Updated: Nov 4, 2019
Picking curriculum is a daunting task. There is so much out there, how do you know what is best? Hopefully giving you a new way to think about why you're picking a curriculum for your classroom will help narrow it down by looking for key words and phrases that revolve around this one question you need to ask.
Think about it using a backwards approach. I think about my objectives and purposes first, then I think about what they need to know in order to get there. So think of it like this: What is it that you want your child to know by the time they leave your home? What is your end goal in education?
When you pick curriculum or attempt to understand what your child should know think of it from a bottom up approach. My end goal in education is to get my girls to pick up anything and learn it well on their own. What skills do they need to accomplish this? What are the foundational skills needed that I can build upon? Once that foundation is built, what concepts logically follow? Finally, what are the logical steps to get them from this foundational point to that end goal? Then the focus changes from what my child should know at each age to: my child has mastered this foundational skill and these building blocks, I have something tangible to build. This natural progression helps you worry less about what they don’t know versus what they know and where you want them and how you’re going to get them there. This is vitally important considering that children are different, unique individuals that learn at different paces. Homeschooling students have a unique advantage because parents are able to teach children at their pace, mastering a concept before moving on to the next. Unfortunately in a class of twenty or more children, this becomes increasingly difficult. However, I’ve seen teachers master this ability and kudos to them, because that is a phenomenally challenging job and many teachers do it!
If you have not established goals, or have no idea where to even begin thinking about that, I can help you, contact me.
On the other hand, if you have a clear goal in mind but don’t know how to get there, I can help develop that foundation and the building blocks for you to easily follow, which in turn will help you pick curriculum, and assess and monitor your students progression.
How are we getting there?
In our home we want our children to be independent life-long learners. That's our end goal. In order to get there I know that they will need to read well and have a plethora of study tools in their back pocket. It is my job to ensure the learning process is fun and that there are building blocks in place to ensure that a solid foundation is set.
That foundation is reading and writing. All other subjects, careers, learning endeavors revolve around those two skills. If my children can read and write well, I know they can tackle anything. Which is why I developed my children's learning experience around literature. I guess you could call our school the Lowery's Literature Based School. When we work on history - books. Math - books. Geography - books. In the beginning my daughter always asked, "We're reading again?!" Yes. You read to learn! You read, explore, experiment, read, experiment some more, gather data, read the data, observe, observe, observe. These are all reading skills we work on in our day - all to reach our end goal: independent life-long learners.