Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The lure of the shiny curriculum
Last week we spent a couple of hours at the home of another homeschooling family. They have a very different learning style to us, but we still get on well. We're eclectic, with quite a large dose of natural learning / unschooling, and they are following a classical curriculum and are a lot more formal (ie sit down from 9am until 11am or whatever and do 'schoolwork').
I have to tell you though, I was getting 'curriculum envy' looking at what they were doing. "Hey wouldn't it be really fun to read Herodotus in the original Greek??!" "Look at all of those lovely folders of work that they are producing, we don't have much other than photos and the odd worksheet to show"..
And so it went, round and round in my head for the next night & day. I was probably also swayed by remarks made by yet another family member that Billy should be in school.. "I'll show them, we'll produce so much work that they'll think differently". My head wasn't a happy place to be :)
My heart finally won through though - maybe that works for them, but at this stage, it wouldn't work for us. Give Billy something hands-on to do and he loves it, but not pages and pages of writing. I'd have to spend all day, every day haranguing Billy to do his schoolwork, and that wouldn't be fun for either of us. My aim in homeschooling is not to produce the very best educated child that I can, but to produce a person that is well-rounded, functions well in society, loves learning and most importantly is happy.
I'm still not quite over the internal argument, and I'll more than likely throw a few extra worksheets his way in the next couple of months before I settle down again, but for the most part I'm content with the path we're on - for now.