Thursday, March 26, 2015

Curriculum on my left, Curriculum on my right......which shall I choose? Part 1

It is that time of year where I start analyzing how well our current curriculum has been as a match to my loves.   
Some years we haven't changed anything, but some years it is obvious that we spent the whole year trying to put a square post in a round hole.  
As I have said in my "About me" post, I have tried many different  curriculum over the years.   After I got myself out of the "school box", I was able to venture into different styles. 
What is the "school box"?   
It is usually the way every homeschooling mama starts......replicating public school.   I was guilty of doing this when I pulled Pumpkin Pie out of school in the middle of third grade.   I was able to get a school desk, got a white board, set up pictures around the bedroom, etc.   Using Abeka, I stood in front of her and taught each class.   When it was time for Mr. Man to start, I put him in a different room with the same set up.  I even "pretended" to be "Miss Flo" he wouldn't confuse "mama" with the teacher.   (By the way, he liked Miss Flo, much better.  LOL)  I would go back and forth between the rooms teaching all day.   

I am not saying anything is wrong with this method.  If it works for you and your love(s), then do it!!  But if you feel like something is "lacking".   Your loves are restless...YOU are restless....maybe you need to at least look into other methods of teaching.   

I have nothing bad to say about Abeka or BJU, I have used them many times during my years of homeschooling.  Their curriculum is challenging and if your child's learning style fits this method of homeschooling, you will see amazing results.   The only thing with Abeka or BJU , is that there is not alot of room for free thinkers.   If you have a child who likes doing more hands-on projects, more expressing themselves via videos, plays, songs, building projects, slide shows, etc, this is NOT a good match.  And, if you are wanting to let your kid explore possible career possibilities, BJU makes a long day and adding on classes will be difficult. 

When Mr. Man was in 7th grade, I purchased the BJU hard drive curriculum - he sat in front of his computer while he watched videos of different teachers teaching the subjects.   Half way  through the year, I felt, he wasn't really getting it.  His grades were good, but was he just "regurgitating" it all?  I was always a master at that in school - memorizing for the test, not for life.  Was he zoning out?   

Well, as I usually do, I ask him what he would like to do for the upcoming year.  After getting past the -"nothing, I don't want to do school anymore"- answer, he said he wasn't sure.  I asked him what curriculum he learned the most from and to my surprise, he said BJU!   He further said, he wasn't into "crafts and stuff" when we talked about other methods of curriculum.  I believe he meant "hands-on" activities.   He wants to get to his lesson, do homework and BE DONE!!   But he did admit he HATES essays more than "crafts and stuff" and would rather make the Nile River out of clay, painted up and labeled, than write an essay about it.   
So I am in pursuit of trying to find something in-between, if there is anything out there.  If not....I will try to tailor make one for him.   

I am going to share what I find in the next few posts.  I am sure I am not the only homeschooling Mama out there searching for the perfect curriculum match for their love.   If you have any suggestions, please share!!