Monday, April 6, 2009

Homeschool: Priorities 101

Received a curriculum catalog in the mail today- one of many, it's the season dontcha' know. Found this bit in the front cover, "Remember your goal- is your goal that your children all master Latin, calculus, and can diagram any sentence? Or, is it that they have a great character, good citizenship, and a love of learning?.....Are you willing to not sweat math today if an opportunity to grow family relationships arises?....

Excuse me? As if it's a choice between being educated and a love of learning? Irl the most educated people I know are also the ones who truly love learning. And apparently we've come so far that we no longer realize that character is built through discipline and hard work, much of which historically has been academic. Frankly, I hope my kids master Latin, can diagram any sentence and by some miracle make it through Calculus. I want them to leave our home and our homeschool with a tool box full. I expect my kids to have great character. I expect that they will have good citizenship (whatever that means), and I expect my kids to have a passion (if not love) for learning. I also expect that family relationships are a high priority. As I've said before, I have a great many hopes and dreams for my kids...

So, yeah, I agree- Remember your goal(s) as you curriculum shop this spring. Latin, diagramming and calculus. Passion, enthusiasm, citizenship, familial responsiblity. You don't have to sacrifice or juxtapose one set of priorites over another. You do have to be intentional or something is bound to get lost in the shuffle. Here's how I manage it. Make a sheet with the following:

Goals/Course/Curriculum used.
1. Set your goals first
2. Name the course
3. Determine the curriculum you'll use to accomplish your goals.

Homeschooling is best goal driven rather than curriculum driven.
Start with the end in mind.
Write the vision, make it plain, and feel free to make it outrageous and personal and epic and all yours.
And, of course, don't forget to Do It.


Redradtech said...

That was very good my friend

Karen said...

Exactly. How are kids supposed to love learning if you never teach them anything? How do you build character without expecting them to tackle hard things - like Latin, diagramming and Calculus. Low expectations in ps are one of the big reasons I homeschool my kids.

Anyway. I completely agree with your post. Can you tell? :)

Anonymous said...

Great post! I agree with you completely. It's not a choice between one or the other. I have high hopes for my children as well and sometimes I feel looked down by other parents because of it.