I have been searching for the perfect curriculum since….
(Drum roll please.)
Since 2000. A friend showed me her curriculum (Konos) when my pretty little daughter was four.
We began homeschooling in 2001 with much fanfare and enthusiasm. I had found Susan Wise Bauer and The Well Trained Mind and I was on FIRE!
Throughout the years, I loved and used Sonlight, Tapestry, My Fathers World, and an eclectic hodge podge pulled from catalogs, recommendations, book lists, Ambleside, and TWTM.
I compared, listed pros and cons, sold curriculum, bought *more* curriculum, and was absolutely bent on using the best curriculum I could find.
It has been seventeen years since I perused my first curriculum and that pretty litte girl has graduated our homeschool. Goodness, that pretty little girl has almost graduated from college!
So, seventeen years and what would I do differently and what would I do the same?
I think the differences in who I was as a mama then and who I am now reflects my homeschool choices. Morning Basket mama, Pam Barnhill, talks about Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, and these characteristics resonate with my soul.
Oddly, often, when mamas talk about these three characteristics, textbooks are shunned. Speaking as a mama who has a one room schoolhouse going on in her home every morning, I felt that way too. Originally, following TWTM, I began with Rod & Staff as spines. Strangely, seventeen years into the journey, I am using Rod & Staff again as my backbone every day.
Am I advocating everyone jump to Rod & Staff? LOL! No! I am saying that if something works well with your family, you have permission to use it. I found flaws in each curriculum I was using…. A never ending thirst. Now, older, wiser, more experienced, I am looking beyond the curriculum to the heart of the creators…. I am so grateful to John Holtzmann, to Marcia Somerville, Marie Hazell, Charlotte Mason. I think it is so important to think about who they are/were and why they devoted their lives to the education of children and their end goals.
Each of these authored and compiled curriculum in the quest to equip and inspire the hearts and minds of children for the glory and goodness of Christ.
Pay special attention to that – each of these people had a goal. What is that goal?
To EQUIP and INSPIRE hearts and minds of children for the GLORY of CHRIST.
There is no perfect curriculum but I will confess I believe, firmly, there is one perfect goal.
I want to equip and inspire my children to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is acceptable for me to use real, living, beautiful books AND textbooks. It is okay for me to use narration, copywork, or a workbook or two. I have found that textbooks give me time and permission to get the basics done and then move onto real books, handiwork, or just plain free time to be spent together or alone as individuals.
Ask yourself, on your quest, does this equip and inspire my child so that he is better equipped, wholeheartedly inspired, and growing in Christ? If it does? Good curriculum.