Today I was thinking about how our year has been going so far, as we are in our first year of High School and 3rd year of homeschool.  I thought about  our specific curriculum and how I tend to spend much of the end of summer/beginning of each new school year worrying over which curriculum to choose and wondering what will be best for us.  I tend to want a No-Stress Curriculum. I was reminded today that much of my worry is in vain.

I recalled how things have worked out in each area of study.  Some areas we had extremely organized curriculum and in some areas we started with a much more open style of learning, pulling resources from the library, internet, or local bookstore.  I'm trying to remember that some of the more flexible times of learning really work better and stick longer in my son's mind than an old style rigid schedule of reading-quiz-reading-test.....

Life itself offers so many (almost endless) opportunities for teaching our children, IF we are paying attention and take advantage of the teachable moments!  

I love the way we teach and learn even in 'non-school' hours as we see something on a movie, or hear something on the radio that prompts conversation or questions.  And even more, as my son is getting older, he will hear adult conversations about life events and culture and join in or ask questions later....eager to have a deeper understanding.  

In our current day, there are SO many resources for learning that are absolutely free!  Libraries, the Internet, and just people that we know who have real and interesting life experiences.

Our first year I did not buy 1 subject of organized curriculum, by year 2 I thought that was a crazy idea (because it was a lot of work!) and we schooled off a 100% pre-organized and very scheduled curriculum.  This year we have the organized curriculum but I am tweaking it a bit so that we have more flexibility to experience some of those more free flowing times of learning...a little 'out of the box' so to speak.

I had previously thought that the more flexible learning style approach seemed to me to be much easier with younger children, and with the pressure of the ever looming 'High School Transcript' I was feeling pressured to revert to a public school style of learning....(to meet those college requirements) then I realized what I was doing. I remembered that I originally decided to homeschool for a purpose and that God has equipped me for every good work, of which I believe this to be (Ephesians 2:10).  Just like Moses, I'm trusting God to put words into my mouth when I don't know what to say, because I trust that I'm doing just what I was called to do...in freedom from the bondage of a strict curriculum.  And guess what....I'm still meeting those college requirements!

Doesn't freedom feel so sweet?!?  Why yes, yes it does!

Please don't get me wrong....I do truly adore our curriculum, it has made my life much easier....and yet I enjoy having a good balance.  And with the balance I am finding greater joy for both myself and my son.

If you are a homeschooling family, or just a parent with kids (since parents are teachers whether their kids are formally 'schooled' in the home or out of the home) ... be encouraged to think out of the box the next time their is a learning opportunity.

Also, if you are a parent who has fun or good stories about ways in which you have taught your children, I would love to hear them in the comment section!

Happy Parenting,

~ Jessica ~ 

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