I have been a homeschool educator for over 20 years. In that time I have seem a lot of changes in the home schooling movement, particularly with curriculum.
There are many great tools for parents to use these days. With homeschool being so popular the amount of Christian curriculum is vast. As more and more students began to school in the home, more and more public institutions began offering programs and curriculum. When I started homeschooling over 20 years ago you had to purchase most of your materials with a teacher supply store or through a curriculum company. Little was available on line. Now, there are so many on line resources that it can sometimes be confusing.
When choosing curriculum cost is another great factor that families consider. With so many choices of curriculum now it is easy for parents to find something to fit their needs. The internet can sometimes be of great value as well. Most paid web curriculum has a free feature that allows you to try before you buy.
My favorite type of curriculum is free! Although I do purchase some actually books for the kids to read and some for specific subjects, for the most part I get my curriculum for free on the internet. As the choices of curriculum grow due to the movement, it gets easier and easier to find quality free stuff. It is so wonderful that parents have so many choices for their students education now days. Parents who are interested in math, science and history can find what they want easily and that is great curriculum for your kids, but it is not the best curriculum for your kids.
The best curriculum for your kids is the curriculum that not many parents think of. When I think of what I am going to educate my kids with it is not just the normal math, science and history. But then, when I think of educate, it is a much different thought than any one else. I believe that children should have knowing knowledge, active feeling and understanding. I do not want my children to have the knowledge that the schools try to teach. Vernon Howard “says knowledge is the observation of a fact.”
I believe Knowing is the inward experience of that fact. Bob Proctor says, “God’s gift to us is more ability and talent than we will ever use in our life time and our gift to God is to develop as much of that talent and ability as you can in this lifetime.”
Now that is so profound. As we educate our children we develop their talent and ability. We choose curriculum that is engaging and allows our students to create, observe, wonder and think. We are able to take them out of the class and into the world. That is why we choose to homeschool. Additionally I believe that in and institutionalized school education is taught like this;
You go to school and you hear what the teacher is saying what you are reading or listening to. From there, you gather information into your conscious mind. Now your conscious mind has all this information floating around in it. Then, you are given an examination and attach a grade to the examination. In that examination they ask do you know the information that was in the books, audio or video? If you are very good at remembering all that is swimming around in your head then they attach a letter grade showing that you have knowledge. From there they call you learned.
Well, I know learned people who are broke. I do not want my kids to live their lives broke. So I teach my student important things like how to read and write. I instruct them on science, social studies and history. We have fun classes like cooking and crafting. However, I teach my students something that most instructors/parents, does not teach.
I want to teach them about purpose. I want them to know that they have a purpose here on the earth. I do not want my kids to sit idly by playing games all day on the computer. I want them to have purpose. As we school, we are able to explore their likes and dreams. Then, we are able to build on that and discover their purpose in life. I want to develop passion in them. No person that ever did anything great did not have passion in doing so. Passionate people have lead army’s, cured disease and saved lives. Homeschooling is such a huge movement right now because people were passionate about what they were doing and why. I want my children to be passionate about developing who they are. I want to train my children in skills of personal development. I do not want a bunch of complaining, whining ill tempered children that can not handle their emotions. If you are angry, there is a way to handle that. If you are bitter, sad, scared, frustrated or any other negative emotion then I want to train my children how to handle that properly.
I want to be an encouragement by giving them positive thinking for curriculum. Showing them how to develop a positive mind is one of the most important gift you can teach not only your children, but yourself. Through positive thinking our children can develop their belief. We can empower our children to have belief in themselves and God. Successful people know that the power of belief is the greatest power you have. I also want to train my children to have hope for the future, trust in each other, faith in things working out and honor to do the right thing. Yes, teaching core subjects is very important but let us not forget that we have the opportunity to give our kids the best curriculum by teaching them personal development as well