Friday, April 29, 2011

Planning is the easy part

When it comes to homeschooling, one of the most fun (and most difficult) decisions is in planning on which curriculum to use. Well, at least it holds true for me. First, I had to decide what our educational philosophy/style is. We started out very "school" like, and let me tell you...that did not suit any of us. I will say it is probably the most simple schooling method though, since many of us were raised in public school and that is what we "know" how to do. But, our intentions for homeschooling were not to be school, our intentions were to give our children the best CHRISTIAN based education that we possibly could. Enter finding "The Well Trained Mind" forum. I remember just looking for homeschool support and stumbling onto those boards. I was amazed at the wealth of information and immediately ordered "The Well Trained Mind (TWTM)" book.  Talk about a lot of information. I got the book in 2008, implemented some of it in 2008, some more in 2009, and reverted back to my "own" methods in 2010. Just FYI, my "own" methods were an epic fail! I am back to a literature based, full classical education.

That being said, I really struggled to decide which curriculum we were going to use. I do not go by TWTM completely. I use it as a guideline to creating my own system. For example, in the book it is recommended that we do physics this year with Michaela. Umm, no. We'll hit it hard in high school. This year, we are taking her love of animals and doing a pre-veterinary program as our science. She will also be going to a school to learn equine massage. Not in the book, but for this child, vital to her continued love for learning.

Like I said, nailing down all of the different curriculum sources was the easy part. Now comes the part I dread, PAYING for it all. As it is with most things in this life, I tend to chose things that cost more than other things. For example, we will be using Tapestry of Grace. Without buying the books, it is still a significant investment. I see that a lot of people have many young children when they start using ToG, so the investment will certainly pay off in the long run for them. Me? I have TWO children that will use it. One only once, the other just beginning so he will cycle the 3 times. However, I will have to add on every time because he will be older and need a different level. It would be so easy to go with something "easier" and cheaper, but it would not give me the satisfaction that it was the *best* option for us. I would always feel like what we were doing was inferior, and I would not be happy. (Because I know myself...I would get discouraged easily.) Move on to the grammar program I have chosen and there is yet MORE expense than I even dreamed I would choose. Again, I feel it is the best choice for my children and their learning styles, and will benefit them better in the long run than anything else I have run across. NOT that I am discounting the fact that something else may come along. I am always on the lookout for something that will work well for us and make learning more fun!

I am working hard at my home business, Celebrating Home, so I can apply all my profits to the purchase of curriculum. My husband is supportive of homeschooling, yet he certainly dislikes the fact that we pay school taxes and still have to spend a large chunk on their curriculum. Realizing this, I will do all I can to make sure that our home budget does not reflect the strain of those costs.

I will be the best steward of our money, getting what I can for the best price possible. I scour classified adds and watch sales. I look for discounts anywhere I can. The cost is worth the benefit though. I am sure of that, though there is no evidence to support my claims at this point.   Photobucket

1 comment:

  1. I have only begun to scratch the surface of all this curriculum! It can be very overwhelming for sure. But I trust God, he brought us here, he will get us through, bumps and bruises and all, however I doubt they will be as hard to heal from what we have subjected our angel to so far.


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