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Good Teachers and Parents Know Curriculum is Not Everything

By: Krystle Crossman

When you go to pick out your child’s curriculum for home-school how do you do it? Do you look for a specific book that you have heard about or do you think about the entire concept as a whole and just get whatever books you think will be good for what you are teaching? The latter is how we should be thinking about what we are teaching their students. A curriculum is the material that you are teaching your child so that they can thrive in the real world, not a specific book that you are buying.

Think about what skills your child is going to need when they are out on their own and as they grow. Yes, that history book was highly recommended by a friend of a friend who home-schools too, but is it the right fit for your child and their needs as they grow? If they have an interest in history it will help them to learn. If they are not interested in history it is best to keep that at a minimum in your curriculum and keep to more fun activities and subjects that they will enjoy. It is their education and you need to be able to figure out what is the best thing for them to learn.

When we think of curriculum we often think of the specific plans and lessons that are set forth by the government and the school system. If you are home-schooling your child, that is where the great part comes in. You set your own curriculum. You don’t have to buy the same textbooks that kids in public schools have. You don’t have to buy all the latest and greatest texts that won’t mean much to your child down the road. You can set their learning curriculum to whatever you feel will help them to succeed the most.

Get out with the kids and go for a hike in the woods. It can be part of your gym curriculum as well as science. You can teach them about the different types of plants and animals in the woods. They are much more likely to retain that information as opposed to something they were forced to read in a textbook. Even simple things like helping out a neighbor or volunteering somewhere can be a part of your curriculum because it is a very important learning experience for your children.

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