Mom Discovers Best Homeschooling Curriculum
by Kimm Hunt
Playing in the mud
I am a homeschooling mom of two daughters ages five and eight. We are of the Charlotte Mason mindset, so our homeschooling endeavors thus far have been pretty relaxed and rather simple: We read a lot of books on all sorts of subjects; we spend a lot of time outside observing and interacting with nature, take lots of field trips, and work on practical skills and character development.
Although we are not learning the same content as most elementary classroom-schooled children, they are learning a TON. With minimal help, they can do their own laundry, clean their own bathroom, cook dinner, sell lemonade, build fairy houses, name most of the flowers and trees in the neighborhood, catch fish, order and pay for their own restaurant food, care for their pets, vacuum and wash the floor, organize their collections of various items, recite Bible verses, and tell the BEST stories.
They are growing in character, knowledge and wisdom by doing life with their family and family friends. They have real opportunities in the real world to practice their developing skills and traits. When our neighbor died, they exercised their compassion by making cards and arranging flowers. When our friend was ill, they exercised their baby-care skills over the 36 hours we kept their newborn. When we found a turtle with leeches, they tried out their veterinary skills by removing them. The lessons they learn from these everyday events will create knowledge, skills, and character that they could never get from a box full of workbooks that arrives in the mail.
I'm certainly not saying that boxed curriculum has no place in homeschooling. It works well for some families, and is practically necessary for some subjects. But four hours of daily seatwork is not working for you, save your $500 and get a zoo membership, some vegetable flats, and a 20 lb bag of flour. Read, explore, and do. Your kids will learn SO MUCH.
As far as record keeping and reporting, most of these activities will "count" as math, science, social studies, relational skills, geography, language arts, etc. As a matter of fact, their quality far exceeds that of any classroom exercise because it's REAL experience, not manufactured and far removed.
Overall, I would give life a rating of 5 out of 5 for homeschool value, content, ease of use, and completeness.Excellent post, Kimm; I have nothing to add and am so glad you shared! :) Happy homeschooling, Heather